Ph.D. in International Psychology

Program Description

The Ph.D. in International Psychology program in Los Angeles attracts passionate world learners who want to make an impact in an increasingly diverse and global society. The International program—the first of its kind in the nation—prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in multinational organizations or organizations with international missions. The program’s vision of empowering students and faculty to be advocates for international psychology initiatives is renowned and unrivaled.

Graduates from our L.A. campus are equipped with expert  research and program evaluation skills coupled with a deep appreciation for the individual and group consequences of global events—tools that prepare them to apply psychological principles in the development of policy, to help individuals and organizations better understand and collaborate with diverse cultural populations, and to design and evaluate the efficacy of international programs.

Our curriculum offers excellent preparation in the foundation of international psychological study. Students are encouraged to choose their own specialization to support their personal interests and career focus. Two concentrations are available at our L.A. campus within the field of International Psychology:

Each student works closely with a designated faculty mentor who offers guidance on potential career paths and international networking opportunities. Through faculty mentorship opportunities for students to engage in scholarly activities are promoted, such as conference presentations and publications.

The Ph.D. in International Psychology Program also offers the distinct feature of two additional real-world training opportunities, in addition to their required field experience. Students can voluntarily decide to engage in either an Internship Option Abroad or Apprenticeship at TCSPP.

Internship Option Abroad*

After completing 60 credits within the International Psychology program, students at our L.A. campus may voluntarily decide to engage in an internship to increase marketability post-graduation and/or to engage in cross- collaborative research.  Internships can last anywhere between 1 semester to 3 semesters depending on the student’s interests and in-country organizations.  

Apprenticeship at TCSPP*

After completing 60 credits within the International Psychology program, students may voluntarily decide to engage in the apprenticeship program for teaching if available within the department.  Please refer to the TCSPP apprenticeship policy/procedure for further details.

*Note: Internship Abroad and Apprenticeship are options for students only when available.  It is not guaranteed that these options will be available during a student’s program of study.   


International Psychology


Organizations & Systems and Trauma Services


Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Two required international field experiences (minimum of 9 days) - one field experience in year two and another in year three.

Program Time to Completion

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution 
  • Students seeking admissions to the Organizations and Systems concentration enter with nine semester hours of undergraduate or graduate psychology coursework, plus one course in graduate statistics with a grade earned of “C” or better.

  • Students seeking admission to the Trauma Services concentration enter with a master’s degree in Psychology or a related field such as Counseling Psychology, Pastoral Counseling, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, and/or Marriage and Family Therapy from a regionally accredited institution. In addition, at least one course is required in graduate statistics, plus one course in graduate abnormal psychology/psychopathology, AND one course in graduate trauma/crisis intervention, each with a grade earned of “C” or better.

  • Three or more years of work experience is preferred
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Foundations of Global Mental Health

This course will provide an overview of western and non-western approaches to mental health, research and ethics in a cross-cultural context.  Special attention is given to critically assessing whether Western based psychological theories, constructs, and practices are applicable across cultures and if such a theory disenfranchises minorities.  Challenges for collaboration, and special topics such as trauma (e.g., genocides, human rights abuse, sexual trafficking), gender and mental health, alternative healing practices, conflict, psychology of peace-keeping, and displaced populations are discussed.

Humanitarianism and Mental Health Care Delivery

This course will examine humanitarianism in terms of the universal value of life, practices toward benevolent treatment and provision of assistance to other humans in order to improve moral and ethical levels of humanity.  A specific emphasis is placed on negotiation of human/child rights, asylum aspects of humanitarian work, and political and cultural considerations in designing delivery systems that reduce mental health care inequities.  In addition, the measurement and current research pertaining to the global burden of mental disorders will be explored.

Cultural Perspectives: Individuals, Families and Communities

This course will provide an overview of the cultural perspectives on individual, families, and communities. Topics will include individualism, relationships within and between family members and families, and the role of community in global cultures.  Students will evaluate international program policies through the dimensions of Human Rights and Advocacy by comparing sociopolitical structures and systems of privilege and oppression.

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