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Before applying, Counselor Education doctoral-level applicants are required to have earned a master's degree in Counseling or a related field, with at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all previously completed graduate coursework.
Each applicant must also submit the following information as part of their application packet:
- A completed Graduate School application form, official graduate/undergraduate transcripts
- A Department of Counseling doctoral degree application supplement form
- Three letters of reference
- A professional vitae/resume
- Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
These application materials can be found on the How to Apply web page. International student applicants must also submit official TOEFL scores as part of their application materials.
All written/printed application materials should be sent to The University of Akron Graduate School at the following mailing address:
All application forms and procedures can be found on the How to Apply web page.
Students are accepted into any Counseling doctoral program once each year (beginning Fall semesters). All application materials are due IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING OFFICE NO LATER THAN January 15. Doctoral students are only admitted one time per year, beginning each Fall semester.
Note: Since the
The Admissions Committee will review each applicant’s admission materials once they are received. Then, a representative from the Department of Counseling will contact each applicant to schedule a face-to-face interview. The
New students are accepted into the Counselor Education doctoral track once a year, each Fall semester. Approximately 5-6 students are accepted annually. The Admissions Committee attempts to maintain a small cohort of trainees in order to provide individualized attention and a positive learning experience for each student. Students in the Counselor Education doctoral track range in age from early to older adulthood, and non-traditional students are sought among applicants. Students are from a variety of cultural backgrounds (i.e., Caucasian, African-American, Asian-American) and the program is well-known for accepting international students from a variety of countries (e.g.,
The primary goal of the Admissions Committee is to choose students who have the potential to advance the counseling profession through teaching, research, and advanced practice. Therefore, admission decisions are made by considering (a) the applicant’s GPA, (b) the applicant’s GRE scores, (c) recommendation letters from previous employers and professors, (d) the applicant’s statement of intent and professional goals (listed on the application supplement form), and (e) professional presentation during the interview process. Each of the five areas above are given equal consideration during the application process.
The Counselor Education track consists of 120 credits of required coursework. The average student attends the program for 4 years in order to complete the required coursework and clinical experiences. Students may attend the program full-time or part-time and may take any number of credits desired each semester. Attending the program part-time will likely extend the time it takes for a student to graduate, as some students attend the program part-time and do not graduate with their doctoral degree for 5-6 years. The
In the profession of Counseling, the master’s degree is considered a terminal practitioner’s degree (i.e., an individual receives minimal training and supervised experience after earning a master’s degree to enable him/her to receive a professional license). The Counselor Education doctoral degree teaches students beyond the master’s degree with the primary goal of training professionals toward the advancement of the Counseling profession. This is accomplished by teaching students the art and science of advanced clinical interventions, teaching/instruction, and clinical supervision. The Counselor Education doctoral program adheres to a practitioner-scientist model of development in that students are taught clinical, academic, and supervisory skills informed by research/science. Although the program trains students to conduct, read, and write about research/science, its primary goal is not to produce behavioral scientists. In general, the coursework for this program focuses on the following areas: 40% advanced clinical skills, 20% teaching/instruction, and 20% clinical supervision. 20% of required coursework is designed to train students in research design/statistics.
Students must first complete master’s degree prerequisite coursework before registering for doctoral-level coursework. Many of these prerequisite courses may be transferred in from a previous master’s or doctoral degree program. Students graduating from CACREP-accredited master’s degree programs will likely meet most or all of the program’s master’s degree prerequisite coursework upon entry into the Counselor Education doctoral program. Then, students register for coursework related to advanced theories of counseling and statistics. Next, students complete two semesters of Advanced Practicum while also registering for courses related to teaching and clinical specialty areas chosen by the student. Following this, students complete courses in clinical supervision, ethics, and research design. Finally, students register for two semesters of Internship while simultaneously completing a research dissertation. In general, the Counselor Education doctoral program balances coursework in clinical skills and teaching/supervision/research throughout the student’s course of study. The Counselor Education Planned Program Form aids students in deciding which courses to register for each semester.
