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Educational Psychology
250 Education Sciences Bldg
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Voice: 612-624-6083

Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology
250 Education Sciences Building
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN
55455-0364 USA

Tel: 612-624-6827
Fax: 612-624-8241
cspp@umn.edu

Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.)

Our Training Philosophy Model

The CSPP program is built on the scientist practitioner model. This includes intense training in the science of psychology, the practice of psychology, and the integration of these two elements. In addition to becoming skilled clinicians, students learn to be critical consumers and producers of research.

 The primary objective of the program is to equip students with a fundamental body of knowledge and skills for employment as counseling psychologists in a variety of settings. Graduates are trained to facilitate human development in many environments, including educational and community settings. Training emphasizes (a) a generic conceptualization of counseling psychology rather than one that is technique-specific, population specific, or work setting-specific, taking into account the limitations of traditional theory, practice, and research when applied to the needs of a pluralistic population; (b) developmental and educational as well as problem or crisis oriented approaches; and (c) an essentially normal range of interpersonal problem solving and decision making behaviors, as well as more severe human problems.

The CSPP program is addressing contemporary social issues and needs such as prevention and educational interventions, child and adolescent issues, and cross cultural and international applications. This program produces Ph.D. graduates who will address the needs of Minnesota, the nation, and other countries.

Our APA-accredited doctoral program contains courses in areas such as psychological foundations, statistics, measurement, research design, psychological assessment, and counseling theory, ethics, and skills, as well as capstone experiences (e.g., internship, dissertation). The following table includes coursework that you would take in each area.

Counseling Psychology PhD
Counseling Theory—Individual and Group (6 cr.) Statistics and Measurement (12 cr.)
Social-cultural Contexts of Counseling (3 cr.) Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
Career Development Counseling (3 cr.) Learning/Cognition (3 cr.)
Child/Adolescent Counseling & Development (4 cr.) Social Psychology (3 cr.)
Assessing and Counseling Clients with Psychological Disorders (6-7 cr.) Personality/Individual Differences (3 cr.)
Professional Ethics (3 cr.) Biological Bases of Behavior (3 cr.)
Counseling Research Design (3 cr.) History and Systems of Psychology (3 cr.)
Doctoral Seminars (Advanced Counseling Theory and Ethics and Advanced Research Design (8 cr.) Predissertation (2 cr.)
Counseling Practice (including internship) (29 cr.) Thesis (Doctoral Dissertation) (24 cr.)
Supervision Theory, Research and Practice (8 cr.) Supporting Program or Minor (12 cr.)

You would complete two independent research projects—pre-dissertation research (equivalent to 2 cr.) and doctoral dissertation (24 cr.). You would successfully complete written and oral comprehensive exams, and present your thesis (dissertation) proposal to your committee. Finally, you would give an oral defense of your thesis (dissertation).

You will also complete a rigorous sequence of experiences designed to prepare you to provide competent counseling, assessment, and other types of direct services to clients. The capstone of this sequence is the 2000 hour pre-doctoral internship.

Our doctoral program is designed to be completed in five years after the master's degree. However, in some cases, employment needs, personal commitments, or desire for additional specialization may be grounds to petition to extend your program.

If you enter the doctoral program with a master's degree in counseling, you may be able to transfer all or most of your previous coursework taken for graduate credit. However, since master's programs vary from school to school, it is difficult to predict what a student would need to take. If you are lacking in required master's coursework, the faculty will review your file and grant a program extension to allow you to complete these credits.

Graduate program support for students of culturally diverse backgrounds

Ph.D. dissertation samples



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Revised November 27, 2013