2024 - Best Ph.D. Doctorate Degree in Counseling Programs

Researching and applying to online psychology doctorate degree programs can get pretty exhausting pretty fast. College websites aren’t always the easiest to scan for information, and even after reading about a particular program, you may still be left with many questions. Luckily, we’ve been doing this for a while and we’ve developed a few methods along the way that make researching programs a little easier. If you’re interested in the ways we accomplish our research, feel free to take a look at our Rankings Methodology page for more information.


Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

Learners seeking to teach in the counseling profession can obtain their Counselor Education and Practice Ph.D. from Georgia State University. The on-campus offering includes experiences in human growth and development, psychological assessment, and multicultural counseling.


University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

Practicing counselors looking to teach or lead can transition careers with an Online PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from the University of the Cumberlands. The research-heavy doctorate program includes clinical supervision and leadership components.


Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL

Experienced, licensed counselors seeking to advance to leadership roles within their larger profession can attain their PhD in Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. The degree has specialties in Leadership and Supervision, School Counseling, Children and Family, and more.

What Are the Various Doctorate Degree in Counseling Specialties?

Ph.D. doctorate degrees in counseling come in several specialty areas. These include:

Can I Get a Ph.D. Doctorate Degree in Counseling Online?

You can complete a doctorate via distance learning. In fact, it's highly suited to attaining a terminal degree due to the level of self-guidance and research. Seminars and contact time with professors can be accomplished via the internet.

If you've worked in the field for many years and now have a family or full-time job that you wish to work the doctorate around, it's entirely possible. Again, with the flexibility of a counseling Ph.D. program, you can spread this over eight or many more years.

The main disadvantage, as with any other type of qualification, is the lack of contact time with peers and other doctorate students.

Counseling Degrees at Every Level

From entry-level to advanced, there's a counseling degree for your needs.

Learn more about the different online and campus-based counseling degrees available to you.

All Counseling Degrees

What Can I Expect in an Online Doctorate Degree in Counseling Program?

Doctorates (or doctoral degrees) are targeted to specific niche areas. They go even deeper than a master's degree to develop expert-level knowledge of niches. Doctorate research subjects are chosen by the student who has identified either a gap in the knowledge or a problem that they think they can research and answer.

Counseling Ph.D. programs don't follow the typical pattern of study through coursework – most of the work is self-guided with professors on hand. However, most will have group seminars and one-on-one guidance.

What Are the Doctorate Degree in Counseling Admission Requirements?

Doctoral programs expect applicants to have minimum entry requirements which differ slightly from other degree types:

  • A master's degree (bachelor’s degree in exceptional circumstances) in a relevant subject – counseling, psychology etc.
  • Academic transcripts
  • A GRE may be required in some cases
  • Letter of recommendation for a Ph.D. from a university professor
  • A statement of purpose detailing what you intend to research (and how) to obtain your doctorate
  • You may be required to submit your MA dissertation and any other project work
  • Applicants from outside the US will be required to provide proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) unless they come from an exempt country
  • International students may also be asked to formally translate their qualifications to equivalents relevant to the U.S. education system

What Is the Length of a Doctorate Degree in Counseling?

A Ph.D. in counseling can take many years, though five or six years is fairly typical for doctoral candidates working at a regular pace. The most commonly cited term is seven to eight years. Due to its flexible nature, you may work around full-time employment and family commitments while your thesis progresses.

How Much Does a Ph.D. Doctorate Degree in Counseling Cost?

Doctorate programs are the highest level of qualification in any field. Due to their intensity and earning capability, they are therefore the most expensive programs you can study. Typically students pay per year, or a total amount spread out over the duration of the program.

Students can expect to pay anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $100,000 for a counseling Ph.D. program, with most falling in the $50,000 range. Tuition costs fluctuate based on school, location, in-state or out-of-state residency, specialty/concentration, and many other factors. Military veterans may be eligible for discounted tuition rates.

There are many ways for doctoral students to pay for their counseling Ph.D. program. Most of the funding will come in the form of research grants and funding from the university. The figures are high, but you will rarely pay the total cost yourself – you may also "pay" in the form of your labor, working for the university in teaching support or as a research assistant.

There are also full scholarships that will essentially cover everything – living costs, research funding, and other necessary expenses for those who are eligible. Check your school of choice for scholarship and financial aid information.

Popular Counseling Specialties

Counseling careers are available in a range of specializations, whether you are interested in working with groups, individuals, couples, and more. The following are some popular specialties - visit our Counseling Careers page for more.

School Counselor

School Counselors provide academic, career, and personal counseling services to students in elementary, middle, and high schools. They also collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to promote student success and support their emotional and social well-being.

Couples Counselor

Couples Counselors help partners through difficult life periods such as infidelity, separation, divorce, and other relationship strains.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Those needing help with addictions to alcohol, drugs, and more can find help and support by working with a Substance Abuse/Addictions Counselor.


List of Counseling Doctorate Degree Programs

Find an online or campus-based Ph.D. doctorate degree program in Counseling today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

Jump to Your State Listings


1500 East Fairview Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36106-2148
(334) 833-4497

Station One
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-3400


135 N Oakland Ave
Pasadena, CA 91182
(626) 584-5200

11139 Anderson Street
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-1000


1085 Mason Ave
Daytona Beach, FL 32117
(386) 341-8319

333 Colony Blvd Suite 216
The Villages, FL 32162
(866) 452-4253

3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300


Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000


Honolulu, HI
(808) 521-1868


1910 University Dr
Boise, ID 83725
(208) 426-1000


1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
(800) 892-3050

325 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 329-6600


210 N 7th St
Terre Haute, IN 47809
(812) 237-6311


PhD Programs
1750 Beardshear Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2103
(515) 294-4111

PhD Programs
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
(319) 335-3500


218 Wells Hall
Murray, KY 42071-3318
(270) 809-3011

South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000

6191 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769
(606) 549-2200



PhD Programs
4501 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21210
(410) 617-2000


29 Everett St
Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
(617) 868-9600


225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389
(866) 808-4080


Missoula, Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-0211

New Jersey

1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 737-5326

New Mexico

PhD Programs
1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 277-0111

North Carolina

110 S Main St
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-4000

1601 E Market St
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336) 334-7500

9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000

1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000


190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446

PhD Programs
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000

PhD Programs
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606-3390
(800) 586-5336


PhD Programs
1500 SW Jefferson Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 737-0123


1011 South Dr 201 Sutton Hall
Indiana, PA 15705-1098
(724) 357-2100

1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
(717) 477-7447

4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-4141

South Carolina

PhD Programs
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7000


1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212-3757
(615) 460-6000

1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000

1 William L. Jones Drive
Cookeville, TN 38505-0001
(931) 372-3101

333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200

Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000


9212 Fry Rd Ste 105
Cyprus, TX 77433
(888) 360-0004

1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
(936) 294-1111

PhD Programs
6300 Ocean Dr.
Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5503
(361) 825-5700

304 Administration Dr
Denton, TX 76204
(940) 898-2000

1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2011

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644
(210) 458-4011

PhD Programs
212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX 77204-2018
(713) 743-1000


Main Campus
Provo, UT 84602
(801) 422-4636


200 William R. Harvey Way
Hampton, VA 23668-0099
(757) 727-5000

1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

PhD Programs
1827 University Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903-2628
(434) 924-0311

210 Burruss Hall, 800 Drillfield Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0131
(540) 231-6994

PhD Programs
200 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
(757) 221-4000


2326 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121-1814
(206) 441-5352


2900 N. Menomonee River Pky
Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597
(414) 930-3000


Corner of Ninth and Ivinson
Laramie, WY 82071
(307) 766-1121

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Liz Norris, LPCC
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