Doctor of Philosophy in counseling psychology

Counseling Psychology at Wayne State University adopts a Scholar-Practitioner model in the education and practice of psychology. The program includes the broad psychological study of human development from diverse lenses such as developmental, biological, cognitive, behavioral, multicultural, ecological, and educational perspectives. Students receive coursework and experiences emphasizing multi-level perspectives that include the influences of the social context and the environment in relation to individual development and mental health.

Important dates

  • January 15: Applications due

  • Program starts Fall semester of each year


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 program prepares students to address personal and interpersonal functioning across the lifespan with a focus on strengths and wellness. It encourages students to conceptualize self and others as holistically situated in multiple relational, sociocultural, and ecologically systemic contexts interacting with interpersonal experiences. Clinical preparation and training at WSU Counseling Psychology engages students as generalists and reflective practitioners, emphasizing theoretically and empirically informed methods that fit flexibly with individual, family, and community contexts and benefit clients through the healing effects of common factors of therapy.  

Counseling Psychology at Wayne State strives to embed and integrate multiculturalism and issues addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and justice throughout our training system. This includes coursework, research, and clinical practicum experiences. Practicum and research experiences are situated in diverse settings with children, families, and individuals, with a wide range of presenting concerns, and who represent a wide array of diversity across intersecting dimensions of race, ethnicity, religion, spirituality, ability status, age, sexual orientation, and gender identities as well as socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds. 


Applicants to the Counseling Psychology programs can apply following the completion of a degree in higher education from an accredited university and meet the admission pre-requisites. Applicants may apply following an earned bachelor's, master's, or doctorate. A minimum of 15 credit hours of psychology coursework and a minimum overall 3.0 GPA is required. It is suggested that students have courses in foundational areas of psychology, such as developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, personality, behavioral, social psychology, and research methods for the social sciences. Most applicants will have a bachelor's or a master's degree in psychology, or a closely related field. 

Canadian applicants are encouraged to review information through the Canadian Psychological Association. This site provides information for those trained in psychology in Canada and who want to move to a Canadian jurisdiction to practice. Applicants wishing to practice in Canada may have additional pre-requisites to apply. Some jurisdictions require a bachelor’s degree in psychology or majored in psychology from their undergraduate institution. Please visit the Provincial and Territorial Regulatory Bodies and for Ontario applicants, the College of Psychologists of Ontario licensure regulations before applying.

Program application components 

Graduate admission to the program is based on the requirements of the Wayne State University Graduate School, College of Education, and the Counseling Psychology Program. 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. Applications to Counseling Psychology Programs require the following for a holistic review process.  

  • Graduate School application 
  • All academic transcripts and degree 
  • Three letters of recommendations (one preferably from faculty from former institution)
  • Counseling Psychology Program Area Application 
  • Personal Statement (1 page minimum) 
  • Writing sample 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita 
  • Optional - Graduate Record Examination (GRE)  

Important dates

  • January 15th: Application due for fall consideration.
  • Mid-February: Doctoral interviews for selected candidates
  • Mid-March: Initial decisions 
  • April 15th: Offers of admission must be accepted or declined.
  • August: Orientation

Please note: Applicants recommended for admission will be required to complete a background check prior to formal offers.  Information will be sent to you concerning how to complete the legal background check and associated fees incurred to you. Admission is contingent upon university and faculty review and approval, however applicants concerned with this requirement are encouraged to apply as well reach out to the Program Director.  

Applicants may apply following an earned bachelors from an accredited university and meet the admission pre-requisites. Applicants applying while enrolled in a master's or doctorate program, or who have previously earned a graduate degree in counseling psychology or a closely related field from an accredited university and meet the admission pre-requisites are also eligible to apply. Applicants admitted to a clinical master's program in the Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations or programs in Educational Psychology at Wayne State University (e.g., Counseling Psychology, School Psychology) can apply to the PhD program at any point in their matriculation or following their graduation.

Program requirements

The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology is full-time, and students must meet the program requirements of residency and identify an area of research with a Major Advisor. Wayne State University requires Ph.D. students to complete at least 90 credits of specific graduate-level coursework. The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology minimum number of credit hours ranges between a minimum of 107-110, depending on electives, and includes coursework, clinical practicums, dissertation credit hours, and internship. The credit hours may be higher than the university minimums due to licensure requirements, electives, and meeting the standards of training for Health Service Psychology. 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 at least three academic years of full-time graduate study (eight credits or more per semester) plus an internship before receiving the doctoral degree. For those applicants continuing from MA in Counseling Psychology from Wayne State University, two-years of full-time study in the master's program will be augmented by one year of full-time study for the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, totaling three years of full-time study.