The Graduate School allows doctoral degree students up to 10 years to complete their degree.
The College of Education allows doctoral degree students to transfer graduate credits equaling up to 1/2 of their total doctoral degree program credits. Since the Counselor Education program requires 120 credits, students can transfer up to 60 credits from another program/university. However, in order to transfer credits into a doctoral degree program, each course must fulfill the following requirements: the course must have been at the graduate level (i.e., not an undergraduate course), and it must have been a graded course (i.e., not pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory), the student must have received a grade of “B” or better in the course, the course must substitute exactly for a course already required by the Counselor Education program (i.e., it must have the same course content and a similar name), AND the course transfer must be approved by the student’s Faculty Adviser (all accepted transfer credits are at the discretion of the student’s Faculty Adviser).
Due to the length of the doctoral degree program and the fact that graduate assistantships are for work related to teaching and/or research (two of the primary focus areas of the doctoral program), the Department of Counseling typically reserves graduate assistantships for doctoral students. Over the past decade over ½ of Department of Counseling doctoral students were awarded graduate assistantships, a much larger percentage than most doctoral programs. Full-time graduate assistantships require 20 hours/week of teaching and/or research work and carry a full year-round tuition waiver and an annual stipend. Part-time assistantships may also be awarded on occasion (e.g., 10 hours/week with part-time stipend and tuition waiver). Some Counselor Education doctoral students are awarded graduate assistantships from departments/programs outside the Department of Counseling. Students are encouraged to apply for graduate assistantships throughout The University of Akron. Doctoral students are encouraged to complete a graduate assistantship application if interested in this possibility. Most doctoral students who do not desire or are not awarded graduate assistantships work in the counseling profession part-time. A small minority of students elect to apply for student grants and/or financial aid. Information about scholarships and grants for domestic applicants (U.S. citizens) can be found through the Financial Aid Office. International applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs.
First, the Department of Counseling at The University of Akron is one of only two departments in the U.S. that houses accredited doctoral programs in Counselor Education (CACREP-accredited), Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (AAMFT-accredited), and Counseling Psychology (APA-accredited). Therefore, although Counselor Education students are always professionally mentored and academically advised by a Counselor Education faculty member, students may receive instruction from a variety of different faculty members with diverse professional experiences and philosophies. Second, the Department of Counseling houses the renowned Clinic for Individual and Family Counseling, which is a training facility that functions as a community agency that provides Counselor Education students with a ‘real world’ Advanced Practicum training experience in order to cultivate advanced clinical skills. The two semesters of required doctoral-level Advanced Practicum Clinical Supervision training are beyond most other doctoral degree programs, allowing students to learn a much deeper and broader array of skills before entering their doctoral internship. Next, Counselor Education doctoral students often become student leaders of Chi Sigma Iota - Alpha Upsilon Chapter. The Alpha Upsilon Chapter is one of the largest and most awarded in the nation, having over 100 active student members and receiving many international awards of excellence. Finally, Department of Counseling students are routinely honored with being among the top five in pass rates for all departments in Ohio on the Ohio Professional Licensure Examination.
Doctoral-level courses are offered during the late mornings and afternoons on Mondays through Thursdays, although evening coursework is also offered.
Each new student accepted in the Counselor Education program is assigned a Faculty Adviser before their first semester begins. This provides each student with a contact person for questions/concerns. During their first semester students meet with their Faculty Adviser to discuss their career goals and the program’s curriculum. They also receive their Counselor Education Student Handbook and their Counselor Education Planned Program Form. Students also register for a doctoral professional seminar course as soon as possible in order to learn more about the Counselor Education program, the Department of Counseling, and the counseling profession.
For more information about the Counselor Education track, contact:
Program and Admissions Questions
Dr. Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich
For more information about the Marriage & Family Counseling/ Therapy track, contact:
Dr. Karin Jordan,
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