Graduation Requirements

Counseling (PhD)

Counseling (PhD) Graduation Requirements The doctoral degree requires that students complete a minimum of 57 post-master's semester hour credits.

The Counseling Program counts with the Dr. Maureen Duffy Family Enrichment Center, a division of the CARE Center, our on-campus clinic and training facility. At the CARE center doctoral students receive advanced training in marriage, couple and family counseling, as well as supervision. The CARE Center training clinic is set up with observation and recording equipment to facilitate the provision of live supervision. The CARE Center offers both in-person and telemental health counseling services to individuals, couples, families, groups, as well as children, adolescents and adults.

Other requirements for the PhD in Counseling include:

Plan of Study –  The Published curriculum must be completed to satisfy the pre-dissertation academic requirements. The faculty advisor and the Director of the Doctoral Program must approve modification of the curriculum. Entry-level requirements (Master's level co-requisites) must be completed.

Standards of progress – all students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher to remain in good academic standing and to graduate. Any student who receives two C's in the program is subject to school action, including dismissal. Failing grades must be replaced by a passing grade in the same course or the student is subject to dismissal.

Scholarly Paper or Workshop Proposal – submission of either a scholarly paper to a counseling or counseling-related journal and/or submission of a workshop proposal for a state, national, or international counseling or counseling-related conference. Students must complete this degree requirement prior to sitting for the comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive examination – a written examination taken upon completion of course requirements.

Admission to candidacy – upon passing the comprehensive examination and verification that all coursework and other requirements have been satisfied, admission to candidacy status allows a candidate to formally begin the dissertation.

Research proposal and oral defense of the proposal – these must be completed prior to proceeding with the dissertation.

Dissertation – A written thesis which adds substantively to the theory and/or practice in the field of Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling / Therapy.

Oral defense of the Dissertation – a public presentation of the results of the dissertation at which members of the Dissertation Committee and others are given the opportunity to ask questions before approving or disapproving the dissertation.

License - Doctoral students are required to be licensed and or registered as Mental Health Counselors or Marriage and Family Therapists in the state where they reside. 

Time limitations – requirements, including the dissertation, must be completed by the end of eight (8) calendar years beginning with the date the student first registers as a student for the PhD in Counseling.

All fees must be paid and requirements for the degree must be completed and reported to the faculty advisor no later than two weeks prior to graduation. Counseling doctoral applicants must have a master's degree in Counseling, or in a closely related field, to be admitted to the PhD program. To complete the PhD in 54 credits, students must have minimum of a 63-credit masters degree in Marital, Couple and Family Counseling and Therapy. Students matriculating in Counseling will be exposed to basic concepts and techniques in clinical intervention and treatment, research and clinical supervision, and may apply these concepts and practices to employment in health and human service organizations, academic institutions, private practices, community mental health facilities, schools, addiction programs, and business settings where professional counselors are employed.

Students are required to complete a dissertation that demonstrates originality, creativity and scholarship in the field of Counseling. Students who complete all the requirements for the PhD degree will be properly equipped to lead and promote purposeful change in organizations, groups, families, couples, and individuals.

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