The Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences offers the PhD degree in Counseling Psychology. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Counseling Psychology embodies a balanced training experience designed to train professional psychologists in the scientist-practitioner model. The primary goal of the program is to produce professional psychologists who are competent in both research and professional practice. The PhD Counseling Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). For further information, please contact:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(P) 202-336-5979; (TDD/TTY) 202-336-6123
(FAX) 202-336-5978; (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
Application for admission requires a completed Graduate School Application form, Graduate Record Examination (GRE General or GRE revised General) scores, official transcripts of all college or university work, three letters of reference, a professional vita, and a statement of purpose. Other requisites may be specified by the program and department such as, but not limited to, interviews and statements of intent, philosophy, and professional goals. Students are admitted to the program on a yearly basis in the Fall quarter of each year.
Admission to Louisiana Tech University’s Counseling Psychology PhD program is competitive. Meeting minimal admission standards of the University or College does not guarantee admission. The Counseling Psychology Admissions Committee carefully reviews all applicants and selects those determined to be best qualified and best suited for training in the profession of Counseling Psychology. In addition to demonstrating evidence of academic competence and capability, persons selected for this program are expected to show personal maturity, interpersonal confidence, and an outstanding ability to accept feedback and work cooperatively with faculty and peers.
Students admitted to the program will receive current degree requirements from their advisor. All students must complete required coursework, a qualifying research project, a minimum of 1000 hours in practicum training, a supervision training experience, a dissertation based on original research, and a one-year full-time counseling psychology internship. The program is a full-time in-residence (including summers) program normally requiring 5 to 6 calendar years to complete.
Eligibility to Remain in the PhD Counseling Psychology Program
Each student’s academic performance, progress toward degree completion, and professional performance will be reviewed at least annually by the Counseling Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee. Reviews may occur more frequently if judged appropriate or necessary by a vote of the Counseling Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee. A student who does not meet the minimal grade point average requirements specified by the Graduate School and Department (a minimum grade point average of 3.0; no grade lower than “C”; no more than 6 semester hours of “C” grades in the program) or is not meeting professional and ethical standards as determined by the Counseling Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee may be dismissed from the Counseling Psychology Program. Other reasons for dismissal include, but are not limited to, academic dishonesty, violations of provisions of the American Psychological Association’s Standards for Ethical Conduct, and certain legal violations.
Program of Study for the PhD in Counseling Psychology
The approved degree program for each doctoral student must include 108 semester hours plus internship and dissertation. Because of the dynamic nature of Counseling Psychology as a discipline, the curriculum is subject to refinement.
Each student’s program of study will be individualized to some degree, based on that student’s past training, experiences, coursework, needs, interests, and resources.
Qualifying Research Project
Students must complete a qualifying research project by the end of the second year. Students are expected to exhibit mastery in research design and analysis through completion of the project. This project is designed to ensure that doctoral students have mastered minimal standards in their knowledge of research design, methodology, and data analysis. A student entering the program with a master’s degree who has completed a master’s level thesis may submit it for approval as the qualifying research project.
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
After an appropriate amount of coursework (minimum of 2 years or equivalent), and the qualifying research project has been completed, and after approval from his or her advisor, the student may register for and take the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination in Counseling Psychology (PSYC 685 ). Successful completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is required prior to acceptance of internship offers, and/or registration for dissertation hours.
The purpose of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is both educative and evaluative. This examination is designed to assess whether minimal competencies in the substantive areas of counseling psychology have been achieved through coursework and training experiences.
Content areas for the examination include the following:
- Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis;
- Theories of Psychotherapy and Intervention;
- Research Design and Statistics;
- Professional Issues and Ethics;
- Career/Vocational Assessment, and Counseling;
Students who fail any sections one time will be allowed to retake the section a second time after remediation. The remediation process will be determined by the Core Counseling Training Committee and may consist of retaking classes, completion of supervised work, or any other educational or training exercise that the Core Committee feels is applicable. A student failing any section of the comprehensive examination two times will be dismissed from the program.
After satisfactory completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination, the student is granted doctoral candidacy and must be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours (PSYC 660 A-C) until graduation.
Practicum serves to ensure the competence of students in both the science and practice of Counseling Psychology. That is, throughout their practica experiences, students are expected to integrate relevant research findings with their clinical practice. Students are expected to begin practicum during the Summer Quarter after their first year in the program. A 12-month beginning practicum experience, which involves supervised practicum placement at the Psychological Services Clinic (PSC) and practicum courses on campus, is followed by a similar more advanced 12-month experience either on or off campus. Following these two practica experiences (beginning and advanced), students may elect to continue receiving supervised clinical experiences in independent field placements.
One of the core components of the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology is the successful completion of a dissertation. The dissertation is an integral part of the doctoral program and its completion demonstrates that a student has successfully acquired and mastered the fundamental components of conducting independent empirical research. The dissertation consists of original empirical research conducted under the direction of a Dissertation Chair and Dissertation Committee. A student must enroll in a minimum of 6 total semester credit hours for dissertation, and must enroll in at least 1 semester credit hour of dissertation every quarter after successful completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination in Counseling Psychology. Following completion of the dissertation, the student is required to publicly defend this scholarly work.
Counseling psychology doctoral students are required to complete a predoctoral internship (PSYC 624 ) which must equate to one calendar year of full-time supervised counseling psychology experience (4 to 12 semester hours). Ideally, internship sites will be American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited. However, at minimum the site must be Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)-approved or be reviewed and approved by the Director of Training and the Core Committee prior to commencing the internship. Before accepting a predoctoral internship, the student must be in good academic standing as certified by the Director of Training and must have received specific permission to accept the internship from the Core Committee.
With the approval of the student’s advisor/mentor, the Core Training Committee, and the College Director of Graduate Studies, a maximum of 27 graduate-level semester credit hours from another accredited university may be transferred to the PhD program in Counseling Psychology. Typical courses that are approved for transfer are foundational courses, basic counseling theories/skills courses, and assessment courses, as well as electives. The student initiates the process with his/her advisor/mentor, who then presents the student’s materials to the Core Committee in order to gauge equivalency of transfer coursework. If a course from another institution is approved for transfer credit, the student assumes full responsibility for material covered in the course for which it substitutes (e.g. with respect to the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination). All transfer request paperwork must be completed and submitted by the end of the student’s first quarter of enrollment in the program.
Time Limit for the PhD in Counseling Psychology
The doctoral degree in counseling psychology must be completed within 7 years after admission to the program.
The curriculum may be obtained by writing to:
Director of Training
Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology
Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
P.O. Box 10048
Ruston, LA 71272