The Ph.D. Degree in Counselor Education at The University of Alabama prepares Counselor Educators for faculty positions in colleges and universities; student and/or pupil personnel; rehabilitation administrators; counselor supervisors; counseling specialists for community settings, such as family counseling clinics, community mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities, substance abuse centers, and governmental agencies; and private counseling practitioners.

The Ph.D. program includes academic instruction in counselor education core (professional issues, leadership and advocacy; assessment; counseling and intervention; and college teaching and supervision), as well as supervised experience in clinical practice, clinical supervision, college teaching, research, and leadership and advocacy; measurement, statistics, and research design (students have an option of taking classes leading to a certificate in quantitative or qualitative research methods).

Admission Requirements

Cohort admission decisions are made annually. Admission to pursue a doctoral degree in Counselor Education is a two-step procedure. Regular admission to the Graduate School is the initial step for those seeking the doctoral degree. Within this step, students are engaged in post-master’s study and are subject to scrutiny and review by program faculty for their suitability for doctoral study. Statement of purpose and letters of recommendation consistent with goals of the program, entrance exam scores (300 or above on the GRE or at least the 50 percentile on the MAT), and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are needed for regular admission.

An applicant for doctoral study must:

  1. possess a completed master’s degree in Counselor Education
  2. when necessary, complete supplemental master’s-equivalency courses to comply with the CACREP-accredited course of study for the master’s degree
  3. successfully complete a pre-admission doctoral interview for formal pursuit of the doctoral degree in Counselor Education

Course credit in post-master’s study may be used to fulfill doctoral degree requirements only after supplemental master’s-equivalency study is completed and a successful interview is conducted.

Application Process

  • Complete the Application Form.
  • Pay the application fee. The application fee is $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $80 for international students. Please note that application fees are non-refundable. The application fee is waived for the following groups:
    • Veterans and current members of the US military (please email your DD 214 or current assignment orders to gradschool@ua.edu).
    • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program students (please email gradschool@ua.edu for more details).
    • University of Alabama undergraduates applying to a graduate program in the same subject area. To qualify for this application fee waiver a student must have no time break between the undergraduate and graduate program and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater.
    • Applicants who have previously enrolled in Graduate School at The University of Alabama.
  • Within 48 hours of completing steps 1 and 2 you will receive an email with your Campus Wide Identification (CWID) number. It is VERY important that you keep this number somewhere safe.
  • Submit supporting documents and check application status by selecting Manage Documents.

Program Requirements

In addition to taking courses through the Program in Counselor Education (designated as BCE), students take courses offered by affiliated programs including: Educational Psychology (designated as BEP), Educational Research (designated as BER), School Psychology (designated as BSP), and other areas. These courses afford the opportunity to take advantage of the expertise of faculty in other programs in the College of Education.

All doctoral students must have a completed Plan of Study approved by the Graduate School no later than the semester during which the student will complete 30 semester hours of UA and/or transfer credit for the doctoral degree. Otherwise, a “hold” may be placed on future registrations.

If later there are changes in the Plan of Study, the student submits an amended plan of study to the Graduate School at the time the student applies for admission to candidacy for the degree. Admission to Candidacy forms are on the Graduate School’s website.

A department-approved Admission to Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree is submitted to the Graduate School as soon as possible after passing the comprehensive (preliminary) examination.

Doctoral Research

Doctoral students in the program will expect to work with a diverse faculty in variety and new edge research including: Neuroscience and its application to counseling, Morality, working with specialty populations including those with HIV/AIDS, minority populations. In addition, faculty work to ensure that students are exposed and are involved in the whole array of activities for being a professional in counselor educations: These activities may include publication for peer review journals, reviewing journal and conference presentation, applying for grants, preparing training materials, teaching and/or supervising students, working with clients in the community. Phd Students in the Counselor Education program can obtain certification in qualitative research, mixed methods research while undertaking their doctoral studies.