Counseling Psychology Program Curriculum & Admission Requirements



The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.

Residency requirement

Students must complete at least nine credit hours of graduate level coursework over two consecutive semesters. During this period the student is to be involved in full-time academic pursuits. This residency requirement must be fulfilled before comprehensive examinations can take place.

Practicum experience

Students complete their sequence of practicum experiences in several different settings, thereby assuring diversity of training. Students are assigned to practicum placements with a goal of assuring a reasonably graduated sequence of training experiences.

more program structure

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and test the student's knowledge of the areas of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions within the context of the subject area; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


The purpose of the dissertation is to study one counseling psychology problem or specialty in depth. The student is expected to generate original knowledge in a specialized field and contribute to resolving important problems or questions within the field of counseling psychology.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum reflects a "scientist-practitioner" model to prepare clinicians who apply the best and most current theory and research to their practice, and academicians who are grounded in the realities of practice. The student will work closely with an advisor to determine a plan of study. The curriculum requirements outlined below are the minimum required for the degree. To be adequately prepared for an intended career, the student’s advisor may encourage additional coursework or opportunities which may include presenting and/or publishing scholarly papers.

Core Requirements


Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling.

Application Deadline

Dec. 1
Fall or summer semester application deadline

Graduate Admission

The Counseling Psychology Doctoral program accepts approximately six to eight students each year. Both bachelor's level and master's level applicants are considered for admission. 

Recommended minimums when applying to Ph.D. program with a bachelor's degree:

  1. The completion of a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field.
  2. An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00 covering all college credits taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or 3.25 for the major courses or the last 60 credits of the bachelor’s degree.

Recommended minimums when applying to Ph.D. program with a master's degree:

  1. The completion of a Master's degree in counseling or a closely related field.
  2. Graduate GPA of 3.50 or above.

International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines, in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants are welcome to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program, however it is not required.

Application Checklist

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions. If you are planning to apply to both the doctoral level and MS level, you can save on application fees by submitting only one application to the doctoral level. Then, indicate your interest in the MS level on the “Are you interested in our MS program if not admitted to the PhD program?” question. At the discretion of the admission committee, those with strong credentials, but not qualified at the doctoral level, can be recommended to the MS pool for consideration.

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of intent

    1-2 page statement outlining one’s background and professional objectives

  • Online letters of recommendation

    Names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation who can provide a thorough evaluation of one’s abilities at the graduate level

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency: The program requires an average TOEFL score of 24 or above, with no section score lower than 23

  • Financial document (international students only)

    Required by U.S. government in order to issue the I-20 or DS-2019

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international applicants

Program Faculty

Brian P Cole
Brian P Cole
Associate Professor
Arpita Ghosh
Arpita Ghosh
Associate Professor
Kristen N. Hensley
Kristen N. Hensley
Associate Professor of the Practice , Program Coordinator and Training Director, MS Counseling Psychology Program
Barbara Alane Kerr
Barbara Alane Kerr
Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology
Heather Rasmussen
Heather Rasmussen
Associate Professor of the Practice, Practicum Coordinator