Counseling Psychology Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

With an emphasis on theory, research and evidence-based practices, the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. prepares the scholar-practitioner to advance the practice of psychology and improve mental health recovery and wellness through research and reflective practice. Faculty at Wayne State University emphasize a developmental approach to understanding individuals, youth, couples and families within the larger ecological contexts. The Counseling and School Psychology Clinic in the College of Education is our on-campus training clinic and serves WSU students, their families and the larger Detroit community.

Important dates

  • January 15: Applications for fall semester due

  • Fall semester of each year

Announcement

The Ph.D. program is currently not accredited. Faculty are seeking accreditation with the American Psychological Association (APA). The program faculty is currently pursuing contingency accreditation status with the American Psychological Association. If you have additional questions about our accreditation status and/or the accreditation process:   

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 
750 First Street NE 
Washington, DC 20002-4242 
Telephone: 202-336-5979  

Program overview

The Wayne State University Counseling Psychology (WSU-CP) Ph.D. prepares the scholar-practitioner to advance the practice of psychology and improve mental health recovery and wellness through research and reflective practice. The WSU-CP doctoral program was formally established in 2018. 

The WSU-CP doctoral program resides within the Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations division of the College of Education. The training prepares practitioners to make professional judgments that take into consideration best practices derived from research and theory, social, political, and policy contexts, ethical principles, and multicultural awareness. Courses emphasize the broad applications of normal and abnormal development, multicultural and ecological approaches such as family and community. Students may also elect to take courses in couples, family therapy, and/or trauma to augment their clinical training. We offer a balance of both urban and metropolitan experiences for all students to ensure familiarity with a range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. 

The curriculum and practical experiences are designed to ensure professional competency and knowledge integration as it relates to scholarship, clinical practice, and advocacy. Program graduates will be prepared for employment within a variety of settings including academic departments, university counseling centers or clinics, community mental health agencies, hospitals, the non-profit sector, and/or independent practice. Graduates of the program meet the requirements for licensure as a psychologist in the state of Michigan.  

Prerequisites

Strong WSU-CP applicants for the doctoral will demonstrate clear interest, passions, and skills relevant to the field of counseling psychology. Applicants will demonstrate promising academic promise and discipline, cognitive flexibility and innovation, commitment and tolerance for professional and skill development, as well as an interest in social justice and multiculturalism.  Initial screening of applicants is based on a holistic review of the following:  

  1. Academic excellence  
  2. Writing skills
  3. Alignment of academic  and research interests, employment, and/or service-related experiences
  4. Quality of references  

Most applicants will have a bachelor's or a master's degree in psychology, or a closely related field. If you are applying as a Canadian citizen and may be practicing in Canada, you are required to have a bachelor's degree in psychology to be considered for admission, based on Canadian psychology licensing requirements. The program adheres to graduate requirements in addition to a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply; however, the typical student admitted to this program has an undergraduate /graduate GPA above 3.5.  

Program application components 

Applications are submitted through the graduate school. The number of applicants recommended for admission each year varies and is determined primarily by the availability of faculty advisors for incoming students. The following components are part of the application:  

  1. All academic transcripts and degrees 
  2. Writing sample
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Personal statement  
  5. Resume/Curriculum Vita 

Important dates

  • January 15th – Application due for fall consideration  
  • Mid February – Doctoral Interviews 
  • Mid March – Initial Decisions 
  • April 15th - Offers of admission must be accepted or declined  
  • Mid June – New Student Welcome & Program Overview  

Program requirements

WSU-CP doctoral students will participate in course work and training activities that to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies in the following areas:  

  • Research design and statistics
  • Biological bases of behavior 
  • Cognitive-affective bases of behavior 
  • Social bases of behavior 
  • Individual behavior and human development 
  • History and systems of psychology 
  • Professional issues and ethics in counseling psychology 
  • Theory and practice in psychotherapy  
  • Outreach and consultation 
  • Intellectual and personality assessment 
  • Social justice and multiculturalism  
  • Professional values and behaviors 

Students will complete a minimum of 110 hours of specific graduate-level coursework is required for program completion. The length of study depends on whether an applicant is admitted directly from their baccalaureate or has an advanced degree in psychology or a closely related field.  

The program requires a minimum of three full-time academic years of graduate study (or the equivalent) plus internship prior to receiving the doctoral degree; at least two of the three academic training years (or the equivalent) must be at the program from which the doctoral degree is granted; and at least one year must be in full-time residence at the program. 

