Program Application Materials and Student Selection Process

The first step in the application process is to apply to JSU’s Division of Graduate Studies at the following web link: The General Admission Requirements section of the web link will contain all necessary application materials.


A major goal of this program is retention and graduation of students within the prescribed five years. This is best accomplished by selecting applicants who have the educational foundation, motivation, and personality characteristics required to successfully complete an intensive and rigorous doctoral program.

Admission to the program is very competitive.  Due to accreditation standards, a limited number of slots (about 7) are available each year. Please note that simply meeting the minimal application standards does not guarantee admission into the program.  Invitations to be interviewed by the graduate faculty are extended to applicants that pass the initial screening process, which is conducted by the entire graduate faculty. Shortly after the interview process is complete, the interviewed applicants will be notified about the status of their application.

NOTE: Please enclose all application materials into one packet. Inform the persons that will be writing your letters of reccomendation to submit those letters to you in a sealed envelope with his/her signature written on the seal. Any opened letters of recommendation will be voided and returned to the applicant.

2015 Program Application

Recommendation Form


The application process includes the submission of several important application requirements. The DCT is primarily responsible for coordinating and managing the entire process. The application deadline is January 15th of each year. The applicants are instructed to submit all application materials, which can be downloaded from the program website, to the Division of Graduate Studies. The Division of Graduate Studies, subsequently forwards the information to the DCT. The DCT maintains a file on each applicant. The DCT also fields all electronic and telephone inquiries about the program. The DCT routinely informs all applicants about the status of their application via e-mail. During the monthly graduate faculty meetings, the DCT updates the faculty on the selection and admission process.

Once the deadline has ended, a meeting is held with the graduate faculty to initiate the following applicant review process:

  1. All applicants are assigned two reviewers.
  2. At least a week is allowed for the assigned reviewers to evaluate his or her assigned applicants (about 8 applicants per reviewer this past year) through the use of the applicants file and the attached Applicant Evaluation Form.
  3. The DCT facilitates a meeting held to discuss which applicants will be granted an interview.
  4. Each reviewer assigned the applicant to one of three categories (i.e., Interview, Alternate, and Denial).
  5. The applicant is automatically placed in one of the three aforementioned categories if the two reviewers pre-assigned the applicant to the same category (i.e., applicant is placed in Alternate category if the both reviewers pre-assigned them to that category before meeting). If the reviewers pre-assigned the applicant to different categories, discourse is conducted until the entire faculty agrees which category in which the applicant should be placed.
  6. After all applicants are placed in one of the aforementioned three categories, the faculty narrows the list of Alternates to only 5 persons.
  7. Each of the applicants is informed about his or her status (i.e., Interview, Alternate, and Denial).

A meticulous process is utilized to choose the next class of incoming students. Particular attention is paid to the interviewees’ level of academic, clinical, and research background and experiences. The applicant interview process is as follows:

  1. All graduate faculty members are involved in the interview process. Each applicant is assigned three interviewers to be present during the interview. It must be noted that other faculty may also attend.
  1. The faculty uses an Interview Rating Form to evaluate the interviewee.
  2. The DCT facilitates a meeting in which each interviewee’s application and interview is discussed in detail. Faculty members may refer to several resources (e.g., letters of recommendation, clinical/research experiences, interview performance, Interview Rating Form scores, etc.) during the discussion. Decisions are including, but not limited to the information on the Interview Rating Form.
  3. The interviewees are placed in one of three categories (i.e., Accept, Alternate, and Denial).
  4. After the top six interviewees are designated, the list of Alternates is ranked, in case some of the top six interviewees accept offers to other programs. During the last admission process, 2 of the 6 interviewees didn’t accept offers to the Program, for instance. Thus, we deferred to the Alternate list for 2 applicants.
  5. The chosen interviewees are given an April 15th deadline to provide written notification about his or her decision.
  6. After April 15th, the DCT contacts the ranked “Alternate” applicants to inform them whether there they will be chosen replace an applicant that chose not to attend the Program.
  7. Contact is maintained with the incoming students until the first day of orientation during mid-August, just before classes begin.