Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (Ph.D.)

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (Ph.D.)


Courses in the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision program are delivered in a blended format each consisting of semester-long online participation and either a one-week virtual intensive or a one-week residential intensive (required for three of the core courses: COUC 860 Counseling Leadership and Advocacy (3 c.h.), COUC 745 Advanced Multivariate Statistics and Quantitative Research (3 c.h.), and COUC 714 Supervision and Consultation (3 c.h.)), weekly synchronous meetings (COUC 710 Advanced Group Counseling (3 c.h.), COUC 730: Issues in Integration, COUC 792: The Creative and Expressive Arts in Individual and Group Counseling, the practicum and the three internships). The dissertation courses (COUC 989 Dissertation Proposal and Research (3 c.h.) and COUC 990 Dissertation Defense (3 c.h.)) include regular synchronous meetings with the student's dissertation chair.


Liberty University’s mission to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world is achieved, in significant measure, through offering rigorous academic programs. The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision is to train highly competent counselor educators, supervisors, clinical practitioners, researchers, scholars, and leader-advocates. Faculty in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies are committed to collaborative inquiry wherein doctoral students are supported through mentoring in leadership competencies and roles in the counseling field. To facilitate these outcomes, students engage in learning experiences that support them in developing:

  1. Collaborative relationships with faculty and other professionals in the field of counseling
  2. Leadership skills in counselor education, supervision, advanced clinical practice, research and scholarship, and counseling leadership/advocacy
  3. Expertise in an area or areas of professional identity and functioning
  4. Knowledge and skills in developing and disseminating research and scholarship that makes a significant impact on the field and the lives of others
  5. Competency and comfort in participating in professional counseling organizations (i.e., American Counseling Association and its Divisions)

Program Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  • Apply supervision theory and skills to clinical supervision.
  • Demonstrate course design, delivery, and evaluation methods appropriate to counselor education learning outcomes.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate scholarly research, develop and implement research designs, and produce scholarly reports that disseminate findings to the profession of counseling.
  • Critically analyze, evaluate, and synthesize a broad range of counseling theories, with an advanced understanding of psychopathology, to inform case conceptualization and deliver and evaluate evidence-based interventions across diverse populations and settings.
  • Provide leadership and advocacy within the profession and on behalf of its clientele.
  • Integrate faith and spirituality into counselor education and supervision in an ethical manner.

Program Specific Admission Procedures

In addition to the General Admission Procedures outlined in this catalog, applicants to the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program must have:

  1. Official college transcripts (sealed, unopened copies of Undergrad and Grad degrees).
  2. A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree that reveals evidence of fulfilling CACREP entry level standards (our current pre-requisite courses) with a minimum of 3.25 GPA. Applicants who have a regionally accredited masters in a related field (i.e., counseling, psychology, human services) are welcome to apply but, if admitted, will be required to complete all M.A. level pre-requisite courses listed on the Degree Completion Plan before taking any Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision courses.
  3. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 or above (on a 4.00 scale) in all previous graduate course work.
  4. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and earn a score of 80 on the Internet-based exam for graduate program admission, or 80 on the Internet-based exam for admission. An official TOEFL score report must be submitted to the University before an admission decision can be made.
    TOEFL Services
    The Educational Testing Service
    P.O. Box 6151
    Princeton, NJ 08541
    or online at
  5. Two recommendations from professionals familiar with applicant’s work and character.
  6. A 300-word Letter of Intent specifying the applicant’s purpose and goals for entering the Ph.D. Program.
  7. Professional vita, indicating counseling licensure, or, a minimum of at least one year of clinical experience in the counseling field.
  8. Case Vignette: An APA formatted research paper of 3-5 pages length (not including title page, abstract, and references). The university provides applicants with the paper's topic. Applicants will choose between a Case Vignette for School Counseling Applicants or Case Vignette for Clinical Counseling Applicants.
  9. A Graduate Status Record (available online).
  10. Selected applicants may be required to participate in a Personal Interview with Core Ph.D. Faculty.
  11. Counseling Practicum and Counseling Internship: Applicants are required to have a 100-hour (40 direct) supervised practicum and 600-hour (240 direct) supervised internship at the master’s level or equivalent. All exceptions must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training. Applicants who have already obtained LPC licensure in their state may be exempt from this policy.

The above are minimum academic requirements for admission to the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program. The applicant’s character, integrity, and general fitness to practice a particular profession will also be considered in the admission process.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer up to 30-33 semester hours of Ph.D. coursework. For a transferred course to replace a Liberty University Ph.D. course, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The school at which the course was taken must be appropriately accredited.
  2. The course credit must be at least three semester hours or five quarter hours.
  3. The student must have earned a grade of B- or better in the course.
  4. The course must overlap with one of Liberty’s courses by at least 80%.
  5. Transfer credits must have been completed as post-master’s course work (700-900 level) within the previous seven (7) years to be accepted.
  6. Courses with a recorded grade of C+ or below will not be accepted.
  7. COUC 715, COUC 870, COUC 969, COUC 970, COUC 980, COUC 989, COUC 990, COUC 998, and COUC 999 cannot be transferred.

  8. Correspondence studies or life experiences will not be accepted for transfer credit.

Course Requirements

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision requires completion of a minimum of 60 hours of post-master’s Ph.D. level coursework including program orientation, core courses, Qualifying Examination, electives, Practicum, Internship, Candidacy Examination, and Dissertation coursework, research, and defense.

Administrative Dismissal

No grades lower than a "B" may be applied to the degree.  Any coursework taken toward fulfilling the requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy degree or required by the student's advisor or committee with a recorded grade below "B" (includes B+ & B-) will not count toward the degree and may result in dismissal from the program.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

Students will be awarded a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies if they choose not to complete their dissertation. Students awarded a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Counseling must have:

  1. been admitted to the Ph.D. program;
  2. completed all required coursework, practicum and internship and
  3. earned a GPA of 3.00 or better.

The awarding of a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies will result in an appropriate notation on the student’s academic record.

Delivery Format: Online Only

(Online Only with the Requirement of Residential Intensives)

  • College and University Teaching Faculty
  • College and University Administrative Positions
  • Advanced Professional Counselor
  • Administrator in Community, Public, Private, Government, Health-Care, and Educational Settings
  • Advanced Researcher and Scholar
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