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Apply for Limited-Residency Master of Science in Counseling

Applying is the first step toward earning your Master's in Counseling. You'll find everything you need to know about the application process on this page. Look over the admission criteria, application requirements, and deadlines below. You can also learn about special requirements for transfer and international students. Please feel free to call us at 877-350-2100 with any questions or e-mail admissions@prescott.edu. The time to get started on your master's degree is now!

How to Apply

Applicants who submit their completed application by the Priority Due Date will be considered for Graduate Fellowships.

Applicants to the Master of Science Program in Counseling do not need to have an extensive background in psychology, although there are some requirements for this in the Expressive Art concentration. The Admissions Committee is concerned with personal qualities and academic achievement. Applicants are encouraged to feature these qualities during personal interviews and in essays.

We believe that the mission of Mental Health Counseling is a sacred work of healing. The personal qualities of the prospective student are of the highest importance. These include humility, empathic compassion, curiosity, the ability to listen without narcissistic interference, and other attributes. We talk with prospective students as much as we do to try to ensure that they are on this personal path. With students who are academically weak, we can—if they have the right attitudes—help them ameliorate their weaknesses. But students who do not grasp the mission of Mental Health Counseling as we understand it, even if they are academically accomplished, would be better seeking training elsewhere.

Required Application Items

The Admissions Committee carefully considers all applications to the College, looking beyond the paperwork to see the individual who wants to be a member of our community. In addition to the admission criteria listed below we also consider a student's potential for growth and success at Prescott College.

In addition to the Master of Science in Counseling, Prescott College offers Post-Masters Certificates in the following areas:

  • Adventure-based Psychotherapy
  • Ecospychology
  • Equine-Assisted Mental Health
  • Expressive Art Therapy

Applicants to either the Master of Science in Counseling (all specializations included) or Post-Master's Certificate programs must complete and submit the following items before the published due dates:

  • Application: Limited-Residency Master of Science in Counseling
  • Resume
  • Essay #1
  • Essay #2
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and/or universities previously attended. Post- Master's Certificate applicants only submit official transcripts confirming the Master's degree.
  • $40 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is NOT required. An undergraduate degree in Psychology or Human Services is not a prerequisite for applying to this program.

The Prescott College Limited-Residency Master of Science Program requires applicants to submit the official undergraduate and graduate transcripts of each regionally accredited institution attended since high school. Applicants to the Post-Master's Certificate Programs only need to submit official transcripts confirming their master's degree from a regionally accredited university.

Have your official transcripts sent directly to Admissions. Official transcripts can be submitted electronically by the issuing institution via

scrip-safe. Note: If you have questions about the specializations (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Addiction Counseling, Couple and Family Therapy, or School Counseling), please contact an admissions counselor prior to completing your application at 877-350-2100, option 1.

Expressive Art Therapy Applicants

Applicants to the Expressive Art Therapy concentration must also submit at minimum a portfolio or demonstration of work. Along with artwork, please submit a brief descriptive statement which includes the date completed, title, medium, and size of each piece. A minimum of 12 slides or prints must be submitted. Applicants may choose to submit their work in a slide sheet, CD, DVD, or a link to a website that clearly identifies you as the artist. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like your samples returned once the admissions process is complete.

Expressive Art Therapy Program Prerequisites

Students must complete the following coursework with a letter grade of B or higher prior to or by the end of their first year in the Master of Science Program. Coursework must be completed at an accredited 2-year or 4-year institution.

Requirements of the American Art Therapy Association:

12 credits of Psychology coursework: Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology), and Human Development. These three classes can be completed at a community college for those students who have not taken these courses during their undergraduate degree program.

18 semester credits in studio art (or 27 quarter credits) in studio based art courses. These must be completed before or during the first year of graduate art therapy training. Studio art coursework can be at the graduate or undergraduate level.

At least 12 credit hours must be completed prior to beginning the art therapy coursework. The remaining 6 may be completed after beginning the first art therapy course that will count toward the ATR credential, but must be completed within a year of beginning graduate coursework in art therapy.

Students must have a minimum of 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of credit in each of the following areas:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Clay

The remaining 9 semester hours (12 quarter hours) can be in studio processes of the applicant’s choosing.

In lieu of academic based studio coursework, 6 credits of the Studio Art requirement may be demonstrated via a portfolio demonstrating advanced competency in drawing, painting, and/or clay work.

Post-Master's Certificate applicants

Applicants to the Post-Master's Certificate Programs need to have a Master's degree in the mental health field. In order to establish whether or not you are eligible to apply, please contact the Admissions Office at 877-350-2100, option 1.

Please explain in one to two pages what inspires you to make the decision to apply for post graduate training in this concentration. Describe your approach to mental health counseling and how you see yourself integrating this new area of study into your future practice. What resources and supports do you have in place that will assist you in succeeding in a distance learning program?

