Looking for a PhD in Counseling Psychology? There are a variety of accredited counseling psychology schools that offer graduate students the opportunity to earn a doctorate in counseling psychology on college campus. As terminal degrees in the field of counseling psychology, obtaining a doctoral degree is one of the steps that prepares students for practicing as licensed counseling psychologists[i]. Counseling psychology, rehabilitation psychology and family psychology are recognized specialties in professional psychology which require advanced knowledge and skills.[ii] Whether you prefer clinical practice or research, finding a graduate school for counseling psychology that is recognized by the American Psychological Association is an important step and decision.
PhD in Counseling Psychology: Degree Basics
Aspiring counseling psychologists have the option of earning a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counseling Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). Doctoral programs usually involve a 1-2-year internship, approximately 2-3 years of advanced coursework and 1-3 years for completing a dissertation based on original research. Students may also have a clinical training and supervised practicum. The average program length is about 5 years. Generally those with a Bachelor’s degree spend 4 years of study and one year of internship (based on full-time study) while students with a Master’s degree spend less time on coursework.
DID YOU KNOW? Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology[iii].
Graduate Schools for Counseling Psychology: Applications
In terms of prerequisites and application, counseling psychology schools may have different procedures, and it can be time intensive to find the PhD in Counseling Psychology program and school that align with your needs. One of the helpful things to do could be to create a timeline along with a checklist of what each school requires. Usually, future doctoral students need to obtain letters of recommendation, study for and take the GRE, write personal statements and wait for an interview. Some graduate schools accept both Bachelor’s and Master’s students, but this is not always the case. However, a common requirement is that applicants must have completed their degree at an accredited institution of higher learning.