Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

The Counseling Psychology program at UMKC is dedicated to promoting equity, pluralism, and social justice through student training and education, research, and practice.

The Counseling Psychology program at UMKC is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and based upon the scientist-practitioner model of training which broadly emphasizes training in research and practice. Designed to prepare students for academic, research, and practice careers at the doctoral level, graduates of our program work in a variety of academic, teaching, and practice settings.

Students are educated in the foundational aspects of professional psychology and receive specific training geared toward the principals of counseling psychology. In addition to coursework, students are expected to be actively involved in both research and counseling practice throughout their graduate training. Research training includes both preparing and completing an initial research project (which students complete by the fall of their third year) as well as a dissertation that must be successfully defended prior to graduation.

In addition, students gain diverse counseling experiences at a variety of practicum training sites throughout the Kansas City area. Students have opportunities to train at our program’s in-house clinic, CCAS as well as at a number of practicum sites that include (but are not limited to): university counseling centers, VA medical centers, hospitals, and community mental health centers.

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Program Faculty

LaVerne Berkel

Phone Number: 816-235-2444

Chris Brown

Professor Emerita

Nancy Murdock

Professor Emerita

Laurel Watson

Associate Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-2489

Michael Ternes

Assistant Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-2492

Admissions Criteria

We are no longer accepting new students into the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. Students interested in being a Health Service Psychologist and studying with our counseling psychology faculty are encouraged to apply to the PhD in Psychology—Clinical Psychology Option. Application information will be posted by mid-November for a late-December or early-January application deadline.