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Ph.D. Program - Counseling Psychology

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

See also: 2021 Counseling Program Data (PDF)


For the 2020-2021 year, students received an Assistantship with full waiver of tuition and a stipend ranging from $15,000 - $17,074, depending on the specific appointment and whether the appointment was for 9 or 12 months. The tuition waiver covers courses in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Assistantships require students to work for 20 hours per week during Fall and Spring semesters, but not during Summer. Health insurance is provided at no charge to students who have assistantships.

Counseling Psychology students are guaranteed an assistantship and tuition waiver from Department of Psychology funds for their first year of full-time graduate study. Although in their second year and afterward the Department does not guarantee funding for any student, in every year from 2004 to the present, all Counseling Psychology students in their first five years of training who sought an assistantship have been supported. Typically, Counseling Psychology students hold a Teaching Assistantship in their second year. In the third and fourth years, many students continue in Graduate Teaching Assistantships, some taking full responsibility as instructors of courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Research Design, or Social Psychology. Other students provide counseling services in community agencies, or in campus units such as Arts and Sciences Advising, UT Residence Life, the Office of Career Services, or the University Counseling Center, among others. These service-related assistantships provide valuable training opportunities, but the program cannot guarantee these assistantships because selection of students is determined by the agency providing the funding. However, students receive intensive training in their first two years so that they can successfully compete for these selective assistantships in their third through fifth year. Students who make steady academic progress should be ready to begin a full time paid APA-accredited internship in their sixth year of training (or sooner if they enter with a Masters degree).


Unlike Assistantships, fellowships ordinarily do not carry an expectation of service. Fellowships provide a tuition waiver and a stipend at a level that is equal to, and in most cases greater than, an assistantship. Fellowships involve a competitive selection process and may be awarded by outside agencies or from internal UT funds. Some fellowships provide multiple years of support, while others cover only a student's first year in the program. When a student's fellowship ends, she or he is eligible to receive an assistantship as described in the previous section. Recently, four Counseling Psychology students have been awarded fellowships including the APA Minority Fellowship (three years of support) and the University of Tennessee Diversity Enhancement award (tuition and stipend in the first year).