Counselor Education and Supervision

  • College

    College of Professional Advancement

  • Department


  • Degree


  • Location



Teach, mentor, and inspire fellow counselors

Mercer University’s CACREP-Accredited* Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision challenges and prepares candidates for roles as advocates, consultants, and practitioners in the counseling field. With an emphasis on the client-counselor relationship and creative and experiential modalities in counseling, individuals develop expertise in research, modelling, and theory application. In addition to submitting a dissertation, this comprehensive Ph.D. curriculum requires relevant internship and field experiences, an immersive one-year residency, and graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships. Students develop both practitioner and research skills through five areas of study:

  • Counseling
  • Supervision
  • Teaching
  • Leadership and Advocacy
  • Research and Scholarship

A defining characteristic of the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Mercer University is the cohort model. A cohort typically refers to a group of students that enter a program together and remain together throughout its duration. This model allows students to experience a stable and supportive group of similarly talented classmates that will support and enhance your success in the program. The cohort also fosters collegial relationships that will grow your professional network.

Graduates of the program are effective, high-quality educators and are qualified to prepare the next generation of counselors. While in the program, all students receive the Mercer University Certificate in Online Course Design and Delivery, which consists of training to utilize technology while teaching both in person and online.

Designed for busy and working adults

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision admits students to Mercer’s Atlanta campus each August, with classes meeting one evening per week. Students are immersed in diverse settings in the classroom and beyond in the city of Atlanta. There are two 16-week terms during the fall and spring semesters, and one eight-week term during the summer session. Students must attend classes full time for the first 30 hours of the program to establish residency. During this period, students form their research agenda and work with faculty on research, supervision, teaching, and extramural funding.

Graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships may be available for eligible students. After establishing residency, candidates may attend part time to complete field work or participate in other counseling opportunities. Most students complete the coursework, internship, and dissertation in three to five years.

Step into what’s next in your counseling career

Candidates who demonstrate mastery in the counseling field and complete and defend a dissertation qualify to complete the Ph.D. program. Graduates work as faculty members in university counseling programs across the country, clinical directors, lead supervisors for agencies, and administrators in a variety of educational or counseling contexts. They are seen as leaders in the field who advance the important issues related to counseling, social justice, and mental health.

*The Counselor Education and Supervision program at Mercer University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Visit our Outcomes page to learn more.

Learn more about our Counselor Education and Supervision program

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions counseling appointment or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 678.547.6417 or for more information.

Meet Our Professors

Faculty members experienced in the counseling profession challenge and guide candidates to become teachers and mentors of fellow counselors.

As a school counselor, I wanted to hold a position where I could be a change agent and an advocate for 21st century school counselors. Obtaining this degree was the key that opened the door for me to lead school counselors both at the micro and macro levels within a school district.

Necole Bryant
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, ’18
School Counselor, Liberty County School System

Through a trip to Uganda, Africa with Mercer University, I became aware of the global focus of Mercer and study abroad opportunities. Since I focus primarily on trauma and international work, learning of these opportunities solidified my interest in Mercer’s Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Elizabeth Norris
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, ’21
Assistant Professor, Denver Seminary

The curriculum was well-rounded and created in me a sense of pride for my profession that I had never felt previously. For the first time, I had a seat at the table where policy decisions were being created and accomplished researchers and authors were blazing new paths for therapeutic work. Without Mercer, I don’t think such opportunities would have availed themselves.

Shatel Francis
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, ’17
Crisis Mental Health Advocate, Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Shatel Francis

I chose Mercer University for my Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision because I respect the faculty and I felt Mercer gave me what I needed to begin my journey towards becoming a professional counselor. I also enjoy the feeling of having community, which is emphasized throughout this program.

Danielle Dunkley
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, ’22

Mercer has provided me with feedback on recognizing my strengths and also things that can make me stronger. The professors have been so supportive. I really appreciate the autonomy that they allow, while also providing us with the tools we need to be successful.

Leah Howard
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, ’22