PhD in Guidance Counseling

Find out the prerequisites to entering a Ph.D. Guidance Counseling Degree program and what courses you'll take. Discover career options and employment outlook for guidance counselors. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Ph.D. in Guidance Counseling?

Before you enroll in a doctorate program in guidance counseling, you'll need to earn a master's degree in educational counseling or a related field. You may be able to enroll in some programs with a master's degree in an unrelated field, but you'll need to complete prerequisite graduate-level courses in education, psychology or school counseling before you can begin doctoral study. You can earn a master's degree in guidance and counseling online, and you can earn a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision online.

PrerequisitesLower level degree with coursework in education, school counseling or psychology
Common CoursesGroup therapy, substance abuse, social services, psychotherapy, counseling ethics
Career OptionsMaster counselor, educational consultant, therapist, program manager, counseling researcher
Average Annual Salary (2014)$56,040 for educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors*
Job Outlook (2014)8% employment growth for school and career counselors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn how to conduct educational research and provide advanced guidance counseling services in a Ph.D. program. This outcome is accomplished through a combination of supervised practice and classroom theory.

You can expect to complete courses that discuss topics such as standardized testing, career development, counseling theory and emotional issues specific to children and adolescents. Additional coursework can include:

  • Social services
  • Group therapy
  • Organizational leadership
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Substance abuse
  • Psychotherapy
  • Counseling ethics

What Can I Do with My Ph.D.?

After you earn a doctoral degree in counseling, you can start or continue a career as a guidance counselor in elementary, secondary or postsecondary schools. A master's degree is the minimum requirement to work in this field, and you'll need to be licensed in the state where you plan to work. While you can work as a guidance counselor, a Ph.D. can also qualify you for the following positions:

  • Educational consultant
  • Counseling researcher
  • Program manager
  • Master counselor
  • Therapist
  • Career development counselor

What Is the Career Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average salary of educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors was $56,040 in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Also according to the BLS, employment of school and career counselors will increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024, due to increasing enrollment in schools.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Regent University

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  • Sam Houston State University

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