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Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Program Aims

The aim of the doctoral program at West Virginia University is to provide trainees the means to become competent Health Service Psychologists who, upon graduation, are ready for entry-level clinical and academic practice in the area of Counseling Psychology.  

Who We Are

Our program has a strong sense of community and we strive to offer training within a supportive, growth-oriented model.  We also highly value our multicultural focus and social justice orientation.  Read the core values of Counseling Psychology reflected in this philosophy on the website of APA Division 17, The Society of Counseling Psychology:

To this end, the program requires trainees to obtain graduate-level understanding in discipline-specific foundations of psychological science to include history and systems of psychology, affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social bases of behavior. In addition, the program requires trainees to demonstrate competency in research design and quantitative methods as well as graduate-level knowledge that entails integration of multiple basic discipline-specific content areas (i.e., integration of at least two of: affective, biological, cognitive, social, or developmental aspects of behavior).

Research Training

In order to achieve readiness for practice at the entry level, the program requires trainees to become competent producers, consumers, and communicators of psychological research. The program expects trainees, upon successful completion of the program, to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and competence sufficient to produce new knowledge, to critically evaluate and use existing knowledge to solve problems, and to disseminate research. 

Students in our program conduct their own research, collaborate on faculty research, and complete a scholarly dissertation.  Research and empirical knowledge are fundamental elements of our training program.

Clinical Training

Trainees are further required to demonstrate profession-wide competencies in ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values, attitudes, and behaviors, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, multicultural competent, consultation, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. 

To this end, our program offers a wide range of top practicum placements including university counseling centers, VA placements, community mental health centers, and inpatient units.  We have an excellent match rate for students obtaining APA/CPA-accredited internships.  We also have a strong record of our graduates obtaining licensure across the U.S.  Outstanding clinical training is a central feature of our doctoral program.


The Counseling Psychology program at West Virginia University is committed to fostering an educational experience and training environment that promotes diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice as fundamental ethical, societal, and scientific values. This commitment is at the center of the professional and personal values of the faculty, staff, and students in our program.

Our commitment to inclusion, equity, and social justice is reflected in the aspirational goals of the program including: