Ph.D. Counseling Psychology

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology - Enroll today!

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Special Note: The GRE test has been waived for the December 1, 2023 application deadline (Fall 2024 start). 

  • Application requirements: Online application, transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 undergraduate and graduate, proof of English language proficiency, GRE test scores (waived for 2024 Fall start), two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
  • International students: Please visit this page for information regarding transcript evaluation requirements.
  • Deadline(s): December 1 for Fall start. The application and all supporting materials are due by the listed deadline.
  • Course Requirements: 29 courses (72 credits) if you have a Master's degree or 38 courses (102 credits) if you do not have a Master's degree when entering the program
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2 courses), Spring (2 courses), Summer (1-2 courses)
  • Time to Completion:  4-5 years depending on course loads and whether you have a Master's degree prior to enrolling
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as staff psychologists at counseling centers and are faculty members at universities. Many become psychologists in private practice, and others work in hospitals and in policy fields.  


The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology program, which is accredited as a scientist-practitioner program by the American Psychological Association, provides training to students to become effective counseling psychologists with  the knowledge and skills in research and clinical practice necessary to help people from diverse, multicultural backgrounds in a variety of settings. 

Doctoral students work closely with innovative faculty to conduct and publish significant peer-reviewed research on mental health issues, in addition to gaining extensive clinical experience that culminates with a one-year full-time internship at an approved site.

Lehigh’s Counseling Psychology faculty have significant research expertise in such areas as socio-emotional development of young children, attachment and family relationships, process and outcomes of interventions, liberation psychology career development interventions, undocumented and documented migration, gerontology, sexual assault prevention, LGBTQ issues, intimate partner violence, trauma-informed schools, experiences of racism, masculinity, Asian American concerns, and the intersection of identities. 

The doctoral program embraces multiculturalism and social justice, preparing students to conduct research and to work with people of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, religions, ages and socioeconomic statuses. 

Alumni have gone on to become members of university faculties or staff psychologists at counseling centers. Many work in hospitals or in policy fields, while others become psychologists in private practice.  

Students are highly involved in research, teaching apprenticeships, and clinical practica. As part of a research apprenticeship with a faculty member, students are immersed in the advisor’s lab early in the program. Students go on to complete an empirical qualifying project that is the equivalent of a master’s thesis. Later, they research and write their doctoral dissertation with supervision from a faculty mentor. They typically conduct additional research with their faculty mentor and other members of the faculty. Faculty mentor students in presenting their research and scholarship at national and international conferences, as well as in publication. Among the requirements, doctoral candidates complete a college teaching apprenticeship where they work closely with a faculty member to develop effective pedagogy. With the support of our clinical faculty, students complete their clinical practica. Students have completed their practica at University counseling centers, hospital settings, VAs, and community clinics. 

The full-time program requires 102 credits, which includes 30 master’s level credits plus 72 doctoral level credits. A student who enters the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program already holding a master’s degree in the field may be exempted from taking up to a total of 30 credits of required master’s level coursework if the student’s advisor approves, based on a review of the student’s transcript and course syllabi. 

Students entering with a bachelor’s degree have 10 years to complete all the doctoral degree requirements while those entering with a master’s degree have seven years. Typically, most students complete the program in much less time (5-6 years). 

Those seeking to apply for the Ph.D. program should complete the online application and provide official undergraduate and graduate transcripts. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for undergraduate and graduate work, and students must submit GRE test scores from within the past five years. 

Prospective students should provide an essay about why they want to become a psychologist and two letters of recommendation with at least one from a faculty member of an accredited academic institution. They must acknowledge they understand the College of Education policy on clearances. 

The deadline to apply is Dec. 1 for a fall start. 

All Counseling Psychology doctoral students are evaluated based on professional competencies expected to be demonstrated by counseling psychologists (see APA Education Directorate, 2013, and Campbell et al., 2013).

Questions regarding APA Accreditation may be addressed to the APA Office of Accreditation at:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242
Telephone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
Fax: (202) 336-5978
Email (General Questions) (
Email (Annual Report Online only)


Currently, the doctoral program requires a total of 100 credits, which are composed of 30 master's level credits plus 72 doctoral level credits. A student who enters the counseling psychology doctoral program already holding a master's degree, regardless of where the degree was obtained, may be exempted by her or his advisor from taking up to a total of the 30 credits of required master's level coursework, with the exemption granted based on a review of the student’s transcript and/or course syllabi to ensure that the course or courses were of similar content to the course offered by Lehigh. These exempted credits do count toward the total needed for the doctoral degree (currently 100), but will not appear on the student’s Lehigh transcript. After conferring with his or her advisor, the student will complete an internal petition to have these credits exempted, and this petition must be approved by the program director. 

