The Top 10 Best Online Doctor of Counseling Education and Supervision Degrees in 2023

Best Online Doctor of Counseling Education and Supervision - featured image

According to the National Institutes of Health, 43.8 million people in America — one in every five people — experience mental health issues annually. This demonstrates that mental health issues are widespread in the United States, and specialists warn that the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects will probably make the already severe mental health issue worse.

Federal data demonstrates that, due to rising mental health issues, employment of mental health counselors will have actual job growth of 22% between 2021 and 2031. People who want to help address America’s escalating mental health epidemic should consider enrolling in online doctoral programs in counselor education and supervision to obtain the necessary mentoring and training the counseling profession requires.


Online counselor education and supervision degrees are designed for licensed professional counselors or counselor educators, or recent graduates qualified to apply for licensure in their states. These programs often follow a predetermined progression of coursework that is increasingly challenging. Most programs demand that doctoral students complete a doctoral internship and a dissertation assignment.


In a Ph.D., counseling techniques and tactics with theoretical and empirical research is a core focus of the curricula. An online doctoral degree in Counseling Education and Supervision will also likely require on-campus residencies or educational workshops as part of experiential learning.

On our list are the leading graduate institutions offering the online doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision. Each recommended doctorate program demonstrates these outstanding features:

  • Taught mostly as a blended or hybrid format, wherein classes are partially web-based and require in-person attendance in classes and meeting of requirements,
  • Features rigorous coursework that promotes research gathering, data analysis, communication, and leadership abilities that enable graduates and professionals to thrive in the industry and qualify for career advancement,
  • Delivered through a Learning Management System that ensures easy coursework access and hosts lectures and discussions,
  • Facilitated by expert faculty consisting of counseling educators and specialists in the field,
  • May offer financial assistance to qualified online doctorate candidates or students, including federal financial aid, scholarships, and transfer credits,
  • Received accreditation from academic agencies,
  • Forges partnerships with industry institutions that promote Counseling Education and Supervision professionals, programs, and careers.

Visit our Methodology page to learn how online doctorate programs are ranked.

The 10 Best Online Doctor of Counseling Education and Supervision Programs

Adams State University

Adams State University
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

Adams State University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students are required to complete 60 credit hours in a cohort learning method to allow students to engage in activities with peers and faculty and be better prepared to work as practitioners, researchers, and counselor educators in various academic and clinical settings in two to three years.

While most of the lectures are done online, ASU’s online Ph.D. requires students to complete four one-week summer residencies at the Alamosa, Colorado campus.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in counseling education or closely-related educational programs with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from a CACREP-accredited institution.

Adams State University’s online Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision is taught by experienced faculty in small class sizes that allow students to have longer and better interactions with their instructors. Online students are encouraged to participate in on-campus activities and join networking opportunities.

Students may also benefit from a government work-study program and other financial aid opportunities that enable them to pay for their school while also gaining work experience.

University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

The University of the Cumberlands offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students in the online counseling and supervision program must complete 66 credit hours covering advanced leadership skills, dissertations, core courses, professional research and field experience, and a specialty area that can be completed in three years of full-time study.

The program is conducted in a synchronous online format that will prepare students for higher-level peer and faculty engagements.

Applicants are required to hold a CACREP-accredited program at the master’s level with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale on all graduate coursework. Students must also submit NCE or NCMHCE scores and proof of current professional clinical licenses or certifications.

The online counseling and supervision Ph.D. program at the University of the Cumberlands provides students various online resources, including academic counseling, one-on-one mentoring, and financial aid opportunities. The program has also integrated the five critical strands of today’s counselor education curriculum—advanced clinical work, research and scholarship, supervision, teaching, and leadership and advocacy— to help students develop their expertise.

Walden University

Walden University
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

Walden University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. The doctoral program requires students to complete 85 quarter credit hours, including doctoral writing assessment, foundation course, core course, research courses, practicum, internship, and doctoral dissertation that can be completed in three years of full-time study. 

To help Ph.D. students achieve their personal and professional counseling goals, they can choose one of the concentrations: General Program, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Addiction Counseling, Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, School Counseling, or Trauma and Crisis.

