M.Ed. in Counseling Admissions FAQ


Do you accept e-transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution?

Yes. In fact, we encourage students to take advantage of this option when available. Please have e-transcripts sent to graded@wm.edu.

Where should I send my transcripts?

Mailed transcripts and/or test scores should be sent via the U.S. Postal Service and directed to our P.O. Box address. Please note the you must include "School of Education" in the address or we will not receive your materials. Materials sent via Postal Service should be addressed as follows:

School of Education
Office of Academic Programs
William & Mary
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187

To send your materials via FedEx or UPS, you will need to use the following physical address:

School of Education
Office of Academic Programs
William & Mary
301 Monticello Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Can I scan and submit a physical document? If so, what email address should I use?

Yes. Scanned documents can be sent to graded@wm.edu.

Do I need to obtain copies of all my transcripts, even if I only took one course at an institution?

Yes. Some colleges may not include grades from transfer courses on their transcripts or in their GPA calculations and grant transfer credits only if a certain grade is achieved. Also, courses taken after graduation, regardless of field, are also taken into account when your application is reviewed. Therefore, we need official transcripts from every institution you have attended, even if those courses are reflected on another university's transcript.

I do not have a bachelor's degree from the U.S. What official documentation does William & Mary require?

Official foreign transcripts transcribed into English are acceptable, as are credential evaluations completed and submitted by the World Education Services (WES) and/or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

I am enrolled in a different counseling program and would like to transfer. What is the transfer process?

We may accept up to 12 credits for transfer from CACREP-accredited programs. After you complete an application and are admitted to the program, your faculty advisor will work with you to determine which credits will transfer into our program.

I would like to take classes online for continuing education or further professional development. Is this an option?

At this time, our Online M.Ed. in Counseling is only available to matriculated students. If you are local to the Williamsburg area, we invite you to explore our non-degree course offerings.

Application Deadlines

Does your office need to receive all application materials by the application deadline?

You can submit your application prior to William & Mary receiving your official transcripts, official GRE scores*, or letters of recommendation; however, you must provide contact details for three recommenders, your resume, personal statement, unofficial transcripts, and unofficial GRE scores* by the final application deadline.

*Due to COVID-19 concerns, we have temporarily suspended the GRE requirement for all applicants through Fall 2022 as many of the testing centers have been closed. We will look for other evidence of both verbal and quantitative ability during your application review.

One of my recommenders says s/he did not receive the email with the link for uploading a recommendation. What should I do?

First, have the recommender check his/her junk folder; the email is sent automatically when you save your online application. If they cannot locate the email in their inbox or junk folder, you can resend it through your application dashboard.

Test Scores

Due to COVID-19 concerns, we have temporarily suspended the GRE requirement for all applicants through Fall 2022 as many of the testing centers have been closed. We will look for other evidence of both verbal and quantitative ability during your application review.

Do I need to take a subject-specific GRE?

No. You only need to complete the General Test, which is comprised of Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections.

My GRE quantitative score is low. Is there any way to boost my chances of admission?

We review each applicant holistically but quantitative acumen is important to a student’s success in the program. If you feel your quantitative results on your GRE do not accurately reflect your ability, our faculty will review your past mathematics courses in undergrad (i.e., research methods, statistics, math beyond college algebra). If you do not have sufficient quantitative courses in your undergrad, we will look at courses taken post-baccalaureate. Success in three basic courses at the graduate level will tend to indicate an applicant's ability to succeed in our program.
1) A course in basic statistics. This would be a course that covered descriptive and inferential statistics. A course like this would be listed as applied statistics in many cases.
2) A course in research methods with a syllabus that includes basic inferential and descriptive statistics.
3) A course in psychological measurement techniques.

Will my application still be considered if my test scores do not arrive by the specified deadline?

Yes. All completed applications are reviewed for admission. However, if the remainder of your application materials arrive after review has begun, there is a risk that the program will be filled before your application is reviewed. We recommend that you schedule your test at a time that will ensure your scores arrive by the deadline.

Do you accept the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for International Students?

Yes. International students submitting IELTS results require a minimum score of 7.0. TOEFL scores are also accepted, with a minimum score of 100 on the internet version (or comparable score if the exam is not taken online).

Do I have to submit IELTS/TOEFL scores if I have earned a degree from a U.S. institution?


What are the school and department codes for the GRE?

When requesting that test scores be sent from GRE, our institution code is 5115. Be sure to also indicate a major/department code on your request. Anything in the area of "Education" will find its way to us.

What is the minimum score I need to attain on the GRE?

There is no minimum cut-off for the GRE. However, it is expected that applicants to the Online Master of Education in Counseling will score in the 40th percentile or higher on the GRE Verbal.

I already have a master’s or doctoral degree. Do I still need to take the GRE?

Yes. We require valid GRE scores for admission to our program, regardless of past graduate coursework or degrees. Our review is holistic, so faculty will look at your past academic achievements in tandem with the GRE when considering your application.

General Admissions Questions

Can I defer?

Yes, you can defer your admission up to one year from the semester of original admission. You will need to complete the deferral form and submit your enrollment deposit in order to hold your spot.

How long does my essay need to be?

There is no set length or format; the average submission is usually two or three pages long. However, you should reference our list of key points and guiding questions when constructing your essay, which can be found our Admissions page.

When will I be notified of an admission decision?

The Online Counseling program has two admission decision dates for each start: early decision and regular decision. Applicants wishing to be considered for early decision should submit by the early decision application date. Students who are not denied or accepted at the early decision admission review will be re-considered at the regular admission review. The following is an overview of admission deadlines and notification date ranges:

Early Decision
  • Summer Start (May): Early February
  • Fall Start (August): Early May
  • Spring Start (January): Early October

Regular Decision
  • Summer Start (May): Early April
  • Fall Start (August): Early July
  • Spring Start (January): Early December

Who should I request as references?

Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional references

Is the application deadline flexible?

Somewhat. Applications submitted after the deadline will still be reviewed, but spaces for the program may have already been filled if your submission is late.

Are application fee waivers available for military service members and veterans?

If you are a military service member or veteran, please speak with an Admissions Advisor about determining your eligibility for an application fee waiver. Documentation may be required.

Can I meet with a program faculty member?

Yes. Please call 757-221-2317 or email graded@wm.edu to schedule a visit.

How does this cohort model allow for unplanned breaks in the program? Am I able to take a leave of absence if necessary?

William & Mary understands that students may occasionally require an extended leave of absence from the program, and we allow a total of six years to complete all coursework, practicum and internship requirements. For students who find themselves challenged by the program demands or struggling within a particular term, a dedicated Student Success Coordinator is available to provide personalized support that can keep students on track for graduation.

Practicum and Internship Questions

Can I complete my field placements where I currently work?

As a general rule to avoid any conflicts of interests, students in either concentration cannot complete their practicum and internship at their current place of employment. Please review our policy.

How many hours will I need to spend at each placement?

Your practicum will require you to spend 100 clock hours at a school or clinical mental health counseling site. On average, this will mean 8-10 hours per week over two 7.5-week minimesters. Meanwhile, your internship will require a total of 600 hours over four minimesters. On average, you can plan to spend 18-20 hours each week on site.

For both your practicum as well as your internship, expect to spend an additional 2 to 3 hours each week in synchronous class and supervision time with faculty.

What is a typical field placement site for Clinical Mental Health Counseling students?

Community service agencies, hospitals, public schools, and institutions of higher learning are typical field placements. Appropriate sites characteristically offer mental health or preventive counseling services in both individual and group settings. Final approval rests with faculty.

What is a typical field placement site for School Counseling students?

Students are required to be in a K-12 public school setting. However, to gain Virginia licensure, you can also choose an accredited private school in Virginia with a comprehensive developmental model of school counseling. Final approval rests with faculty.

What is a typical field placement site for Clinical Mental Health Counseling students specializing in Military and Veterans Counseling?

The internship requires direct service hours providing counseling services to military veterans and/or military-connected families. The placement does not need to exclusively serve military and veteran populations though. Final approval rests with faculty.

Students who are not pursuing a specialization in Military and Veterans Counseling can also obtain field placements at these sites.

How can I balance my practicum and internship while working full time?

While this time commitment can seem daunting, we offer online students a number of resources to navigate the coursework and degree requirements. Your advisor and our clinical experience director, Noelle St. Germain-Sehr, are available to answer any questions you have throughout the program.

We require students to complete a robust practicum and internship to ensure you are successful after graduation. Our CACREP-accredited Online Master’s in Counseling degrees are designed to help you meet classroom requirements for licensure and perform better on the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

Technology Questions

How do I start my online application?

Step one is to sign in here. After providing your first name, last name and email address and clicking "Submit," you will receive an email with further instructions and a link to access the online application.

I have not received an activation email even though I registered to create an online application. What do I do?

Check your junk folder to ensure the activation email was not caught by a spam filter. Otherwise, please refer to the section titled "How do I resend a registration activation link?" on the initial sign-up page.

What if I forget my password?

Please click "Forgot Password" to reset it.

What if I have problems while completing the application?

If you are having issues with our online application system, please call our office at 757-221-2317.

What if I cannot find my school listed on the application?

You can find your school in the "Enrollment History" section of the application by typing out the name of your institution in the "Institution Attended" field. Use keywords when searching and avoid using "college" or "university." If your school is not listed, type "unknown" and wait for the "Unknown School" option to appear; you can then type in the name of your college/university in the text box that appears.

What if I cannot upload a file?

