Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the Field of 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:

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


Applicants must possess a master’s degree by the time they start the program. If the master’s degree is not CACREP-accredited, then significant master’s-level course work will be added to the program plan outlined below.

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
  • and 3 credits in Level B research methods coursework selected in consultation with advisor to coordinate with the dissertation.

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 Development
  • 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

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is 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.


Attia, Mina Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development
Beveridge, Scott Associate Professor, Counseling
Das, Bagmi Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development
DeRaedt, Mary Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development
Froehlich, Robert J. Associate Professor, Counseling and Human Development
Hergenrather, Kenneth Professor, Counseling
Lanthier, Richard Associate Professor, Human Development
Marotta-Walters, Sylvia Professor, Counseling
McGuire-Kuletz, Maureen Associate Professor, Counseling
Megivern, Monica Clinical Associate Professor, Counseling
Parker, Maggie Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development
Peters, Harvey Charles Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development
Pittman, Delishia Associate Professor, Counseling


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: 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)
  • GRE general test is optional

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.


Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2023 start term. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2022.

Apply Now           

If you have questions about submitting your application, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202-994-9283.

Program Data


  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Average Time to Complete the Program: 6.3 years
  • 2021-2022 Cost: $1765 per credit
  • Scholarships: Graduate assistantships, merit based scholarships, external funding
  • Employment Rate (at 6 months post graduation): 100%
  • Employment Settings: Academia, research organizations, private practice, community agencies
  • Licensure Eligibility: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Requirements vary by state.
  • Accreditation Status: Accredited by CACREP through 2024. Program has been accredited since 1984.
  • Fall Enrollment: 40
  • 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). Outlook predicted for those with clinical mental health employment.

NOTE: Costs are 2021-2022; enrollment is Fall 2022; retention is calculated over the past year.

CACREP Executive Summary 2021 >

Student Resources

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the Field of Counseling. Complete the form linked below or contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at 202-994-9283.

Request Information