Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and School Psychology


Counselor educators are highly prepared professionals who work with graduate students at the university level or as supervisors in schools or agencies. They may also conduct research, secure external funding, and publish and present their scholarly work. Some counselor educators provide clinical and consultative services. Learn more about the profession, job outlook and median salary.

The Counselor Education track in the Education PhD program is intended for those who wish to pursue careers as counselor educators in higher education or serve as supervisors in schools or agencies. In addition to advanced curricular experiences in counseling, our courses are designed to examine the fundamental issues and theories of consultation, research, supervision and teaching adults in higher education settings, including supervised experiences in each of these areas.

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Program Details

  • UCF’s Counselor Education doctoral program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
  • The doctoral program is a full-time “day program”, uses a cohort model, and is structured to be completed in three years (eight to nine semesters). Doctoral students learn together, present at conferences, support each other and form bonds that last throughout their careers.
  • Each academic year, five to six highly qualified students (i.e. those who have completed a master’s degree in counseling and have obtained post-master’s experience) are selected to join the doctoral program. It is our goal to secure funding to support students’ journey throughout the doctoral program.
  • Doctoral students hone their clinical skills and learn supervision skills in the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center (CCRC). The CCRC serves as an outstanding training facility for our masters and doctoral students and provides free counseling services to over 1,200 Central Florida residents.
  • The Counselor Education faculty take an active role in mentoring the doctoral students in their research, teaching, supervision and professional development.
  • The Counselor Education faculty and doctoral students are very active in service to the counseling profession and to both the local and global communities.
  • Through attendance and presenting at such conferences as the American Counseling Association (and its divisions) and the Florida Counseling Association, doctoral students become recognized leaders for their service and research.
  • The Counselor Education program hosts several events each year (e.g., the UCF Counseling Conference, the UCF Play Therapy Conference, the UCF Counseling Symposium on Integrated Care, etc.). Doctoral students help to coordinate these events and often present their research to attendees.

Faculty Research

Our faculty engage in impactful research. Over the last five years, our faculty received more than $10 million in external research funding. Three of our faculty members are American Counseling Association Fellows. Faculty research include but are not limited to:

  • Addictions
  • Counselor Assessment and Supervision
  • Health Disparities
  • HIV Education
  • Military Counseling
  • Marriage and Family/Couples Issues
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity
  • Neuroscience and Brain Health
  • Play Therapy
  • Trauma and Loss
  • School Counseling

Student Success

In general, UCF doctoral students complete their degree having had opportunities such as:

  • Publishing (or “in press”) one to two manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Co-teaching at least two to three core counseling graduate courses.
  • Supervising master’s level counseling students in their practicum.
  • Presenting their research at local, state, regional, national and international conferences.
  • Serving in leadership positions for local, state, regional and national associations and their affiliated divisions, including the Florida Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association.
  • Receiving national awards in areas of research and leadership.
  • Being selected as NBCC Fellows, McNair Fellows, and National Holmes Scholars.
  • Providing clinical services in the Community Counseling and Research Center.
  • Securing faculty positions at nationally recognized colleges and universities (see FAQ for specific institutions).

Frequently Asked Questions

Individuals who are ready to learn, to be challenged, to embrace change, and appreciate diversity. We are seeking those with a master’s degree in counseling or counselor education. We strongly prefer individuals with at least two year of post-master’s clinical experience. See the program’s catalog page for specific application information.

Due to the structured nature of the program and the quality of immersion into teaching, research, and service, students find it challenging to maintain employment. Additional demands from graduate assistantships require students to work on campus 20 hours a week.

Our program is structured for completion in three years (8-9 semesters).

Students are required to complete master’s level coursework in the below eight core areas. An official transcript verifying completion will be needed for consideration into the program.

  • Assessment and Testing
  • Career Development
  • Counseling and Helping Relationship
  • Group Counseling and Group Work
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Social and Cultural Diversity

Students who are accepted into the program are offered an assistantship (based on funding availability). Traditionally, assistantships add up to approximately $18,500 annually ($7,000 Fall/Spring; $4,500 Summer) plus waived tuition and student health insurance. Note: students are responsible for all university fees. Some assistantships may differ based on faculty grant funding. Competitive fellowships are also available to those who qualify and are selected by the fellowship committee. Fellowships range from $5,000 to $20,000 annually for up to three years.

No, there is not a specific requirement. Focus on your clinical and research experiences. Include your anticipated research line of inquiry and your reasons for choosing to pursue a doctorate at UCF.

Our students are encouraged to pursue collaborative efforts with all our faculty. Several of our courses promote student/faculty connections for manuscript development, co-teaching, as well as research. Outside of the course expectations, students and faculty engage in research covering varied topics:

  • Addictions
  • Counselor Assessment & Supervision
  • Health Disparities
  • HIV Education
  • Marriage and Family/Couples Issues
  • Military Counseling
  • Multicultural and Diversity
  • Neuroscience and Brain Health
  • Play Therapy
  • School Counseling
  • Trauma and Loss

All of our counselor education doctoral courses are offered face to face.

81% of our doctoral graduates work as counselor educators.

Higher Education Institutions

  • College of William & Mary
  • Colorado State University
  • George Washington University
  • Lamar University
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Rowan University
  • Stetson University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Florida
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
  • University of North Texas
  • University of San Diego
  • University of South Carolina
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wake Forest University