UMKC Catalog


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. degree in counseling psychology has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1985. The counseling psychology program emphasizes multicultural and individual diversity within a scientist-practitioner model. Consistent with the University's urban/metropolitan mission, the diverse Counseling Psychology faculty is committed to educating future counseling psychologists to improve the welfare of individuals and communities through scholarship and applied interventions.

Student Learning Outcomes

The program faculty encourages students to develop primary identification with the core values of counseling psychology. These values emphasize:

  • Assets, strengths and positive mental health regardless of level of functioning
  • Respect for cultural and individual diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, nationality, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, etc.
  • Developmental framework to human growth and development
  • Relatively brief counseling interventions
  • Person-environment interactions
  • Prevention
  • Educational/vocational development

Program graduates apply these values in a variety of settings, including two and four-year colleges and universities, university counseling centers, veteran affairs facilities, hospitals, community mental health centers, and private practice. Many also become professional consultants, writers, and scholars.


Program goals are:

Goal 1: Graduates of our program develop a professional identity as counseling psychologists.

Goal 2: Graduates of our program understand the importance and complexity of cultural and individual diversity. They acquire the competence to apply knowledge of diversity in all areas of science and practice.

Goal 3: Graduates of our program understand counseling psychology as a scientific discipline. They are able to create, evaluate, and ethically contribute to the empirical knowledge base of psychological practice and theory.

Goal 4: Graduates of our program are trained to meet the varied needs of their diverse clients using ethical interventions based on counseling theory and informed by science. Graduates are able to effectively use and provide supervision and consultation.


Our program emphasizes a scientist-practitioner model in which students are informed about and contribute to scientific knowledge and are committed to life-long learning. Student practice activities are informed by research and a scientific attitude, and all professional activities are approached and critically evaluated with an ethical, multicultural, and professional mind-set. Students are also trained to work effectively and ethically with diverse clients, using interventions based on theory and informed by science. Our developmental model provides early and progressive training in both research and practice activity, culminating in professionals who can design, conduct, and evaluate research relevant to the field of psychology.

More information about the program can be found at

Admission Criteria

The program accepts bachelor's-level and master's-level applicants. Approximately six to ten students are admitted to the Counseling Psychology program each year.

Recommended minimum for bachelor's level applicants:

  • The completion of a bachelor's degree with a major in psychology.
  • Official GRE scores obtained within the last five years.
  • An overall undergraduate 3.0 GPA covering all college work taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or 3.25 for the major courses or the last 60 credits of the bachelor's degree.
  • Additional requirements may apply for international students.

Recommended minimum for master's level applicants:

  • The completion of a master's degree in counseling or a closely related area.
  • Official GRE scores obtained within the last five years.
  • Graduate GPA of 3.5 or above.
  • Additional requirements may apply for international students. 

Applicants will be evaluated using the following dimensions: academic potential, research potential, research interest, interpersonal characteristics, contribution to program diversity, commitment to multiculturalism, professional goals and interest, understanding of the profession of counseling psychology.

Alternative Criteria: students who do not meet the regular recommended criteria may be admitted under alternative criteria provided there is good reason to believe that the regular criteria do not adequately manifest the student's potential to do quality work in the program. The Counseling Psychology faculty reserves the right to require those who are admitted under the alternative criteria to take some background core courses in psychology before or during the first year of their doctoral training in the areas of general psychology, theories of personality, tests and measurement, abnormal psychology, experimental psychology, and introductory statistics. This decision will be made by the admission committee and the student's assigned advisor, and communicated to the student before he/she starts the program.

The admission committee will consist of three or more faculty members and one or more student members. The student member must be in his or her final year of the academic program (i.e., doing the pre-doctoral internship in the subsequent academic year). Using the above criteria, the admission committee will select approximately thirty applicants to be offered interviews. Campus interview will be recommended, but not required. Phone interviews are offered for those who cannot make the campus interview on our Interview Day. Admission will be offered to a small number of the applicants interviewed. In addition, the committee selects a list of those who were interviewed to serve as alternates. Candidates will be notified of the admissions decisions no later than April 1st. Candidates are required to act on the notifications by April 15th. If a first-round candidate does not accept, an alternate for the position will be selected from the list of the remaining candidates. Alternates will have 7 days to act on the notification, but if the offer is made on or after April 15, they will have 3 days to give a definite response. In making decisions, the Counseling Psychology Program at UMKC does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, or physical disability and appearance.


Admission Requirements

Application packets for the Counseling Psychology Program can be obtained from the program's Web site:

If needed, you may contact the UMKC Office of Admissions either by phone (816) 235-1111, or by e-mail You may also contact the Counseling Psychology Program at (816) 235-2722.

Applications are accepted only for the fall semester and must be completed and received by January 1. Application materials must be submitted to two separate offices on campus: A. The UMKC Admissions Office, -and- B. The Counseling Psychology Admissions Committee.

A. Materials to be sent to the UMKC Admissions Office:

  1. UMKC application for admission (May be completed electronically at
  2. Application fee (May be completed electronically at
  3. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.
  4. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, sent directly from ETS.
Please submit the UMKC Admissions Office materials to:

UMKC Office of Admissions
University of Missouri-Kansas City
120 Administrative Center
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499


B. Materials to be sent to Counseling Psychology:

  1. Cover sheet for the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology (from the Counseling Psychology application packet).
  2. Personal statement.  Submit a concise (two to three pages) statement concerning some or all of the following:
  • Your self reflection/perception
  • Your professional goals and interests
  • Your research knowledge, experience, and interest
  • Your views on multiculturalism and diversity

    3. Curriculum vitae including the following information:

  • Contact information
  • Educational background
  • Relevant clinical, research, and volunteer experiences
  • Honors or awards
  • Membership/leadership in professional organizations
  • Presentations and publications

    4. Three applicant evaluations forms (from the Counseling Psychology application packet) with attached letters of recommendation.

  • Raters should address your suitability for professional studies in a mental health service profession.
  • Raters should have knowledge of your interpersonal and intellectual functioning and skills in research, counseling and written and oral communication.
  • Raters should enclose their letters of recommendation along with the provided rating sheet in an envelope, sign their names across the sealed flap of the evelope, and either return to the student or mail directly to the address below. 
  • References must be from professional or academic settings.
Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
ATTN: Counseling Psychology Admissions Committee
215 Education Building
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

*Admission to UMKC or the school of Graduate Studies does not guarantee admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Counseling Psychology.