Jul 20, 2024  
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Counseling

Department of Counseling
491B Pawley Hall  (map)
(248) 370-4179 • Fax (248) 370-4141

Todd Leibert
440K Pawley Hall
(248) 370-2626

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Graduate Catalog Addendum 


Program description

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a major in counseling degree prepares students for leadership roles within the field in the areas of advanced clinical practice, advanced school counseling practice, administration, research and supervision. The doctoral program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The program allows students to pursue one of six cognate areas: addictions counseling, career counseling, child and adolescent counseling, couple and family counseling, wellness counseling, school counseling, and mental health counseling. Additionally, in compliance with the CACREP guidelines, the program provides for advanced preparation in the following content areas: theories pertaining to the principles and practice of counseling, career development, group work, systems, and consultation; theories and practices of counselor supervision; instructional theory and methods relevant to counselor education; pedagogy relevant to current social and cultural issues, including social change theory and advocacy action planning; design and implementation of quantitative research and methodology, including univariate, multivariate, and single-subject design; design and implementation of qualitative research, including grounded theory, ethnographic, and phenomenological methodologies; models and methods of assessment and use of data; ethical and legal considerations in counselor education and supervision (e.g., the ACA Code of Ethics); and the role of racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage, nationality, socioeconomic status, family structure, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, occupation, physical and mental status, local, regional, national, international perspectives, and equity issues in counselor education programs.


The Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a major in counseling degree program is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Admissions by the semester deadlines listed below.

Current Deadline

Exceptional applicants may be considered for admission after the deadline on a space available basis.


Beginning FALL 2017 Semester

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • A master’s degree in counseling and/or related field
  • Goal statement
  • Official GRE test scores
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Writing sample

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a major in counseling degree program is selective. In addition to the university graduate application requirements, applicants must also satisfy the admission requirements established by the academic program as listed below. Admission to the degree program is a multi-step process:

  1. The admissions committee evaluates candidates in the following areas:
    • Prior coursework and GPA at the graduate level
    • Professional experience
    • Written statement of purpose (Goal Statement)
    • Professional letters of recommendation
    • Official standardized test scores (GRE)
  2. An interview by the faculty.

Final admission recommendations are forwarded to Graduate Admissions by the counseling department faculty. The program is cohort based and allows for the admission of no more than eight doctoral students every year. Prerequisites will be required, if the earned master’s is a non-counseling degree.

Degree requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a major in counseling degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 64 credits beyond the master’s degree in an approved program of study: 20 credits in the foundation core, 28 credits in the department core, 12 credits in the cognate, 4 credits in the internship, and a minimum of 4 credits for work toward the completion of a dissertation.

Course requirements

a. Foundation core (20 credits)

c. Cognate (12 credits minimum)

Each student’s cognate includes one of the areas of advanced specializations. The student in conjunction with the advisory committee selects courses from other cognate areas to complete the 12-credit requirement.

d. Dissertation (4 credits minimum)

The dissertation is an original scholarly contribution that is designed and conducted under the supervision of an advisory committee of four members. The committee is formed under the guidance of a chairperson nominated by the candidate, who must be a tenured faculty member within the department.

With advice from the chairperson, the candidate identifies two additional members who are full-time faculty within the department, and a fourth doctoral-level committee member who does not hold a full-time appointment within the department. Selection of the doctoral committee is not official until the department doctoral committee approves it. The candidate is required to remain continuously enrolled during the dissertation process.

The candidate is required to submit a formal proposal to the committee before beginning the dissertation project and to schedule and pass a defense of the proposal before the committee. If the proposal is not accepted, the candidate is required to coordinate with the chair to receive specific feedback and to reschedule. The committee is charged with ensuring that the dissertation meets acceptable standards of scholarly originality and rigor in its conceptualization and implementation. To this end, the committee may strongly encourage a doctoral candidate to participate in seminars, study groups, or research teams to refine specialized knowledge and skills.

Upon completion of the approved dissertation project, the candidate is required to secure approval from all committee members and schedule a public dissertation defense. At the defense, attended by the committee and members of the academic community, the candidate must successfully present the project and address questions. At the end of the defense, the committee can set conditions for satisfactory completion, and the candidate must demonstrate that these conditions have been met before the candidate is recommended for graduation.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all financial aid recipients. The required types of monitoring include Time Limit, Completion Rate, Excessive Withdrawals and GPA Requirements. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing  throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the applicable program and maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study. 

Related program information

Academic advising

Upon admission to the program each student is assigned an interim faculty adviser. Within the first year of study, the student is required to select an advisory committee consisting of a tenured chair and a second tenure-track faculty member. The committee assists the student in developing and implementing a plan of study, meeting at least annually to evaluate the student’s progress. In order to remain in good standing, a student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Qualifying examinations and candidacy

Comprehensive examinations must be passed after the completion of all coursework except the dissertation sequence. The examinations, consisting of written responses to a series of questions written and graded by department faculty, are administered annually. Content includes required program elements and specialized information unique to the student’s cognate. A student may be required to orally defend a response, and the student’s advisory committee may recommend additional learning experiences before the student is encouraged to retake portions not passed. All portions must be satisfactory before the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy and permitted to assemble a dissertation committee.

Continuous enrollment

The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

Time to degree

The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than ten years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.

The Time Limit for Completing a Ph.D. Degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense).