UWM’s PhD specialization in Counseling Psychology follows a scientist-practitioner model that integrates theory, practice and research to give you the scientific knowledge and skills needed to work with multicultural populations and in diverse settings.
Our PhD students are expected to conduct research and to advance the science of counseling psychology through scholarly inquiry. Our program, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association through 2029, will prepare you to work as a counseling psychologist in a variety of settings, including universities, hospitals, mental health clinics and private practice.
Note: Due to pending and recent retirements, and funding restrictions that prevent post baccalaureate students from serving as teaching assistants, most faculty will not consider admitting students for 2023 and into the Fall 2023 semester who do not already have a master’s degree.
Counseling Area Statement on Racial Justice
As we prepare to move into the Fall 2022 semester, the counseling area faculty have been reflecting on the past summer marked by the traumatic tragedies of multiple police murders of African American citizens in the U.S., and the resulting public outcry and social justice protests across the country. It has been an extremely challenging time for all of us: feeling overwhelmed, sad, outraged, paralyzed, or even powerless and helpless. With the heat of the protests in our city subsided, while still reeling from everything that has happened we have also been contemplating about critical changes to make moving forward.
First, we feel it is even more important now to reiterate, “Black lives matter,” and express our continuing solidarity in the long-term work to dismantle racial injustice at all levels and contribute to building a system with respect, equity, and support for individuals with all forms of marginalized identities. Second, we want to explicitly recognize the grief and trauma that have been brought to the students in general, and especially students in the BIPOC community. Racial trauma is real, and the past couple of months have made it so conspicuously clear. Third, we also acknowledge that systemic racism and other forms of oppression (heterosexism, transphobia, xenophobia, etc.) are insidious forces that infiltrate organizations with even the best of intentions.
Our program is not immune to these systemic forces and admittedly have areas that need critical examination and continued improvement. We reemphasize our commitment to looking into our own roles and to creating an anti-racist environment in the program, while also strongly encouraging and inviting students’ input and involvement in this process. Lastly, as mental health professionals, let’s all be reminded of the unique positions we have, in the community and in our schools, to help people, especially our BIPOC community, heal from the racial trauma, to educate the public and facilitate understanding and empathy in the now deeply divided country, and to advocate and strive for a better society where diversity is truly respected, appreciated, and celebrated. We invite you to join us in this life-long journey.
Why Choose Our Program?
- As Wisconsin’s most diverse university, UWM trains counseling psychologists who are multiculturally competent.
- In 2013, the Department of Educational Psychology won the American Psychological Association’s prestigious Bersoff Presidential Cultural Award for its success in recruiting and graduating doctoral students from racial/ethnic minorities as well as other countries.
- We’re located in the state’s economic, cultural and career capital, just 15 minutes from downtown Milwaukee and 90 minutes from Chicago, ensuring ample internship and networking opportunities.
- Since 2008, 88 percent of our counseling students were matched in internships, compared with the national average of 80 percent. Most years it is 100%.
- Placement rates for our graduates is 100%.
- Eighty seven percent of our graduates are licensed psychologists in various states.
- You’ll learn how to apply your scientific knowledge using qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies.
- You’ll work alongside internationally known faculty as an integral member of their research teams and may have the opportunity to present your work at national conferences.
Counseling Psychology Handbook & Student Data
For additional information about the program, see the Counseling Psychology PhD Program Handbook (PDF).
Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation.
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Website: American Psychological Association Website
We will assign you a temporary advisor when you are admitted to the program. Once you enter the program, you are free to choose a new advisor who will be the chair of your dissertation committee, or continue with your assigned advisor.
Stipends for teaching or research assistantships at or above 33 percent time include tuition remission. Stipend salaries vary according to type of assistantship (e.g. teaching, research) and type of student (doctoral, dissertator). For an academic year (9 month) appointment for 2023, stipends are $15,000 for 50% time assistantships and $9,900 for 33% time assistantships.
The following table indicates the type of support given to each cohort of students for the 2022-23 academic year. Assistantships are allocated based on availability of positions, with priority given to first year students, then second year students, and then third year. Students in the counseling psychology program have successfully applied for assistantships in other schools and colleges After the third year in the program, students are strongly encouraged to seek assistantships through faculty grants or off-campus sources.
Learn more about the Graduate School’s current assistantship salary schedules.
|Cohort Year||Fellowships||Assistantships||Off-Campus Employment||Unfunded|
The Educational Psychology Costs & Financial Support FAQ webpage is also a helpful resource.
Counseling Psychology Student Association
Open to all doctoral students in the Counseling Psychology PhD Program, CPSA focuses on student advocacy, professional development, and socialization/peer-to-peer mentorship. Members are also active at the national level (e.g., ACA, APA, APAGS). We encourage all students to get involved.
- Careers as a Counseling Psychologist
- Society of Counseling Psychology
- American Psychological Association
- Licensing Information
The Graduate School provides a range of resources for student professional development on its website.
