Below are online PhD in counseling programs recommended by our editors. This is not a ranking of online counseling PhD programs, but a curated list of all the best counseling PhD programs offered by reputable, accredited online universities. If there's a program you think should be added to the list, tell us why through our contact page.
Recommended Online PhD Programs in Counseling
Adams State University
Adams State University was founded in 1921 in Alamosa, Colorado, as a college for teacher education. In 2011, enrollment totaled 3,701 students, and in that same year, a $65 million campus-improvement project was completed. The university currently offers 24 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and the institution holds a strong commitment to providing opportunities to underserved sectors of the population, including low-income families, minorities and first-generation immigrants.
Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, Adams State University is accepting applications for its new online PhD program in counselor education and supervision. This program builds on and expands upon the institution's master's degree program in counseling. The program is delivered through the proprietary Online Plus platform, and specializations include clinical mental health, addiction counseling and school counseling.
Adams State University is regionally accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC). In addition, the online PhD program in counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Argosy University offers degrees in fields like education, health sciences and psychology. Since the school provides online programs, students can earn their degree while employed. The university supports 16 physical campuses across the nation in cities such as Chicago and Dallas. Furthermore, the school's faculty is available to consult with students through live chats, texts and email. Argosy University makes sure that new students receive personalized service. For instance, the university assigns each student a group of school representatives to oversee his or her education.
Argosy University offers an online Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology. The online program teaches students how to apply research techniques to their current position. Furthermore, the training material enhances a student's leadership and teaching abilities. Most people can complete the program in three to four years, and with the degree, graduates can become administrators, consultants and researchers.
Argosy University has accreditation from the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
California Southern University
California Southern University is a private, for-profit institution based in Irvine, California. Founded in 1978 as a correspondence school, CalSouthern now offers a wide variety of online degrees.
CalSouthern offers an online Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. The PsyD prepares students to seek a license to practice clinical psychology in California. This degree requires 66 credit hours and is designed to take 4 years to complete. The PsyD is more clinically focused than the PhD in Psychology, emphasizing counseling and therapy rather over research and theory.
CalSouthern holds national accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. As of 2012, it has been deemed eligible to seek regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is currently in preparation to do so.
Capella University was founded in 1993 with a mission to give students across the country access to quality learning. The university has received more than 12 certifications and awards for everything ranging from its exemplary use of educational technology to excellence in synchronous distance learning. Capella's unique FlexPath learning format allows students to work at their own pace while earning their degrees.
Capella University offers several online doctoral programs in psychology and counseling. The school's doctoral degree programs include a doctor of psychology general counselor education and supervision, general advanced studies in human behavior, general psychology and industrial and organizational psychology. Capella also offers a doctor of psychology in clinical psychology and a doctor of social work in general social work. The programs require completion of between 74 and 145 credits.
Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education. The University is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Liberty University Online
Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971 and received its university status in 1984. LU's enrollment includes 13,400 undergraduate students, 5,814 postgraduate students, and more than 100,000 online students. According to U.S. News & World Report, Liberty is the 89th best university in the Southern Regional Universities category.
Liberty University offers a full Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling degree program through its online division. Students must choose to specialize in either professional counseling or pastoral care and counseling. The coursework emphasizes first-hand experience in clinical settings, and each student must complete a six-credit-hour internship. In addition to their online coursework, students are required to attend a week-long intensive residency course. Students must complete a total of 63 credit hours to graduate, including a six-credit dissertation.
Liberty University receives its accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC).
Northcentral University is a distance learning institution headquartered in Prescott Valley, Arizona. The university is categorized as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Northcentral was ranked 29th in the Open Education Database's 2011 Online College Rankings and seventh in the Guide to Online School's 2012 Online College Rankings.
Northcentral University's Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy program is designed for those who intend to pursue a career in the field. Students choose a specialized area of expertise and complete online coursework in that area as well as doctoral training and research in their local communities. Degree specializations include child and adolescent therapy, couple therapy, general family therapy, medical family therapy, and therapy with military families. A comprehensive exam and doctoral dissertation are also required for graduation.
Northcentral University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
Oregon State University Ecampus
Founded in 1868, Oregon State University is a public research institution located in central western Oregon. OSU offers more than 900 distance learning courses through its Ecampus. The OSU Ecampus is ranked the 12th best online university in America by SuperScholar.
The online Ph.D. in Counseling degree program offered by the Oregon State University Ecampus teaches students the skills necessary to work as advanced practitioners, clinical supervisors, and counselor educators. To apply for the program, students must have a master's degree in counseling or a related field. In addition to online instruction, participants are required to attend two on-campus classes per quarter in Wilsonville, Oregon. The degree can be earned in three years, but most students take four years to graduate.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). OSU's Ph.D. in Counseling degree program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Regent University is Christian university that was founded by Pat Robertson in 1978. The university offers on-campus courses as well as a variety of distance learning programs. In its 2011 rankings of American universities, U.S. News & World Report placed Regent in the second tier. Its faculty includes graduates of Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Notre Dame as well as a number of former high ranking government officials.
Regent University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision degree program through its School of Psychology & Counseling. The program is designed for licensed counselors and requires an internship and dissertation. Courses begin in the fall, and students can earn the degree in three years. Students must complete three one-week residencies in addition to their online coursework.
Regent University receives its accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC). Regent's Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Two teachers founded Walden University in 1970 to provide working adults an educational alternative to traditional colleges. Today, the school is a worldwide leader in providing online education. To support its online programs, the college offers a digital library, live online tutoring sessions and accessible faculty members. The university allows students to earn their bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in the counseling, management, nursing and psychology fields. Degrees in other fields are also available.
Students can take online courses from Walden to earn various degrees in counseling and therapy. Options include a master's degree in mental health or addiction counseling along with a master's degree in marriage, couple and family counseling. Walden also offers a PhD in counselor education and supervision. Graduates of the PhD program will learn how to improve their counseling, teaching and supervision skills to work for government agencies, hospitals and mental health facilities.
The university has regional accreditation from the North Central Association, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The school also has certification from the Higher Learning Commission.