Ph.D. Practicum COUC 998
Deadlines are non-negotiable.
The Spring 2024 deadline has passed.
- Spring 2024 Deadline: October 16, 2023
*Before a Ph.D. student can apply for the Ph.D. Practicum, the Practicum & Internship office must receive official email communication from the student indicating he/she has passed the Qualifying Exam and is ready to apply for practicum.
Upcoming practicum application deadlines:
- Summer 2024: January 29, 2024
- Fall 2024: May 27, 2024
- Spring 2025: October 14, 2024
*Students must still apply through the SharePoint portal by the deadline. We advise that students send the email with their passing Qualifying Examination Feedback Form to email@example.com no later than one week before the deadline.
- Student will need to include a copy of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Feedback Form issued to them once they have passed the exam.
- Once the Practicum & Internship Office has received this email, they will then send the student a link to the application portal.
- Background Check: You must purchase a background check through CastleBranch within no more than one year before applying for practicum.
- Fingerprints: You must purchase and complete your fingerprints before our office can approve you for practicum.
- Must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the posted application deadline
- Complete Prerequisites:
- All Students:
- Advanced Theory Application and Orientation (COUC 715)
- Advanced Research Design (COUC 740)
- Ph.D. Qualifying Exam (COUC 969)
- All Students:
Prerequisite courses and Qualifying Exam are non-negotiable and must be completed prior to the start of the internship.
Hour and Semester Requirements
Minimum Practicum Hours 100:
- Direct Client Contact (PDF):40 hours minimum
- Individual Supervision hours (PDF): minimum of one hour per week of your A-term course schedule
- Faculty Group Supervision (PDF): 1.5 hours per week
- Supervision occurs over a minimum of 14 weeks of a semester
- Related Activities hours (PDF)
- Site Group Supervision will count as Indirect Hours/Related Activities
Students should check with their State Counseling Board for Practicum requirements specific to their state.
Liberty University vs. your state comparison of requirements (PDF)
- Practicum officially starts the first day of Liberty’s academic semester.
- Practicum is a full-semester commitment.
- Students are required to earn hours each week of the semester with the approved site and supervisor.
- Practicum is an A-Term Course
- 16-17 weeks during the Fall and Spring semesters
- 14-15 weeks during the Summer semester
Telehealth and In-Person Counseling Policy
In-person clinical counseling is the expected standard in meeting the direct service requirements. However, students and site supervisors are permitted to use telehealth services if the approved site uses telehealth services as a normal delivery of services. If telehealth is used, students and site supervisors are expected to maintain a 50/50 ratio of in-person and telehealth direct client contact hours. This is to ensure students have a well-rounded counseling experience using both modalities.
Please note: There will be no exceptions to this policy unless directed by federal and/or state mandates.
Students will be responsible for the following when telehealth services are used:
- Coordination of a balanced approach in use of telehealth and in-person clinical services
- Completion of the Liberty telehealth training prior to conducting telehealth services
- Midterm and Final hours reporting on telehealth services
- No more than 50% of telehealth direct client contact hours permitted
Please direct all questions regarding the Telehealth and In-Person Counseling Policy to the Practicum/Internship Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Video Recording Requirement:
- For the purposes of faculty and site supervision, students must record:
- Two counseling sessions to submit to site supervisors and to be presented during Faculty Group Supervision.
- Students will submit a verbatim form:
- A 5-8 minute segment of the recorded session.
- Faculty will provide feedback on this portion of the session.
- Devices students can use for recording:
- Digital cameras
- Computer Webcam – must be recorded through a HIPAA-compliant platform
- Devices that are inherently cloud-based such as phones and tablets cannot be used for video recording (please contact the Practicum and Internship Office if you are needing further clarification).
**Please note: live observation and role-play is no longer permitted starting Fall 2023. All students must have at least one site that allows videotaped sessions to fulfill this requirement.
- View Practicum Opportunities
- State Site Lists
- The State Site Lists are compiled of sites previously used by Liberty University students. Email email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
- On average, finding a site and supervisor takes at least three to four months.
- Students are allowed a maximum of two sites.
Types of sites that can be considered for Practicum:
- Counseling Agency
- Private Practice
- University Counseling Center
- Community Services Board
*School Site Requirements:
- Provide clinical mental health services to elementary, middle, and/or high school-aged students
- Use approved Informed Consent
- Store clinical counseling records of sessions
**Church Site Requirements:
- Have an established clinical counseling center and services
- Use approved Informed Consent
- Store clinical counseling records of sessions
- Students must inform the Practicum & Internship Office if they are a member of the potential church site
- Students are allowed a maximum of two supervisors.
