The graduate application process is competitive. At the point of applying to the M.Ed. Counselling Program, applicants must have already accumulated the equivalent of 2 years of full-time, paid, relevant work experience following completion of their 4-year undergraduate degree. The 2 full-time equivalent (FTE) years may be accumulated over a period of longer than 2 years. Relevant work experience for those applying to the Counselling Program should involve strong interpersonal and communication skills. Some examples of relevant work experience might include social work, peer helping, pastoral care, working with members of a vulnerable population, teaching, special needs care, group home, hospice work, at-risk youth outreach, community outreach, distress line work, big brothers/sisters, and lay counselling programs. Relevant volunteer work in addition to the 2 FTE years will be considered an asset. Please note that study cannot be counted as a related experience.
If you do not meet the B (73-76%) average requirement in the courses taken in your last 2 years (or 60 credit hours) of university study, your application will be considered under the following conditions:
- a) You document a minimum of 8 years of work experience since graduation, in a field related to counselling
- b) You submit your score (that meets or exceeds the mean) on the Verbal Reasoning component of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) with your application.
The minimum eligibility requirement is the successful completion of 120 credit hours of university study. Typically this requirement is met by completion of a 4-year undergraduate degree. This criterion also may be met by other degree combinations that add up to at least 120 credit hours. For example, you might hold a 3-year undergraduate degree plus a Bachelor of Education degree, or a 3-year undergraduate degree plus a master’s degree. As long as the total credit hours earned across the degrees equates to or exceeds 120, this criterion will be satisfied.
If you hold a 3-year degree only (90 credit hours), and so do not meet the 120 credit-hour requirement for acceptance into Graduate Studies, you can establish an equivalent standing by successfully completing an extra 30 credit hours of university courses prior to applying. Although there are no specifications for the additional coursework, you are encouraged to complete courses in the social sciences such as anthropology, communication studies, psychology, public health, and sociology. Alternatively, if you have a minimum of 8 years of work experience since graduation, you may submit your score on the Verbal Reasoning component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with your application in lieu of additional coursework. A university transcript for a 3-year degree (90 credit hours), plus a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of 150 or higher (the score range is 130-170), will confer eligibility for the M.Ed. Counselling Program.
The M.Ed. Counselling Program does not approve deferrals. Students that do not accept an offer must reapply in subsequent years. It is also important to note that the quality of applicants can significantly vary year to year. As such, there is no guarantee on admission outcomes. Students who are accepted one year and decline admission may or may not be accepted in subsequent applications.
The M.Ed. Counselling Program (both full-time and part-time) is not offered virtually due to the nature of the core courses in Counselling and the associated Regional/National Certification Requirements.
Each year, based on the regional requests and the available human resources, a decision is made whether to offer additional part-time cohorts in the Counselling Program. The nature and location of the cohort are part of this decision-making process as the needs of the counselling community vary widely and the faculty cannot possibly respond to all requests.
The letter of intent should outline your motivations and expectations in reference to the Counselling Program. It should also include a discussion of relevant academic study and professional experience related to your program interests. There is no particular format or length required in your letter of intent; the point of the application is to make a compelling argument that you are prepared for graduate studies.
Please address your letter to the M.Ed. Counselling Admissions Committee.
- Cohorts Pre 2024: Practicum is scheduled in the fall semester for part-time cohorts and in the winter semester for full-time cohorts. Students are at the practicum site Monday through Friday. Because of supervision requirements established by external regulation, all practicum experiences must be undertaken concurrently with registration in EDUC 5066 – Counselling Practicum and Group Supervision. Classes are usually held on six Saturdays over the semester. During the 4-month practicum period, students accrue professional experience at their practicum site and receive supervision from the site supervisor, faculty supervisor, and in their group supervision class. Since Nova Scotia is a small, predominantly rural province, students will require a vehicle and should be prepared to commute to a practicum site. Given the limited availability of sites and appropriate supervisors, practicum placement likely will not be in Wolfville, so students must be prepared for placement outside of the Annapolis Valley and Kings County reach.
- Cohorts 2024 and after: Starting with the 2024 Cohorts, the practicum experience will be separated into Practicum I (100 hours) and Practicum II (400 hours). For part-time cohorts, Practicum I is scheduled in the fall semester and Practicum II in the winter semester. Practicum I will occur 6 hours a week over the semester while concurrently registered for EDUC 50P3 – Counselling Practicum I and Group Supervision. This course will usually be held on six Saturdays during the semester. Practicum II will occur starting in the winter semester with either a full-time 4-month practicum (Monday-Friday) or a 6-month part-time practicum (3 days per week) for a minimum of 400 hours while concurrently registered for EDUC 50N3 – Counselling Practicum II and Group Supervision. This course will usually be held on six Saturdays during the semester. For full-time cohorts, Practicum I is scheduled during the spring semester and will occur 6 hours a week while concurrently registered for EDUC 50P3 – Counselling Practicum I and Group Supervision. This course will be a weekly class throughout the semester. Practicum II will occur in the fall semester for full-time practicums and in the fall and winter semesters for part-time practicums. Practicum II will occur along with registration in EDUC 50N3 – Counselling Practicum II and Group Supervision, which will usually occur on six Saturdays during the practicum experience. Since Nova Scotia is a small, predominantly rural province, students will require a vehicle and should be prepared to commute to a practicum site. Given the limited availability of sites and appropriate supervisors, practicum placement likely will not be in Wolfville, so students must be prepared for placement outside of the Annapolis Valley and Kings County reach.
