Counseling Psychology

Left to right: Richard M. Lee, Richard P. Douglass, Patricia A. Frazier

The Counseling Psychology program at the University of Minnesota recognizes and seeks to understand fully the changing demographics in society, the increasing globalization of the world in which we live, and the need for both relevant research and mental health services to address these societal and global shifts. We respect and understand the value of cultural and individual diversity in society including, but not limited to, diversity related to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. As a graduate training program, we are committed to promoting equity and diversity in the recruitment, retention, education, and professional development of Counseling Psychology faculty and students with the hope that they will work toward addressing the multicultural concerns of people around the world.


The Counseling Psychology program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1952. APA accreditation allows Counseling Psychology graduates to be eligible for the licensure exam (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)) upon completion of their degree, though licensure eligibility varies by state. As part of our APA accreditation process, we also provide information on student admissions, outcomes, and other data. For more information, please see accreditation.


Students are expected to be actively involved in research throughout their graduate training, beginning with a first-year research project and culminating in an empirical dissertation.  Counseling Psychology faculty are engaged in a variety of research projects and work closely with graduate students, as well as undergraduate students, to develop independent and collaborative research. Please visit faculty lab websites to learn more about their ongoing research (Stress and Trauma Lab and FamiLee Lab)


Graduate study in the Counseling Psychology program is designed to prepare students for academic, research, and practice careers at the Ph.D. level. Our training philosophy is based upon the scientist-practitioner training model which emphasizes broad training in research and practice for a full understanding of the field. Consistent with this philosophy, students are educated in (a) the basic science of psychology and its methods and (b) the specific science and practice of counseling psychology. Students will receive a strong foundation in the science of psychology and an empirical research viewpoint toward counseling psychology.

Sample curriculum plans for future students:
Odd Year Admits, 2019-2025
Even Year Admits, 2020-2026

The Department of Psychology provides courses for a broad background in general psychology and social science methodology. The Counseling Psychology program includes substantive coursework that demonstrates the application of psychological theories, principles, and methods to counseling-related research and practice. Similarly, courses in theory, intervention, and assessment provide students with extensive practice training experiences. Through structured practice experiences, students apply the science of psychology to counseling. The practice experiences subsequently inform the types of research conducted by students and faculty. Close working relationships with faculty provide students with opportunities for research experiences and professional development activities. Graduate funding options also provide the opportunity to obtain teaching experiences, develop and conduct independent lines of research, and attend professional conferences.

In addition to coursework that provides students with formal knowledge of the science of psychology, the Counseling Psychology program offers applied training through practica and internships. Typically, students complete a 510-hour beginning practicum at Student Counseling Services during the second year. Students also complete an additional 600–800 hours of advanced practicum at various sites in the Twin Cities area. The predoctoral internship is one academic year, full time. For purposes of prospective licensure as a professional psychologist, internships with an APA-approved site are recommended.

Advanced Practicum Placement Sites

The Twin Cities metropolitan area provides a wealth of advanced practicum opportunities for graduate students in the Counseling Psychology program. The practice coordinator maintains an ongoing working relationship with practice supervisors. We currently have agreements with approximately 43 sites and new opportunities are added continuously. Advanced practicum settings include VA Medical Centers, mental health clinics, small and large counseling centers, hospitals, consulting firms, and human resource programs. Placements are competitive and practicum sites are eager to accept our students into their programs. Our students also give their practicum sites good marks for the training and supervision that they provide.

Internship Placement

Our students compete very well for internships.  Over the last ten years, students have been matched with internships with university counseling centers, VA Medical Centers, university medical centers, community mental health centers, a state/county/public hospital, and a private psychiatric hospital.


Richard P. Douglass, Assistant Professor
Patricia A. FrazierDistinguished McKnight University Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and Area Co-Director
Richard M. LeeDistinguished McKnight University Professor, Associate Chair, and Area Co-Director

Associated Faculty

Moin Syed, Associate Professor, Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics
David J. WeissProfessor, Psychometrics and Counseling Psychology

Emeritus Professors

René V. DawisProfessor
Jo-Ida C. HansenProfessor