Mental Health Counseling, PhD

Location
  • Westchester
CACREP logo.

This PhD in Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Next Generation Leaders

This program is designed to train mental health counselors in advanced clinical and supervisory skills, prepare counselors to conduct research that will further the profession’s knowledge base, and foster the next generation of leaders who will be teachers and advocates for the mental health counseling profession across the country.

Advance your education

  • Students emerge as highly skilled professionals in therapeutic practice and research, well-positioned to be leaders in the field and advocates for their clients and the profession.
  • Master-level students gain advanced professional training, opportunities for intensive research, and opportunities to significantly advance the field of mental health.
  • Specializations include grief counseling, substance abuse counseling, and positive psychotherapy and counseling.

Take Courses Like…

Throughout the curriculum, you’ll receive intensive training focused on advanced clinical issues, counseling education, supervision, and research focused on the promotion of mental health and the counseling profession.

Graduates leave the program equipped with a solid foundation in counseling built upon a combination of coursework, fieldwork, seminars, and guided research.

Add Opportunities And Experiences

A small and selective program—accepting approximately 10 students per academic year—means small classes, in which students are exposed to evidence-based counseling approaches for demographically and clinically diverse populations.

Students work closely with faculty to develop and carry out independent research projects culminating in a doctoral dissertation. These activities are designed to integrate counseling intervention and research skills training, preparing graduates for a variety of counseling, policy-based, advocacy, teaching, and research careers.

The Department of Psychology’s strong community of faculty, professionals, and alumni in the field of mental health equip doctoral students with an established network of support. Both faculty and alumni hold key leadership positions in the New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA).

Each semester, the department offers a speaker series inviting leading researchers and professionals to talk about current and pertinent issues in the field.

“This unique doctoral program will provide mental health professionals with the opportunity to take their training and knowledge to the next level in a way that will help them stand apart from the crowd. In essence, we are seeking to develop the next wave of leaders in counseling that will help significantly advance the study and treatment of mental health.” –Paul Griffin, PhD, Department Chair

Professional Associations

Students and faculty can interact, join, and present at regional, state, and national association conferences. This includes developing partnerships to conduct critical research on topics impacting individuals seeking mental health counseling services and beyond. Faculty have a longstanding and collaborative relationship with the following key organizations, allowing them to guide students in establishing professional connections during their time in the program.

Choose Your Career

Career Options

The PhD program prepares candidates for a multitude of growing careers, including:

  • Advocacy
  • Community mental health
  • Mental health policymaking
  • Private practice
  • Research
  • University teaching

What You Need to Know

Students who substantially meet the following requirements will be invited to an interview with the departmental admission screening committee:

  • An earned master’s degree in mental health counseling with a curriculum equivalent to that of Pace University’s 60-credit graduate master of science program in mental health counseling.
  • Earned graduate-level GPA of 3.6 or higher.
  • Submitted letters of recommendation, personal statement, and official academic transcripts.
  • Degree conferral requirements:
    • Students are required to complete 100 clinical hours in a supervised clinical setting for MHC 710: Doctoral Practicum in Mental Health Counseling
    • Students are required to complete 600 internship hours of supervised experiences in at least three of the five doctoral core areas (counseling, teaching, supervision, research and scholarship, leadership and advocacy) for MHC 725 & MHC 726: Doctoral Internship I & II
  • Met one of the following permit/licensure requirements:
    • Be eligible for New York State limited permit in mental health counseling.
    • Obtained a limited permit in New York State.
    • Be licensed in mental health counseling in New York State.
    • Be licensed in mental health counseling in a state other than New York.

CACREP Annual Assessment Reports

MS and PhD Programs in Mental Health Counseling-Field Placement Site Supervisor Training (PDF)
Please read and review the PowerPoint Training and the MS and/or corresponding PhD Field Placement Practicum and Internship Handbook as part of our CACREP Accreditation Requirement.

MS and PhD Programs in Mental Health Counseling Field Placement Site Supervisor Training Verification (PDF)
Site supervisors are required to complete this form each semester that they sponsor MS and/or PhD Practicum or Internship students as part of our CACREP Accreditation Requirement.

  • The following is Pace University’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program Objectives (POs) Assessment Report for the program’s annual review. This plan includes input from the various stakeholders including: aggregate student assessment data that addresses student knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions; demographic and other characteristics of applicants, students, and graduates; and data from systematic follow-up studies of graduates, site supervisors, and employers of program graduates.

