Counselor Education, Ph.D.

Program Description

The University of South Carolina offers the Ph.D. degree with a major in counselor education. It emphasizes the training of professional counselor educators and counselors who will have competence in teaching, counseling, research, and supervision. Program objectives are centered around a primary goal, which is the education of outstanding counselor educators and counselors. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in settings that provide counseling, teaching, and research with and about populations who are experiencing problems in daily functioning. The program is 63 post-master's degree semester hours in length and is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge
  2. Understands the purposes of clinical supervision
  3. Understands theoretical frameworks and models of clinical supervision.
  4. Understands the roles and relationships related to clinical supervision.
  5. Understands legal, ethical, and multicultural issues associated with clinical supervision.
  6. Skill and Practices
  7. Demonstrates the application of theory and skills of clinical supervision.
  8. Develops and demonstrates a personal style of supervision.
  9. Knowledge
  10. Understands the major roles, responsibilities, and activities of counselor educators.
  11. Knows instructional theory and methods relevant to counselor education.
  12. Understands ethical, legal, and multicultural issues associated with counselor preparation training.
  13. Skill and Practices
  14. Develops and demonstrates a personal philosophy of teaching and learning.
  15. Demonstrates course design, delivery, and evaluation methods appropriate to course objectives.
  16. Demonstrates the ability to assess the needs of counselors in training and develop techniques to help students develop into competent counselors.
  17. Knowledge
  18. Understands univariate and multivariate research designs and data analysis methods.
  19. Understands qualitative designs and approaches to qualitative data analysis.
  20. Knows models and methods of instrument design.
  21. Knows models and methods of program evaluation.
  22. Skill and Practices
  23. Demonstrates the ability to formulate research questions appropriate for professional research and publication.
  24. Demonstrates the ability to create research designs appropriate to quantitative and qualitative research questions.
  25. Demonstrates professional writing skills necessary for journal and newsletter publication.
  26. Demonstrates the ability to develop and submit a program proposal for presentation at state, regional, or national counseling conferences.
  27. Demonstrates the ability to write grant proposal appropriate for research, program enhancement, and/or program development.
  28. Demonstrates the ability to create and implement a program evaluation design.
  29. Knowledge
  30. Knows the major counseling theories, including their strengths and weaknesses, theoretical bases for efficacy, applicability to multicultural populations, and ethical/legal considerations.
  31. Understands various methods for evaluating counseling effectiveness.
  32. Understand the research base for existing counseling theories.
  33. Understands the effectiveness of models and treatment strategies of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events.
  34. Skills and Practices
  35. Demonstrates a personal theoretical counseling orientation that is based on a critical review of existing counseling theories.
  36. Demonstrates effective application of multiple counseling theories.
  37. Demonstrates an understanding of case conceptualization and effective interventions across diverse populations and settings.
  38. Knowledge
  39. Understands theories and skills of leadership.
  40. Understands advocacy models.
  41. Identifies current multicultural issues as they relate to social change theories.
  42. Understands models, leadership roles, and strategies for responding to community, national, and international crises and disasters.
  43. Understands current topical and political issues in counseling and how those issues affect the daily work of counselors and the counseling profession.
  44. Skills and Practices
  45. Demonstrates the ability to provide leadership or contribute to leadership efforts of professional organizations and/or counseling programs.
  46. Demonstrates the ability to advocate for the profession and its clientele.


 In addition to The Graduate School’s application requirements, applicants must submit:

  1. proof of masters or specialist degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. verification of the 30 semester hours of prerequisite work in the CACREP core and clinical areas of instruction.
  3. a current resume documenting two years’ minimum work experience related to the field of counseling and related achievements, professional affiliations, and activities.
  4. a letter of intent, which should include:
    1. long-term goals in terms of benefits (to self and society).
    2. skills or competencies needed to achieve the goals.
    3. a timeline for completion of your degree.
    4. barriers to achievement of those goals.
    5. a statement clarifying when you expect to meet the residency requirement.

Degree Requirements (63 Post-Masters Hours)

The total number of hours required may vary depending on prior graduate coursework completed, but must be no less than 63 hours beyond the masters degree. Based on the curriculum described below, a program of study will be developed with the student's advisor and must be approved by the College of Education Graduate Director and the Dean of the Graduate School. Courses listed on the program of study must be completed no more than 10 years prior to graduation.

Qualifying Examination

Students must achieve a grade of B or better in the 18 hours of core courses. Once the student has applied for candidacy, the faculty reviews the application and votes whether to recommend the admission of the candidate. Admission recommendations are determined by a majority vote.


Area 1: Core Courses (18 Hours)

Course Title Credits
EDCE 723Counseling Supervision Theory3
EDCE 813Professional Issues in Counseling3
EDCE 820Advanced Transcultural Counseling3
EDCE 823Advanced Counseling Theory3
EDCE 830Pedagogy in Counselor Education3
EDCE 832Practicum in Counseling Supervision3
Total Credit Hours18

Area 2: Clinical Requirements (12 Hours)

Practicum (3 Hours)
Course Title Credits
EDCE 822Advanced Practicum3
Total Credit Hours3
Internship (9 Hours)
Course Title Credits
EDCE 855Internship in Counselor Education (must successfully complete 3 times for one credit hour each)3
EDCE 856Supervised Internship in Counselor Education - Teaching (must successfully complete 2 times for three credit hours each)6
Total Credit Hours9

Area 3: Research (18 hours)

Area 4: Dissertation (15 Hours)

Course Title Credits
EDCE 825Empirical Basis of Counseling3
EDCE 899Dissertation Preparation12
Total Credit Hours15

Foreign Language Requirement

Students must meet the Foreign Language and/or Research Methods Requirement as defined by the Graduate School. The 18 hours of research meet this requirement.

Comprehensive Examination

A written and oral comprehensive examination is required.