Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. Keep grade of B or higher in at least four graduate level counseling courses or equivalent, including Counseling Methods, Theories and Techniques of Counseling, Counseling Practicum and Research Methods (for post-Master’s applicants).
  2. Overall GPA of 3.0.
  3. Eighteen (18) semester credits of undergraduate psychology including coursework in general psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, personality theory, experimental and research methods, and statistics.
  4. Graduate Record Examination—General Test, verbal, quantitative and writing.
  5. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

Students are selected on the basis of undergraduate GPA; master’s degree GPA (if applicable); scores on the verbal, quantitative and writing subtests of the Graduate Record Examination; reference letters; clinical experiences; career goals; research and clinical interests; and the applicant’s personal statement. Doctoral graduates from a recent three-year period have had the following average grades and scores: undergraduate GPA 3.67, master’s GPA 3.87, GRE-V 147, GRE-Q 152 and GRE-W 4.0.

Most students are eligible for full-time fall and spring tuition waivers for the first two years of their program, and for the past several years this has also been true for advanced students beyond their second year. Students from minority racial/ethnic groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We value and encourage applications from individuals interested in research related to social justice and/or identity factors (including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, religion/spirituality, and social class). We are an open and affirming community, with many students and faculty identifying as sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic minorities.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Counseling Psychology and Community Services Department.

Below is a list of coursework required to complete a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology (students entering with a Master's degree in Counseling or Psychology can transfer verified equivalent courses, except that COUN 501 can not be transferred). COUN 995/997/998 is only required for students who are Direct Admits (post-bachelors degree).

COUN 501Ethics: Counseling and Counseling Psychology3
COUN 505History of Psychology3
COUN 510Counseling Methods3
COUN 515Methods of Research3
or EFR 509 Introduction to Applied Educational Research
COUN 517Psychological Testing3
COUN 518Group Theory and Process3
COUN 519Career Counseling3
COUN 530Theories of Counseling, Personality and Development3
COUN 532Multicultural Counseling3
COUN 533Couples And Family Counseling3
COUN 534Child and Adolescent Counseling 3
COUN 540Advanced Vocational Psychology3
COUN 551Research Issues in Counseling Psychology3
COUN 552Counseling Psychology Professional Seminar I1
COUN 553Counseling Psychology Professional Seminar II1
COUN 554Preparation for the Predoctoral Internship1
COUN 560Supervision and Consultation Theory and Practice3
EFR 512Survey and Test Design3
COUN 568Adult Cognitive and Personality Assessment 3
COUN 569Child and Adolescent Cognitive and Personality Assessment 3
COUN 580Counseling Practicum4
COUN 583Doctoral Practicum6-12
COUN 584Community Counseling Internship12
or COUN 582 Child and Adolescent Counseling Internship
COUN 586Practicum in Supervision1-3
COUN 999Dissertation1-15
COUN 995Scholarly Project COUN 998 is 4 cr.; COUN 995 and 997 are 2 cr. 2-4
or COUN 998 Thesis
or COUN 997 Independent Study
UNIV 994Professional Internship1
COUN 565Professional Seminars (Interprofessional Health Care) COUN 565 (3 cr.); MPH 504, MPH 510, and MPH 541 (3 cr.)1-3
or MPH 504 Planning and Management to Promote Health
or MPH 510 Public Health & Health Care Systems
or MPH 541 Public Health Communication

 Coursework in Discipline Specific Knowledge:

PSYC 537Physiology of Behavior and Psychophysiological Measurement3
PSYC 539Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 551Advanced Developmental Psych3
PSYC 560Advanced Social Psychology3

 Coursework in Research Methodologies (select one of the following options):

Option A

PSYC 541Advanced Univariate Statistics3
PSYC 542Multivariate Statistics for Psychology3
or EFR 518 Multivariate Analysis

Option B

EFR 516Statistics II3
EFR 518Multivariate Analysis3
or EFR 523 Structural Equation Modeling

Option C

PSYC 541Advanced Univariate Statistics3
EFR 510Qualitative Research Methods3
EFR 520Advanced Qualitative Research Methods3
or EFR 522 Mixed-Methods Research

 Coursework in Assessment/Diagnosis:

COUN 520Diagnostic and Prevention Strategies in Counseling3
COUN 517Psychological Testing3
COUN 568Adult Cognitive and Personality Assessment 3
COUN 569Child and Adolescent Cognitive and Personality Assessment 3

Optional Child and Adolescent Emphasis: 

Students must be selected or approved by the program to complete the optional Child and Adolescent Counseling Emphasis. Related to the course requirements listed below, their dissertation topic must involve children and/or adolescents in some capacity (approved by their dissertation committee) and they must complete two practica with a child/adolescent focus. 

COUN 534Child and Adolescent Counseling 3
COUN 569Child and Adolescent Cognitive and Personality Assessment 3
COUN 533Couples And Family Counseling3
COUN 999Dissertation1-15
PSYC 551Advanced Developmental Psych3
COUN 583Doctoral Practicum1-2

Other Program Requirements:

A. Coursework/experiences to fulfill two Scholarly Tools; 

B. Specialization Area;

C. Research Mentorship Sequence; 

D. Teaching Experience;

E. Social Justice Project;

F. Professional Benchmark;

G. Accumulation of Supervised Experience in Practice Settings;

H. Behavioral Healthcare Rotation;

I. Integrated Assessment;

J. Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE);

K. Successful Completion of Comprehensive Examinations;

L. Successful Defense of the Dissertation; and

M. Internship. 

See the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. handbook for more details. 

Cognate in Counseling Psychology and Community Services

A cognate in CPCS, consisting of a minimum of nine semester credits of counseling coursework, may be taken by master’s or doctoral students in related fields. Cognate coursework should be planned in consultation with a member of the department faculty. Cognates will not include practicum or internship; students interested in these experiences should consider a formal minor in Counseling (below).

Program Evaluation of Students

The CPCS faculty conduct periodic reviews of students’ progress in the MA and PhD programs, including their academic performance, counseling and psychoeducational skills, professionalism, and ethics. An interview may be required as part of the review. Deficits identified through faculty review may result in either a requirement that the student engage in remedial work or the removal of the student from the program.

As noted in Standard 7.04 of the 2017 Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association, students may need to disclose personal information if that information is necessary to evaluate or obtain assistance for students whose personal problems could reasonably be judged to be preventing them from performing their training or professionally related activities in a competent manner or posing a threat to the students or others.

The practice of counseling requires significant self-disclosure for the person receiving counseling. CPCS students must become very familiar with this process. Therefore, it is an essential training component of the CPCS programs to provide assignments and classroom experiences that call for student self-disclosure of a personal nature, in an atmosphere of respect and confidentiality, to an extent not expected in other academic disciplines. The nature or extent of expected self-disclosure is specified in each course syllabus.