United States PhD in Counseling Psychology Programs
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.
The other thing that is helpful in searching for universities with PhD Counseling Psychology Programs is to consider location. Are you willing to relocate? Do you prefer to study locally? Does studying abroad appeal to you. Use the location setting to find doctorate degrees by city, state and country. Then request more information from these schools for your timeline and checklist.
Types of Counseling Psychology PhD Programs
In terms of Counseling Psychology, there are PhD in Counseling Psychology programs and other doctorate degrees in counseling to consider. Taken from the subject selection, these include:
- PhD in Art Therapy
- PhD in Counseling and Therapy
- PhD in Marriage and Family Counseling
- PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling
PsyD or PhD in Counseling Psychology?
Do you enjoy working with individuals and groups? Are you interested in conducting experiments, writing, a career in academia and research? In terms of programs, the PhD is a scientist-practitioner model whereas the PsyD is a practitioner-scholar model.
PhD in Counseling Psychology
If you are more inclined to working with others whether one-one, with families, couples, or groups in counseling and psychotherapy, the Doctor of Psychology, (PsyD) is considered a clinical degree. Often these programs are based on practical work and examinations rather than on a research dissertation.
PsyD in Counseling Psychology
On the other hand, if you enjoy test construction, research methodologies and scientific investigations, the PhD in Counseling Psychology is considered a research degree. Students usually take courses in advanced statistics and experimental procedures as well as write a dissertation based on original research. Determining which type of degree works best for you may help refine your search for graduate schools for counseling psychology.
Why Study Counseling Psychology On-Campus?
Choosing a counseling psychology graduate school with an on-campus program means that you get to learn from your professors and mentors in real time. Counseling Psychology PhD programs may be research intensive, with much time devoted to either the library or the laboratory. Being on campus gives doctoral students access to the facilities as well as the opportunity to engage in activities through their student associations. Often a program will require a student to work closely as a research assistant to a faculty member or meet with their mentor over their dissertation. The opportunity to study in a social learning setting is something that may be appealing to students who want the human component and face-to-face interaction with others.
Accreditation for Counseling Psychology Schools
Likely if you are ready to find a PhD in Counseling Psychology, you are familiar with the term ‘accredited’. However, being an undergraduate or even a Master’s student, now is the time to familiarize yourself with your state licensure requirements for practicing as “psychologists” in your field. After graduation, doctoral students must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in order to be considered ‘licensed for practice’[iv]. Regardless of what type of program you choose, the program will need to be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA) is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting agency for professional education and training in psychology.[v] They accredit doctoral graduate programs, internship programs and postdoctoral residency programs however they do not accredit schools or universities at either the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels.
Take the Next Step
The overall demand for psychologists is growing, and candidates with a doctoral degree and post-doctoral work experience are likely to have the best job opportunities[vi]. Why not begin reviewing accredited graduate schools with PsyD or PhD in Counseling Psychology Programs? Some of the sponsored program listings might include PsyD Marital and Family Therapy, PhD Counseling Psychology and Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy. Don’t forget to request more information from prospective universities as they each have unique features.
sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[ii] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/recognized.aspx |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[v] apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/index.aspx |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- Belmont, CABelmont, CA
Notre Dame de Namur University
Notre Dame de Namur University offers the only PhD art therapy program in the nation generating new knowledge and career opportunities in clinical practice, research, teaching and international work...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology is designed for students who seek to engage in the professional practice of psycholog...
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Doctor of Psychology in Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) program is based on the practitioner-scholar model of education, integrating eight core competencies developed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Pr...
- Chicago, IL
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
The MS and EdS in Counseling programs integrate theory, research, and practice so graduates are not only prepared as counselors but also leaders in the field. An inclusive academic community is fostered through collaboration, scholarly and critical anal...
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
The master of arts program in Marriage and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). , it is intended for mature individuals with a strong commitment to the family therapy profes...
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The program provides preparation at the Ph.D. level for employment in a variety of academic and psychological service settings, such as: community mental health agencies, college and university counseling centers, hospitals and medical centers, college...
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
- Aston, PAAston, PA
Neumann equips scholars and practitioners for leadership in today's diverse world of mental health challenges.
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
Program offers Masters, Specialist and Ph.D.(Fall 05) programs in Counseling. Emphasis on child, adolescent and family interventions in school and clinical settings. Both regular and alternative course delivery models available across four campus sites-...
- Boca Raton, FL
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in behavior. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement and functional analysis of the...
- Pullman, WAPullman, WA
Washington State University
- Bronx, NYBronx, NY
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The Ph.D. Counselor Education is designed for counselors who wish to enhance their professional capabilities in research and evaluation, supervision, teaching, and counseling,...
- Albany, NYAlbany, NY
University At Albany (S.U.N.Y.)
A fundamental mission of all our programs is to promote and value diversity. This is found in the many opportunities our students have to explore issues of human diversity (race, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability,...
- Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee, WI
Mount Mary College
Degree available for women and men. Must have an undergraduate degree in a related field. Program is for students who desire the structure and creative challenge of intense, interpersonal and intuitive learning. Students may attend either as a full-time...
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
The APA accredited doctoral program in counseling psychology at Iowa State University provides broad-based education and training in the science and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. It is appropriate for students with academic or applied career...
- Pocatello, IDPocatello, ID
Idaho State University
The Department of Counseling offers CACREP-accredited master's degrees in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs Counseling. In addition, we offer a specialist degree in Counseling and a...
- Berrien Springs, MIBerrien Springs, MI
The PhD in Counseling Psychology prepares students for the practice of counseling psychology in schools, college, agencies, hospitals, churches, busin...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California Graduate Institute
This program offers an in-depth understanding of the therapeutic process, primarily through the applied clinical application of psychodynamic theory and technique. There is an opportunity for students to experience a community placement location or inte...