General Requirements

The PhD program is a full-time day school program. Prior to the final internship year, students must be available to attend day school classes full time (minimum of 8.5 academic credits per semester). Because of heavy demands involved with these classes, students are not permitted to enroll in more than 15 academic credits per semester without written permission from their advisory committee. To ensure success in their academic course work, the department strongly recommends that students restrict employment commitments to no more than 20 hours per week.

Doctoral students must register for at least two consecutive six credit-hour semesters on the BYU campus to fulfill BYU's residency requirements. 

Course Requirements

Students seeking a PhD must complete a minimum of 82 semester hours of academic course work, some of which may be transferred from a master's program. Required courses include psychological foundations, quantitative research skills, psychological and educational assessment, counseling psychology core, and religion/psychology integration. Requirements also include 24 semester hours of practicum and clerkship credit, 18 hours of dissertation credit, and 8 hours of pre-doctoral internship credit. With the approval of the student's advisory committee, up to 36 hours of master's credit may apply toward the total credit-hour requirements. 

The required courses are intended to meet Utah state licensing requirements. Requests for exceptions or alternatives to courses listed on the Course Requirements section below should not be made without careful discussion with the State Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. 

Additional Requirements/Timing

Students enrolled in the PhD program will complete required courses, comprehensive examinations, a dissertation, and a 2,000 hour pre-doctoral internship prior to graduation. All requirements for the PhD, from the first semester of coursework until graduation, must be completed within eight years. Continuous and appropriate progress is required and monitored by the department, and students are notified if their continuation in the program is in jeopardy. Students are responsible for meeting university deadlines and requirements. 

Required Courses

I. Psychology Foundation Courses

Psych 510 History and Systems of Psychology (3)

Additionally at least one semester-length, 3 credit-hour class must be taken from each of the following areas:

  1. Biological Basis of Behavior (select at least one)
    1. Psych 583 Biological and Health Psychology (3)
    2. Psych 584 Cognitive Neuroscience (3)
    3. Psych 585 Human Neuropsychology (3)
    4. CPSE 608 Biological Bases of Behavior (3)
  2. Cognitive-Affective Basis of Behavior (select at least one)
    1. Psych 560 Learning Theory (3)
    2. Psych 565 Motivational Psychology (3)
  3. Social Basis of Behavior: Psych 550 Theory and Research in Social Psychology (3)
  4. Individual Differences: Psych 540 Personality Theory (3)

II. Quantitative and Other Research Skills Courses

The quantitative and other research skills component of the PhD program requires 21 semester hours of instruction in statistics, computer use, research methodology, and psychological measurement.

  1. Statistics (8––9 credits) or one of the following suggested elective research skills courses:
    1. Stat 511 Statistics Methods in Research 1 (3)
    2. Stat 512 Statistics Methods in Research 2 (3)
    3. CPSE 790R Advanced Seminar in Counseling: Qualitative Research (0.5–3)
    4. Psych 512 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
    5. Stat 537 Generalized Linear Models (3)
    6. Soc 706R Advanced Statistical Methods [SEM] (3)
  2.  Research Methodology (9 credits)
    1. *CPSE 672 Empirical Inquiry in Education (3 credits)
    2. CPSE 750 Research Theory and Methods in Counseling Psychology (3)
    3. CPSE 749 Data Analysis/Stat (3 credits)
  3. Psychological Measurement/Psychometrics (3 credits) or IP&T 752 Measurement Theory (3)

Equivalent or substitute courses must be approved by the student's advisory committee and the graduate coordinator.

III. Psychological and Educational Assessment Area Courses

  1. *CPSE 647 Psychometric Foundation and Assessment of Intelligence (3)
  2. CPSE 725 Objective and Projective Personality Assessment (3)

