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We review and admit prospective applicants beginning February 1 of each year, and successful applicants begin their course of study in July each year.

Application Requirements

The following list of requirements must be submitted with your application to the counseling program.  Failure to include all of the application materials by the stated deadline could hinder chances of review and acceptance by the selection committee.

  • Deadline February 1
  • Personal essay (no more than four typed, double-spaced pages) answering these questions:
    • Why have you chosen this career path?
    • What strengths or assets do you bring to the program?
    • How have your personal experiences influenced your decision to pursue a career in the counseling profession?
  • All official transcripts from former colleges/universities (either mailed in sealed envelope or in e-script form directly from the school)
    • MSU undergraduates' transcripts are an exception since the transcripts are already on file
  • General GRE scores in the 50th percentile (approximately 150) or above on both verbal and quantitative
    • Scores older than 7 years will not be accepted
  • Three letters of professional recommendation
  • Undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or above

MSU accepts approximately 25 students each year or approximately 8 students per program.

After reviewing applications, admissions committees for each of the programs decide which students will be asked to complete an interview with them.  Successful applicants will be offered positions in one of the three programs.  Once all available positions in our programs have been filled, applicants will be notified of their admission status.  Students may apply to the program in subsequent years.

Application FAQs

Given that there are no undergraduate programs offered in counseling, we are willing to review applicants with a wide variety of undergraduate majors. Certainly, psychology, family science, and teacher education programs are natural feeder degrees for our programs; however, we do review and accept students with other academic backgrounds.

Our counseling classes are restricted to those admitted to the program.  In specific cases, some students have been allowed into a course with permission of the instructor.

While we prefer students to already have the prerequisites, they may be taken during the program, but they must be taken in addition to the 60 or 48 semester credits. 

The marriage, couples, & family and mental health counseling programs require the following prerequisites:

The school counseling program requires

  • Statistics course (at MSU:  EDCI 501)
  • Special education or special needs course (at MSU:  EDSP 306)
  • Human growth and development or child/adolescent development (at MSU:  HDFS 101 or EDEC 160)

If sending transcripts by mail:

HHD Graduate Program
PO Box 173540
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT  59717-3540

If sending electronically:

hhdgrad@montana.edu

Yes, the general GRE is required.  Both verbal and quantitative scores should be above the 50th percentile.

For our programs, the essay should follow the following format. The essay will be no more than four typed pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, and answer the following questions:

  • Why have you chosen this career path?
  • What strengths or assets do you bring to the program?
  • How have your personal experiences influenced your decision to pursue a career in the counseling profession?
If a candidate's application is complete, it qualifies for review.  Once faculty have finished their reviews, select candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Approximately 2-3 weeks following the interview, students will be notified of acceptance or denial.
Failure to include all of the above application materials by the stated deadline could hinder chances of review and acceptance by the selection committee.
Courses start summer semester and students go through the program in a cohort.  There is no exception to the summer start.
No; however, your application is valid for one calendar year, and you're welcome to reapply the following year.
Yes, your application is valid for one calendar year.  If you applied to start the program in summer 2019, you would be eligible for consideration for summer 2020.  You might consider revising your personal essay and having your letters of recommendation updated.

No, we do not provide feedback to candidates on their applications.


MSU counseling students progress through our programs as a cohort, meaning that students in all three programs take most of their classes together in a prescribed sequence. After the first year, students in the three programs begin to branch out into program specific courses.The Department of Health and Human Development honors diversity and appreciates the variety of perspectives and experiences our students, clients, and colleagues bring.

We invite applications from all racial and ethnic groups, both genders regardless of sexual orientation, and from persons with disabilities. Counseling faculty are dedicated to recruiting and accepting a diverse body that is sensitive to the needs of our increasingly pluralistic society. We seek to add depth and richness to our program by admitting students with a variety of perspectives and life experiences.

Choosing a graduate counseling program is a challenging process and we hope you make your application decisions based on your life plans. Those of us who train counselors at Montana State University believe that we offer exceptional programs of study and hope that you will consider us as you make decisions about graduate school. On a lighter, but nonetheless important side, we would also suggest that Bozeman, Montana, is a wonderful place to live for two years while you pursue your career training.

Counseling Links