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ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

In order to be considered for enrollment in a graduate program of Divine Mercy University, applicants must fulfill certain admission requirements. Below is a list of the requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling program within the School of Counseling (SOC).

Please note that individuals seeking admission to multiple programs of study (i.e., M.S. Counseling and Psy.D. Clinical Psychology), must submit the separate applications specific to each individual program.

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA:
    • Minimum overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 GPA in the applicant’s major field of study, or a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits in the applicant’s undergraduate degree.
    • In rare circumstances, applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 may be considered for admission. An applicant with such circumstances should contact the Admissions Office directly before completing the application process.
  • Complete the application process which includes:
    • Completed Application for Admission document
    • One Recommendation Form from an Academic Reference - If you believe you may have trouble obtaining an academic reference, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss this requirement.
    • Submission of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions even if a degree was not awarded.
    • Submission of essays as noted in Application for Admission document
    • Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
    • Submission of current, valid, official GRE general test scores. (You will have nine months from the Date of Admission to complete.)
    • $55 application fee, which the Admissions Office can choose to waive in extenuating circumstances
  • Availability for two video conference interviews after submission of all application materials.
    • Individual interview with admissions
    • Group interview with other applicants and SOC faculty
  • Applicants whose primary language is other than English please note the following:
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the past two years, and the scores must be submitted directly to DMU by the testing agency.
      • TOEFL scores must be at least 100 on the internet-based version (iBT), 250 on the computer-based version (CBT), and 600 on the paper-based version (PBT). Academic IELTS scores must fall into the overall band of at least 7.0, with no individual band scores below 6.0. Test results must be sent directly from the testing agency, who will only make them available for up to two years from the test date. For more information, please view our catalog.
  • For international applicants, applicants whose baccalaureate degree was earned at an institution outside of the U.S. please note the following:
    • Applicants holding degrees from outside the United States must submit any international transcript(s) to a NACES approved evaluation service for a “Course-by-Course” evaluation of their transcripts. For more information, please view our catalog.
    • Applicants holding degrees from outside the United States must demonstrate post-secondary education that is, at minimum, equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

Application Deadline

After all application materials have been completed and received by our Admissions office, the applicant will be invited to schedule a video conference interview with admissions. Pending the outcome of the individual meeting with admissions, a group video conference interview with other applicants and the SOC faculty members will follow. If you are seeking admission to a program after the Primary Application Deadline has passed, please contact Admissions for further assistance and to inquire if additional spaces may still be available. Note that seating is limited and cohorts may fill to capacity prior to published deadlines.

For August 2017 start:

  • Application period opens – 5/16/17
  • Early application deadline – 6/23/17
  • Application Deadline – 7/28/17
Part I

Personal Information, Enrollment Information, Academic Experience, Recommendations & Financial Aid

I. Personal Information

Please provide your full legal name.

Present Mailing Address:

Permanent Address (if different):

Telephone Numbers:

DMU may contact applicants via text.

Personal Background Questions

Students are solely responsible for understanding how criminal background and other past history may affect their ability to obtain a counseling practicum, internships, postgraduate supervised experience and licensure in the state in which they intend to practice.

Additional Information

The following items are optional. Your cooperation is strictly voluntary, but would be greatly appreciated.

(A person of Cuban, Mexican, Chicano, Puerto Rican, South or Central American or other Spanish culture, regardless of race)

II. ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

III. Academic Experience

List in chronological order all colleges and universities attended, including professional schools and other formal training programs. Important: your application cannot be processed without your transcripts.




OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS:

  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate institution attended are required in order for the application to be complete, even if a degree was/has not been granted.
  • To be official, transcripts must be received in a sealed official envelope, and are required from each institution attended, regardless of the length of time the applicant attended, the applicant’s status, or whether the grades are listed on another institution's transcript. Exception: Applicants who have attended Divine Mercy University’s Institute for the Psychological Sciences as a degree-seeking student are only required to provide transcripts reflecting graduate studies completed after enrollment in the Institute.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSCRIPTS:

  • Applicants who received baccalaureate education outside of the U.S. must submit official copies of those transcripts according to the specifications noted in the Official Transcripts section above.
  • In addition to official transcripts, applicants who received baccalaureate education outside of the U.S. must submit an official Comprehensive Course-by-Course evaluation inclusive of translation to English of their international transcripts from a NACES approved evaluation service (e.g. www.wes.org or www.ece.org) to demonstrate post-secondary education is, at minimum, equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
  • For more information, please view our catalog.

IV. RECOMMENDATIONS

One recommendation is required. List below the person asked to submit the DMU Recommendation Form. The official Recommendation Form from DMU must be used; a personal letter from a recommender cannot be substituted for the Recommendation Form. The recommender must either be academically-related (an individual who was an undergraduate/graduate professor or instructor who taught the applicant in a class setting or similar), or professionally-related (an individual who has had supervisory responsibility of the applicant). Note that recommenders must have an academic or professional supervisory relationship or similar with applicant; family, friends, colleagues, etc are not considered suitable recommenders.

Please carefully review the instructions for completion and submission of the Recommendation Form. The official DMU Recommendation Form can be found here.

Recommender knows the applicant for years as (check all that apply):

V. Financial Aid Intent

Seeking a graduate degree is a major investment in yourself and your future. Like any investment, it requires planning to ensure that you can accomplish what you set out to do. In this section we invite you to share the vision of your path ahead so that we can best prepare for that vision to become a reality. Financial need is not considered by DMU when determining who is offered admission.

*Please note that if this section is left blank, you will not be considered for financial aid at DMU. Completion of this section is also required to consider your application for admission. Please answer each question below.*

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Financial Aid at DMU is defined as any combination of the following:
    • Federal Student Loans (offered by the U.S. government)
    • Internal Financial Aid (aid offered directly from DMU) in the form of scholarships, internal grants-in-aid, or Student Assistantships, which are also campus-based aid
    • Campus-based Aid in the form of work in exchange for payment or tuition credit such as
      • Federal Work Study, a Federal Aid program, paid in cash to the student
      • Student Assistantships, offered as internal aid from DUM as tuition credit
  • For U.S. Citizens: The completion of your FAFSA is required as a part of the application process.
    • Here is the link to the FAFSA website. You will need last year’s completed tax return to complete the FAFSA. DMU’s code for the FAFSA is: G38724
    • www.fafsa.ed.gov
    • To see if you are eligible for Federal Student Aid, review the information contained in the following link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility Note: most U.S. citizens and many permanent residents are eligible.
  • For International Applicants: (or applicants who are not otherwise eligible to receive Federal Financial aid)

All Applicants, please answer the following questions:

If you answered “no” to question #1 then you may skip the remaining questions in section VI.

TYPES of FINANCIAL AID
In the following questions please indicate which types of aid you are interested in receiving. By checking less than all the financial aid options, you may be limiting the total amount of financial aid which you are potentially qualified to receive.

Additional Notes:

  • Divine Mercy University awards institutional aid based on the following criteria:
    • academic merit and promise
    • financial need as determined by the FAFSA or International Certification of Income document
    • order in which the application was received
  • Financial need is assessed using the applicant’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) generated by the FAFSA. This value is based upon tax data that may no longer reflect a student’s financial situation. If you feel that this is the case, please contact DMU’s Financial Aid office to have your need evaluated in light of your true financial circumstances. Financial Aid can be reached at: financialaid@divinemercy.edu
  • DMU does not deny any student an award on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, gender, nationality or ethnicity.
  • If you wish to later change your financial aid intentions expressed in this section please notify Financial Aid.

For any questions regarding Financial Aid, please contact DMU’s Financial Aid office at financialaid@divinemercy.edu or by calling 703.416.1441 x130.

