PhD Counseling Psychology

Program Director: Dr. Carole Woolford-Hunt
Core Faculty Member: Dr. Ronald Coffen  Director of Clinical Training: Judith Fisher

Aims of the Program 

The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology prepares students for the multi-faceted role of the professional psychologist, which allows them to work in a variety of settings including: academia, clinical settings, consultation, churches, businesses, and private settings. It is also the intent of the program to prepare graduates for licensure as professional psychologists in the U.S. and with eligibility to practice internationally. Students should consult with the appropriate authorities regarding requirements in the states or countries in which they wish to engage in clinical practice. Counseling psychology students must specialize in one of the listed areas of emphases: Adult, Child/Family, Cultural Diversity, and Health Psychology. Specialty emphases should be developed within a student's course plan in close consultation with their advisor. Additionally, each emphasis requires students to complete specified coursework, Advanced Emphasis practicum, and a dissertation topic related to chosen emphasis.

Educational Philosophy and Training Model

Students are trained through a scholar-practitioner model that is based on the bio-psycho-social philosophy. This promotes the balanced development of the physical, mental, social, and spiritual nature of persons. Preparation for the field involves guidance in a wide variety of basic therapeutic skills.  The training given to students involves imparting a foundational knowledgebase of scientific psychology; the intervention techniques of traditional and current psychotherapeutic schools of thought; and wide-ranging experience in research development and application. Integrating theory, practice, and research helps give a firm foundation for students to develop the requisite skills and sensitivity to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Students are mentored to become dynamically evolving psychologists who dedicate themselves to being life-long learners. They are supported in developing the counseling psychology philosophy of focusing on both normal developmental issues, as well as problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders. 

Integration of Science and Practice

The Counseling Psychology program considers scientific research to be fundamental to the training of our students.  As a scholar-practitioner oriented program, both core faculty and students are encouraged to engage in meaningful research as well as provide psychological services which integrate culturally sensitive research-based approaches.  The GPC Graduate Training Model has incorporated these two important fields as a way of providing students with a broad education in psychological topics as well as helping students understand the range of research approaches and analytical tools available.  Additionally, students are taught to adopt the values associated with being competent, socially responsible professional psychologist. 

Campus Location

Andrews University’s campus is located in Berrien Spring, MI, just two hours from Chicago. Founded in 1874, the University offers 130 undergraduate programs and 70 graduate programs. 

Research Training

Students entering the program are encouraged to engage in research beginning their first year.  Complementing these research activities is a curriculum which lays down the groundwork through six required courses in the areas of statistics and research methodology.  Using the scholar-practitioner model, the faculty serve as mentors to help students become adept at conducting scientific research and providing clinical services.  The program considers counseling psychology to be a scientific discipline, and seeks to train life-long learners with a focus on practice, research, multicultural aspects of human behavior, and the science of the mind.
Faculty/student research collaboration is supported through Independent Study-Research Project course options. Current faculty-led research projects can be found here.  Students are encouraged to find projects which they can contribute to and become involved in.  The Office of Research and Creative Scholarship provides resources to students interested in developing research projects or contributing to an existing one.

Clinical Training

Clinical skills are integrated into a number of first-year cohort classes, and students entering the program may begin doctoral practicum once they have completed the required prerequisites.  The focus of these training experiences, and clinical supervision, is to underscore the importance of accurate diagnosis, reliable and valid assessment, and empirically-supported interventions.  All students begin their first semester of doctoral practicum at the Andrews Community Counseling Center.   Students must complete all three semesters of practicum at the ACCC.  If the ACCC is unable to provide clients with presenting problems that are congruent with the student’s program emphasis, the emphasis practicum in the 2nd and 3rd semesters can be completed at an approved off-site location, but the student must still register for practicum classes and obtain the necessary approval.  Students are also required to complete a one-year full-time clinical internship prior to graduation. 

Philosophy for Student Evaluations

Students entering the program have their progress evaluated in areas such as coursework, seminars, scholarships, exams, and related program requirements.  Further information on the program's Philosophy for Student Evaluations can be seen here.

Doctoral Transfer Requirements

Students in the program are required to complete a minimum of 32 course credits in residence at Andrews University. All students must complete the following requirements at Andrews University prior to graduation.

  • Completion of practicum (3 consecutive semesters - 9 credits)
  • Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
  • Completion of internship (3 consecutive semesters, full-time APA preferred internship - 3 credits)
  • Dissertation credit – 16 credits minimum (14+ - Dissertation, 2 –Proposal Development)

Additional information on this program, and doctoral student requirements, can be found in the following resources. 


Andrews University Graduate Admissions

Department of Graduate Psychology & Counseling
4195 Administration Drive – Bell Hall 167
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
Phone: 269-471-3473


The Counseling Psychology program at Andrews University is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC  20002
Phone:  (202) 336-5979/E-mail: