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PhD Programs that Increase Your Impact

Whether your focus is teaching, counseling, or leading, Capella University has an online doctoral counseling or human behavior program to help you make a bigger difference in the lives of others. Comprised of coursework, in-person experiences, comprehensive exams, and dissertation, your doctoral education will boost your ability to help those who need it most.

Build Leadership Skills to Empower Others

Stand out and mentor others with a PhD in counseling program designed to help you develop meaningful leadership skills. Gain the tools, knowledge, and confidence to guide and inspire those around you.


Prepare for leadership roles in clinical, academic, or research settings.


Pursue career opportunities in higher education and social and behavioral services settings.

Your Doctoral Journey

You’ve made the decision to pursue your PhD and here’s how Capella University will help you to achieve your goal:

Writing a dissertation is an exciting challenge, and face-to face residencies allow you to engage in an intensive, iterative process with faculty and peers to further develop your research plan.

You’ll receive expert support at every step to keep you moving forward, including:

  • A Mentor who has subject matter and theoretical knowledge, as well as practical experience to offer ongoing support through frequent, regular contact
  • Dissertation advisor who specializes in problem solving at the dissertation stage, including questions about integrity, time management, and professional conduct
  • Specialized personnel in disability services, the career center, or financial counseling are ready to provide support as needed

Why Accreditation is Important

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Higher Learning Commission is among the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional bodies accredit colleges and universities; national bodies accredit trade and vocational schools.


Capella currently offers four CACREP-accredited programs: PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, MS in Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, and MS in School Counseling.

Accreditation assures you that Capella meets quality standards for faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. It ensures your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations and other institutions of higher education.

Gainful Employment & Learning and Career Outcomes

Investing in a college degree is no small thing. At Capella, we’re proud to share our learning and career outcomes—along with gainful employment results—so that you can make the most informed decisions about the programs that interest you.

Faculty Who Want to Make a Difference In Your Doctoral Journey

All of Capella's faculty in the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences counseling department have a doctoral degree and many work as licensed practitioners, school psychologists, school counselors, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, alcohol and drug abuse counselors, registered play therapy supervisors and psychologists.

Our instructors have expertise in child and adolescent development, and family and geriatric issues. They are also proficient in designing programs to meet state and national accreditation standards, and have experience consulting with privately held businesses with a focus on succession planning, organizational development, executive development, and coaching.

View all counseling & psychology faculty