UW-Madison - Department of Counseling Psychology - Information for Prospective PhD Applicants

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Main Office

Department of
Counseling Psychology

School of Education
335 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-4807
Fax: 608/265-4174

Email: counpsych@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Information for Prospective Ph.D. Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Please read all of the information regarding the Department's requirements and the Graduate School requirements before you complete the on-line admissions process.

General Information

The Department of Counseling Psychology accepts applications for Fall enrollment between early September and December 1 for the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology. There is no option for Spring enrollment in the Department. The applicant is responsible for collecting, assembling, and submitting all the pieces of the application by the deadline.  Applicants should submit their materials in electronic form.

Post-BA And Post-MA Tracks

Most students who apply to and are enrolled in the Ph.D. program have earned a Master's degree (post-MA) in counseling or a related field.  However, in Fall 2010, we began offering a “post-BA” track within our Ph.D. program for highly-qualified students who have not yet earned a Master's degree in counseling-related field and wish to apply directly to a Ph.D. program.  Having a post-BA Ph.D. program allows us to accept qualified applicants to the Ph.D. program who may have work, volunteer, or research experience in counseling or a related profession, have exhibited a passion for helping others, and/or possess a masters degree in a non-counseling field. If you are unsure which option is right for you, review the information in the "Important Downloads" listed below.

Unlike students in our regular “post-MA” track (i.e., those who enter with a Master's degree), post-BA Ph.D. students start the program alongside the incoming Master's student cohort. In their first academic year, post-BA PhD students will complete a course load similar to their Master's student counterparts. In their second academic year, post-BA Ph.D. students will complete their "first Year Experience" while beginning their Ph.D. coursework. Post-BA Ph.D. students are not currently required to complete a Masters thesis or the Professional Integration Exercise, but will also not receive a Master's degree unless they choose to meet all requirement's for our masters program.


Information about funding for Ph.D. students is available on our Funding page.​

Informational Meeting

During the Fall semester, the admission chair hosts ​informal information meetings for students interested in applying to the PhD program. ​​Meetings​ are designed as a way of answering questions from prospective students who are able to attend. It is in no way intended to screen potential applicants and attendance is not required to apply for either program.

Informational Meetings for Fall 2020

  • Friday, ​​Sept. 25, 20​20 from ​1​2:00pm - 1:00pm CST* (ONLINE) with Dr. Stephanie Budge
  • Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 from 3:00pm - 4:00pm CST* (ONLINE) with Dr. Stephanie Budge

*If you are interested in attending ​either informational meeting, please email Andrea Burdick (ampalm@wisc.edu) starting one week beforehand, and she will send you a web link so that you can join the virtual meeting. Thank you!

 Important Dates

  • All Ph.D. applications (​to begin the program in Fall 20​2​1) ​will be due December 1st, 20​20.  Please note that the application window will not open until early September 2020.
  • Applicants who are offered interviews will be notified by the end of December, 2020.
  • Interviews are scheduled to take place on January ​2​2, 2021, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Important Downloads

Application Procedure

Step 1. Complete the Graduate School online application, which includes:

  • PDF copies of transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Reasons for Graduate Study (1-3 pages, single-spaced)
  • Supplemental Application
  • Resume or CV
  • Application fee

Step 2. GRE and TOEFL test scores submitted electronically directly from ETS. Use Institution Code: 1846.  If you are unsure if TOEFL scores are required, please see the Graduate School's Requirements for Admission page.

Background Checks

Criminal background checks will be conducted for all undergraduate and graduate students admitted to UW-Madison School of Education programs that require field placements (e.g., practicum, student teaching, or clinical field experience).   For each student, the background investigation will include a full residency check, a background review for every state of residency and a check against additional offender databases.


Our doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  For more information, please contact:

Office of the Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First St., NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242
Tel: (202) 336-5979
Fax: (202) 336-5978
Email:  apaaccred@apa.org



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