Doctorate in Educational Counseling: Program Summary

Oct 12, 2019

There are two doctorate-level programs available in educational counseling. Read on to find out more about each and decide whether one of them meets your educational requirements and is consistent with your career goals.

Essential Information

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

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
  • Professor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for all psychologists would increase 14% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations ( The BLS also reported that the annual average salary of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was $85,340 in May 2018.

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.

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