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Grad Program: Counseling Psychology

Basic Information

Counseling psychologists work in a number of areas that include marriage, family, children, health, educational, career, correctional, and substance abuse counseling. Students in a Counseling Psychology graduate program will learn techniques of assessment and testing along with advanced counseling and diagnosis methods.

Graduate programs give students a wide range of experience. Courses teach how to counsel different client populations, including children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and various ethnic groups. Students also learn the theory-based techniques of biological, cognitive, and social behaviors, as well as strategies for alternative consultation and methods for dealing with those in crisis.

Research and practice provide invaluable experience for students. The integration of class work with field experience allows the student exposure to a variety of disorders and methods.

Degree Information

Graduate work in Counseling Psychology usually culminates in either a Ph.D. or an Ed.D., both of which take around five years to complete. The Ph.D. is more research-intensive than the Ed.D., and both are slightly less academically rigorous than the Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Though the programs are quite competitive, they tend to be slightly less competitive than clinical programs.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • What are the research interests of the faculty and graduate students?
  • What sorts of research opportunities are available?
  • How connected is the program to the local counseling psychology community?
  • How successful are the graduates in finding jobs? Does the program help in job placement?
  • What sorts of field experiences are available for students?

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