If you already have a master’s degree, the program involves three years of coursework, a year of dissertation and a year of internship.
Students are required to take 15 credits of courses towards discipline specific knowledge (psychological foundations), 18 credits of practicum, 13 credits of statistics, 12-18 credits of courses designed to provide profession-wide competencies as a counseling psychologist. (Ethics, Interventions, Advanced Multicultural Counseling, Vocational Psychology, Supervision/Consultation and Research).
In keeping with our scientist-practitioner model, we require all students to participate on a faculty member’s research team for two years, registering for Ed PSYCH 838 for 12 credits. Many students participate on more than one faculty member’s team, and most students stay involved in research for the entire four years that they are on campus.
Our program is recognized by the state licensing board, and you will be eligible for licensure as a psychologist once you complete the doctorate and the post-doctoral hours required by the state and successfully pass the national licensing exam and state jurisprudence exam.
Academic Catalog Requirements Sheet
- Visit the Academic Catalog webpage linked above, then click on the Print Options link in the lower right hand column
- Click the Download Page (PDF) link
- Print or save the condensed program requirements document
Please see the video below for a recording of a recent information session. For more specific information on your concentration of interest, please attend one of the information sessions below.
Interested in learning more about the Cognitive & Developmental Sciences, Educational Statistics & Measurement, School Psychology, or School & Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs? We invite you to a virtual information session. Please attend one or both of the following:
1) Our online information session on Friday Sept 16 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm cst. Register for this session here.
2) Graduate School Open House: Thursday Oct 27 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Virtual) or Thursday Nov 10 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm (In-Person). Grad School open house attendees who start their applications between 8/31/22 and 3/15/22 will receive one application fee waiver. Register for an open house session here.
You should plan to apply a year before you intend to start. Be sure to pay careful attention to the program’s specific deadline listed below.
- Fall 2023 Deadline: December 1, 2022
The application for fall is generally due in early December, and applicants invited for interviews will be notified by early January. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions by mid-February.
The program requires 3 letters of recommendation. These letters must be submitted through the application’s electronic recommendation feature by the recommenders themselves. Letters uploaded or sent by the applicant will not be accepted.
Visit the Counseling Psychology PhD Applying FAQ webpage for more information about applying to the program.
Visit the Counseling Psychology Research Teams webpage to view more information about faculty and student research teams.
Kelsey Autin, PhD, Assistant Professor
University of Florida
Dr. Autin’s research interests include how people find fulfillment in their occupations and how this relates to overall well-being. Within this, she focuses on how people’s identities along with their sociopolitical contexts shape their beliefs about their freedom of work choice and barriers to obtaining decent work.
Nadya A. Fouad, PhD, ABPP, University Distinguished Professor & Mary and Ted Kellner Endowed Chair of Educational Psychology
University of Minnesota
Dr. Fouad’s research interests include cross-cultural vocational assessment, career development, interest measurement, role of race and social class in development, and cross-cultural counseling. Dr. Fouad is board certified in counseling psychology, and a licensed psychologist in the State of Wisconsin.
*Note: Dr. Fouad is not taking on any new doctoral advisees at this time.
Xu Li, PhD, Assistant Professor
University of Maryland, College Park
Dr. Li’s research interests include (1) the process and outcome of individual and group psychotherapy, particularly in cross-cultural and multicultural contexts, (2) the development and training of therapists and the measurement of therapist competency, and (3) the career development and mental health of college students. With a bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Li is keenly interested in exploring the use of advanced and novel quantitative methods in counseling psychology research.
Ankita Nikalje, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Nikalje’s research focuses on systemic issues within the South Asian diaspora and their impact on lived experiences and mental health. She is particularly passionate about the issue of casteism and how caste discrimination continues to be experienced on an institutional, interpersonal, and internalized level outside of South Asia. She has theorized Caste Critical Theory (CasteCRIT) and is developing instruments to measure the impact of caste in the diaspora. Similarly, her research also focuses on the impact of colonization, especially as it relates to internalized colonization or Colonial Mentality among South Asians.
Leah Rouse, PhD, Associate Professor & Electa Quinney Scholar
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Rouse’s research interests include trauma psychology, suicidology, and mental health issues facing corrections, EMS, and military populations, cancer patients, survivors, and their families, and American Indian communities. She works from a qualitative and Indigenous framework in research and practice. Dr. Rouse is board certified in counseling psychology, and a licensed psychologist in the State of Wisconsin.
Stephen R. Wester, PhD, ABPP, Professor
University of Florida
Dr. Wester’s research interests include male gender role conflict, multicultural expressions of masculinity, gender and emotion, counseling men, as well as the training of counseling psychologists and counseling supervision. Dr. Wester is board certified in counseling psychology, as well as a licensed psychologist in the State of Wisconsin.
For general information or questions about the program, contact: