Welcome to Prospective Doctoral Students

Dear Prospective Student:

Thank you for your interest in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi. The program has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1979, with our most recent site visit in 2006. According to Buboltz Jr. et al.’s (2005) article in The Counseling Psychologist, we  ranked 16th among U.S. counseling psychology programs for publication in the top five counseling psychology journals. Over the past 9 years, our internship match rate has been approximately 89%, with virtually 100% of matched applicants being matched with their top two preferred internship sites.

We subscribe to a scientist-practitioner model of training, which emphasizes scientifically grounded practice. As such, most of our faculty conduct applied research. Research experiences in the program and department are plentiful. Research teams focusing on applications of motivational interviewing, parent training, anger management, vocational counseling, and criminal thinking provide an important platform for gaining sound research skills and for receiving supportive and engaged research mentoring. Research collaboration among students and faculty is highly valued, and students and faculty regularly publish and present their work at local and national conferences.

We offer several unique training opportunities to doctoral students. First, the Counseling Psychology program manages an on-campus training clinic serving both the campus and local community. This allows students to receive intensive supervision from program faculty throughout their doctoral training. In addition to a broad emphasis on psychological assessment and evidence-based treatment, opportunities exist through the clinic for specialized training and practice in anger management, parent training, motivational interviewing, and career counseling. Thus, students acquire highly marketable skills which make them more desirable to internship sites and other practice-oriented settings. Second, students gain invaluable training and experience in clinical supervision. Advanced doctoral students provide supervision to less experienced peers under faculty supervision. This mentorship model provides for an outstanding and unique, supervision experience. Third, our program has close ties with many community agencies through which students obtain diverse, funded experience in a variety of psychiatric and community mental health settings. Last, as one of the few counseling psychology programs in the U.S. housed in a Department of Psychology, students benefit from a broad array of professional models, research resources, and collaborative opportunities. Undergraduate teaching opportunities are plentiful and based on the availability of research experiences, graduates of our program find themselves especially well suited for academic positions, as well as practitioner-focused careers.

The program is cohort-based and applications are accepted annually for Fall admission. We accept applications from both post-bachelor’s and post-master’s students. Financial assistance is available for students, which includes a monthly stipend and tuition-waiver. The decision to pursue graduate training is a difficult one. You are encouraged to explore our website and may also seek additional information from the American Psychological Association, APA Graduate Student Organization, and the Society of Counseling Psychology for more information about psychology, graduate school, and the field of counseling psychology. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about our program.




Bonnie C. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Director of Training
Counseling Psychology Program