The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology typically requires a minimum of five years of full-time academic study and advanced practica, including a year of full-time internship and successful defense of a dissertation. Students entering without a master's degree in counseling or a related field often will need longer to complete the Ph.D. degree.
Doctoral students must complete educational prerequisites for the M.A. in Counseling prior to and during their first year of the doctoral program. Decisions regarding this aspect of the student's course work will be based on a review of the student's background by the assigned advisor and the Director of Training.
Doctoral students take courses in each of the following broad areas that fulfill the basic professional training standards: (Please note that the list below includes a sample of the required courses. Visit our program page to review the full list of requirements.)
Professional Core (includes)
Professional Issues in Counseling Psychology
Statistics and Research Design (includes)
General Linear Models
Quantitative Research Design
Design of Qualitative Research
Psychological Measurement (includes)
Psychological Foundations (includes)
History and Theories of Psychology
Advanced Seminar in Psychopathology
Biological Bases of Behavior
Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior
Social Bases of Behavior
Throughout doctoral training, students have an exciting assortment of opportunities for practice in the field of Counseling Psychology. Incoming students participate in the First Year Experience (FYE), which provides training in an array of non-traditional practice roles. Students learn to integrate a social justice approach to intervention at individual, community, and policy levels. Second and third year students engage in Advanced Practicum, which entails working 2-3 days per week in a field site, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, as well as attending a doctoral practicum seminar on campus. Some students even choose to continue their practicum training into their 4th year with increasing levels of responsibility. In addition to training in psychotherapy, students gain supervised experience in assessment in at least one practicum. Science and research are integrated in the practice of therapy via theory-driven and evidence-based case conceptualizations.
We are fortunate that our students have access to a wide variety of high quality clinical training sites in universities, schools, hospitals, and outpatient community mental health settings. Being situated in the Boston area, we have been developed excellent relationships with a number of these sites that frequently select our students for training. We also take pride in the fact that our doctoral students are considered to be highly sought after candidates for practicum training sites. In fact, our students are accepted to sites that are considered to be among the most competitive in the nation for practicum and internship training.
Examples of sites where students match:
Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Dartmouth Medical School
University of Maryland Counseling Center
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center
University of Massachusetts-Amherst-Mental Health Center
Walter Read Medical center
The program is designed to qualify candidates for membership in APA and Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) and to provide the pre-doctoral educational requirements for licensure as a psychologist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and for inclusion in the National Register of Health Care Providers. (Please note that licensure requirements in Massachusetts include an additional year of post-doctoral supervised experience. Licensure requirements vary across states, so we encourage prospective students to review the licensing guidelines in the states that they might consider. In addition, the National Register of Health Care Providers requires post-doctoral training in order to be listed as a registered provider. We urge interested students to consult with the National Register to learn about the specific post-doctoral training requirements).