Counselor Education—Doctoral Program

CACREP Accredited

A student listens to a lectureWestern 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. 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.


Program requirements

All students enrolled in this doctoral program must complete the following requirements in addition to course work related to a particular specialty:

Doctoral core (30 credit hours)

  • Professional Seminar Counselor Education (3 hours)
  • Advanced Counseling Theory and Practices (3 hours)
  • Supervision in Counseling and Psychotherapy (3 hours)
  • Doctoral Practicum: Clinical Supervision (4 hours)
  • Doctoral Practicum in Counselor Education (4 hours)
  • College Teaching in Counseling (3 hours)
  • Vocational Development Theory (3 hours)
  • Advanced Multicultural Counseling (3 hours)
  • Internship in Counselor Education (4 hours)

Scientific inquiry core (27 credit hours)

  • Research Design and Analysis (6 hours)
  • Qualitative Research (3 hours)
  • Elective in Research Design or Data Analysis (3 hours)
  • Evaluation
    Communication Skills Research Tool Competency
  • Dissertation Seminar (3 hours)
  • Doctoral Dissertation (12 hours)

Specialization (12 credit hours)
Courses focused around a theme or particular interest approved by the student’s doctoral committee. These specializations may include, but are not limited to:

  • School Counseling
  • Community Counseling
  • Student Affairs

Total Hours: 69

Counselor education doctoral students are required to demonstrate professional competencies through supervised experiences. These experiences include research, teaching and counseling. All doctoral candidates must pass a comprehensive examination over doctoral course work before admission to candidacy. The doctoral committee is responsible for the development and evaluation of the doctoral comprehensive examination.

Counselor education doctoral admissions information


Questions regarding the doctoral program in counselor education? Contact Dr. Stephanie Burns.