Counseling Psychology

James W. Bartee, Ph.D., Interim Director of Training for Counseling Psychology
Allen Hall, P.O. Box 6122

Degree Offered:

  • Doctor of philosophy in counseling psychology

All applicants must comply with the graduate requirements of the College of Education and Human Services and the Counseling Psychology program of study. The program includes coursework hours and training experiences in addition to the College of Education and Human Services requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Admitted students are expected to understand and comply with the current revision of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct published by the American Psychological Association.

The aim of the doctoral program at West Virginia University is to provide trainees the means to become competent Health Service Psychologists who, upon graduation, are ready for entry-level clinical and academic practice in the area of Counseling Psychology.  Students are expected to work closely with faculty in doing research and in supervised practicum experiences as they integrate science with practice and practice with science.  Successful completion of the program requires core coursework and engagement in learning experiences designed to cultivate competence in Discipline-Specific Knowledge (i.e., affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social bases of behavior, history and systems of psychology, psychometrics, quantitative methods, research methods, and advanced integrative psychological science), Profession-Wide Competencies (i.e. research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values/attitudes/behaviors, communications and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills), and Counseling Psychology Area Specific Competencies to include understanding self as instrument; understanding contextual and cultural influences in practice, science, teaching, supervision, and other roles; commitment to holistic strength-based development through preventative, vocational, and social justice approaches.   

The Counseling Psychology program at West Virginia University is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association to offer the doctor of philosophy in this specialty area of Health Service Psychology. 

Accreditation is a process that reflects the commitment of the institution to self-study and external-review by one's peers in seeking not only to meet professional standards but also to continuously seek ways in which to enhance the quality of education and training provided by the program.

For more information, please refer to The Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, phone: (202) 336-5979, fax: (202) 336-5978, e-mail:

Competency Based Training

Training in Health Service Psychology in our Ph.D. program is based on the Competency Benchmarks initiative developed in conjunction with the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (CCPTP) and the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP). They can be found on our website and in our Doctoral Student Handbook. Seminal documents and related material can also be found on the APA website at:  All students are evaluated yearly to document their attainment of the various competencies germane to their level of training within the program.


Students are accepted for the preliminary study toward the Ph.D. degree upon admission into the program. Candidacy for the degree is the next stage in the program of study, and requires the following:

  • Students must complete the prerequisite doctoral coursework with a 3.25 or better grade point average. The "Readiness for Practicum" benchmark competencies must be achieved.
  • Passing scores on the written, comprehensive doctoral qualifying examination covering core Profession-Wide and Counseling Psychology Area Specific competencies. Once advanced to candidacy for the degree, students are afforded an additional five years to complete all remaining elements of the program of study leading to the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology.

Practicum Training

A minimum of nine credit-hours requiring 600 on-site clock-hours, and must include at least 200 hours of direct client/patient service and 125 hours of one-to-one supervision by a licensed psychologist. Sites available to our students include the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services at WVU, other college counseling centers within a ninety-minute drive, Veterans Medical Centers, medical centers/hospitals, county agencies, community mental health centers, and private practice settings. All sites must be approved by the program as meeting the standards set forth in the Doctoral Counseling Psychology Handbook. 


A one-year, full-time predoctoral internship is required in order to complete the program. Students are required to apply via the APPIC Match to APA-accredited programs. As part of the match policies, students must accept and attend the predoctoral internship provided by the match. These are typically out-of-state as only a few such programs exist in West Virginia and Morgantown. Students who do not match must petition for an alternative arrangement, approved at the discretion of the Counseling Psychology faculty. 

As of the 2013-14 academic training-year the Counseling Psychology faculty adopted the training model recommend by the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (CCPTP) that recommends the following practicum training requirements for readiness for the predoctoral psychology internship: 

Trainees successfully complete at least 450 face-to-face, program-sanctioned, doctoral practicum hours of assessment/intervention that includes evidence-based practice and at least 150 hours of supervision by a licensed psychologist that includes observation of the trainee’s work.  An additional aspect of readiness for internship is the submission for publication as an author or co-author of a professional manuscript, or presenting at least two papers/posters/workshops at a regional, national or international professional conference or meeting. 


