Best Online Schools for Doctorate in Counseling Degree Programs

Professional counselors serve the greater community by guiding others to greater social and mental health and integration. If you’re already a practicing counselor, you would likely benefit from earning a doctorate in counseling. The following list brings together some of the very best online options for taking the next step in helping yourself and others by obtaining the best preparation and skills for counseling.
Methodology:
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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Liberty University offers a Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling, completely online. The degree equips counselors for ministry positions. The program teaches students to evaluate diverse individual, group and family populations. The program is ideal for professionals such as pastors, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed clinical social workers who want to advance in their careers by enhancing their knowledge in the counseling field.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 51%

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Admission Requirements:

  • Apply online or download an application for admission
  • $50.00 application fee
  • Submit official college transcripts
  • Possess a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a minimum of 3.0 GPS
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language or approved alternate test of English proficiency.

Program Options:

Students pursuing a Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling at Liberty University must choose one of the following areas of focus:

  • Marriage and Family
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Traumatology

Degree Outcomes:

Liberty University’s Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling enables its graduates to provide professional counseling services in a  ministry setting.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION IN COMMUNITY CARE AND COUNSELING AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

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WALDEN UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University is one of the few CACREP accredited online Counseling Doctorates. The particular emphases at Walden are teaching students to:

  • Respond appropriately to legal and ethical issues across multiple counselor educator roles
  • Address multicultural issues across counselor educator roles
  • Apply advanced skills for practice as a counseling professional
  • Create a pedagogical identity reflective of effective teaching practices in counselor education
  • Develop contextually appropriate responses to supervisory situations

Campus Location: Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; CACREP accredited

Retention Rate: 11%

Acceptance Rate: Open

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree or higher required
  • Online application and transcripts
  • Must be a licensed professional counselor
  • Must have graduated from a CACREP accredited institution with a master’s degree
    • Students may need to take pre-requisites if they have not graduated with a CACREP accredited degree

Specializations:

  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Consultation
  • Counseling and Social Change
  • Forensic Mental Health Counseling
  • Leadership and Program Evaluation
  • Trauma and Crisis
 Degree Outcomes:

Students will gain the knowledge and experience to assume a leadership role in a clinical, community, academic, nonprofit, or research setting or to work as a counselor educator with Walden’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORATE IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND SUPERVISION AT WALDEN UNIVERSITY

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ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Adams State University offers a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. The program at Adams State works around a four point goal:

  1. To prepare and graduate skilled, knowledgeable, self-aware and self-reflective counselor educators and supervisors.
  2. To evaluate the program curricula, practices, and requirements to promote and advanced comprehensive theoretical knowledge base.
  3. To promote professional identity and extend the knowledge base of the profession through involvement in organizations, leadership positions and presenting at conferences.
  4. To prepare professional practitioners with the necessary dispositions to work with diverse situations.

Campus Location: Alamosa, CO

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention Rate: 25%

Acceptance Rate: 99%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application and application fee
  • Letter of intent
  • Current resume
  • GRE test score with a minimum analytic writing score of 3.5
  • Official transcripts
  • Reference request forms
  • Master’s degree with 3.0 GPA or sufficient experience
  • On campus interview

Course Sample:

  • Advanced Group Counseling
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Quantitative Research Methodology
  • Supervision and Consultation

Degree Outcomes:

The Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision at Adams State University prepares graduates to work as counselor educators, supervisors, researchers, and practitioners in a wide variety of academic and clinical settings. “Graduates are prepared to extend the knowledge base of the counseling profession as leaders for a climate of scholarly inquiry.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORATE OF PHILOSOPHY IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AT ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY

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CAPELLA UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts: 

The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Capella University is also a CACREP-accredited online degree. The curriculum is designed around counseling education standards and profession. The doctoral faculty at Capella are experienced and actively engaged in their professions. The program also offers convenience and flexibility with access to the course room anytime, anywhere, with any device on the student’s schedule.

