Become a Counseling Psychologist
Welcome! Our APA-accredited PhD Program in Counseling Psychology provides integrated scientist-practitioner training in psychology as a scientific discipline and in counseling psychology as an area of professional specialization. Faculty are active researchers and practicing psychologists who help you develop into a multiculturally aware researcher and clinician applying evidence-based practices. Our program enables you to pursue a professional career as a licensed psychologist in a variety of research, teaching, and practice settings including employment at research-oriented universities and colleges, community and college counseling centers, academic medical schools, Veterans Affairs medical facilities, and private practice.
Program of Study
- Introduction to Counseling Theory & Practice
- Advanced Career Development or Theories of Career Development in Counseling Psychology
- Ethics and Professional Issues in Counseling Psychology
- Theory, Research, and Practice in Counseling Psychology I & II
- Assessment in Counseling Psychology I & II
- Group Counseling Research and Practice
- Multicultural Counseling
- Proseminar in Research in Counseling Psychology
- Clinical Supervision and Consultation: Theory, Research, and Practice
Supervised Practica in Counseling Psychology
- Pre-practicum in Counseling Psychology
- Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology I & II
- Doctoral Practicum in Specialized Procedures
Statistics and Research Design Courses
- Statistical Methods II
- Research Principles and Methods in Counseling
- Regression Analysis for Counseling Research
- Multivariate Applications in Counseling Psychology or Multivariate Methods for Applied Researchers and Evaluators
Psychological Foundation Courses
Either History and Systems in Psychology or History of Psychology, plus one course in each of the following bases of behavior:
Biological: Hormones, Brain, and Behavior; Proseminar in Biopsychology; Psychopharmacology; or Clinical Neuropsychology.
Cognitive/Affective: Advanced Educational Psychology: Learning and Instruction.
Individual: Developmental Psychology; Introduction to Personality; Advanced Child Development; Psychopathology; Advanced Developmental Psychology; Comparative Theories of Human Development; Human Development; or Behavior Disorders.
Social: Social Psychology I or II; Organizational Psychology; Attitudes and Social Cognition; The Self; Social Psychology Foundations in Professional Psychology; or Social Psychology from Basic Theory to Health-Related Applications.
Professional development activities, qualifying exam, research tool competence, professional internship, written dissertation, and oral defense.
For more information, contact program director Alex Pieterse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-437-4423.
Professional and Practical Training
The PhD program at UAlbany requires you to complete scholarly scientific work in addition to doctoral practica in clinical settings.
- Participate in professional development (teaching, research, etc.)
- Present at a major counseling psychology conference
- Submit a scientific manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal
- Complete NYS-mandated training in child abuse reporting
In your second year, you complete practica at the University at Albany Psychological Services Center to develop counseling skills under the supervision of APA-licensed faculty via closed-circuit television systems.
In your third year, you work more independently with clients in colleges, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, and community agencies during your advanced practicum in specialized procedures.
This provides you with deeper skills in service areas such as adult, group, and family therapy, psychological testing, outreach, crisis management, psychiatric intake, behavioral health care, chemical dependency and substance abuse, hospice, cognitive remediation, and adjustment counseling for people with acquired brain injury.
Advanced practicums have been completed at:
- Albany Medical Center
- Capital District Psychiatric Center
- College of St. Rose Counseling Center
- Greene County Community Mental Health Center
- NeuroPsychological Rehabilitation Services
- Stratton Veterans Administration Medical Center
Clinical Work and Research Experience
You complete the required, APA-accredited, 2,000-hour professional internship after completing your coursework and practica, and passing your qualifying exam. The internship involves counseling, supervisory, and/or research activities.
Recent internship sites included:
- Arizona State University
- California State University Long Beach
- Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX
- NYU Medical Center
- University of Florida
- University of Pennsylvania
- Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington D.C.
To earn your PhD, you conduct a qualitative or quantitative investigation of an issue related to counseling psychology. Your dissertation must present and analyze empirical evidence, and demonstrate your competence in problem conceptualization, research design, data analysis, and scholarly reporting. Following approval of your written dissertation, you complete a final oral defense of your work.
Graduate Student Funding
All students entering the PhD program are guaranteed funding for their first three years. First-year students receive a 20-hour per week research assistantship, second-year students receive an assigned teaching assistantship, and third-year students may apply for a desired teaching assistantship.
- Career counselor in the UAlbany Career Services Center
- Career services coordinator or graduate assistant at the UAlbany Psychological Services Center
- Hotline coordinator and trainer in the UAlbany Peer Assistance Program
- Intake assessor and group counselor at St. Peter's Addiction Recovery Center
- Assistant director in the College of St. Rose Counseling Center
International Exchange Program (Spain)
With some Spanish fluency, third year students and beyond may visit or train in Spain at the Union de Investigacíon en Intevencíon y Cuidado Familiar (UIICF), a clinical research unit directed by Dr. Valentín Escudero, a professor at the Universidad de La Coruña.
The program enables you to participate in international research, take interdisciplinary courses, and receive clinical training in approaches to family intervention for up to one year. Tuition costs are waived in exchange for 5-6 hours of research assistance per week.
Specialization in Health Disparities
You may complete a health disparities specialization through the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities.
Within three years of graduation, 96% of program alumni have become state-licensed psychologists. Most work in clinical settings, but some pursue academic careers, and about half of all alumni teach in some capacity.
Recent graduates have accepted job offers at:
- Harvard University Counseling Center (Cambridge, MA)
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
- Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles, CA
- Middle Tennessee Veterans Healthcare, Nashville, TN
- Mt. Sinai Hospital (NYC)
- National VA Trauma Center, Honolulu, HI
- NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York City, NY
- Pioneer Valley Mental Health Clinic, Northampton, MA
- University of Florida, Gainseville, FL
- Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Careers and Advisement
The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.
Please call or email to schedule an appointment.
Email Graduate Advisement