  • The admission process consists of two stages and the pertinent materials are evaluated on several facets. Trainees are admitted each fall only for a typical cohort size of six. December 1 is the application deadline for the following fall semester. 
  • In Stage I, all submitted complete applications are reviewed by the faculty. Completed applications received after December 1 deadline are not guaranteed a review for the coming year, but time permitting, the admissions committee may choose to review them prior to the final selections for interviews. 

Applications are screened based on the Departmental Application, Application to the Graduate School, and academic credentials provided to the Admissions Committee, including the following:

  • Completion of a master's degree in an area related to counseling psychology
  • Graduate grade point average of 3.5 or higher, verified by the official transcripts of graduate coursework
  • Three letters of recommendation are required that support the applicant's competency in counseling, assessment, research, and personal qualities that indicate readiness for advanced study in professional psychology.
  • GRE Scores: the Educational Testing Service has provided a new set of norms for those persons taking the Graduate Records exams on or after August 1, 2011. We have revised our recommended score levels to reflect these changes. For the Verbal Reasoning section, the faculty recommends a minimum score of 153. For the Quantitative Reasoning section a minimum score of 144 is recommended. If you are reporting scores on the GRE taken prior to August 1, 2011 a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 1,000 points is recommended. Please remember the Educational Testing Service only reports scores that are five years aged or less. If your scores are older than that, you will need to take the test again. 
  • Applicants reporting GRE scores less than these recommended minima may still apply, but their applications may not be competitive with others whose scores achieve the recommended levels. Students offered admission typically have scores well above these minimal, however GRE scores are not the only factor considered by the admissions committee. 

The scoring norms for the Analytical Writing section of the GRE have not been changed. A score of 3.0 (out of 6.0) or better on the Analytic Writing section is taken into account in evaluating the application and due credit accorded.

  • Two years of relevant work experience is desirable, not necessarily full-time.
  • Stage II: Those persons whose basic preparation, references, and relevant application materials recommend them for graduate study in Health Service Psychology/Counseling Psychology are invited to campus for a personal interview with the program faculty and selected students. These typically occur in early to mid-February. 

The personal interview is required for a final admission decision. The interview helps to determine the applicant's interpersonal and clinical skills, which are predictive of success in graduate study, internship, and post-degree placement. If an applicant is unable to be on campus during interview day, a phone interview may be scheduled instead. However, in-person interviews are highly recommended. Based on a review of all written materials and the interview, the faculty determines to whom admission will be offered. A waiting list of qualified applicants is usually prepared as well.

  • Preliminary admissions decisions are typically made in the two weeks following interviews. Applicants invited to join the program have until April 15 to accept or decline the offer. Final admissions will occur in the next few weeks if openings remain. 

Doctor of Philosophy

MAJOR Requirements

CPSY 701Advanced Counseling Psychology Interventions3
CPSY 709Advanced Group Counseling / Therapeutic Interventions3
CPSY 710Cognitive-Affective Behavior3
CPSY 734Multicultural Psychology3
CPSY 735Social Psychology3
CPSY 738Life Span Psychology3
CPSY 740Assessment of Psychopathology3
CPSY 745History and Systems of Psychology3
CPSY 750Physiological Psychology3
CPSY 760Introduction to Counseling Psychology3
CPSY 763Advanced Theories of Counseling Psychology3
CPSY 764Intellectual Assessment4
CPSY 766Vocational Theory and Assessment3
CPSY 769Personality Testing and Interpretation3
CPSY 780Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling Psychology3
CPSY 783Consultation and Supervision3
CPSY 770Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology9
CPSY 772Internship12
CPSY 781Research Practicum1
CPSY 782Research Methods and Design3
CPSY 799Graduate Colloquium6
EDP 611Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology3
EDP 613Statistical Methods 13
EDP 614Statistical Methods 23
Total Hours107

