The Counseling Psychology program is committed to training psychologists who are competent in counseling and psychological services informed by the integration of diverse community engaged practice and scholarship.

Accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1980, our program strives to produce counseling psychologists who promote psychology as both a profession and a science and who apply acquired skills to the advancement of the human condition across local, national and global communities. Graduates find positions in a variety of settings, including higher education, counseling centers, clinics, private practice settings, and hospitals.

Interested in learning more about our program and the application process?
Attend our virtual information session! 

The Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Couples and Family Therapy programs
will host a joint information session on Friday, October 15th, 2021, at 11:00 am CST.

Please register online to attend this event.

Program Requirements

Students complete course work in each of the following areas: research, basic psychology, counseling psychology core competencies, and electives. Additional training is obtained through a practicum sequence, research team membership, completion of a dissertation, and a full-year predoctoral internship. The program requires a minimum of 103 semester hours that includes 12 dissertation semester hours to complete. The program requires full-time study. For a complete list of courses and requirements, please visit the General Catalog:

Program Requirements

Practicum and Training

Practicum provides experiences in individual, conjoint, and group counseling/psychotherapy; assessment; and outreach and prevention. Depending on the site, students may gain experience in working with persons who are experiencing substance abuse, marital and family problems, rehabilitation and health concerns, developmental problems, neuropsychological assessment, and severe psychopathology. Furthermore, the clientele across sites present a diversity in age, ethnicity, affectional/sexual orientation, and educational level. Our program is committed to training psychologists to be competent in their work with these diverse populations.

Additional information and resources are available here: practicum and training information.


Students spend a calendar year in an internship setting approved by the counseling psychology faculty. The faculty determines student readiness to apply for the internship based on completion of all required coursework, successful defense of comprehensive exams, and successful completion of practicum requirements. Internships usually require geographic relocation.

Faculty and Research

Counseling Psychology faculty believe in community engagement that integrates psychotherapy, assessment, research, teaching, and consultation in a reciprocal partnership with the community to advance scholarship and promote psychological well-being for individuals, communities, and the larger society. Training opportunities are available through current grants and established collaboratives and centers in numerous fields such as:

  • Career and Work Psychology
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Economic Justice
  • Opioid Addiction
  • Positive Psychology and Humility

  • Psychotherapy
  • Rural Medicine and Behavioral Health
  • Talent Development

  • Tele-psychology
  • Twice-exceptionality


Saba Rasheed Ali

Saba Rasheed Ali

Charles Bermingham

Charles Bermingham
Clinical Assistant Professor

Daniel Clay

Daniel Clay
Dean, College of Education

Megan Foley Nicpon

Megan Foley Nicpon

Martin Kivlighan

Dennis (Martin) Kivlighan
Associate Professor

Stacey McElroy-Heltzel

Stacey McElroy-Heltzel
Assistant Professor

Barry Schreier

Barry Schreier
Director of University Counseling Service


For a full list of faculty, including adjuncts and post-doctoral scholars, visit our faculty page


more faculty



Rural Psychology Collaborative

The Rural Psychology Collaborative seeks to increase access to psychological services for rural Iowans through partnerships with rural communities throughout the state of Iowa. 

Belin-Blank Center

The Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) is a comprehensive center focused on nurturing potential and inspiring excellence through myriad programs and services.

Application and Admission

General Financial Aid: Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 208 Calvin Hall, 319/335/1450. Apply for general financial aid at the same time that you apply for admission to our doctoral program.

Special graduate assistantships are open to graduate students pursuing any advanced degree program offered by the College of Education. These assistantships are half-time appointments (20 hours) that carry a stipend and a waiver of the nonresident portion of tuition. They are awarded to students with outstanding academic records. During the assistantship, students pursue both individual and collaborative research projects with a faculty adviser. These appointments are renewable, although no summer support is available through this program. The application must be filed on a special form that you should obtain now. Write to the Chair of the Selection Committee, 334 Lindquist Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1529, 319/335-6010. The deadline for completed application for these special graduate assistantships is March 1. Students should file these applications at the same time that they apply for admission to our doctoral program.

