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Ph.D. in Psychology

Counseling Psychology Concentration

Program Philosophy: Counseling Psychology Concentration

***2020 Applications for the PhD program in the Department of Psychology are not required to include standardized tests due to COVID-19.

The counseling psychology concentration at Tennessee State University is grounded in a scientist-professional model of training. The program is designed to develop competent, ethical practitioners and facilitators of learning with a multicultural perspective capable of integrating science and practice in a variety of setting and modalities. The integration of research and practice is a central theme of scientist-professional model of training.   Problems in professional practice stimulate the need for systematic inquiry through research, the results of which then lead to modification of both theory and practice of professional psychology. The program curriculum has been designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the study of psychology, a broad range of competencies in research methodology, and the knowledge and skills required for professional interventions in individual, group, and family therapy. The faculty provide an eclectic choice of theoretical orientations which represent, Psychodynamic, CBT, Systems, Interpersonal, and Integrative theories. Graduates of the program are employed in a wide range of settings, including university faculty, university counseling centers, community mental health centers, VA hospitals, and private practices. 


Program Aims

The Aims below guide the program curriculum and philosophy. The courses and program related activities reflected in these aims serve as the foundation the Program uses to prepare students for careers in health service psychology, research, consultation, and to be change agents within the field of Counseling Psychology.

Aim #1 – The Program facilitates the development of life-long, self-reflective professional behavior and cultivation of a holistic and contextual worldview. 

Aim #2 – The Program facilitates the development of effective skills in clinical application, research methodologies, and professional interactions with individuals, groups, and systems.

Aim #3 – The Program facilitates the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to address the broadly defined issues of multiculturalism and human diversity.

Aim #4 – The Program facilitates the commitment to advocacy, social justice, and systems change.

Faculty Research Interest

Faculty and students in the department are actively involved in professional development and research either individually or as a part of research groups. A brief list of the Core Counseling Psychology Faculty research interests include: diversity issues, group processes, male-female relationships, gender issues, couples and families, intimacy, trauma, diversity and mental health/behavioral medicine, eating disorders, racism, African American issues, resiliency, values, and leadership training, psychodynamic theory, supervision/training, vocational identity development, personality; minority career development, identity development, Ecological Counseling, Integrative Therapy, holistic health, and Experiential Therapy.

About Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University (TSU) is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational land-grant university founded in 1912. The 450-acre main campus, with more than 65 buildings, is located in a residential setting close to downtown Nashville. In addition to the main campus, The Avon Williams Campus is located directly in downtown, near the center of the business and government district.   Located in the state capital and second-largest city in Tennessee, Nashville is a thriving center of government, business, industry, culture and education. Nashville, considered the hub of the nations country music industry, is also home to numerous parks complete with hiking trails and other recreational areas. Professional sports attractions include the Tennessee Titans Football team and the Nashville Predators NHL Hockey Team.

Success of Our Students

In 2009, 100% of all students applying for internship match were placed in settings such as university counseling centers and VA medical centers. For the last seven years the internship match rate has been 96%. Graduates of the program are employed in a wide range of settings including university faculty, university counseling centers, community mental health centers, federal prisons, and private practices. Since initial accreditation in 2000, 94% of our graduates have become licensed psychologists.


The doctoral concentration in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association [Commission on Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242, 202-336-5979] and is a designated Doctoral Program in Psychology of the American Association of State Psychology Boards (AASPB) and the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.  The most recent visit for the Counseling Psychology concentration occurred in Fall of 2018, resulting in the program’s re-accreditation for 10 years.  The next site visit is scheduled for the 2028 site visit cycle.  Tennessee State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, 404-679-4500] to award the Associate, Bachelor, Masters, Specialist in Education, and Doctoral degrees.

For further information about the Counseling Psychology Concentration, click on the following links:

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Student Handbook

Current Student Profiles

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Student Outcomes, Admissions, & Other Data

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