Degree Requirements

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) is a 106 – 143 unit degree that meets the California academic requirements for Psychologist licensure in the State of California.  The program is a practitioner-scholar model and follows the core competencies of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology and is built to meet standards of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

To complete the degree students must also complete a clinical dissertation and a pre-doctoral internship (1 year full-time or 2 years part-time) and must pass both the comprehensive and professional competency exams.

The Clinical Dissertation is intended to demonstrate that students have integrated the material they have learned during the doctoral program. Early in their program, students select an appropriate project. The Research Methods courses introduce students to conceptual and methodological material related to conducting qualitative and quantitative research. It is expected that students will complete the project prior to beginning their internship. We are interested in stimulating student creativity, therefore the options for completion of this project vary. The PsyD is an applied degree, thus the clinical dissertation will involve the investigation of a practical application, either through empirical (quantitative or qualitative), theoretical, or clinical evaluation strategies. Students will be guided in their work by their dissertation advisor, a second faculty member and an outside expert.

It is expected that students will acquire a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical experience (practicum) prior to beginning the internship. Students should expect to be placed in a practicum site early in the program and will collect hours throughout the year.

Students are required to complete a full-time internship during the 5th year of the academic program. Internship training sites are usually accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), are members or meet membership criteria of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) or the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC).

The Director of Clinical Training will help students with the identification of appropriate internships. Students will earn one unit of academic credit during the internship year.

“During Practicum IV, students will identify and conceptualize a case which is then developed for presentation as part of the PCE. The PCE is intended to demonstrate students’ skill and knowledge in the field of psychology and to integrate their academic and clinical learning. The PCE must be completed prior to engaging in the application process for internship.”

Students take Comprehensive Examinations at the end of spring quarter of Year 3. This is a two-part exam, the first part is oral and the second part is written. For the oral, or Professional Competency Exam (PCE), students identify and conceptualize a case, which is then developed for presentation. The PCE is intended to demonstrate students’ attitudes, knowledge and skill in the field of clinical psychology and to integrate their academic and clinical learning. The PCE must be passed prior to engaging in the internship application process. For the written part, the examination measures knowledge of multiple content areas in clinical psychology and is evaluated as pass/fail. A passing evaluation on all components of the exam is required for students to be eligible to apply for internship.

Students attend full-time and complete 3-4 years of academic study depending on whether enrollment is at the post-bachelor’s level (4 years/142 units) or post-master’s level (3 years/106 units). Students enroll for 11-13 units per quarter over 9-12 quarters and 1 unit for internship that commences in year 5 of the program.

The curriculum and program includes 15 units of practicum and 12 units of courses in Family Forensic Psychology which includes child custody evaluation.   Students engage in supervised clinical work in a community-based clinic. Post bachelors complete 1150 hours and post masters complete 1000 hours in fulfillment of the practicum requirement.

Students must complete their degree within 8 calendar years of the first admission including any leaves of absence or periods of withdrawal. Development of a proposal for the clinical dissertation begins during year 3 and may be completed prior to beginning the internship.