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Counseling & Psychology

Counseling & Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, & Applied Research

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), weekend-cohort doctoral program

Transform your practice.

Advance social justice, health-promoting behavior, and inclusive communities through leadership, education, and applied research. Lesley University’s doctoral program for mental health professionals and school counselors, prepares you to meet society’s need for these values and objectives in mental health programs, schools, and higher education. Gather with a cohort on Lesley’s campus one weekend per month, guided by faculty-practitioners who will empower you to facilitate change in your field.

Based in Cambridge—an internationally recognized nexus of mental health practice and research—our program is founded on a multidisciplinary approach that integrates knowledge and practices from the related fields of counseling and psychology.

Expand your knowledge of leading-edge theory and technique, from trauma-informed leadership to interpersonal neurobiology to mindfulness. Connect to applied research opportunities within Lesley’s robust network of practitioners, consultants, leaders, and educators. Participate in faculty-led initiatives and become part of our community of scholars. Develop fresh perspectives that lead to meaningful careers in leadership, education, research, consulting, and social entrepreneurship.

Your first doctoral year explores your professional goals, while providing a foundation in theory and research. Build from this theoretical framework during a second year dedicated to applied research and practice. During this time, design your own practicum and pursue relevant field experience. In your third and final year, develop a plan for original research that relates to your professional ambitions and write your dissertation.

Graduate Program Inquiry Form

Program Structure

Weekend-Intensive Cohort Doctoral Program

48 Credits
phd student in a classroom

Weekend Cohort Model

Our PhD in Counseling and Psychology is designed to meet the needs of busy professionals. Meet with an intimate cohort of PhD candidates on Lesley's Cambridge campus one weekend per month, guided by faculty practitioners whose innovative scholarship and commitment to social justice will inspire you to contribute fresh thinking and leadership to your field.

Gain Skills and Expertise
Myisha Rodrigues working with colleagues at a shared desk
Amplifying the voices of Black educators
Counseling PhD Alum Brandon Jones, LMHC sitting in his office
Counseling While Black: Transforming Boundaries
kimberly cherry outside
Resisting oppression in the healing fields

Dissertations from Lesley PhD Graduates

With our curriculum that emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion, most students center their dissertation on a social justice issue.

Jobs You Could Have
The field of mental health counseling is expanding rapidly, making this an exciting time to pursue graduate study. Common job titles for people with doctoral degrees in mental health counseling include:
Where You'll Advance
Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area have a large concentration of medical, healthcare, and mental health-related facilities and organizations. You'll find careers in a wide range of places, including:
Counselors, therapists, and other mental health practitioners were trained at Lesley University in the last 5 years, making us the largest provider of training for licensed mental health counselors in New England.
Massachusetts is the best state in the nation for mental health care according to Mental Health America, with excellent access to care for both youth and adults.
Job opportunities for graduates with a PhD in mental health care are increasing rapidly, with projections of a twelve percent increase in job openings in New England over the next ten years. (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)


Total approximate cost for this PhD degree program.
Counseling & Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, & Applied Research
  • Tuition
    $1,350/credit x 48
  • Fees
    PhD Matriculation Fees
    Comprehensive Fee
  • Total
Estimated Cost

All graduate students are reviewed for merit scholarships through the admissions process and are awarded at the time of acceptance. Other forms of financial aid are also available. Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover. Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective in the Summer term.

Apply Now

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Total approximate cost for this PhD degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.