Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Program Requirements

The following is a list of the courses required for the PhD in Counseling Psychology.

Area A. Professional Core in Counseling Psychology

Courses include theory and research in individual and group interventions, assessment procedures, vocational development, professional issues, counseling research methodology, and special topics. A minimum of 29 credit hours is needed in Area A coursework.

In addition to those listed above, one professional core elective is required. Courses used in the past have included family therapy, counseling children, multicultural counseling, eating disorders, health psychology, sports psychology, substance abuse, and projective assessment.

  Title Credits

ECPY 601

  Introduction to Counseling Theory & Practice


ECPY 605 or 708*

  Advanced Career Development/Theory of
Career Development*


ECPY 702

  Ethics and Professional Issues in
Counseling Psychology


ECPY 704

  Theories & Research in Counseling
Psychology I


ECPY 705

  Theories & Research in Counseling
Psychology II


ECPY 706

  Assessment in Counseling Psychology I


ECPY 707

  Assessment in Counseling Psychology II


ECPY 708

  Theories of Career Development in
Counseling  Psychology


ECPY 718

  Group Counseling Research and Practice


ECPY 820

  Proseminar in Research in Counseling


ECPY 840

  Clinical Supervision and Consultation


*depending on previous graduate coursework


Area B. Supervised Practica in Counseling Psychology

Courses include beginning and advanced individual practica and practica in specialized procedures. The advanced counseling practica (ECPY 805 and 806) are taken at the university-operated Psychological Services Center. The Center, which offers its services to the community, is a training facility for graduate students in the counseling and clinical psychology programs.

Students are supervised through closed-circuit TV by faculty who are licensed psychologists. Opportunities for the practicum in specialized procedures (ECPY 808) are community-based and include in- and out-patient assessment and interventions in a wide variety of colleges or universities, hospitals, residential treatment or other community agencies. 18 credits are required in Area B.

Title Credits

ECPY 700 

Pre-practicum in Counseling Psychology


ECPY 805 

Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology I


ECPY 806

Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology II


ECPY 808

Doctoral Practicum in Specialized Procedures



Area C. Statistics and Research Design
Four statistics courses are required. ECPY 767, the introductory research methodology course in the program, must be taken prior to ECPY 820 (see Area A) the advanced level, research methods course. A minimum of 12 hours are required in Area C.

Title Credits

EPSY 630

Statistics II


ECPY 767

Research Principles and Methods in Counseling


ECPY 724

Regression Analysis for Counseling Research


ECPY 725

Multivariate Analysis



Area D. Psychological Foundations

Coursework in this area covers five major substantive areas within general psychology: biological determinants of behavior, human learning, individual behavior, social determinants of behavior, and the history of psychology. Each course is three (3) credits.

D 1: One Course in Biological Basis of Behavior

(Course selected should focus on how various physiological systems affect human behavior) Possible courses fulfilling requirement: APSY 514 Hormones, Brain, and Behavior; APSY 601 Proseminar Biopsychology; APSY 745 or ECPY 730 Psychopharmacology; APSY 777 Clinical Neuropsychology; and ESPY 798 Selected Topics (Neuropsychology).

D 2: One Course in Cognitive/Affective Basis of Behavior

(Course selected should expose students to a variety of the major viewpoints in the fields of learning, memory, cognition, or motivation) Possible courses fulfilling requirement: APSY 602 Proseminar Learning; APSY 603 Proseminar in Cognitive Psychology; APSY 647 Work Motivation; EPSY 610 Adv. Ed. Psych. Learning; EPSY 612 Motivation; EPSY 614 Children's Learning; EPSY 715 Seminar in Learning.

D 3: One Course in Individual Basis of Behavior

(Course selected should expose students to a variety of the major viewpoints in the fields of personality, human development, or behavior disorders) Possible courses fulfilling requirement: APSY 604 Proseminar in Developmental Psychology; APSY 606 Intro to Personality; APSY 623 Adv. Child Development; APSY 640 Psychopathology; EPSY 623 Advanced Developmental Psychology; EPSY 721 Comparative Theories of Human Development; EPSY 725 Seminar in Human Development; ECPY 630 Behavior Disorders plus auditing a developmental course listed above.

D 4: One Course in Social Basis of Behavior

(Course selected should expose students to a variety of the major viewpoints in social psychology) Possible courses fulfilling requirement: APSY 605 Proseminar in Social Psychology; APSY 606 Social Psychology II; APSY 641 Survey of Organizational Psychology; APSY 730 Attitudes and Social Cognition; APSY 780 The Self; ESPY 798 Social Psychology Foundations in Professional Psychology. Students without a solid foundation course in social psychology must take either APSY 605 or EPSY 798.

D 5: One Course in History and Systems in Psychology

This course is offered as either EPSY 700 or APSY 610 History of Psychology

Additional Coursework - Minimum of 3 credits

ECPY 895 Doctoral Internship (2 credits)
ECPY 899 Doctoral Dissertation (at least 1 credit)

Other Requirements

Professional Development Activities

In addition to completion of coursework, students are expected to perform ancillary teaching, research, administrative, or professional duties that contribute to their professional development. Refer to the assistantships page for more information.

Mandated Reporter Training

New York State requires that "mandated reporters" of incidents of child abuse/neglect receive appropriate training related to issues of reporting. Psychologists are one group of "mandated reporters." The requisite training entails a two-hour, non-credit, workshop. This training is provided by the Division of Counseling Psychology at no cost on a regular basis, and is also available in the community for a fee. Completion of this training is recorded on the student's transcript.

Research Tool

All graduate students at the University at Albany must demonstrate competence in a research tool appropriate to their doctoral research. Competence must be demonstrated in an area relevant to doctoral research in counseling psychology beyond that which is required in the curriculum. The key elements of this statement are elaborated as follows:

"Beyond that which is required in the doctoral curriculum" means that any course required in the curriculum, or any course used to satisfy a required elective, may not be used to satisfy the Research Tool requirement.

"Relevant to doctoral research in counseling psychology" means that the area of competence is demonstrably related to the student's intended doctoral research. It is incumbent on the student to demonstrate the relevance of the area of competence which s/he proposes to use to satisfy this requirement.

"Competence" may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including:

1. Receiving a grade of B or better, or a grade of S (S is defined as a "B or better"), in a specific (relevant) course or courses taken at UA.

2. Demonstrating that a grade of B or better, or a grade of S, obtained in a specific (relevant) course or courses taken at another institution, is equivalent to (1) above. This equivalence must be in qualitative standards, although not necessarily in specific content.

3. Providing evidence through examination, paper, or other method, that a (relevant) area has been mastered, even if no specific course or courses have been taken.

Doctoral Qualifying Examination

To move to full status as a doctoral candidate, every student must pass a comprehensive examination over the major content areas of counseling psychology: intervention, assessment, career development/vocational psychology, and research design. The exam is typically taken in the summer following the third year in the program, although many students entering with a master's degree take it after their second year.

Doctoral Internship

Every student is required to complete an APA accredited internship that must span one year of full-time or two years of half-time supervised experience equivalent to 2,000 hours of work. The internship is taken after completion of most program requirements. Students enroll for the national internship matchin program run by APPIC and may attend any accredited intersnhip in the U.S. or Canada. A list of recent internship sites is provided in the doctoral frequently asked questions section of this website.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every student must submit an acceptable dissertation that demonstrates the ability to conduct independent scholarly work and formulate appropriate conclusions to modify or extend previous knowledge. Development of a dissertation proposal generally occurs in ECPY 890 (Independent Study) under the guidance of a dissertation chair. A list of recent dissertation topics is provided here.