Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What degrees do you offer?
A. A combined Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, with a specializiation in one of the above. Students apply to one of the three specializiations. A M.Ed. in School Psychology/Pupil Personnel Service (PPS) Credential. The doctoral students in the school specialization also complete the California PPS credential. (There is also a M.A. in Counseling Psychology that is offered as an option en route to the Ph.D.)
The primary goal of the Ph.D. program is to prepare graduates for academic and research positions.
The primary goal of the M.Ed. program is to train credentialed school psychologists to provide comprehensive support services (consultation, preventive mental health services, assessment, and evaluation) for children, staff, and parents in K-12 grades.
Q. I am interesting in attending the next informational meeting. Could you let me know when it is and where?
A. Dates and locations for our information meetings can be found here: CCSP information meetings.
Our meetings are conducted as a Q&A format and will have at least one faculty and one current student present to help answer any questions you may have about the program. If you choose to attend, please RSVP by emailing Christina Dotson at [email@example.com].
Q. How long does it take to complete your program?
A. Ph.D. program = an average of 6 years (1 year is in a culminating internship setting)
M.Ed./PPS program = 3 years (2 in residence and 1 in a school-based internship)
Q. Is it possible to study a field not offered by any of your current faculty?
A. Faculty admit students who have similar research interests to their own. When applying to our program it’s important that you review our faculty research and academic interests and note on your application which faculty you’d like to work with and the area (counseling, clinical, or school) that best fits with your professional goals.
Applicants applying to our program are admitted by the faculty according to their research interests (i.e., faculty with counseling as their specialty will bring in a student with counseling as their emphasis).
Q. Can I transfer to your program?
A. If a student is admitted, there is no guarantee that classes taken at another institution will waive the required courses at UCSB. However, every effort is made to make this transition as smooth as possible. New students submit the syllabus and course papers to the advisor and instructor of each course that they would like to use as part of their degree program at UCSB. It will be determined at that time, if the course content is the same as the CCSP course and that you (the student) know the material. Students who are admitted to the doctoral program may be given credit for certain equivalent graduate courses completed at another institution. The instructor of the course and the student’s advisor upon petition will make this decision. If accepted to the program, students should discuss any course program substitutions with their advisor and be certain that any required documentation is filed with our Student Affairs Office.
Q. Can I meet with a faculty member?
A. Although they would like to meet with each prospective applicant, the amount of inquiries far exceeds the time they have available to do so. Our program staff can answer any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Do you offer a M.A. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology?
A. No, however, if accepted to our Ph.D. program, students have the option to add an M.A. at the end of their second year in the program.
Q. I’m confused as to which area I should apply to, can you offer me any advice?
A. Counseling psychologists have traditionally focused on life-adjustment problems and career development and have worked primarily in university counseling centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, and community agencies. Also see the Society of Counseling Psychology website http://www.div17.org/
Clinical psychologists have traditionally focused on the evaluation and treatment of clients with acute or chronic mental disorders and have worked in mental health centers, mental hospitals, and psychiatric units of general hospitals. Also see the APA’s Society of Clinical Psychology website http://www.apa.org/about/division/div12.html and the Society of Clinical, Child, and Adolescent Psychology website http://www.clinicalchildpsychology.org/
School psychologists have traditionally focused on the evaluation, prevention, and treatment of developmental challenges students have and have worked primarily in K-12 public and private schools. Schools are a primary setting for delivering mental health services to children and adolescents. Also, see the California Association of School Psychologists website www.casponline.org and the National Association of School Psychologists website www.nasponline.org for additional information.
Q. I want to be a high school guidance counselor, will your program prepare me for this?
A. No, our M.Ed. program does not prepare you for a career as a high school guidance counselor. You may want to check with California State universities as many of them have excellent programs. The book Peterson’s Guide to Graduate Schools is also a good reference. See the California Association of School Counselors website http://www.schoolcounselor-ca.org/ for more information.
Q. Where can I find tuition information?
A. A summary of the UCSB Graduate Student Fees and Expenses is available on-line: http://www.registrar.ucsb.edu/feechart-grad.htm
Q. What types of financial support are available?
Q. Are there fellowships available?
A. Students with high GRE scores and GPA as well as students who have overcome adversity and have diverse educational backgrounds are eligible for some campus fellowships. These are 1-4 year fellowship packages available to incoming Ph.D. students. Newly admitted students who are not awarded the campus fellowships share a Block Grant that is given to the first-year students towards tuition and fees. The funds for this Block Grant vary; therefore, the amount is not known at this time. In recent years CCSP has covered up to two quarters of in-state fees.
Q. Do you offer RAships and TAships?
A.Yes. These vary each quarter. Students must apply for the RA and TA positions.
