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"Our faculty are excited to build community with students who are passionate about social justice and ready to elevate their skillset." - Program Coordinator Nancy Thacker Darrow, PhD

UVM's PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision prepares counseling professionals to enhance their careers in leadership, research and scholarship, advocacy, and the education and supervision of counselors. Designed for students with a master’s degree in counseling or counseling-related fields, our program is distinguished by a commitment to develop critically conscious scholar-activists in the counseling profession.

The program features face-to-face coursework, research opportunities, internship experiences, and a cohort model to curate a community where students support and learn from each other. The 75-credit hour program of study (pdf) can be completed either full-time in 4 years or part-time in 6 years. Graduates are well-prepared for the following careers:

  • Instructors of counseling in higher education settings
  • Leadership positions and supervisors in community agencies or schools
  • Counselors in student support programs, community settings, or higher education settings
  • Practitioners in private counseling practice and consultation

Our Mission

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program at the University of Vermont prepares diverse counseling professionals to become critically conscious advanced clinicians, educators, clinical supervisors, scholar-activists, and leaders in various academic and clinical settings.

Graduates of this program will demonstrate an understanding of the intersectionality of diverse social, economic, and cultural factors impacting the mental health and wellbeing of global communities and the subsequent implications these factors have for the training and practice of professional counselors, counselor educators, and clinical supervisors.

Our faculty are committed to recruiting, retaining, and training students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds to achieve these aims by providing a collaborative curricular experience grounded in social justice principles, student-centered mentorship and supervision, and active modeling.

Meet Our Internationally Recognized Faculty

Learn about our teacher-scholars by visiting their faculty profiles.

Aishwarya Joshi

Aishwarya Joshi, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Aishwarya Joshi's (she/hers) primary areas of clinical practice, research, and scholarly work focus on the globalization of the field of counseling and counselor education. Her work includes trauma-informed counseling practices and interdisciplinary integration of mental health services in public policies in the U.S. and abroad.

Jane Okech

Jane Okech, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Jane Okech’s (she/hers) scholarship primarily focuses on the advancement of proficiencies in the practice of group psychotherapy and clinical supervision with diverse populations. She has expertise in clinical supervision, ethics, group therapy and co-leadership, multiculturalism, and social justice and equity. Dr. Okech also serves as the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at University of Vermont.

Lance Smith

Lance Smith, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Lance Smith (he/him) is the proud co-founder of the multidisciplinary Project CORE: Community Based Participatory Research and Restorative Practices research team at the University of Vermont. Dr. Smith focuses on equity centered, Critically Conscious, Intersectional and Liberatory approaches to counseling, teaching, and supervision.

Nancy Thacker Darrow

Nancy Thacker Darrow, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Nancy Thacker Darrow (she/hers) aims the be critical of systemic inequities that shape development and wellbeing throughout her work. Her research explores this aim in three topic areas: grief theory and counseling, LGBTQ+ persons’ mental health and development, and culturally-informed practices in counselor education and higher education.

Julie Welkowitz

Julie Welkowitz, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Julie Welkowitz (she/hers) has a strong interest in systems change. Her involvement in numerous applied projects support the capacity of school systems to better meet the mental health needs of students and to enhance their support of students from economically or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds.

Application & Admissions Information

We welcome applications from counseling professionals who have experience providing counseling services to diverse populations in school, community, agency, or other settings. Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify interest(s) in a research or service topic that aligns to the mission of our program.

Application portal opens July 1, 2023. All application materials are due by November 1st. Please review the specific instructions below before you apply.

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Application Requirements

  • Complete the UVM Graduate School Application (green button above). 
  • Personal statement of 3-5 pages double-spaced. Please address the following prompts in your personal statement.
  1. What experiences have you had that prepare you to become a counselor educator?
  2. How will this degree help you achieve your career goals?
  3. Describe a time that you struggled with incompetence, and how did you grow from that struggle?
  4. Please tell us about an experience when you engaged in systemic advocacy.
  • Three letters of recommendation:
  1. A professional reference who can speak to academic aptitude.
  2. A professional reference who can speak to clinical counseling aptitude and experience.
  3. A professional reference of your choice. 

Selection Process

Core faculty will use a common rating scale to evaluate applicants’ application materials. Top contenders will be contacted to complete admissions interviews in early December. Decisions for admission will be made by early January.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate the following components to be considered for admission:

  • Earned a master's degree in counseling or closely related field (e.g., clinical social work, clinical or school psychology)
  • Personal statement that clearly articulates career goals related to counselor education and supervision
  • Self-awareness and emotional maturity as evidenced by references and interview
  • Clear commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion as evidenced by references, professional experiences, and interview
  • Potential for scholar-activism and leadership as evidenced by references, presentations or publications, and other professional activities

Preferred Background

Applicants will have completed a master’s degree in counseling or a related master’s degree program that covered the nine areas of concentration required by CACREP (Section II). Individuals will have completed a minimum of 700 hours of supervised clinical work (i.e., practicum and internship) during the master’s degree program. Areas not covered in the student’s master’s program or through continuing education must be taken in addition to the doctoral coursework.

Applicants who have post-master’s degree experience as counselors or in a counseling-related field are preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), state-licensed professional counselors (LCMHC, LPC), and/or licensed/certified school counselors.

CACREP Information

The PhD program is currently seeking CACREP accreditation, with an anticipated decision by 2028. The program objectives and curriculum are designed in alignment with CACREP 2024 standards. Considering the faculty’s qualifications and the long-standing accreditation for the Master’s program in Counseling, the faculty expect the PhD program to be accredited before the inaugural cohort of students graduate in 2028. Per CACREP policy 5.a, students graduating within 18 months of accreditation conferral will be verified as completing CACREP program requirements.

Program Objectives

Graduates will:

  1. Advance their conceptualizations and applications of theories and practices of counseling, integrating intersectionality into a critically conscious clinical approach.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and skills to educate and supervise counseling professionals who are well-equipped to serve, teach, mentor, and/or supervise economically, socially, culturally, and racially diverse members of communities.
  3. Exemplify knowledge and skills necessary to conduct impactful research and scholarship relevant to the profession and evaluate their own clinical, supervisory, teaching, and programmatic practices and interventions.
  4. Embody professional and ethical leadership through service and advocacy in the counseling profession, local community, and across national and international boundaries. 
  5. Model a critically conscious counselor educator professional identity with consistent demonstration aligned to UVM counselor education values and professional dispositions.

Student Learning Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of clinical counseling theory and models of evidence-based practices through application of culturally-informed, equitable, and inclusive care using the most current technological advances and approaches. (CACREP Standard 6.B.1)
  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills of counseling supervision theories anchored in a social justice framework through application of these practices. (CACREP Standard 6.B.2)
  3. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills of counseling pedagogy anchored in a social justice framework through application of these practices. (CACREP Standard 6.B.3)
  4. Generate new knowledge for the profession through research and demonstrate the ability to publish and present scholarly work in professional forums. (CACREP Standard 6.B.4)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding and application of leadership grounded in the principles of social justice and advocacy in professional counseling practice and counselor education preparation. (CACREP Standard 6.B.5)
  6. Demonstrate a counselor educator identity grounded by professional dispositions and values and articulate its implications for one’s role as an academician, researcher, practitioner, and leader. (CACREP Standard 2.C.2.a-b)

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions you have. We would love to hear from you.

Application Questions

Program Questions



*Please review the specific Application and Admissions information on this webpage before you submit an application. Application deadline is November 1st.


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