The state of Texas is home to a number of universities that offer PhD programs in counseling psychology. This degree program can prepare graduates for careers as counselors and psychologists or as researchers and teachers in this field. Below, five Texas programs are highlighted in detail.
Overview of Schools with Counseling Psychology PhD Programs in Texas
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University offers a PhD in Counseling Psychology program that is open to both holders of bachelor's and master's degrees. Students with a master's degree need to complete at least 64 credit hours to obtain the PhD, while bachelor's-level students must complete at least 96 credit hours. The program covers three major themes: community engagement, multiculturalism, and interdisciplinary collaboration. These themes are reflected in how the program is designed, the types of environments the students work in, and what kinds of opportunities they are exposed to.
The coursework is categorized into four different areas: history and systems; basic content areas in scientific psychology; advanced integrative scientific psychology; and research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics. In addition to coursework, students must complete research towards a doctoral dissertation and an internship.
University of North Texas
At the University of North Texas, students can enroll in a PhD program in counseling psychology that requires the completion of at least 113 credit hours for students who hold a bachelor's degree. The coursework is split into a few categories: general core studies (which covers foundational topics in quantitative methods and human behavior) and counseling core requirements (which covers more advanced topics in psychology and counseling). Students also complete elective coursework in a concentration area of their choice: child and family, minority wellness, or sport psychology. PhD students must also complete an internship and independent research towards a doctoral dissertation.
University of Houston
The University of Houston's PhD program in counseling psychology is unique in that it offers enrolled students the option to complete three additional courses and a clinical health psychology practicum to earn the health psychology emphasis on top of their PhD degree. The general program can be completed in around four years for students who already have a master's degree or about five years for students who enter with only a bachelor's degree. The coursework of this program is split into categories that include foundational courses; research design, statistics, and measurement courses; and counseling psychology specialty courses. Like other programs, the University of Houston also requires that students complete an internship and doctoral dissertation.
The University of Texas at Austin
Another option is the PhD in Counseling Psychology program offered by the University of Texas at Austin, which requires the completion of at least 104 credit hours. The program's curriculum is split into five different categories, and students must complete a certain number of credits within each category. These categories include foundation courses, counseling psychology courses, professional interest courses, out-of-specialization courses, and coursework related to the doctoral dissertation. Additionally, in order to advance to the candidacy portion of the PhD program, students must participate in a Collaborative Research Project in which they demonstrate how they contributed to a body of research while also working with others. Students must also then complete an internship and their doctoral dissertation.
Texas Woman's University
The PhD program in counseling psychology at Texas Woman's University stands out in that its curriculum and overall content has a clear feminist focus. In this program, students who enter with a bachelor's degree will be required to complete 105-106 credit hours, while students with a master's degree are required to complete fewer credits depending on how many credit hours from their previously completed degree transfer over. Courses cover topics in psychology ethics, gender, human sexuality, and family psychology. In addition to coursework, students must complete a one-year, full-time internship along with their doctoral dissertation in order to fulfill the program requirements.
Admissions Standards for PhD Programs in Counseling Psychology
When applying to a PhD program in counseling psychology, students will need to already have either a bachelor's or a master's degree in order to be considered for admission. Some programs give preference to applicants who have master's degrees, so students are advised to check the specific criteria of the program they are interested in. While it may not be necessary for applicants to hold a degree in psychology or a closely related field, applicants are generally expected to have completed a number of prerequisite courses in psychology and statistics in order to be considered.
When preparing their applications, students will need to include all past undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Students may also be asked to outline some of their research interests when they apply. Additionally, it is common for these programs to require or recommend that students have taken the GRE.
In summary, students have a number of options to choose from if they are interested in enrolling in a PhD program in counseling psychology at a university in Texas. The differences in curriculum and structure of these programs may help inform students when they are making this decision.