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Retention Rate: No information

Acceptance Rate: Open

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; CACREP

Admission Requirements:

  • Application and Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae

Course Sample:

  • Advanced Research in Human Development
  • Foundations of Advanced Social Science Research and Design
  • Quantitative Methods for Counselor Education Research

Degree Outcomes:

Capella University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program directly equips students to serve in leadership roles in counseling, academic, or research settings.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORATE IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND SUPERVISION AT CAPELLA UNIVERSITY

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UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS

Program Standouts:

University of the Cumberlands provides a fully online Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision. The focus of this unique program is to provide their graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for a career in higher education instruction. Graduates will be enabled to function in private-practice settings or in other innovative clinical environments.

Campus Location: Williamsburg, KY

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 43%

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college
  • 3.5 GPA on all graduate work
  • Combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 300 on the GRE or at least 400 on the MAT
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Writing sample
  • A satisfactory score on the program’s Foundational Skills Test
  • Documentation of language fluency

Course Sample:

  • Multicultural Issues in Counseling and Education
  • The Change Process
  • Online Teaching and Learning

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of the doctorate in counseling education and supervision program will learn:

  • Qualifications and skills that prepare them for a teaching career in higher education environments
  • Administrative expertise equipping them for leadership in a variety of educational and clinical settings
  • Advanced clinical skills designed to maximize proficiency in an independent practice milieu
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PhD/EdD IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND SUPERVISION DEGREE AT UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS

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SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Shippensburg’s Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel has delivered master’s-level counseling programs for more than 50 years. Continuing in the tradition, yet aligning with the most contemporary vision of the counseling profession, Shippensburg offers a Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision that can be taken face-to-face or online which allows its students to continue in their current jobs and careers while pursuing higher education.

Campus Location: Shippensburg, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Retention Rate: 56%

Acceptance Rate: 88%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application fee
  • Master’s degree in counseling or related field
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Written answer to provided question
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Interview

Degree Outcomes:

Shippensburg University’s Ed.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is designed to develop expertise in advanced practice and clinical supervision. Shippensburg aims to provide advanced scholars with a professional doctoral degree balanced across a rigorous core curriculum, advanced clinical practice under faculty supervision and to promote the production of relevant research to advance the profession.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORATE IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND SUPERVISION AT SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY

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 KEISER UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Keiser University offers a Doctoral Program in Counselor Education and Supervision, which is designed to expand students with challenging coursework and hands on experience. Students at Keiser University will be taught basic concepts and techniques in clinical intervention and treatment, research, and clinical supervision. Keiser University expects graduates to have the potential to be equipped to hold leadership positions in the counseling field and be equipped to model the highest ideals and ethics of the profession.
Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 67%

Acceptance Rate: Open

Admission Requirements:

  • Graduate school application
  • Resume indicating complete work history and education
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA in graduate level coursework
  • Personal goal statement
  • 10 – 15 minute video of a counseling session representative of applicant’s skill

Course Sample:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • Psychometrics
  • Quantitative Research I

Degree Outcomes:

“Students will be able to explain and employ the principles, concepts, skills and applications of advanced counseling, counselor education, and counselor supervision.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PhD IN COUNSELING EDUCATION AT KEISER UNIVERSITY.
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HAMPTON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

The Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Hampton University is designed for accredited counselors. This program extends basic counseling fundamentals while propagating clinical and supervisory skills. This union provides graduates with an adjustable and considerable knowledge base from which to better assist their patients and the counseling community.

Campus Location: Hampton, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 55%

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application for admission
  • GRE within the last 5 years
  • Writing sample
  • Personal statement
  • College/University transcripts that include a graduate level course in abnormal psychology and ethics from all Colleges/Universities attended
  • Licensures and credentials attained

Course Sample:

  • Ethics and Legal Aspects of Counseling
  • Advanced Group and Systems Theory
  • Counseling Leadership and Advocacy

Degree Outcomes:

This degree program will better acquaint students with teaching, counseling, and supervision, with special application to school counseling and community mental health counseling. Whether students are in a clinical, academic, or research atmosphere, this program will give them the knowledge and expertise necessary to promote effective change within their organization.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND SUPERVISION AT HAMPTON UNIVERSITY

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UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

Program Standouts:

The Doctor of Education in Professional Counseling and Supervision at the University of West Georgia is designed to advance professionals in the field of Counseling. Doctoral students at West Georgia learn to evaluate and improve programs and interventions in their current work situations. Dissertations and evaluation studies are developed through embedded assignments across the curriculum. The counseling faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Professional Counseling are well-recognized at state, regional and national levels for their professionalism.

