Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Admissions

Q:        What are the admissions requirements?

A:        Applicants for admission to the doctoral program to TCSPP’s clinical psychology doctoral program at XULA must meet the following requirements:

  • Submission of application and all required application materials
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree from a college or university that is regionally accredited or an equivalent academic degree from a foreign college or university by the official start of the applicant’s intended term.
  • Present an academic record that demonstrates an ability to fulfill the academic demands of a doctoral program. (Successful applicants typically have an undergraduate grade point average of a 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.)
  • Complete 18 credit hours of psychology prerequisite coursework. Of those hours, students must have completed at least one course in Abnormal psychology, Lifespan (human development), and Statistics. The remaining prerequisite credits may include courses like Theories of Personality, Biopsychology, Tests and Measurements, and Research Methods. All coursework must have been completed earning a grade of ‘C’ or better prior to matriculation in the program.
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test within the past five years.
  • Interview with faculty.( Interviews are by invitation only and applicants will be notified by the Office of Admissions should an interview be granted.)
  • Have demonstrated through written statements and interview the interest in and basic interpersonal skills needed to begin training for professional human service work.
  • Students whose primary language is not English must submit proof they are able to communicate in English at the graduate level. Language proficiency must also be evident through writing submitted with the application and in the interview. Acceptable proof of English ability include:
    • Official TOEFL score report (TOEFL code:  7161). To be considered for admissions, students must submit a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based test or 550 on the paper-based test.
    • Official IELTS score report with a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS test.
    • Completion of ELS course 112
    • Bachelor degree or master’s degree from the United States.
  • $50 application fee
  • Essays – please answer the following two questions in two separate documents (approximately 500 words each)
    • Many people choose Clinical Psychology as a career because they are interested in helping other people. Please tell us additional reasons, other than helping people, why you would like to be a clinical psychologist.
    • In your role as a clinical psychology student, you are likely to work and study with people from many backgrounds. Tell us what will be some of the challenges for you studying with people different from yourself and what you would contribute in your interactions with them.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that describes your professional experience both inside and outside the field of psychology (include current professional activities.
  • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
    • Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official copies in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal when they arrive.
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service such as or
  • Three letters of recommendation. Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant clinical, volunteer, or work experience that can assess the potential for academic success at the doctoral level and/or ability to succeed in a human services profession. Letters should either be submitted through our online application system or must arrive in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal.

Q: How is my Admissions Application reviewed?

A:  The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants in a holistic manner, considering the following factors:

  • Prior academic performance and GRE scores;
  • Content and clarity of written and verbal communication;
  • Strength of recommendation letters;
  • Personal and professional presentation throughout the admissions process;
  • Community service interest and/or experience;
  • Research experience;
  • Prior sustained professional work experience and/or substantial volunteer experience in human services field;
  • Evidence of integrity, motivation, and personal ethics; and
  • Motivation and fit with professional and The Chicago School mission;