Counseling Psychology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology


Doctoral Students in the Counseling Psychology ProgramThe Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology is dedicated to the preparation of counseling psychologists who facilitate the optimal development of individuals, groups, and organizations that is culturally relevant and psychologically appropriate across the lifespan. Our students are taught to use strategies of prevention, intervention, and remediation to assist others in developing effective coping skills and responses to their environments.

The objectives of the program are to prepare counseling psychologist who: 

  • Are capable of engaging in culturally relevant and psychologically appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Are able to effectively integrate theory, research, and practice. 
  • Possess the requisite foundations in core areas of professional psychology. 
  • Are ethical scientist-practitioners. 
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural diversity in research and practice and who demonstrate an understanding of persons in their environment. 
  • Are socialized into the profession and who hold attitudes relevant to lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, and professional problem solving in the context of an evolving body of professional knowledge. 
  • Are able to work in a variety of professional practice settings. 

Strengths and highlights of our training program include:

In-depth infusion of racial-cultural and social justice emphases throughout program components. Although our curriculum features certain courses with words like "multicultural" in the titles, our multicultural-social justice instruction does not just reside in those courses. Rather, we conceptualize every course and program experience within the context of a social justice and racial-cultural framework. Not only is this orientation consonant with our belief that socially-just practice is ethical, effective practice, it also allows us to align our work with broader movement toward social equity.

Counseling Psychology doctoral students pose with brightly colored lanyards

Research exposure and opportunities. At Teachers College, you have the opportunity to get first-rate practitioner preparation in the context of first-rate scholarship. Our faculty includes researchers whose work has shaped the counseling profession, and every faculty member maintains ongoing research teams to which students at any level of training may apply. To find out more about our faculty's research interests, please consult their individual pages on the TC website.

A commitment to the crucial role of experiential training and self-awareness within psychotherapist preparation. As a counselor or therapist, the instrument that you use to enact your professional work is you -- so the more aware you are of your own interpersonal style, skills, and biases, the more effectively you can use your instrument. Many students find that some of the most important, challenging, and transformational aspects of their TC training results from courses like Foundations, Group Counseling, and Racial-Cultural Counseling Lab, where students learn about themselves as they learn about the practice of psychology.

TC's program of study leading to the doctorate in Counseling Psychology is guided by criteria adopted by the American Psychological Association for accredited programs in professional psychology.

The course of study includes:

  • Scientific and professional ethics and standards
  • Psychological measurement, statistics and research design and methodology
  • Knowledge and understanding of a) history and systems of psychology b) the biological basis of behavior c) the cognitive-affective bases of behavior d) the social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology) and e) individual behavior (e.g., personality theory, human development)
  • Intervention strategies and methods of inquiry; and
  • Preparation to undertake a doctoral dissertation.

In developing the necessary mastery of these areas, students are expected to be attentive to the historical roots of counseling psychology, i.e., the study of individual differences, the vocational guidance movement and the mental health movement. Similarly, they are expected to be prepared for the probable future of counseling psychology in the areas of expertise represented by the faculty, especially the influence of social and cultural systems (home, family, workplace and environment) on human development and change.

For detailed information about the program and its requirements, please see the Doctoral Student Handbook.

Student Admissions and Outcomes 2018

Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: 

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Major Code: COUN
  • Points/Credits: 90
  • Entry Terms: Fall Only

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): December 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): December 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test
  • Academic Writing Sample

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The program of study that follows is described in terms of full-time study. Some of the courses may be taken on a part-time basis. However,  full-time study after the first 30 applicable credits is required unless the student can present persuasive evidence that his or her living and working circumstances have not prevented and will not prevent him/her from taking full advantage of the College’s resources. Certain essential subjects and practica are offered only in the morning and early afternoon hours.

The doctorate is granted after successful completion of a minimum of 90 points of planned, sequential study beyond the bachelor’s degree, of which at least 60 points must be taken at Teachers College. The doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and requires at least five years, including the equivalent of four years of academic study beyond the bachelor’s degree and one calendar year of internship.

Please note that upon admission to the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology, students will receive a Doctoral Student Handbook for the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology which will provide updated policy, program features, and requirements (The most recent handbook is available on the program website). The program of study leading to the Doctorate in Counseling Psychology is guided by criteria adopted by the American Psychological Association for accredited programs in professional psychology.

The course of studies includes: scientific and professional ethics and standards; psychological measurement, statistics, and research design and methodology; knowledge and understanding of: (a) history and systems of psychology, (b) the biological basis of behavior, (c) the cognitive-affective bases of behavior, (d) the social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology), and (e) individual behavior (e.g., personality theory and human development), intervention strategies and methods of inquiry; and preparation to undertake a doctoral dissertation.

In developing the necessary mastery of these areas, the student is expected to be attentive to the historical roots of counseling psychology, i.e., the study of individual differences, the vocational guidance movement and the mental health movement. Similarly, she or he is expected to be prepared for the probable future of counseling psychology in the areas of expertise represented by the faculty, especially the influence of social and cultural systems (home, family, workplace, and environment) on human development and change.

In addition to core requirements, courses in specific and specialized areas of counseling psychology are available. Courses in the department are supplemented by appropriate offerings in other programs and departments at Teachers College and Columbia University.

Please note that satisfactory performance in the program is defined as no incomplete grades and no courses in which the grade earned is lower than B. Academic dishonesty and unethical behavior may be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program (master’s or doctoral). Specific information regarding curriculum requirements are contained in the Doctoral Student Handbook. In addition to coursework, a number of other academic experiences are required.

Doctoral Certification

Candidacy as a doctoral student expires after a certain number of years. Ph.D. candidates must complete all degree requirements within seven years of first entering the program (six years if they have an applicable master’s degree or 30 points of advanced standing prior to doctoral admission).

Counseling Psychology students do not become official candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy until they have passed 1) a College-Wide Psychology Research Methods Exam, and 2) a Program Comprehensive exam which includes both a written exam and the submission of a Research Competence project paper. The written exam covers several areas in Counseling Psychology, including: (1) theoretical concepts; (2) core psychology course work; (3) clinical interventions; (4) assessment in career work and personal/social counseling; (5) professional issues such as ethics, professional trends, and developments in counseling psychology. Cultural issues will be infused into the content questions in the exam. In addition, they must satisfy all other requirements for certification prescribed by the Office of Doctoral Studies. Students who fail to take the certification examination at the appropriate point in their studies are subject to certain penalties. Also there are annual evaluations done annually to facilitate students’ timely completion of the Ph.D. degree (See Doctoral Student Handbook for more information).

Practicum and Externship

Practicum placements are available both on-campus and off-campus. The Dean Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services (CEPS) is an in-house training clinic located at 657 Thorndike Hall. Students may petition program faculty to complete pract-icum placements off-campus and should contact the Fieldwork Coordinator for further information. A year-long externship placement may be required of students who do not obtain sufficient clinical hours during their practicum rotations.

Internship

For doctoral students only. Supervised experience in approved and appropriate agencies, institutions, and establishments. Students are required to petition faculty for internship training and must be approved to apply for internship. Students must have completed all coursework during the academic year in which they are applying for internship. Students must have passed all certification and comprehensive examinations as well as have an approved dissertation proposal.

The Dissertation

For most doctoral students, the completion of course requirements presents few problems. Successful completion of a dissertation is usually less easily managed. Unless carefully planned in advance, it can prove a difficult hurdle. Accordingly, the program has several built-in features designed to facilitate the formulation and successful execution of an acceptable dissertation proposal and assistance in completing the dissertation. These include the completion of a research competence project, the Dissertation Seminar course, and a Review of Research course.

 

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