In addition to coursework, It is an expectation that all students embrace the opportunity to engage in research related activities, service or community outreach activities, and teaching. Students will work with their major advisor to select an activity in each of these areas that aligns with their Plan of Work (POW) and career goals. Students will work with their major advisor to select an activity in each of these areas that aligns with their Plan of Work and career goals. Students are also required to complete a 2,000-hour pre-doctoral internship at an approved clinical site and must take part in an annual review required by the Graduate School each year. Students are required to maintain passing grades and require to complete a B or better in major and cognate courses. 

Students' Plan of Work can be revised due to changes in scheduling or goals. However, students must discuss any potential changes with his or her major advisor first and obtain permission before a substitution is made and before a student enrolls in an alternative course. A change to the POW form is found on the Education website under Students, Forms and documents and Doctor of Philosophy forms.

The Ph.D. Handbook Counseling Psychology Handbook provides students with a chronological set of requirements and procedures from te start to their program to their application for graduation with a completed degree.

Curriculum

EDP: Educational Psychology; PSY: Psychology; EER: Educational Evaluation and Research; ED: Education; CED: Counseling; and, SOC: Sociology

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Electives
EDP 7200 Systemic Theories and Family Therapy 3
EDP 7190 Couples Therapy 3
EDP 7220 Psychotherapy with Children & Adolescents 4
Required Courses
EDP 7420 Systems of Psychotherapy 3
EDP 7370 Psychopathology & Diagnosis 3
EDP 7430 Applications I: Behavioral Psychology and Social Learning 4
CED 7730 Cultural and Diversity Issues in Mental Health Treatment 3
EDP 7520 Ethics and Professional Standards for Psychologists 3
EDP 9000 Doctoral Seminar in Counseling Psychology 3
PSY 7120 Biological Basis of Behavior 3
PSY 7440 Cognitive Development 3
CED 9120 Seminar and Internship Supervising Counselors 3
EDP 8319 Pre-practicum in Clinical Procedures (depends on entry point) 3
EDP 8320 Practicum in Clinical Procedures (2 consecutive semesters) 3
EDP 9319 Advanced Practicum in Clinical Procedures 1-3
EDP 9320 Internship in Clinical Procedures (Doctoral internship) 1-3
College Required Courses
15 hours of Statistics/Methods
Menu of Methods & Statistics Courses
(Select one)
EER 8992 Research & Experimental Design 3
PSY 7470 Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Social, Cognitive,
and Developmental Psychology
3
Required Sequences
(Select one sequence of statistics courses)
SOC 6280 Social Statistics I 3
SOC 7290 Social Statistics II 3
   
EER 8800 Variance Covariance 3
EER 8820 Multivariate Analysis 3
   
PSY 7150 Quantitative Methods I 3
PSY 8150 Multivariate Analysis 3
Select any of the following with
Advisor/Director approval
EER 7870 Qualitative Research Introduction 3
EER 7910 Qualitative Methods for Diversity & Inclusion 3
EER 8520 Qualitative Research II: Design & Data Collection 3
EER 8840 Structural Equation Modeling 3
   
9991 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
9992 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
9993 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
9994 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
9995 Dissertation Maintenance - If Needed 0

Plan of work

The Plan of Work (POW) reflects a systematic and organized series of courses, seminars, field experiences, etc., designed to provide advanced academic experiences consistent with the student's academic objectives. It should be planned with the counseling and guidance of the major advisor and completed as early as possible following acceptance into the program, but no later than March 1st of the year following acceptance into the program. Until that time, the program director will act as your advisor.   

The Plan of Work must be approved by the Major Advisor and the College Graduate Officer during the semester in which the student is completing the first 18 semester hours of coursework under advisement. The Plan of Work must conform to the Policy and Procedures stated in this document with at least 24 semester hours of regular graduate coursework in Education. 

Students' Plan of Work can be revised due to changes in scheduling or goals. However, students must discuss any potential changes with his or her major advisor first and obtain permission before a substitution is made and before a student enrolls in an alternative course. A change to the POW form is found on the Education website under Students, Forms and documents and Doctor of Philosophy forms.

Applicant & admissions data

Admissions 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Number of applicants 29 30 19 55
Number offered admission 10 3 4 6
Number matriculated 8 3 3 4
Number of students receiving assistantships
or awarded tuition waiver
8 3 3 4
Matriculated student data        
Male 0 0 1 0
Female 8 3 2 4
Transgender 0 0 0 0
Non-Binary 0 0 0 0
Black 1 1 4 3
White 7 2 0 1

Contact

Francesca Pernice, Ph.D. 
Associate professor
313-577 1718
francescapernice@wayne.edu

Theoretical & Behavioral Foundations
Phone: 313-577-1613

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.