May 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

Return to: 4120 Department of Counseling and Psychological Services  

The American Psychological Association accredits the Ph.D. major in Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University. It subscribes to a scientist practitioner model for the training of counseling psychologists. Students are prepared to profit from and contribute to the body of knowledge underlying counseling psychology. Graduates are also equipped with a rich array of clinical skills and are eligible for licensure as applied psychologists. The program of study prepares students for employment in academic and private settings.


The services of counseling psychology are primarily directed to the problems of everyday living rather than to psychopathology. Although psychopathology is also studied to allow for a more accurate reading of normal behavior, it is not the central focus of the program. It is rather cultural discontinuities, developmental difficulties and challenges, educational and occupational choice making and adjustment, marriage and family problems, high risk behaviors, unhealthy lifestyles, and the like that receive primary attention. In assisting persons to adjust creatively and to fulfill their human potential, the counseling psychologist is expected to perform three complementary roles: a preventative role in helping persons anticipate, circumvent, and forestall future adjustment difficulties; a developmental role in helping persons make use of life experiences in the realization of their potentials; and a remedial role in helping persons overcome personal problems. Students are trained to use individual and group counseling, psychoeducational techniques, and consultation skills to address the above mentioned problem areas.

The program emphasis is on counseling psychology and not psychological counseling. Therefore, students are expected to affiliate with psychology because it is the generic discipline from which the counseling psychology specialty arises. The program seeks to train psychologists who will prepare themselves for licensure, the diplomate, and other forms of professional sanctioning. While the faculty reserves the right to change program requirements as the need arises, the following is representative of current program requirements for the degree. Students in this program are expected to follow the latest version of the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

Program Admission

Students admitted to the doctoral program should have completed a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in an appropriate major (e.g., counseling or clinical psychology). Students with a bachelor’s degree or lacking a counseling/clinical master’s degree will be required to complete compensatory curricular experiences as stipulated by their doctoral advisory committees.

Program Academic Regulations

The internship (CPS 9680 ) is an essential component of doctoral training programs in professional psychology. It provides trainees with the opportunity to take substantial responsibility for carrying out major professional functions in the context of appropriate supervisory support, professional role modeling, and awareness of administrative structures. The internship is distinguished from the applied practice experience by the increased responsibility and independence afforded the students and by the more intense nature of client contact. Internships in Counseling Psychology require either a full-time experience for one academic or calendar year or a halftime experience for two consecutive years.

Students must earn a grade of “B-” or higher in each course taken in pursuit of the doctoral degree in the counseling psychology program. If the student earns a grade below “B-” in a course, s/he/they must repeat that course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course in this manner one time. Academic probation, a remediation plan, and/or dismissal from the program are all potential outcomes for students who fail to earn a grade of “B-” or higher after taking the course a second time. The decision about the outcome will be determined by the student’s advisory committee in consultation with the program coordinator.

Degree Requirements

Core Area (18 Hours)

The Core Area consists of 15 semester hours of research coursework and 3 semester hours of Social Foundation of Education and Psychology of Learning coursework.

Research Core (15 Hours)

Required (12 Hours)

  • A two-course sequence (6 hours) in research methodology (see below for specific tracks/courses)
  • Two courses (6 hours) in advanced research methods as identified by the Doctoral Advisory Committee
Historical/Philosophical Methodology

Social Foundations of Education and Psychology of Learning Course (3 Hours)

Choose One Course (3):

Major Area (56 Hours)

Required (50 Hours)

Select One Course (3 Hours)

If EPY 8220 is completed to satisfy the Core area requirements, PSYC 8510 must be completed to satisfy this requirement. EPY 8220 can only be applied to one area of study. It cannot satisfy both the Core Area and the Major Area.

Select One Course (3 Hours)

Cognate Area (18 Hours)

Select a Cognate (9 Hours): 

The cognate area provides the students an opportunity to enrich their preparation as counseling psychologists with further study in a related area of expertise. The students must select one of the following cognate areas (9): child and family, clinical assessment, health psychology, human sexuality, psychotherapy, multicultural, geriatric psychology, organizational development, rehabilitation psychology, or research methodology. Students should contact their Doctoral Advisory Committees for a program outline for Counseling Psychology. The program outline describes the course sequencing and describes additional cognate course requirements.

Required (9 Hours):

Dissertation (15 Hours)

Required (15 hours):

Total Semester Hours for Degree: Minimum of 107