Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
- Chicago, IL
- 5 Years
The Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (Psy.D.) is the flagship program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with 38 years of experience in preparing students for careers in clinical psychology in a wide range of settings including nonprofit, healthcare, community and government settings. Building upon a strong base of coursework in theory, science […]
The Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (Psy.D.) is the flagship program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with 38 years of experience in preparing students for careers in clinical psychology in a wide range of settings including nonprofit, healthcare, community and government settings. Building upon a strong base of coursework in theory, science and practice and guided by our practitioner-scholar faculty, our graduates are well prepared to provide assessment, intervention and consultation to meet the needs of diverse populations.
Students in our community-engaged, Practitioner-Scholar program complete three years of practicum experience, positioning them to be well prepared for internship and employment opportunities. Preparation for practice begins with coursework focused on the building blocks for practice including assessment, diversity, ethics, professional development and research. Students are paired with faculty mentors in Research Clerkship working side by side with a small group of students to develop the skills necessary to produce scholarship that makes a difference and supports their preparation for dissertation and evidence based clinical practice.
In addition to the broad and general foundational program coursework that prepares students to practice as clinical psychologists, students have the opportunity to enroll in elective courses that align with their specific educational and professional goals. For example, students have the option to take a Major Area of Study in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology or an area of focus in Neuropsychology. Students can take clusters of elective courses in the areas of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology; Health Psychology; Forensic Psychology; International Psychology and Human Rights; Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Psychology; and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).
Major Area of Study in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Students wishing to pursue a Major Area of Study in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (C&A) are encouraged to review the guidelines for board certification in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology in planning their coursework and training. Students interested in this area typically:
- Enroll in Research Clerkship sections with faculty mentors engaged in child and adolescent (C&A) related research and/or scholarship projects.
- Complete at least two of three practicums at site where they will work predominantly with children, adolescents and their families.
- Identify a C&A related topic for dissertation research
- Select advanced intervention courses that align with this interest
- Select elective courses that align with this interest
Neuropsychology Area of Focus
Program students interested in pursuing an area of focus in Neuropsychology are encouraged to review the guidelines for board certification in Neuropsychology in planning their coursework and training. Courses and training opportunities aligned with the program’s Neuropsychology Area of Focus include a combination of coursework and training experiences that offer students the opportunity to develop competence in preparation for internship and postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology and to engage in research in this area.
Clusters of Related Courses Within the Curriculum:
Some students choose to take program electives that complement one another and that are organized around a particular topic. Students are not required to select courses within a cluster to meet program requirements. Electives within a cluster are offered based on student interest (as determined by periodic surveys) and other factors.
Child, Adolescent, and Family courses:
The program offers a variety of courses that enhance the preparation of students interested in serving the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and their parents. These electives introduce students to conceptual and practical skills in working with children, adolescents and families across the lifespan, including topics in assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. Special topics (elective) courses and study abroad options in this area may also be offered. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
Forensic Psychology courses:
Forensic Psychology is a field that focuses on the application of the science and professional competencies of psychology to questions and issues relating to psychology, law and the legal system. Course work provides students with basic knowledge regarding psychologists’ roles in the legal system, including, mental health law and the treatment and evaluation of offenders. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
Health Psychology courses:
Health Psychology involves in the application of psychological principles and techniques to the problems of health, including working with individuals whose behaviors and difficulties impact their health status. Health psychologists use the skills of clinical psychology to assess the impact of psychosocial factors in the origin and course of physical conditions, illnesses, and disabilities. Health Psychologists use a variety of interventions aimed at helping individuals prevent illness, recover quickly, or live with chronic conditions in a way that maximizes their functional capacities and quality of life. Coursework in Health Psychology is part of the preparation for students who wish to work in Primary Care and other interprofessional settings.
