May 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology, PsyD

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Program code: CNPCHH-PSYD

The Psychology Department offers a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) that places emphasis upon professional applications of psychology based on a solid grounding in the scientific knowledge base of psychology.

The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation. Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: 202-336-5979

The program is designed to meet the academic requirements of licensure and to provide the student with background to immediately assume responsibilities in appropriate professional settings.

Admission Criteria

The following criteria are used in the evaluation of application materials: (a) overall grade point average and grades in psychology courses (3.0 minimum in both areas); (b) training in research methodology; (c) prior clinical experience in practicum or employment (d) the applicant’s statement of goals; (e) three letters of recommendation; (f) results of a personal interview. 

Breadth of undergraduate training is preferable to narrow specialization. Weaknesses in one area may be offset by strengths in another area, although the Admissions Committee gives preference to applicants with some demonstrated strengths in all areas. Students may be required to make up deficiencies.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is December 1. The Admissions Committee will then select a pool of qualified applicants who will be invited to the campus for personal interviews. Announcements of final admissions decisions will be made around April 1.


The PsyD program follows a practitioner or applied model of training of clinical psychologists. Emphasis is placed on professional applications of psychology to a wide variety of human problems. Students receive extensive supervision in the development of skills in interpersonal relations, psychological assessment, psychotherapy, community outreach, and program evaluation and a solid grounding in the scientific knowledge base of psychology.

Program Requirements

The PsyD program is typically completed in four calendar years of full-time study plus an additional year of full-time internship. The curriculum requires a minimum of 99 semester hours of acceptable graduate credit. Each student must complete requirements for (a) core course work; (b) special proficiency/elective course work requirements; (c) practicum, internship, and professional issues; (d) doctoral project; (e) comprehensive academic and professional examinations; and (f) master’s and doctoral candidacy. In addition, a course in Historical Trends and Systems in Psychology is required for graduation.

I. Core Course Work (54 cr.)

The core courses are required of all students. These courses cover several areas of psychology and provide the scientific basis for professional practice.

II. Elective Course Work/Special Proficiency: (9 cr.)

Students select advanced courses in consultation with an advisor. 

III. Practicum, Internship, and Professional Issues (30 cr.)

Students will typically register for practicum experience throughout their program with sampling from diverse settings. During the final year, a full-time professional internship emphasizing depth and long-term involvement is required.

Internal Practicum: (12 cr. required)

IV. Doctoral Project (9 cr.)

V. Comprehensive Academic and Professional Examinations (0 cr.)

Each year, an evaluation of clinical and professional competence will be made. This evaluation data will be shared with the student as feedback, and a joint effort will be made to remediate any deficiencies.

Students must also pass a preliminary examination and a research proficiency evaluation covering basic knowledge appropriate for a professional psychologist.

The Clinical Proficiency Evaluation is completed during the third year on campus. Students present assessment and therapy work samples to a committee of faculty members.

Satisfactory performance on both the preliminary examination and the professional evaluations must be achieved before candidacy for the doctorate will be recommended. Serious deficiencies may result in recommendations for remedial work, reexamination, delay of candidacy, or termination from the program.

VI. Master’s and Doctoral Candidacy

Students will routinely obtain the master’s degree en route to the doctorate. Requirements for candidacy for the MA degree include the successful completion of 24 credits of approved graduate course work with a grade point average of 3.0 and the recommendation of the Clinical Training Committee based on satisfactory academic and professional evaluations. The 54 credits for the MA must include nine hours of practicum and 45 hours of the core course work of the PsyD degree.

The candidacy for the PsyD will be awarded following the completion of all MA requirements plus a minimum of an additional nine credits, successful performance on the preliminary examination and research proficiency evaluation, and satisfactory annual academic and professional evaluations. A grade point average of 3.0 is required for candidacy.

VII. Transfer of Graduate Credit

Applicants who have completed course work at other institutions may request transfer of credit. A maximum of 36 semester hours of credit may be approved. A portion, but not all, of the practicum requirements may be transferred for equivalent supervised experience.

VIII. Progression through the Program

All students complete a Plan of Study, which will include a detailed semester-by-semester outline of proposed course work and completion dates for exams, doctoral project, and internship. All requirements must be completed within eight years. No classes are offered online.

Other Policies

The Psychology Department has established guidelines for the registration and completion of the doctoral project, academic good standing, full-time student status, an appeals process, and other academic matters. These guidelines are explained in the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook.

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