Best 15 PhD in Counseling Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Earning a PhD in counseling prepares counselors for potential lifelong positions in the profession. Counselors that want to gain even greater opportunities often choose to earn a doctoral degree in counseling, with a specialization in their preferred area of practice. 

Why Should I Earn a PhD in Counseling? 

A master’s degree in counseling allows graduates to start their career in counseling, with the opportunity to experience several potential career paths. New counselors are able to choose the type of clients that they want to work with, and the type of setting where they wish to work. 

Top 5 PhD in Counseling Programs

Rank School Location
1Georgia State UniversityAtlanta, Georgia
2University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Kentucky
3North Carolina State University Raleigh, North Carolina
4University of Florida Gainesville, Florida
5Boise State University Boise, Idaho

The experienced counselor has gained expertise and often wishes to further specialize in a particular area, such as becoming skilled in research or counselor education. Some students complete a master’s degree and go directly into a doctoral program with the goal of graduating with the highest level of knowledge and skills in the counseling profession. Earning the terminal degree prepares graduates to work as leaders in the field, and to work in a variety of diverse clinical and academic settings. 

Do you need a refresher on the licensure requirements, analysis of laws or administrative rules for your State? The American Counseling Association published a state-by-state report with this information.

The higher the level of education, the greater the salary in the counseling profession, as in other fields. The job outlook is another benefit of earning a PhD in counseling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that there is a ‘much faster than average’ anticipated job outlook for school and career counselors, and for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. There is also a much faster than average anticipated job growth through 2029 for marriage and family therapists, genetics counselors and other counselors. 

How to Choose a PhD Counseling Program 

Choosing the ideal PhD in counseling program involves more than simply choosing a school because it offers a doctorate in counseling degree. Choosing the traditional program or the PhD in counseling online program that best meets your needs and career goals likely leads practicing professionals to their chosen goal and a rewarding career in their chosen specialty. 

These schools each offer at least one PhD in counseling program, with some schools offering more than one doctoal degree counseling program.

Best 15 PhD in Counseling Programs

1

Georgia State University

  • Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia State University offers the Counselor Education and Practice, PhD, for students that wish to expand their counseling practice. Enhance your current counseling competencies, gain new knowledge and skills in teaching and supervision, and learn to conduct and publish your own research.

Develop or continue your expertise in areas such as trauma and stress, play therapy with children and adolescents, LGBTQ issues in counseling and counselor education, or program evaluation.

Students complete coursework and a one-year internship, as well as the dissertation.

School Overview

Tuition: $398 per credit hour
Accreditation: CACREP
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2

University of the Cumberlands

  • Williamsburg, Kentucky

Earn an online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of the Cumberlands and enjoy the flexibility offered by the program format. Students gain the expertise to demonstrate leadership in a variety of clinical settings and to master teaching in the higher education environments in the 66-credit hour program.

Students choose from three specializations, including addiction, or advanced counseling or the leadership option.

School Overview

Tuition: $400 per credit hour
Accreditation: CACREP
Visit School Website
3

North Carolina State University

  • Raleigh, North Carolina

The North Carolina State University Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development with a focus on counseling and counselor education program prepares graduates to become skilled, knowledgeable, dedicated, socially aware and ethically responsible in the 21st century. The program has a combined focus on research, theory and practice, and a commitment to diversity.

School Overview

Tuition: $446 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CACREP
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4

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, Florida

The doctoral degree in counselor education at the University of Florida prepares graduates to become leaders in advanced clinical and administrative positions, and to have a career in academia and to focus on advocacy in the field. Students in the PhD program, which consists of three years of study, complete coursework, a clinical practicum, and an internship.

School Overview

Tuition: $448.73 per credit hour
Accreditation: CAEP
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5

Boise State University

  • Boise, Idaho

The innovative PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision offered by Boise State University is a competitive program that prepares students for career enhancement through delivering multiple opportunities for students to work with faculty members in teaching, research, supervision and service.

Students advance their professional skills through completion of a practicum and internship, with the opportunity to teach master’s level courses in counseling.

School Overview

Tuition: $469.64 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, CACREP
Visit School Website
6

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • Indiana, Pennsylvania

The Counselor Education and Supervision, PhD program at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania provides students with the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles in the counseling profession. Students also gain the skills necessary for teaching at the university level. The curriculum at the award-winning school focuses on research throughout the on-campus, full-time program.