    The assessment data compiled and analyzed is based on a five point scale which is constituted as:

    1. Ineffective
    2. Somewhat Effective
    3. Adequate
    4. Effective
    5. Very Effective.

    Program goals are baselined at a minimum standard of 85% to designate “meeting standard” or above.

    97% of our stakeholders indicated that the program was Effective or Very Effective in meeting the program objectives.

    View complete Program Objectives (PO) Annual Assessment Report for 2019-20 (PDF)

  • Part I: Narrative

    During the 2018-2019 academic year, the faculty and staff of the Doctor of Philosophy programs in Mental Health Counseling at Pace University conducted an annual review of the program. The program’s core objectives remain focused on fostering student development in advanced clinical and supervisory skills, training them to become proficient researchers that will advance knowledge on issues pertaining to mental health and counseling, and to promote future leaders of the profession who will serve as both educators and advocates. Past and current students’ dissertations have examined key issues in clinical mental health counseling and counselor education. To assist them in their studies, graduate assistantships and adjunct teaching assignments continue to be offered to doctoral students in the department. Based on the feedback that we received during the CACREP Site Visit in May 2018, the changes outlined below were implemented:

    • MHC 707: Qualitative Methods in Counseling Research (4 credits)
    • MHC 710: Doctoral Practicum in Mental Health Counseling (4 credits)
    • MHC 726: Doctoral Internship II in Mental Health Counseling (0 credits)
    • MHC 734: Advanced Theory & Practice of Counseling (4 credits)

    Additionally, the department modified the following course curriculum to include Leadership and Advocacy (CACREP Section 6 Standard B 5.d.-Accreditation):
    MHC 733: Leadership & Advocacy in Mental Health Counseling

    Further, the MHC 710: Doctoral Practicum in Mental Health Counseling course at the master’s level is now a significant preparation for our program. Michael Tursi, Ph.D. (from the counselor education doctoral program at the University of Rochester) continues to advance our practicum and internship courses, including MHC 725: Doctoral Internship I in Mental Health Counseling and MHC 726: Doctoral Internship II in Mental Health Counseling. Both courses are significantly structured and students’ progress is documented throughout.

    Part II: Graduates and Pass, Completion, and Job Placement Rates

    1. Number of Graduates: 6
    2. Program Completion Rate: 100% for the 2018-2019 academic year
    3. Estimate of Job Placement Rates: Many of our students enter our program either as licensed and/or certified counselors, limited permit holders, and/or apply for permits in mental health counseling while enrolled. The graduates who complete their doctorate in May 2019, are employed either full time or part in mental health counseling settings, school setting, and/or teach as adjuncts in counseling or related areas.

    View complete Program Objectives (PO) Annual Assessment Report for 2018-19 (PDF)

  • Part I: Narrative

    During the 2017-2018 academic year, the faculty and staff of the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling at Pace University conducted an annual review of the program.

    We focused on following up on emphasizing ethical standards in the key practice courses within the program. We have included this focus as it relates to internships, practicum experiences, as well as other courses. We stress the importance of ethics and multicultural diversity in the foundations course, the introductory counseling courses, as well as the group counseling, family counseling, social and cultural foundations, and the elective LGBTQA+ course.

    In the past year, the practicum course has evolved into a robust preparation for the internship courses. Dr. Michael Tursi, a new addition to our department with a doctorate in counselor education from the University of Rochester, has brought fresh perspectives into this course as well as into the doctoral-level internship course.

    Finally, the department determined that additional faculty in the field of mental health counseling was needed. We have hired two new full-time faculty in the counselor education field to start in the Fall 2018 semester.

    Part II: Graduates and Pass, Completion, and Job Placement Rates

    1. Number of Graduates: 27
    2. Pass rates on the National Counselor Examination:
      • Date: April 2017
        • # tested: 5
        • # passed: 3
      • Date: October 2017
        • # tested: 5
        • # passed: 5
    3. Program Completion Rate: 100% for 2017-18 Academic Year
    4. Estimate of Job Placement Rates: Approximately 60% of our graduates are currently employed in a counseling or a counseling-related capacity.

    View complete Program Objectives (PO) Annual Assessment Report for 2017-18 (PDF)