Doctoral Program Requirements

The Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology facilitates the training of competent counseling psychologists in the following ways:

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  • Students are admitted as part of a cohort of 5-6 students each Fall semester. Coursework is organized and sequential in nature as to allow students preparation for each stage of the training process. As a true embodiment of the scientist-practitioner model, students complete coursework which informs their research projects as well as prepares them for work in the in-house training clinic. Core psychology courses, taught by experts in their respective fields, offers Counseling Psychology students exposure to the breadth of the field of psychology. 

  • The Program Plan offers a semester-by-semester description of the types of courses offered and the sequence of courses.

Clinical Skills Training

  • Training begins the first semester where students are able to develop counseling approaches through a carefully supervised pre-practicum experience.

  • Students complete most practica in the Community Counseling & Assessment Clinic, our in-house training clinic serving both the university and Hattiesburg communities. Faculty provide weekly supervision including review of digitally recorded sessions and didactic training. In addition to faculty supervision, advanced doctoral students provide supervision to beginning practicum students. 

  • Following an intensive summer internship experience, doctoral students return to the Community Counseling & Assessment Clinic and complete three or more semesters of Advanced Practicum which includes more complex clinical cases, assessment opportunities, supervision of novice students, and externship placements at area organizations. Externships are often associated with paid assistantship positions.

  • Students complete a one-year predoctoral internship in the final year of training through participation in the national MATCH offered through the Association for Psychology Post-Doctoral and Internship Centers ( Our match rate remains higher than the national average.

  • Read more about opportunities for counseling skills training which are offered throughout the program, beginning in the first year.

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  • Research teams are comprised of doctoral students, master's students, and often undergraduates and are facilitated by program faculty members. These teams offer both didactic training in research skills specific to the faculty member's research areas, but also offer opportunities for professional mentorship, collaboration with peers, as well as opportunities for publication and presentation.

  • Students are admitted specifically to work with a research mentor toward the completion of program research requirements (e.g., thesis, dissertation) as well as projects leading to publications and presentations.

Professional Development

  • The program admits full-time students only. Assistantship opportunities allow students to immerse themselves in departmental teaching and research activities in exchange for a monthly stipend and annual tuition waiver. Most students are funded each year for the first four years (exceptions include summer where students can receive a tuition waiver but stipends are offered competitively and are in limited supply).

  • Students are encouraged to join the Counseling Psychology Student Government, a collaborative student organization with the mission of engaging students in professional development activities, social outings, fundraising and program advocacy.

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