This error is usually caused by special characters in the file name. Please adhere to the following suggestions when saving your files for upload:

  • Save and upload your file as a Word doc or PDF. This is the best option for getting past the ASCII character options.
  • Avoid using special characters ( ~, #, %, & , *, {, }, \, :, , ?, /, |,) in the file name.
  • Use the icon beside the "Upload File" field to remove existing files. If you cannot remove a file that was uploaded in error, contact our office at 757-221-2317; we can delete it for you.

How will I know when I have completed all sections of the online application?

When you complete your application, you will see a green dot beside each section of the application, and the application will display "100%." You will then click "Save and Pay" to submit the application fee. Once payment is made you will be able to click "Submit Your Application" and electronically sign your document. Your screen will then display "100% Complete" and "Application – Submitted."
Please note that your application is not considered complete until you have submitted your online application in full and we have received all necessary materials, including transcripts, references, etc. Unfinished applications will not be reviewed by the university.

Can I save my application and work on it later?

Yes. At any point during the online application process, you can save your application and return to it at a later time. You will need your username (email) and password to log back in and complete the application.

What if I need to resend the email reference to my recommender?

Once you submit your application, you can send a reminder to any recommender who has not responded to your request. Locate your student dashboard and click the “Send Reminder” link to any recommender you want to remind.

What if I need to change the information for a recommender?

If your application is in progress, you can click into the "Letter of Recommendation" section, remove the desired recommendation and replace it with a new one. Do not type over the name of the old recommender and put in a new name. If you have already submitted your application, locate the checklist section in your student dashboard and select the "Change Recommender" link.

I have submitted my application. How do I check to see if all of the requirements for the application have been received?

Log into your account and locate your application to confirm it says "100% Complete" and "Application Submitted." Click on the application and locate the application checklist. This will show what materials have been received and which items are outstanding.

If coursework is delivered asynchronously, how will I interact with my cohort peers?

Leveraging key features in the online learning management system, students in the Online of Master of Education in Counseling program can expect to collaborate and converse with their cohort peers primarily through video conferencing, live chat, discussion boards and email messages related to course assignments. Similarly, faculty will communicate with students through these same venues, with scheduled phone conversations available upon request.

Schedule Planning

What kind of weekly time commitment does this program require?

The Online Master of Education in Counseling is largely considered a part-time program and thus requires approximately 15-20 hours of work per week for didactic courses, including time spent with lectures, research, and coursework.
As a professional preparation program, the counseling program also requires students to engage in 700 hours of counseling experience in a school or clinical mental health field site placement. The 100-hour counseling practicum and 600-hour counseling internship are completed concurrently with other classes and include students spending 8-10 hours per week during Practicum and 18-20 hours per week during Internship at their field site placements as part of the course requirements.
Students should be prepared for a near full-time workload during the two 15-week semesters of the counseling Internship.

Is it possible to complete this program while also working a full-time job?

The Online Master of Education in Counseling has been specifically designed with working professionals in mind. Course content is delivered asynchronously, which allows you to log in, view lectures and assignments, and submit required class work as your schedule allows.

Approximately how many courses should I expect to complete each year?

You are required to complete two courses during each Fall, Spring and Summer term, for a total of six classes per year. Until fieldwork, when you will likely take fieldwork courses concurrently with other courses.

I live outside the area in which William & Mary is located, so how do I plan my practicum and internship hours?

Students are expected to complete both the practicum and internship within their local communities. William & Mary faculty advisors will assist you in identifying acceptable practicum and internship opportunities, ensuring that you are able to cater these clinical instruction experiences appropriately to your academic and professional goals.

Program Details

How is the Online Master of Education in Counseling different than a Master of Social Work program?

While there are some similarities between these two program types—both can lead to clinical licensure, for instance—the Online Master of Education in Counseling focuses more specifically on developing a student’s knowledge of and skill related to prevention and counseling intervention, whereas a Master of Social Work program will typically focus more broadly on understanding and addressing issues related to public policy and the availability of community resources that influence client problems and well-being.

Am I able to switch my focus from one specialization to another after starting the program?

Due to limited space in each specialization cohort and start, switching specializations after admission will generally not be an option. If you are hoping to switch specializations, please touch base with your Admissions Advisor, but know that he or she cannot guarantee that a requested switch will be granted.

When do the required residencies take place?

Residency will take place before you begin your practicum course, and the second will take place before you begin your internship.

Does the Online Master of Education in Counseling program address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and associated ACE scores?

The impact of adverse childhood experiences is integral to the content discussion in a number of courses in the Online Master of Education in Counseling program, including Human Growth and Development: A Life-Span Perspective, The Counselor and Psychopathology, Marriage and Family Counseling, and more; however, the psychometric measurement of ACE (i.e. ACE scores) is not included in coursework at this time.

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