Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology
The doctoral program in counseling psychology trains generalists who are able to engage in a variety of activities ranging from clinical treatment to academic research. Reflecting a "scientist-practitioner" model, the curriculum prepares clinicians who apply the best and most current theory and research to their practice, and academicians who are grounded in the realities of practice. Although preparing students to be able to assess and treat the full range of disorders that psychologists address, our emphasis as counseling psychologists is upon personal, social, and career development of the whole person, and upon enhancing the environments in which people learn and work.
Students learn to critically evaluate major approaches to counseling, to evaluate, design, and conduct research, and to gain clinical experience working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds and worldviews. The program is intended for full-time students.
Since 1955, the Ph.D.program in Counseling Psychology has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. If you have questions about our program's accreditation status, please contact: American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE , Washington, DC 20002-4242 Phone:(202) 336-5979.
Graduate Admission to the School of Education and Human Sciences
Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession.
Each department in the School of Education and Human Sciences sets its own application deadlines and admission criteria. Prospective graduate students should contact the appropriate department for more information.
See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.
Prerequisites for Regular Admission
Prerequisites include the following:
- Undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Graduate grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Graduate Record Examination general test scores (School Psychology only)
For Counseling Psychology - Completed bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related area. An applicant who does not have an undergraduate degree in education or psychology should have a minimum of 15 undergraduate credit hours in the behavioral sciences.
For Educational Psychology and Research - Completed bachelor’s or master’s degree. Educational Psychology and Research does not have a requirement for a specific undergraduate background.
For School Psychology - Completed bachelor’s or master’s degree. School Psychology does not have a requirement for a specific undergraduate background.
At the first enrollment, a doctoral student reviews any previous graduate work with an advisor to identify any course work in which the student is deficient. Students holding master’s degrees in other areas should recognize that such course work may require up to a year to complete and, in some instances, must be taken before the actual doctoral course requirements.
See individual programs for specific admission requirements and deadlines.
Submit your graduate application online.
The admission deadline is December 1 to begin course work the following summer or fall.
The Counseling Psychology doctoral program at KU admits approximately 6-8 students each fall. Both bachelor's level and master's level applicants are considered for admission. The admissions committee will select approximately 30 candidates to be interviewed. All faculty members and current students will have opportunities to participate in the interviews. Both group and individual interview activities will be conducted by faculty and current students on the Interview Day. Candidates who are offered admission are required to “accept” or “decline” the offer no later than April 15th. If a candidate on the alternate list receives an admission offer (which is usually close to April 15th), he/she has 7 days to act on the offer. If the offer is made on or after April 15th, the candidate has 3 days to make a definite decision.
Recommended minimums for bachelor's level applicants
- Completion of bachelor's degree in psychology or related field
- GRE verbal, quantitative, and writing scores at 50th percentile, obtained within the past 5 years
- Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or GPA of 3.25 for the major courses or the last 60 credits of the bachelor's degree
- Prior undergraduate course work in psychological research methods, measurement, and statistics (recommended).
Recommended minimums for master's level applicants
- Completion of master's degree in counseling or closely related field
- GRE verbal, quantitative, and writing scores at 50th percentile, obtained within the past 5 years
- Graduate GPA of 3.5 or above.
Applicants may be admitted under alternative criteria provided there is evidence that regular criteria do not adequately reflect the student's potential to succeed in the program. The faculty will review and make decisions on such applications on a case-by-case basis. The faculty reserves the right to require those who are admitted under the alternative criteria to take some background core courses before or during the first year of their doctoral training in the areas of general psychology, experimental psychology, and introductory statistics. This decision will be made by the admission committee and the student's assigned advisor, and communicated to the student before he or she accepts admission to the program.
Required Admission Materials
- Graduate application and application fee. See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
- 1 copy of official transcripts of all previous college work, sent directly to Graduate Studies. The original transcript is forwarded to the School of Education to complete licensing and/or certification paperwork.
- GRE (general test) scores: Institution code, R6871; Major Field code, 2005. The GRE should have been taken within five years of the application date, and scores should typically equal or exceed the 50th percentile.
- Letter of intent.
