Published January 2020
Welcome to our ranking of the 10 top value master’s degrees in counseling in Virginia.
A Doctor of Philosophy degree or a Ph.D. in Counseling offers students a broader scope of practice and growth in the field. They not only gain in-depth knowledge for a successful professional life as a therapist or a consulting psychologist, but they are also prepared to conduct independent research and expand the boundaries of their education. As a research scholar, they can explore more therapy and treatment options for their patients and help more people in need.
A Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology program is a good fit for students who wish to practice, lead, and also teach in the area. They can specialize in counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, and mental health counseling, among others. Students who hold a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field may enroll in a doctoral program that takes four to ten years, depending on one’s pace. Once completed, graduates go on to work as applied researchers, marriage and family therapists, government researchers, addictions counselors, clinical psychologists, mental health therapists, industrial-organizational psychologists, and professional consultants, among others.
Counselors and psychologists are in demand, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this demand is all set to grow. Psychologists and counselors work in health care, education, corporate sectors, and other varied industries. The employment of psychologists is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2028.
Students looking for Counseling Ph.D. Degrees in Virginia may consult the list below for some of the top options in the state. These leading and accredited schools offer not only comprehensive professional training but also research opportunities and internships at some of the top organizations in the area. Students, therefore, get a comprehensive education that combines theory and practice.
The programs listed here are accredited and recognized by relevant bodies, regionally and nationally. We have looked at each school’s accreditations and research productivity per the information provided on their websites. We have calculated the annual and semester costs in assessing the value of their degree programs. For the purpose of this ranking, we have considered the average in-state tuition rates; the lower tuition rates earned more points.
Net Price (as reported by the NCES):
- Under $10,000: 5 points
- Under $12,000: 4 points
- Under $14,000: 3 points
- Under $16,000: 2 points
- Under $18,000: 1 point
Accreditation: 2 points for regional, 1 point for national
Program recognition or alignment with recognized standards: 1 point for each
#10 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Ph.D. in Psychology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers a Ph.D. in Psychology via the Department of Psychology. The core curriculum contains at least three quantitative and research methods courses. Students can choose from concentrations like Biological Psychology, Developmental Science, Clinical Science, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Students are provided with the necessary in conceptual, quantitative, and methodological skills to apply their knowledge well and help solve theoretical and applied problems. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA).
Tuition per credit: $761.25
#9 University of Virginia
Ph.D. in Psychology
The University of Virginia offers a Ph.D. in Psychology via the College of Arts and Sciences/School of Psychology. Students can choose from seven areas of specialization like clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, community psychology, developmental psychology, quantitative psychology, social systems, and behavioral neuroscience psychology. Each area has distinct application and graduation requirements, which means students cannot transfer from one to the other and should continue their research in the area that they have finalized. The five-year program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).
Tuition per credit: $735
#8 Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies
Regent University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies via the School of Psychology & Counseling. The 51-credit program includes a common core in research, psychometrics, and statistics that are combined with Christian leadership. The challenging program is designed for students who wish to impact culture, practice, and help people and also advance in international work. Students have the option to choose elective courses to tailor their degree per their specific area of interest. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA).
Tuition per credit: $675
#7 Liberty University
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
Liberty University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision via the School of Behavioral Sciences. The CACREP- accredited program is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in counselor education, advanced counseling, leadership and advocacy, supervision, along with research and scholarship. The 60-credit curriculum integrates a biblical worldview with psychological principles so that students can effectively and ethically serve a diverse culture and population. It combines theory with advanced field experiences and internships so that they can practice as counselor educators in graduate counseling programs, advanced professional counselors, counseling supervisors, and counselor researchers and scholars.
Tuition per credit: $595
#6 College of William & Mary
Counselor Education and Supervision, Ph.D.
William & Mary offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that prepares students to lead in the field of counseling and also educate others. The CACREP-accredited program combines quantitative and qualitative research training to help students evaluate the theory and practice of counseling effectively. Students have the option to gain valuable real-world experience in counseling during their practicum and internships, where they work with and observe professional counselors at work in clinical settings. Graduates go on to serve as competent counselor supervisors, contribute to the field through research, each at the university level, as well as lead community and national organizations.
Tuition per credit: $585
#5 Old Dominion University
Doctor of Philosophy in Education-Counseling Concentration
Old Dominion University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Education-Counseling Concentration via the DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING AND HUMAN SERVICES. The program is designed for students who hold a CACREP-accredited master’s degree in counseling or the equivalent. The program includes two concentration areas: Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. The 60-credit program prepares students to work as education counselors in colleges and universities or work in supervisory roles in various mental health counseling organizations. Graduates are prepared to meet the educational requirements for Virginia LPC credential and the Virginia Licensed School Counselor credential. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Tuition per credit: $547
#4 George Mason University
Ph.D. in Psychology
George Mason University offers a Ph.D. in Psychology via its College of Humanities and Social Science. The program is designed to teach students the core principles and applications of psychology. They have the option to specialize in various concentrations like applied developmental psychology, clinical psychology, human factors/applied cognition, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and industrial/organizational psychology. The 76-credit program provides in-depth knowledge of psychology and its applications to solve various individual and social issues. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA).
Tuition per credit: $506
#3 James Madison University
Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology (C-I Psy.D.)
James Madison University offers a Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology (C-I Psy.D.) via the College of Health and Behavioral Studies/Department of Graduate Psychology. The four-year program prepares graduates to apply for licensure as both a clinical and school psychologist. They gain in-depth knowledge to become specialists and provide comprehensive psychological care for all age groups and diversities. The 59-credit program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Tuition per credit: $499
#2 Virginia Commonwealth University
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology that prepares students for research and service in professional psychology using the scientist-practitioner model. The program emphasizes the enhancement of life skills and personal competence and is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA). Students can sub-specialize in disease prevention and health promotion, multiculturalism, work with medical populations, career and life planning, college students, community outreach, group counseling, interpersonal processes, marriage and family counseling, and sports psychology.
Tuition per credit: $391
#1 Radford University
Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.)
Radford University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.) via the Colleges of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences/Department of Psychology. The program emphasizes rural mental health, social injustice, cultural diversity, and evidence-based practice. The APA-accredited curriculum prepares students to assist patients in varied settings and under-served locales. The program requires three years of full-time study and 101 credits for completion along with 2,000 internship hours. Students are trained in counseling, psychological assessment, and therapy.
Tuition per credit: $371
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