VI. PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING

Please note that the Application to DMU’s MS in Counseling program is a two step process:

  1. The first step requires the submission of this document as well as all other documentation required as noted in the Application for Admission.
  2. The second step is the interview phase. After receiving all application materials, the Admissions Office will review the completed application. Qualified applicants are contacted to schedule one individual meeting with admissions and one group meeting with program faculty members via video conferencing.

When the above steps have been completed, the applicant’s file will be further reviewed by the Admissions Committee. During this process, the Committee may request that the applicant submit additional materials. The applicant will be advised of the Admission Committee’s decision via the email address submitted in the Application for Admission document.

VII. Licensure Information

The M.S. in Counseling program meets the requirements for the academic coursework and academic clinical training for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Virginia. Postgraduate supervision of clinical experience in addition to the academic clinical training within the program is required for licensure in Virginia. While the standards for licensure in Virginia are similar to other states, students who wish to pursue licensure from another state should research the requirements for the state in which they intend to practice.

To assist you in your research, we recommended the American Counseling Association website page on Licensure Requirements (https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/licensure-requirements). Any individual who wishes to become licensed is solely responsible for knowing and complying with the licensing requirements for the state in which he/she plans to practice.

Any program changes to help a student gain the additional courses to be licensed in another state must be approved by the student's advisor and dean early in the program.

All states require a minimum of two years postgraduate supervised practice that typically requires about 3,000 hours of postmaster's supervised experience in professional counseling, including 1,000 hours of direct client contact and 100 hours of face-to-face supervision. Students are solely responsible for knowing and complying with the licensing requirements for the state in which he/she plans to practice.

A criminal history may or may not affect the ability to obtain a professional license in your state.

DMU does not warrant or guarantee professional licensing governed by state or similar boards. The CMHC program meets the "educational" requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Virginia. Other state and foreign licensing boards may have additional requirements beyond the educational degree (i.e. state law exam, background check, and additional coursework, etc.).

VIII. Additional Program Information

Divine Mercy University’s M.S. in Counseling program is defined as a hybrid on line program. This means that while the majority of course content is taught in an online platform, there is a residency component that is required in order for the student to move forward in the program. Residencies will be held in a hotel conference setting.

Specifically, our master’s program requires the completion of three (3) residencies in the corresponding courses (COUN 510 Foundations and Ethics of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, COUN 580 Counseling Skills and Helping Relationships, and COUN 690 Counseling Practicum/Advanced Clinical Intervention Skills). Residency allows you to interact with fellow students and faculty in person, to gather important information to help you through your program, and to learn and practice basic skills necessary to be an effective counselor. Taking time from your work and family can be a challenge, but the value you will gain from this experience is immeasurable.

Each residency for this program requires students to be available for a four-day extended weekend. The residencies occur three times during the program, where the student travels to a hotel conference setting. Students will join fellow cohort members, stay nearby and engage in daily full-time course work and clinical training. The residencies are hosted by DMU’s School of Counseling and led by the Dean of the School of Counseling. It is important for students to understand that residency is full-time engagement in the pursuits of counseling education. Due to the highly structured schedule of each residency, students are discouraged from bringing family and tourism outings are not possible.

The residencies are pre-planned and students will be made aware of the residency dates through the school of counseling website. Students will be required to pay for travel to and from residencies, cost of hotel, and ground transportation if needed, and meals (lunch is provided by DMU). Federal loans may be taken to cover these out-of-pocket program expenses. Students will be required to attend the first residency at the end of the first course. Students will need to plan time off, expenses, etc. as residency attendance is not optional and cannot be waived. Students with physical, emotional, ADD/ADHD, or learning differences needing academic accommodations for the residencies should contact the university’s ADA Officer to discuss specific needs. Any information regarding a student’s disability will remain confidential and will only be used to provide academic accommodations as necessary. Because many accommodations require early planning, requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible.

Additional information about residency can be found on DMU’s website under the School of Counseling section. When you sign the Application for Admission document, you are also recognizing and agreeing to the residency component of this program.

