5+ Online PhD in Counseling Psychology Programs

If you have a professional and academic background in psychology, then you may want to consider advancing your career and education by completing a doctorate degree, which can either be a Ph.D. (research) or a Psy.D. (clinical practice). More and more students are interested in completing these types of degrees online, as it allows them to work and study at the same time.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that the field of counseling psychology is set to grow significantly over the next ten years. Indeed, a projected growth of around 29%, which is well above the national average, is expected. This is particularly true for those wishing to offer counseling to families and couples.

An online doctorate degree in counseling psychology will provide graduates with a comprehensive and advanced understanding of the field of psychology in general and counseling in particular, as well as focus on research methods. Often, the programs only accept those students who already hold a master’s degree, although there are some exceptions. Furthermore, some professional experience is also required to become a counseling psychologist.

In most cases, the school will also have a number of on campus requirements. Some will want their students to complete a residency or an internship, for instance. The online coursework is delivered through online faculty mentoring and virtual classrooms. Additionally, various online learning tools will be provided, which students must use independently.

Below are what we believe to be the top 6 online doctorates in counseling psychology programs.

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#1 Capella University

Capella University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that will help you to advance as an educator, leader, and researcher. This doctoral program offers students a way to practice real-world application of counseling theories with hands-on experience during internship and practicum courses. Students build vital skills in counseling, teaching, research, leadership and advocacy, and supervision.

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The Ph.D. program is accredited by CACREP and consists of 11 courses that you can complete in four years.

Courses include:

  • Leadership and Advocacy in Counseling
  • Research Theory and Philosophy
  • Program Evaluation in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Advanced Counseling Practice

To be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program, students need the following:

  • Master’s degree from a university accredited by the US Department of Education
  • Submission of official college transcripts from undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25
  • GRE and GMAT scores not required
  • Application fees have been waived until further notice

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#2 Walden University

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision where students gain the experience and knowledge to assume a leadership position in a community, academic, clinical, or research setting. They also can work as a counselor educator.

This four-year Ph.D. program equips you with advanced supervision, teaching, and counseling skills that can improve your ability to advocate for your clients and the profession.

Concentrations available are General Track, Advanced Research Methods, Consultation, Counseling and Social Change, Forensic Mental Health Counseling, Leadership and Program Evaluation, and Trauma and Crisis.

The program includes the following courses:

  • Professional Orientation, Ethics, and Identity
  • Teaching in Counselor Education
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Advanced Counseling Theories
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

To be considered for this Ph.D. program, you need the following:

  • Master’s degree from a university accredited by an organization recognized the U.S. Department of Education
  • Official transcripts submitted from your undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Master’s in counseling and license recommended or demonstrated curricular experience in counseling.
  • 3.0 GPA or higher

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#3 Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that provides students the practical and theoretical background knowledge needed to teach counseling students and supervise clinical mental health professionals.

Before graduating with this degree, students need to perform psychological research to test and develop new ideas and theories in the field. The research assures you that you will be an expert practitioner who can provide full support to clinical counselors and students.

During this four-year, online Ph.D. program, students will grow their expertise in these areas:

  • Teaching
  • Counseling
  • Counselor supervision
  • Leadership and advocacy
  • Scholarship
  • Statistics and research

Required courses are:

  • Ethics, Laws, and Multicultural Issues
  • Theories of Inquiry
  • Leadership and Social Justice
  • Special Topics in Counseling Education and Supervision
  • Advanced Family Dynamics and Systems
  • Statistics
  • Advanced Integrated Theories and Practices

To apply for this Ph.D. program, the following are required:

  • Master’s degree from a university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Official transcripts submitted from your bachelor’s and master’s programs
  • 75 GPA or higher
  • Writing samples

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#4 Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers an online Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology that is designed for mental health professionals to learn how to integrate practical application, theory, research and scholarship, resulting in the dissertation at the end of the four-year program.

Students enrolled in this accredited Ph.D. program will learn about psychopharmacology, clinical supervision, program evaluation, research, personality and cognitive assessments, and more.

Required courses include:

  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Advanced Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis and Design
  • Research Design Planning
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

To be admitted, you must have the following:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university. If you have a degree in psychology, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy or social work, you can enter the Ph.D. program immediately. If you have another master’s degree, you must have your transcripts reviewed to determine if you need to take additional coursework.
  • 3.0 GPA in master’s work
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing samples

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#5 University of The Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision that provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in a career in higher education teaching and research in counseling programs all over the US.

In this CACREP-accredited, four-year Ph.D. program, you will gain:

  • Mastery of skills that will ready you for a teaching career in higher education
  • Administrative skills that will equip you for leadership roles in educational and clinical settings
  • Advanced clinical skills that will improve your proficiency in independent counseling practice

Specializations are available in Addiction, Advanced Counseling, and Leadership.

Required courses are:

  • Online Counseling and Supervision
  • Andragogy in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Multicultural Issues in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Advanced Counseling Theories and Skills
  • Theories and Techniques of Clinical Supervision
  • Leadership & Advocacy in Professional Counseling]

Admission requirements are:

  • CACREP-accredited master’s in counseling. If you do not have this degree, additional coursework could be required.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in all graduate work.
  • NCE or NCMHCE test scores
  • Writing samples
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume

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#6 Oregon State University

At Oregon State University, students can take part in a hybrid Ph.D. in Counseling course. This aims to prepare graduates who are advanced practitioners, counselor educators or clinical supervisors in academic and clinical settings. Students are expected to contribute to the profession of counseling through research, while also being aware of and addressing the way today’s communities have changed. As such, graduates are not just leaders but change advocates as well.

The program is accredited through CACREP.

The course is offered in an online and face to face hybrid format. This means that there are only two classes during each quarter, always on a Friday through Saturday block. These classes take place at the Wilsonville, OR campus, which is easily accessible for students from all over the country.

The course requires 150 credits to graduate, at a cost of $541 per credit. Some of the courses included in the program are:

  • Advanced theory and practice
  • Diversity and social justice
  • Counselor education

To be admitted to the program, students must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in a counseling related field.
  • Have professional, personal and/or academic experience in counseling.
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 minimum.
  • Supply 3 letters of recommendation.
  • Submit a writing sample.
  • Successfully complete an interview.

#7 Keiser University

Keiser University offers a highly specialized counseling psychology degree, which is the Counselor Education and Supervision, PhD. The program has been designed to provide challenges to students through experiential activities and rigorous coursework. Students will learn about clinical treatment and intervention, clinical supervision and research. Graduates are ready to take on positions of leadership in counseling, modeling the highest ethics and standards of the profession.

The program is accredited through CACREP and consists of 60 post master’s semester credit hours. These include such topics as:

  • Counseling supervision
  • Psychometrics
  • Multicultural counseling and advocacy

To be admitted to the Ph.D., students must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in a counseling related field.
  • Submit GMAT/GRE scores.
  • Send transcripts.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation.
  • Write a formal resume.

#8 Amridge University

Like Keiser University, Amridge University offers a more specialized degree program, which is the PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program focuses strongly on research and less on clinical practice, although that is certainly also an element.

This is a 60 semester hour program. It consists of courses that focus on the theories of family and marriage therapy, problems with abuse and addiction, human development, cultural diversity and a strong emphasis on research. The course is delivered in hybrid format, meaning that some on campus attendance will be required. However, much of the curriculum is delivered online.

To be admitted to the program, students must:

  • Provide transcripts.
  • Hold a master’s degree.
  • Submit a writing sample.
  • Complete an interview.

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