- On-Site Supervisor: an individual who is an employed counselor at the site you are applying to complete your Practicum at.
- Off-Site Supervisor: an individual who is not an employed counselor at the site you are applying to complete your Practicum at, but has received approval to come on-site and provide supervision.
Examples of Approved Supervisors:
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Psychologist (LP) with either a PhD in Clinical Psychology or a PsyD (all other Licensed Psychologists will be reviewed on a case by case basis)
Examples of Supervisors Not Approved:
- Doctorate degrees that are not in the counseling field or are unaccredited
- Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) – with the only exception of the macro- or clinical- designations in the state of Michigan.
- Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC)
- Master of Divinity
- Pastoral Counselors
- School Counselors
- Supervisors who are not licensed in the same state as the practicum site.
Review the Practicum Supervisor Information before proceeding
The numbers below correspond to the way the documents will be uploaded in SharePoint application:
- Degree Completion Plan Audit
- Located on Course Registration
- Castle Branch Background Check Receipt
- Students must submit a background check receipt that was purchased no more than one year prior to the date of their application.
- Only send the receipt that is sent to your email once the purchase of the background check or re-check has been made. Visit the Background Check website for further instructions.
- The practicum office will also verify that you have completed your fingerprints through CastleBranch at the time of your application. If you have not purchased and completed your fingerprints through CastleBranch, these will need to be completed by the time you apply or you will be denied to begin your practicum.
- Supervisor’s License Verification
- Found on your state counseling board website.
- Includes name, license number, issue date, expiration date, & current/active
- Fieldwork Contract
- On-Site Fieldwork Contract (PDF): an on-site supervisor is an individual who is an employed counselor at the site you are applying to complete your practicum
- Offsite Fieldwork Contract (PDF): an offsite supervisor is an individual who is not an employed counselor at the site you are applying to complete your practicum, but has received approval to come on-site and provide supervision
- Signed by student and site supervisor
- The dates must match Liberty’s A-term semester dates. Check the Academic Calendar for the semester dates you will be completing practicum.
- Please note: you must only fill out one fieldwork contract per site/supervisor. Students are only required to have one site and supervisor but may have up to two sites and supervisors.
- Supervisor & Site Information Forms (PDF)
- Signed by the site director, supervisor, and student
- Digital Photo of Student
- Professional photo, driver’s license, or student ID
- Liability Insurance Face Sheet (PDF)
- Students are required to purchase their own coverage for the duration of practicum and internship. The coverage requirements are detailed in the link above.
- Affiliation Agreement
- Cover Page: Completed by a site representative
- 8-Page Agreement: Completed and signed only by legal signatory at site
- 3-Page Schedule A & B (Student Addendum): Completed and signed by the student
- Extensions will not be granted for Affiliation Agreement negotiations
- The informed consent and how the site maintains records will need to be submitted with a copy of the Fieldwork Contract for potential school or church sites.
- All documents must be submitted as PDF files only. The order of the documents are listed above is the exact same way they will be uploaded to the portal.
- All approval documents must be submitted to the Ph.D. practicum office through the SharePoint submission portal prior to the deadline listed above. No late documents will be accepted without the permission of the Director of Clinical Training. Submission of these forms does not mean automatic acceptance of the proposed site and/or supervisor; they must be approved first. Liberty University must validate the student’s proposed site will provide a good educational experience and that it has adequate oversight and safeguards built in to ensure an appropriate clinical environment.
- Due to the potential time required in locating a site and supervisor, students are encouraged to begin looking for a site and supervisor three to four months prior to the application submission deadline.
- Submit all the required approval paperwork through the online submission portal by the application deadline.
- After your documents have been approved, you will receive an official approval email with your approved start date for earning hours. Upon approval, the Practicum Office will manually register you for the course.
Changing Site and/or Supervisor
Students are allowed to switch site(s)/supervisor(s), add an additional site/supervisor, or drop a site/supervisor during their practicum experience. Review our policy below.
- Site & Supervisor Change Policy (PDF)
- Students must follow the procedures laid out in the Site and Supervisor Change Procedures (PDF)
Disclaimer: If there is a change in the Site Director that is listed on the Site Information Form, our office will only need an updated Site Information Form with the new individual’s name and title. You will need to submit the updated Site Information Form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.