Jul 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling Psychology, (PhD)

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PhD Degree Programs

The Counseling Psychology program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and prepares psychologists who embody a scientific approach to understanding and working with both specific and general problems in human behavior. The program is interdisciplinary and is organized around the scientist-practitioner model of critical thinking. It is implemented through didactic and experiential activities that emphasize research, development, evaluation, and learning as bases for prevention and remediation to assist persons of all ages and all life styles with improving and optimizing their well-being. The program has sufficient flexibility for students to pursue their own interests.

Program Prerequisites (or their equivalent) at the masters level:

Group Processes, Assessment/Evaluation, Career Counseling, Counseling Theories, Practicum/Clinical Techniques, Research/Data Analysis. Students who have not completed these courses prior to entering the doctoral program must complete them early during their course of studies at the University of Memphis and prior to taking advanced courses in the same topic area.

Program Admission

A limited number of applicants are admitted once each year only for admission in the Fall semester; applicants for Spring admission are not considered. All application credentials must be received by December 5 for an applicant to be considered. Applicants to the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology typically hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in counseling, psychology, or a related mental health area. Applications from students having a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in counseling, psychology, or a related mental health area will be considered if they have had substantial academic, clinical, or research work experience beyond the undergraduate degree.

Multiple criteria will be used when considering applicant admission, including, but not limited to, competitive GRE scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, personal statement, letters of recommendation, clinical and research experience, and interviews. A completed application packet will include the following: Graduate School application, departmental application, GRE scores, graduate transcripts, and four letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic record and potential for graduate study in counseling psychology.

Program Requirements

Program prerequisites as noted above

15 semester hours in Discipline Specific Knowledge

15 semester hours in Discipline Specific Knowledge which cover each of the following content areas: Affective Aspects of Behavior, Biological Aspects of Behavior, Cognitive Aspects of Behavior, Developmental Aspects of Behavior, Social Aspects of Behavior, History and Systems of Psychology and Advanced Integrative Knowledge.

6 semester hours in Counseling Psychology Foundations and Professional Issues

6 semester hours in Psychometric Theory and Methods

For students who enter with a master’s degree that included clinical practicum

For students who enter with a master’s degree that included clinical practicum, 6 semester hours in counseling psychology practicum, CPSY 8200 . Minimum of 400 clock hours, of which 150 must be direct contact hours, is required. Students may enroll in 9 additional credits of CPSY 8200 , CPSY 8300 , or a combination of the two courses as electives. No more than a total of 15 practicum or advanced practicum credits will count toward the program requirements. Students entering with a bachelor’s degree and no supervised clinical practicum will be required to take 9 hours of counseling psychology practicum (CPSY 8200 ). These students may count up to 18 credits of practicum or advanced practicum toward the program requirements.

15 semester hours of Electives in a Concentration

Residency Project and Comprehensive Examinations:

Upon completion of the core counseling psychology coursework and a research-based residency project, each doctoral student will complete a written comprehensive examination covering the core counseling psychology domains and an oral examination.

12 semester hours in Dissertation

NOTE: Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.

9 semester hours in Predoctoral Internship

A full-time one-year internship in Counseling Psychology in an agency approved by the Director of Training is required.


The counseling psychology program is a full-time program of study. Students who enter with a master’s degree are able to complete the required coursework in three years and complete a one-year internship in their fourth year. Students who enter with a bachelor’s degree are able to complete the required course work in four years and complete a one-year internship in their fifth year. Candidates for the PhD degree in counseling psychology are expected to carry a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester. It is necessary to enroll in 12 credit hours per semester (6-9 in summer) in order to complete the program coursework in the expected time periods.

Professional Competency

Candidates for the PhD in counseling psychology are specializing in a profession. The PhD degree represents more than the accumulation of the specified number of semester hours credit. The student has responsibility to the public and to the psychology profession to ensure that satisfactory levels of professional and research competencies are attained.

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