The Doctoral Dissertation

  • By the end of the second year of study, the candidate must define and refine a research topic and select a doctoral dissertation chair. At that time, students must also secure an additional four members to serve on the doctoral committee whose credentials must meet specific criteria as determined by the College of  Education and Human Services.
  • The candidate prepares and orally presents a research prospectus that elucidates the relevant theory and scientific literature, the research design, and the quantitative or qualitative methods to be used in the study. The written prospectus must be approved by the committee prior to submitting an IRB protocol. 
  • Approval must be granted by the Institutional Review Board at West Virginia University to proceed with the proposed study. 
  • Upon completion of the research as determined by the dissertation chair, the student will present an oral defense of his or her study to the full committee and scholarly community. The committee must agree the defense is successful, and the document is ready to be submitted to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) office at West Virginia University. The dissertation is considered complete when the ETD office accepts the final draft approved by the committee.

Predoctoral Internship

  • After admission to candidacy, students are required to enter the national psychology predoctoral internship matching program (APPIC). APPIC comprises the national database of APA-accredited and APPIC-listed internship programs and positions in the United States. The application process is lengthy and demanding both of time and resources.
  • The "Readiness for Internship" benchmarks competencies must be achieved and documented on the competency benchmarks rating form, signed and attested by the candidate's advisor.
  • In order to apply for internship, the student must have successfully proposed their dissertation.
  • Only if a student is unsuccessful in matches across two years, or there are significant extenuating circumstances, will permission to seek an internship outside the match be granted at the faculty's discretion.
  • APA-accredited/APPIC-listed internships are typically off-campus and likely to be out-of-state. They are full-time, twelve-month paid positions usually beginning and ending in August. A successful final evaluation from the internship supervisor is required to complete this element of doctoral study in professional psychology. See Internship on the program overview page for further details. 

Additional specifics regarding the internship are available on the program website.

Major Learning Outcomes

counseling psychology

The West Virginia University Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology, in compliance with the Health Service Psychology training standards of the American Psychological Association, posits the following major learning goals:

  • Students will demonstrate competency with regard to Discipline-Specific Knowledge to include affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social bases of behavior, history and systems of psychology, research methods, psychometrics, and advanced integrative psychological science.    
  • Students will demonstrate Profession-Wide Competencies in research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values/attitudes/and behaviors, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills.  
  • Students will demonstrate Program-Specific Competencies in Counseling psychology to include understanding of self as instrument, understanding contextual and cultural influences in practice, science, teaching, supervision and other roles, commitment to holistic strength-based development through preventive, vocational, and social justice approaches.      


CPSY 701. Advanced Counseling Psychology Interventions. 3 Hours.

PR: Advanced standing and COUN 501 and COUN 606 and COUN 685 or equiv and Consent. Comprehensive development of counseling psychology techniques related to generic and specific theoretical models. In-setting laboratory experience and demonstration of therapy techniques required.

CPSY 709. Advanced Group Counseling / Therapeutic Interventions. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 609 or equiv and consent. An overview of the formation, leadership techniques, research and ethical issues associated with group counseling and psycho-therapy in general and for specific populations. (Lec.).

CPSY 710. Cognitive-Affective Behavior. 3 Hours.

Review of contemporary theories of learning, memory, motivation, and emotion. Critical review of research and counseling practice. Increased understanding of self-behaviors.

CPSY 734. Multicultural Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY advanced standing and CPSY 701. Interactive effects of cultural factors (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social status, religious affiliation) as they relate to counseling psychology practice, competencies and roles. (Alternate years.).

CPSY 735. Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

Classic and contemporary readings/research in social psychology emphasizing the interface of social and counseling psychology and integrating social psychology and counseling psychology practice. Uses a student-centered model with emphasis on student-led discussion and demonstrations.

