About this Program

The Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Counseling is intended to prepare professional counselors to provide leadership in the profession of counseling. Counseling leaders must be excellent counselors, supervisors, teachers, researchers, and scholars. The program is designed to enhance the counseling skills of doctoral students, prepare counselors for the roles of clinical and administrative supervision, develop the teaching skills of students, teach students to conduct research, and prepare students to become counseling scholars. The program prepares doctoral students to become university faculty members in counselor education programs and leaders in a variety of counseling specializations (e.g., clinical mental health counseling, school counseling).

Program Highlights

  • Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

  • Study full-time or part-time

  • Full-time students usually complete their degree in three years

  • Part-time students usually complete their degree in four years

  • Opportunities for research collaboration with nationally-known counseling faculty

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Doctor of Philosophy
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Survey Researchers

$60,700 Median Salary

Plan, develop, or conduct surveys. May analyze and interpret the meaning of survey data, determine survey objectives, or suggest or test question wording. Includes social scientists who primarily design questionnaires or supervise survey teams.

Medical and Health Services Managers

$111,680 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.

Education Teachers, Postsecondary

$72,410 Median Salary

Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education, and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Education Administrators, Postsecondary

$107,670 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

Alumni Careers

Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas
Mental Health Director
LGBT Life Center
Assistant Professor
University of Toledo
Director of Academic Development
Eastern Virginia Medical School


What are the requirements to apply for Counseling at ODU?
Students entering the Doctor of Philosophy program in Counseling should meet the minimum university admission requirements Graduate Admission.

Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program in Counseling must have a master's degree from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) or the equivalent. Admitted individuals who do not have a CACREP-accredited master's degree in counseling must complete any missing master’s level coursework as part of their doctoral program of study as a part of their Ph.D. program. Upon reviewing application materials, counseling faculty will make a decision on each applicant’s potential for success and fit for the doctoral program. Then, applicants will be invited to the following processes: Ethical Dilemma Writing Sample: Applicant will be given an hour to respond to an ethical dilemma at a designated day and time. Live Interview: Applicant will attend a 30-minute online interview with a minimum of three faculty members.  

  • Application Deadline: Fall, Spring & Summer: October 1 International: October 1    

For Admission to the Counseling Program


Based on transcripts from all prior graduate programs


Minimum two, maximum three recommendation letters. If possible, include one from a former instructor in your master's program, and one from your internship or job supervisor (letters from others are also acceptable).


Write and submit an original double-spaced 3 to 5 page essay that will be reviewed for content and will be used to judge your written communication skills. Your essay should include a summary of your work experiences, reasons for wanting a Ph.D. in Counseling at ODU, evidence of cultural sensitivity and awareness, how you believe you have been, or will be a leader and advocate for the counseling profession, and ideas about scholarship you might pursue in your doctoral program (e.g., dissertation).


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $599
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $623
Cost Per-Credit $1,439

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid

Full-Time Students

Students who study full-time often are awarded assistantships which include tuition waivers.

Part-Time Students

Students who study part-time are eligible for student loans.


Counseling Graduate Program Director

NORFOLK, 23529