Students taking program electives in the area of Health Psychology gain an overall awareness of the role of professional psychologists as researchers, consultants, clinicians, patient-educators, and members of interprofessional teams. Students with coursework and experience in this area enhance their preparation to enter into an advanced practicum or internship opportunity in healthcare settings including primary care. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
International Psychology and Human Rights courses:
International Psychology and Human Rights elective courses introduce students to the emerging field of international psychology with a particular focus on human rights. Utilizing an interdisciplinary and global perspective, students are introduced to sociocultural, political, and human rights issues of concern domestically and internationally. Students become familiar with the literature and empirical research in clinical responsiveness related to psychological and spiritual issues of concern to domestic international populations, refugees and internationally displaced persons, and clinical issues in international relief/crisis work. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered as well as study abroad options. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Psychology courses:
Electives in Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Psychology invite the personal and professional transformation of psychologists through engaging in the diverse breadth and meaningful depth of integrating spirituality and psychology in their clinical work. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) courses:
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity courses introduce students to culturally competent behavioral health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families across the lifespan. Students will learn to foster and promote psychological and emotional care, as well as behavioral interventions, that recognize and respect the intersection of sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression for individuals, families and communities. Students learn to understand how issues of stigma and discrimination intersect, particularly for individuals who experience multiple forms of oppression. Students strive to understand and respect the historical and cultural context within which sexual orientations and gender identities are created.
The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity electives provide a clinical foundation for students who are committed to expanding access to high-quality culturally competent mental health care for sexual minority individuals and their families across the lifespan. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered. See the catalog for courses descriptions.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program: Chicago Student Experience
The Chicago Campus provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves into a culturally diverse city with significant academic resources as well as excellent networking opportunities. Chicago is also home to some of the nation’s finest dining, entertainment, museums, and other activities.
At our flagship campus, The Chicago School has demonstrated a continued commitment to a diverse student population and expanding mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities.
Below are a few examples of courses offered to students enrolled in the Psy.D in Clinical Psychology program at our Chicago campus.
To view a complete list of courses offered in the Psy.D in Clinical Psychology curriculum, visit our Catalog.
Diversity in Clinical Psychology I
This course lays a theoretical and experiential foundation for students in multicultural psychology. The course blends exposure to theory and literature, cross-cultural immersion, and personal introspection. It provides a basic framework for understanding privilege and power, systems of oppression and domination, worldview, cultural competency, and identity. It will explore the impact and social construction of culture, gender, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, class, race, abledness, and immigrant status. Students will address the intersection of multiple identities and will explore the impact of their own culture and held personal stereotypes, beliefs and assumptions.
This course will focus on conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of posttraumatic psychopathology in children and adolescents. The assessment and treatment of posttraumatic psychopathology will be addressed in a developmental, systemic, and cultural context. Acute and chronic effects of trauma (and its impact on the developing child) will be explored from several theoretical perspectives and treatment modalities. Multiple types of trauma and a variety of treatment interventions will be explored. Students will be exposed to the common concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge), components (intervention and treatment elements) and skills (practitioner skills) underlying treatment with traumatized children, adolescents, and families. (3 credits)
Supervision, Consultation & Professional Practice
This course provides an overview of theory and practice models for supervision and consultation in clinical psychology drawing from principles and procedures found within psychology and related disciplines. Ethical issues and legal obligations of practice in settings such as schools, and healthcare organizations will also be addressed.
The Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program at the Chicago campus aligns with degree, coursework, and supervised clinical experience requirements for eligibility for clinical psychologist licensure in Illinois. Prior to applying for licensure, students must complete a minimum number of hours of post-doctoral supervised professional experience. Licensure requires that students apply for and pass the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). All candidates are also required to complete the licensure application process, which includes fees and/or background check. For further information about clinical psychologist licensure in Illinois, please visit the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements of other states. If students intend to apply for psychology licensure outside Illinois, students must contact the specific state licensing board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure. A list of state board contact information is available via the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
The Psy.D in Clinical Psychology program at the Chicago Campus is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
The American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242
The practicum is an integral component of clinical training. It provides a closely supervised clinical experience in which students use the knowledge obtained in the classroom to understand their patients and to develop skills in assessment, psychotherapy, and other discipline related areas. As such, the practicum serves to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of the professional psychologist. It allows students to become familiar with professional collaboration and consultation in a clinical setting.
