Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology

As a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology Program, you’ll develop the skills necessary to become an effective practitioner, researcher and/or leader in your field. Our goal is to develop professionals who are insightful and self-reflective, who are innovative risk takers and superior critical thinkers.

We offer two degree programs: A Master’s in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Our highly selective doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Both programs are well known for providing access to high-quality internship experiences for our students.

We want our students not only to demonstrate accurate and current knowledge, but to have expertise related to the many issues that confront society, and to have the skills to create effective strategies and approaches to address these challenges.

What You Will Need

To work professionally in counseling psychology at the master’s or doctoral level, you will need a strong background in the practice of counseling and psychotherapy, as well as a knowledge of the scientific foundations of psychology in order to evaluate and think critically about your practice.

What You Will Learn

Our program helps you develop the skills to understand and/or conduct research that contributes to the knowledge and practice of counseling psychology. You will also develop the skills to intervene effectively with clients representing a broad range of demographic and cultural characteristics and counseling needs, so that you are prepared to work with the diversity of people who will need psychological services and counseling in the 21st century.

The master’s and doctoral programs include work in counseling theories and techniques, research, career and group counseling, program development and evaluation, fieldwork and practicum, as well as other areas relevant to particular degree programs. Because most programs lead to licensure, there are a number of required courses, but students may pursue individual interests through electives.

The MorgridgeEdge

At Morgridge, you will work with faculty in small classes. You will join faculty on research projects and develop specialized skills in aspects of adolescent and adult development, health psychology, professional ethics, applications of psychology to business, multicultural issues or group dynamics. Students develop skills in counseling and research that lead to work with diverse populations in a variety of work settings.

InContext Learning Experiences

Examples of InContext learning experiences our students have participated in include:

  • Organize and run adolescent groups at community outreach centers
  • Join faculty on research projects and develop specialized skills in aspects of adolescent and adult development, health psychology, professional ethics, and applications of psychology to group and business dynamics
  • Counsel adolescent and adult clients and receive supervision and feedback from a Licensed Psychologist while working in the Counseling and Educational Services Clinic

MA in Counseling Psychology

The Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology has four concentrations:

  • General Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Research

In the Counseling Psychology program, students have the opportunity to choose a concentration area that best fits their needs for interest and licensure. In all four concentrations, students develop basic individual, group, and career counseling skills. They also receive extensive consultation in basic counseling courses and supervision in on-site practicum settings. The Counseling Psychology MA Handbook has details regarding the required courses in the concentrations.

While the program focuses primarily on adolescent and adult counseling, some students may pursue interests in child counseling through their practicum placements, or in marital and family counseling through coursework.

A community clinic, operated jointly by the Counseling Psychology and the Child, Family and School Psychology programs, offers students supervised experience working directly with clients. All students enroll in two one-credit clinic courses that require them to work one evening a week for two quarters.

General Counseling - Focuses on basic individual, group and career counseling skills with a supervised on-site practicum and internships. (Students in this track are not eligible to take the LPC examination.)

School Counseling – Allows students to apply for licensure in Colorado through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) as a school counselor for children birth to age 21.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Prepares students to apply for state licensure as professional counselors (LPC). Students wanting to pursue the LPC in another state must research the academic requirements of that state and take the appropriate classes. The Morgridge College of Education does not guarantee licensure requirements in other states.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling students can complete optional additional courses for certification as a Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (CACII) by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). With the addition of the CACII coursework, graduates are much more versatile and desirable to employers in the mental health field. Addictive behaviors often co-occur with many emotional and behavioral disorders dealt with in schools and community mental health centers, and the addition of the CACII license prepares you to counsel these individuals.

Research - Prepares students for research-based careers in counseling as well as doctoral work. This concentration offers student training on research, such as a thesis. This concentration is not eligible for LPC licensure after graduation.

Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the 2013-2014 academic year (scholarships available; in response to the new national standards requiring 90 credit hours for Clinical Mental Health Counseling master programs and in anticipation of our program being approved to meet this requirement, increased financial aid will be available for new students starting this program in fall 2014)

Credits Required for Completion:

55 to 90 quarter credit hours (varies by concentration area)

Approximate Completion Time:

2 to 3 years

Graduation Requirements:

General Counseling – 55 quarter credit hours, a supervised practicum and a supervised internship.

School Counseling –72 quarter credit hours, a supervised practicum, a supervised internship in a school setting and other courses related to a school-based environment.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

90 quarter credit hours, a practicum and an internship. While the total hours will be increasing for fall 2014 incoming students due to changes in state and national requirements, additional scholarships will be available; contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions for more information ( or 303-871-2509303-871-2509). For a list of required courses for the Certified Addiction Counselor Level II certification option, see the current CP MA Handbook in the “Handbooks/Forms” section.

Research – 72 quarter credit hours including advanced coursework in research design and statistics, a supervised practicum, a supervised internship and thesis.

Apply for CP MA

PhD in Counseling Psychology

Successful completion of the PhD program in Counseling Psychology enables students to apply for licensure as psychologists in Colorado and other states, assuming post-doctoral requirements are met.

Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the 2013-2014 academic year (scholarships available)

Credits Required for Completion:

A minimum of 90 quarter credit hours

Approximate Completion Time:

4 to 7 years


The Counseling Psychology doctoral program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The next site visit is scheduled for 2014.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data
Graduation Requirements:

The PhD requires a minimum of 90 quarter credit hours, a supervised practicum, a supervised 12 month full-time internship, comprehensive exams and a dissertation.

Apply for CP PhD

Admissions Contact:

Sarah Blizzard

Program FAQ

What distinguishes this program from other programs in Counseling Psychology?
  • The Counseling Psychology program at the University of Denver is distinguished by a small student-to-faculty ratio, small class size, opportunities for both research and clinical experience, and a variety of quality internship opportunities in the Denver Metro area.
Is this program accredited?
  • The PhD degree program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
What does a typical schedule look like for MA and PhD students?
  • More complete information about typical schedules can be found in the Handbooks section. Your advisor can help you create a comprehensive schedule that fits your needs.
What types of practicum and internship placements are available?
  • The Counseling Psychology Program has relationships with many sites in the Metro Denver area where practicum and internship placements are available. Students have an opportunity to work with adult and adolescent clients in schools, hospitals, residential centers and community counseling centers.
What should I do to prepare for my practicum placement?
  • Near the Counseling Psychology faculty offices, there is a blue notebook containing information and reviews of sites with which students have worked in the past. Look through the notebook and talk to other students about their practicum and internship experiences.
I’m interested in eventually applying to a PhD program; what can I do to ensure that the master’s program prepares me for that?
  • To prepare for your application to the PhD program, it is helpful to make connections with faculty, be involved in research (including attending conferences and working on presentations and papers) during your MA program.
What programs lead to license in the state of Colorado?
  • With additional post-graduation hours, both the MA and PhD programs lead to licensure in the state of Colorado.
Will I be able to obtain a license in another state after receiving my degree in Colorado?
  • Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Check with the licensing board for the state you are interested in. Some states may require specific classes or degrees for licensure that are not required for Colorado.
Are there opportunities to be involved in research during my program?
  • There are many opportunities for MA students to be involved in research with faculty members. Research experience is a fundamental component of the PhD program.
Are there opportunities to teach during this program?
  • Opportunities for teaching are available to PhD students, but not MA students.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in Psychology to apply to the program?
  • A major in Psychology is not required for acceptance into either program.
Do I need a master’s degree to apply to the PhD program?
  • No.  We do not require applicants to have a master’s degree prior to applying to the PhD program.
What factors are considered for acceptance into the programs?
  • The admissions committee will consider your transcript(s), letters of recommendation, statement of goals, GRE scores and prior experience, including volunteer work in the field or any training in counseling.
Is an interview required as part of the application process?
  • Yes. Individuals who cannot attend Interview Day will be scheduled for a phone or Skype interview with a faculty member.
Will I be able to waive a course based on previous graduate coursework?
  • Some courses can be waived with documentation that you’ve already taken a similar course.
Can I enroll in this program part time?
  • Both the MA and PhD programs are full time (full time = 8 or more credits per quarter) but arrangements can be made for part-time enrollment.
When does this program begin?
  • For both the PhD and MA programs, students begin during the fall quarter.

