UW-Madison - Department of Counseling Psychology - Overview and Mission Statement

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Main Office

Department of
Counseling Psychology

School of Education
335 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-4807
Fax: 608/265-4174

Email: counpsych@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form


The University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Counseling Psychology is an APA accredited and internationally renowned training program for counselors and counseling psychologists.  The department offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees to a carefully selected group of students each year.  Graduates of both programs have gone on to highly divergent careers which include academic instruction, research, clinical practice as well as consulting and industry positions.

Both academic programs offered by the department strive to integrate into each and every course aspects of multiculturalism and diversity.  The faculty and graduate students of the department are committed continual self-reflection with respect to how their individual attitudes, beliefs and cultural-influences affect their work with clients or patients.  Courses in the department frequently make space for review and analysis of the perspectives of other cultures and how those perspectives are generated from particular worldviews.  In 2005, the department was awarded the Suinn Minority Achievement Award by the American Psychological Association for its demonstrated excellence in the recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students and in 2006 won the “Department of the Year” award from the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) in recognition of its commitment toward graduate students, superior attention to student needs and excellent student-faculty relations. 

The department continually strives to deliver its broad expertise and ongoing research findings to individuals around the world through its continually evolving network of outreach activities and partnerships.  Faculty and students frequently support and organize social justice conferences and strive to promote equality in all facets of society.  In 2007, the department opened an independent counseling psychology training clinic that provides low-cost and multilingual services to individuals in need while using state-of-the-art digital recording equipment to train future psychotherapy providers.  In August 2010, the department accepted its position in the newly remodeled Education Building that provides additional resources for outreach, research and instruction.

For information regarding the accreditation of our program and others, please contact:

American Psychological Association

Commission on Accreditation

750 1st Street NE Washington, DC 20002



Departmental Mission and Multicultural/Diversity Statement

The Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology adheres to a scientist-practitioner model of training and is fully approved as such by the American Psychological Association. The program is designed to fully integrate traditional counseling and psychological theory with practice and substantive development of research skills in the specialty of counseling psychology.

The program aspires to create a program of learning that honors:

  • Dignity and respect for the teacher, the student, and the consumer of professional psychology
  • Innovation in the application of psychology that is based on rigorous scientific method
  • Practice of counseling psychology in an effort to enhance individuals€T lives and the communities in which they live
  • The formulation of empirical questions that utilize the basic constructs of psychology
  • The dissemination of new knowledge through writings and oral presentations done locally, nationally, and internationally
  • The ethical principles of the profession and the legal principles related to the teaching and practice of counseling psychology

Because our program in Counseling Psychology emphasizes the integration of multiculturalism and diversity into counseling psychology, we endorse the "Guidelines on Multicultural Education and Training, Research, Organizational Change, and Practice for Psychologists" of the American Psychological Association. These guidelines are based on the premise that because the U.S. population is increasingly diverse, culture-centered and ethnically appropriate services are necessary. In particular, psychologists and psychologists-in-training must:

  • Recognize that, as cultural beings, they may hold attitudes and beliefs that can detrimentally influence their perceptions of and interactions with individuals who are ethnically and racially different from themselves
  • Recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity, responsiveness, knowledge, and understanding about ethnically and racially different individuals
  • Employ the constructs of multiculturalism and diversity in psychological education
  • Recognize the importance of conducting culture-centered and ethical psychological research among people from ethnic, linguistic and racial minority backgrounds
  • Apply culturally-appropriate skills in clinical and other applied psychological practices
  • Use organizational change processes to support culturally informed organizational policy development and practices

In endorsing the Guidelines on Multicultural Education and Training, Research, Organizational Change, and Practice for Psychologists of the American Psychological Association, the faculty recognizes that these guidelines reflect current expert consensus based on theory and research. As such, the department is committed to ongoing exploration of these principles through a scientist-practitioner model.

A full description of the guidelines can be found at the American Psychological Association's website. These guidelines, along with the 2002 Ethical Principles of Psychologist from the American Psychological Association, are available in the student lounge, the front office, and on the professional resources page of this website. Committed to multiculturalism broadly-defined in teaching, research, practice, and service, we have worked toward a dialogue of diversity as an integral part of our community of learning. To realize this goal we have designed a program that integrates a pluralistic education in all aspects of the curriculum and professional experience of our students and faculty. Our infused curriculum operationalizes multicultural competencies through awareness, knowledge, and skills, as a part of our curriculum, training, recruitment, retreats, special programming, research, and faculty-student dialogue. It has meant that all faculty explore on an on-going basis their own attitudes, understanding, and behaviors as they relate to cultural interactions and issues of sexism, racism, ageism, and discrimination. We address these issues through teaching about them as professional issues in classes, research teams, community activities, as well as modeling within our professional roles.

It is expected that students will engage in this self-exploration process as a critical aspect of their own professional development as multiculturally competent counseling psychologists, in accordance with the Guidelines on Multicultural Education and Training, Research, Organizational Change, and Practice for Psychologists. Engaging in competent, respectful, culturally relevant and meaningful dialogues on issues of multiculturalism and diversity as they relate to the theory, research, and practice of counseling psychology is an important emphasis of our learning community.

Given the department's demonstrated excellence in recruitment, retention, and graduation of racial and ethnic minority students, it was awarded a 2005 American Psychological Association Suinn Minority Achievement Award from the the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs.

Students' specific emphasis of study and practice should be consistent with the mission and goals of the program.


Non-Discrimination Statement

In conformance with applicable federal and state laws and with university policy, the Department of Counseling Psychology does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, sex, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity expression, marital or parental status, pregnancy, handicap, political affiliation, or veteran's status with regard to treatment of students with regard to admissions decisions, student evaluations, or decisions about student access to departmental resources including funding. (Note however that an individual who is deemed ineligible to participate in required field or clinical experiences based on the results of his or her criminal background check may not be able to complete the requirements for the program.) Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to any faculty member, including the department chair and the department Harrassment/AARC representative, to the School of Education Equity and Diversity Committee, or to the university’s Office for Equity and Diversity  

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