The Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision is an online degree with residency requirements that will set you apart in the field of counseling for expert professional and scholarly work. This CACREP accredited* program, which uniquely integrates science and faith, is designed for currently licensed counselors who will complete an internship and dissertation as their knowledge base of the counseling profession grows in an environment of exceptional learning. You will evidence new ideas through groundbreaking research and the opportunity to present an original dissertation.
*The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has accredited the following programs in the School of Psychology & Counseling: M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A. in School Counseling, M.A. in Couple, Marriage & Family Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision.
Delivery Format: Online w/Residency
Total Credit Hours Required: 66
Approved Degree Plan: Click to download PDF
All doctoral candidates must complete the dissertation as a capstone experience of the program. Research conducted under the direction of a dissertation committee. Requires a minimum of 9 credit hours. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Overview of the history and development of counselor education with an examination of the theoretical orientation and practical skills necessary to function effectively as a counselor educator. Examine current topics pertinent to teaching counselor education and biblically based leadership skills in the profession of counselor education.
Examination of the diversity of approaches to marriage/family counseling, and the dynamics of couples and family counseling. Students receive practical, supervised experience developing and presenting marriage/family-related psychoeducational and consultative products. Emphasizes development of strategies based upon the special needs and characteristics of diverse client populations and ethical considerations when working with couples and families. Cross-listed with MHPS 644.
Critical analysis of advanced counseling theories, approaches and modalities applicable to working with groups. Examines integration of Biblically based leadership skills relevant to group counseling, with an in-depth exploration of the student's personal approach to group leadership. Emphasizes development of group advanced counseling skills and strategies based upon the special needs and characteristics of diverse client groups.
Fall: December 15 – Application and all required materials must be submitted by this date.
Interview Dates for Fall 2018 Admission:
Ph.D. applicants must:
Step 1: Application
Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application.
Step 2: Application Fee
Option 1: Pay the non-refundable $50 application fee online during the application process via our Miscellaneous Payments Form, or by check or money order mailed to Regent University, Enrollment Support Services, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.
Option 2: Attend a graduate School of Psychology & Counseling on-campus or online information session to learn how to streamline your application process, discover financial aid resources and waive your $50 application fee. Please note that application fees paid prior to attending an online or on-campus information session cannot be refunded.
Step 3: Personal Goals Statement
Submit a personal goals statement demonstrating an interest in Counselor Education, teaching, research, professional service, clinical practice and/or counseling supervision. Please email to your admissions counselor at email@example.com using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces.
Step 4: Résumé or CV
Submit a résumé or curriculum vita. Please email to your admissions counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces.
Step 5: Unofficial Transcripts
We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcripts from U.S.-based schools, which indicate successful completion of bachelor's and master's degree programs, in order to review you for an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to email@example.com using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces.
Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.
International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.
Step 6: GRE Scores
Submit official GRE scores. The GRE requirement cannot be waived. The School of Psychology & Counseling requires the General Test not the Psychology Subject Test. The writing portion of the General Test is used for placement purposes. A score of 3.5 or above will exempt admitted students from having to complete the university writing course. Average GRE of admitted students: 154 Verbal and 146 Quantitative (revised score scale). These are averages based on the scores of enrolled students over the last three years.
For more information about the GRE you can contact:
GRE: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, 609.771.7670 / 866.473.4373, www.ets.org/gre/
Step 7: Writing Sample
The admissions committee will evaluate a standardized writing sample for all applicants. Once your online application is complete you can submit the required writing sample through the ETS Criterion Service. This will be an online, timed essay prompt with a pre-determined topic. Applicants will receive immediate feedback on the essay from the ETS Criterion Service and the scores will be sent directly to the SPC Admissions Office. Read detailed instructions.
Step 8: Competency Documents
Only required of those applicants who are invited to interview for admission to the program. Submit the CACREP Competency Form provided by your admissions counselor to demonstrate that the needed master's level competencies have been met. You should be prepared to submit course descriptions and syllabi for your master's level courses that you indicate meet the specific competencies found on this form.
Step 9: Interview
Interviews for the Ph.D. program are by invitation only after review of the completed application. Interviews include both a group interview and a personal interview with our faculty. These interviews will take place on designated dates in the spring. Interviewed applicants will bear the expenses associated with travel to the campus of Regent University. Our preference is to have an in-person interview. In rare instances where circumstances do not permit, an alternative method such as Skype will be considered. It is expected that the candidate will be willing to discuss personal history within the interview process. Additional details will be provided to those invited for an interview.
Applicants invited to the interview should keep in mind that an interview does not assure admission. The School of Psychology & Counseling reserves the right to determine in its sole discretion whether a candidate is suitable for admission to the Ph.D. program.
International student applicants should allow at least 4-6 weeks for an admission decision to be made once the applicant has submitted all required documents to the appropriate offices and has followed all processes and procedures required for an admission decision.
All forms related to application to the Ph.D. CES program may be requested through the School of Psychology & Counseling Admissions Office. Please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 757.352.4498 or firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any further questions about the application process.
Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.
Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision - $790 per semester hour
Cost Per Semester
Parking Fee (on-campus students)
Council of Graduate Students Fee
*Rates are subject to change at any time.
The Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision includes a stimulating and instructional residency requirement. Residency is a time for the first, second and third year cohorts to gather together at Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach for approximately one week to strengthen and continue building community.
Residency offers an incredible opportunity for class members to meet and build relationships with one another, faculty and staff that may last an eternity. In addition, residencies provide enriching in-person networking and mentoring opportunities for students with faculty and peers. It is during residency that the faculty and students truly become colleagues; engaging in both personal and professional dialogue, establishing friendships, as well becoming professional equals. In light of these goals, the waiving of residency requirements will not be considered. A residency fee is assessed on students' accounts each fall.
What should students expect residency to look like? The overall experience is slightly different for each class. In general, students begin coursework and meet regularly during the residency with the instructor in a face-to-face classroom setting, then return home to complete the coursework in the online environment when the fall term begins. The specific focus for each cohort varies.
First Year – Residency is a time of orientation. This is when you gather with classmates for the first time as enrolled students. You will explore the technology used throughout the program, and be assisted in the initial setup. You will learn how the online program functions, and have time with the faculty and other students to develop mentoring and professional relationships. This is a critical week when you are introduced to your courses and receive the tools needed to embark on your journey as a doctoral student.
Second Year – Residency is a time of reunion and academics. The focus of residency shifts more to academic workshops and dissertation. You will gather together daily for workshops and presentations that will conclude summer courses, and you will prepare for your fall courses. Second-year students are also expected to begin seriously considering a dissertation topic and committee. You will have opportunities to engage in discussions with faculty concerning the dissertation and their research interests to help you select a faculty member as your dissertation chair.
Third Year – This is the final residency required of doctoral students. Focus during this year includes dissertation, internship and comprehensive exams. You will have greater access to the faculty, including individual appointments, to fully discuss these topics; and you will take your competency exams while on campus. This is the transition from doctoral student to doctoral candidate.
Students should budget for the following residency costs:
2) Textbooks purchased prior to residency
3) Hotel accommodations
4) Some food costs.
The residency fee will cover the cost of most breakfast and lunch meals and some dinners, as well as classroom break snacks when courses are in session. Students are responsible for making their own travel, lodging and other meal arrangements. The school assists with information on the above and helps facilitate students’ connecting to share rooms and rental cars to minimize expenses.
Some students consider bringing their families with them during residency, but this is generally discouraged. Students' daily schedules during residency are occupied with many activities that they are required to attend. The coursework is intensive and requires a considerable amount of study and preparation time, and students typically do not find the residency period conducive to being able to spend time with their families.
1. Why is a 48-hour master's degree in counseling a prerequisite?
Accreditation of the Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision is conferred by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The stringent accreditation criteria used by CACREP are the result of extensive input from educators, practitioners and the general public. Program accreditation by CACREP provides a credential which attests that a counseling program has accepted and is fulfilling its commitment to educational quality.
As indicated on the CACREP web pages (2009 Standards), there are specific educational foundations at the master's level that accreditation-seeking doctoral programs must require of its matriculating students. Having a 48-hour master's degree in counseling provides an applicant with the best opportunity to present master's-level training that meets the educational foundations expected by CACREP.
Per CACREP, a core curriculum of courses provides the minimum knowledge and skills considered necessary to anyone serving in the field of counseling:
Additionally, CACREP accredited master's programs require supervised clinical experiences that include practica and internships. Specifically, students must have had supervised practicum experiences (or the equivalent) that total a minimum of 100 clock hours (40 hours of which must have been direct client contact), and a supervised internship experience (or the equivalent) of 600 clock hours (240 hours of which must have been direct client contact). Supervised experiences include both individual and group supervision.
If your master's degree is from a CACREP accredited program, you will normally have met all the curricular and clinical experience requirements to apply to this doctoral program.
If your master's degree did not provide education and clinical experiences that meet the above criteria, you will need to do what we call remediation. You can still apply to and be accepted into the doctoral program conditionally, but you will need to complete all the missing elements in your remediation plan by no later than the end of the first year of study in the program. To meet the requirements before you begin the program, you can take missing courses from an accredited university (the counseling program does not have to be CACREP accredited but the university must be regionally accredited). As an example, if you have taken coursework in seven of the eight courses listed above but lack curricular experience in Career & Lifestyle Development, you can take a three-semester hour master's level course from an accredited university before you apply for or begin the doctoral program and present your transcript showing successful completion of the course for your file.
As you consider applying to the program, we strongly recommend that you compare you master's degree curricular and clinical experiences with the 2009 CACREP Standards Section II., Item G, #1-8 details the core curricular experience descriptions, and Section III., Items F and G give the clinical experience descriptions, so that you can determine any deficiencies you might need to remediate. These requirements are rigorous, but the ultimate result permits you to become a part of a program of recognized quality.
2. Are there any residency requirements?
Doctoral students will be required to attend and successfully complete three week-long residencies during the course of the program. A residency is a block of time set aside for all students in a cohort to come to our campus to meet as a group and engage in coursework, team building activities, workshops and social/cultural events.
