Doctor of Education: Counseling Psychology Degree Overview

Oct 08, 2019

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Counseling Psychology program teaches students the principles, theories, ethics and research findings in the field. Students may develop and validate strategies, experiment with relevant technologies, utilize professional counseling strategies, and more.

Essential Information

Many Ed.D. programs in counseling psychology offer students opportunities to explore various educational and counseling models. A doctoral program commonly requires a student to perform significant research culminating in a written dissertation. Most programs will lead to licensure or certification in accordance with state law.

Doctor of Education: Counseling Psychology

Students applying to doctoral programs may be required to submit transcripts from prior college-level studies. They may also be asked for a resume and standardized test scores. It is common for applicants to a doctoral degree program in counseling psychology to have completed previous degree programs in psychology, either at the bachelor's or master's degree level.

A counseling psychology curriculum typically includes courses in theory, research and practice. Students may delve into intervention methods, human growth, character, abuse therapy and maltreatment identification. Course topics may include:

  • Counseling techniques
  • Educational foundations
  • Positive psychology
  • Group counseling
  • Growth and development
  • Mental health counseling

Popular Career Options

Counseling psychology is a field that focuses on day-to-day life and promoting healthy living environments. A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Counseling Psychology program might be best suited to individuals interested in research. It could also prepare professionals for school supervisory counseling positions. Graduates can also pursue careers in healthcare settings. Properly licensed graduates may qualify for positions as:

  • Clinical psychologists
  • School psychologists
  • Addiction counselors
  • Directors of guidance
  • Guidance consultants

Clinical, counseling and school psychologists are predicted to see a 15% increase in employment opportunities from 2018-2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is about average. The BLS also reported that the median salary for these workers, as of May 2018, was $76,990.

Licensing and Certification Information

According to the BLS, counseling psychologists must typically have earned a doctoral degree and completed one or more years in the field to qualify for state licensure ( Voluntary certification for counseling psychologists could be obtained through the National Association of School Psychologists, which is officially recognized on a national level by over 30 states.

Ed.D. programs in counseling psychology typically focus on research and the development and application of counseling strategies. Graduates of these programs often meet the academic requirement for professional counseling psychologist licensure, though additional work opportunities may be available in addiction counseling, guidance counseling and related fields.

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