General FAQ

General Questions
When does the program start? Can I begin anytime?
  • Most programs begin each year in Fall Quarter which is typically the first or second week of September. Some programs, such as the Teacher Preparation Programs and the Some programs, such as the Teacher Preparation Programs and the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Programs, begin in the Summer Quarter (early June). On rare occasions, students can begin their studies in a different quarter, however, this is arranged on a case-by-case basis only. Students should contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at to explore this option.
What does full-time enrollment mean?
  • Full-time enrollment status in a graduate program is achieved by taking a minimum of 8 credit hours per quarter. However, specific funding may require a student to complete 9 credit hours per quarter.
Are classes offered online?
  • The majority of our classes are offered on campus, however, there are a few courses that are offered either in a blended format (online with some on-campus meeting times) or online. Blackboard is an online tool used by most faculty at DU to provide access to selected course materials, no matter the setting of the class meetings.
How many students are in a typical class?
  • Our average class size is generally between 20 and 25 students, but many classes will have 8 to 10 students.


Learning More About Programs and DU

Can I set up an appointment to visit the campus and discuss program options?
  • Yes. Although not mandatory, we encourage prospective students to see the campus, meet current students, and attend classes. This is probably your best means of getting a feel for our program. To set up a campus visit call the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services at (303) 871-2509(303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607(800) 835-1607, or email at It is preferable if you would arrange for visits through the Admissions Office and not through individual faculty.
Can I talk to a student from the program?
  • Yes. We encourage prospective students to communicate with current students in order to get the clearest possible picture of graduate life at the University of Denver. We have current Student Ambassadors on hand to meet with prospective students to share their experiences and speak to life in the Morgridge culture.  Contact the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.eduto be connected to a Student Ambassador or another current student in your program of interest.


Application and Admissions

How important are my GRE scores for admission?
  • Not all programs require a GRE score. In most programs, GRE scores are not the deciding factor for admittance; they are only one of many criteria used for admissions evaluation.
What if I do not have GRE scores? Can I use another test I took?
  • When required for admissions consideration, the GRE is the only test accepted. Regardless of the requirement to submit GRE scores, all international applicants/non-native English speakers are required to submit an official, valid TOEFL score.
From whom should I get letters of recommendation?
  • It is best to obtain letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know you well. For recent graduates, ask for recommendation letters from former professors that can speak to your academic abilities as well as your character. For individuals entering the program with years of work experience, letters of recommendation from professionals who have seen your ability to work with children, adolescents and/or families are recommended.Most importantly, choose individuals that are knowledgeable about your past experiences as well as your goals for the future, and who know you well enough to adequately discuss your accomplishments and potential.
Is an interview required for admission?
  • Yes, interviews are required as part of the admissions process. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified of the interview dates and location details. If you are unable to come to your in-person interview, you may complete your interview via Skype or phone.  We strongly encourage you to attend the on-campus interview day as it will provide the best opportunity for you to learn about the program, see the campus, meet current students and experience the Morgridge culture for yourself.
What is required for application to Morgridge College of Education?
  • The application materials may include: a completed online application, a 2 to 3 page statement of goals, resume, official transcripts from every higher education institution attended, letters of recommendation (2 for MA, 2 or 3 for PhD, depending upon the program), a $65 application fee, and GRE scores for specific programs (which should be sent directly to the university).
When will I hear about the status of my application?
  • Applicants will receive an email that their application was received by the DU Graduate Studies Admissions Office and will be notified if there is any missing information. Students are encouraged to check on the status of their application materials by emailing Once an application file is complete, the file is sent to the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions to be reviewed by program faculty. Typically, decisions about acceptance into a program are made two to three weeks following the on-campus interview day. To check on admission decisions, you may contact the Morgridge College of Education Admissions office at (303) 871-2509(303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607(800) 835-1607 or email at
Can I defer my admissions or change my entry term if necessary?
  • Some graduate programs allow deposited students to request a one-time change of admit term to indicate a start term one quarter early or a deferment to the date of his/her intended enrollment for up to one academic year. Contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at for more information about changing your admissions term.

