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Department of Counseling

Online Doctorate in Professional Counseling, D.P.C.

Mississippi College’s one-of-a-kind doctor of professional counseling (DPC) program gives candidates the opportunity to develop new skills that apply to their counseling practices in the real world.

A Groundbreaking Doctorate in Professional Counseling

Mississippi College’s online Doctor of Professional Counseling (D.P.C.) degree is the first clinical doctorate to be developed for professional counselors. 

A Distinct Doctorate For A Distinct Setting

Much like the PsyD is distinct from a Ph.D., our doctoral program in counseling prepares professional counselors and psychotherapists for advanced clinical practice and leadership. The D.P.C. program allows doctoral candidates to choose an area of mental health service in which they are interested – for example, marriage and family counseling, addiction therapy, or treatment of eating disorders – and craft their degree program around that interest. The professional counseling coursework then cultivates professional knowledge and clinical skills in that area of specialization. 

The Doctor of Professional Counseling program is a 72 semester hour clinical doctorate designed to extend training beyond the entry-level preparation of a 60 semester hour Master's degree. The DPC will prepare master counselors and therapists for professional specialization, community service, and leadership.

The counseling program is designed for students to take four courses each semester (Fall and Spring) while giving students the flexibility to adjust the academic schedule to accommodate their work and family environment. Courses in the professional counseling curriculum guide students to understand and produce increasingly complex theory, practice and research work. The capstone of this doctoral program is development of a Project Demonstrating Excellence. This project is not a dissertation, but evidence of advanced clinical skills demonstrated through a clinical case study.


Get More Information on Our Doctor of Professional Counseling (D.P.C.) Program


Doctor of Professional Counseling Course Requirements

The Doctor of Professional Counseling degree requires a minimum of 72 hours beyond an M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or other related professional degrees. Additional coursework may be required by the Doctoral Program Review Committee to address deficiencies in previous coursework.

The D.P.C. degree consists of several components: Core Courses (27 semester hours); Application Courses (12 semester hours); Specialization Courses (12 semester hours); Clinical Courses (15 semester hours) and Concluding Courses (6 semester hours).

Integrating both theory and practice, the Professional Counseling courses include: 

  • Advanced Lifespan Developmental Processes
  • Advanced Theories and Models of Counseling
  • Advanced Psychopharmacology and Neurobiology
  • Advanced Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning
  • Trauma: Impact, Assessment, and Treatment
  • Advanced Group Dynamics and Contextual Factors in Counseling
  • Psychotherapy Integration
  • Advanced Systems Theory and Transformational Models

For a full list of doctoral counseling courses, please consult Mississippi College’s course catalog.

D.P.C. Program Admission Requirements

We seek doctoral students in counseling who are passionate about the practice of mental health or marriage and family therapy and seek to further their education. Applicants to the program must complete a successful interview process before being admitted.

We require official copies of all transcripts of previous college work, copies of your credentials such as your license (LPC, LMFT, LCSW), three letters of recommendation and a professional portfolio showcasing your experience and accomplishments. The GRE or standardized admission test is not required for an applicant with evidence of outstanding performance in a Master’s degree, post-master's degree or doctoral program.

Each applicant must submit an application to the Mississippi College Graduate Admission Department a complete application consisting of the following elements:

  • An application for admission with all required information.
  • A $35.00 application fee (non-refundable; must accompany application).
  • One copy of all official transcripts from previous college work and any transferable graduate credit. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required for graduate work completed at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Documentation of a minimum of two (2) years of experience in professional counseling.
  • A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential or eligibility for the equivalent of an LPC in the state in which the applicant will practice.
  • An essay of 800 words describing personal and professional goals for seeking the Doctor of Professional Counseling degree.
  • A writing sample from a previously submitted academic work. This can be a thesis, proposal, academic paper, or term/research paper submitted in a prior graduate program.
  • A professional resume detailing relevant experiences.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals who can evaluate the candidate’s potential for success as a master counselor.

Please contact Mississippi College Graduate Admissions if you have any questions about the application process.