Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology in Southern California

Program Description

The Chicago School's Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology is recognized for its culturally competent training and offers students a multitude of opportunities to utilize their education in real-world settings. 

Offered at both of our Southern California campus locations (downtown Los Angeles and Irvine, California), applied clinical psychology students may apply to complete their clinical training hours at one of The Chicago School Counseling Centers, two of Southern California's largest and most well-respected community counseling centers. 

Through our innovative training model, students learn marketing and business operation techniques related to running a private practice, and provide individual and group psychotherapy services. Graduates leave with the skills and training to sit for licensure and launch their careers.

Within the Applied Clinical Psychology doctoral program, students have the option to choose from one of three concentrations:

The Applied Clinical Psychology program in Southern California adheres to a practitioner-scholar model, preparing mental health practitioners with both a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations.

Graduates are equipped with the expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology needed to serve as lead practitioners and/or senior administrators in both educational and clinical settings. The program can be completed in three years, including an internship.


Clinical Psychology


  • Child Play Therapy and Adolescent Psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Generalist


Curriculum intergrates the eight core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), and qualifies graduates to sit for the national licensure exam and licensure by the California Board of Psychology (BOP).

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

800 hours of practicum; 1,500 hours of internship

Program Time to Completion

3 years full time
  • Master's degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Specific courses must be complete in a student's Master's program or completed as part of the Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology elective options
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Diagnostic and Clinical Interviewing

Teaches techniques of clinical and diagnostic interviewing and observation. Students learn a variety of techniques for interviewing new clients, including listening skills, aids for giving and receiving feedback, and establishing a relationship with a client. Students also learn ways of incorporating these techniques into models of diagnostic interviewing. Students are exposed to non-verbal methods of interviewing and observation. Techniques for interviewing family members and other collateral sources are taught. Consideration of cultural differences in establishing a relationship and conducting an interview is integral to this course.

Advanced Psychological Assessment

The primary objective of this course is to develop skills that are essential to the interpretation of psychological test findings. Emphasis is placed upon the integration of assessment material from multiple test instruments to develop a comprehensive understanding of the client. Students continue to develop their skills in report writing, differential diagnosis, and formulation of effective therapeutic recommendations.

Dissertation 1: Advanced Statistics and Research Design

Students will learn the specific paradigms of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and will apply specific research methodologies according to the dictates for desired research outcomes. Emphasis will be placed upon the following: understanding research questions through the lens of a clinical theoretical approach,; the appropriate operational definition of research terms; and developing an understanding of the significance of research to the field as a whole. Students will learn the appropriate techniques to ethically research a question and will be required to complete the NIH certification for ethical treatment of human research subjects. Students will also examine the structural elements of a dissertation, begin developing a dissertation plan, and form their dissertation committee to carry out that plan. After the student forms a dissertation committee, they will submit Form A to the dissertation office.

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