[ skip to content ]

Toggle Mobile Menu

CounselingAdmissions Requirements

More Information about this image

All hands together in a circle

M.S.Ed. & Ed.S. Admission Requirements

GRE waived for October 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023 applications*

Deadlines for Admission

New M.S.Ed. students are admitted twice each year and are eligible to begin fall, spring, or summer semester.

Fall Semester (or Summer Term)

March 1 - Deadline for Completed Applications

  • For admission for summer term (beginning early May) or fall semester (beginning mid-August), the deadline for receipt of applications is March 1. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by the end of April.

Spring Semester

October 1 - Deadline for Completed Applications

  • For admission for spring semester (beginning early January), the deadline for receipt of applications is October 1. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by the end of November.

Application Requirements

1. Online Application- Complete and submit the application for graduate studies available at the Office of Graduate Admissions website which can be found on the graduate admissions webpage. Click on "I Want to Apply."

Submit the following materials with your online application:

2. Current Resume

Submit a resume that lists information you would include if you were applying for a job as a counselor.

Include your current address, email address, and phone number

3. Essay

Write and submit an original double-spaced 500 word essay that will be reviewed for content and will be used to judge your written communication skills. Your essay should include how your work and life experiences have influenced your academic and professional goals, your reasons for wanting to earn a master's degree in counseling, the place of social diversity in your thinking and future work, and the reasons you are interested in this particular master's degree program in counseling at Old Dominion University.

4. Official Transcripts

  • You must submit official transcripts from all universities you have attended (whether or not you earned degrees at those universities).
  • A 2.80 minimum GPA required by the university; applicants with higher GPAs have a better chance of being accepted.

5. GRE Scores (Must be taken prior to application deadline. If exam is taken less than six weeks before the deadline, send a letter with your unofficial scores.)
*GRE waived for October 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023 applications

  • Send your official GRE scores directly from the Educational Testing Service to Old Dominion University. The institutional code is 5126. You only need to get it addressed to ODU. No department or program name is required.
  • Also submit a letter that lists your unofficial Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores that were earned in the last five years.
  • There is no minimum GRE score required, but applicants with higher GRE scores have a better chance of being accepted.

6. Letters of Recommendation

  • Send two letters of recommendation that assess your potential for success in an M.S.Ed. counseling program (prefer at least one letter from former instructor).
  • You may send recommendation requests via the online application on the "supplemental materials" page. Recommenders will receive an email from you asking to complete a recommendation form OR send a letter. Forms can also be found here. If a letter is submitted, the recommendation form is not required.

TOEFL: Applicants whose native language is other than English must submit a current score for the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 600.

If you have questions regarding your application for graduate studies contact the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Email: gradadmit@odu.edu / Phone numbers: (757) 683-3685 or (800) 348-7926. Fax; (757) 683-3255.
  • Mailing address: ATTN: Graduate Admissions, 220 Alfred B. Rollins Hall, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529.

If you have program specific questions please contact Dr Emily Goodman-Scott at egscott@odu.edu.

Criteria Used to Review Applicants (in addition to review of GRE scores and GPA)


  • Writing ability
  • Clear goal of becoming a counselor
  • Respect for cultural differences
  • How life and work experiences influenced academic goals

Potential for Success and "Fit" (as determined by essay, resume, and letters of recommendations)

  • Clear goal of becoming a professional counselor
  • Evidence of positive interpersonal skills
  • Successful experience in counseling-related activities
  • Potential for success in the counseling profession
  • Evidence for potential for completing a graduate program (e.g., history of achieving goals, receptivity to feedback)
  • Fit for our program and the job market

    PLEASE NOTE: A criminal record may significantly impede your success in practicum and internship site placements, matriculation toward graduation, and future job opportunities as a professional counselor or counselor educator.