College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

Counseling Psychology

The Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology at Colorado State University has full accreditation from the American Psychological Association. (Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington DC 20002-424 ,(202) 336-5979)

The application and supporting documents for the counseling program must be received by December 1st of any given year. For this cycle, the campus interviews for graduate student candidates are scheduled for February 16th, 2018.

The Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology at Colorado State University is based upon a scientist-practitioner model of training. As such, the goal of the program is to produce students who are capable of advancing psychology as a science and who are proficient in the use of a variety of counseling and clinical techniques. In meeting this goal, students must demonstrate excellence in three basic areas:

Psychological Theory

Fundamental to being a counseling psychologist is a broad knowledge of the theoretical basis of psychology. Breadth of knowledge in general psychology is developed largely through the core curriculum which includes topics such as human learning and memory, animal learning, personality, social psychology, measurement, history of psychology, physiological psychology, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and statistics. The core curriculum provides a conceptual foundation of research, scholarship, and the developmental of skills in assessment and intervention.


Students are expected to become intelligent consumers and contributors. To meet this end, students take courses in both basic and advanced statistical and methodological concepts. Research involvement is required at both the master’s and doctoral levels and encouraged throughout the program. Students are encouraged to join faculty in ongoing research endeavors. Faculty have a wide range of both applied and theoretical interests.

Assessment & Intervention

Training begins during the first year of the program and continues throughout, culminating in a year’s internship. Required course work in personality theory, developmental theory, testing, psychopathology, and counseling/psychotherapy theory provide the foundation for a conceptual understanding of problems, life circumstances, and intervention strategies. Additionally, students are expected to develop an area of specialization. For example, a student might choose a child specialty and include courses in child assessment, child interventions, and school consultation; a student might select an adult emphasis and prepare for a career in a university counseling center, or a student might seek experience in family therapy or in medical settings.

Skill development through practicum placements begins with interviewing/prepracticum courses in the first year and continues with placements in the University Counseling center the second year and in the Psychological Services Center the third year. In the second year, practicum students work with clients with educational, vocational, and/or developmental problems. As students progress, clients needing short-term psychotherapy may be seen. Clients seen in the third-year practicum are typical of persons seen in a community mental health center. Students begin treating adults, children, and families with various psychological problems during their third-year practicum. Advanced practica are selected based on each student's interests and professional goals. Advanced practica in community settings are encouraged. After completion of academic requirements and the intensive practicum training, doctoral students are required to complete a one-year internship which is consistent with the student's professional goals.

The program is marked by an emphasis on human development as a constant, underlying process. It is also marked by an awareness of and a concern for the human condition. Students are expected to be responsive to the problems and characteristics of groups that are not adequately served by the present systems: people of color, the economically disadvantaged, physically and socially isolated groups, etc. While seminars dealing with specific issues are offered, the program includes appropriate and relevant content pertaining to under served populations in every course and practicum. Advanced practica which include supervised practice with these groups are encouraged. Awareness and knowledge of mutlicultural issues is a necessity in our changing society, particularly for those interested in careers in counseling psychology.

As part of our program’s commitment to diversity, we endeavor to infuse a multicultural, pluralistic perspective into the training of our graduate students. The Diversity Library has been created as a resource for faculty members and graduate students in the Counseling Psychology program and is composed of articles, books, and videos addressing diversity issues (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation) in the Counseling Psychology curriculum.

Guidelines for the Development and Evaluation of Counseling Students (PDF file)


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