Applicants for the online program must have a master’s degree or higher in counseling or other closely-related fields.

Walden’s counselor education and supervision program provide students with a personal academic counselor to help them personalize their Ph.D. degree. These academic counselors will also help students do their research in a series of doable steps and see everything at a glance. Students will no longer be speculating as the school creates prompts based on a student’s to-do list.

Hampton University

Hampton University - Online
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

Hampton University offers an accelerated Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students must complete 64 credit hours, including core courses, research courses, practicum, internship, and dissertation, which can be completed in two years of full-time study.

The program emphasizes teaching, counseling, and supervision, and students have the option of concentrating on community mental health counseling or school counseling.

Interested counseling professionals are required to hold a master’s degree or higher in any related field and have GRE scores within the last five years. Students with licensures and credentials in their area of expertise are preferred.

Hampton’s online Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision builds on basic counseling principles while developing clinical and supervisory abilities, giving students a broad and flexible knowledge foundation. Hampton Online students are eligible for federal financial aid.

Most students in the program pay for their doctoral degrees through the help of fellowships and scholarships.

Liberty University

Liberty University - Online
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

Liberty University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students are required to complete 60 credit hours with 3.5 years average completion time, including core courses, research courses, and internships that focus on enhancing students’ advanced counseling, counselor education, leadership and advocacy, research and scholarship, and counselor supervision abilities.

Students can showcase their knowledge and skills as a leader in the counseling practice and uphold moral and biblical principles.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher in counseling or other closely-related fields with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 from a regionally accredited institution.

Liberty’s online counseling program will prepare students to become highly trained and qualified counseling professionals. Professors at the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies are dedicated to collaborative inquiry, supporting doctoral students by providing guidance on leadership skills and counseling positions.

Regent University

Regent University
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

Regent University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students are required to complete 66 credit hours of online courses and an instructional residency requirement to allow students to get to know one another and develop bonds with the faculty, staff, and other residents.

The program also emphasizes networking and mentoring opportunities to prepare students to significantly impact the current mental health epidemic.

Applicants must hold a Master’s in Counseling or a similar degree from a regionally accredited university with a licensure track of 60 credits. A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required for graduate-level study. However, the average GPA of accepted students for the last three years was 3.77.

Students who choose to enroll at Regent University can expect to receive free professional counseling from Regent Counseling Services, a division of the Department of Student Services. Services offered include psychoeducational courses, assessments, individual and group counseling, and premarital and marital counseling.

All counseling services are conducted by professionals with years of private practice and comply with all laws and professional standards governing the counseling industry.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision – Qualitative

Grand Canyon University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students are required to complete 65 credit hours focusing on studying events and interpreting numerical data instead of concentrating and analyzing how and why people think and behave in a particular way.

Unlike the ordinary counselor education program, this online Ph.D. will require students to construct several qualitative research, develop a sample plan, gather data, and conduct a systematic analysis.

Applicants must hold a master’s from a regionally accredited university with a GPA of 3.4 or higher or a prior doctorate with a GPA of 3.4 from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must also have a current, unencumbered, or unrestricted license as an independently licensed, associate-level counseling professional.

With GCU’s online doctor of counselor education & supervision, students will be able to advance their counseling practices. Students will be prepared for the subsequent phases of their employment through theoretical and practical study.

Antioch University

Antioch University
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

Antioch University offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students must complete 72 credits, including core coursework focusing on advanced counseling, crisis response, ethical and legal issues, supervision, trauma, advocacy, and social justice.

This is one of the few web-based programs with the lowest residency requirements, with only two four-day residencies compared to typical two-weeks residencies.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in counseling or any closely-related field from a CACREP-accredited institution.

Antioch University online doctorate allows students to work with seasoned professors under the guidance of faculty mentors to help them transition into the roles of counselor educators and supervisors. Throughout this mentorship program, doctoral students will develop leadership and consultation skills necessary to combat racial and institutional injustice in line with a social justice counseling approach.

Denver Seminary

Denver Seminary
Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

Denver Seminary offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that is available online. Students are required to complete 66 credit hours, including coursework with evening online video conferences and asynchronous learning activities, practicum and internship, and dissertation process, which can be completed in 3½ to 4 years, or no longer than seven years.

