Top 5 Online Ph.D. in Mental Health Counseling Degrees

Obtaining a Ph.D. in Mental Health Counseling is a popular choice today. The demand for mental health counselors is rising fast. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 22% increase in demand for mental health counselors by 2028. (

Getting a Ph.D. in this specialty has never been easier. Today, you can earn your Ph.D. online without leaving your home. Below are the best five online Ph.D.s in Mental Health Counseling.

#1 Northcentral University

Northcentral University provides an online Ph.D. in Mental Health Policy and Practice offers the student a strong base in research and theory. The four-year program also promotes awareness of ethics and respect for diversity. After you complete your Ph.D., you will possess advanced critical thinking and communication skills that will help you to become a better mental health counselor, educator, and leader. (

This Ph.D. program in mental health counseling is taught by professors with doctoral degrees in their respective fields. They will teach you to appraise mental health education literature regarding the application of organizational management and behavior health and to develop a solid knowledge of forensic casework.

Most graduates take positions in top leadership positions in mental health service organization and delivery in private enterprise or state government.

Required courses include:

  • Research Methods
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
  • Research Design Planning
  • Components of the Dissertation
  • IRB and Data Collection
  • Mental Health Service Policy
  • Evidence-Based Treatments
  • Psychology and Finance
  • Mental Health and the Courts

#2 Capella University

Capella University has an online Ph.D. in General Counselor Education and Supervision that provides students with mental health counseling skills to advance as a counselor, educator, researcher, and leader in the field. This four-year Ph.D. program offers you the opportunity to practice real-world application of theories while building essential skills in mental health counseling, research, supervision, and leadership. (

Highlights of this online Ph.D. program are:

  • Doctoral experience: You will be prepared for success from the start with integrative experiences to help you progress to your required dissertation
  • Professionally respected program: The Ph.D. program is accredited by CACREP, and offers a curriculum that is built around professional standards for mental health counseling education.
  • Scholar-practitioner faculty: Learn the newest theories and practices in the field from skilled and experienced faculty who work today in their professions.
  • Residency: Advance the skills you develop in your Ph.D. program by interacting with professors and students.
  • Practicum: Apply your newly learned skills and knowledge in the field by contacting clients directly.

Required courses include:

  • Advanced Research in Human Development
  • Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
  • Foundations of Advanced Social Science Research and Design
  • Quantitative Methods for Counselor Education Research
  • Leadership and Advocacy in Counseling
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#3 Walden University

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a concentration in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. (

The online doctoral program in counselor education and supervision is designed to teach the student how to evaluate the practice and theory of counseling through quantitative and qualitative research. This education prepares the student as a leader and educator in mental health counseling.

Doctoral students are required to show an advanced grasp of counseling theory, as well as an understanding of advanced group counseling and individual counseling skills. With the use of experiential practice, technology, collaboration, and contextually relevant course of study, students will be prepared to take leadership positions in the mental health counseling field.

With the forensic mental health counseling specialty, students will obtain the skills needed to be an active practitioner, educator, or leader within the criminal justice and legal systems. Students explore several assessment tools and techniques that are essential in forensic psychology and learn how to apply their research conclusions to forensic clinical settings.

Required classes include:

  • Advanced Counseling Theories
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Professional Consultation, Program Evaluation, and Leadership
  • Teaching in Counselor Education
  • Understanding Forensic Psychology
  • Assessment in Forensic Psychology
  • Ethical Issues and Professional Responsibilities in Forensic Psychology

#4 Liberty University

Liberty University provides an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that gives students advanced training in mental health counseling, counselor education and supervision, leadership and advocacy and research and scholarship. The four-year, accredited program is designed for students who want to enhance their counseling career options and be mentored by experts in counseling and mental health education. (

The department’s faculty has a passion for teaching students at the doctoral level the essential mental health counseling techniques that can make a huge difference with families and in schools. Graduates leave this online program ready to be counseling leaders in public, private, and government settings.

The curriculum gives students the skills and knowledge in advanced counseling, supervision, counselor education, leadership, and advocacy to succeed at the highest levels of mental health counseling.

Required courses include:

  • Advanced Theory Application
  • Dissemination of Research and Scholarship
  • Teaching Internship
  • Supervision Internship
  • Counseling, Research, and Leadership Internship

If you earn your Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Liberty University, you are getting a degree from a university where the online programs are ranked in the top 1% of 2,000 online universities. Graduating from this top-notch program will set you apart from others in the field.

#5 Saybrook University

Saybrook University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that will help you to become a better counselor, educator and supervisor in private or public organizations. Graduates of this four-year, online Ph.D. program will have the skills and background to be hired for a full-time faculty position in psychology and mental health counseling departments at colleges and universities. (

As a counselor educator, you will possess advanced skills and knowledge in teaching, clinical supervision, research, advocacy, and leadership. This degree prepares you for many rewarding positions, such as:

  • Teaching as full time or part time faculty in counselor education at the bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. level.
  • Supervising mental health counselors.
  • Advocating to enhance the lives of at-risk families and individuals.
  • Offering meaningful change in your community and the counseling field.
  • Conducting mental health and psychological research with a humanistic focus.

Required courses include Introduction to Counselor Education; Leadership, Advocacy, and Ethics in Counselor Education; and Instructional Theory.

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