Campus Location: Carrollton, GA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 41%

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Admission Requirements: 

  • Application and application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Licensed or licensable in counseling or related field
  • Official GRE scores not older than 5 years
  • Masters in Counseling or related field
  • Minimum of three years of counseling experience
  • Essay
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Course Sample:

  • Leadership and Diversity in the 21st Century
  • Educational Leadership
  • Quantitative Research

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates will have the ability to address the professional development needs of peers in up-to-date counseling contexts. They will be equipped to develop a well-integrated, comprehensive review of literature in the field of counseling as well as make appropriate recommendations for improvement of interventions or programs. They will be able to respond to specific client or student needs identified through the use of local data.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION IN PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING AND SUPERVISION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA.

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GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Grand Canyon University’s Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Behavioral Health not only offers promotion opportunities to currently accredited and practicing behavioral health professionals, but also helps people operating as school counselors, psychiatric nurses, and behavioral health agency managers who may be looking for influential roles in their fields.

Campus Location: Phoenix, AZ

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention Rate: 41%

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Admission Requirements:

  • 2.8 GPA or:
    • GMAT score of 500
    • GRE verbal/quantitative score of 300

Students also may be accepted if they meet either of the following:

  • Earned a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher. Applicants with a GPA less than 3.4 may be accepted with specifications.
  • Earned a master’s from a regionally accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher. Applicants with a GPA of 3.0 – 3.39 will be accepted with specifications. Applicants with a GPA below a 3.0 will not be accepted.

Course Sample:

  • Introduction to Advanced Graduate Studies and Scholarship
  • Progressions in Leadership Thought
  • Ethical Dilemmas and Stewardship

Degree Outcomes:

In this degree program, students will study the business elements of for-profit and nonprofit sections of the behavioral health corporation, explore servant leadership, prepare to be an agent of positive change, think critically about major literary works and recent theories, and diagnose appropriate applications of education and business.

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AMRIDGE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Offered through Amridge University School of Human Services, the PhD Degree in Professional Counseling is designed for professional, licensed counselors in their desire to extend learning delivery systems. As a terminal degree, it will provide students with an advanced degree with both therapeutic expertise and scholarship. Students will complete intensive studies in theories of counseling, human development, problems with abuse and addiction, cultural diversity, and research.

Campus Location: Montgomery, AL

Accreditation: Southern Association on Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Retention Rate: 25%

Acceptance Rate: Open

Admission Requirements:

The MyAmridge Portal provides students and prospective students a way to submit forms to Amridge. All applications are completed through a secure online portal. To find out more about application requirements, visit the MyAmridge Portal.

Course Sample:

  • Strategies to Reduce Marriage and Family Dysfunction
  • Systemic Interventions in Abusive Relationships
  • Analysis of Substance Abuse Interventions
  • Medical Family Therapy

Degree Outcomes:

By the end of the PhD in Professional Counseling Degree program at Amridge graduates will be able to:

  • Conduct original research, including both quantitative and qualitative methodologies
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the current status of research in psychology and counseling
  • Recognize and accurately classify, syndromes of mental disorders and establish appropriate treatment plans
  • Demonstrate the ability to function as a scholar/practitioner as evidenced by critical analysis of the student’s own practice setting.
  • Apply counseling skills and research in teaching or clinical practice.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AT PHD IN PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING AT AMRIDGE UNIVERSITY

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CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

Program Standouts:

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. This program is designed to provide a solid knowledge base in the experimental analysis of behavior, applied behavior analysis, and radical behaviorism. Graduates will be equipped to bring about socially significant behavioral changes through evidence-based program development. Graduates who complete the M.S. in ABA requirements during the 5-year PhD will be eligible to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Campus Location: Chicago, IL

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not offer programs at or below the baccalaureate level, therefore retention and acceptance information was not reported.

