Dean: Heidi Bostic, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology website

Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

Our doctoral program in counseling psychology is based on a scientist-practitioner model for training professional psychologists and is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. Students acquire a solid foundation of knowledge in the biological, cognitive, affective, individual and social bases of human behavior. Through course work in research design, measurement and statistics, students develop the skills needed to critically evaluate psychological research and to conduct their own independent research. Training in diagnosis, assessment, psychotherapy, consultation, practica, internship and ethics provides students with the necessary professional skills to practice as competent and ethical counseling psychologists. Supervised practica experiences are available through local hospitals, private and community agencies, the Veterans Affairs, and university counseling centers. Graduates are prepared to practice as psychologists, professors, consultants, administrators and researchers.

Counseling Psychology Doctorate

The counseling psychology program consists of 27 credits of course work in psychological foundations, 52 credits of course work in the counseling psychology professional core, a minimum of 1000 hours of doctoral practicum, a collaborative research project and a 12-credit dissertation, as well as an approved 2000-hour internship typically completed in one calendar year. Students are required to participate in faculty research teams throughout the program and are also required to participate in department seminars and colloquia. 

Students who have completed relevant graduate course work prior to entry into the program may have some of their requirements waived if the previous course work is equivalent to the courses currently required by the program.

Course Requirements

Psychological Foundations
COPS 6040Social Basis of Behavior3
COPS 6050Biological Bases of Behavior3
COPS 6060Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior3
COUN 6020Life-Span Human Development3
COUN 6060Psychopathology and Diagnosis3
Statistics, Research Design and Psychometrics
COPS 8310Intermediate Research and Statistics3
COPS 8311Advanced Statistics and Research3
COPS 8320Measurement and Evaluation3
COPS 8330Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology3
Professional Core
COUN 6000Introduction to Counseling3
COUN 6030Theories of Counseling3
COUN 6040Multicultural Counseling3
COUN 6080Career Development and Counseling3
COUN 6120Group Counseling3
COUN 6220Consultation Strategies3
COPS 8000Introduction to Counseling Psychology3
COPS 8020Professional Ethics and Legal Issues3
COPS 8210Cognitive Assessment3
COPS 8220Personality Assessment3
COPS 8870Foundations in Clinical Supervision2
COPS 8970Practicum in Clinical Supervision 1
COUN 6965Counseling Practicum3
COUN 6986Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Completed over two terms)3
COPS 8965Counseling Psychology Practicum (Completed over four terms)4
Electives - Choose two of the following:6
Family Counseling
Addictions Counseling
Trauma Counseling
Counseling with Children and Adolescents
Leadership and Administration of Mental Health Counseling Services
Pre-doctoral Internship
COPS 8955Internship Preparation Seminar0
COPS 8986Internship in Counseling Psychology (Completed over three consecutive terms)3
Collaborative Research Project - 0 credits
CECP 8999Doctoral Dissertation12
Total Credit Hours:91

Examination Requirements

  • Master’s Comprehensive Examination: Students who do not enter the program with an appropriate master's degree are required to pass the Counselor Preparation and Comprehensive Examination (CPCE). 
  • Doctoral Qualifying Examination (DQE): For students to pass the DQE, they must receive a satisfactory rating on the Comprehensive Integrated Critical Literature Review (CICLR) and the Internship Readiness Exam (IRE). Details for these program requirements may be found in the program handbook. To be advanced to candidacy, students must complete all program course work, pass the DQE, have their dissertation proposal accepted, and have met the Graduate School’s residency requirement.


COPS 6040. Social Basis of Behavior. 3 cr. hrs.

Advanced study of the problems and paradigms of social psychologists and how they are used by the practitioner. Major topics include: socialization, value and attitudes, social comparison, conformity and group dynamics.

COPS 6050. Biological Bases of Behavior. 3 cr. hrs.

Covers an overview of the biological and physiological processes that underlie individual psychological functioning. Topics include: the role of the peripheral and central nervous, sensory, endocrine and muscular systems as they contribute to the individual’s adaptations to internal and external environments.

COPS 6060. Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior. 3 cr. hrs.

Addresses a foundation in the cognitive-affective basis for human behavior. Important topics include human cognition, emotions, affect, and mood, and their influence on learning, self-control, thought processes, decision-making, and behavior change. Emphasizes understanding current theories and methods of cognitive-affective psychology and neuroscience in all fundamental areas: perception, attention, memory, language, and executive functions.

COPS 8000. Introduction to Counseling Psychology. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to the specialization of counseling psychology, including the history, philosophical bases and current and emerging directions Emphasis on critically reviewing literature in the field and examining psychologist roles and functions. Prereq: Cons. of instr.; admission to counseling psychology program.

COPS 8020. Professional Ethics and Legal Issues. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines the ethical foundations and current ethical and legal guidelines for professionals in the behavioral health field.

COPS 8032. Theories of Motivation. 3 cr. hrs.

Classical and contemporary theory and practices. Motivation in complex situations, including set, level of aspiration, frustration and consumer motivation.

COPS 8100. Neuropsychology. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to discipline of neuropsychology, brain-behavior relationships, neuropsychological mechanisms in neuropathological conditions, neuropsychological assessment and treatment. Prereq: COPS 8210 and cons. of instr.

COPS 8210. Cognitive Assessment. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to the theory and practice of cognitive assessment. Development of skills in administration and interpretation of intelligence and achievement tests and writing testing reports; introduction to special topics of testing children and neuropsychological assessment. Prereq: Cons. of instr.