All students are required to take fourteen semester hours of Practicum (four Basic, six Intermediate and four Advanced, see below). Basic practicum is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. Intermediate and Advanced practicums are primarily devoted to training in evidence-based models of intervention. All practicums require two hours of supervision weekly offered by the practicum site, as well as small group seminars offered by the school. A minimum of 600 hours are completed by each student at each practicum level.
All students are required to complete an Internship following the successful completion of all course work, practicum, and dissertation requirements. On internship, students integrate academic knowledge with clinical skills and demonstrate the effective and ethical use of these skills in clinical practice. Through intensive supervised training, students gain direct experience in applying their knowledge with a clinical population.
The internship experience consists of a minimum of 2,000 hours of training over 12-24 months (full or part time, respectively). Appropriate sites for internship training include programs that are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) and programs that are members of the Association of Psychology Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Internship Centers (APPIC). The internship is a vital component of the educational requirements and is never transferred. Students are required to register for Internship during each semester they are on internship. Registration for Internship automatically assigns full-time student status.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
Send materials to:
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601
Application to The Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants for admission to the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago Campus must meet the following requirements:
- Submit all required application materials.
- Complete a baccalaureate degree from a college or university that is regionally accredited or an equivalent academic degree from a foreign college or university by the official start of the applicant’s intended term.
- Present an academic record that demonstrates an ability to fulfill the academic demands of a doctoral program. Successful applicants typically have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
- Complete the following prerequisite coursework, earning a grade of “B-” or better prior to matriculation in the program. An offer may be extended with coursework pending however courses must be successfully completed prior to the start of the intended term and verified through the submission of an official transcript.
- Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test within the past five years.
- Interview with faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and applicants will be notified by the Office of Admission should an interview be granted.
- Have demonstrated through written statements and interview the interest in and basic interpersonal skills needed to begin training for professional human service work.
- Students whose primary language is not English must submit proof they are able to communicate in English at the Graduate level. Language proficiency must also be evident through writing submitted with the application and in the interview. Acceptable proof of English ability include:
- Official TOEFL score report (TOEFL Code: 7161). To be considered for admission, students must submit a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based test or 550 on the paper-based test
- Official IELTS score report with a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS test
- Completion of ELS course 112
- Bachelor Degree or Master’s Degree from the United States.
Admission to the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is competitive and possession of the minimum requirements does not ensure admission.
A complete application for the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago campus, includes the following:
- Application Fee
- Essays – Please answer the following two questions in two separate documents (approximately 500 words each)
- Many people choose Clinical Psychology as a career because they are interested in helping other people. Please tell us additional reasons, other than helping people, why you would like to be a clinical psychologist. Specifically, indicate why you would like training at the doctoral level rather than at the master’s level.
- In your role as a clinical psychology student, you are likely to work and study with people from many backgrounds. Tell us what will be some of the challenges for you studying with people different from yourself and what you would contribute in your interactions with them.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV). Include a brief résumé or CV that describes your professional experience both inside and outside the field of psychology (include current professional activities)
- Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
- You must arrange for your official GRE scores to be sent to the school. Our school code is 1119.
- To register for the exam or request scores taken within the past five years, visit GRE.org or call 1-888-GRE-SCORE.
- Test scores older than 5 years will not be considered
- Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
- Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official copies in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal when they arrive.
- International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service such as wes.org or www.ece.org.
- Three letters of recommendation. Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant clinical, volunteer or work experience that can assess the potential for academic success at the doctoral level and/or ability to succeed in a human services profession. Letters should either be submitted through our online application system or must arrive in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal.
- Required Courses*: At least 18 credit hours of psychology, including one course in each:
- Abnormal psychology
- Lifespan (human development)
*Equivalent coursework in other social sciences may be considered to meet the requirements listed. Students may also wish to include the following among the 18 credits:
- Theories of personality
- Tests and measurements
- Research methods
Applications submitted by the early application deadline and completed prior to November 10th may qualify for an early interview. Applications received after the March 15th deadline will be given consideration if space is available in the program. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for additional information.
The Clinical Psy.D. program has a rolling admissions process. Students are notified of acceptance shortly after interview. Admitted students must make deposit to retain a spot in the program. Students are required to deposit by April 15th to retain their spot in the program.
The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.