MA in Counseling Psychology


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Minimum Background Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution;
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during the last 60 semester credits (or equivalent);
  • A strong background in psychology or a closely related field, with a minimum of 15 semester hours of course work in psychology, strongly recommended are:
    • introductory or survey of psychology,
    • statistical techniques,
    • research methods, and
    • at least two 300-level or higher psychology courses;
  • At least one 3-credit course in statistics and one 3-credit course in research methods from any discipline;
  • For International Applicants: A score of 550 (paper based) on the TOEFL (other equivalent TOEFL scores: 79 internet based and 213 computer based; the IELTS equivalent is 6.0.

Applicant Selection Process

Priority Application Deadline is January 20, 2023 and the Final Application Deadline is February 28, 2023.

This means that applications that are submitted and are complete by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Any applications that are submitted after the priority deadline and become complete before the final deadline will be reviewed but considered on a space-available basis.

Complete applications are applications that have a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation and all official transcripts from current and prior institutions have been received.

Complete applications that meet the minimum requirements are reviewed by the Psychology Graduate Admissions Committee, which uses multiple criteria for the assessment of applicants. Admission is selective and is based on the following factors:

  1. Personal Statement,
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae,
  3. Letters of Recommendation,
  4. GPA (last 60 semester hours)
  5. Interview Responses

The Psychology Graduate Admissions Committee reviews applications and selects candidates for a phone/video interview. Based on the entirety of information garnered from the application materials and the interview, the admissions committee determines whether the applicant will be offered admission to the program.

If you have questions about the applicant selection process, you may read the Admission Policies and Procedures (PDF).

We also recommend you read our FAQs about Admissions.

Application Checklist

To apply for the program, you will need the following:

  • UH Hilo Graduate Application
  • $50 Application fee
  • Personal Statement
    • Your personal statement should address the following:
    1. Your short and long-term academic and career plans.
    2. Your reasons for pursuing a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology.
    3. How graduate study at UH Hilo will help you accomplish your goals.
    4. How your experience has prepared you for graduate study and work in the field of counseling psychology.
    5. Attributes that make you well suited to the field of counseling psychology.
    • There is no minimum/maximum length for the personal statement, however, successful statements are typically between 700 and 1000 words in length.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation from academic and/or professional referees
    • Recommendations from professors who are familiar with your work are preferred. We will also accept letters written by supervisors who have observed your work in the human service field or research activities. We discourage letters from co-workers, friends, family members, and members of the clergy (unless they supervised your work).
    • Once you request your letters in the electronic system, your letter writers will be sent an email and instructions on how to use the electronic letters of recommendation system. They will be asked to upload a letter of recommendation and also be instructed to evaluate your academic aptitude and suitability for a career in counseling.
  • Official Transcripts
    • Transcripts should be sent directly from all non-UH system colleges or universities you have attended. Official transcripts from UH system institutions will be pulled via STAR.
    • We prefer certified electronic transcripts sent directly from your institution to the UH Hilo Graduate Division
    • Hard Copy transcripts should be mailed to:
    • UH Hilo Graduate Division
    • 200 W. Kawili Street
    • COBE Building, Room 201
    • Hilo, HI 96720
  • International Applicants
    • Baccalaureate degree transcripts from international institutions must be submitted to an independent transcript evaluation service. More information can be found at International Graduate Student Information.
    • Official college transcripts in the original language and official translations into English must be provided. To expedite your application, all graduate applicants with international transcripts are required to send the baccalaureate transcript for professional evaluation by one of the credential evaluation services listed on our web site: International Student Application Information.
    • Only graduates of accredited universities will be considered for acceptance.
    • TOEFL or IELTS scores (non-native speakers of English; see Eligibility Criteria), UH Hilo (Code: 4869)

To apply and for additional information, documents, and links relevant to applying, please visit the Graduate Division Admission Guide for Counseling Psychology.

We encourage you to visit the FAQ page for further information about the applying to the program. If you have additional questions not on this or our FAQ page, you can contact the UH Hilo Graduate Division:

UH Hilo Graduate Division
Attn: Shelby Iwamoto
200 West Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720-4091
Tel: (808) 932-7927