Students are required to complete a supervised counseling practicum experience that totals a minimum of 100 clock hours over a full academic term that is a minimum of 10 weeks with at least 40 clock hours of direct service with actual clients with weekly individual and group supervision to develop counseling skills. After successful completion of the practicum, students must complete 600 clock hours of a supervised counseling internship with at least 240 clock hours of direct service with actual clients with weekly individual and group supervision.

IX. APPLICATION FEE PAYMENT

Payment of $55 to complete the application process.

X. SIGNATURE

Applications will not be processed until all required documents as well as any required supporting materials are received. The non-refundable $55.00 application fee payable to Divine Mercy University must also be submitted for application review to begin (unless the application fee has been waived by Admissions).

I hereby submit this application for admission to Divine Mercy University and certify that the information provided on this application and any attached or required documents is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I further acknowledge that I have read and understand all components of the Application for Admissions document. I understand that omissions or falsifications may result in disciplinary action, including the withdrawal of acceptance. If admitted, I agree to abide by all University policies and procedures. I understand that this application, as well as all credentials submitted in support of this application, become the property of the University and are not returnable.

Committed to the teaching of Vatican Council II that every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent (Gaudium et Spes, 29), Divine Mercy University admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Submit form

Please ensure the following are sent directly to DMU:

  • One letter of recommendation
  • All official transcripts, in a sealed official envelope or sent directly from the institution to DMU GRE scores (DMU code 5639)
  • FAFSA/IPS International Aid Application (for those applying for financial aid) (DMU FAFSA code G38724)
  • Professional transcript evaluation (for those with international transcripts)
  • TOEFL/IELTS Scores (for all who do not have English as their first language) (DMU code 5639)

Divine Mercy University
Attention: Admissions
2001 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 511
Arlington, VA 22202

Important Contact Information
Divine Mercy University welcomes your questions anytime.

Office of Admissions
admissions@divinemercy.edu 703.416.1441 x120 or x144

Office of Financial Aid
financialaid@divinemercy.edu 703.416.1441 x130

Part II

Resume/CV & Personal Statement

XI. Resume/Curriculum Vitae Expectations

It is expected that your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) contains a detailed summary of all important educational, professional and relevant personal experiences. This is including but not limited to the following sections:

  • Full employment history (spanning the last ten [10] years or since high school graduation).
    • List the employer/company, title of position held, one sentence describing the position, employment start and end dates, location of employer/company.
  • Full educational history beyond high school.
    • If your education has not been continuous up to the present, list all interim employment and/or activities that occurred during gap times.
  • Professional activities related to your desire to seek graduate education in the mental health field.
    • You may also include relevant personal experiences, such as volunteerism, that supports your desire to seek graduate education in the mental health field.
  • Additional educational pursuits that are non degree-seeking in nature should also be included. (i.e., certifications, etc.)

XII .PERSONAL STATEMENTS

Please compose a series of typed responses to each of the following essays that explore your personal and professional reasons for applying to the MS in Counseling at DMU’s School of Counseling. The total maximum word count for all components of this essay section is 700 words.

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The focus of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at DMU is to prepare students for work in the field of counseling. In addition to a rigorous education in the field of counseling, the DMU educational foundation is based on a Catholic-Christian vision of the person who flourishes through his or her vocations (commitments and loyalties) and the development of virtues. This vision of the person has a deep respect for the dignity and uniqueness of the client. This approach in the field of counseling views the therapeutic relationship as an interpersonal relationship in which the personhood and conscience of both the client and counselor are respected. In this relationship, the counselor acts for the good of the client, in service of the client's healing, flourishing, and life goals, in a manner that reflects love of neighbor and respects the client’s conscience and freedom to make life decisions.

DMU School of Counseling does not require a commitment to the Catholic-Christian faith for admittance into the program. We respect students from both faith- and non-faith-based worldviews. Similarly, students are expected to be respectful of the Catholic-Christian identity of DMU, opinions and views of others, to be willing to participate in meaningful and constructive dialog with instructors and classmates on various matters, including issues of faith, and to act in a manner consistent with the ACA ethical standards of the profession of counseling.

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