Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program Counseling Psychology Ph.D.

Counseling psychology is an applied specialty within the field of psychology that has focused on (a) client strengths, (b) the interaction between the person and the environment, (c) facilitating career development, and (d) multiculturalism.

This APA approved doctoral program contributes to eligibility to become licensed and practice as a psychologist. The Ph.D. degree in counseling psychology is designed for students who want to pursue careers as university professors, researchers, psychotherapists or directors of psychological services.

Counseling psychologists provide developmental, preventative and remedial services to a wide variety of clients, including children and adolescents, couples and families, people with mental health problems, students, veterans, the unemployed, prisoners, medical patients, people with physical disabilities, cognitive impairments and older adults.

Students also have the opportunity to work with an active research team and develop their writing and research skills.

Course description and classes

View the GSU Graduate Catalog 


Program Contacts Accreditation
CPS Admissions
Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.,
program coordinator

The Doctorate of Philosophy with a major in School Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. *Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: 202-336-5979

Jhodi-Ann Bowie, Ph.D. Student in the Counseling Psychology Program

Affiliations and Research Interest
Jeff Ashby, Ph.D., program coordinator - perfectionism, stress coping and religiosity/spirituality.
Greg Brack, Ph.D., crisis and trauma. Dual appointment with Counselor Education program.
Don Davis, Ph.D., humility and forgiveness. Dual appointment with Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Cirleen DeBlaere, Ph.D., intersection of multiple minority identities and its impact on mental health.
Joseph Hill, Ph.D., Counseling Psychology program clinical coordinator. Contact regarding practicum opportunities and internship placement.
Joel Meyers, Ph.D., dual appointment with School Psychology program.
Ken Rice, Ph.D., stress management, coping and perfectionism. Matheny Endowed Chair.

Program Emphasis

  1. We value applicants with previous research experience and research interests that are closely associated with those of our faculty.
  2. We are committed to increasing the levels of commitment to valuing multiculturalism and diversity among our doctoral students.
  3. Previous professional experience as a practitioner and experience in the work world are highly valued.
  4. Involvement with the American Psychological Association, especially Division 17 (Counseling Psychology), is highly desirable.

Application Essay
Your essay should describe your match with our program, including:

  1. Why a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology is the best fit for your career goals
  2. How this program specifically will help you meet your career goals
  3. How your background matches characteristics that we seek in applicants
  4. Your research interests and how they relate to those of specific CPY faculty that you would like to work with

Preferences for Interviews are given to Applicants with:

  1. GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile (we evaluate scores in the context of culture, nation of origin, and language)
  2. Master’s degrees with high GPAs from rigorous Counseling Psychology/Counseling programs (or other applied programs)
  3. Previous journal publications, national presentations, theses, or comparable supervised research experiences
  4. Complex understandings of multiple cultural perspectives, experience working with diverse cultural populations, related research interests, and/or diverse cultural backgrounds
  5. Paid professional experience counseling clients
  6. Letters of recommendation providing evidence that you are a top candidate
  7. Initiative, self-direction, creativity, the ability to contribute to the field, etc.

Admissions Information

Student Admissions Outcomes Data

Cory Viehl & Taylor Christian

  • CPY doctoral students often work as a research assistant to their advising professor during their first year, a 16-hour/week graduate assistantship that offsets tuition, provides a small stipend, and offers students an opportunity to learn research skills, develop mentoring relationships, and work with a research team.
  • CPY doctoral students complete a first-year practicum at the GSU Counseling Center, which offers training in feminist and psychodynamic approaches to trauma and an annual multicultural conference.
  • Many students continue in graduate assistantships after the first year and work at the Counseling Center or teach Master’s level or undergraduate courses (e.g., supervision of Master’s level counseling trainees).
  • CPY doctoral students are required to complete two research projects, a pre-dissertation and a dissertation, both of which are submitted to professional journals for publication. In addition, many students publish and present with faculty.
  • CPY doctoral students have the opportunity to take seminars on “hot” topics such as traumatology, consciousness, multicultural and social justice issues, facilitating adventure therapy, the psychology of women, etc.
  • Our department houses a student-run chapter of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues in Counseling (ALGBIC), which is a division of the American Counseling Association. CPS-AGLBIC offers an annual conference at which students may present their research and receive SAFE ZONE training. Other student organizations, such as Soujourners (international students) and African Americans in Counseling and Psychological Services also provide educational events.