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Counseling Psychology

Doctoral Degree Program

Graduate opportunities

At the doctoral Counseling Psychology program at the University of North Texas, our focus is developing well-rounded professional psychologists in an inclusive and student-oriented community. To that end, we provide you with opportunities 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 in the broad context of the scientist-practitioner model. This training occurs through courses, practice and research, as well as through the many informal learning opportunities that occur while working with faculty members and peers.

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

  • Help individuals identify and resolve difficulties in life 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 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 in 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 regardless of their career paths

Elective Clusters

Although all of our graduates are generalists, each also has specialized training in Child & Family Therapy, Sport Psychology or Minority Wellness. Each cluster includes coursework and opportunities for research and applied work in the area of specialty.

Outstanding support

Our faculty members are active researchers who offer you a variety of experiences and different perspectives. Their specialties range 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 program is accredited by the American Psychological Association’s Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation (750 First St. NE; Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; telephone 202-336-5979).

As directed by the APA, we provide data concerning applicants, admitted students, internship acceptance rates, program completion time, licensure, student attrition rates and financial cost. The information is available at our website.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

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

  • 3.0 overall GPA on a bachelor’s degree
  • 3.5 GPA on the last 60 credit hours of a bachelor’s degree
  • 3.5 GPA in undergraduate psychology coursework
  • 3.5 GPA on a completed master’s 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 the department. The department’s requirements include:

  • Goals statement describing how you can enrich the program’s diversity
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted online
  • GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning scores

Admission to the doctoral program isn’t determined by one criterion or quantitative measure of achievement. Motivation, aptitude, self-awareness and interpersonal skills are highly valued, as are communication, research and professional/scientific writing skills.

The admission committee’s goal is to make an optimal match between your qualifications and goals and the training program’s resources and objectives. Detailed departmental admission requirements and an application are available from the graduate coordinator or online.

Degree requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 104 credit hours and a one-year, pre-doctoral internship. The required coursework includes:

  • 20 credit hours of general core psychology courses
  • 37 credit hours of counseling core courses
  • 15 credit hours of research core courses
  • 17 credit hours of practicum training
  • 15-17 credit hours in a chosen elective cluster (i.e., child and family therapy, minority wellness, or sport psychology)

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

You can earn a master’s degree en route to the Ph.D. if you have a bachelor’s degree. If you already have a master’s degree, you may receive transfer credit. The maximum amount of transfer credit is 24 credit hours, which must be approved by the program. You may transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours of post-master’s (doctoral) degree work, if approved by the 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 financial support for doctoral students for at least four years. Additionally, competitive scholarships are available from the graduate school and other sources.