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

Research Courses

CNSL 8961Seminar: Counseling (taken for 3 credits)
EDUC 8120Group Comparison Designs and Analyses *
EDUC 8122Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 8171Predictive 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 8131Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170Educational Measurement
EDUC 8172Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173Structural Equation Modeling

Human Development Emphasis

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

Area of Specialization

9 credits of electives selected in consultation with program advisor


CNSL 8998Predissertation Seminar
CNSL 8999Dissertation 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

GSEHD doctoral students in counseling presented in New York at the Association for Adult Development and Aging Conference in early July. The presentations included: "Creativity in Counseling: The Integration of Expressive Arts" by Diona Emmanuel, Kshipra Jain, and Olivia Bentley and "Using Humanization to Build Resilience in a Dehumanizing World" by Kshipra Jain, Diona Emmanuel, and Yoonsuh Moh.

Quinn Koelfgen Smelser, GSEHD doctoral student (counseling) and staff member at the Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education (CRCRE), presented at the Inaugural Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling Conference in Arlington, VA, a new division of the American Counseling Association. Christian Chan, another doctoral student in counseling, joined her on the second presentation. The presentations were entitled "Reframing 'At-Risk' to Trauma Informed Care: A Play Therapy Approach" and "Using Play Therapy and Family Interventions for Gender Expansive Children."

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.