The university recognizes the fact that the demand for school and clinical mental health counselors has recently increased, with an anticipated continued need. The school provides students with the knowledge and skills to meet the demand upon their graduation.

School Overview

Tuition: $516 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CACREP
Visit School Website
7

Old Dominion University

  • Norfolk, Virginia

Prepare to advance your counseling career when you earn a Ph.D. in Education with a Counseling Concentration from Old Dominion University. Enhance your current skills and learn new skills to become a counselor leader, to assume the role of clinical and administrative supervision, and to become a counseling scholar.

The on-campus program prepares graduates to work in school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or a variety of other specializations.

School Overview

Tuition: $551 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CACREP
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8

University of South Carolina

  • Columbia, South Carolina

The Counselor Education, PhD program at the University of South Carolina prepares students to become counselor researchers, educators, or supervisors upon graduation. Students gain the advanced knowledge and skills required in counseling, supervision, scholarship, and research, along with developing a commitment to professional and social leadership and advocacy.

Prepare for a career as a faculty member in higher education, school counseling, family counseling or to practice in other settings.

School Overview

Tuition: $572.25 per credit hour
Accreditation: CACREP
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9

Adams State University

  • Alamosa, Colorado

Adams State University, located in Alamosa, Colorado, offers an online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. The Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision prepares graduates to work as researchers, supervisors, counselor educators and practitioners in a variety of diverse settings.

Students learn to extend their knowledge base of the counseling profession, generate new knowledge for the counseling profession, and take on leadership positions in counseling.

School Overview

Tuition: $575 per credit hour
Accreditation: CACREP
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10

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, Oregon

The Ph.D. in Counseling program at Oregon State University prepares graduates for careers as counselor educators, advanced practitioners, or as clinical supervisors. Students learn to enhance their personal contribution to the profession through research and learning to become an advocate for change.

Students enrolled in the hybrid program develop an area of professional counseling expertise, learn to demonstrate academic mastery and gain the skills to demonstrate professional skills beyond the master’s degree level.

School Overview

Tuition: $590 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, CACREP
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11

Montclair State University

  • Montclair, New Jersey

Enroll in the PhD in Counseling program at Montclair State University and engage in the opportunity for a life-changing experience. Students develop scholarly expertise and engage in research as they progress through the program.

Students also have the opportunity to pursue individualized study in disciplines such as higher education, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling or addictions counseling in the 66-credit hour program.

School Overview

Tuition: $639.67 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CACREP
Visit School Website
12

Hampton University

  • Hampton, Virginia

The Hampton University Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision degree is offered as an online, accelerated program. Learn to better serve clients and excel in your chosen field. Build on your solid foundational skills by expanding supervisory and clinical skills. The 64-credit hour program also focuses on effecting change within the counseling profession.

School Overview

Tuition: $695 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CACREP
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13

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, Texas

The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Texas A&M University guides students that have a master’s degree through a program that advances the counselor’s skills and knowledge. Engage in advanced clinical training, training in supervision, and training to become a counselor educator.

Gain advanced skills in theory and research as you prepare to become a leader in the counseling profession as a clinical agency director, a private practice professional or a counselor leader in a variety of other settings.

School Overview

Tuition: $742 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CACREP
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14

George Washington University

  • Washington, D.C

The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development challenges students in its Doctorate in Counseling program to “transform counselor education.” Bring your clinical skills, your leadership, advocacy and other skills to the program and build upon your knowledge and skills by learning to conduct research, to teach at the graduate level, and to provide clinical services.

Students complete a minimum of 75 credit hours of study.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,765 per credit hour
Accreditation: CACREP
Visit School Website
15

University of Rochester

  • Rochester, New York

The University of Rochester Warner School of Education offers several doctoral programs in counseling, including the Ph.D. in Education with specialization in Counseling and Counselor Education. The program also offers students the opportunity to simultaneously earn additional certificates.

The program consists of 96 credit hours of study, with the requirement to develop a specialized area of counseling expertise. The school lists 14 specialty areas, including School, Family and Community Relations Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Gerontological Counseling, or Clinical Supervision.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,598 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CACREP
Visit School Website

Our Methodology 

We researched colleges and universities to develop a list of the best PhD in counseling programs in the country. We then reduced our list to fully accredited programs, and ranked them according to tuition. The tuition rate is for one credit hour of instruction, based on the residency rate. 

Do you need assistance with finding the right school for your needs? We can help you with that, based on the program that you select. 

Please contact us if you would like to update the information that we currently have for your school. 

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