Department of Psychology and Counseling

Dr. Amy Hayes, Interim Chair

The Department of Psychology and Counseling offers four graduate degrees:

(1) The Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology, with optional specialization in neuropsychology;

(2) The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling;

(3) The Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling; and

(4) The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology


The specific admission requirements are listed under each program. 

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis. Admission is based on multiple indicators. To be admitted to one of the degree programs, a prospective student may:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  3. Apply for and submit a background check.
  4. Submit additional application materials required by the program, such as scores on standardized tests, reference evaluations, writing samples, and/or participation in interviews.

Successful applicants usually have a GPA of 3.0 or better (on a four point scale) and a satisfactory score on admissions tests (GRE or MAT) when required. Applicants who believe their grade point average or their scores are not valid indicators of their ability should explain their concerns in a letter to the Graduate Admissions Coordinator. The department may elect to require additional assessments, including interviews, of individual applicants.

Psychology and Counseling Retention Policy

Faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators of the Psychology and Counseling graduate programs at the University of Texas at Tyler have a professional, ethical, and potentially legal obligation to: (a) establish criteria and methods through which aspects of competence other than, and in addition to, a student-trainee's knowledge or skills may be assessed (including, but not limited to, emotional stability and well-being, interpersonal skills, professional development, and personal fitness for practice); and, (b) ensure, insofar as possible, that the student-trainees who complete our programs are competent to manage future relationships (e.g., client, collegial, professional, public, scholarly, supervisory, teaching) in an effective and appropriate manner. Because of this commitment, and within the parameters of our administrative authority, our faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators strive not to advance, recommend, or graduate students or trainees with demonstrable problems (e.g., cognitive, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, technical, and ethical) that may interfere with professional competence to other programs, the profession, employers, or the public at large.

As such, within a developmental framework, and with due regard for the inherent power difference between students and faculty, students and trainees should know that the faculty, training staff, and supervisors of our programs will evaluate their competence in areas other than, and in addition to, coursework, seminars, scholarship, or related program requirements. These evaluative areas include, but are not limited to, demonstration of sufficient: (a) interpersonal and professional competence (e.g., the ways in which student trainees relate to clients, peers, faculty, allied professionals, the public, and individuals from diverse backgrounds or histories); (b) self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation (e.g., knowledge of the content and potential impact of one's own beliefs and values on clients, peers, faculty, allied professionals, the public, and individuals from diverse backgrounds or histories); (c) openness to processes of supervision (e.g., the ability and willingness to explore issues that either interfere with the appropriate provision of care or impede professional development or functioning); and (d) resolution of issues or problems that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner (e.g., by responding constructively to feedback from supervisors or program faculty; by the successful completion of remediation plans; by participating in personal counseling/therapy in order to resolve issues or problems). [Adapted from the Comprehensive Evaluation of Student-Trainee Competence in Professional Psychology Programs statement developed by the Student Competence Task Force of the APA Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC), (, approved March 25, 2004.]

Evaluating Student Fitness and Performance

Members of the faculty, using professional judgment, continuously evaluate each student's fitness and performance. Students receive information related to their fitness and performance from faculty members, their advisors, and their supervisors. The criteria used by the faculty to make such judgments include instructor's observations of course performance, evaluations of students' performances in simulated practice situations, supervisors' evaluations of students' performances in practice situations, and the disciplines' codes of ethics.

First Semester Candidacy Interview (CMHC Only)

A formal evaluation will occur at the end of each CMHC student’s first semester enrolled in the program upon completion of COUN 5312 Counseling Theories and Applications, COUN 5328 Foundations and Ethics of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and COUN 5391 Essential Counseling Skills (note: for six credit hour first semester students COUN 5328 and COUN 5391). This formal evaluation occurs at the Candidacy Interview. The Candidacy Interview committee will be comprised of at least three CMHC faculty members. During this interview, the student and committee will review the student’s academic progress, dispositions related to work as a professional counselor, and any intra/interpersonal elements that pertain to work as a professional counselor. The purpose of this interview is to recommend continuation in the program (i.e., Candidacy) or determine areas of improvement needed to continue. The following areas are considered for admission to Candidacy:

