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How to Apply

Apply for our PhD program in Counseling and Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, and Applied Research

If you are an international student, you'll have additional application requirements. Get the International Student application guide for this program here.


Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Apply for the PhD program in Counseling Psychology by the deadline.

Start Term: Fall
Deadline: February 15



Our Counseling Psychology PhD program requires the following:

  • A master’s degree in counseling and equivalent professional license as mental health counselor, school counselor, or equivalent profession
  • Demonstration of good communication skills in the English language, both written and oral, at a level appropriate to doctoral study
  • 3 to 5 years of professional experience as a licensed mental health counselor or equivalent profession

Application Form

Application Form

Apply online for a PhD program.

Create an account and password before you start your application. You can stop and save your application, and return to complete it later.

Once you’ve created an account and started your application, you’ll be able to begin submitting the necessary documents for your application file as you obtain them.

Apply now for 2023

Submit Documents

Submit Documents

You'll need to submit the following supporting materials.

You can send the documents separately, but we won't be able to make an admissions decision until we've received everything.

Official Transcripts

Have each institution where you earned an undergraduate or graduate degree send us your official transcript.

If your transcript is not in English, provide a notarized translation of it.

If you’re enrolled in a degree program when you apply, submit your transcript of the courses you’ve taken to date. Submit your final official transcript once you’ve completed the degree program.

If your degree is from outside of the United States, you will be required to submit a Foreign Academic Credentials Evaluation.

Evaluation Agencies

Contact one of these agencies to get your credentials evaluated:

You’ll need a document-by-document evaluation. Exception: Expressive Therapies master's degree programs require a course-by-course evaluation instead.

If you’re submitting a foreign academic credential evaluation, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for your transcript requirement if official transcripts were provided to the evaluation agency.

Your transcripts need to be:

  • Conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities
  • Original documents bearing the official institutional stamp
  • Received by Graduate Admissions Services in envelopes sealed by the sending institution, or sent electronically directly from the institution

Send transcripts to: or

Lesley University
Graduate Admissions Services
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

3 Letters of Recommendation

Doctoral program recommendations should address your readiness for doctoral-level study, your commitment to the field, and an assessment of success in your current role.

Submit 3 recent recommendations from those you’ve worked with closely in an academic or professional setting. You can submit your letters with your online application.

  • At least one of your recommendations should come from a present or former supervisor.

  • One recommendation needs to be from a person who holds a doctoral degree who can attest to your ability to complete doctoral-level study successfully.

  • We don’t accept recommendations written by friends or family, or that were written more than 2 years before your application date.

Within your online application form, include the names and emails of the people writing your letters of recommendation. They'll receive an email from you with an electronic recommendation form and they can upload a letter.

Written Personal Statement

The written personal statement is a vital component of your doctoral application. The admissions committee reviews these statements for excellence in thinking and writing, focus and depth, communication style, coherence in thought, and clarity of your doctoral study goals.

Write a 1000–1500 word personal statement, double-spaced.

Address these questions as part of your personal narrative.

  1. Tell us about your professional history and how it has influenced your decision to apply to the Lesley University PhD program in Counseling and Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, and Applied Research.

  2. Discuss the theories and experiences that have informed your philosophy of practice.

  3. Share your career goals and elaborate on how your professional history and theoretical lenses influence your career goals.

  4. How will this PhD in Counseling and Psychology help you achieve your career goals?

    Writing Sample

    In addition to your written personal statement, the Counseling and Psychology PhD program requires a separate scholarly writing sample. The writing sample should be a previously written, research-based paper, manuscript, thesis, or published work. It should show your ability to think critically, synthesize research literature, and write at an academic level. The length may vary and is less important than what the content reflects. 

    Submit a current résumé or curriculum vitae.

    Show evidence of a clinical license, or professional license in school counseling on your résumé or CV.



    This program requires an interview with the program director and/or faculty members, once your application file is complete and ready for review. The interview may be conducted here on the Lesley campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by phone, or virtually. The program department will contact you to schedule the interview.

    Contact Admissions

    Contact Admissions