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.

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

    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.


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

Associate Professor
(202) 994-2473
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1312
Assistant Professor
(703) 549-6935
(202) 994-7126
Visiting Assistant Professor
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
Priority Deadline: December 15th, 2017

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 (202-994-3023).

In the News

Dr. Kenneth Hergenrather had two presentations at the 2018 National Rehabilitation Education Conference in Anaheim, California: 1) plenary session entitled: U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration federal grant award Project Educate, Empower, and Employ: Applications of Community-based Participatory Research among 12 Targeted Poverty and Disability Communities in the U.S. and 2) concurrent session entitled: Social Determinants of Health: Addressing Inequities through Informed Rehabilitation Research and Practice.

Dr. Sylvia Marotta-Walters, along with doctoral students Kshipra Jain (Counseling), and Jeffrey DiNardo (Counseling Psy), and colleagues, published "A Review of Mobile Applications for Facilitating EMDR Treatment of Complex Trauma and Its Comorbidities" in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.

GSEHD doctoral students Hannah Hofheimer Moss, Lindsay Smith, Mark Covington, and Jennifer Ha (Counseling) presented a poster entitled "Interventions to Address Risk and Protective Factors in Complex Trauma" at the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors Conference in New Orleans on February 2, 2018.

GSEHD doctoral student Quinn Koelfgen Smelser (Counseling) recently published two works:

  • Gil, E., & Smelser, Q. K. (2018). Puppets in family therapy with a case of trauma and sexual abuse. In A. A. Drewes & C. E. Shaefer, Puppet play therapy: A practical guidebook. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Kjellstrang Hartwig, E., & Smelser, Q. K. (2018). Practitioner perspectives on animal-assisted counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 40(1), 43-57.

Dr. Kenneth Hergenrather, Dr. Maureen McGuire-Kuletz, and Diona Emmanuel, doctoral candidate in counseling, presented a pre-conference training at the Fall 2017 National Rehabilitation Education Conference in Arlington, Virginia. The presentation was titled Community-based Participatory Research: Applications for Enhancing Employment Outcomes. Dr. Hergenrather, Dr. McGuire-Kuletz, and Ms. Emmanuel also presented a poster session at the conference. The poster was titled Men and Masculinity: Enhancing Counseling Outcomes for Male Clients.