Waivers and Transfer Credits

Can I transfer credit from an undergraduate class?
  • No, only graduate-level courses can be transferred and the course must have been taken within the last five years and from an accredited program. Transfer credits cannot have been used toward another degree. There is a limit to the number of graduate credits you can transfer into DU based on the degree you are applying to (see below). If it is appropriate to waive a course (e.g. similar course already taken, content knowledge demonstrated, or successful test-out for certain research courses) the course credit hours must still be utilized for another course. A waived course does not mean a reduction in credit hours required. If your undergraduate work is similar in content to a required graduate course, you may be able to waive a required course after a review of the content with your advisor. A waived course allows you to take another graduate course in place of the one we require if you have already taken a course with very similar content. Transfer courses are different than waived courses since they reduce the number of credits you take at DU.
What graduate coursework is accepted as transfer credit?
  • Transferring graduate coursework into DU is discussed on an individual basis with your advisor. If you wish to transfer in comparable graduate-level coursework, you will need to bring in the syllabus, text, other course materials, and you must have an official transcript on file from the institution. The transfer must be initiated through your advisor in the first quarter of your program. The graduate coursework you wish to transfer must be no more than five years old, cannot have been counted toward another degree, and must be transferred in your first quarter of enrollment at the University of Denver. A maximum of 10 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the MA and a maximum of 15 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the EdS, PhD and EdD programs. Graduate coursework that is transferred in will reduce the total number of DU credits you will need to graduate.
Will my graduate coursework for my previous graduate degree count?
  • Credits that have already been applied to a degree cannot be counted again toward another degree. If the credit was not used toward another degree, see above for information on transfer credits. For more information or to discuss your specific situation, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at


Internships and Assistantships

Does every student get a paid internship?
  • No, not all internships are paid.  Program faculty will work with you to set up an internship in the community or school of your choice. Some internships are paid and some are not.  All internship sites must meet all program standards and must be approved officially by the Program Chair or designee.
Can I take an internship out of state?
  • Yes. It is possible to complete your internship in another state for most programs; however it does require extra work and planning to ensure that the internship site and supervisor meet our internship requirements. To determine if this is an option for your program, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at
Does the program arrange for the internship placements?
  • Program faculty help mentor and facilitate the internship placement process, but students generally must apply and be selectedby the organization as interns. Students are required to actively pursue particular internships they desire and complete the interviewing process. All internships must be approved by the program director or designee prior to the beginning of the internship year.
What funding or assistantships are there for graduate students?
  • A variety of types of aid are available for graduate students. A select number of stipends are available for incoming students who are paired with a faculty mentor to conduct research in their area of interest. Advanced students often have the opportunity to obtain stipends for similar work. There are a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships also available to advanced students in the program that provide some tuition reimbursement as well as monthly stipends.


Tuition and Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?
Will I need to pay out-of-state tuition, or how do I get in-state tuition?
  • The University of Denver is a private institution, thus tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. For an estimate of yearly costs, visit the Office of Financial Aid.
Are scholarships available?
  • Scholarships are available on a yearly basis to students (you must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on file). Contact the Morgridge College of Education Admissions office at (303) 871-2509(303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607(800) 835-1607 or email at for more information.
Is financial aid available?
  • In order to apply for financial aid at the University of Denver, and be considered for federal grants and scholarships, you must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on file. Federal financial aid is available to qualified students. For information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid.Student employment may also be available for graduate students. Financial Aid requires students to be enrolled in a minimum of 4 quarter credit hours in a term.