In addition to coursework, it is an expectation that all students embrace the opportunity to engage in scholarship and 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 are also required to complete a 2,000-hour Doctoral Internship at an approved clinical site and must take part in an Annual Review required by the Program each year. Students are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and attain B or better in major and cognate courses, and Satisfactory grades in clinical and practicum experiences/courses.

The Ph.D. Handbook Counseling Psychology Handbook provides information on program requirements and expectations.


  • CED Counseling
  • ED Education
  • EDP Educational Psychology
  • EER Educational Evaluation and Research
  • PSY Psychology
  • SOC Sociology
Course Number and Title Credit Houra
EDP 7520 Professional Ethics and Standards for Psychologists 3
EDP 7410 Human Developmental Psychology 4
EDP 7370 Psychotherapy and Diagnosis 3
EDP 7240 Systems of Psychotherapy 3
CED 6015 Diversity, Multicultural Competence and Social Justice Advocacy 3
CED 6095 Introduction to Counseling Groups 2
EDP 7400 Foundations of Social Psychology 3
EDP 7561 Assessment of Cognitive Functioning 4
EDP 7562 Assessment of Personality and Social-Emotional Functioning 4
EDP 7430 Foundations of Cognitive, Behavioral, and Affective Methods/Interventions 4
EDP 8319 Pre-Practicum in Psychotherapy 3
EDP 8320 Practicum in Clinical Procedures (I)* 3
EDP 8320 Practicum in Clinical Procedures (II)* 3
EDP 9000 Doctoral Seminar in Counseling Psychology 3
PSY 7120 Biological Basis of Behavior 3
CED 9120 Seminar and Internship Supervising Counselors 3
EDP 9319 Advanced Clinical Practicum (I)** [to increase to 3 cr.] 2
EDP 9319 Advanced Clinical Practicum (II)** [to increase to 3 cr.] 2
EDP 9319 Advanced Clinical Practicum (III)** [to increase to 3 cr.] 2
EDP 9319 Advanced Clinical Practicum (IV)** [to increase to 3 cr.] 2
EDP 9320 Internship (1 credit per semester during internship year)*** 3
EER 8160 Advanced Measurement (Psychometrics) 3
PSY 7440 Cognitive Development 3
One of the following series 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 Quant Methods (restricted - approval by program director) 3
PSY 8150 Multivariate Analysis (restricted - approval by program director) 3
One of the following
EER 8992 Research & Experimental Design 3
PSY 7470 Interdisciplinary Research Methods 3
EDP 7200 Systemic Theories and Family Therapy 3
CED 6065 Career Development and Employment Strategies 3
CED 6096 Group Counseling and Group Participation 3
EDP 7220 Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents 4
EDP 7190 Couples (and Family) Therapy 3
EER 7640 Fundamentals of Quantitative Research (Elective) 3
SOC 7200 Research Methods 3
Statistics Electives
EER 8760 Advanced Measurement I 3
EER 7870 Qualitative Research Introduction 3
EER 7910 Qualitative Methods for Diversity and Inclusion 3
EER 8520 Qualitative Research II: Design and Data Collection 3
EER 8840 Structural Equation Modeling 4
Dissertation Credit Blocks
EDP 9991 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
EDP 9992 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
EDP 9993 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
EDP 9994 Dissertation Maintenance 7.5
EDP 9995 Dissertation Maintenance* 0

Plan of work

The Plan of Work (POW) serves as the student's guide for completing the program. It reflects a systematic and organized series of courses, practicum experiences, program milestones, etc., designed to keep students on track and graduate in a timely manner. It should be planned with the counseling and guidance of the Major Advisor and approved by the Program Director and the College Graduate Director.

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.


As a doctoral student in counseling, you work closely with faculty who are accomplished scholars and experienced practitioners. But above all, they're dedicated to your success. As advisors, teachers, and mentors, they cheer you on at every step of your journey.

Core faculty

Counseling Psychology Ph.D. demographics


Applicants 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 2023-2024
Number of applicants 37 30 19 40 19 24
Number admitted 7 3 3 4 3 3
Number matriculated 7 3 3 4 3 3

Matriculated Student Data

Gender 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 2023-2024
Male 0 0 1 0 0 1
Female 7 3 2 4 3 2
Transgender 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-Binary 0 0 0 0 0 0


Race/Ethnic 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 2023-2024
2 or more 0 0 0 0 0 0
American Indian or Alaskan Native 0 0 0 0 0 0
Asian 0 0 0 0 0 1
Black or African American 1 1 3 2 2 0
Hispanic or Latino 0 0 0 1 0 0
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0 0 0 0 0 0
White 6 2 0 1 1 2


Francesca Pernice, Ph.D. 
313-577 1718

Theoretical & Behavioral Foundations

Phone: 313-577-1613