PhD in Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development

Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development (CPAHD) in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University prepares students to be leaders in the field of counseling psychology and the interdisciplinary field of applied human development. It focuses on the use of evidence-based practices to promote optimal development for children, youth, and young adults in diverse settings. Following a scientist-practitioner model of training, key aspects of our program include preparing our graduates to:

  • design, implement, and evaluate culturally responsive interventions and learning environments at multiple levels of the social ecology
  • produce the research upon which such interventions and learning environments are built
  • train and supervise future generations of culturally competent counseling psychologists and researchers in applied human development

University PhD Profile

Students applying to the PhD in CPAHD identify which specialization, Counseling Psychology or Applied Human Development, to follow. Most successful applicants to the PhD program have already earned a Master’s degree in a closely related field. In rare cases, exceptional students with significant relevant experience may be admitted to the PhD directly from a Bachelor’s degree program.

The program maintains a parallel structure across the two specialization areas, including the same courses or course requirements when logical, while providing flexibility to create a research focus in the AHD Specialization. Within each specialization area, students choose to follow one of two tracks: Child and Adolescent Development/Mental Health or Sport/Performance Psychology.

Students in both specialization areas receive training in two core areas of study: 1) psychological foundations of behavior and 2) research methods and data analysis. Applied Human Development students also receive additional training in a specialization-specific research/applied experience, while Counseling Psychology receive training in counseling psychology foundations and applied psychological practice.

Faculty Contact: Dr. Kimberly Howard,, (617) 353-3378

The Counseling Psychology PhD Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and designated by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Registrar Joint Designation Project.

For more information about APA accreditation, please contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-338-5979/Email:


BU Wheelock Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology Program Licensing Disclosure provides information about this BU Wheelock state approved program and how the educational requirements compare with those in other states. Doctoral counseling psychology students should review this resource and contact their program faculty with questions.