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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 It?

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, counselor education, 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, higher education, human services leadership, and more. Career paths you could pursue may include:

  • Counselor Educator
  • Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor
  • Clinical Director
  • Regulatory Affairs Director
  • Quality Assurance Director
  • Compliance Manager
  • Compliance Operations Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Academic Leadership
  • Assistant Professor in a Related Field

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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, synchronous 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 professional 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 synchronous, CACREP-accredited programs online.

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What Careers Can I Do with an Online Counselor Education Supervision Degree

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

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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 mental health—such as counselor education jobs—should increase by 12 percent between 2021 and 2030. 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 17 percent in the same time frame. Much of this job growth will be in counseling professions. Needless to say, an increased demand for counselors means a corresponding demand for counselor educators.
  • Enhance your career. A PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision 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 counseling professors was $77,500 in 2021[CP1] . In comparison, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors had median annual wages of $48,520. 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 Counseling works to deliver a robust curriculum, so you’ll hone your expertise the five major domains of contemporary counselor education curriculum: advanced clinical work, supervision, teaching, research and scholarship, and leadership and advocacy. The program breaks down into three essential components that will be incorporated into each student’s program of study: core CES coursework, professional research and field experience coursework, and a specialization of your choice, such as addiction, advanced counseling, or leadership. 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
  • Advanced Educational Research

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.

Click here for Course Details

Department of Counseling Sample Syllabi
*The syllabi in this folder are samples and may not reflect the most current syllabus content

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Mission of the Department of Counseling

To provide excellence in innovative academic programs grounded in service & leadership to develop professional counselors and counselor educators to serve diverse populations.

Mission of Doctoral Program
To develop counselor educators and supervisors who are innovative in their contributions to the profession through research, leadership, advocacy, and advanced clinical excellence.

Department of Counseling Values

  • Service: Programs are grounded in the priority to promote student success through a culture of service and accessibility. 
  • Excellence: Delivery of high-quality rigorous programs that set the standard for professionalism.
  • Community: Cultivate connections among faculty and students that engenders authentic sense of belonging and institutional pride.
  • Development: Foster an environment that facilitates identity development.
  • Accountability: We value accountability through data used to inform continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Inclusion: Programs serve students from diverse backgrounds and prepares graduates with the multicultural competencies to serve diverse communities.

Department of Counseling Goals and Objectives

Doctoral Program

Goal 1: Prepare counselor educators to be competent in creating innovative, culturally responsive educational environments for diverse learning communities.

  • 1.1 The program will increase student knowledge of andragogy, educational best practices in CES, and relevant ethical considerations in higher education.  (CACREP 2016 VI. B.3.a, B.3.b, B.3.c, B.3.f, B.3.g, B.3.h)
  • 1.2 The program will increase student skills in applying teaching knowledge to diverse learning communities (e.g., teaching in a global classroom) in a variety of teaching platforms (e.g., in-person, online, residencies).  (CACREP 2016 V B.3.d, B.3.e, C.2, C.8)
  • 1.3 The program will facilitate the identity development of students’ unique teaching approaches and philosophies as counselor educators.  (CACREP 2016 VI. B.3.i)

Goal 2: Train ethical researchers who can conduct original research studies designed to benefit the field of CES.

  • 2.1 The program will increase student knowledge of rigorous qualitative and quantitative research design and ethical considerations in research. (CACREP 2016 VI. B.4.a, B.4.b, B.4.c, B.4.d, B.4.e)
  • 2.2 The program will increase student skills in critically analyzing research, writing research proposals, conducting original research, and publishing findings. (CACREP 2016 VI. B.4.g, B.4.h, B.4.i, B.4.j, B.4.k)
  • 2.3 The program will facilitate researcher identity development rooted in high ethical standards and commitment to the inclusion of and respect for diverse populations in research. (CACREP 2016 VI. B.4.f, B.4.l)

Goal 3: Prepare advanced clinicians and counselor supervisors to serve their communities in socially responsive ways.

  • 3.1 The program will increase student knowledge on models, theories, interventions and best practices in advanced clinical approaches and counselor supervision. (CACREP 2016 VI. B.1.a, B.1.b, B.1.c, B.1.d, B.1.e, B.2.a, B.2.b, B.2.c, B.2.g, B.2.h, B.2.i, B.2.j)
  • 3.2 The program will increase student skills in advanced counseling approaches relevant to diverse communities and culturally responsive counselor supervision. (CACREP 2016 VI. B.2.d, B.2.k, C.1, C.7)
  • 3.3 The program will facilitate the identity development of advanced clinicians and supervisors who value prevention, development, and wellness to promote these values within their communities and work with supervisees.   (CACREP 2016 VI. B.1.f, B.2.e, B.2.f)

Goal 4: Develop leaders and advocates for lifelong investment in promoting wellness in a diverse global community. 

  • 4.1 The program will increase student knowledge regarding leadership skills, theory, and roles in counseling, counselor education, and consultation (CACREP 2016 IV B.5.a, B.5.f, B.5.g)
  • 4.2 The program will increase student skill in informing professional practice by generating new knowledge for the profession (CACREP 2016 IV A.2)
  • 4.3 The program will facilitate the identify development of ethical and culturally relevant leaders and advocates in the counseling profession (CACREP 2016 IV A.2, B.5.b, B.5.c, B.5.e, B.5.i, B.5.l)

Goal 5: Develop culturally responsive and social justice-oriented professionals.

  • 5.1 The program will increase student knowledge regarding models for advocating for clients at the individual, system, and policy levels in relation to current multicultural and social justice issues (CACREP 2016 IV B.5.j, B.5.k)
  • 5.2 The program will increase student skill in providing ethical and culturally relevant counseling, clinical supervision, research, and instruction to benefit diverse populations (CACREP 2016 IV B.1.f, B.2.k, B.3.h, B.4.l)

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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. For more information, visit

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

Vital Statistics: 2017201820192020

Program Evaluation Outcomes Report: 2015-201820212022

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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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