Graduate Programs in Educational, School, or Counseling Psychology

Thank you for your interest in applying. Please read this page carefully. The annual PhD application deadline is December 1. For those applicants invited for an on-site interview, PhD interview day is held each year on a Friday in late January or early February,.  The annual MS/EdS application deadline is February 1. New students begin their studies in the fall semester. Please note that applications for fall admission can be submitted starting in late September the year prior.

If you are applying to the PhD in Quantitative and Psychometric Methods (QPM), please visit the QPM Apply page instead.

The University of Kentucky is part of the Hobsons ApplyYourself Application Network, a system that provides an opportunity to submit all Graduate School and Departmental requirements in one electronic application. All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted online at Our GRE Institution Code is R1837 and the TOEFL Institution Code is 1837.  The application will request your GRE scores and transcripts (you may submit an unofficial transcript with your application, but if you are accepted you will then need to submit an official transcript to the Graduate School).

Applicants to programs in Educational, School, or Counseling Psychology will be asked to upload the following supporting application materials:

  1. Resume/Vita. Be sure to include your educational background, work experiences, professional certifications, professional memberships, publications, and references.
  2. Letters of Recommendation. Two letters of reference are required, though three are encouraged.
  3. Writing Sample. (Only required for all PhD applicants and for Counseling Psychology MS applicants). Submit a sole-authored article, class paper, Master’s Thesis, or manuscript. Writing sample should demonstrate command of APA style.
  4. Statement of Purpose. Please tailor your statement of purpose to the program of study to which you are applying by addressing the relevant questions below:

      For Educational Psychology:

    • What is your understanding of educational psychology and why is this program a “good fit” for your specific career goals?
    • What previous teaching experience and/or life experiences have influenced your decision to pursue a degree in educational psychology?
    • What is (or will be) your contribution to issues of diversity and social justice?
    • What experiences have you had working with diverse populations and/or different cultures?
    • What are your specific research interests (i.e., specific problems or general areas in which you hope to work) and with which faculty member(s) do your interests most align?

      For School Psychology:

    • What is your understanding of school psychology and why is this program a “good fit” for your specific career goals?
    • What previous clinical or educational experience and/or life experiences do you have with diverse populations and/or different cultures?
    • What is (or will be) your contribution to issues of diversity and social justice?
    • Describe any prior research experience you have (doctoral applicants only).

      For Counseling Psychology:

Note: Please address these five questions in your Statement of Purpose, which should be no longer than 2 single-spaced pages in length.  You are encouraged to divide your Statement into five clearly marked sections.  

    1. Why is our program a good fit for your specific career goals?
    2. Please respond to either A or B, your choice:
      • (A) What is and/or will be your contribution to social justice?
      • (B) How do your identities inform how you experience the world and interact with others? Disclose what feels comfortable and authentic.
    1. What makes (or will make) you a good clinician?
    2. What are your specific research interests and how do they align with the research program of one or two of the counseling psychology faculty members? For this application cycle, the possible faculty members are Drs. Hargons, Hammer, Rostosky, Stevens-Watkins, and Zounlome. (Please note that Dr. Rostosky will only consider doctoral applicants for the PRISM lab who will have completed a master’s degree in counseling/clinical, which required at least two semesters of therapy practicum experience, by June 2022.)  If you mention more than one faculty member, please clearly indicate which professor would be the best fit for your research adviser.  Please also describe in 3-6 sentences a research question that you would enjoy addressing with your UK faculty mentor and why this question is important to investigate.
    3. How did you learn about our program? (one sentence is fine)

     For Quantitative and Psychometric Methods:

    • Please see the QPM Apply page for instructions.

Program faculty do not use any single criterion for admissions decisions. We consider grade point average (minimum of 2.75 undergraduate and 3.0 graduate), GRE scores, letters of recommendation, previous professional and life experiences, diversity-related experiences, career goals, research interests, and “fit” with overall program focus and faculty expertise. Your statement of purpose is an opportunity for you to convey to the faculty a more holistic view of your strengths and potential contributions to the program.  It is also an opportunity for you to provide clarifying context for low grade point average and/or GRE scores, if this is relevant to you.

Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The application system will also ask you to submit an application for an assistantship; however, the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling psychology cannot accept applications for assistantships until acceptance into each program has been granted. Therefore, you do not need to submit an application for an assistantship until after acceptance into your respective program.