Asynchronous and synchronous teaching methods are used when delivering online courses. Students who pass the comprehensive exam then devote the remaining time in the program to finishing their dissertation assignment.

Applicants must hold a 60-credit hour master’s degree in counseling or equivalent from CACREP or CORE accredited program.

Denver Seminary has a Christian learning method. The capacity to combine counseling theory and practice with Christian biblical underpinnings will equip students to take on advocacy and leadership roles worldwide. To help students finance their terminal degree in counseling, graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, and a Ministry Residency Program will be available.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University
Online Ph.D. in Counseling

Oregon State University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling that is available in a hybrid learning format. Students are required to complete 150 credits — 56 credits can be covered by your master’s — that involve advanced classes and an original dissertation that explores the problems that counselor educators, supervisors, and counselors are confronting today.

The program emphasizes theoretical, cultural, and research-based frameworks that can direct and enlighten students’ growth as counselor educators and supervision leaders.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent. and complete the 600-hours clinical internship requirement with documented programmatic supervision. Additional requirements include field experience.

OSU’s hybrid Ph.D. is one of the most convenient hybrid counseling programs available. Students only need to attend on-campus lectures twice a quarter, a Friday through Saturday block. Out-of-state students can conveniently enroll in the face-to-face degree because OSU is in the Portland metropolitan area, close to the Portland International Airport and other regions.

Common Courses of Counseling Education and Supervision Online Degree Programs

Advanced Appraisal Techniques

This course gives students a foundational understanding of the types of assessment data that counseling professionals gather as well as the function of the counselor in the assessment process.

This course gives students a practical understanding of psychometric concepts, sound test design and evaluation fundamentals, evaluation procedures, instrumentation, implementation, and application.

Qualitative Research Methodology

This course explains the main qualitative research techniques and how they are used in the counseling industry. This course will cover selected qualitative research techniques, pertinent issues for qualitative inquiry, and rigorous, morally sound, and efficient qualitative research techniques used to solve issues in professional practice.

Practice of Counseling Supervision

The supervisory relationship, supervising methods, and strategies are all topics covered in this course. Administrative issues and ethical, legal, and religious concerns are also covered. This course will guide students through readings, research, seminar discussions, and evaluation of their supervision of counselors-in-training to allow students to gain knowledge and skills in clinical supervision.

Methods of Counseling Research

An in-depth understanding of the various forms of research conducted in educational and behavioral health care settings will be provided by this course. Students will understand the basics of needs assessment and program evaluation to direct program development and gauge effectiveness. The course will also cover basic qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research designs to help students create a study proposal. 

Assessment Methods in Counseling

This course gives students an understanding of the various assessment methods utilized in counseling, such as standardized examinations and alternative and real-world strategies. It provides potential test-takers the knowledge and abilities to choose, use, score, interpret, and assess these measures.

Dissemination of Research and Scholarship

This course introduces producing and distributing papers and presentations to the counseling field through various channels. Clinical skills that ensure readiness for the manuscript preparation, submission, review, editorial, and presenting procedures are stressed, along with a review of research and scholarly writing principles. 

Common Counseling Education and Supervision Careers for Doctoral Graduates

Counseling Director

The counseling director oversees a clinic or counseling facility’s daily operations. To guarantee that customers obtain the best services, they manage workers, assign tasks, and conduct assessments and reviews while making decisions that are consistent with the business’ aims.

These professionals might help run one-on-one or group sessions, keep tabs on clients’ development, and hire and develop staff members. A counseling director guides personnel in achieving the facility’s objectives and puts its standards and rules into practice.

School Guidance Director

A school system’s elementary, middle, and high school guidance programs are typically coordinated and implemented by a professional counselor called the “school guidance director.” These professionals are in charge of managing guidance counselors at various schools.

Besides reporting to the Board of Education, school guidance directors will serve as consultants or liaisons between the faculty and the guidance program. These professionals can also plan student meetings with admissions staff for colleges.

