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Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Program of Study

Guidance from the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests the time to complete a doctoral degree in Health Service Psychology should take about five years from when a student is formally admitted to the doctoral program. This would not include a separate master’s degree, or a master’s degree awarded during the first one or two years of predoctoral study. In addition, the APA promotes a 7-year upper limit on attaining the degree, once doctoral study has commended. We support these timelines, and strongly endorse this guidance from the APA. Our typical students complete the program in four to five years.  

The faculty makes every effort to assist our students to meet these expectations for completion. There are three years of full-time course work. Following the first year, a minimum of two semesters of practicum experience is required followed by a 12-month, full-time pre-doctoral internship in professional psychology. The doctoral dissertation will likely require nine to 12 months to prepare and complete, typically during and immediately following the internship year.

The overall program of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University is shown below. 

CPSY 701 Advanced Counseling Psychology Interventions
3 cr.
CPSY 709 Adv. Group Counseling/Therapeutic Interventions
3 cr.
CPSY 734 Multicultural Psychology
3 cr.
CPSY 760 Introduction to Counseling Psychology
3 cr.
CPSY 763 Adv. Theories of Counseling Psychology
3 cr.
CPSY 764 Intellectual Assessment
4 cr.
CPSY 766 Vocational Theory/Assessment
3 cr.
CPSY 769 Personality Testing & Interpretation
3 cr.
CPSY 770 Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology
Minimum of 9 credit hours/600 clock hours. See handbook for details.
Four semesters of practicum are required.
9 cr.
CPSY 772 Internship
Minimum of one full-time academic year.
Credit hours are six (6) each for Fall and Spring Semesters.
12 cr.
CPSY 780 Professional & Ethical Issues in Coun. Psych
3 cr.
CPSY 782 Research Methods & Design
3 cr.
CPSY 781 Research Practicum in Counseling Psychology
1 cr.
CPSY 783 Counseling Psychology Supervision Models
3 cr.
CPSY 797 Dissertation Research 18 cr.
CPSY 799 Doctoral Colloquium/Pro-Seminar
6 cr.
EDP 613 Statistical Methods 1
3 cr.
EDP 614 Statistical Methods 2
3 cr.
EDP 611 Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology
3 cr.

Total number of credit hours in Counseling Psychology Core 89 

Minor Area - Psychological Foundations:

CPSY 710 Cognitive-Affective Behavior
3 cr.
CPSY 735 Social Psychology
3 cr.
CPSY 738 Lifespan Development
3 cr.
CPSY 740 Assessment of Psychopathology
3 cr.
CPSY 745 History & Systems of Psychology
3 cr.
CPSY 750 Physiological Psychology
3 cr.

Total number of credit hours in the minor area  18

Total Program Credits: 107 

It will take most students six semesters of full-time study to complete the basic course sequence of under which we are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Taking classes during the summer is an option for certain courses (e.g., practicum) and may lighten the academic load, particularly during the third year when many of the basic courses are already completed.

The full course of study and many additional details may be found by referring to the Current Doctoral Student Handbook available on this website.