Additional Required Application Items

In addition to required application items, applicants must complete a personal interview. The interview will be scheduled by a member of the Counseling department.

Please contact admissions@prescott.edu or 877-350-2100 for details.

Submit application materials to—

Prescott College Admissions
220 Grove Avenue
Prescott, AZ 86301

*In certain cases one or more requirements may be waived.

Admissions Essays

Applicants to either the Limited-Residency Master of Science Program in Counseling or Post-Master's Certificate programs are required to submit two admissions essays.

Admissions Essay #1

Write, in no more than 500 words, an account what you anticipate would be, for you personally, the most challenging aspect of a career as a mental health counselor and indicate why you anticipate this would be so.

Admissions Essay #2

  • In an essay of 500 words or less, write about your readiness to thrive in a graduate program in which you would work mostly independently and which requires high levels of self-direction and motivation.
  • Describe your experiences completing independent projects
  • Describe what you consider to be your resources and existing supports that will assist you in succeeding in self-directed study
  • Write about how your strengths will contribute to your success with independent, graduate level studies
  • Include any challenges that you may face during your self- directed graduate program at Prescott College
  • If relevant describe what kind of assistance you will need to address any areas of concern.

Letters of Recommendation

The Prescott College Limited-Residency Master of Science Counseling Program developed guidelines to help applicants identify potential recommenders and to ensure the Admissions Committee has the right feedback to build a holistic picture of the applicant. Letters must contain the writer’s contact information and must explain the relationship to you. Letters may be emailed to admissions@prescott.edu directly by the recommender and from the recommender’s email address.

Recommender Guidelines

  • One letter should be from a person who has known the applicant well during the past six months.
  • The other letter should be from a person who has known the applicant well for over five years.
  • At least one letter, if possible, should be from a mental health practitioner who is not providing treatment to the applicant.

Both letters must address these applicant qualities:

  • Intellectual and academic readiness for graduate work
  • Capacity for self-reflection and readiness to receive critical feedback
  • Ability to thrive in a self-organized and self-directed context
  • Emotional maturity, quality of personal relationships, and understanding of professionalism
  • Interest in the special features of Prescott College's program

Computer Literacy

Students are expected to enter the Limited-Residency Master of Science Program with a level of technology competency sufficient to function effectively in the program. Proficiency is defined as knowledge of computer concepts, email, spreadsheet, word processing, graphics, and database applications. Graduate students must be able use message boards or computer conferencing to communicate with others, download and upload files, and attach files to email. Students are required to have full-time access to a computer that has a reliable Internet connection.

Transfer Credits

The Counseling program accepts up to 15 credits in graduate transfer course work from regionally-accredited post-secondary institutions as long as College faculty members confirm that the courses and credits to be transferred meet College-established curricular standards and expectations. Regardless of transfer credits, students must complete a set minimum required credits for each degree program.

Course-Only Students

An individual who has been awarded a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university may apply to the Master of Science Degree as a non-degree seeking student to complete the courses needed. Accepted course-only students must enroll for a minimum of six semester hours during any given semester. Interested individuals are to complete the following application requirements and adhere to the same application deadlines as degree-seeking students.

Note—Course-only students are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Application Requirements for Course-Only Students

  • Completed Master of Science Program Application
  • $15 application fee
  • Official transcript from the Master's degree granting college or university
  • Submit a 1-2 paragraph description of the proposed courses and a short statement why you want to complete coursework as a non-degree student.

Deferred Matriculation

Students wishing to defer matriculation may do so by sending a written request to the Director of Admission and paying a $100 non-refundable deposit. Matriculation will be postponed for up to a full academic year, subject to successful completion of any academic work undertaken during that time.

International Students

Applications from international students are always welcome. International students whose native language is not English must exhibit a competency in the English language, with a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 550 on the Paper-based TOEFL Test (PBT) or at least 80 on the TOEFL iBT® Test exam.

Please note that achieving the minimum TOEFL score requirement does not guarantee entrance to the graduate program.

Accepted International Students must demonstrate ability to meet educational expenses while studying at Prescott College for the first year. This is called "financial certification." (Students living in Canada and Mexico are also required to document financial certification.) This is the same standard that consular and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) officers will use to determine a student’s financial stability.

Students should anticipate that they will be required to present documentary evidence of financial support at the time they apply for a visa and again to the CIS when they arrive in the United States. Funds may come from any dependable source, including scholarships, fellowships, sponsoring agencies, personal funds, or funds from the student’s family.

Documentation of personal or family funds should be on bank letterhead stationery, or in the form of legally binding affidavit from CIS. It may be wise to get several sets of original financial documents.

International students must submit official transcripts translated into English to Admissions. International students are also required to have non-U.S. school transcripts evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service. The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with this service. Master of Arts applicants will need to provide Admissions with a general report or basic statement of comparability.

Recommended credential evaluation service:

International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
P.O. Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231
(310) 258-9451

Limited Residency Master of Science Application