Ph.D. in Counselor Education

The Counselor Education doctoral program provides the highest professional degree available to students who aspire to work in leadership positions in counselor education and supervision or school counseling. Many of our graduates have gone on to do entrepreneurial work with a model they created from their dissertation work. The Ph.D. in Counselor Education includes a prescribed curriculum consisting of required and elective courses for 60 hours of post-master's graduate credit. Qualified applicants must be a graduate of a CACREP accredited master's degree or 60-hour equivalent master's degree. Additionally, the doctoral degree is awarded on the basis of successful completion of coursework, the passing of comprehensive exams, and the completion of a major research study resulting in the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Students who complete the doctoral degree in counselor education will:

  • apply counseling theory and research to the counselor education and/or school counseling leadership functions.
  • plan and deliver research-based counselor education didactic courses.
  • apply counselor supervision theory and research to individual and group supervision in counselor education and/or school counseling programs.
  • use advanced level communication and interpersonal skills in consultation, counseling, counselor education, supervision, and evaluation.
  • interpret the relationships among federal, state, and local agencies and the laws and ethical considerations applicable to the counselor education and/or school counseling program management fields.
  • apply advanced level diagnostic and assessment methodology and develop the capacity to teach appropriate treatment plans for a wide range of psychological concerns to master’s level students.
  • demonstrate multicultural awareness and competence during doctoral level counseling, supervision, and consultation.
  • incorporate adult education pedagogy and research as a basic tool in administering counselor education and staff development programs.
  • design doctoral-level counseling research and interpret results.
  • apply data to advanced level counseling capabilities and/or school counseling leadership functions.
  • successfully complete extensive internship experiences directly related to the student’s individual professional goals.
  • write for professional publication and presentations.

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

The application deadline is March 1.

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in Counselor Education must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) showing receipt of a baccalaureate degree and a master's degree from an accredited institution
  4. Master's degree GPA of 3.5 or higher. If master's degree GPA below 3.5, then an official GRE General Test score (within last 5 years) is required. 
  5. Personal statement (1000 words maximum) (you are encouraged to showcase: your passion and/or rationale for wanting a Ph.D. in Counselor Education, understanding of what is involved in this type of degree, level of perseverance, specialties or experiences (i.e., what you bring to the table). 
  6. Five Reference Evaluation Forms, three from former graduate-level professors or current clinical supervisor(s), the others may be from officials in schools or mental health agencies where the applicant has been employed (Note: These must be “closed” recommendations)

Applicants must have a CACREP accredited master's degree in counseling or 60-hour equivalent. Applicants must currently have or eligible to work towards an LPC (meet requirements set by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council). 

Applicant Interview and Selection Process

The Counselor Education doctoral admissions committee will consider all applications through a holistic review process, considering the graduate GPA, GRE scores (if required), work experience, any relevant CACREP background, license(s), clinical experiences, recommendations, and interview scores. After reviewing the pool of applicants, the doctoral admissions committee will recommend the top candidates for the on-campus interview process. Applicants invited for the interview will be given specific guidelines for the process, which may include an interview with the faculty, group tasks (to examine cohort fit) and an on-site writing proficiency assessment. All qualified doctoral students are admitted under regular admission to the program.

Students will have significant opportunities both inside and outside of class to develop advanced levels of their supervision, counselor, research, and leader professional identities. 

This program follows a cohort model. This means that individuals are admitted to a specific group, called a cohort, and are required to take their coursework at the same time as the other individuals in the cohort. Cohorts begin each fall semester. In the event that students encounter personal emergencies that result in dropping out of their cohort, students may be allowed to join another cohort with a different schedule.

The program requires completion of 60-hours graduate credit. A comprehensive examination is required, usually occurring in the 2nd or 3rd year of the program. 

Students select a dissertation chair when enrolled in COUN 7363 research application. Students and their dissertation chair will jointly select the student's doctoral dissertation committee. Once students reach the dissertation phase of their doctoral program, they must have continuous enrollment every semester until graduation.

PhD in Counselor Education
Specified Courses
COUN 7110Doctoral Seminar (taken three times with a distinct focus area (ethics, APA, leadership)3
COUN 7331Advanced Counseling Theories3
COUN 7332Advanced Counseling Appraisal Techniques3
COUN 7334Theories Of Counselor Supervision3
COUN 7335Practice Of Counselor Supervision3
COUN 7336College Teaching In Counseling3
COUN 7337Advanced Counseling Practicum and Techniques3
COUN 7339Doctoral Internship In Counseling (two semesters- 3 credits each semester)6
COUN 7375Advanced Multicultural Counseling3
Research Component (15 hours)15
Application of Counseling Research
Methods of Education Research
Statistical Methods
Qualitative Inquiry
Advanced Statistical Methods
Electives: Select two graduate courses in COUN or related to COUN6
Dissertation 9
Total Hours60

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers. Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Plan and deliver research-based counselor education didactic courses.
  • Apply counselor supervision theory and research to individual and group supervision in counseling and counselor education programs.
  • Design doctoral-level research and interpret research results.