IV. Professional Core in Counseling Psychology

  1. Required courses:
    1. *CPSE 606 Psychoeducational Foundations (3)
    2. *CPSE 646 Counseling Theory & Interventions (3)
    3. *CPSE 644 Career Development and Assessment (3)
    4. *CPSE 648 Group Counseling and Intervention (3)
    5. *CPSE 649 Human Growth and Development (3)
    6. CPSE 702 Philosophy and Theories in Counseling Psychology (3)
    7. CPSE 710 Ethical/Legal Standards and Issues (3)
    8. CPSE 715 Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders (3)
    9. CPSE 744 Advanced Career Counseling (3)
    10. CPSE 746 Supervision and Consultation (3)
    11. CPSE 748 Advanced Theory of Group Counseling (3)
    12. CPSE 751 Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations (3)
  2. Suggested elective professional core course: CPSE 790R Adv Seminar in Counseling (3 credits) (various topics)
  3. Additional courses related to counseling psychology in any discipline (e.g., psychology, sociology, marriage and family therapy, organizational behavior and special education) are encouraged. They may be taken as elective specialty courses with the approval of the student's advisory committee.

V. Spirituality-Psychology Integration Courses

  1. Required course: CPSE 656 Spiritual Values and Methods in Psychotherapy (3)
  2. Suggested elective courses in spirituality-psychology integration
    1. Psych 614R Values and Mental Health (3)
    2. Rel 630 Graduate Seminar in Indian and Chinese Religions (3)
    3. Rel 631 Graduate Seminar in Monotheistic and Japanese Religions (3)
    4. Rel 641 Graduate Seminar in Christian Theological Thought (3)
    5. Soc 525 Sociology of Religion (3) 

VI. Practicum Training

  1. *CPSE 679R Adv Practicum in Counseling (3)
  2. CPSE 776R Advanced Practicum I in Counseling Psychology (6)
  3. CPSE 777R Advanced Practicum II in Counseling Psychology (6)
  4. CPSE 778R Counseling Psychology Clerkship (6)
  5. CPSE 779R University Teaching Practicum (3)

VII. Dissertation 

  1. CPSE 799R Dissertation (18)

VIII. Internship

  1. CPSE 780R Pre-doctoral Counseling Psychology Internship (8)

* These courses or their equivalent may be taken as part of a student's master's degree program. Students admitted with a bachelor's degree should follow the recommended sequence for these courses.

Recommended Course Sequencing**

All students must submit a study list for departmental approval. It is recommended that required CPSE classes be taken in the sequence outlined below. Most psychological foundations and elective courses are not on this list because they can be taken when the student prefers (depending on availability).

**Course offerings may vary slightly for specific semesters. Students should check online listings of future schedules to plan their registration.

FIRST YEAR Post-Bachelor's Degree

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

  • CPSE 646
  • CPSE 606
  • CPSE 644
  • CPSE 710
  • Stat 501 or Stat 510 (see Statistics Req.)
  • CPSE 647
  • CPSE 672
  • CPSE 679
  • Psych 502 or Stat 510 (see Statistics Req.)
  • Stat 501 or Stat 510



  • CPSE 648
  • *Stat 511 (see Statistics Req.)
  • *Stat 512 (see Statistics Req.)
  • CPSE 749

SECOND YEAR Post-Bachelor's Degree (FIRST YEAR Post-Master's Degree)

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

  • CPSE 702
  • CPSE 750
  • CPSE 715
  • CPSE 776R
  • CPSE 799R (1)
  • CPSE 656
  • CPSE 725
  • CPSE 751
  • CPSE 776R
  • CPSE 799R (1)



  • CPSE 799R (1) (Seminar)
  • CPSE 799R (1) Topic

THIRD YEAR Post-Bachelor's Degree (SECOND YEAR Post-Master's Degree)

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

  • CPSE 649
  • IP&T 752
  • CPSE 777R
  • CPSE 799R (2) (Lit. Rev.)
  • CPSE 744
  • CPSE 748
  • CPSE 757R
  • CPSE 799R (2) (Prospectus)



  • CPSE 778R
  • CPSE 799R (2)
  • CPSE 799R
  • CPSE 778R

FOURTH YEAR Post-Bachelor's Degree (THIRD YEAR Post-Master's Degree)

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

  • CPSE 778R
  • CPSE 779R*
  • CPSE 799R (3)
  • CPSE 746
  • CPSE 778R
  • CPSE 799R (3)

*Registration either fall or winter 



  • CPSE 778R
  • CPSE 778R


CPSE 780R Full-time pre-doctoral internship

(Registration required each semester and term)