graduate program Counselor Education and Practice Ph.D.

The Ph.D. degree in counselor education and practice is a broad program that allows for specialization in the areas of college counseling, counselor education, marriage and family counseling, clinical mental health counseling, play therapy, school counseling, student personnel work and rehabilitation counseling.

This program gives students a broad base of intellectual and interpersonal experiences in human growth and development, psychological assessment, group processes, behavioral change strategies, advocacy and leadership, multicultural counseling competence and other areas of special interest.

CACREP logoDoctoral training extends beyond course content hours and field experiences. Doctoral students learn to examine critically the state of the art, to generate research inquiries, and to advance the profession of counseling through oral and written contributions. The doctoral level counselor represents a "scientist-practitioner" model and should be both consumer and producer of research. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Course description and classes

View the GSU Graduate Catalog 

Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Georgia State University.

  • While completing the coursework, candidates are required to spend a minimum of two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate work in residence; excluding dissertation.
  • Upon completion of the course work and a one-year required internship, the candidate must successfully complete a comprehensive examination, referred to as the Preliminary Examination, constructed and evaluated by the Ph.D. Counselor Education and Practice faculty.
  • Upon successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, the student organizes and presents a prospectus to his/her doctoral committee.
  • Upon approval of the prospectus, the student conducts the study and defends the dissertation in the presence of the doctoral committee, students and other university personnel.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
November 15 Does not admit Does not admit

Application Requirements

  • Completed master's degree in counseling required
  • Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. More information at
  • Three letters of recommendation, goals statement, resume, writing sample and interview
  • Undergrad GPA of 3.30

Visit our graduate admissions page to learn how to apply


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  • Take note of the deadlines.
  • “GACE Program Admission” means that the applicant must have passed all three basic skills areas of the GACE Program Admission Assessment.
  • “Georgia Educator Ethics — Program Entry Assessment” means that the applicant must take this assessment (applicants to Educational Leadership programs take the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership — Program Entry Assessment, instead). You will receive a certificate once you complete the assessment.
  • GRE scores may not be more than five years old at the time of application.
  • All documents and materials submitted in consideration for admission to a program become the property of Georgia State University and cannot be returned at any time.

Ph.D. GRE Admission Guidelines

An official score on the Graduate Record Examination General Test is required for admission to Ph.D. programs in the College of Education and Human Development. While it is important to note that GRE scores are used along with other criteria established by departments and programs when determining admission, a score of 155 or higher on the verbal section and 151 or higher on the quantitative section will make the application more competitive.

GACE Program Admission & Georgia Educator Ethics (Program Entry) Assessments

Students seeking admission to a program for initial certification from the State of Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) are required to pass the GACE Program Admission Assessment (or provide an exemption — Attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of Master’s degrees) and the Georgia Educator Ethics — Program Entry Assessment (applicants for the Educational Leadership programs take the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership — Program Entry Assessment, instead). Applicants who are already certified or meet certification requirements in the State of Georgia do not have to meet this requirement. For more information about these assessments, visit GACE & Georgia Educator Ethics.

The GACE Program Admission Assessment can be exempted based on certain scores from the GRE, the SAT or the ACT (Attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of Master’s degrees). The current options for satisfying the GACE Program Admission Assessment, including exemptions (attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of master’s degrees), are outlined here  (scroll to “Options to Satisfy the Program Admission Requirement”) Go to GACE’s “about” page for more information about the GACE Program Admission Assessment, including test dates and registration.