An electronic newsletter from the BSU School of Graduate Studies

Vol. 3, No. 6

November 2006


The Process

Registration: Grad classes

Starting the count of seven years to complete a degree

Form 1: Applying for admission to graduate studies

Completing 13-16 graduate credits after admission

Form 2: Applying for candidacy in a graduate degree program

Taking the written exam at the end of course work

Form 3: Proposing a research paper or thesis

Doing the work and writing the results

Form 4: Applying for graduation

Submitting the research paper or thesis for review

Form 5: Scheduling the oral examination

Defending your graduate work


Psychology Collage


This month . . .

·      Ins and Outs: Investigating Grad Programs

         This month: The Psychology Program

·      Q&A: Straight from the Psychology Department…

Keep your brain elastic...



Ins and Outs of the Psychology Department



The degree… 


Master of Science Degree in Counseling Psychology – this degree provides a broad background in Counseling Psychology with emphasis on the development of counseling skills as supported by research in psychological principles and the counseling process.


This M.S. Degree program allows students to develop their professional identity as counselors in various settings, prepare for licensure with Licensed Professional Counselors of Minnesota, and transition into a doctoral program.


Application Window


This is a “Fall Enrollment ONLY” program, with an application window at the beginning of each Spring semester.


Applications will be accepted this coming semester between January 10th and Feb 28th for Fall 2007 admission.




This degree strongly suggests an undergraduate major in Psychology, Applied Psychology, or a related area of human services. 


The completion of the GRE general exam is required for enrollment into the program, along with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (“B”), or at least a 3.25 GPA for the last 30 semester credits of graded coursework, is required.


Each student must complete the Admission Requirements Packet that is listed on the Psychology website.

(Note: There are subtle differences between the Psychology Department requirements and those of the School of Graduate Studies.  Be sure to complete those of the Psychology Department.)


Prior coursework must include at least one basic counseling skills course.  The Psychology Department may require some applicants to complete additional undergraduate coursework in Psychology as well, such as:

·    Introductory Psychology

·    Abnormal Psychology

·    Learning and Cognition

·    Lifespan Development

·    Basic Counseling and Crisis


Competency Requirements


All students must demonstrate competency in computer applications in applied statistics. This requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing PSY 5302 Advanced Statistics or SOC 5001 Social Studies.


Psychological measurement is another core requirement that may be met at the undergraduate level but must be taken at the graduate level (PSY 5347 Psychological Measurement) if it is not carried in by a previous course.


The Thesis/Research Paper…


The Thesis/Research Paper

There are two options for the capstone experience in Counseling Psychology:

1.       The Thesis is an original research project in psychology conducted by the graduate student under the supervision of a Thesis Advisor.

2.       The Research Paper is a major paper on a topic related to the student’s internship placement, under supervision of a Research Paper Advisor.


Licensure Requirements


Our degree prepares graduate students to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).  The LPC is a new licensure in Minnesota, which permits licensees to engage in private practice and work at community and technical colleges.



Check the following links:

Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health

Minnesota Counseling Association

American Counseling Association

National Board of Certified Counselors

American Psychological Association

Minnesota Psychological Association


Continue to check with the Psychology Department for updates on licensure.













Q&A: Question of the month?

Questions from the Psychology Department


Q 1: If I don’t have a Psychology undergraduate degree, can I still be admitted to your program?


A: We recommend that for students to strengthen their application, they pick up a group of undergraduate Psychology courses.  This usually takes about one year.  Then they will be more competitive when they do apply.


Q 2: Do I have to take the GRE?  Why do you require it?


A: We are using the GRE scores to compare our class of graduate students with others in the country.  In addition, we are interested in discovering how they predict academic success among our graduates.


Q3:  If I am choosing the research paper option instead of the thesis, am I still required to take the Research Proposal Seminar?


A:  Yes!  The Research Proposal Seminar is designed not only to help students with research design, but also for selecting an appropriately narrow topic and writing the thesis proposal or research paper proposal that will be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.


Great Advice from the Department Chair:


Graduate school is more than a route to a better job. It is also a time for personal growth, a transition from being a student to becoming professional colleague.

It is a time for gaining knowledge and specific skills, but it is also a time for expanding your thinking, writing and problem solving abilities, building confidence and developing relationships with people and organizations in your field.

Graduate school is hard work, but the potential rewards can be great. 


~ Dr. Richard Hook, Chair

Psychology Department



Helpful Hints from Kathi,

your Psychology GA:


1.    Your advisors are wise and a great resource for many things. They want to know how you are doing and what your thoughts are as you progress through this program.  Don’t leave them lonely and wondering; visit them often!


2.    Parking is free after 4PM in most lots.  The LR lot (just behind Ed Arts) is free after 6PM.  The Maple and Cedar Lots require permits 24 hours a day.  The PE lot is free at noon. You may purchase permits in the cashier’s office on the 2nd floor of Deputy.


3.    Most of the food service in the lower Hobson Union will be closing at 2PM, Montague’s is open until 4PM and Java City will stay open until 6PM. (Great for us java junkies!)


4.    The BSU library is very good.  Off-campus access is available using a proxy.  You will need your student ID to log on from off-campus.  You can also go to the SuperLab in Deputy Hall.  You paid nearly $100 in student fees for it, so you might as well print your articles there and use the paper you already paid for!  They are open from 7AM to Midnight most weekdays.


