EdD in Counseling Psychology

The doctoral program in Counseling Psychology is based on a traditional scientist-practitioner model, emphasizing psychological theory and knowledge, as well as the development of counseling practitioner skills.

The curriculum is grounded in an educational/developmental model with intervention methods appropriate to the stage and phase of life of the individual and/or group. Personal transformations, whether positive or negative, are understood as the outcome of maturation, education, and experience.

The Counseling Psychology’s core program is based on research and theory in the foundational areas of psychology and counseling psychology, with specific emphasis on the contributions and practices of sport/performance psychology, as well as child and adolescent mental health in educational settings. In addition, it draws upon positive psychology, reflecting consideration of good character habits and strengths, with the goal of contributing to the wellness and flourishing of the individual, group, and/or community.

The program prepares students to work primarily in educational settings (such as college counseling centers and public and private schools) and with those whose goal is optimal performance (such as elite athletes, performing artists, teams, and sports organizations). Thus, it has two areas of concentration: Child/Adolescent Mental Health and Sport/Performance Psychology. Upon application, students should declare which concentration they wish to pursue.

The Counseling Psychology program currently has 10 core faculty members, six of whom are licensed psychologists:

  • Clinical Assistant Professor Amy Baltzell, EdD—Expertise in sport and performance psychology
  • Clinical Associate Professor Steven N. Broder, PhD—Expertise in psychological assessment and counseling
  • Professor and Dean Hardin L. K. Coleman, PhD—Expertise in school counseling and minority student achievement
  • Professor Thomas Cottle, PhD—Expertise in children and adolescents at risk
  • Assistant Professor Amie Grills, PhD—Expertise in the treatment of anxiety, trauma, and depression in children
  • Associate Professor Kimberly Howard, PhD—Expertise in career development of children and youth
  • Associate Professor Scott Solberg—Expertise in school-based resilience and dropout prevention interventions and career development of adolescents
  • Assistant Professor Kathleen Corriveau—Expertise in the social and cognitive development of children
  • Assistant Professor Melissa Holt—Expertise in bullying prevention
  • Clinical Assistant Professor Adam Naylor, EdD—Expertise in sport and performance psychology


The courses listed below are required of all Counseling Psychology doctoral students. This program received designation status by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Registrar Joint Designation Project in May 2008. Designation qualifies graduates of the program to apply for licensure in Massachusetts and many other states. Requirements for licensure vary from state to state and students should check the requirements of states in which they seek licensure. Note that the Training Committee must approve other courses as substitutes for the courses listed below.

The ASPPB has announced that it will no longer be designating programs after June 1, 2018. However the Licensing Board in Psychology of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts plans to grant programs an additional two years beyond this date in order to become an APA Accredited program, which will make it eligible to graduate students who may apply for licensure as Psychologists. The program is actively pursuing APA Accreditation and plans to submit its Self-Study, the first step in the process, to APA in the Fall of 2014. As part of the process of revising the program for APA accreditation, there have been a number of changes proposed to the curriculum. As these are ongoing, prospective students must speak with program faculty for the most current curriculum.

The program currently consists of 96 credits. This is likely to be reduced in number.

Research Methods (26 cr)

• CAS MA 614 or SED RS 653 Quantitative Research Methods (4 cr)

• CAS MA 684 Applied Multiple Regression (4 cr)

• SED RS 654 Ed Inquiry & Proposal Writing (4 cr)

• SED RS 652 Qualitative Research Methods (4 cr)

• SED RS 750 Advanced Research Seminar (4 cr)

• SED LC 999 Dissertation Advisement (6 cr)

Psychological Foundations (22 cr)

• GRS PS 829 Principles of Neuropsychology or GMS AN 811 Cognitive Neuroscience or GMS BN 776 Human Neuropsychology (4 cr)

• GRS PS 824 Cognitive Psychology or GRS PS 735 Motivation (4 cr)

• GRS PS 761 Major Issues in Social Psychology (4 cr)

• GRS PS 704 History & Systems of Psychology (3 cr)

• GRS PS 791 Psychology of Social Oppression or SED DS 600 Culture, Ethnicity & Race: A Developmental Perspective (4 cr)

• SED DS 504 Introduction to Adolescent Development (3 cr)

Counseling Psychology Core (16–18 cr)

• Series of brown-bag discussions infused across a range of courses with competencies students will meet (0 cr)

• SED CE 848 Effective Interventions—Child (2 cr)

• SED CE 849 Effective Interventions—Adult (2 cr)

• SED CE 850 Theories & Models of Consultation & Supervision (2 cr)

• SED CE 851 Vocational Psychology (2 cr)

• SED CE 852 Prevention in Counseling Psychology (2 cr)

• SED CE 853 Counseling Health Psychology (2 cr)

• SED CE 854 Adv Research in Counseling Psychology (2 cr)

• SED CE 826 Intellectual & Behavioral Assessment (Child—2 cr) or GRS PS 772 Clinical Psychological Assessment (Adult—4 cr)

Clinical Core (20–22 cr)

• SED CE 846 Clinical Practicum—2 semesters (8 cr)

• SED CE 946 Advanced Clinical Practicum—2 semesters (8 cr)

• SED CE 948 Supervision Practicum—1 semester (2 cr)

• SED CE 926 Assessment Practicum (Child—2 cr) or GRS PS 774 Clinical Psychological Assessment (Adult—4 cr)

• Internship

Concentration Courses (12 cr)

Three required from concentration area:

Sport/Performance Psychology

  • SED CE 650 Counseling Skills and Techniques in Sport and Exercise Psychology (4 cr)
  • SED PE 505 Sport Science (4 cr)
  • SED DS 700 Advanced Seminar in Sport and Exercise Psychology (4 cr)

Child/Adolescent Mental Health

  • SED LS 626 Intercultural Education (4 cr)
  • SED SE 706 Introduction to Special Education (4 cr)
  • SED EC 507 Play and Child Development in Early Childhood (4 cr)
  • SED SE 534 Classroom and Behavior Management (4 cr)
  • SED BI 620 Educational Issues in Bilingualism (4 cr)

Students must pass two departmental comprehensive tasks before proceeding to the dissertation. A total of three comprehensive tasks must be completed. The dissertation, written under the supervision of a faculty committee, must be based upon original research about a significant topic in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is a master’s degree required to enter the doctoral program?

A: Yes, a master’s degree is required. For students entering the licensure track program, the master’s must be in psychology.

Q: When are most of the doctoral classes held?

A: The School of Education schedules doctoral classes during the day, late afternoon, and evening hours.

Q: Can I complete the doctoral program while holding a full-time job?

A: All students must complete the residency requirement, meaning all students must attend at full-time rate for two consecutive semesters. Most non-licensure Counseling Psychology students do not hold full-time jobs. A full-time job is discouraged because many courses and most practica are scheduled during the day.

Q: May I complete the program on a part-time basis?

A: All students must complete the residency requirement as noted above and the program does not accept part-time attendance.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Each academic year, the School of Education awards approximately $3.8 million in scholarship money to its full-time graduate students. Merit-based scholarships are currently available to many full-time students. Students with financial need may also qualify for federal loans and Federal Work-Study. EdD candidates are encouraged to apply by January 15. Please contact the School of Education Graduate Financial Assistance office for further information at sedaid@bu.edu.