2019-2020 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 22, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling and Counselor Education, PhD

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Melissa Luke, Ph.D., Sims Hall, Suite 440, 315-443-2266, mmluke@syr.edu

Core Faculty

Dr. Sharon Bruner, Assistant Professor
Dr. Yanhong Liu, Assistant Professor
Dr. Melissa Luke, Professor
Dr. Derek Seward, Associate Professor & Department Chairperson
Dr. Caroline O’Hara, Assistant Professor
The Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling and Counselor Education and Supervision is a CACREP-accredited program designed to prepare graduates for academic positions and other careers in Counselor Education, building on the entry level competencies of the master’s degree in counseling. The doctoral program of study incorporates didactic and experiential learning and includes a cognate area of study involving at least nine semester credits, which are usually completed outside of the department.

The overall goal for the doctorate in Counseling and Counselor Education is to produce professors, administrators, and clinicians who will become leaders at the regional and national level in their area(s) of expertise. That leadership will include contributing to the professional body of knowledge through research and disciplined practice, planning and organizing systemic services to the larger community, and establishing preparation programs for counselors to serve the future needs of society.

The strengths of our doctoral program are numerous. Current and past doctoral students have offered the following comments on the quality of S.U.’s program:

  • Faculty who are nationally recognized yet student-focused
  • Multiple opportunities for clinical supervision
  • Opportunities and support for developing teaching skills through the Future Professoriate program
  • Solid financial support through graduate assistantships and excellent medical benefits
  • Flexible policies allowing doctoral students to use GA support for summer courses
  • Financial support to attend and present at national conferences
  • Opportunities to develop research skills as part of on-going research teams

The Department of Counseling and Human Services has been a pioneer in training highly skilled practitioners and leaders in a wide range of counseling settings. Syracuse’s programs are nationally accredited and can lead to national certification or State Certification in School Counseling or Licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

Programs include extensive fieldwork opportunities in which students gain hands-on experience working with students and clients in a wide range of counseling and educational settings. Students work closely with their advisor, and the fieldwork coordinator to identify settings that meet their individual interests and career goals. The faculty is nationally recognized for their leadership in the profession and all classes are taught by skilled experts and experienced clinicians.

The faculty is deeply committed to the growth and development of their students; faculty work closely with both our master’s and doctoral students. Students are trained in the most current practices and research in counseling and provided the opportunity to develop their skills and succeed in their chosen area of specialization. Doctoral students have many opportunities to develop their teaching, research and supervision skills and are prepared to be nationally competitive in academic and practice settings.

S.U. Re-Accredited through 2024:

The Department of Counseling and Human Services is focused on program quality which is exemplified through our commitment to accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation provides recognition of the quality and scope of training as well as assures students that the program is stable and committed to meeting professional benchmarks of quality. Our two master’s programs (Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling) and our Counselor Education Ph.D. program are currently accredited by CACREP.  CACREP accreditation is critical as you compare programs in that counselors must be graduates of a CACREP program as of 2022 to be credentialed as a National Certified Counselor. Accreditation also streamlines licensure and credentialing processes for professional counselors.​


In our admission process, we consider multiple facets of an applicant’s portfolio and background because we believe that successful counselor educators, supervisors, and leaders need to be interpersonally skilled, highly self-aware, professionally mature, academically prepared for graduate work, and committed to the values and philosophies of the counseling profession and the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Syracuse University. Therefore, academic, interpersonal, professional, leadership, and personal components are integrated in our admission decision process.

The Department of Counseling and Human Services faculty seeks to admit individuals who are personally and academically prepared to be successful in completing the doctoral program in Counseling and Counselor Education. Within these parameters, the faculty is committed to admitting students who represent diverse backgrounds or who have special abilities to serve a diverse population. Admission is highly competitive and conducted once a year.

Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program in Counseling and Counselor Education will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Prior graduate work in counseling or related field. Applicants should have completed the equivalent of a master’s degree in counseling or rehabilitation counseling and should have a minimum graduate grade point average of 3.25;
  • The Graduate Record Examination;
  • Completion of a minimum of one year of work experience in counseling settings prior to admission to the doctoral program is desirable;
  • Professional references from former professors and professional colleagues;
  • Potential for and evidence of leadership and advocacy;
  • History of and potential for tenacity, engagement, and collaboration;
  • Congruence of professional goals with doctoral program features; and,
  • A writing sample (which may be a paper written for a master’s level course).

The Process of Admission                    

The deadline for doctoral applications is November 1 for matriculation the following fall semester. This deadline is required for persons seeking funding, including fellowships or graduate assistantships. Prospective students who wish to study part-time should contact Dr. Melissa Luke, doctoral program co-coordinator. All application materials, including the Department application, can be obtained through the Department website. Doctoral applications are reviewed by the entire full-time faculty. A positive review of the application will be followed by an interview. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Counseling and Counselor Education PhD program will:

1. Conceptualize supervisees’ developmental level and apply culturally relevant, developmentally based, ethically grounded, and legally situated skills of clinical supervision.

2. Develop a pedagogical model and style that is relevant to counselor education, responsive to varied models of adult learning, and situated in established instructional design and delivery systems.

3. Demonstrate theoretically situated, culturally relevant, scholarly-critiqued, and evidence-based counseling practices on a consistent and advanced level.

4. Conduct research and scholarship that is professionally relevant, methodologically rigorous, and vetted by professional colleagues.

5. Develop strategies of leadership and advocacy practices in relation to current multicultural and social justice issues.

Major Requirements

The doctoral program consists of approximately 96 graduate credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, with an additional 9-12 dissertation credits. Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits of course work (excluding dissertation) at Syracuse University.

The Research Sequence:

The doctoral research experience is an intentional plan to develop research expertise and experience for each student. It is part of the process of establishing a scientist-practitioner perspective that undergirds the entire doctoral experience, leading to data-based counseling practice, contributions to the body of knowledge in the helping services, and program evaluation skills. All doctoral students complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of research course work (beyond the master’s curriculum) during which the student will be expected to acquire receptive literacy in both quantitative and qualitative statistics and research design and a depth of knowledge in one or the other. The Department offers additional assistance in research through the COU 910 Doctoral Research Seminar.


Students must complete a research/statistics sequence of courses with either a Qualitative Research or a Quantitative Research emphasis. In either selection, students must take one course in the alternative research approach. Students are encouraged to take research courses beyond those that are required and research may be chosen as a cognate area.

Required Cognate (minor): 9 - 12 credits

Each student must establish an area of focus in addition to the required doctoral curriculum. Courses for this focus will be determined by the student in consultation with the doctoral advisor. With few exceptions, cognate areas are completed outside the Department (e.g., clinical psychology, distance learning, marriage and family therapy, higher education). Cognates may also be comprised of courses from different departments but following a particular theme (e.g., research methodology/statistics).

Transfer Credit

No more than one-half of credit hours in your doctoral program, not including doctoral dissertation credits, may be transferred into Syracuse University from other institutions of higher education.

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