Insurance, Immunizations and Housing

What kinds of insurance coverage do graduate students receive?
  • Graduate students have the option of obtaining their own private health insurance or using the health insurance provided by the University of Denver. For specific information regarding the coverage under the University of Denver’s plan, visit the Health and Counseling Center.
What immunizations are required for students?
  • All students must show proof of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunization. (CO Revised Statuses 25-4-901 to 909) Students will NOT be able to register for classes without providing this information. Exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons may be submitted. See the Health and Counseling Center website for more information on immunizations and a link to the Certificate of Immunization form.
What is the cost of housing?
  • Graduate students have the choice to live on or off the University of Denver campus. Information regarding on-campus housing can be found at Housing and Residential Educationand includes information about building options, dining plans, parking and other related information. Off-campus housing information includes links to nearby apartment complexes as well as information about how to find roommates, transportation, childcare, banks and other information regarding living in the area.
Chao, Ruth, PhD : Program Coordinator and Associate Professor

Chao, Ruth, PhD

Program Coordinator and Associate Professor

303-871-2556, KRH 260

Dr. Chao received her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, and received the American Psychological Fund Award (2007), the American Psychological Association Grant Award (2007), PROF (2010), and other grants. She publishes in Journal of Counseling Psychology, Psychological Assessment, and Journal of Counseling and Development. Dr. Chao’s primary research interests include multicultural counseling, counselor’s cultural competencies, issues of cultural diversity, racism and mental health, and social justice. She enjoys doing yoga, hiking, traveling, listening to musicals, and eating a wide variety of foods.


Cross, William E. Jr, PhD : Clinical Professor

Cross, William E. Jr, PhD

Clinical Professor

303-871-4592, KRH 355

Dr. Cross received his PhD from Princeton University.  He holds professor emeritus status from another university but remains active, and he is President-Elect for Div. 45 (APA).  Dr. Cross’ recent publications interrogate the structure of the self-concept; the range of identity profiles found among African American adults; cultural epiphanies; the identity implications of cultural miseducation and false consciousness; and the multiple ways racial identity is enacted in everyday life.  He is a dedicated audiophile and is never far from music.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Faragher, Mike, PsyD : Director, Problem Gambling Treatment & Research Center

Faragher, Mike, PsyD

Director, Problem Gambling Treatment & Research Center

303-871-2636, KRH 147

Dr. Faragher received his PsyD from the University of Northern Colorado.  He is a licensed psychologist and the Director of the Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center and organizes the Colorado Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (CACII) elective coursework track in the Counseling Psychology Program. Dr. Faragher is certified as a Level II National Gambling Counselor, as a Board Approved Clinical Consultant by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board, and as Level III Senior Addiction Counselor by Colorado Office of Behavioral Health.  His areas of research include cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, problem gambling, and addictive behaviors.  Dr. Faragher enjoys golfing, fishing, and travel.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Garriott, Patton, PhD : Assistant Professor

Garriott, Patton, PhD

Assistant Professor

303-871-6758, KRH 253

Dr. Garriott received his PhD from the University of Missouri.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association, and his work has been recognized by Division 17 of the American Psychological Association and the National Career Development Association.  Dr. Garriott’s primary areas of research include the academic and career development of students underrepresented in higher education, multicultural issues in vocational psychology, as well as race and racism.  He is an avid distance runner and enjoys biking, cooking, and spending time with his wife Amber and dog Parker.

