- Counseling Psychology
- Counseling and Student Personnel Services: Counselor Education and Supervision Focus
- Counseling and Student Personnel Services: College Student Affairs Focus
- College Student Affairs Administration
- Professional School Counseling
- Student Affairs Leadership
- Professional Counseling
- Recreation and Leisure Studies
Counseling psychology as a psychological specialty facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with a sensitivity to multicultural issues, this specialty encompasses a broad range of practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives. Counseling psychology is unique in its attention both to normal developmental issues and to problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders (APA, 1999).
Visit the links above (under PhD) for more information on the Counseling Psychology doctoral program.
The UGA Counseling Psychology doctoral program is designed to prepare scientist-practitioners who will provide the highest level of professional competency research, scholarship, and clinical practice in Counseling Psychology. The faculty shares a philosophy of training that is based on the belief that each individual student brings to the program considerable personal strengths upon which each can build in the process of completing program requirements. We focus on providing a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive. Counseling Psychology students have several options in terms of their clinical training including CCPE, JCAP and CAPS. CCPE is The Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation (CCPE) where students can complete their clinical and assessment practica with a range of clients from the community as well as college students. JCAP is the Juvenile Counseling and Assessment Program (JCAP) where students can complete clinical and assessment practica with clients in the juvenile justice system. CAPS is Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) (http://www.uhs.uga.edu/caps/) where students can complete clinical practica with undergraduate and graduate students in a short term treatment model. In addition students can complete specialized training in Athens or Atlanta during their third year.
The program aims to provide learning experiences sufficient to enable students to develop competency in both research and applied practice. Graduates are expected to contribute to a deeper understanding of human experience through the design, execution, and dissemination of meaningful research. They are also expected to apply what is known about human development and therapeutic interventions to problems, transitions, and crises experienced by individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations. The principal goal of the program is to produce graduates who posses the personal and professional competencies required to serve as effective teachers, researchers, and quality mental health service providers.
Specifically, the objectives of the program are to prepare professionals who will be able to: (a) plan and conduct basic and applied research in Counseling Psychology; (b) assume leadership positions as faculty members in institutions of higher education and comparable organizations; (c) practice their unique clinical skills in human service settings; and (d) develop a personal and professional identity commensurate with the expectations and ethical commitments of the Counseling Psychology profession. Our students represent our greatest strength, particularly in terms of their diversity – in terms of background, life experiences, and previous academic and work experience. Given our low acceptance rate the typical student’s academic record greatly exceeds our minimum criteria. In addition, our students come with a deep interest in scholarship, research and practice. Graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including counseling centers in colleges and universities, medical centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, schools, private practices, health and wellness facilities, state and federal agencies, family counseling services, academic departments in higher education institutions, and professional associations.
Relevant Program Information
APA has mandated that accredited programs to provide full and accurate information about relevant program statistics and cost information on their websites. We are happy to comply with this requirement as it is concrete evidence of the quality of our training program. APA requires the following information:
Time to Completion – Our program typically consists of three years of full-time study in residence and a one-year internship. Completion time varies according to several variables, including the amount of time students take to complete the dissertation. Over the last seven years 27 students have been eligible to graduate, of these 22 have graduated. Of the five who have not graduated, two are ABD and in their fifth year, two are on internship in their fifth year and one has been dismissed. Of the 22 who graduated, 20 (91%) graduated in four years and 2 (9%) graduated in five years. The mean time towards graduation is 4.09 years. Note that our program only accepts students who have completed a master’s degree and thus these numbers only include those who already have a master’s degree.
Program Costs – Tuition and fees for current first year students are $13,274 per academic year for Georgia residents. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $22,292 per academic year. Current tuition rates and fees can be found at: https://busfin1.busfin.uga.edu/bursar/semester_program.cfm
For the last seven years, every student entering the program has received a fellowships or assistantships that cover the majority of tuition and fees (as well as waiving out-of state tuition) and provide a monthly stipend. A typical one-third time (13 hours/week) assistantship offers approximately $1,085 monthly stipend which over a ten month period pays $10,850. Students with assistantships also receive a tuition waiver and pay $25 per semester for tuition and approximately $700 a year in additional student fees. Assistantships are competitive and the majority of students continue to be on assistantship throughout their matriculation in the program given satisfactory job performance. Student funding is NOT guaranteed.
Internship – We have been particularly successful in having our students placed on internship. Over the last seven years we have placed 97% of our students on internship during their first year of searching for an internship (n = 35). For the training year 2009-2010 all applicants were matched – 5 on match day and 4 during the clearinghouse. Our students were matched at sites such as Veteran’s Administration Centers and University Counseling Centers. Over the last seven years (n = 35), 100% of students have been matched to internships, 94% have obtained paying internships. 2 students (a couple) elected to take an internship that provided housing but not a stipend.
Of the 35 student placed on internship, 25 (71%) have obtained APA accredited internships, 10 (26%) have obtained APPIC member internships some of which are in the process of APA accreditation, 1 (3%) took a internship that was not accredited. All students to date have completed one-year full time internships.