Residency offers an incredible opportunity for classmates to meet and build relationships with one another, faculty and staff. They also provide opportunities for in-person discussions with faculty concerning the dissertation and allow time for students to identify faculty research interests to assist students in selecting a faculty dissertation chairperson.
During residency students begin coursework and meet regularly during the residency with the instructor in a face-to-face classroom setting, then return home to complete the coursework in the online environment. Residencies cannot be waived.
3. What career options are available to graduates from your program?
Graduates with the Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision are trained counseling professionals who can provide a multiplicity of professional services such as:
4. What does the future look like for graduates entering the field?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment prospects for counselors in all specialties is very good to excellent. It is anticipated that between 2006 and 2016 the demand for counselors and those who train counselors will rise 13 percent for school counselors and 34 percent for substance abuse and behavioral counselors. Similarly, the expected increase in the demand for post-secondary educators is expected to be 23 percent. The demand for counseling professors would be higher given the increased demand for master's level counseling professionals. In summary, the job outlook for Ph.D. level professional counselors is very good.
5. What is the length and teaching format of the program?
The doctoral program is 66 semester hours beyond a 48-hour master's degree and takes about four years to complete. The program is offered online, which allows students to study from almost any location in the world. There are three seven-day residencies during the course of the program, during which students are required to come to Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach for intensive teaching, orientation and workshop events. The doctoral program is a full-time, lockstep program for the first two years of the program, during which time students progress through specified courses in a cohort model and take 18 semester hours across three terms a year (spring, summer and fall) each of the two years. Beginning the third year, students may vary the course selection for which they are enrolled each term to include choices of electives. An internship is required, and students sit for written and oral comprehensive examinations to qualify for doctoral candidacy to write a dissertation.
The maximum time allowed to complete the program is seven years. In addition, doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment in the program during all academic years (i.e., three terms including residency each calendar year). Each term is approximately 15 weeks long, except the summer term which is 10 weeks long.
6. What is the path for licensure for graduates from your program, and in what areas are they eligible to be licensed or otherwise professionally credentialed?
Professional counselors are licensed and certified at the master's level. Graduates of the doctoral program do not receive any additional licensure or authorizing credential. However, students do receive the education and training required by many states to perform counselor supervision; graduates would typically be eligible to apply for supervisor privileges from their individual state licensing boards. Professional counselors may also seek national certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors; although the NCC credential is not required for independent practice and is not a substitute for the legislated state credentials, those who hold the credential appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met national standards developed by counselors, not legislators. Due to the nature of the licensing process in counseling, as well as the prerequisite of the master's degree, it is assumed that the Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision will appeal to those individuals who already have their licenses to practice professional counseling in that the concentration of skill training received in the doctoral program is designed to increase counseling skills to an advanced level.
7. What professional organizations or associations provide information about the field your program prepares graduates to enter? Where can I find more information?
The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the discipline of counseling. The division of ACA that may most exemplify the professional identity of Counselor Education & Supervision graduates is the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).
The ACA also has 19 divisions:
Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC)
Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA)
Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)
American College Counseling Association (ACCA)
Military and Government Counseling Association (MGCA)
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)
Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD)
American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)
American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)
American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC)
Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW)
Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC)
Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ)
International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC)
International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC)
National Career Development Association (NCDA)
National Employment Counseling Association (NECA)
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) sets rigorous counseling program standards and is the body that is responsible for conferring accreditation on counseling programs in the U.S. This organization is a good source of information about the profession of counseling, as is the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) that administers the national certification process for the discipline of counseling.
In addition to ACA involvement, many of our faculty and students are also actively involved with the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. CAPS is a professional organization that inclusively promotes the participation of all mental health professionals who seek to integrate principles of the Christian faith into professional practice, research and scholarship. Learn more at http://www.caps.net/.
8. What sort of students typically enroll in your program? What kind of training and preparation do they usually have?
Individuals who have already earned a minimum of a licensure-track, 48-hour master's degree in counseling or significantly related educational program such as psychology or social work, and typically have experience in the mental health field, will be candidates for the program (those with less than 48 hours or with a non-CACREP accredited degree may have to take additional coursework as a prerequisite to full admission). The Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision requires the master's degree as a prerequisite. Students may already have their licenses to practice as professional counselors or may be in the process of fulfilling those requirements. Potential students include adult learners who desire to augment the education and training they received from their counseling-related master's education and want or need the flexibility of an online, nonresident program to meet their current commitments to family or job.
9. What types of clinical or practica training experiences do students gain in your program?
The Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision has been developed to meet all the rigorous accreditation standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) that are designed to ensure excellence in education and training of those who seek to become counseling educators and advanced practitioners. Doctoral students are required to participate in advanced practica during which they see clients in settings supervised by licensed site supervisors as well as the doctoral faculty. As a capstone event of the doctoral program, in addition to writing their dissertation, students engage in an internship during which they provide direct client services in a supervised setting.
School of Psychology & Counseling
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