College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Materials

Is a terminal Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology available at Colorado State University?

No. The CSU Counseling program only accepts students who intend to obtain a doctoral degree.

Can the application materials be completed on the Internet or downloaded off of the Internet?

Yes. The application materials are available at the department's website. The URL is:

What is the deadline for the application materials to be received by CSU?

All materials are due on December 1 the year you plan to enroll.

What requirements are there for admission?

General admission requirements are: Your undergraduate GPA should be 3.5 or better, GRE scores, typically in the 80th percentile, The Psychology Subject GRE test is optional, any relevant research/experience is a plus. The committee will look for strong letters of recommendation and what you say in your personal statement.

When will applicants receive notification about selection decisions?

If you are accepted into the program, then you should be notified within the first two weeks of March. However, if you are placed on a waiting list, it could take some weeks longer.

How many letters of recommendation are required to apply to the program? Are forms available for those who will write the recommendations?

We require three letters of recommendation, though some applicants occasionally provide one more. There are no forms that letter writers need to use.
of recommendation and what you say in your personal statement.

Applicants with a Master's Degree

What credits earned for a Master's Degree at another institution will transfer into the program?

Generally, at least some credits transfer, though not all of them. Usually, the basic content classes are accepted. Often, methodological and statistics classes are accepted as well.

Can a new student entering with a Master's Degree test out of courses?

We place students out of courses on a case-by-case basis. Students should provide a class syllabus, readings, and other relevant class materials. Based on an evaluation of this information, students are typically placed out of overlapping courses.

Financial Support

What is the cost of tuition for the year?

The Counseling Program has been successful in eliminating most if not all of tuition and fees through research and teaching assistantships. Out of state students most often are successful in gaining in-state tuition after their first year.

How and when are funding decisions and assistantship assignments made?

Initial decisions are made in April; rolling decisions are made throughout the year. Funding decisions and assistantship assignments are determined by considering what teaching and research assistantships are available and what students need funding.

What types of assistantships are available?

There are two types of assistantships: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistant (GRA).

What are some tasks associated with the GTA and GRA assistantships?

GTAs' tasks are to assist faculty with class management, prepare exams, maintain records, help students understand class materials, etc. Some GTAs teach a lab associated with a large section of a psychology course. GRAs' tasks include assisting faculty when designing and conducting research.

Can students request a particular assistantship?

Students' preference will be solicited.

What is the average stipend for an assistantship?

The average stipend for a GTA or GRA is $1,370 a month before taxes. GTAs and GRAs also receive $650 extra a semester. This money is provided to buy graduate student health insurance, but can be used in any way desired by the student.

Are fellowships available?

There are other fellowships available to advanced graduate students such as the Graduate School Fellowship or the Teaching Fellowship. Organizations such as the National Science Foundation provide competitive fellowships to graduate students as well.

Do students usually need to take out loans or seek outside employment?

Most students do not seek employment outside the program. Generally students who are funded do not need to take out additional loans, although this certainly depends upon the individual. Please visit the Financial Aid page for additional information regarding financial support.

Program of Study

What courses does the program require?

Please view the Typical Course Schedule and Course Requirements sections of the Counseling Psychology Program Brochure. Click here to download the brochure.

Students who wish to waive PY652 and PY653 should follow the following steps.

1. Contact the instructor prior to the fall semester each year to arrange taking PY652 waiver test. Students will be required to get a C (70%) on the test to be able to waive the course.
2. Contact the instructor prior to the spring semester each year to arrange taking PY653 waiver test. Students will be required to get a C (70%) on the test to be able to waive the course.
Things students should know before, during, and after the tests
1. Students can only take the waiver tests once at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters, respectively. Pre-requisite for taking PY653 waiver test is to pass PY652 waiver test.
2. Students receive grades lower than a B (80%) will be strongly encouraged to consider taking the class.
3. Students will receive the result and will not receive their answers or be allowed to keep the questions. Their results will also be passed to their advisors for reference
4. Students can bring whatever books and notes they wish, but no programmable calculators or handheld computers, to their testing sessions.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and other data

Student Life

What are some examples of students' research interests?

Please view our Faculty/Student Research Page for representative research projects and interests.

City of Fort Collins

What is Fort Collins like?

For a broad overview of the town, see or Fort Collins has many amenities including top-notch restaurants, shopping, parks, and recreational facilities. It is also in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, many national parks, and the major metropolitan area of Denver. Overall, residents enjoy a moderate, four season climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine and 14.5 inches of precipitation a year.

What is the size of the town?

The population of Fort Collins is about 144,000 people. There are about 30,700 students enrolled at Colorado State University, so a large portion of the town is comprised of college students and university faculty and staff.

What is the typical age range of the people in town?

Fort Collins has an interesting mix of residents with diverse backgrounds. Being a college town, there are naturally many young people in their early twenties. However, Fort Collins has several large, high-tech organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, and Advanced Energy, which attract slightly older (mid 20's to 40's) residents and their families. Other notable organizations found in Fort Collins include New Belgium and Otterbox. Lastly, Fort Collins is also somewhat of a farming community and some residents still make their living this way. Overall, the average inhabitant of Fort Collins is young and well educated. Statistically, the median age of residents is 29, and approximately 51.5% of the population has completed four or more years of college. Here are some links for more facts and figures about CSU and Fort Collins residents.

What is the cost of living in Fort Collins?

The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average. For example, it's much cheaper to live here than Southern California or the East Coast. However, it's significantly more expensive than the Midwest and part of the south. To compare the cost of living in Fort Collins to where you live, check out Overall, the average rent in Fort Collins for a one-bedroom apartment is $650 and a two-bedroom is $740. Colorado State University offers appartments in the University Villages for all students. Please visit Housing and Dining Services web site for more information or for off campus rental information.

What do people in Fort Collins do for fun?

Outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, boating, biking, and skiing, are major pastimes for Fort Collins residents. Fort Collins also has several museums, theaters, and a historical old town shopping district. Additionally, the many local bars and pubs offer enjoyable evening entertainment.

What activities are available in the surrounding areas of Fort Collins?

Within a 15-minute drive, there are many hiking, running, and mountain biking trails. Some of the most famous ski resorts (e.g., Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Purgatory) are within short driving distances. For example, it is about a 2-3 hour drive to Vail and about 5 hours to Aspen and Purgatory from Fort Collins. Other ski resorts, such as Loveland and Arapaho Basin (which are still great and usually less crowded), are about 1½ hours from Fort Collins. Also, within a 45-minute drive are Denver, Boulder, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Many activities, such as shopping, hiking, sightseeing, and (good!) eating, are available there. Even closer in proximity (about a 15-minute drive) is a large outlet mall in Loveland, which includes the outlet stores of J Crew, Bass, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.

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