Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology

Students emerge from our program with training experiences that make them highly competitive to attain positions in academia, mental health organizations, and other related occupations across community contexts.

At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 24 courses.

How long will it take?

You'll need a minimum of five years of full-time study. Students entering without a master's degree in counseling or a related field often need longer.

When can I start?

You can begin the program only in the fall semester.

By the Numbers


licensure percentage



median number of years to complete the program



The program is designed to qualify candidates for membership in the American Psychological Association (APA) and its 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. 

Our APA accredited program achieves its mission and aims by remaining steadfastly committed to providing outstanding training in the scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes a developmental contextual perspective with attention to the intersectionality of multiple forms of diversity, and a firm commitment to social justice and community-based practice. Our degree candidates have access to a breadth of top-notch practice opportunities in diverse mental health settings, including universities, schools, hospitals, and outpatient community mental health facilities. They are closely mentored by our internationally recognized counseling psychology faculty, who are applying their cutting-edge and purposeful research to address some of the most complex and challenging questions facing our society. Students are exposed to areas of research spanning school, workplace, community, and international concerns, including immigration, trauma resiliency and recovery, domestic violence, the psychology of working, bias-based bullying, culture, race, and gender issues, youth mentoring, and positive youth development. 


  • Courses: 24
  • Credits: 54
  • Comprehensive Exam




Throughout doctoral training, students learn to integrate a social justice approach to intervention at individual, community, and policy levels. Our students are accepted to some of the most competitive practicum and internship training locations in the nation.

We are proud to be leaders in shaping the dialogue about how professional psychology can enhance its impact to be truly inclusive and transformative for people and communities
James Mahalik, Professor, Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology; Program Director, Counseling Psychology



  • Psychology Professor
  • Dean of the College of Education
  • Psychologist
  • Instructor
  • Psychology Professor


  • Lesley University
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • University of Maryland Counseling Center
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • University of Michigan
  • Simmons College Counseling Center

Hear From Our Students

Financial Aid

Education should level the playing field. We feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $8.4 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. 

Application Eligibility & Timeline

Successful applicants typically demonstrate evidence of their preparation for doctoral study, commitment to the scientist-practitioner training model, and commitment to the social justice mission of the program via their academic work, curricular and extra-curricular activities, and research experience. 

To be eligible for the doctoral program, it is highly recommended that applicants already hold a master's degree although some students are admitted without one. Please see below for more information on the different admission pathways.  

Doctoral applications are reviewed by faculty in January, and a small number of applicants are selected to attend a one-day interview in mid February. A final cohort of between five and seven students are offered acceptance to the program. 

Interviews for our 2022 application cycle will be virtual. Thank you for your interest in applying to the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College. We look forward to receiving your applications. Stay safe, healthy, and well!




Application & Deadlines

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required; however, this fee is waived for select applicants.

Deadline: Dec. 1


To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000–1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

Letters of Recommendation

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form.

Three letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants with significant relevant professional experience may submit additional recommendations from supervisors.


All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be sent to our office before the application deadline. Please note the following:

  • Only official sealed (unopened) transcripts are acceptable. An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.

  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.

  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in to ensure it is received by our office. 

If your degree was obtained from an institution outside of the U.S. you are required to submit a course-by-course evaluation completed by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) approved evaluator. A complete list of NACES-approved evaluators is found on the Directory of NACES Members.

Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology program will require the GRE for admission for Fall 2022. 

For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit

Lynch School of Education and Human Development GRE Code: 3218

Writing Sample

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

All applicants to this program are required to submit one piece of work that demonstrates graduate-level writing ability. This document may be an academic term paper, a published work in which you are the primary author, a training manual or curriculum that you have created, a clinical case formulation, or another representative sample of your writing. The document should be approximately 15-25 pages.

International Students

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development. 

Requirements for International Students

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