COPS 8220. Personality Assessment. 3 cr. hrs.

Extension of assessment skills developed in COPS 8210. Development of skills in selection and interpretation of objective personality assessments and self-report inventories, integration of results in testing reports and an introduction to projective personality assessment. Prereq: COPS 8210 and cons. of instr.

COPS 8230. Projective Assessment. 3 cr. hrs.

Supervised study in administration, interpretation, and application of projective techniques. Prereq: COPS 8220 and cons. of instr.

COPS 8240. Advanced Assessment. 3 cr. hrs.

Survey of specialized areas of psychological assessment for infants, children and adults. Focuses on psychological testing in developmental, educational, occupational/career, hospital/disability, mental health, medical and legal contexts. Prereq: COPS 8100 and COPS 8220.

COPS 8310. Intermediate Research and Statistics. 3 cr. hrs.

Advanced topics in univariate and bivariate statistical analyses and related methodological issues. Covers analysis of variance, correlation, nonparametric statistics and multiple regression. Includes use of statistical software. Prereq: COUN 6051 or equiv. and EDPS 6050 or equiv.

COPS 8311. Advanced Statistics and Research. 3 cr. hrs.

A comprehensive survey of multivariate data analysis. Reviews multiple regression and proceeds through an introduction to structural equation modeling. Includes use of statistical software. Prereq: COPS 8310 or equiv.

COPS 8320. Measurement and Evaluation. 3 cr. hrs.

Psychometric theory, test construction and evaluation procedures. Includes use of statistical software for investigating the reliability and validity of educational and psychological instruments. Prereq: COPS 8310 or equiv.

COPS 8330. Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology. 3 cr. hrs.

Survey of qualitative research methods used in psychology. Includes discussion of the evolution of qualitative research in counseling psychology, as well as other related fields and the controversies therein. Prereq: COPS 8311.

COPS 8870. Foundations in Clinical Supervision. 2 cr. hrs.

Examines the theory, research and practice of supervision in professional psychology. Reviews ethical and legal issues, and the professional guidelines for the training and supervision of counselors and psychologists. Students are required to facilitate small counseling skill development groups for master’s students in COUN 6000 during the course of the term. Prereq: COPS 8967.

COPS 8931. Topics in Counseling Psychology. 2-3 cr. hrs.

In-depth study of theories and concepts in counseling psychology which, because of their topicality, are not the subject of a regular course. The special topics will be designated in the Schedule of Classes. Prereq: Cons. of instr.

COPS 8955. Internship Preparation Seminar. 0 cr. hrs.

Assists advanced students in making appropriate plans and developing strong applications for their predoctoral psychology internships. Monthly meetings are required of all students in the year prior to applying for internship. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dir. of training.

COPS 8964. Multicultural Counseling Leadership Lab. 0 cr. hrs.

Lead and facilitate a small dialogue group of master’s students on multicultural theory and counseling topics that are initially discussed in COUN 6040. Labs occur in conjunction with COUN 6040. Students are required to enroll during the second term of their doctoral program. Prereq: COUN 6040 or equiv; and cons. of dept.

COPS 8965. Counseling Psychology Practicum. 1-4 cr. hrs.

S/U grade assessment. Prereq: COUN 6965 or equiv. and cons. of dir. of training.

COPS 8966. Clinical Supervision Lab. 0 cr. hrs.

Students engage in individual supervision experiences with master’s students enrolled in the Counseling Practicum courses and located in counseling practicum field placements. Prereq: COPS 8970, which must be taken concurrently; and cons. of dept.

COPS 8967. Counseling Skill Development Lab. 0 cr. hrs.

Lead and facilitate small groups of master’s students in development of introductory helping skills. Course provides initial experiences in leading group supervision, providing feedback on counseling skill development and facilitating counselor development. Labs occur in conjunction with COUN 6000. Prereq: COPS 8870, which must be taken concurrently, and cons. of dept.

COPS 8970. Practicum in Clinical Supervision. 1 cr. hr.

Provide clinical supervision for master’s students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Students apply supervision theory, research and practice guidelines in providing weekly on-campus supervision with master’s students who are completing the 100-hour practicum experience. Prereq: COPS 8950.

COPS 8986. Internship in Counseling Psychology. 1 cr. hr.

Supervised experiences in professional psychology. Internships must be planned in accordance with the departmental Counseling Psychology Internship handbook. A minimum of 2000 hours over one calendar year required. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.; cons. of dir. of training.

COPS 9987. Doctoral Qualifying Examination Preparation: Less than Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Allows a student to be considered the equivalent of less than half-time status. Requires that the student is working less than 12 hours per week toward their doctoral qualifying exam. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

COPS 9988. Doctoral Qualifying Examination Preparation: Half-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Allows a student to be considered the equivalent of half-time status. Requires that the student is working more than 12 to less than 20 hours per week toward their doctoral qualifying exam. May be taken in conjunction with credit-bearing or other non-credit courses to result in the status indicated, as deemed appropriate by the department. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.

COPS 9989. Doctoral Qualifying Examination Preparation: Full-Time. 0 cr. hrs.

Fee. SNC/UNC grade assessment. Allows a student to be considered the equivalent of full-time status. Requires that the student is working 20 hours or more per week toward their doctoral qualifying exam. May be taken in conjunction with credit-bearing or other non-credit courses to result in the status indicated, as deemed appropriate by the department. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.