Ph.D. in International Psychology, Trauma Services Concentration in D.C.

Program Description

The Trauma Services concentration within the International Psychology Ph.D. program at our Washington, D.C. Campus provides students with the compassion and skills to help individuals and organizations develop prevention and preparedness training, designing culturally intelligent programs that address mental health issues related to trauma of all descriptions.

Though a series of required international field experiences, students are able to experience first-hand some of the challenges confronting international psychologists in establishing support services for organizations and governments in the aftermath of disaster or trauma. 

The Chicago School offers an impressive range of international locations—rarely offered in graduate school settings—to enhance their course work with real-world applications. One of the many opportunities is through the Global HOPE Training Initiative—which trains local Rwandan and Zambian teachers and orphanage workers on how to care for children who have experienced trauma in those countries. The tremendous opportunity to study abroad gives students the global intelligence and hands-on skills they will need for success.

Washington, D.C. has a high concentration of governmental and non-governmental international service organizations, including the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, The American Red Cross, embassies for almost all countries, and dozens of international organizations within two miles of the campus. The D.C. Campus is well-positioned to develop a multitude of strategic community partnerships with global organizations.


International Psychology



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 
  • Must enter with a master's degree in Psychology or the following fields;

    • Counseling Psychology
    • Pastoral Counseling
    • Social Work
    • Psychiatric Nursing
    • Marriage and Family Therapy 
  • In addition, at least one course is required in the following courses:

    • Graduate Statistics
    • Graduate Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology
    • Graduate Trauma/Crisis Intervention
  • Three or more years of work experience is preferred
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Self-Care Strategies in Humanitarian Efforts

Examines the self-care strategies and issues that inform the processes of maintaining one's psychological well-being while working in traumatic settings or on missions. Topics include a variety of self-care strategies, preparation strategies, aftermath strategies, and incorporating lessons learned for future missions.

Assessment of Psychosocial and Mental Health Reactions to Traumatic Stress

Focuses on the various methods used to conduct psychological mental health assessments. Topics include assessing physical and psychological stress, psychopathology, isolation, and physical and social functioning.

Mental Health Interventions

Examines the principle intervention strategies likely to be used in an international trauma setting. Topics include evidence-based systems, the effects of local context, coping strategies, and strategies for those with medically unexplained somatic pain.

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