Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision


Counselors on the front lines touch the lives of countless people. University professors of counseling and clinical supervisors can multiply that number endlessly. Our Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision will develop your expertise in teaching, research, leadership and advocacy, and supervision. You'll develop critical thinking through personal and professional growth experiences that promote awareness of self and impact on others. You'll also generate new knowledge and skills through meaningful research to promote social justice and advance the field. We are nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Innovative Experiences

We promote best practices in the preparation of educators, advocates and leaders. Our alumni are committed to what graduate preparation should encompass: understanding the past, advancing the present, and modeling for the future. Your program will include concurrent internship experiences with academic courses and a dissertation (a minimum of 15 semester hours) that reflects your original scholarship and independent research. A graduate certificate is available in Trauma-Informed Counseling.

You must apply to our program through the NIU Graduate School, and if invited, attend the Pre-Admissions Workshop. For admission to Graduate School, you'll need to submit an application, a written statement of goals, official transcripts and three letters of recommendation (at least one from individuals holding a doctoral degree and/or able to speak to your academic aptitude). If you're an international student, you must also submit official English translations of your academic records and all test scores, including the TOEFL or IELTS. You'll need to complete the Ph.D. applicant essay, and submit a résumé or CV.

Apply online

Are you ready to become a leader in counselor education and supervision? Are you eager to learn how to help others prepare for professional counseling practice in our world?

Early admissions deadline: November 15 
General admissions deadline: February 1
Late admissions deadline: April 1

Apply Today!

The program requires a minimum of 84 semester hours, including a maximum of 30 semester hours from the master's degree. During your program of study, you will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in applied counseling skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in advanced teaching skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in advanced supervision skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in advanced leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent scholarly research.
  • Our Community Counseling Training Center provides comprehensive training for counselors and counseling supervisors in training through delivery of outstanding, culturally responsive counseling services to NIU students, faculty, staff and community members.
  • In our counselor education and supervision program you'll put your instructional knowledge to practical use through working with clients in a clinical setting and with master's level students through co-teaching in the classroom. You'll also facilitate weekly individual and group supervision sessions and conduct counseling-related research under faculty mentorship.

The Counselor Education and Supervision degree program is a 84 credit hour CACREP accredited programs under the 2016 standards. Program courses are offered on a standard curriculum course rotation.

  • COUN 700 Professional Orientation to Counselor Education: Identity and Ethics
  • COUN 701 Professional Seminar in Counselor Education and Development
  • COUN 730 Advanced Theories of Counseling
  • COUN 750 Advanced Practicum in Individual Counseling
  • COUN 752 Supervision in Counseling
  • COUN 765 Applied Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling
  • COUN 786 Internship in Counseling
  • COUN 790 Research and Scholarship in Counselor Education
  • COUN 799 Doctoral Research and Dissertation
  • ETR 521 Educational Statistics I
  • ETR 522 Educational Statistics II
  • ETR 525 Qualitative Research in Education
  • ETR 720 Advanced Research Methods in Education

The Counselor Education and Supervision program is a quasi-cohort model with 32 doctoral students enrolled last year. On an annual basis, 15 to 20 eligible applicants apply for admissions to the Ph.D. degree program. The average admitted class is seven to ten students. Last year, 12 new doctoral students were admitted from across the nation. The Counseling faculty work to recruit and admit diverse student populations of various multicultural identities and intersectionality.

Counseling faculty work to recruit and admit diverse student populations. Note: NIU collects race/sex demographic information based on students' legal classifications. However, in alliance with NIU's stated commitment to diversity and inclusion, we recognize that our students, faculty and staff may identify beyond demographics listed.

Self-reported counseling student race and sex last year included:

Race/Ethnicity Women Men
African-American or Black 25% 6%
Asian-American 6% 0%
Caucasian or White 38% 16%
Hispanic, Latino or Spanish-American 6% 0%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 3% 0%

The NIU Counselor Educator team includes seven full-time faculty and two instructors of counseling. Professors of counseling represent not only diversity of multicultural intersectionality, but also diversity of counseling approaches and research interests.

Counselor education program faculty review various program and student outcome data points each year to determine the continuation of our changes in program delivery design. This annual review report includes:

  • Summary of the program evaluation results
  • Subsequent program modifications
  • Any other substantial program changes

Our Counselor Education and Supervision faculty provide knowledge and mentorship in counseling-related research, clinical supervision and instruction in counselor preparation programs.

Our program is designed to help you develop awareness, knowledge and skills in counseling, supervision, teaching, research and professional leadership if you're intending to become a university professor of counseling and clinical supervisor.

Our faculty and current students work consistently to create a collegial and collaborative community of acceptance, mentorship and professional networking within the university, regionally and nationally.

The Counselor Education and Supervision program graduated six students last year with a 90% completion rate and approximately 98% of our doctoral students find job placement after graduation.