The M.Ed. Counselling Program is an intensive 48-credit-hour program requiring students in the full-time cohort to take courses during the daytime as well as some evenings over a 18-month period. Students cannot maintain a full-time job and participate at the level required in the program. Part-time work should not exceed 12 hours per week. In circumstances where a student works part-time, it is not permissible to miss any class time or practicum time due to work commitments.
Notification of M.Ed. Counselling Program admission decisions generally will take place 3-4 months after the application deadline. Applications are processed one cohort at a time, beginning with the full-time cohort. First, applications are reviewed and assessed by the School of Education faculty. Shortlisted applicants then are invited to participate in an interview. Interviews will be conducted remotely. All the components of the application process are considered in admission recommendations: letter of intent, résumé or CV, letters of reference, transcripts, and interview. Applicants will receive written notification as to whether they are being offered admission, are on a waitlist (this applies whether or not an applicant was interviewed), or will not be considered for that intake period either because an admission criterion has not been met (e.g., minimum of 4 years of university studies, B average or higher in the most recent 2 FTE years of study, minimum of 2 years of FTE post-degree employment experience) or the application was completed after the deadline.
Waitlists remain active until June 30 of the intake year. Please be assured that applicants will be notified of their application status as soon as that information is available. Given the high volume of applications being processed, we ask that applicants refrain from contacting the School of Education or Research and Graduate Studies to seek updates.
Students in all cohorts commence the M.Ed. Counselling Program beginning in July, usually beginning the first weekday following the July 1 holiday. Courses are completed one at a time for 9 days each and 4 hours daily. Part-time cohorts will complete two courses in July, and full-time cohorts will complete four courses in July and August. All new cohorts will attend orientation during the first day of classes.
All aspects of the admissions process are conducted separately/independently for the full-time and part-time cohorts, including review and shortlisting of applications, interviews, and admissions decisions. Applicants are asked to identify the cohort model that best meets their graduate study needs and/or preferences and make their application accordingly, to one cohort only.
The M.Ed. Counselling Program operates on a cohort model, which means that students stay with the same group from the beginning of their program through to graduation. Students who are admitted into a part-time cohort and wish to transfer to a full-time cohort must apply in writing to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education by December 1st in order to be considered for transfer in the next academic year. The request for transfer will be considered along with all other full-time applications for the next intake period. Students who transfer to the full-time cohort will have to register in a sufficient number of courses in the following fall and winter semesters to be considered full-time students.
Students who are admitted into a full-time cohort and wish to transfer to a part-time cohort may do so only if they have completed EDUC 5033 and EDUC 5133 during the first summer of their program of studies, and if there is room available in the cohort to which they are applying. This request also must be made in writing to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education.
Given that the degree is a general M.Ed. Counselling degree (and no stream is indicated on the transcript or diploma), with considerable overlap of at least 36 credit hours of common coursework, there is latitude in subsequent employment possibilities. Prospective students who contemplate working as a school counsellor in the public school system at some point are advised to verify the requirements in the provinces, territories, or countries of interest. Generally, eligibility criteria include having earned both a B.Ed. degree and an M.Ed. Counselling degree. Employers may also require, or favour, completion of a school-based practicum and the EDUC 50C3 School Counselling Programs course.
Graduates of the School Counselling stream are permitted to work in agency settings (referring to any setting other than P-12 school settings), including private practice. Like their colleagues who graduate from the Agency Counselling stream, there will be an ethical expectation that they document and demonstrate competency in the areas of practice pursued, by virtue of their education and supervised experience. Competencies may be developed within and subsequent to the period of graduate study.
Due to the volume of applications to the M.Ed. Counselling Program each year, faculty are not able to follow up admission decisions with individual meetings or phone or email conversations. Each M.Ed. Counselling Program cohort is capped at 20, representing a blend of School Counselling stream and Agency Counselling stream admissions. The admissions process is highly competitive and generally, there is a significant surplus of applications from well-qualified applicants, relative to the number of seats in a program cohort. Ultimately, the outcome of an application comes down to the nature and composition of an applicant pool in a given year. For this reason, it is difficult to offer specific advice related to improving an applicant’s chances of future admission.
All of the components of the application process are considered in final determinations: letter of intent, résumé or CV, letters of reference, transcripts, and interview. Sometimes it can be helpful for applicants to gain additional relevant volunteer or paid employment experience or to complete additional university coursework to boost GPA. If not admitted in the year of initial application, some applicants opt to register with Acadia as an “Independent” or non-program student. There are a few graduate counselling-related courses that are available to Independent students. Although successful completion of these courses does not guarantee future admission, up to 12 credit hours may be counted toward the M.Ed. Counselling degree if the student is subsequently admitted to the M.Ed. Counselling Program.
Cohorts Before 2024: The full-time program is 14-months in duration, beginning the first week of July upon entry into the program, and ending the second week of August the following summer.
Cohorts 2024 and After: The full-time program is 18-months in duration, beginning the first week of July upon entry into the program, ending either the following fall semester if a full-time practicum is chosen or the second winter if the part-time practicum is chosen.