In the past, most graduate students in counseling psychology desiring financial support have received it for a major portion of their graduate program. Sources of funding include teaching and research assistantships, graduate assistantships with a variety of service agencies, and professional employment in other areas of the University or community. In addition, students are nominated for various University Fellowships. During the past two years, about 70 percent of our entering class have received financial support. All employment is undertaken after consultation with, and approval from, the major adviser.

The Counseling Psychology Program is committed to increasing its number of ethnic minority graduate students. We urge ethnic minority applicants to apply to our program. The University supports ethnic minority students with the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship Program; further details about this program are available from the Coordinator of Admissions, 319/335-5577.

Additional funding opportunities and information:


  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
  • Graduate GPA or 3.50 or better on a four-point scale
  • The GRE requirement* is optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Preferred Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (the score indicated or higher): Verbal = 152, Quantitative = 151, and Analytical Writing = 3.5

*Please note that the GRE is not required for graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships within the College of Education, nor is it required for Graduate College fellowships. The GRE is a requirement for Special Graduate Assistantships (SGAs) offered through the Iowa Measurement and Research Foundation.

  • Copies of official transcripts of all previous college work - graduate and undergraduate
  • The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle only. Official report of GRE scores:
    • General - verbal and quantitative (UI Institutional code: 6681)
    • Psychology - requested, but not required
  • Statement of student's reasons for seeking advanced training as a counseling psychologist, including a statement of personal career objectives
  • A vita or resume
  • Completed Disclosure Statement
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • Three letters of recommendation. You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Admission to the program is very competitive. Typically, only 8 to 10 students are admitted each year from a pool of about 80 applicants.

All student must begin their program of study during the first fall semester after admission. It should be noted that since the counseling psychology program is full-time, students cannot complete it on a part-time basis. Students may enter the program with either a bachelor's or a master's degree.

Prospective students will be selected to attend an open house interview day as part of our admissions process. The open house interview typically happens during February. Following the interview day, students will be notified of either being accepted, put on an alternate list, or not accepted. During the interview, you will have an opportunity to have many of your questions answered, take a tour of the campus and the University Counseling Service, and meet with individual faculty. More information about the interview will be provided to invited applicants.

Background Checks

Prospective students need to be aware that doctoral students in the counseling psychology program are regularly placed into various practicum settings.  In some of these settings, such as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics or when working with children, criminal background checks are required, and a fee is assessed to the student for the background check. If a positive result is determined on a criminal background check, the program must refer the case to a College of Education committee for a final determination of suitability for practicum placement.

Student Disclosure of Personal Information and Personal Therapy

In accordance to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002) ethics code 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) and 7.05 (Mandatory Individual or Group Therapy), our counseling psychology program is making prospective students aware of the following:

Prospective students need to be aware that doctoral students in the counseling psychology program are enrolled in some courses that may necessitate the disclosure of some personal information as part of the process of the class.  For instance, in supervision or a psychotherapy course, students may be asked to discuss personal issues relevant to the student’s learning of a particular concept or process of therapy.

We certainly support and encourage all students to have personal experiences in therapy as a client.  Although we do not mandate therapy for all students in our program, in certain instances, some students may be encouraged to pursue personal therapy and counseling.  Typically, students are encouraged to seek out therapy and counseling if (a) they are experiencing personal concerns significant enough to impact their academic performance; (b) they are experiencing personal concerns significant enough to impair their clinical responsibilities; (c) they are interested in the personal growth and the experience of therapy.

However, in some other instances, if the faculty deems it necessary, students may be mandated to seek counseling and therapy if the personal issue or concern is significantly impairing their academic and counseling responsibilities.  In these instances, the student will work closely with their advisor and the faculty to find appropriate accommodations.

Questions? Contact us:

Program Admissions Coordinator: Stacey McElroy-Heltzel (

Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Application Process

Please review the required supplemental documents above before starting the general graduate application. There is a $60 application fee for students residing in the United States. There is a $100 application fee for international applicants. To begin the general graduate application process, set up an account with an existing email address and password here:

Start your application

After you submit your application, we'll send you a HawkID and password to review the status of your application online using our online student record system, MyUI


The Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Iowa has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1980.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979


Program Coordinator