Portfolio and Research Lab

McRae, Cyndy, PhD : Professor

McRae, Cyndy, PhD


303-871-2475, KRH 261

Dr. McRae received her PhD from the University of Iowa.  She is a member of the American Psychological Association and became a Fellow of the Society of Counseling Psychology in 2013. Dr. McRae is also a member of the Movement Disorder Society and is the only non-MD to be chosen as an Investigator in the Parkinson Study Group.  Her areas of research include psychosocial adjustment of persons with Parkinson's disease, caregiver issues, quality of life in chronic illness, the placebo effect, and the effects of "Dance for PD" on daily lives.  Aside from work, Dr. McRae enjoys spending time with her family and performing music.


Olson-Garriott, Amber, PhD : Clinical Assistant Professor

Olson-Garriott, Amber, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

303-871-3784, KRH 262

Dr. Olson-Garriott received her PhD from the University of Denver and is a licensed psychologist.  Her research interests include grief experiences of bereaved individuals, issues related to social class, academic development of first generation college students, and multicultural psychology.  Dr. Olson-Garriott enjoys cooking, baking, riding her bike, exercising, and spending time with her friends, family and dog, Parker.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Pusavat, Andrea, PhD : Co-Director, Counseling and Educational Services Clinic and Assistant Professor

Pusavat, Andrea, PhD

Co-Director, Counseling and Educational Services Clinic and Assistant Professor

303-871-3230, KRH 145

Dr. Pusavat received her PhD from the University of Denver.  She was formerly with the Iliff Counseling Center where she served as the Director for six years. Other career highlights include President of the Colorado Society of Psychologists in Private Practice for two years; founding member of the Colorado Psychological Association Society for the Advancement of Multiculturalism and Diversity; and presenter at the American Psychological Association and National Summit on Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan.  Dr. Pusavat’s research interests include multicultural counseling, social justice, trauma, interpersonal partner violence, and training and supervision.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Riva, Maria, PhD : Professor and Department Chair

Riva, Maria, PhD

Professor and Department Chair

303-871-2484, KRH 257

Dr. Riva received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is a past President of the APA Division 49, Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of Group Dynamics; and Teaching and Education in Professional Psychology (TEPP). Dr. Riva is a past President of the Association of Specialists in Group Work (ASGW), and a Fellow of ASGW. She is also co-editor of the Handbook of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy (2004, 2014), and many other articles on group psychotherapy. Her research interests include group leadership and group supervision.  Dr. Riva is passionate about group counseling and psychotherapy, diversity considerations in groups, and training and supervision in counseling psychology.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Satir, Dana PhD : Clinical Assistant Professor

Satir, Dana PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Satir received her PhD in Psychology from Boston University. She was awarded funding from the American Psychoanalytic Association and Childrens Hospital Colorado to research novel approaches for treating patients with anorexia nervosa. She has published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Psychotherapy, and Psychiatric Services. Dr. Satir's clinical and research interests include the therapeutic alliance and clinician countertransference in the treatment of patients with eating and personality disorders, and affect regulation and identity development in adolescents and young adults. Dr. Satir is also active with case report writing.  She enjoys practicing yoga, going to the movies, watching college sports, and shopping at farmers markets.

Sherry, Patrick, PhD : Associate Professor

Sherry, Patrick, PhD

Associate Professor

303-871-2495, KRH 262

Dr. Sherry received his PhD from the University of Iowa.  He served as Director of Training for the Counseling Psychology Program from 1986 until early 2001.  Dr. Sherry’s research in the area of occupational stress and post traumatic stress has been supported by several large federal grants and since 2001 he has served as the the Executive Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver.  In addition, he has consulted extensively with Fortune 500 companies throughout the U.S. and China in the areas of psychological characteristics of successful executives, occupational safety, personnel selection, human resources, and leadership training. Dr. Sherry's hobbies include a fascination with Chinese culture, science fiction, and world travel.


Tomlin, Vicki, PhD : Clinical Assistant Professor, Licensed School Psychologist and Counselor.

Tomlin, Vicki, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Licensed School Psychologist and Counselor.

