Innovative Training that Combines Research and Practice

In a state-of-the-art, on-site Psychological Services Clinic at UNC, counseling psychology students are supervised in therapy sessions. From behind a one-way mirror, a licensed psychologist observes, providing immediate feedback using the latest audio-visual recording equipment. In UNC’s Counseling Psychology doctoral program, all students go through at least two years of systematic in-clinic doctoral practicum experiences with the same intensive supervision. Students also:

  • Present at national conferences, including the APA convention
  • Co-teach with faculty and collaborate on research projects
  • Learn how to complete intensive psychological assessments
  • Supervise individual therapy in a semester-long practicum experience
  • Work in diverse off-site settings, such as counseling centers, health care facilities, community agencies and Veterans Affairs centers

Degree Details

Credits Required:




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Degree Option

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

UNC’s Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2010. For more information about APA accreditation, contact the American Psychological Association’s Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; 202-336-5979.

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Related Programs

“I found the program to be outstanding. The staff is professional yet caring, challenging yet supportive, and encouraging throughout. This was an amazing life experience for which I will be forever thankful.”

Michael LeBlond

Your Future in Counseling Psychology

Distinguished by one-on-one training and research, our doctoral degree program prepares you in three core treatment modalities: individual therapy, couples and family therapy, and group therapy. Lessons emphasize the diverse needs of people from different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. You’ll also benefit from a collaborative learning environment with small classes: Cohorts average six to eight students per year allowing for individualized attention by faculty.

Consider UNC's Counseling Psychology Ph.D. if you are:

  • Dedicated to making a positive difference in people’s lives through assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues
  • Interested in working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds

You’ll learn:

  • Individual, groups, couples and family therapy
  • Teaching skills
  • Clinical supervision
  • Skills to perform psychological research, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies
  • How to use a variety of psychological assessment tools
  • Administrative and clinical experience assisting the director of the Psychological Services Clinic

Sample courses:

  • Cognitive/Personality Assessment
  • Advanced Theories of Personality and Counseling
  • Individual Counseling Doctoral Practicum
  • Psychological Consultation: Theory and Practice
  • Career Theory, Counseling and Assessment
  • Supervision Theories
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Advanced Psychopathology


Lu Tian, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education

Lu Tian received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed her doctoral internship at University of Maryland Counseling Center. Her primary research interest is in coping/applied problem solving, particularly related to proactive coping and multiculturalism. Other research specialties include coping/stress management, career-related issues, multicultural competency and mindfulness. Tian has numerous publications and professional presentations, as well as research, teaching and clinical experience at the international level.

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Beyond the Classroom

Preparing Students for Career Success

When you earn your Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from UNC, you’ll have the training and preparation to lead in your field. Our graduates have proven track records of success:

  • Eighty percent of our students have completed internships accredited by the APA.
  • More than 40 percent of students have been offered their first jobs by their internship sites.
  • Employers report very high satisfaction with our graduates’ preparation.
  • More than 94 percent of our graduates are licensed.

Where can your degree take you?

We train psychologists who can independently assess, diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental health concerns in a variety of settings, including:

  • Academic/research settings
  • Independent practice
  • Mental health agencies
  • Health care facilities
  • University counseling centers
  • Veterans affairs

Current Research in Counseling Psychology

Our professors share dedication to research, teaching and advising. Our department’s current research undertakings include:

Applied Psychology and Counselor Education

Lia (Basilia) Softas-Nall, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling Psychology

Basilia Softas-Nall’s research interests include ethnicity, family and couples counseling, stigma and attitudes towards psychological help, and international psychology. Some of her current publications are on diversity issues in counseling multilingual couples and families, adopting the family of origin scale in Greece, and Latino families. She collaborates with her students mentoring them on their research interests, which has resulted in recent publications on stay-at-home moms, the role of social support in college veterans and homecoming experiences for veteran college students.


What You Need to Know Right Now