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Psychology & Counseling

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

Mississippi College’s online Doctor of Professional Counseling program allows students to dive deeper into their area of expertise

Online Doctor of Professional Counseling (D.P.C.) 

Mississippi College’s online Doctor of Professional Counseling (D.P.C.) degree is the first clinical doctorate to be developed for professional counselors. 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. Offered fully online, the professional counseling coursework cultivates professional knowledge and clinical skills in each student’s area of specialization. 
 
This online doctorate in counseling program is designed for students to take four courses each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer), with courses facilitating increasingly complex theory, practice and research work. The capstone of the 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.
 

Online Doctorate in Counseling Overview 

When Mississippi College’s Counseling faculty designed the unique Doctor of Professional Counseling degree, they sought to offer counselors the opportunity to explore the research behind evidence-based counseling. Unlike most doctorate degrees in counseling, this online program focuses exclusively on clinical practice rather than counselor education and supervision.

Offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity for professional counselors and psychotherapists, the weekly professional counseling courses provide the time and space to explore theory and research related to counseling. With the guidance of experienced faculty, students build their doctoral program around a professional specialization with the ultimate goal of engaging with and conducting clinical case studies. 
 

Professional Counseling Courses

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.

Program Accreditation 

The Doctor of Professional Counseling degree program is accredited by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). This program is not accredited by CACREP. There is no assurance that a clinical doctorate in counseling will meet the CACREP standards for a research-based doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision, which is currently the only doctoral-level accreditation. 
 

The MC Community

Mississippi College understands that working professional counselors and psychotherapists are often juggling multiple responsibilities that include children, school activities, other extracurricular activities and more. Between the online format and the option for a spring or fall entry, our students can take professional counseling courses in a way that suits their schedule over 6 semesters. However, we offer the flexibility needed for working adults to extend that timeline with professional counseling courses available in the fall, spring and summer terms.

Students have the benefit of a supportive academic community consisting of dedicated Mississippi College faculty and a cohort of professional peers. Even with the online format of the professional counseling courses, our doctoral students are immersed in the supportive MC community.

D.P.C. Admissions

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.

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 may be waived for an applicant with evidence of outstanding performance in a Master’s degree, post-master's degree or doctoral program. View more Admissions Information for the Doctor of Professional Counseling program
 

Contact Information 

For more information regarding curriculum, format or outcomes of the online doctorate in counseling, please contact Dr. Amy Vlach Ph.D, LPC at acvlach@mc.edu or Mrs. Randi Jarnagin at jarnagin@mc.edu or 601-925-7800. 

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

Earn your Doctorate in Professional Counseling

The Doctor of Professional Counseling degree at Mississippi College is a unique online doctoral program centering on professional counseling case studies and experiential learning. With the flexible curriculum, students grow as counseling professionals while balancing other life commitments. If you are searching for an online doctorate in counseling, contact Mississippi College today. 
 

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