SOAR Admissions


To be admitted to the SOAR Program, applicants must apply and be admitted to the University of North Florida Graduate School AND to the SOAR Program. Learn more about the SOAR Program, the school counseling profession and the admissions process at a SOAR Information Session.  

SOAR Information Sessions 


SOAR invites you to an Information Session in the College of Education and Human Services (Building 57, third floor, Room 3201).  These sessions are hosted by our faculty and will cover the school counseling profession, the program content and admission steps. Information Sessions last approximately one hour. Reservations are not necessary.




November 14 2016    

  3:30 PM


January 12, 2017

5:00 PM


February 4, 2017

12:00 PM


February 20, 2017

5:00 PM


March 30, 2017

5:00 PM


April 15, 2017

  12:00 PM


Admission to the Program



Refer to the Graduate School for requirements for admission to the University. Only applicants referred for admission by the Graduate School are considered for admission to the SOAR Program. It is important for applicants to begin the process of applying to the University as soon as possible. All required documents should be submitted to the Graduate School prior to the deadline date (See Important Dates). 


  1.  Apply to the Graduate School  



Must apply to the UNF Graduate School.  The Graduate School requires:

  • all official transcripts  
  • General Knowledge Test scores or official GRE scores
  • three letters of reference, one of which needs to be from your school principal and/or vice principal, or for non-educators, a current or recent supervisor (See section below entitled “Letters of Recommendation”)
  • letter of intent  -  detailing why you want to be a school counselor and a description of any leadership activities in which you have been involved as a volunteer or professional
  • application fee
  • must have a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of their undergraduate study.  For students with a lower GPA please read the section below entitled “Exception.”
  • must take and pass the General Knowledge Test ( ) or take the GRE and receive a minimum verbal score of 151 and a minimum quantitative score of 147 and a minimum analytical writing score of 4.



An exception may be awarded to an applicant who meets all the admission criteria except their GPA. An applicant with a GPA of less than 3.0 in their last 60 hours of undergraduate studies as calculated by the Graduate School is eligible for award consideration. Each program has a very limited number of exceptions, so awards are competitive.  An applicant who has a GPA of lower than 3.0 may request a review of his/her application by submitting a letter detailing the reasons that an exception to the admission policy should be granted. This letter should be submitted to the School Counseling Program Director prior to interviewing. The letter will become part of the application and be reviewed during the student selection process.


Testing Requirement

Applicants must meet one of the testing requirements below.  The Graduate School will accept a copy of a current Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate as proof of having taken the General Knowledge Test.

  • General Knowledge Test (GKT) 


The GKT is recommended for entry to the School Counseling Program because it is also required by the Florida Department of Education for certification.  The GKT is a four part Pass/Fail test which covers English, Reading, Math and Essay.  All four parts must be passed in order to be considered for admission. You can get more information at .  


Please note: It takes approximately 6 weeks to receive all your GK test results. All test results must be received by the Graduate School application deadline.


  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

You may take the GRE in lieu of the General Knowledge Test, but you must receive a minimum verbal score of 151, a minimum quantitative score of 147 and a minimum analytical writing score of 4 in order to show mastery of General Knowledge. Contact the UNF Testing Center for more information. 


Please note: It takes approximately 15 days to receive the official GRE test results. All test results must be received by the Graduate School application deadline.



Letters of Recommendation

Three letters from professional references are required. Please adhere to the following guidelines for your letters. 

If currently employed or recently employed in prek-12 schools or higher education, provide one letter of reference from your school principal and/or assistant principal, or higher education administrator. 

For non-education careers, provide a letter from a current or recent supervisor. 

For the two additional letters, please select either professors from your undergraduate work, and/or professional associates who can provide observational comments pertaining to:


  • work habits, intellectual abilities, maturity/professional demeanor, responsiveness to stress, ability to collaborate with others, and leadership. 


Personal and/or social acquaintances and relatives are unacceptable references.

All references need to include telephone contact information and on business/organization stationery.

Letters can be scanned into a .pdf file and emailed to the Graduate School at or they can be mailed to:

UNF Graduate School
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224


  1.  Complete a portfolio and interview with a SOAR Selection Team


  • must submit a completed portfolio to the SOAR Program in the Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management Department (building 57, suite 3200). See Important Dates for portfolio due dates. A complete SOAR Portfolio (see SOAR Portfolio) contains:
    • Program Statement
    • unofficial copies of transcripts from all institutions previously attended**
    • copy of your General Knowledge Test score report or copy of GRE scores
    • Individualized School Experience Contract
    • written reaction to a journal article and a school scenario
    • a copy of your teaching certificate if you are certified by the Florida Department of Education
    • copies of any Reading or ESOL endorsements or certifications
  • should contact Kate Worsowicz at or call 620-1826 to schedule an interview.  Interviews will be held in the College of Education (building 57) in the Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management suite (3rd floor). Applicants have the option of three interview dates starting in the afternoon – February 20, 2017, May 23, 2017 and June 21, 2017.  Alternative interview arrangements can be made for special circumstances.


*OFFICIAL copies of transcripts and test scores must be sent to the UNF Graduate School as part of the Graduate admissions process. Applicants will interview with a selection committee comprised of program faculty and practicing school counselors and will deliver a brief public speech on the achievement gap (see page 10 of the SOAR Portfolio).


**Portfolio materials submitted become the property of the SOAR program. Please keep copies of all your documents.