Doctorate in Counseling

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 PhD program in counseling prepares researchers, educators and leaders 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:

  • Supervision
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Teaching
  • Counseling
  • Leadership and Advocacy

The PhD program in counseling leads to careers both inside and outside of academia. Our graduates are teaching in universities, practicing in a variety of settings from directing high school counseling departments to leading county mental health treatment programs. The Doctoral experience offers challenging course work, practical experience at mental health sites and the opportunity to train as supervisors at GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center.  Designed to be completed in four to five years, the program is unique in building your knowledge and capacity to conduct research, publish, provide clinical services and educate at the graduate level. 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. The program balances rigorous research with clinical work to graduate scholar practitioners.

Find more information on our Community Counseling Services Center

Program Data 2016

Retention rate: 94%

Average time to complete the program: 5.6 years

2015-16 Cost: on-campus $1,530 per credit

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: 2 years through 2017, review pending summer 2017 *Program has been accredited since 1984

Annual Fall Enrollment: 47 students (new and continuing)

Predicted job outlook (2014-2024) 19% expected increase *compared to 7% expected increase in total US jobs *Obtained from US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics *Based on Clinical Mental Health positions

  • Commitment to Leadership in Learning: GSEHD Doctoral students develop clinical, administration, management and leadership skills in a program which balances learning through supervision of Masters level counseling students, clinical field experience and demanding course work. Ethical, multicultural and professional competencies are developed and practiced in group and individual supervisory and field site sessions.
  • Intellect in Action: 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.

A minimum of 69 credits, including 24 credits in core courses, 15 credits in research courses, 6 credits in human development courses, 9 credits in area of specialization, 15 credits in dissertation courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

CNSL 6173 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
CNSL 8252 Advanced Leadership and Advocacy in Counseling
CNSL 8254 Advanced Multicultural Counseling
CNSL 8255 Advanced Supervision in Counseling
CNSL 8257 Doctoral Practicum in Counseling
CNSL 8258 Advanced Theories of Counseling
CNSL 8259 Doctoral Internship in Counseling and Counselor Supervision I
CNSL 8260 Doctoral Internship in Counseling and Counselor Supervision

Research Courses

CNSL 8961 Seminar: Counseling (taken for 3 credits)
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

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) 994-2473
Assistant Professor
(703) 549-6935
(202) 994-7126
(202) 994-3993
Associate Professor
(202) 994-1608
Clinical Associate Professor
(202) 994-2390
Assistant 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

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 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 page.

Survey Data
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Counseling program located on campus (202-994-5860).

In the News

Doctoral students and alumni from GSEHD's Counseling program presented education sessions at the American Counseling Association Illuminate Conference:

  • Christian Chan and Deanna Cor presented The Nuances and Complexities of Group Work With Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Nonbinary Communities
  • Christian Chan, Justyn D. Smith, Kim Lee Hughes, and Adrienne N. Erby presented Changing Times, Changing Advocacy: ActionOriented Practice Insights for Couples Counseling With the LGBTQ+ Community
  • Deanna Cor and Megan Doughty Shaine presented De Opresso Liber, Part II: Counseling and Advocating for Trans Military Service Members During Uncertain Times
  • Kshipra Jain and Diona Emmanuel presented Acculturation, Discrimination, and Mental Health in LGBTQ Immigrant Populations

GSEHD doctoral candidate Christian Chan (counseling) was selected for a 2017-2018 Editorial Fellowship with Counselor Education and Supervision, the flagship journal of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Dr. Kenneth Hergenrather (first author), counseling doctoral student Diona Emmanuel (second author), and Dr. Maureen McGuire-Kuletz (third author), in collaboration with Dr. Scott Rhodes (fourth author) at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, had a manuscript accepted for publication. The manuscript, titled "Employment as a social determinant of health: Exploring the relationship between neurocognitive function and employment status," will be published in Rehabilitation Research, Policy and Education.

At the 2017 American Counseling Association Conference in San Francisco, doctoral students Quinn Smelser and Christian Chan, along with GW alumni Margaux Brown and Eraina Schrauss, presented a break-out session titled Ambiguous Loss in the Coming Out Process for LGBTQI+ Individuals. Ms.

GSEHD alumnus Rob Froehlich (Doctorate in Counseling) of the GW-CRCRE has been elected to serve as a member of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) Ethics Committee.