Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Counselor Education, Ph.D.

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Program Overview:

The Counselor Education Ph.D. program prepares counselors for leadership roles in the counseling profession. Research competency, advanced counseling skills, and practice in the clinical supervision of other counselors are emphasized in the program. Graduates generally choose careers as university faculty members (counselor educators), administrators of counseling programs, consultants, private practitioners, and researchers.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for Ph.D. Counselor Education


Doctoral students will acquire and demonstrate advanced research skills in the form of a dissertation of publishable quality. 


Doctoral students will demonstrate that they are capable of providing effective clinical supervision to others through skills and knowledge of supervision methods.


Doctoral students will demonstrate an applied knowledge of counseling theories. 


Doctoral students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in teaching methods relevant to counselor education.




Prospective Ph.D. degree students must meet the admission requirements established by the Graduate School. In addition, applicants must complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, provide a resume, a 3-5 page statement of purpose and recommendations from 3 individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional potential. Ph.D. degree applicants are considered based on criteria developed and published by the faculty. To be considered for admission to the program without probation, an applicant must have a graduate grade-point average of at least 3.50. Presentation of the minimum graduate grade-point average does not guarantee admission. Admission decisions are based on all criteria considered in relationship to the needs of the program and number of students who can be reasonably accommodated. Applicants who present graduate grade-point averages that are lower than those listed above may be considered for admission on the basis of additional factors. Finalists for admission who are invited must also interview with the program admissions committee. The interview process includes completion of a writing sample and a videotaped counseling interview.


The Ph.D. program goes well beyond the accumulation of graduate course credits. It includes coursework, supervised field experiences, completion of examinations, a research project, and a dissertation. The degree program includes a minimum of 114 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. There are 48 credits of entry-level core counseling courses (includes three credits in research), 12 credits of counseling courses in an area of concentration, 30 credits of doctoral-level core counseling courses (includes 12 credits in research), and 27 additional credits in research courses. Because of the number of credits completed in research (30 credits total), this area serves as the minor for doctoral students. The doctoral program includes a 100 hour practicum and a 600 hour internship. Concentration areas in counseling in the doctoral program are focused in a particular area of counseling such as college/student affairs counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or school counseling. A Program of Study must be completed at the end of the student’s first year of enrollment in the doctoral program.  

Research Tools

Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of 30 credits in research, which includes coursework and dissertation research. Students develop competency in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. They choose one primary method for their dissertation and complete advanced research courses in that area.

Retention Standards

Ph.D. degree students will be dismissed for any of the following academic reasons: they earn more than one grade of C or less in graduate coursework required in their programs of study; their cumulative UNO graduate grade-point average for two consecutive semesters (fall and spring or spring and fall) is below 3.0; they fail the general or final (dissertation defense) examination twice. 


A doctoral student must earn two consecutive semesters of a minimum of nine hours of residence.

The doctoral residence requirement may be met alternatively by three semesters of enrollment at six or more hours, which may be non-consecutive.

Students who are in residence for the purpose of the above requirement are expected to devote all of their energies to graduate study under the direct supervision of a major professor and/or advisory committee. Transfer credit from other institutions may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the residency requirement if approved by the department and the Graduate School.

Prior Master’s Work

A student, with approval from the major professor and the department, may have credits earned toward one or more master’s degrees completed at other universities and up to 15 semester hours earned outside of a master’s degree program, applied to the Ph.D. curriculum. Only graduate credits in which grades of B were earned that were taken in residence at another university may be utilized.

Continuous Enrollment

Doctoral students, after being admitted to the Ph.D. program, must enroll in graduate courses each fall and spring until being awarded the degree. A leave of absence must be formally requested from the faculty prior to any semester in which this requirement is not met. Students will be dismissed if they fail to meet this continuous enrollment requirement.

General Examination

Students must successfully complete a general examination to continue in the Ph.D. program. Students may take the general examination when they have completed most of their coursework, as defined by the faculty.

Time Limit

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education follows the Graduate School requirement for time limit (see Graduate School).

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