303 871-3784, KRH 262

Dr. Tomlin received her PhD from the University of Denver.  She served as a school psychologist for K-12 youth for over 25 years and monitored academic initiatives within thirteen states as a Senior Monitor to American Institutes for Research/U.S. Department of Education, and was the grant coordinator for the Refugee School Impact Grant. Having served on CSAP's Project Youth Connect Steering Committee to develop cross-site instrumentation for assessing positive youth development for fifteen study sites comprised of  African American, Latino, Navajo, Yankton Sioux, and Asian / Pacific Island target populations, Dr. Tomlin also led CDC's empowerment evaluation processes to enhance the effectiveness of statewide prevention programs in under-represented Colorado communities.  Her research interests include diverse issues within psychology, advocacy models for Black males in urban schools, cultural adjustment of refugee youth, ethics, and evaluation-capacity building in historically marginalized communities.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Valdez, Jesse N, PhD : Associate Professor

Valdez, Jesse N, PhD

Associate Professor

303-871-2482, KRH 259

Dr. Valdez received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association, and led a team of bilingual experts in the translation of medical research scales from English to Spanish.  Dr. Valzez’s areas of research include diversity and multicultural issues in counseling psychology and mental health, self-efficacy, psychological stress, acculturation and cultural identity issues, women’s issues, and culture and gender roles.  He enjoys photography, gardening, reading, and traveling.


Counseling Psychology Important Dates:

  • Application Deadline:
    • PhD – No longer accepting applications
    • MA – We will continue to accept and review well-qualified applicants for the Fall 2014 class until the remaining space has been filled.
  • Meet Us @ Morgridge Visit Day: Thanks for your interest in the Counseling Psychology program. Please visit us again for upcoming dates and times!

Please RSVP at least one week prior by sending an email to or at 303-871-2509. Once you have indicated you will attend, you will receive a confirmation and more information about the event. If you are unable to attend this event, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at to schedule a visit or learn more about the program.

The Counseling Psychology program prepares students to work with adolescents and adults in a variety of settings including community counseling agencies, hospitals, schools and many other types of agencies. Selecting a practicum or internship site that corresponds with the setting in which you would like to work after graduation will give you experience in a particular setting.

Counseling psychologists encourage individuals to better understand themselves and their behavior, to develop an increased repertoire of adaptive coping skills and to more effectively approach life problems in light of this understanding and skill development. Life crises such as those that normally occur in the aging process – developing an identity, mid-life reevaluation, retirement and grief or loss – are of concern to the counseling psychologist.

Counseling psychologists also help individuals make vocational-educational decisions, take productive action in marriage or family systems and assist individuals with health-related crises. Within such roles, they may teach communication and other interpersonal skills, time and stress management, parenting, as well as help with normal developmental processes. Problems such as these are the primary province of counseling psychology although counseling psychologists may also work with issues involving atypical or disordered development.

Focusing on developmental issues or those involving atypical development, counseling psychologists may target individuals, families, groups, systems or organizations. They may do remedial work with individuals or groups in crisis, or work in a developmental, preventative role by providing information and training to prevent crises or more serious mental health problems. In these roles, they often function as educators.

Counseling psychologists may also function as researchers in agencies, organizations or academic settings. They may evaluate current practices and programs, develop and test new interventions or study the characteristics of the populations they serve. They may also do basic research on human development, behavior change or related issues. Consequently, doctoral students develop research skills that will enable them to contribute original research to the profession as well as to evaluate individual and program effectiveness.

Preparing for the Future

It should be noted that the Denver-Boulder-Colorado Springs metropolitan area is heavily subscribed with mental health professionals. Individuals who are accepted in the doctoral program should not necessarily expect to find employment in these geographical areas after graduation. Students should also be aware that faculty members believe that in light of managed care and other related events, the practice of psychology is changing.

We believe that within the next 5-10 years, the opportunities for private practitioners will decline and that doctoral-level psychologists should prepare themselves for positions that include research, supervision, program development and evaluation, and teaching. These positions will involve leadership and communication skills. The Counseling Psychology program at the University of Denver is committed to help students develop such skills.

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