2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

Educational Studies: Counseling and Counselor Education Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Educational Studies: Counseling and Counselor Education is designed to prepare advanced professional practitioners in counseling, counselor education and systems intervention with particular emphases on strength-based approaches to work with diverse populations and settings. Its purpose is to provide quality doctoral training for future educators, researchers and clinicians who wish to emphasize clinical applications that promote the health, quality of life and well-being of children, adolescents, young adults and their families. The counseling theory and counselor education courses are designed to increase understanding of current research and practice in the field. The professional competencies and counselor education courses are designed to expose students to supervisory and teaching experiences to help the student become proficient in social science research methodologies and to best prepare the student for original research and career goals. Finally, electives taught in education, communication, pastoral counseling, health and kinesiology, psychology and other disciplines will be chosen with the advisory committee. These will offer each doctoral student a personal specialization area for professional development and research. The college/department in which courses are offered will determine the readiness of students to take courses.

The Ph.D. in Educational Studies: Counseling and Counselor Education prepares students to be qualified to engage in high-quality original scholarship. Recipients will have the knowledge and skills to assume college faculty positions with responsibility in teaching graduate counseling courses, participate in counseling and counselor education research, and assume leadership positions in counseling and counselor education within schools and other organizations.


For admission into the program, an applicant must have a master’s degree in a clinical mental health discipline and be eligible for licensure or certification as a mental health professional in the state of Texas. These disciplines include (but are not limited to) counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychology/psychological associate, nursing and social work. Each applicant must show evidence of knowledge and skill in human development, helping relationships, assessment, research and evaluation, and clinical experience in applied settings. Also, the applicant must present a strong academic record, acceptable GRE scores within the past five years, a writing sample (15-20 pages, exclusive of notes and works cited) that demonstrates appropriate academic writing skills needed for success in a graduate program and three professional letters of recommendation. Students may be admitted who lack the prerequisites for some of the courses required in the program. In such cases, it will be necessary for the student to complete the prerequisites in addition to the requirements of the Ph.D. degree. A live interview is also required prior to admission.

Program of Study

A minimum of 51 credit hours post-matriculation is required for the degree.

Counseling Theory (15 hours)

The program is committed to providing students with coursework relevant to the research and practice of counseling. The counseling theory component is designed to create learning opportunities directly related to developing both theoretical and philosophical expertise in counseling and counselor education.

EDGU 70003Advanced Human Systems


EDGU 70013Language Systems


EDGU 70793Strength-Based Theories:Assessment, Research, and Practice


EDGU 70043Philosophical Underpinnings of Psychotherapy


EDGU 70383Advanced Study in Counseling Theories and Techniques


Counselor Education (9 hours)

The College of Education is committed to the professional socialization of its doctoral students. EDGU 70033 Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling will introduce the students to the TCU professors, the program of study, the culture of education and professional societies, as well as ethical and legal aspects of counseling and counselor education. It must be taken within the first year upon entering the program. In addition, students will be required to take Teaching Helping Relationships and Teaching Counseling Interventions courses, which focus on developing classroom and leadership skills as students generate a personal teaching philosophy, as well as study and practice creativity. These courses are taught concurrently with master’s-level counseling courses in the college so students have multiple opportunities to teach, lead and mentor under faculty supervision.

EDGU 70023Teaching Helping Relationships


EDGU 70143Teaching Counseling Interventions


EDGU 70033Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Counseling


Research (12 hours)

The program and college are committed to helping doctoral students broadly understand research methodology while specializing in one or more methodologies. Students take the equivalent of 12 hours of research coursework as approved by the student’s advisory committee. Courses may include (but are not limited to):

EDUC 70963Qualitative Inquiry


EDUC 70973Advanced Qualitative Inquiry


EDUC 60823Educational Program Evaluation


Advanced statistics courses in education, psychology, kinesiology or other programs

Professional Competencies (6 hours)

The program is committed to establishing authentic supervisory learning opportunities for students. Because the program is designed for those who wish to pursue a career in academic, administrative and/or supervisory positions, students will be expected to complete practicum experiences that will prepare them for such positions. The program will have a unique focus on supervisor and educator development. Practicum and classroom experiences that focus on supervisory skill development, program evaluation and other advanced skills will be required for all students.

EDGU 70223Supervision in Counseling


EDGU 70323Advanced Group Leadership


Electives (9 hours)

To create a program that is sensitive to student career goals, elective courses will be selected by each student’s advisory committee. Students seeking an academic or research career will have different coursework needs than those who wish to work as school district supervisors or administrators. Up to 9 credits of masters-level specialty course-work that enhances the student’s theoretical background, clinical skills or research interest may be transferred.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is taken at the end of the coursework and prior to beginning work on the dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to assess the student’s readiness to begin dissertation research. The qualifying examination requires students to demonstrate their ability to critically discuss theory, research and practice in the field of counseling and counselor education. The exams consist of a series of questions developed by the student’s advisory committee. These questions are designed for two purposes: 1) to examine the student’s knowledge of a body of literature in depth and 2) to examine the student’s breadth of understanding of the field of counseling and counselor education. The qualifying examination consists of two parts: a written examination and an oral examination. All committee members will read and give feedback to the student on the written product. When all committee members are satisfied with the quality of the written product, an oral examination will be scheduled. The student’s committee will determine by consensus if he/she 1) passed the examination, 2) failed the examination or 3) passed with conditions, which the student will need to meet prior to passing. A student is limited to three attempts to pass the qualifying examination.

Dissertation (6 hours)

The College of Education is committed to helping students establish their own research interests and agenda. To this end, the students will work with a committee of faculty to propose a research study, conduct the study and defend the results of the study. All students will take a minimum of six hours of dissertation proposal and research, but some students may require more than six hours, depending on the number of semesters that are needed for full completion of all requirements. Students may not begin dissertation data collection without the approval of the student’s full advisory committee.

EDUC 90980Dissertation


EDUC 90990Dissertation


Sequence of Experiences

1. Completion of all non-dissertation coursework

2. Completion of the qualifying exam

3. Completion of original research and successful defense of the resulting dissertation