Doctorate in Counseling

Transform Counselor Education

Balancing rigorous research with clinical field experience at mental health sites, the doctoral Counseling program is uniquely designed in building your capacity to conduct research, publish, provide clinical services, and teach at the graduate level by leveraging clinical, administration, management, advocacy, and leadership skills. Faculty bring world class expertise in trauma, human sexuality, child and adolescent development, grief and loss, substance abuse, multicultural counseling, as well as a deep knowledge of diagnosis, assessments, interventions, and treatment approaches. During the program, you will have the opportunity to train as supervisors at GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center to enhance your skillset. The PhD program in counseling leads to careers both inside and outside of academia. Graduates of the program are teaching in universities and practicing in a variety of settings from directing high school counseling departments to leading county mental health treatment programs.

    GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center: GSEHD Doctoral students develop clinical, administration, management, and leadership skills through supervision of Masters level counseling students at GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center.

    Convenient Schedule: Courses are scheduled once a week in late afternoons and evenings (Monday-Thursday) to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and for internship experiences.

    Location: Doctoral students train across the metropolitan area developing their counseling and supervision capabilities in a wide array of settings including the National Children's Hospital, Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders, Arlington County Detention Facility, Kolmac Substance Abuse Clinic, Whitman Walker Clinic, and all regional university and college clinics.


The mission of the doctoral program in counseling at George Washington University incorporates and builds on the Mission of the GW Graduate Programs in Counseling. Building on research, theory and practice of master’s level counselors, the Ph.D. program in counseling prepares educators, leaders, and researchers within the scholar-practitioner model.

The mission of GW's doctoral program represents a commitment to develop advanced knowledge, skills, and dedication especially in the areas of:

  1. 1. Supervision
  2. 2. Research and Scholarship
  3. 3. Teaching
  4. 4. Counseling
  5. 5. Leadership and Advocacy

A minimum of 75 credits, including 33 credits in core courses, 12 credits in research courses, 6 credits in human development courses, 9 credits in an area of specialization, 15 credits in dissertation courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

CNSL 8251 Advanced Psychopathology and Pharmacology
CNSL 8252 Leadership and Advocacy in Counseling
CNSL 8254 Advanced Multicultural Counseling
CNSL 8255 Supervision in Counseling
CNSL 8256 Doctoral Practicum in Counseling (taken for a total of 6 credits)
CNSL 8257 Doctoral Internship in Teaching
CNSL 8258 Advanced Theories of Counseling
CNSL 8259 Doctoral Internship in Supervision I
CNSL 8260 Doctoral Internship in Supervision II
CNSL 8961 Doctoral Internship in Research

Research Courses

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses *
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses

One of the following (planned in consultation with advisor to fit dissertation proposal)
EDUC 8100 Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130 Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131 Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140 Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142 Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144 Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170 Educational Measurement
EDUC 8172 Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 Assessment Engineering

Human Development Emphasis

Two of the following:
HDEV 6129 Cultural Effects on Human Development
HDEV 8100 Issues and Special Topics in Human Development
HDEV 8241 Emotional and Cognitive Dev
HDEV 8244 Adult and Aging Development
HDEV 8253 Work, Identity, and Adult Development

Area of Specialization

9 credits of electives selected in consultation with program advisor


CNSL 8998 Predissertation Seminar
CNSL 8999 Dissertation Research (minimum 12 credits needed to complete requirement)

Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required

*Prerequisite statistics courses must be taken during the master's degree or must be completed prior to taking the following required advanced courses. For students who have not had an introductory statistics course, have not had one in a long time, or do not feel confident in their understanding and application of basic statistical techniques (i.e. through one way analysis of variance), EDUC 6116, Introduction to Educational Statistics, should be completed prior to enrolling in EDUC 8120, Group Comparison Designs and Analyses.


Program Faculty

Assistant Professor
(202) 994-2339
Associate Professor
(202) 994-2473
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1312
Associate Professor
(703) 549-6935
Associate Professor
(202) 994-1608
Clinical Associate Professor
(202) 994-2390
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0780
Career Outlook


Our graduates are engaged across the nation in research, teaching and private practice. They serve on the Counseling faculties at:

  • Hood College
  • University of Louisville
  • Georgia Regents University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • West Virginia University
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • George Washington University

Our graduates are engaged in clinical practice in hospitals, private enterprises and clinics nationwide. And, they are leading the field in research on mental health topics ranging from PTSD and veterans well being to depression mediators in survivors of sexual abuse.



Program Entry: Fall
Prerequisites: Master's Degree
Campus:Foggy Bottom
Priority Deadline: November 15, 2020

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose: In an essay of 500-750 words, state your purpose in undertaking doctoral level study in counseling. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. We are interested in determining your fit with our program and faculty, so be sure to identify faculty that could serve as potential mentors to you in research. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any research or teaching experience you have had.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (academic and/or professional)
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Standardized Test Scores (GRE)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

Program Data


Retention rate: 97%

Average time to complete the program: 5.75 years

Cost: $1,765 per credit hour

Scholarships: Graduate assistantships, merit based scholarships, external funding

Employment settings: Academia, research organizations, private practice, community agencies

Licensure eligibility: License for Professional Counselors (LPC). Requirements vary by state

Accreditation status: CACREP accredited until 2022. Program has been accredited since 1984

Fall Enrollment: 39

Predicted job outlook (2014-2024) 19% expected increase, compared to 7% expected increase in total US jobs. (Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics) This outlook is predicted for those with clinical mental health employment.

NOTE: Costs are 2019-2020; enrollment is Fall 2019; retention is calculated over the past year.

Survey Data
Student Resources
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Counseling program located on campus (202-994-0829).

In the News

Dr. Maggie Parker, Dr. Kenneth Hergenrather, GSEHD alumna Dr. Quinn Smelser, (PhD, Counseling), and GW student Catherine Kelly (PhD, Clinical Psychology) published a manuscript entitled, "Exploring child-centered play therapy and trauma: A systematic review of literature" in the International Journal of Play Therapy.

Dr. Mary DeRaedt was part of a panel discussion sponsored by the DC Creative Affairs Office discussing the Care for Creatives program. In designing this innovative program, Dr. DeRaedt collaborated with the District to provide teletherapy to members of the DC creative committee who have been hard-hit by COVID-19.

GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center was highlighted in the GW Today story, "New Program Provides Mental Health Care for D.C. Artists." Dean Michael Feuer and Dr. Mary DeRaedt were both quoted in the article, which shares how GSEHD is partnering with the D.C.

Dr. Kenneth Hergenrather presented a research session at the National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference on July 8, 2020 entitled, "Project Educate, Empower, and Employ (E3) Year 5: Enhancing Employment Outcomes for 24 U.S. communities that intersect poverty, race, and disability."

Dr. Delishia Pittman presented on the panel, "Can you see me? Honoring Black Mental Health During a Double Pandemic," hosted by the DC Psychological Association with Drs. Jessica Smedley and Candice Hargon. Over 250 people joined the live discussion and the recorded webinar was viewed over 1300 times in the first week.