Q. Are there any prerequisites to apply to your program?
A. Both Graduate Division and CCSP require a GPA of a 3.0 or above to be considered for admission. Graduate Division computes your GPA based on your undergraduate upper-division courses. If your upper-division GPA is 3.0 or better, you would be eligible. (This typically works out to be your junior and senior year.)
Most students enter the program after having completed a B.A./B.S. degree with a major in psychology, although not a requirement for admission to the CCSP doctoral program. Regardless of undergraduate major, newly admitted students who have not taken introductory undergraduate or graduate courses in human development, psychological measurement, and statistics in the past five years are required to take graduate-level courses in these areas during their first year in the doctoral program.
Q. What materials do I need to apply?
A. Please see our application checklist: CCSP Application Checklist.
Q. Can I reapply to your program?
A. Yes, however if there is more than one year between application periods you will need to resend all of your application materials. If there is no space between application periods, then you will have to contact our Student Affairs Office by email [sao AT education.ucsb.edu] saying that you are reapplying and would like to use your LORs, GRE scores, and writing sample from last year's application.
You must also update your file by sending the following information: 1) Information at a Glance
form 2) Statement of Purpose 3) Transcripts (if applicable) 4) Letters of recommendation covering the year's activity between application dates (if applicable) and 5) Complete E-App. You must also pay the application fee. Please remember that GRE scores cannot be older than 5 years from the day you submit your E-app to Graduate Division.
Q. Can I apply to both the M.Ed. and the Ph.D. in School Psychology?
A. No, you must pick one. Per UCSB’s policy students can only apply to one graduate program per application period.
Q. What would make my application more competitive?
A. We suggest that you have strong letters of recommendation, GPA around 3.5-3.7 or above, GRE scores in the 1100-1200 range or above, and that your research and academic interests match up to one of our professors. Research experience is positively looked upon as well as publications. If applying to our M.Ed. program, hands-on experience in schools or working with children is positively looked upon.
Q. Are interviews required as part of the application process?
A. If an applicant's file is complete by November 15, it will be reviewed and candidates will be selected for an interview. Those selected for an interview will be notified of a date and time. The purpose of the interview is to enable the admissions committee to secure direct information concerning the applicant's professional interests, motives for choosing this degree program, and related past experiences. If it is impossible for the applicant to come for an interview because of excessive distance, other methods will be arranged.
Q. How do I apply for a fee waiver?
A. For a fee waiver application please contact Graduate Division by either emailing [email@example.com] or calling 805-893-2277.
Q. Is the GRE subject exam required?
A. No, we require only the general GRE.
Q. Where do I send my GRE scores?
A. GRE scores must be sent electronically through ETS. Please use UCSB’s Institution Code: 4835. A Department code is not required.
Q. Do I need to take the CBEST to apply for the M.Ed. in school psychology?
A. The CBEST is not required to apply to our M.Ed. program, but if you are accepted, it will have to be taken before starting classes in the fall.
Q. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A. The TOEFL is required for international students; however, if you have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution whose primary language of instruction is English then you will not have to take it.
Q. Can I fax my letters of recommendation?
A. No, we don't accept faxed copies of any application materials.
Q. Can I send in my letters of recommendation and transcripts, or do they need to come from the letter writer / institution?
A. LORs may be sent by the applicant as long as they are sealed, and signed or stamped on the back flap. The cover sheet should be included with the letter. If the letter was sealed without the coversheet, it is possible to mail the cover sheet in a separate sealed and signed envelope. Transcripts may be sent by the applicant as long as they are sealed, and an official copy.
Q. Can I get more clarification regarding the writing sample?
A. The writing sample is based on your research experience; either research on the job, a research project, or a class paper. There is no length limit, but should be long enough to show yourself to be competitive. Faculty are looking for strong writing skills and look at the context of the paper and not so much the content. Applicants are not exempt from submitting a writing sample if they do not have a writing sample that is related to research in some way; applicants still need to submit a sample. An application will not be reviewed if it is missing a writing sample.
Q. How do I know if my application is complete?
A. To view the status of your application, you may login to your online application through Graduate Division's website.
1) Please go to the Graduate Division E-Application page. https://www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/eapp
2) Choose Login
3) Enter your Username and Password and Click on Enter Application.
(To check if your official GRE or TOEFL scores have arrived, please look under the Application Status section of your Electronic Application page.)
Information is updated frequently, please check back often. If you have any questions regarding your application, please email [gradapp AT education.ucsb.edu].
Q. When can I expect to hear of an admissions decision?
A. Interviews are held during the 3rd or of 4th week of January. If you are chosen for an interview you can expect to hear from us about 2 weeks before then. Otherwise, the end of March/early April is when you can expect to hear a final decision.