Admission Requirements:

  • Application and Application Fee
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essays
  • Official Transcripts
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Master’s degree in Psychology, Education, Behavior Analysis or other related field professionally recognized.

Course Sample:

  • Supervision and Consulting in ABA
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis of Research in Verbal Behavior

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of the PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology emerge ready to serve as highly competent behavioral analysts in the following career areas:

  • Academia
  • Education
  • Service delivery
  • Business
  • Nonprofit
  • Government
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PhD IN APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AT THE CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

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MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

Program Standouts:

The Doctor of Professional Counseling (D.P.C.) degree program at Mississippi College is designed to meet career advancement goals of licensed professional counselors. It develops clinical specialization and assists professionals in achieving parity with other allied health professionals. The D.P.C. at Mississippi College is a professional degree intended to prepare master counselors for successful practice in a variety of clinical settings and leadership in professional organizations. The degree program is a cohort-based course of studies in theory, research and practice requiring students to be enrolled continuously and year-round once they have been admitted. It is available both on campus and online.

Campus Location: Chicago, IL

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention Rate: 49%

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application and application fee
  • GRE score
  • A minimum of 2 years documented experience in professional counseling
  • Licensed Professional Counselor credential or eligibility for the equivalent
  • Essay of 800 words
  • Professional Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio of work as a professional counselor

Course Sample:

  • Advanced Lifespan Developmental Processes
  • Professional Identity and Ethical Practice
  • Psychotherapy Integration

Degree Outcomes:

The D.P.C. at Mississippi College is a professional degree which prepares master counselors for successful practice in a variety of clinical settings and leadership in professional organizations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING DEGREE AT MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

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NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Northcentral University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy, that will help students acquire the knowledge, skills, practical application and values that will form them into competent, ethical and culturally diplomatic marriage and family therapists. The Marriage and Family doctorate program at NCU provides students with a quality education and provides experience that will challenge them to develop their thinking and research skills to a high degree.

Campus Location: San Diego, CA

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate: Northcentral University does not offer programs at or below the baccalaureate level, therefore retention and acceptance information was not reported.

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy
  • Those with a master’s in a related field will be evaluated on a case by case basis
  • Resume/CV

Course Sample:

  • Program Development for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Supervision Methods
  • Dynamics of Family Interactions

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this degree program will not only learn how to interact effectively with diversified populations in academic, clinical supervision, and research settings, but they will also be able to demonstrate an expertise and knowledge of conducting research within the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY AT NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY

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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE

Program Standouts:

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Systemic Studies. Systemic Studies is inspired by the cybernetic ideas and pragmatic practices that underlie the origin of systemic family therapy. The program focuses on those precepts to explore various contexts of stability and change. The doctorate is non-clinical but rather an applied system theory. It is uniquely designed for the clinician, counselor, coach, clergy, healer, educator, scholar, artist and professional who wants study more deeply the contexts that provide the practices that are necessary for change. The coursework for the program spans across academic disciplines and fields of practice. It combines academic rigor with creativity and is measured by universal standards of scholarly knowledge. The program is CACREP accredited.

Campus Location: Monroe, LA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Colleges; Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; CACREP

Retention Rate: 51%

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Admission Requirements: 

  • Official University Transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Graduate School Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Scholarly Writing Sample
  • Doctoral Program Goal Statement
  • Three Recommendations

Course Sample:

  • The Art of Creative Transformation
  • Creative Systemic Scholarship
  • Absurdity
  • Improvisation

Degree Outcome: 

Graduates will have learned strategies of relevant qualitative research, especially those methods that highlight transformative processes.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY CONCENTRATION IN SYSTEMIC STUDIES AT UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE