Admission Policies and Procedures

Applicants to graduate programs must submit the following:

  1. Application Form. Each applicant must complete an online application form.
  2. Application Fee. Each application should be accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee ($75 for international students).
  3. Goals Statement. A 750-1000 word expanded goals statement concerning the applicant’s interest in the program’s curriculum to expected career progression is required.
  4. Standardized exam score. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required for students seeking their first graduate course work. (For more information on the GRE, visit and click on GRE.)
  5. TOEFL. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for international students. (See section titled International Students for more information.)
  6. References. Three letters of reference are required.
  7. Official Transcript(s). Each applicant must submit an official transcript, showing degree conferral when appropriate, from all schools attended.
  8. Health Form.* Each applicant must submit a completed health form signed by a health care provider. (To print a copy of the health form, visit Uploads/38443.pdf ).
  9. FERPA:* The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights of access to educational records; even if you are independent of your parents, you must submit this form prior to enrollment. 

* The Health Form and FERPA form are not part of your file to be considered for admission.  These forms must be submitted after acceptance into the program. 

All application items should be submitted to the Graduate Studies in Psychology and Counseling office in order to be considered for an interview. Certain exceptions may apply.  Upon admission, all official forms need to be in the completed file no later than 30 days before the beginning of the semester or term in which the student plans to enroll. Forms should be mailed to: Graduate Studies in Psychology and Counseling, Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville TN 37204-3951.

Application Deadlines and Interview Process

Each program represents a unique course of study.  Therefore, the application and interview process varies slightly depending on the program of application.  Below lists application deadlines and interview processes.

M.S. in Psychology - The application deadline for Spring 2016 will be October 1 and the interview day will be on October 23.  

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - The application deadline for Spring 2016 will be October 1 and the interview day will be on October 23. 

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy-The M.MFT program has one cohort per year.  Applications for the Fall 2016 cohort are being accepted and the deadline to apply is April 1, 2016.   

We do not have a summer start date for any program.

Transfer and Waiver of Courses

Although all graduate credit hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, a maximum of 9
hours will be counted toward a graduate degree. The director or appropriate faculty member of the graduate program will evaluate the course(s) being proposed for transfer and make a determination of suitability. No course with a grade below a “B” will be considered for transfer.

Special consideration for course waiver may be given the student who has special study and/or experience in a given subject area. The waiver will be by means of an examination that is passed with a grade of “B” or better. A $170 fee is charged for each examination taken (includes $70 for evaluating and recording and $100 per course for constructing and administering). A maximum of 6 hours may be waived by examination. Arrangements for a waiver are to be made through the graduate studies office. No graduate credit is awarded.


Students are required to provide satisfactory documentation of personal identification for off-site learning experiences required in many programs of graduate study at Lipscomb University. Failure to provide proper credentials will result in failure to complete the desired course of study. For complete policy, see section entitled Required Documentation for Off-Site Learning Experiences in the opening section of this catalog.

Student Classifications

Students are admitted to graduate courses in one of four categories:

  1. Graduate Student: one who has satisfied all admissions requirements. A student with an incomplete admission file will be accepted to the program at the discretion of the program director but will be placed on an academic hold which will prevent registration for the following semester. Once the proper admissions documents have been received, the hold will be removed and the student will be allowed to register for the following semester. 
  2. Conditionally Admitted Student: one who has been admitted conditionally, without satisfying all admission requirements, at the discretion of the program director. Students admitted with the following criteria may be required to complete a minimum of nine hours of graduate work with a grade of “B” or above before the conditional admission is removed. 
    1. From an unaccredited school or with a substandard GPA or GRE score
    2. A transfer student with a graduate GPA of 3.0 or above. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
    3. As a student who has not completed a bachelor's degree program. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
  3. Non-Degree Student: one who has been admitted to graduate studies and has met all admission requirements except GPA or MAT/GRE.The student may take up to 9 semester hours for graduate credit. Those hours may be applied toward a master’s degree if the student makes a grade of “B” or better in the courses taken for credit and if all admission requirements (GPA and entrance test score) are met and the student is formally admitted to a graduate program as a degree-seeking student.
  4. Visiting Student: one who is currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the post-bachelor’s level at another graduate school, wishes to take courses at Lipscomb and desires to have transcript evidence of course work done at Lipscomb provided for the school of primary enrollment.
  5. Probationary Student: one who has been readmitted to a graduate program following academic suspension from the program.

Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. Only those students who meet the requirements for “Graduate Student” described above are eligible for candidacy. 

Academic Policies

Course Load

A student enrolled for 9 hours is considered a full- time student. A student enrolled for 6 hours is considered a half-time student. A student enrolled for less than 6 hours is considered a part-time student. No student will be permitted to enroll for more than 12 hours per semester without special approval from the director of the graduate program.

Academic Standing

  1. Good Academic Standing: To remain in good academic standing, the student must maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA and a 3.00 GPA on the most recent 12 semester hours of work.
  2. Probation: Should the student’s cumulative graduate GPA fall below 3.00, he/she will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation will not be allowed to enroll for more than 6 hours during any term the probation applies. The probationary student is required to achieve a 3.25 cumulative GPA by the time the student has completed the next 9 hours of course work. A course(s) may be repeated to achieve the requisite GPA. If the requisite GPA is attained, the academic probation status will be removed.
  3. Suspension: If the requisite GPA is not attained, the student will be suspended from graduate studies at Lipscomb for the following semester, after which the student may apply for readmission. Additionally, a graduate course in which a student earns an “F” will cause suspension for the following semester. The student may be required to appear before the Graduate Committee.
  4. A graduate course in which a student has earned a “C” or “F” may be repeated. In such cases, only the higher grade will be used to compute the student’s GPA. Failing grades will provide no credit toward the degree but will be included in figuring scholarship level, unless replaced with a higher grade by repeating the course(s). A 3.00 GPA must be maintained to be eligible for financial assistance.
  5. Appeals: Appeals to suspension decisions should be made in writing to the Associate Provost for Academic Development and Graduate Studies. Appeals must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Monday of the week before classes begin for the term during which the student wishes to be readmitted. 

Admissions Standards

For regular admission, all applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college prior to entering the program. Lipscomb seniors can apply for conditional admission to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Psychology, or Certificate programs (but not the MFT program), which would allow them to take graduate courses in the last semester of their senior year (and the following summer, for May graduates).  

The minimum undergraduate GPA is a 3.0.  Students who have taken graduate coursework prior to applying to Lipscomb must also have maintained a 3.0 average in graduate coursework. Exceptions to these standards may be made on a case-by-case basis and will result in conditional admission. Conditionally admitted students must maintain a 3.25 average during their first 9 hours of study. Students must also submit recent GRE scores. 

These are only minimums and achieving these scores does not guarantee admission; students will be chosen from among the pool of qualified applicants based on test scores, grades, and information contained in letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, and interview. 

Students transferring to Lipscomb University from other graduate programs should have an official transcript from their program mailed to the Graduate Psychology & Counseling office. Up to 9 hours of courses will be accepted for transfer if a grade of “B” or higher has been earned the class. These courses would transfer as electives initially; decisions about substitutions for required classes could be made on a case-by case basis.