Counselor Education—Doctoral Program


Admissions requirements

  • Essay explaining interest in the program, professional goals, personal assets and relevant life experiences.
  • Three professional letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Complete this program supplemental application program form.

Student success

  • "I chose this occupation in order to show not just homage to that counselor who made such a big change in my life, but so that I could be that change for the next generation of people coming in with blindness or low vision"Robert Parsons, alumnus

Program overview

The program is offered in-person in Kalamazoo; however, there are some courses that are offered online. The program is offered in a hybrid format in Grand Rapids which means there are several courses offered online and some courses meet in-person.

Western Michigan University's doctoral program in counselor education is designed to provide advanced–level preparation for counselors in various mental health and school settings as well as preparing counselors for the counselor education professorate in colleges and universities. Preparing counselors to work as counselor educators and supervisors is the program’s highest priority. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Doctoral students pursuing this degree are expected to demonstrate:

  • A wide range of individual and group counseling skills
  • A sound theoretical foundation in counseling
  • Teaching and supervision competencies
  • Advanced multicultural counseling skills
  • Research skills
  • Competencies associated with being an educational leader
  • An understanding of academic program development, curriculum and administration

Students are expected to involve themselves in appropriate activities of the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, College of Education and Human Development and WMU, as well as those of relevant professional associations. The doctoral program in counselor education is not intended to meet the educational requirements of those who seek to be licensed psychologists. It assumes that applicants have or are about to complete their master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field. Persons with a master's degree in a related field may be asked to complete an additional master's degree in counseling.

Join us for a virtual information session to learn more.

Why counselor education at Western Michigan University?

  • Courses are offered at both the WMU Grand Rapids and the WMU Kalamazoo locations for our students' convenience. 
  • 98% of WMU counselor education graduate students were employed or continuing education within three months of graduation. 
  • The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. 
  • In addition to WMU funding opportunities, our department offers competitive assistantships and scholarships.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of our many excellent study abroad programs.
  • We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Cost & Funding

Helpful links




Dr. Gary Bischof, Unit Director