Faculty Member

Doctoral-level counselors occasionally decide to remain in academia. If you enjoy instructing others, you can choose to become a faculty member at a university or college to advance your professional field by training the next wave of future counselors.

Mental Health Administrator

In charge of managing daily operations and patient care, mental health administrators lead mental and behavioral health agencies. These professionals ensure that inpatient and residential mental health treatment facilities are managed well and extend care to their patients.

Professional Associations in Counseling Education and Supervision

American Counseling Association (ACA)

With approximately 45,000 members, the ACA is the most prominent counseling association, domestically and abroad. This group represents licensed professional counselors working in a range of contexts. The ACA has played a vital role in developing the counseling profession’s professional and ethical standards and the accreditation and licensing of counselors.

Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA)

The leading organization focused on advocacy and professional development concerning adult development, and aging issues is AADA. This organization supports issues related to therapy for people of all ages. AADA generally fosters collaborations with other professional counseling groups and organizations to raise the bar for adult and older adult care.

Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)

The ACC is a space where counselors, counselor educators, and counselors in training can discuss various unusual counseling philosophies. Its objective is to advance increased understanding, advocacy, and support for different and original counseling practices.

American College Counseling Association (ACCA)

This organization supports student growth in colleges, universities, and community institutions and is one of the ACA’s newest divisions. It collaborates with other organizations involved in higher education and gives counselors the necessary leadership and support.

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)

ACES highlights the importance of high-quality education and counselor supervision for all work environments. Its goal is to promote efficient counselor education and supervision to advance professional counseling practice.

American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

The AMHCA represents mental health counselors and promotes patient access to high-quality services in the medical field. Additionally, it promotes the field of mental health counseling through state licensing authorities, advocacy, training, and professional development.

American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

The ASCA has backed school counseling specialists and concentrated on initiatives influencing students’ personal, academic, and career development. Its members collaborate with parents, teachers, and community members to provide a conducive learning atmosphere.

According to the ASCA, school counselors should collaborate with parents and teachers to create a supportive learning environment for students.

Best Online Doctor of Counseling Education and Supervision - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does completing an online doctoral degree in counseling education and supervision take?

The average time to complete a doctorate in counseling education and supervision is three years for full-time students and up to seven years for part-time students. Many factors determine how long this degree program takes to finish, including the required credit hours, coursework, and enrollment status. 

Most graduate programs allow students to get their doctoral degrees in 10 years or less. This is done to accommodate working professionals who only have limited time to devote to the program. While completing your master’s curriculum, some programs even provide doctoral credits. These accelerated programs significantly reduce the time required to complete a Ph.D. degree.

What are the most common admission requirements for Ph.D. online counseling education and supervision programs?

Counseling education and supervision doctoral programs require applicants to earn a Master’s in Counseling or a closely related subject. Teaching and psychology are two fields similar to counseling education and supervision. Some schools ask for GRE scores and one to three years of work experience from prospective students.

Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously?

All online programs allow for remote meetings between students but have various delivery methods. While synchronous courses have a predetermined class schedule, asynchronous courses let students access and complete their curriculum whenever convenient. Students may prefer the greater flexibility of asynchronous classes with other time commitments.

What are the required licenses and certifications?

Although it is not a requirement in all postsecondary institutions, licensing might be advantageous for counseling educators. After receiving a degree, completing a term of supervised clinical work, and passing a state-administered exam, practicing therapists and counselors must have a license. State-specific licensing requirements differ.

Is it worthwhile to pursue a doctorate in counseling education and supervision?

A Ph.D. in counseling is a wise investment if you see yourself in a leadership position in the counseling industry. Similarly, if you wish to work in higher education, this degree will be the foundation for your academic career.

Key Takeaways

According to the BLS, more persons seeking mental health assistance are contributing to the rising demand for qualified counselors and therapists.

Students who are also working professionals have flexibility with an online counseling doctorate program. Graduates of web-based programs often have comparable possibilities for promotion because both follow rigorous curricula. The online format is also perfect for students who balance employment and school with extra responsibilities like child or family care.

Graduates can become qualified for leadership, academic, and clinical positions with an online doctorate in counseling education and supervision. Whichever career route they choose, these experts gain the ability to influence people’s mental health.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor