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Online PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision

Is it time to apply your counseling expertise to a new challenge? Earning a PhD in counselor education and supervision is one way to take your career to the next level, whether that’s in the classroom or in a leadership capacity. With a doctoral degree under your belt, you’ll be ready to expand your impact and empower others to make a difference in the growing field of counseling.


What is a PhD in Counselor Education?

A PhD in counselor education is a doctoral degree that equips counseling professionals to teach in higher education classrooms. You’ll learn the theory and practice of educating and supervising future counselors in clinical settings. You’ll also learn leadership skills you can apply in education as well as behavioral health and human services settings.

Keep in mind that a PhD is the same as a doctorate. Degree programs at this level are typically research intensive and require an original dissertation. Courses in areas like research design and inferential statistics will help you prepare to contribute original knowledge to the field of counseling.

Wondering what you can do with your PhD? Graduates may go on to make an impact in fields such as counseling psychology, higher education, human services leadership, and more. Career paths you could pursue may include:

  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Regulatory Affairs Director
  • Quality Assurance Director
  • Compliance Manager
  • Compliance Operations Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Assistant Professor
  • Clinical Psychology Professor

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How to get a PhD in Counselor Education Online

A number of PhD in counselor education and supervision programs are available online. This flexible format may make it possible to pursue your studies even while working as a counselor. Admissions requirements typically include a CACREP-accredited master’s degree in counseling or the equivalent. In many cases, you’ll also need to have an active clinical counseling license or certification in your state of practice.

Look for PhD programs accredited by CACREP, which stands for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP evaluates programs based on national standards of quality and relevance to the counseling profession. However, not all online programs attain this prestigious accreditation. In fact, University of the Cumberlands is one of the only higher education institutions to offer CACREP-accredited programs online.

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Is a PhD in Counselor Education Worth It?

After working for some time in the counseling field, many professionals wonder if they can make an even bigger contribution to the field. Pursuing continuing education for counselors, such as a PhD in counselor education and supervision, could be one way to enhance your career and drive change on a larger scale. Here’s why you may find it worthwhile to further your counseling education in a PhD program:

  • Meet demand. Postsecondary education roles in the field of psychology—such as counselor education jobs—should increase by 9 percent between 2019 and 2029. That’s much faster than average for all professions, which tracks with growth trends across the higher education industry. As more students pursue college degrees to achieve their goals, demand for expert instructors should grow. In addition, employment in community and social service occupations should grow an impressive 12 percent in the same time frame.ii Much of this job growth will be in counseling professions. Needless to say, an increased demand for counselors means a corresponding demand for counselor education.
  • Enhance your career. A PhD in counselor education program offers the chance to build on your past education and experience while preparing to take your career in a new direction. You’ll add classroom strategies and leadership skills to your existing professional toolkit, so you’ll be ready to teach and guide the next generation of counselors. 
  • Boost your salary. The median annual salary for postsecondary psychology teachers was $76,620 in 2019. In comparison, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors had median annual wages of $46,240. If you’re hoping to take your earnings to the next level, consider studying counselor education and supervision.

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The fully accredited online PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from University of the Cumberlands teaches the knowledge and skills you need to launch a career in research and postsecondary teaching in counseling programs across the United States. Our program also covers the advanced leadership skills needed to drive change as an administrator in behavioral health agencies and beyond. 

In fact, you’ll get the best of both worlds at UC. Our Department of Education and School of Counseling work together to deliver our robust curriculum, so you’ll hone your expertise in education leadership as well as counseling theory. The program covers three essential domains for counselor educators and administrators: leadership, professional research and clinical coursework, and a specialization of your choice, such as addiction or advanced counseling. In total, you’ll complete 66 post-master’s credit hours, including courses such as:

  • Advanced Counseling Theories and Skills
  • Theories and Techniques of Clinical Supervision
  • Leadership & Advocacy in Professional Counseling
  • Online Teaching & Learning in Counselor Education
  • Neuroanatomy & Behavioral Medicine for Professional Counseling

Finally, you’ll work in collaboration with graduate faculty members to research, write and defend an original dissertation that advances knowledge in the counseling profession. You’ll graduate equipped with:

  • Mastery that prepares you for a teaching career in higher education environments
  • Administrative expertise preparing you for leadership in clinical and educational settings
  • Advanced clinical skills aimed to maximize proficiency in an independent practice milieu
  • Independent research skills preparing you to make original contributions to your field

As an institution grounded in Christian principles and leadership through service, University of the Cumberlands will prepare you to demonstrate sound ethical values, compassion for humanity and a drive to make a difference.

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

Click here to view admission requirements, admission cycles, and application deadlines. 

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CACREP Assessment

The CACREP Council accredits the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, Addiction Counseling program, PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision, and the related Doctorate of Educational Leadership Online (EdD) Program. CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) that accredits counselor-preparation graduate degree programs. University of the Cumberlands is one of the only higher education institutions to offer CACREP-accredited programs online.

CACREP accreditation ensures that our programs meet national standards of quality and relevance to the profession. Graduates benefit from a CACREP-accredited program because it can provide tremendous benefits for their future.

CACREP Outcomes for the Department of Counseling at University of Cumberlands:

Vital Statistics: 2017201820192020

Program Evaluation Outcomes Report: 2015-2018

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

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Click here to view a list of the department of counseling faculty. 

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