The APA-accredited Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology 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 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.
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.
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.
The Counseling Psychology program places a strong emphasis 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 faculty study GLBT issues, international issues, health disparities, career development, multicultural and early family career issues, sexuality, wellness, and masculinity.
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 pre-doctoral 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.
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.
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). CoA can be contacted at: