Counseling Psychology


Our APA-accredited Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology is a selective, full-time program designed to train psychologists in the rapidly changing areas of mental health, emotional and social learning, career development, and decision-making. Those entering with a master's degree typically complete three years of coursework and a fourth year of pre-doctoral internship. The majority of students complete their dissertations prior to or during the internship and graduate at the end of their fourth year. Only 7-8 students are admitted into the program each year, and applicants are admitted once each year and are expected to begin coursework in the Fall semester; applicants for Spring admission are not considered.


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 department has a strong commitment to training professionals to work with diverse populations in urban settings.

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Learn about our Program

Prospective Students

Prospective Students

Interested in CPSY? Learn more about our current students and opportunities in Memphis and across the country.

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Faculty & Research

Faculty & Research

Learn more about our CPSY instructors and the research their currently conducting.

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Current Students

Current Students

Important documents, links, and student groups relevant to CPSY

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A Letter from Our Program Leaders

Welcome Prospective Students!

We are delighted that you are interested in learning more about our APA-accredited doctoral program in Counseling Psychology (CPSY) within the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research (CEPR) at the University of Memphis!

Memphis is a robust city in west Tennessee, the second largest in the state with a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million people. There are numerous museums (e.g., the National Civil Rights MuseumStax Museum, the , the Brooks Museum) and social attractions (e.g., Graceland, the Memphis Zoo, Beale St., FedEx Forum (home of the Grizzlies and our own Memphis Tigers!), the Greater Memphis GreenlineShelby Farms Park). Memphis is famous for its BBQ and music and  is also home to Fed-Ex and other Fortune-500 companies and the world-renowned St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Read the rest of the welcome letter from Drs. Suzanne Lease and Sara Bridges >


The program was first accredited by the American Psychological Association in October, 1989 and has maintained accreditation since that time. APA accreditation allows program graduates to be eligible for the licensure exam (Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology - EPPP) upon completion of their degree and state licensure requirements. As part of our accreditation, we provide information on student admissions, outcomes, and other data. Information about the program accreditation status can be obtained from the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA).

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, DC 20002 
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org 
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

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.

Clinical Training Opportunities

The Memphis area provides a wide variety of field training sites including mental health centers, hospitals/medical settings, college counseling centers, prisons, rehabilitation agencies, and independent practices. Students typically enroll in their first practicum placement in the summer of their first year. Most students enroll in four or five practica semesters during the program. Because of our urban location and the many needs of the Memphis community, practicum sites often provide services to a range of underserved populations.

Student Financial Aid

Support is available through a variety of research and teaching assistantships. Assistantships are provided on a competitive basis at the department level. Selected community training sites appropriate for professional counseling psychologists offer paid external placements that provide experience, training, and monetary stipends. A limited number of scholarships are available through the Graduate School. Details are available in the Graduate Catalog. Eligible students may also apply for available grants and loans.