American Psychological Association
Graduate program director
Michael A. Southam-Gerow, Ph.D.
Associate professor and director of graduate studies
Everett L. Worthington, Ph.D.
Director, counseling psychology training program
Program website: psychology.vcu.edu/counseling
Refer to the program search function of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.
Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.
Counseling Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission.
The number of students who can be admitted is limited by the facilities and staff available. All applicants will be notified of the decision made. The screening process may begin as early as Jan. 1. First offers of admission are made by April 1. By June 1, after other offers to alternates have been made and final acceptances by students have been received, admissions may be closed.
Transfer credit hours for graduate work at other institutions will be evaluated after the completion of nine semester hours in the department.
The finalists for admission will be interviewed on site (or by phone) by counseling faculty.
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU
The Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology offered at VCU is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model and prepares students for research and service in professional psychology, including positions in university academic and medical school departments, counseling centers, mental health agencies and hospitals, physical health facilities, and other organizational settings.
The counseling psychology program emphasizes the enhancement of life skills and personal competence. Typical subspecializations include disease prevention and health promotion, career and life planning, work with medical populations, college students, community outreach, interpersonal processes, group counseling, marriage and family counseling, multiculturalism, and sport psychology.
The Center for Psychological Services and Development, a campus-based community service agency operated by the department, provides training opportunities for graduate students in all departmental programs, including practicum and research training for graduate students in the clinical psychology program. A wide variety of other on- and off-campus practicum placements also are available.
The department maintains laboratory facilities for research in the areas of behavioral assessment, behavioral medicine, developmental, learning, behavioral pharmacology, psychophysiology, psychotherapy process, social perception, social influence and group dynamics. Opportunities for field research also are available in a variety of settings.
In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses and to conduct significant research. All work toward the Ph.D. degree must be completed within eight years of the first enrollment.
A more detailed description of the requirements for each of the graduate programs is included in the Department of Psychology’s Graduate Student Handbook, which is provided to each incoming graduate student. Visit the website for more information: psychology.vcu.edu.
*Asterisk indicates required course for M.S. degree (53 credit hours minimum)
|Department core courses||14|
|PSYC 617 Sensation and Perception* or PSYC 629 Biological Basis of Behavior||3|
|PSYC 619 Learning and Cognition*||3|
|PSYC 675 Ethical Principles of Psychology*||2|
|PSYC 680 Statistics in Psychological Research I*||3|
|PSYC 681 Statistics in Psychological Research II*||3|
|Required counseling courses||37|
|PSYC 608 Research in Counseling Psychology*||3|
|PSYC 611 Contemporary Developments in Counseling Psychology||3|
|PSYC 616 Psychopathology*||3|
|PSYC 623 Counseling Theories and Personality*||3|
|PSYC 625 Career Development and Occupational Health*||3|
|PSYC 643 Principles of Psychological Measurement*||2|
|PSYC 644 Individual Tests of Intelligence*||3|
|PSYC 645 Assessment of Personality*||3|
|PSYC 651 Theories of Counseling and Interviewing*||3|
|PSYC 655 Community Interventions: Development, Implementation and Evaluation||3|
|PSYC 660 Health Psychology or other course in health psychology as approved by graduate program director||3|
|PSYC 676 Personal Awareness in Multicultural Counseling*||3|
|PSYC 695 Practicum in Clinical or Counseling Supervision||2|
|Research and counseling practica||15|
|PSYC 690 Research Practicum||3|
|PSYC 693 Counseling Practicum* (*six credit hours for M.S.)||12|
|PSYC 603 Developmental Processes or PSYC 633 Group Dynamics or other developmental course as approved by graduate program director||3|
|Social aspects of behavior course||3|
|PSYC 630 Social Psychology or other social aspects course as approved by graduate program director||3|
|PSYC 696 Internship (0.5 credit hours for three consecutive semesters)||1.5|
|PSYC 798 M.S. Thesis*||6|
|PSYC 898 Doctoral Dissertation||12|
|Total graduate credit hours required (minimum)||91.5|
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Degree candidacy requirements
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.