5.    Campus Security can be reached at 755-3888.  They are available if there is a problem, they provide night escorts to your car, and they publish an annual security report about crime on campus.


6.    The counseling center is a great resource if you are feeling stressed out and need to talk to someone (other than your advisor).  They can also help if, during the course of your studies, you realize you have some unfinished business that might interfere with your ability to be a good counselor.  Use this service; it is free (well, sort of…you already paid for it in your student fees).


7.    One final tidbit for reducing stress and promoting good mental health… you have access to the Rec Center.  They offer a variety of activities, equipment, and fitness classes.  Check it out…your fees paid for this already, too.


8.    Most importantly (well, almost as important as your advisor) enjoy your studies.  Expect to work very hard, learn a lot, and have some fun along the way.


We are delighted to have you here!  Have a wonderful year!!!










Graduate Program Layout



First semester


·       Students arrange their schedules with the Grad Coordinator and work out a Plan of Study.  The courses are developmental in nature and one competency follows another.

·       Students should attend the Psych Dept Orientation Meeting with questions.

·       Students need to pick up the Grad Catalog and Handbook for the Preparation of the Thesis or Research Paper

·       Full-time students will take 3 or 4 courses per semester

·       Part-time students will take 2 courses per semester (see part-time Plan of Study).  All first year courses must be complete before part-timers can continue on to the second year coursework.

·       Students contact their regular advisors and plan their Spring courses.



Second Semester


·       Students continue their coursework. 

·       Students decide on community site for the Advance Practicum in the following semester

·       Everyone begins thinking about research topics for either Thesis or Research Paper

·       Time to contact advisors and plan their Fall courses




Third Semester


·       Students move into Advanced Practicum in a community/university agency (100 hours). 

                Current agencies utilized include:

                Students with Disabilities Office – BSU                    Residential Life – BSU

                Career Services – BSU

                Gilfillan Center – Community

Stellar Human Services - Community

·       Students prepare Thesis or Research Paper proposal

·       Complete the Graduate Research Paper/Thesis Proposal Form

·       Students apply for candidacy (see the Handbook for forms)

·       Students must complete the written examination (comprehensives)


Fourth Semester


·       Students proceed with original research project or research paper project

·       Internship is begun (600 hours) in a community agency

·       If they intend to graduate in spring, they must have completed their application for Graduation and Curriculum Vita Sheet during the first week of the semester they intend to graduate.

·       Students complete their original research and prepare drafts of their papers for review by their advisor (Typically several revisions are required)

·       After the Advisor approves the thesis, it is given to the members of the student’s Graduate Committee to review.

·       After the Committee approves the thesis, it is given to the School of Graduate Studies for formatting corrections

·       Each student’s oral defense is scheduled

·       Final revisions are made and signature collected from each member of their Thesis/Research Paper Committee.

·       Thesis (2 copies) or Research Paper (1 copy) must be turned into turned into the Graduate Studies office and a copy must go to each Committee member.





Important Details of the Psychology Program


What we do best”


The Counseling Psychology program emphasizes counseling skills training, beginning with a prerequisite of a basic counseling skills course as an undergraduate.  


Once fully accepted into the graduate program students will take Counseling Practicum and Supervision that gives them more intense supervision of their practice sessions than is available in typical MS graduate programs. 


Once students have established a solid foundation of counseling skills, they will take our Advanced Practicum which is based in community agencies working with real clients. 


The final piece of skills training is culminated in the Internship, a 600-hour professional internship with a community agency, providing counseling services to clients.  These various levels of preparation insure confidence that out students will be able to meet the challenges of the professional counselor.


Our Commitment to Research


The research tradition in Psychology programs strongly promotes a graduate curriculum that prepares students to think critically and with scientific skepticism.  In developing professional counselors, we emphasize the importance of making practice decisions based on a solid research foundation.  Professionals are both scientists and practitioners.   




Graduate Expectations


Graduates are expected to:

1.       Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 (“B”) with no grade lower than 2.00 (“C”).

2.       Complete their Plan of Study

3.       Write and present their proposal of research to their committee with the assistance of their thesis advisor

4.       Complete the written comprehensives

5.       Complete the oral defense of their thesis or research paper and collect all signatures

6.       Turn in the final copy or copies of their thesis or research paper to the School of Graduate Studies

7.       Complete an internship



Additional Information


The Psychology Department has six of the nine faculty with backgrounds in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Counseling.  They bring a tremendous range of experience and training to the program.  Many are engaged in research in their area of interest.  All are competent educators and trainers.


There is one Graduate Assistantship (GA) available.  Much of the work of the GA is assisting the Graduate Coordinator with programmatic projects.  There are many other GA positions on campus, and Psychology students are eligible to apply for a number of them.




The Psychology Department would like us to note that the Minnesota Counseling Association (MnCA, the professional body at the state level) is having their fall conference in St Cloud on Friday, November 10th.  They have a phenomenal keynote this year, and it should be a great conference.  They are also having an open Question and Answer session for licensing issues.


Information can be found at, or see the Psychology Department for more details.


For current information on the Department of Psychology, contact Dr. Louise Jackson, Graduate Coordinater, at 218-755-2803 (, Dr. Richard Hook, Department Chair, at 218-755-2870 (, the Psychology Department at 218-755-2880, or visit the Psychology Department website.


We want to make grad_com useful for you. Let us know what you would like to see on these pages by contacting the School of Graduate Studies, Decker Hall 110, 218-755-2027 (toll-free: 1-888-386-8464),