Doctor of Human Services: Counseling Degree Overview
Learn about human services and counseling. Get information on doctoral programs, course requirements and career prospects to make an informed decision about your future.
Doctorate of Human Services in Counseling
Doctoral degree programs offer students an advanced education in counseling. While enrolled, students may also learn more about counseling specializations in other related departments. These programs allow for some flexibility, through research opportunities and independent studies, but students are typically required to develop and write their dissertation.
Most doctoral programs request that applicants have a master's degree in counseling or a related field from an accredited program. Programs may also require applicants to have a certain Graduate Record Examination score and grade point average. Professional accomplishment and work experience are other factors that may be taken into consideration.
Doctoral students may be allowed to choose elective courses for their own independent studies in addition to required coursework. Students may also have the opportunity to become interns and gain work experience while earning their PhD. Specific coursework may include:
- Educational research
- Data analysis
- Multicultural development and learning
- Theoretical counseling foundations
- Multiple aspects of rehabilitation
- Cognitive development
- Foundations of counseling
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Individuals with a Doctorate of Human Services in Counseling are qualified to work in a number of fields and services, including school and career counseling. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that educational, guidance, career and vocational counselors, were expected to see a job increase of 19% from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). In May 2011, the BLS reported that the median annual wage for these professionals was $54,130.
Certification and Licensure Information
Licensing requirements vary by the type of counseling. The BLS states that counselors who run a private practice are required to be licensed, a process that includes passing an exam and earning sufficient experience. In order to remain certified, counselors must meet continuing education standards. Additionally, voluntary certifications are available. In some states, the National Certified Counselor credential, which is offered through the National Board for Certified Counselors, exempts an individual from having to obtain a license (www.nbcc.org).
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