The goal of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program is to prepare counseling psychologists who will promote psychology as a science and contribute to the advancement of the profession.

The program requires a minimum of 111 semester hours and 12-15 dissertation semester hours to complete. The faculty endorses a scientist/practitioner model of training and expects students to become competent researchers and proficient practitioners.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester - December 1

If the deadline falls on a weekend, the following Monday is considered the deadline date. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all materials are in by the deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Admission Requirements

  • 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
  • Preferred Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (the score indicated or higher): Verbal = 152, Quantitative = 151, and Analytical Writing = 3.5
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)

Application Procedure

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Copies of official transcripts of all previous college work - graduate and undergraduate
  • 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 PDF iconDisclosure 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.


Program Admissions Coordinator: Martin Kivlighan (

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

We look forward to receiving your application!

Additional Information

  • Admission to the program is very competitive. Typically, only five to eight students are admitted each year from an applicant pool of about 80 to 120 students.
  • 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.

The Ph.D. in counseling psychology requires a minimum of 111 s.h. of graduate credit, and 12-15 dissertation credit hours.

Basic Psychology

All students are required to have a thorough grounding in the basic discipline of psychology. This may be achieved through a minimum of 3 s.h. of credit in each of the following four areas: biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, and history and systems. Students complete an additional 6 s.h. in the area of individual differences.

Statistics and Research Design

All of the following:

PSQF:6243 Intermediate Statistical Methods   4 s.h.
EALL:5150 Introduction to Educational Research   3 s.h.
PSQF:7331 Qualitative Educational Research Methods  3 s.h.

One of the following:

PSQF:6244 Correlation and Regression   4 s.h.
PSQF:6246 Design of Experiments   4 s.h.

Selection of:

One additional qualitative course and one additional quantitative course, or  
Two additional qualitative courses .

Counseling Psychology Core

PSQF:6223/PSQF:6225 Introduction to Counseling Psychology Practice/Research I-II 6 s.h.
PSQF:XXX CP Practice and Research III  (Supervision/Consultation) 3 s.h.
PSQF:6235 Multicultural Counseling 3 s.h.
PSQF:7305 Psychotherapy I: Dynamic and Phenomenological Approaches 3 s.h.
PSQF:7306 Psychotherapy III: Career Interventions 3 s.h.
PSQF:7309 Personality Assessment 3 s.h.
PSQF:7310 Intelligence Assessment 3 s.h.
PSQF:7356 Processes and Outcomes in Counseling and Psychotherapy 3 s.h.
PSQF:7365 Psychotherapy II: Cognitive and Behavioral Approaches 3 s.h.
PSQF:7434 Practicum in Counseling Psychology 3 s.h.
PSQF7:453 Advanced Practicum in Counseling Psychology (repeatable) 1-3 s.h.
PSQF:7465 Issues and Ethics in Professional Psychology 3 s.h.
PSQF:XXX Psychotherapy IV – Group Counseling 3 s.h.

Students must enroll in practicums to reach a specified level of client contact, supervision, and additional experience hours. The first practicum's site typically is University Counseling Service. Subsequent placements at other sites must have prior approval of the counseling psychology faculty. Students must successfully complete one semester of PSQF:434 Practicum in Counseling Psychology before enrolling in PSQF:453 Advanced Practicum in Counseling Psychology.

Other Requirements

Elective courses are determined in collaboration with the major advisor.

The dissertation research study is planned in collaboration with the doctoral student's major advisor. Dissertation credit can range from 12 to 15 s.h.

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 or almost all required course work, satisfactory progress toward completion of the portfolio requirement, and successful completion of practicum requirements. Internships usually require geographic relocation.

Comprehensive examinations are written in counseling psychology ethics and issues. The comprehensive examination is structured as a component of the portfolio review. For more information, contact the program coordinator.

Students must show appropriate levels of emotional balance and interpersonal skills and act within the American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists. For more information, contact the program director. 

Employment Opportunities
  • Higher education
  • Counseling centers
  • Hospitals & Clinics
  • Private practice settings
  • Consortia
  • Community mental health centers
  • Veteran Affairs medical centers
Application Deadlines
  • Fall semester - December 1

If the deadline falls on a weekend, the following Monday is considered the deadline date. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all materials are in by the deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applications Questions