Program Profile

Degree Requirements-75 Semester Hours

In total, students will need to complete 45 hours of core coursework, 18 hours of coursework in the cognate area, 12 hours of clinical coursework, and 6 or more hours of dissertation.

Core Requirements: (45 semester hours)

Required Research and Counseling Core Courses:

Research and Statistics:

COUN 830-Research and Statistics I (3 hours)

COUN 831-Research and Statistics II (3 hours) 

COUN 832-Research Design (3 hours) 

COUN 901-Prospectus Design (3 hours)


COUN 701-Advanced Psychometrics (3 hours)

COUN 702-Advanced Counseling Theory (3 hours)

COUN 703-Advanced Group Counseling and Leadership (3 hours)

COUN 704-Advanced Career Counseling and Development (3 hours)

COUN 705-Advanced Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling (3 hours)

COUN 706-Advanced Issues of Diversity and Social Justice (3 hours)

COUN 707-Advanced Clinical Practicum (3 hours)

COUN 801-Leadership and Consultation (3 hours)

COUN 802-Counselor Supervision (3 hours)

COUN 803-Internship in Supervision (3 hours)

COUN 731-Doctoral Seminar (1 hour per year for three years)

Cognate Area: (18 semester hours)

The student is responsible for developing a cognate area in consultation with his/her curriculum committee that creates a coherent major focus in his/her study in the field of counseling or in a closely related field. Students will first be advised to develop the cognate study in collaboration with their curriculum committee from within the Penfield College. Students will be able to select from 600-900 level coursework in the following programs: Counseling (COUN), Organizational Leadership (ORGL), Public Safety Leadership (PSLD), and Human Services (HSRV). Cognate areas available to doctoral students in the counseling program include, but are not limited to: 

  • Addictions Counseling, 
  • Advanced Psychotherapy, 
  • Rehabilitation Counseling, 
  • School Counseling, 
  • Studies in Couples and Family Counseling, and 
  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling. 

If a student is unable to develop/complete a cognate area from within Penfield College, the student may then examine courses and programs outside of the college to create/complete their18 hour cognate. Such programs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Educational Leadership or Student Affairs Leadership (Tift College of Education), 
  • Marriage and Family Counseling (Mercer School of Medicine), and 
  • Pastoral Counseling (McAfee School of Theology). 

In the rare instance that the student's curriculum committee approves a cognate area that cannot be fulfilled completely with courses offered at Mercer University, the student may, with permission of their curriculum committee, seek course work to fit his/her cognate area from accredited universities outside of Mercer University. Students understand that any course work taken outside of Penfield College is subject to the tuition rates of the college or institution where the course work is taken. 

Field Work/Internship: (6 semester hours)

Each student must complete a minimum one academic year, 6 hours, of internship.  Students work closely with their committee chair to develop an internship acceptable to the committee in an area of practice, research, consultation, or counselor education and supervision.  In compliance with CACREP standards, each six hour Internship must consist of a minimum of 600 hours of experience in the area approved by the student’s committee.

Dissertation: (6 semester hours minimum)

COUN 920-Dissertation (1-3 hours repeatable)