Counseling Psychology Doctoral Emphasis (PhD)

Prospective Students

Do you want to work as a Doctoral-level Counseling Psychologist?

If yes, please consider our training program in Counseling Psychology (your doctoral degree will be granted in “School-Psychology with a Counseling Psychology emphasis”).

Program Description

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The Counseling Psychology Emphasis is based on the scientist-practitioner model of training and emphasizes community mental health prevention and intervention services for clients with a wide variety of mental health problems. We prepare counseling psychologists who are trained in evidence‐based psychological services and research methods, are sensitive to individual, social, and cultural differences, are advocates for mental‐health and personal growth throughout the lifespan, and are competent to practice in healthcare systems and in academia.

The doctoral program has four primary goals:

  1. To train Scientist-Practitioners of Counseling Psychology who use the scientific method in both research and practice settings.
  2. To train Counseling Psychologists who think and practice in a professional, ethical, and socially responsible manner.
  3. To train Counseling Psychologists to provide evidence-based psychological services in community and mental health settings.
  4. To create a environment that facilitates scholarship and innovation across a wide range of experiences and establishes close working relationships among faculty and students.

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Highlights of the program include:

  • Scientist-practitioner training in evidence-based treatments and conducting applied mental health research
  • Close working relationships with active Counseling Psychology faculty
  • Research Associate positions for competitive applicants
  • Learning environment that encourages scholarship and innovation
  • Funding for conference travel to present research
  • 4-6 new students admitted each year


The program of study is typically five years (120 credit hours). Four years are spent in full-time coursework at UCA, and the fifth year is a full-time professional psychology internship. Graduates will be prepared to provide evidence-based assessment and treatment services and to conduct research in clinical and university settings.

Research requirement

Students are expected to join on-going core faculty research programs and labs:

  • Elson M. Bihm (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Counseling psychology,  philosophical psychology. Director of Training.
  • J. Arthur Gillaspy, Jr. (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas A & M University). Addiction.
  • R. Kevin Rowell (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas A & M University). Mental health of elderly.
  • Femina Varghese (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Offender employment and ethnicity.
  • Dong Xie (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ohio State University). Culture and Personality.

APA Accreditation

The Counseling Psychology Emphasis began in 2008 and is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Accreditation by APA will be sought within the next 12 months.

To Apply to the Program:

Admissions Requirements

All applicants for the doctoral-degree emphasis in Counseling Psychology must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School and specific requirements of the doctoral program.

January 15th is the deadline for all completed application materials – for summer or fall admission

Before the application for Counseling Psychology can be approved by the department, an applicant must complete an Online Graduate School Admission application, submit official transcripts of all completed college course work and submit official Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores on the General Section (see Admissions Information link below).

In addition, the following items are required by the department:

  1. Completed, typed  Counseling Psychology Emphasis Application for Admission (see Application Form link below).
  2. Twelve semester hours of undergraduate preparation in psychology (see program application for specifics)*
  3. Three letters of recommendation from former college professors or individuals otherwise qualified to comment on the applicant’s professional and academic potential
  4. A 500-word statement of purpose which includes our interest in the field of psychology and your goals upon completion of the degree
  5. Current resume or vita.

* any outstanding prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the first year in the program

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are received by the admissions deadline.

Application Links

Other Links

  • CP Research News Brochure 2014
  • CP Research News Brochure 2012
  • CP Program Flyer 2013
  • CP Program Poster 2013 



Current Students

 Handbooks and Forms

Professional Information


Program Faculty