  1. Academic Progress – All students must demonstrate adequate academic progress. During the Candidacy Interview students need to demonstrate that they are in good academic standing in their courses (i.e., their grades indicate that they are projected to earn a grade of B or better in each of their initial courses).  
  2. Counselor Dispositions – Counseling is a profession that requires interacting with a diverse population. Professional counselors must be able to interact with individuals, families, and groups and demonstrate unconditional positive regard, an attitude of respect for individual values and beliefs, good interpersonal skills, and effective communication skills. Due to the nature of the work and ethical obligations to protect future clients, faculty must evaluate an individual’s fitness for the profession. This is an ongoing process and concerns are addressed as they arise. Depending on the nature, severity, frequency, and duration of a concern, members of the faculty may develop a remediation plan to provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate growth and improvement. Ultimately, if the student does not meet the goals of the remediation plan or demonstrates a lack of fitness for the profession, dismissal from the program can occur.
  3. Personal Concerns – There are times in which the training processes trigger intra/interpersonal concerns that may interfere with the ability to be an effective counselor. When this occurs, faculty members may develop a remediation plan which may include a requirement that the student engages as a client in personal counseling related to the concern(s). Counseling services are available at no cost to students through the UT Tyler Student Counseling Center. At the request of the student or the discretion of the counseling faculty, the counseling faculty may provide referrals to three appropriate alternatives. The student is fully responsible for any costs associated with partaking in counseling services other than the UT Tyler Student Counseling Center. Serious or persistent impairments and/or violations of personal or professional ethics can result in dismissal from the program. This includes issues related to a violation from the UT Tyler Student Standards of Academic Conduct. All counseling students are expected to adhere to the current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics.
    Students will be notified via e-mail of the faculty’s decision regarding their status, which are as follows:
    1. Approved for Candidacy to the CMHC program
    2. Approved for Candidacy with reservations. These students will be required to meet with their academic advisor to address areas of growth or concerns identified during the Candidacy Interview.
    3. Denied Candidacy provided a remediation plan and a timeline for completion. A copy of the remediation plan will be signed and retained by the student’s faculty advisor, the Department Chair, and student. Thorough documentation of communication between the student and facilitating advisor during the remediation process will be kept. Once the remediation plan has been completed, students may sit for the Candidacy Interview one additional time.  If admission is denied a second time, the student will be dismissed from the program.
    4. Dismissal from the CMHC program may result due to serious concerns in the aforementioned categories (i.e., counselor dispositions, personal concerns), or violations of the Graduate School’s academic policies, the University’s Code of Student Conduct, the Department of Psychology and Counseling Graduate Student Code of Conduct, the ACA Code of Ethics, or as deemed necessary to protect the public.
Annual Review of Student Progress

Students are formally evaluated at least annually by the program faculty. The progress of every graduate student in each program is assessed annually through the Annual Review of Student Progress, conducted by all graduate faculty. Student progress is reviewed in terms of academic performance, skill development, professional/ethical dispositional development and other indicators. The review may include meetings of students with faculty. Written results of the review are provided to every student. Detailed information about procedures for student annual progress review, retention, and for addressing concerns about student progress are available at the department website:

Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who are not meeting program standards should consider withdrawing from the program. In this context, the term "unsatisfactory progress in the program" refers to an academic judgment made regarding the student's fitness and performance. It is a determination that the student has failed to meet academic and/or professional standards.

Minimum Grade Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College policies on GPA requirements, probation and suspension, the Department has additional criteria for satisfactory progress and graduation, as follows. Regardless of GPA, no more than two (2) graduate courses with grades of "C" may be counted toward the graduate degree in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Counseling. No courses with a grade lower than a C may be counted toward the graduate degree in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Counseling. After receiving a third "C" grade, or a single "D" or "F" grade, a student will be placed on departmental probation. To be reinstated from departmental probation, the student must retake one of the courses in which a "C" or lower was earned (under the University grade replacement policy) in the next semester in which the course is offered, and achieve a "B" or better grade. Students on academic or departmental probation may NOT enroll in or begin their practicum course(s) until the academic or departmental probation has been removed. After an unsuccessful attempt to replace a grade, the student will be suspended from the department for a minimum of one semester. A petition for reinstatement must then be submitted, and approved by the advisor, Department Chair, and College Dean for a student to be reinstated. If reinstated, the student must first enroll only in courses in which "C" grades were earned, and successfully replace them, leaving no more than two "C's", and no grade lower than a "C". If a student fails to be reinstated from departmental suspension, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Dismissal from Program

The department may dismiss students from their degree programs for failure to make satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Students may also be dismissed for violations of the ethical and professional standards of the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, or the American School Counselors Association, or the Departmental Student Code of Conduct (see below).

New students are required to read and pass a quiz on both the Departmental Student Code of Conduct and the Department Faculty Code of Conduct.