University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology's home page.


Graduate study in the Counseling Psychology Program is designed to prepare students for academic, research, and practice careers at the PhD level. Our training philosophy is based upon the scientist-practitioner training model, which emphasizes that students should be trained broadly in the science of psychology, in the conviction that a full-spectrum grasp of the field is necessary for the fullest understanding of the area of specialization, which is counseling psychology. Consistent with this philosophy, our training goals are to educate graduate students (a) in the basic science of psychology and its methods and (b) in the specific science and practice of counseling psychology. Students receive a strong, broad-based foundation in the science of psychology and an empirical-research viewpoint toward counseling psychology.

The Department of Psychology course requirements, across a wide spectrum of specialty areas, provide students with a broad background in general psychology and social science methodology. These courses are complemented by substantive course requirements in counseling psychology that demonstrate the application of psychological theories, principles, and methods to counseling-related research and practice. Similarly, counseling psychology courses in theory, intervention, and assessment inform the practice training experiences of students. Through structured practice experiences, students are able to apply the science of psychology to their counseling. The practice experiences subsequently inform the types of research conducted by students and faculty. Close working relationships with faculty provide students with opportunities for research experiences and professional development activities. Graduate funding within the department and college, in the form of graduate fellowships, scholarships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships, also provides students with the opportunity to obtain teaching experiences, develop and conduct independent lines of research, and attend professional conferences.

In addition to coursework that provides students with formal knowledge of the science of psychology, the Counseling Psychology Program offers applied training through practicum and internships. Typically, students complete a 510 hour beginning practicum at the University Counseling and Consulting Services during the second year. Then, students also complete an additional 600 to 800 hours of advanced practicum at various sites in the Twin Cities area. The predoctoral internship is one academic year, full time. For purposes of prospective licensure as a professional psychologist, internships with an APA-approved site are recommended.

Advanced Practicum Placement Sites

The Twin Cities metropolitan area provides a wealth of Advanced Practicum opportunities for graduate students in the Counseling Psychology Program. The Practice Coordinator maintains ongoing working relationship with practice supervisors. We currently have agreements with approximately 42 sites, and new opportunities are added continuously. Advanced Practicum settings include VA Medical Centers, mental health clinics, small and large counseling centers, hospitals, consulting firms, human resource programs, etc. Placements are competitive and practicum sites are eager to accept our students into their programs. Our students also give their Practicum Sites good marks for the training and supervision that they provide.

Internship Placement

Our students compete very well for internships. Over the last 7 years students have been matched with internships with university counseling centers at the University of St. Thomas, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Florida, Utah State University, UCLA, the University of Oregon, Suffolk University, the University of Michigan, and Oregon State University; VA Medical Centers in Minneapolis and Milwaukee; Ulster County Mental Health Department; and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Supporting Programs/Minors

The University of Minnesota has 170 graduate programs. Many of the programs offer course work of interest and value to graduate students in the Counseling Psychology Program. Students with appropriate backgrounds may enroll in these courses.

Students also select a Supporting Program (i.e., a series of courses related to a particular subject or theme) or a formal minor as part of their graduate training. This focus recognizes the range of environments and opportunities that counseling psychologists face and, concomitantly, the value of enhancing knowledge and skills in selected areas of study. Supporting Programs developed by our graduate students over the past few years have included areas such as cultural diversity, psychology of women, marriage and family, aging, student development, statistical methods, conflict resolution, and industrial organizational psychology.

The Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) Supporting Program was developed by Professor Jo-Ida C. Hansen with initial funding through a training grant from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and APA. OHP is an emerging field within the discipline of psychology that, broadly defined, involves the application of psychological principles to improving the quality of work-life and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of people at work.

Sample 6-Year Plan

The Counseling Psychology Program is designed to be completed in 6-years. However, some students elect to add an additional year to their program to expand their teaching and research opportunities and experiences.