Students interested in studying educational counseling at the doctoral level may choose to pursue either a Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision or a Ph.D. in School Psychology. The first program is designed for counselors seeking managerial or teaching roles in clinical, school or research settings, and it provides training in research methods and research practice. The second program is aimed at students interested in working with children and adolescents in educational settings, and students can expect to study subjects like cognitive assessment and school functioning. Both Ph.D. programs include coursework, seminars, practicums, an internship and the writing dissertation or doctoral thesis.
In order to apply, students need a bachelor's and/or master's degree in psychology. They must also submit letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores, and a proposed curriculum and goal statement. An admissions interview may also be required.
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Education and Supervision
In this program, students study teaching and supervisory roles in academic, clinical and research settings. They also learn strategies for designing and presenting original research. Some programs emphasize multicultural awareness and the role culture plays in counseling and supervision. Curriculum also includes instructional theory and methods, career development and supervision practices. Here are some possible course titles:
- Counseling and career theories
- Multicultural issues
- Clinical practice
- Leadership and advocacy
- Qualitative research methods
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Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology
Ph.D. programs in school psychology explore advanced principles in intervention and consultation, especially as it relates to children and adolescents. Students learn about the theories and clinical applications of patient evaluation. Students also explore different assessment approaches to apply to diverse populations.
Over the course of the program, students gain expertise in school psychology through courses covering school, family and community relations, behavior analysis, individual differences, instructional theory and learning theory. Additional course titles include:
- Cognitive assessment
- Managing behaviors
- Professional and ethical issues
- System theory in school functioning
- Instructional issues
Popular Career Options
Doctorate holders are qualified for senior-level and leadership positions in research and academic counseling settings. Typical job titles may include:
- Counselor supervisor
- School guidance administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for all psychologists would increase 19% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the annual average salary of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was $76,040 in May 2015.
For students who want to pursue senior-level school counselor positions or become research professors in the field, a doctoral program in educational counseling provides the necessary theoretical, practical, and research training.