Required Master's Level Coursework
EDUC 403 Research 3
EDUC 408 Introduction to Statistics 3
CPSY 427 Assessment and Appraisal in Counseling 3
CPSY 439 Theory and Practice of Group Counseling 3
CPSY 440 Introduction to Family Counseling 3
CPSY 442 Counseling and Therapeutic Approaches 3
CPSY 430 Professional Seminar 3
CPSY 451 Helping Skills 3
CPSY 455 Advanced Techniques in Counseling 3
EDUC 471 Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives 3
Doctoral Coursework*
General Psychology Core
Biological Bases of Behavior (e.g., physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation, psychopharmacology) (3 credits)
BIOS 404 Behavioral Neuroscience 3
or EDUC 391 Advanced Seminars: (with subtitle)
Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior (e.g., learning, memory, perception, cognition, thinking, motivation, emotion) (3 credits)  
EDUC 451 Cognition and Emotion 3
Social Bases of Behavior (e.g., social psychology; cultural, ethnic and group processes; sex roles; organizational systems and theory) (3 credits)
EDUC 473 Social Basis of Human Behavior 3
Individual Behavior (e.g., personality theory, human development, individual differences, abnormal psychology) (3 credits)  
CPSY 472 Human Development Across the Lifespan 3
History and Systems of Psychology (3 credits)
CPSY 484 History and Systems of Psychology 3
Counseling Psychology Core (12 credits)
CPSY 460 Foundations of Counseling Psychology 3
CPSY 436 Culture-Centered Career Intervention 3
CPSY 473 Advanced Research Methods in Applied Psychology 3
CPSY 481 Advanced Multicultural Counseling 3
Assessment Core (9 credits)
EDUC 412 Advanced Applications of Psychometric Principles 3
CPSY 461 Assessment of Adult Intellectual Functioning 3
or SCHP 422 Assessment of Cognition and Achievement
CPSY 462 Assessment of Personality 3
or CPSY 466 Current Issues in Counseling and Therapy (Projective Techniques - Optional)
Advanced Applications in Counseling (6 credits)
CPSY 476 Supervision and Consultation in Counseling 4
Advanced Seminar (3 credits)
CPSY 466 Current Issues in Counseling and Therapy 3
or CPSY 467 Doctoral Seminar In Counseling Psychology
Apprenticeship (5 credits)
CPSY 470 Independent Study and Research (College Teaching Apprenticeship) 1
CPSY 470 Independent Study and Research (Research Apprenticeship) 1
CPSY 477 Supervision Apprenticeship 3
Research Methods (6 credits)
EDUC 410 Univariate Statistical Models 3
EDUC 411 Multivariate Statistical Models 3
Practicum (9 credits)
CPSY 487 Advanced Doctoral Practicum I 3
CPSY 488 Advanced Doctoral Practicum II 3
CPSY 489 Advanced Doctoral Practicum III 1
CPSY 491 Advanced Doctoral Practicum IV 1
CPSY 492 Advanced Field Placement (if not taken as part of master’s [course can be repeated]) 1
Internship (2 credits)
CPSY 498 Counseling Psychology Doctoral Internship (2 semesters full-time, or four semesters half-time) 2
Qualifying Project (1 credit)
EDUC 486 Doctoral Qualifying Research Project 1
Dissertation (minimum 4 credits)
CPSY 499 Dissertation  4
Total Credits 100
After the student has completed the first 15 hours of graduate work, the student is specifically reviewed for full admission. This review is completed during the annual review process for any student who has completed 15 hours. The student's coursework and performance and progress in the doctoral program are reviewed by the faculty. Any questions about the student's progress and plans are raised and discussed, and a vote is then taken to admit the student. The College of Education then writes a letter of admittance to the student specifying the time line for completion of all degree requirements. Students entering with a bachelor’s degree have 10 years to complete all degree requirements. Students entering with a master's degree have 7 years to complete all degree requirements.
Click here to view the course catalog which provides descriptions of the courses.


Information for International Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) lets eligible F-1 students work in their field of study in the United States for 12 to 36 months after completing their program. Most students studying on F-1 visas become eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) off-campus work authorization. F-1 students with a degree in a STEM field—science, technology, engineering or math—may be eligible for a 24-month extension of their 12 months of OPT. Thus, students with an F-1 visa in our program may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension, which allows for up to a total of 36 months of Optional Practical Training off-campus work authorization. For more information on who is eligible to apply for this extension visit Lehigh’s Office of International Students and Scholars: STEM OPT Extension (