Attrition – APA defines attrition as the number of students who leave the program for any reason divided by the total number of students matriculated in the program. Over the last seven years our attrition rate is 6%. Out of 72 students, 68 are still in the program. Of those who left, 1 was dismissed by the University for non-enrollment, one transferred, one pursued employment opportunities in another field, and one left for personal reasons. We also note that two students are currently on leave with plans to re-enroll. It should be noted that students leave or are dismissed from programs for a variety of personal and professional reasons.
Licensure -The mean score for UGA grads from 1988 through 1996 on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) was 148 and the mean score from 1997-2005 was 148.6. Licensure Boards require a minimum score of 140. APA also requires that we report the number and percentage of program graduates who have become licensed psychologists within the preceding decade. The most recent data we have include program graduates from 1997 – 2005. Out of 80 graduates, 59 (74%) are licensed psychologists, 5 (6%) are licensed professional Counselors, 2 (3%) are not licensed and we do not have information on 14 (18%) students.
Admissions – For the class of 2009-2010 we had 82 applicants and 9 were admitted.
Student Demographics: Over the last seven years we have admitted 75 students, 22 of whom have graduated and 48 who are still on campus or on internship. Of these 75, 52 were female, 23 were male. In terms of self-identified race or ethnicity: 46 were White, 21 were African American, 2 were Asian American, 2 were Hispanic/Latino/a, 3 were international students and one was multiracial.
Enrollment – Degree-seeking graduate students must register for a minimum of 3 hours for at least two semesters in each academic year (fall, spring, summer) including during the internship year.
Full-Time Status – Our program is a full-time program. Outside of assistantships outside employment is strongly discouraged.
Personal Therapy – Applicants should be aware that the CP program does not mandate personal or group therapy as a part of training, however personal or group therapy may be an excellent training experience for aspiring therapists. Although not required, faculty may recommend therapy if they feel a student may benefit from it. Students have a right to select such therapy from practitioners not affiliated with the program and faculty will never provide such therapy.
Self-Disclosure – Although we do not mandate therapy, given our emphasis on personal growth and self-examination some amount of disclosure of personal information will be expected. For example a professor may require a paper that calls for self-reflection or a supervisor may ask a student counselor to reflect on counter-transference. The key is that the disclosure is directly tied to educational objectives. However if assignments, discussions or supervision make a student uncomfortable, they are directed to speak to the faculty, supervisor or Director of Training to receive feedback. Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) states: Psychologists do not require students or supervisees to disclose personal information in course- or program-related activities, either orally or in writing, regarding sexual history, history of abuse and neglect, psychological treatment, and relationships with parents, peers, and spouses or significant others except if (1) the program or training facility has clearly identified this requirement in its admissions and program materials or (2) the information is necessary to evaluate or obtain assistance for students whose personal problems could reasonably be judged to be preventing them from performing their training- or professionally-related activities in a competent manner or posing a threat to the students or others.
The program’s course of study is well defined, requiring three years of on-campus graduate study beyond the Master’s Degree, and an additional year for an approved pre-doctoral internship. Rigorous research training and comprehensive clinical training are both emphasized in the program of study. Academic coursework focuses on the development of knowledge in the basic discipline of Psychology and the applied discipline of Counseling Psychology.
The program is based on the scientist-practitioner model and is designed to prepare counseling psychology students for a career in professional psychology. The program is represented by five colorful ribbons representing 1) Clinical Practice, 2) Counseling Psychology Foundations, 3) Supervision, Instruction, and Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) concentrations, 4) Research Design and Analyses, and 5) General Psychology Foundations and Electives. These ribbons are embedded in a background of Multiculturalism and Social Justice. The curriculum is presented in a color-coded fashion in order to represent the sequential and cumulative nature of the training.
Clinical Practice. Students enroll in content-based courses during their first year in order to prepare for a year-long practicum experience. During the second year, students receive training in individual and group psychotherapy, psychological assessment, and family therapy in The Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation (CCPE), the Department’s training clinic. The third year of training focuses on supervision and consultation, and the fourth year consist of internship training.
Counseling Psychology Foundations. Students are trained in the foundations of counseling psychology through coursework including assessment and psycho diagnosis, career theory, and a broad range of psychotherapy theories. Students are encouraged to participate with faculty members in state and national professional activities, e.g. Georgia Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association.
Supervision, Instruction, and Preparing Future Faculty (PFF). During their training, students may choose to pursue concentrations in supervision, college instruction, and Preparing Future Faculty.
Research Design and Analyses. The program is based on an integrated scientist-practitioner model. Training in research methodology and techniques of data analyses take place throughout the program. First, students enroll in specific coursework. They are also required to join a research team or to begin work with a faculty member. Finally, students are required to complete a doctoral research project during the first year and a dissertation.
General Psychology Foundations and Electives. Because the program is psychological in nature, students complete coursework that capture the foundations and breadth of scientific psychology.
Multiculturalism – The program is committed to excellence in training with regard to multiculturalism and diversity and endorses the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. The department offers two graduate courses in cross-cultural counseling (one masters and one doctoral). In addition to the stand-alone course, the program also strives to infuse multicultural principles and research findings pertaining to knowledge, awareness, and skills into each course. Efforts are also made to ensure that student psychologists receive supervised training with diverse clientele. Faculty research/training/service projects reflect the commitment to multicultural training.