CPSY 738. Life Span Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 763. Overview of developmental psychology focusing on the physical, cognitive, emotional and social domains applied to the professional practice of psychology across the lifespan.

CPSY 740. Assessment of Psychopathology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 769. Assessment and diagnosis of psychopathology, integration of case data, treatment planning from a developmental, multicultural perspective with emphasis on ethical and socially responsible interventions and collaboration of counseling psychology with other health care providers.

CPSY 745. History and Systems of Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 760. History of modern psychological thought and methodology including the social, political, philosophical, and cultural factors influencing the major schools and systems of psychology, particularly in relationship to counseling psychology.

CPSY 750. Physiological Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 760. Survey of neuroanatomical, neuroendocrinological mechanisms underlying psychological and behavioral processes. Motor, sensory, perceptual, behavioral, cognitive, and affective functional systems will be studied. Relevance to normal and pathological development will be reviewed.

CPSY 755. Applied Psychopharmacology. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 750 and CPSY 760. Review of contemporary theory and practice of psychopharmacology, diagnoses and syndromes warranting medication drug selection, putitive mechanisms of action, dosage, side-effects, toxicity, contra-indications, and use of multiple medications. Critical research reviews and outcome comparisons with psychological treatment.

CPSY 760. Introduction to Counseling Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Overview of history, current status, and future trends associated with counseling psychology as a specialty area. Includes an introduction to counseling psychology research topics and practices.

CPSY 763. Advanced Theories of Counseling Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 606 and COUN 685, or equivalent, admission to post-master's graduate study; and consent. A comprehensive study of the theoretical issues in contemporary counseling.

CPSY 764. Intellectual Assessment. 4 Hours.

PR: Advanced standing, COUN 505 and pre-registration with instructor. Administering, scoring, and interpreting individual intelligence tests.

CPSY 766. Vocational Theory and Assessment. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 620 or equivalent, advanced standing, or Consent. Advanced study of theory development and research in vocational psychology and counseling; emphasis on counseling psychology, women's issues, and cross-cultural counseling.

CPSY 769. Personality Testing and Interpretation. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 505 and Consent. Advanced study in the application of personality assessment procedures and consideration of alternative methods for measuring human behavior.

CPSY 770. Doctoral Practicum in Counseling Psychology. 1-9 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 769 and CPSY 780 or equivalent and completed doctoral practicum application (due by March 1 of semester year preceding initial semester), and consent. Intensive clinical experience in which students, under supervision, see clients for individual and group counseling and psychotherapy. Offered at a variety of approved field-based sites. (Practicum).

CPSY 772. Internship. 1-12 Hours.

PR: Written approval from the Department Internship Committee, satisfactory completion of written doctoral comprehensive exams and approval of research prospectus. Full-time supervised practice in an approved counseling psychology internship training program; minimum duration one academic year.

CPSY 780. Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: Advanced standing and consent. Overview of current ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling psychology. Readings, discussion, and a written literature review of a topic related to the practice of counseling psychology.

CPSY 781. Research Practicum. 1 Hour.

Ninety clock-hours of documented hands-on research activity. Activity must be supervised by faculty, or in conjunction with faculty supervision.

CPSY 782. Research Methods and Design. 3 Hours.

An overview of research methods and design, statistical procedures and potential violations of ethical principles in the conduct of research in Counseling Psychology.

CPSY 783. Consultation and Supervision. 3 Hours.

PR: CPSY 701 and CPSY 780; one semester of CPSY 770 or equivalent, consent. Assumptions and techniques of consultation/ supervision include demostrations of the models and relevant critical analysis.

CPSY 790. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of counseling psychology. Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It will also present a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience. (Grading will be S/U.).

CPSY 791A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

CPSY 792. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

CPSY 793. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

CPSY 794A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

CPSY 795. Independent Study. 1-9 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

CPSY 796. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

CPSY 797. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

CPSY 798. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

CPSY 799. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is S/U; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.