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Counseling Psychology

Doctoral Degree Program


Graduate opportunities

At the University of North Texas, our focus in the doctoral Counseling Psychology program is to develop well-rounded professional psychologists in an inclusive and student-oriented community. To that end, we provide opportunities for you to:

  • Build competencies in numerous areas including self-awareness, psychological assessment and multicultural counseling
  • Cultivate a deep understanding of scientific methodology
  • Gain experience in the profession

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counseling Psychology prepares you for work as an independent professional in a research, academic or applied setting.


Gain new perspectives

We train professional psychologists within the broad context of the scientist-practitioner model. This training occurs through structured requirements such as courses, practica and research, as well as through the multitude of informal learning opportunities that occur while working with faculty and peers.

The model focuses on the application of the scientific principles of psychology and the perspectives, values and emphases of counseling psychology to:

  • Aid individuals to identify and resolve difficulties in life and/or promote growth to enhance their sense of self, relationships, work satisfaction, performance or general well-being
  • Effectively serve as psychotherapeutic agents for persons with severe problems in personal adjustment, distressing psychological symptoms and/or mental illness
  • Increase understanding and appreciation of individual and cultural diversity and their fundamental relevance to psychology
  • Provide instruction in the scientific and practice activities within counseling psychology and the symbiotic relationship between them
  • Train counseling psychologists as scientists, with the expertise that allows them to make contributions to the scientific community and think as scientist- practitioners no matter their career paths

Outstanding support

Our faculty members are active researchers who offer you a variety of experiences, using a number of different perspectives. Their expertise ranges from psychotherapy to eating disorders and body image. The program also supports the UNT Psychology Clinic and UNT Counseling and Testing Services, which serve as training resources.

The program has about 50 students and admits approximately eight students annually. Our students are diverse in age, backgrounds and interests. Most facilities on campus, including the Department of Psychology, are accessible to students with disabilities.

The Counseling Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Associationís Commission on Accreditation (750 First St. NE; Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; telephone 202-336-5979).

In response to directives from the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, we provide data concerning applicants, admitted students, internship acceptance rates, program completion time, licensure, student attrition rates and financial cost. The information is at psychology.unt.edu using the graduate programs and counseling psychology links.


Attending UNT

Admission requirements

Applying to the doctoral counseling psychology program is a multi-step process. You will need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • 3.0 overall GPA on a bachelorís degree
  • 3.5 GPA on the last 60 semester hours of a bachelorís degree
  • 3.5 GPA in undergraduate psychology course work
  • 3.5 GPA on a completed masterís degree (exclusive of practicum and thesis)
  • Completed doctoral degree in another field
  • First or second author of an article in a peer- reviewed scientific or professional journal

In addition, you must meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School and a specific set of departmental requirements. The graduate school requirements are outlined at gradschool.unt.edu.

The departmental requirements include:

  • Goals statement that describes how you can enrich the programís diversity
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation (submitted at psychology.unt.edu)
  • GRE verbal and quantitative scores

Admission to the doctoral program is not determined by one criterion or quantitative measure of achievement. Motivation, aptitude, self-awareness and interpersonal poise are highly valued, as are communication, research and professional/scientific writing skills. The admission committeeís goal is to make an optimal match between your qualifications and goals and the training programís resources and objectives. Detailed departmental admission requirements and an application are available from the graduate coordinator or at psychology.unt.edu.


Degree requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 104 semester hours and a one-year supervised internship. The required course work includes:

  • 20 semester hours of general core psychology courses
  • 40 semester hours of counseling core courses
  • 15 semester hours of research core courses
  • 17 semester hours of practicum training
  • 12 semester hours within a chosen elective cluster (i.e., child and family therapy or sport psychology)

If you are a full-time student, you can complete the program in five years. Most students take about six years.

You can earn a masterís degree en route to the Ph.D. if you have a bachelorís degree. If you already have a masterís degree, you may receive transfer credit. The maximum amount of transfer credit is 30 semester hours, which must be approved by the counseling program. You may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours of post-masterís (doctoral) degree work, if approved by the counseling program.


Financial assistance

You may apply for teaching assistantships, fellowships and part-time clinical externships funded by the department during your doctoral studies. The department seeks to provide at least partial support for most doctoral students for at least three years. Additionally, competitive scholarships are available from the graduate school and other sources. Information on those opportunities is available at gradschool.unt.edu.