Counseling Psychology (PhD)

Jessica Cronce, Program Director

240 HEDCO Education Building

The doctoral program is the only Counseling Psychology program accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, 202-336-5979), and it is recognized as acceptable for licensure by the Board of Psychology for the State of Oregon. The program has been accredited since 1955.

Earning a doctoral degree in counseling psychology typically requires five to six years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Graduate training includes research training; completion of separate pre-dissertation and dissertation research projects that each demonstrate a high standard of scholarship and the ability to conduct independent, original research; clinical practica working with children, adolescents, adults, and families; and a 1-year, full-time, supervised predoctoral internship.

The program follows an ecological model of training embedded in the scientist-practitioner tradition. Students learn to use evidence-based preventive and remedial intervention strategies for working with individuals, children, families, and groups within their many contexts. This includes training in culturally sensitive assessment and intervention strategies designed to increase understanding and effect change at all levels. Students engage in critical reflection on the science and practice of health service psychology as core to their training.

The doctoral program prepares health service psychologists specializing in counseling psychology who can make a significant contribution to the field through scholarly research and professional practice. Students participate in integrated classroom, and practicum activities in research, prevention, and intervention with children and adults, families, groups, and communities. Training experience largely occurs within the HEDCO Clinic within the College of Education and in community agencies or nonprofit research centers.

Graduates are prepared to work as researchers, practitioners, and educators in research institutions, institutions of higher education, medical settings, managed and integrated health-care organizations, community college and university counseling centers, community mental health centers, juvenile corrections agencies, human resources departments in business, and career counseling agencies.

Application and Admission

Students are admitted fall term only. Prospective applicants may find detailed admission policies and procedures on the counseling psychology website. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is posted on the website for entry the following fall term. Notices about the disposition of applications are e-mailed by April 15.

Applicants are evaluated on the following:

  1. Academic record
  2. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test scores
  3. Related work, research, and life experiences
  4. Statement of purpose in seeking admission
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. An interview

Only completed applications are reviewed. The application process is online only; see the website for procedures.

Graduate training includes research training, completion of a predissertation research project, and completion of a dissertation as well as practicum and internship placements in which students work with children and adults, families, groups, and communities.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Research: Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., critical literature reviews, dissertation, efficacy studies, clinical case studies, theoretical papers, program evaluation projects, program development projects) that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base. Conduct research or other scholarly activities. Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.
  • Ethical and legal standards: Be knowledgeable of, and act in accordance with, each of the following: the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct; Relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and Relevant professional standards and guidelines. Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas. Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
  • Individual and cultural diversity: Have an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves. Be knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities, including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service. Have the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability to apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered during the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own. Demonstrate the requisite knowledge base and ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work.
  • Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors: Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others. Engage in self-reflection regarding one's personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness. Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision. Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills: Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services. Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
  • Assessment: Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient. Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective. Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
  • Intervention: Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services. Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals. Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables. Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making. Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence base is lacking. Evaluate intervention effectiveness and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
  • Supervision: Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
  • Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills: Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions. Demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.
  • History and systems of psychology: Demonstrate knowledge of general systems and theoretical models in psychology as a general field and in Counseling Psychology as a specific discipline in applied psychology.
  • Basic Psychology Core knowledge areas: Demonstrate basic competency in core knowledge areas of general psychology, including individual and developmental aspects of behavior, biological/physiological aspects of behavior, cultural and social psychology, and cognitive and affective aspects of behavior.
  • Advanced integrative knowledge of basic discipline specific content areas: Demonstrate Advanced and Integrative in core knowledge areas of general psychology and application to applied psychology and research practice, including individual and developmental aspects of behavior, biological/physiological aspects of behavior, cultural and social psychology, and cognitive and affective aspects of behavior.
  • Research methods: This is a Discipline-specific focused component of LO1 (Research).
  • Quantitative methods: This is a Discipline-specific focused component of LO1 (Research).
  • Psychometrics: This is a component of LO1 (Research) and LO6 (Assessment).

PhD Requirements

Courses in psychological foundations and discipline-specific knowledge24
Courses in research methods, design, statistics, and measurement48
Practitioner competencies57
Professional competencies12
Additional courses6
Total Credits165