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Counseling Psychology

We are happy to announce that we had 100% match for internship again this year. Congratulations to our students!


The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at The University of Memphis is a full-time program designed to train psychologists who promote human development in the areas of mental health, emotional and social learning, career development, and decision-making in a rapidly changing environment. Students entering with a master's degree typically complete three years of coursework and a fourth year of predoctoral internship. The majority of the students complete their dissertations prior to or during the internship and graduate at the end of their fourth year. The program is administered through the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The program was accredited by the American Psychological Association effective October, 1989*.


Training is organized around the scientist-practitioner model of critical thinking and program faculty strive for an equivalent emphasis on developing both clinical understanding and skills and facility with research.  The program emphasizes responsibility and commitment to human welfare. Didactic and experiential activities and coursework are designed to anchor students firmly within the discipline of psychology. The program emphasizes research, development, prevention, and remediation as vehicles for helping individuals, families, and groups achieve competence and a sense of well-being. The department has a strong commitment to training professionals to work with diverse populations in urban settings.

Program Goals and Objectives

In accordance with the missions of the University, College, and Department, the Counseling Psychology program prepares professional psychologists who, upon graduation, are expected to become licensed and assume leadership roles in their communities. Students are expected to acquire: (1) a knowledge and skills base in psychology, research, counseling, psychological evaluation, and ethical, legal, and professional standards; (2) an identity as a counseling psychologist; and (3) the cultural competence needed for working in a diverse environment. The program is individualized to meet the students' goals. Graduates are prepared for positions in various settings including university counseling centers, community mental health centers, medical centers, independent practice, academia, and business. More detailed information on program goals, objectives, and competencies can be found here.

Faculty Research Teams

As with all doctoral programs, the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology places a strong value on engaging in the research process. Faculty supervise research teams that provide students with opportunities to gain experience with the research process, present at conferences, and publish. Current teams are studying college student alcohol use, GLBT issues, international issues, multicultural and early family career issues, wellness, domestic violence, and masculinity. For examples of collaborative research, see the Program Highlights and Research Team links in the right sidebar.

Student Information

The program admits 7-8 students each year. Applicants are admitted once each year and are expected to begin coursework in the Fall semester; applicants for Spring admission are not considered.  Students entering with a master's degree are expected to spend a minimum of three years in residence in Memphis and then complete a predoctoral internship in their fourth year. Students complete 78 hours of coursework in the substantive areas of psychology and counseling psychology, 12 hours of dissertation credit, and 9 hours of internship credit.

Program Resources

The Department has classrooms, group rooms, offices, video equipment, and personal computers available to students. The Memphis urban area provides a wide variety of field training sites including mental health centers, hospitals, college counseling centers, criminal justice agencies, rehabilitation agencies, and private practice.

Student Financial Aid

Support is available through Graduate Assistantships in research, teaching, or administrative work. The Department Chair, Dr. Doug Strohmer, makes assistantship assignments. Selected community training sites appropriate for professional counseling psychologists offer paid external placements that provide experience, training, and monetary stipends through University-funded grants for some students. Regent Graduate Minority Fellowships are available. Details are available in the Graduate Catalog. Eligible students may also apply for available grants and loans.

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Applicants to the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology typically hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in counseling, psychology, or a related mental health field and often have had substantial supervised counseling work experience. The following master's level courses (or their equivalents) are typically completed as part of master's level training in counseling or psychology programs. However, if these were not completed in masters' programs, they are prerequisite to full admission in the doctoral program:

  • Group Processes
  • Theories of Counseling
  • Career Counseling
  • Assessment Techniques
  • Pre-Practicum techniques/Practicum
  • Statistics/Research

Individuals without master's degrees are considered for admission only if they have substantial post-bachelors academic, clinical, or research experience.

Applications for both the Graduate School and Department program must be completed. Please refer to the Graduate School for the Graduate School admissions information or contact:

Office of Admissions
The University of Memphis
Administration, Suite 215
Memphis TN 38152
(901) 678-2531

Please click on the link below to download the application form and instructions.

Counseling Psychology Program
Dept. of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research
The University of Memphis
100 Ball Hall
Memphis TN 38152
(901) 678-2841

All applications must be received no later than December 5, 2014 to be considered for the fall 2015 admission date. For more information regarding the Counseling Psychology program, please contact Dr. Suzanne Lease.

*For information on accreditation, please visit the APA website at: 

Or contact them at:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202 336-5979
Fax: 202 336-5978   email the Office at:

Additional Information

Memphis, with a population of approximately one million, is one of the South's largest and most attractive cities, offering an array of affordable housing, cultural attractions, and a variety of opportunities for training and professional development. More detailed information about the city's cultural and recreational opportunities is contained in the current Graduate Catalog and at Portal Memphis.

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Last Updated: 2/27/15