The only PhD program in counseling psychology in Chicago

Earn your doctoral degree and license to practice as a professional psychologist in a program focused on breaking down barriers to equity in our educational system

By The Numbers


of our graduates are employed or move into doctoral programs within three months of graduation


faculty labs dedicated to social justice-focused research, including racism, achievement gaps, immigration, and micro-aggressions

Our commitment to you

Upon graduation with a PhD in counseling psychology from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to work as a licensed psychologist, conducting research, teaching, and/or counseling in a variety of settings.


You'll gain discipline-specific knowledge in the history and systems of psychology (including vocational psychology, prevention and outreach, and multicultural and international psychology), the psychological sciences, measurement, research methods, and statistics, as well as foundational knowledge in the history and philosophy of counseling psychology, current professional issues and trends, theories and research on normal human development, and major theories and research in vocational psychology, prevention and outreach, and multicultural and international psychology. Throughout all this, there will be an emphasis on how social injustice affects human functioning.


You will engage in independent scholarship on questions important to counseling psychology, and develop and evaluate interventions to promote positive human development. You'll be equipped to practice as a health service psychologist with competencies in research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary knowledge and skills.

Professional Values

You'll be educated in the scientist-practitioner model, committed to both research and its practical applications, all with social justice and equality in mind. You will display effective communication and interpersonal skills, as well as professional behaviors, and apply the knowledge base of the discipline in a scientifically-based, theoretically-driven, ethical, and culturally-responsive manner.


Approved by the American Psychologist Association (APA), Loyola's PhD in counseling psychology requires 69 semester hours of coursework beyond a master's degree (some of which can be transferred), written and oral comprehensive examinations, and a dissertation (with oral defense). Students are also required to develop an area of research expertise by engaging in research with faculty throughout their doctoral study. A 2,000 hour pre-doctoral internship is also required.

Program Length

The program typically takes four to five years of study, including a full-time pre-doctoral internship. Time for degree completion, including the dissertation is six years.

Doctoral students in counseling psychology are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must do one of the following (see the current handbook [PDF] for more information):

  • Enroll in one of the following:
    At least one course or
    CPSY 610: Doctoral Study (maximum enrollment two semesters) or
    CPSY 600: Dissertation Supervision
  • Request a formal leave of absence, with the approval of the Graduate School's Associate Dean.

Degree Requirements

Prerequisites (33 semester hours)
Ideally, students will have completed these courses (or their equivalents) prior to the start of the program.

  • CPSY 420: Counseling Skills
  • CPSY 423: Counseling Theories and Psychotherapy
  • CPSY 425: Assessment in Counseling
  • CPSY 426: Group Counseling
  • CPSY 433: Multicultural Counseling
  • CPSY 440: Practicum in Counseling
  • CPSY 444: Family Therapy
  • RMTD 400: Introduction to Research Methodology
  • CPSY 454: Human Development
  • CSPY 528: Diagnostic Appraisal and Treatment Planning
  • RMTD 404: Introduction to Educational Statistics

Psychology Core (18 semester hours; can be transferred)

  • One course on the biological basis of behavior
  • One course on the cognitive basis of behavior
  • One course on the affective basis of behavior
  • One course on the social basis of behavior
  • One course on history and systems of psychology
  • One course on advanced integration

Counseling Psychology Core (18 semester hours)

  • CPSY 424: Career Development and Counseling
  • CPSY 435: Topics: Seminar in Multicultural Psychology 
    and Social Justice
  • CPSY 527: Prevention, Advocacy, and Outreach: 
  • CPSY 529: Psychology of Immigration
  • CPSY 530: Research Seminar in Counseling Psychology
  • CPSY 531: Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling 

Measurement and Statistics Core (12 semester hours; can be transferred)

  • CPSY 450: Research Methods in Counseling
  • RMTD 430: Psychological Measurement
  • 2 additional advanced research methods or statistics courses

Professional Practice Core (18 semester hours)

  • CPSY 442: Doctoral Practicum (2 sections)
  • CPSY 443: Clerkship
  • CPSY 482: Intellectual and Personality Assessment
  • CPSY 535: Seminar in Supervision and Consultation
  • CPSY 536 Supervision Practicum
  • CPSY 532 Advanced Theories in Psychotherapy

Advanced Electives (9 semester hours)
Three additional advanced courses in research methods/statistics, assessment, and/or college-level teaching


The Chicagoland area provides a wealth of clinical training opportunities for doctoral students in counseling psychology. Approximately half of our students seek training in university counseling centers in the city and suburbs, while the other half receives their clinical and diagnostic training in hospitals and community mental health centers. Students receive a generalist training, but through site selection can begin to acquire population-specific competencies in working with children, adolescents, families, veterans, gay/lesbian/bisexual clients, and other groups of individuals. Many of the practicum sites also contain APA-approved internship programs where trainees are provided with rigorous supervision and on-site seminars.

To discuss typical practicum settings and sites in Chicago and its suburbs, please contact Rufus Gonzales, Practicum Coordinator at 312.915.6378

Comprehensive Assessment

Comprehensive take-home exam is required. Refer to the handbook [PDF] for more information.

Degree Requirements

Oral defense of the dissertation required. See the Forms page for required documents.

Degree Conferral

While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred in May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester. Applications for Degree Conferral are due:

  • August 1 for December conferral
  • December 1 for May conferral
  • February 1 for August conferral

Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application is required for a subsequent semester.