- 3 letters of recommendation from people who can assess the applicant’s prospects for completing the program. If the applicant has completed a practicum in counseling or a related area, 1 recommendation should be completed by the practicum supervisor
Additional Requirement for Students whose First Language is not English
Students’ oral expression and communication skills play an important role in their success in counseling psychology training programs. Therefore, the counseling psychology program faculty requires that all non-native English speaking applicants (international or domestic applicants) demonstrate their English proficiency by following the guidelines listed below before their applications are reviewed by the admissions committee.
(1) Following are the acceptable means of verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting international students to the CPSY MS or Ph.D. program. These guidelines also apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are not native speakers of English.
Specifically, see KU’s policy on English Proficiency Requirements for International Students:
Please note: Due to the high demand for English proficiency in conducting counseling, our program requires each subscale score in the iBTOEFL to be at least 24 or above, with no section score lower than 23. The score requirement for admission to KU, set by KU international Student Services, may be different.
(2) Zoom interviews or interviews through other on-line media will be required if the applicant is unable to appear for an in-person interview in the admission process.
(3) The Applied English Center (AEC) maintains a check-in process for international students and non-native speakers of English. This process serves to confirm each student's level of English proficiency and determine whether English courses will be included as a requirement of the student’s academic program. In order to graduate, students who are required to complete AEC courses must meet KU’s English proficiency standards as demonstrated by their performance in AEC coursework and evaluations.
- Students who demonstrate English proficiency at the waiver level or who have earned a degree from one of the specified English-speaking countries listed above are not required to check in at the AEC.
- All other international students and non-native speakers of English who gain admission to campus-based programs are required to check in at the AEC upon arrival on campus.
Review of Graduate Status
At the beginning of each fall semester, the department formally evaluates the progress and status of all students in the program.
Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Degree Requirements
Required Major Courses:
|PSYC 961||Biological Foundations of Psychopathology (OR)||3|
|Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience in Education|
|EPSY 880||Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychology and Counseling||3|
|EPSY 740||Counseling and Interviewing Skills||3|
|EPSY 742||Counseling Theory and Techniques||3|
|EPSY 830||Individual and Group Assessment||3|
|EPSY 844||Theory of Group Counseling||3|
|EPSY 846||Career Development||3|
|EPSY 951||Psychodiagnostic Assessment||3|
|EPSY 952||Advanced Counseling Theory and Research||3|
|EPSY 954||Vocational Psychology||3|
|EPSY 945||Clinical Supervision and Consultation||3|
|EPSY 918||Seminar in Current Issues in Counseling Psychology||1|
|EPSY 842||Counseling Practicum (Elementary, Secondary, Counseling Psychology) (2 semesters =12 hrs.)||6|
|EPSY 948||Advanced Practicum I (2 semesters = 6 hrs.)||3|
|EPSY 949||Advanced Practicum II (2 semesters=6 hrs.)||3|
|EPSY 996||College Teaching Experience in: _____||2|
|EPSY 990||Internship in Counseling Psychology (three semesters =3 hrs.)||1|
|EPSY 807||Theories and Research in Human Learning||3|
|EPSY 808||Advanced Social Psychology: Theory, Research, and Professional Applications (OR)||3|
|Advanced Social Psychology I (OR)|
|Advanced Social Psychology II|
|PSYC 805||History of Psychology (OR)||3|
|History and Systems of Psychology|
|EPSY 705||Human Development through the Lifespan||3|
|EPSY 890||Diagnosis and Psychopathology (OR)||3|
|EPSY 875||Understanding Cultural & Individual Differences in Professional Psychology||3|
|Elective 1-course selection with advisor||3|
|Elective 2-couse selection with advisor||3|
|EPSY 999||Doctoral Dissertation||1-15|
Required Research Skills:
|EPSY 810||Regression and ANOVA: General Linear Models||3|
|EPSY 905||Fundamentals of Multivariate Modeling||3|
|EPSY 955||Research Methods in Counseling Psychology||3|
|EPSY 822||Educational Scales, Questionnaires, and Sampling (OR)||3|
|Measurement Theory and Practice I|
|EPSY 901||Research Practicum in: _____||3|
Timing of Comprehensive Exams.
Given the timing of internship placements through the national match process, School Psychology and Counseling Psychology Ph.D. students may be allowed to take comprehensive exams with up to 6 hours of non-required coursework remaining, so long as the remaining courses are not considered part of the research skills requirement or part of the program core that will be the subject of examination. These remaining hours can count towards the required 18 post-comp hours although students are still required to enroll in dissertation hours.