Maintaining Good Standing

Ph.D. students in the Department of Counselor Education must meet the following standards in order to remain in their degree programs and advance to candidacy and remain a candidate for a degree:

  • maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.00;
  • successfully complete a practicum, internship, or equivalent professional experience;
  • maintain professional behavior consistent with the ACA Code of Ethics (American Counseling Association) and any additional code of professional ethics adhered to in any agency in which a student completes a practicum or internship; and
  • demonstrate progress toward the degree through successful completion of semester hours specified in the curriculum plan and active registration each session (exceptions may be approved by the advisor).

Each student's academic and professional progress is reviewed annually. A written report is provided to the student and a copy is placed in the student's department file.

Probational Status

Students who earn a cumulative g.p.a. lower than 3.00 are placed on probational status and are notified in writing. Students on probational status have two consecutive sessions to raise their grade-point average to the established standard. If that requirement is not met, a student may be removed from the program. Students are allowed one probational status during their program of study.

Counselor Education Standards

The following are the standards of the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Iowa, which are the key performance indicators for Ph.D. students.

  • acquire the awareness, knowledge, and skills of a professional counselor and/or counselor educator;
  • develop a process of ongoing reflective practice in relation to cultural humility and the profession’s multicultural, social justice, and ethical counseling competencies and education;
  • develop counseling skills that will address problems in living from a developmental/life span approach;
  • cultivate a commitment to ethical practices and behavior in counseling, counselor education, supervision, and research; and
  • acquire an understanding of the social, vocational, educational, and psychological needs of individuals served in various settings such as schools, vocational, or counseling centers.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in rehabilitation and counselor education with a counselor education and supervision (CES) subprogram requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. The program provides students with knowledge and skills related to general counseling (including mental health and school counseling), teaching, consulting, supervising counselors, and conducting research. Graduates enter professional work as counselors, counselor supervisors, counselor educators, researchers and/or consultants, or work in other positions requiring expertise in human relations. Students may choose an emphasis in an area agreed upon by faculty advisors.

Counselor education and supervision graduates are prepared to teach the knowledge and skills required of professional counselors and to supervise beginning and advanced counselors, perform counseling interventions with individuals and groups, and teach human relations skills in colleges or universities. They provide professional consultation with counseling practitioners, educators, and policymakers about counseling program development and evaluation. They also may perform research that contributes to knowledge about counseling, supervision, and counselor education.

The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and The National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) are the professional organizations most related to program activities.

Curriculum includes required courses in counseling, in research tools and applications, and a dissertation.

Most students complete their coursework in three years and take a fourth year to complete the dissertation. Students who have not completed a master's degree program approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) may need to remedy deficiencies by taking appropriate coursework at the master's degree level.

The Ph.D. in rehabilitation and counselor education with a counselor education and supervision subprogram requires the following work.

Required Courses

All of these:
RCE:7255Advanced Career Development and Counseling3
RCE:7338Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry3
RCE:7353Advanced Counseling and Psychotherapy3
RCE:7360Advanced Practicum in Counseling (section 2)3
RCE:7380Internship in Teaching3
RCE:7385Teaching and Learning in Higher Education3
RCE:7400Seminar: Ethics and Issues in Counseling3
RCE:7450Advanced Social Psychology of Disability3
RCE:7451Advanced Multiculturalism3
RCE:7454Supervision Theory and Practice3
RCE:7455Internship in Supervision3
RCE:7457Seminar: Professional Orientation to Counselor Education, Supervision, Leadership, and Advocacy4
RCE:7458Seminar: Issues and Trends in Counseling Research4
RCE:7460Seminar: Research in Counseling3
RCE:7465Internship in Clinical Practice (at least 240 hours)3
RCE:7466Leadership and Advocacy Internship in Counselor Education3
PSQF:6265Program Evaluation3

Required Research Courses

Students must complete a specific sequence of research courses which include distributed coursework in both qualitative and quantitative areas. In consultation with the academic advisor, they select from basic and advanced doctoral research courses listed under RCE Doctoral Research Requirements on the Department of Counselor Education website.

Elective Minor Area

Students can elect to take a series of courses, typically a minimum of three, outside the Department of Counselor Education (in consultation with a major and minor advisor) to enhance and support their teaching and research interests.

Master's Thesis Project or Equivalent

Students are required to submit a previously conducted master's thesis for faculty review and approval or to complete a new supervised experiential research project before taking comprehensive exams. Students without an approved M.A. or M.S. thesis enroll in the following.

RCE:6394Research and Scholarship Internship1-3

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination consists of an oral defense of a student's portfolio, which covers six professional competency domains in counselor education, and an exam on the minor area. The examination may be taken during a student's final semester of coursework, which typically includes an internship.


The major research project culminating in the doctoral thesis may be on any topic related to counseling and counselor education. The thesis advisor and the examining committee approve the topic and procedures at a formal prospectus meeting. The final oral examination on the thesis is conducted by the examining committee. Students usually earn 10 s.h. for dissertation work, but in some instances they may earn up to 15 s.h. The dissertation committee must include at least two counselor education and supervision faculty members.

RCE:7493Ph.D. Thesis10-15

Applicants must meet the department's general admission requirements. In addition, applicants must provide evidence of successful experience in counseling or a closely related profession. Applicants without experience may be admitted if their credentials indicate exceptional strengths.

Applicants also must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Students may be admitted for fall, spring, or summer entry, but the department strongly advises application for fall entry. Consideration of applications begins January 15 for fall entry; all application materials should be received by this date.