Jun 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision

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Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The doctoral program in counselor education and supervision offers advanced professional preparation for those intending to become university professors of counselor education and supervision and/or supervisors. This program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


An applicant for admission must have

  • a master’s degree in counseling or the equivalent.
  • a GPA of at least 3.20 in previous graduate work; 3.50 or higher preferred.
  • GRE General Test scores with a minimum of 500 verbal and 500 quantitative preferred.
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals holding a doctoral degree which provide supportive evidence of an applicant’s academic and professional qualifications. All letters must be dated no more than one year prior to the application deadline.
  • satisfactory academic and professional progress as indicated by data included in the application for admission to the Graduate School.
  • a minimum of one year of work experience as a counselor preferred.
  • demonstration of writing competencies as prescribed by the department and submission of a scholarly paper or professional report of which the applicant is sole author.
  • evidence of potential for professional leadership and current resume or curriculum vitae to be submitted to the department.
  • following screening based on the above criteria, a preadmission interview.

Prospective students who fail to satisfy either the GPA or the GRE criterion may request special consideration of their applications. Such a request must be in writing, must include compensatory evidence related to the deficiencies, and should accompany the application for admission to the Graduate School. Final decisions regarding admissions are made by program committees of the department on the basis of a total profile of an individual’s qualifications. Where deficiencies exist, the department’s Doctoral Admissions Committee may prescribe additional courses and recommend admission with stipulation.

Admission to the doctoral program in counselor education and supervision is competitive and takes place once a year in the spring. Students are admitted for the summer session or fall semester. All materials must be received by the Graduate School and the Department of Counseling and Higher Education by February 1. All applicants must complete and pass a Criminal Background Check as part of their application process.


As soon as the graduate student is admitted into the program, the student is assigned an interim faculty adviser in counselor education and supervision. The graduate student should make an appointment as soon as possible with the faculty adviser, who will assist the student in selecting a program committee. This committee consists of a chair and two other graduate faculty members, who advise the student in program planning. Advisement is given regarding courses in the major area of study, additional courses, prerequisites, and the comprehensive examinations.


The Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision requires a minimum of 84 semester hours, including a maximum of 30 semester hours from the master’s degree plus a minimum of 54 additional semester hours normally distributed as follows.

In addition, prior to approval of the dissertation proposal, the student must present evidence and/or documentation of computer technology competence, professional association involvement, submission of an article for publication, a presentation at a professional conference, and research-team involvement. Details regarding this requirement are available from the student’s program chair.


An approved internship, comprised of teaching, supervision, research, advanced clinical counseling, and professional leadership is a required part of the doctoral program. The specific division of internship hours is to be determined in consultation with the student’s program committee.


All doctoral students in counseling are required to pass the candidacy exam prior to admission to candidacy.

The candidacy examination includes the basic competencies in counseling theories; human development, learning, and behavior; research; cultural diversity; group counseling; consultation; supervision; assessment; and professional issues, including ethics. A student may apply to the program director to take this examination as soon as course work in the basic competencies is completed.

Satisfactory completion of the candidacy examination admits the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree. A student who fails the candidacy examination may be granted the opportunity to retake it. Failure on the second attempt denies the student admission to candidacy.

A final oral examination related to the dissertation is required and is conducted in accordance with the general requirements of the Graduate School.


The dissertation represents a substantial contribution to knowledge in the candidate’s major field of study. Candidates are expected to conduct original scholarship and independent research appropriate to their major and communicate the results of their research effectively.

The student’s dissertation committee is selected by the student in consultation with the faculty chair. The committee represents graduate faculty of the university with knowledge in the area of the candidate’s topic. The number of committee members, including the chair, is normally three to five. At least two members of the committee must be senior members of the graduate faculty.

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