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New student frequently asked questions: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Are you considering a Psy.D. in clinical psychology? We've compiled answers to some of the most common questions from new students.

The answers below regarding frequently asked questions about Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology programs are specific to programs at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The Chicago School offers Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New Orleans.


Is it possible to work during the program? Is there a part-time option?

Yes, it may be possible to work during the program.

Some students may qualify for a part-time job as a federal work-study employee on campus. Classes during the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program are offered Monday to Friday throughout the day, which means working full-time may present challenges.

Faculty advise against working more than a part-time job due to the rigor of the program. It is expected that you are prepared to be a full-time student during the program.

If you are searching for a more flexible program, we offer many master’s programs with part-time and/or blended-course format options, including:


Can I transfer credit from my master’s degree and make the program shorter?

*If you have been affected by the recent announcement of Argosy University’s closure, please go to this Argosy transfer student page to speak with an admissions representative who can answer questions about your specific situation.  

Our transfer credit policy allows for up to 21 transfer credits into the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program. We require a transfer credit petition form for each course you wish to transfer.

The course content should overlap with 80 percent or more of the course content offered at The Chicago School, and final transfer credit approval is always up to the discretion of faculty.

It is also important to keep in mind that regardless of transfer credit, the duration of the program will not change due to the number of practicums and internship. But transfer credit will allow you to lighten your course load during the program.


How big is the cohort? How large are the classes?

Our average size for any cohort of the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program is 50 to 55 students. Each individual classroom can hold a maximum of 23 students, though the average class size is approximately 12 to 16 students. As you progress through the program, some courses (such as your practicum seminar) will be smaller than average, with 6 to 8 students per class.


How will this program allow me to specialize?

The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program provides broad and general training in alignment with the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA).

However, you may choose to focus on a particular specialty through opportunities with practicum and dissertation as well as post-doctoral work.


What is the difference between practicum and internship?

In the second, third, and fourth year of the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program you will be required to complete three 600-hour practicums while you are taking classes and working on your dissertation. Typically, you will spend 20 to 26 hours per week at your practicum site, and each year the practicums are focused on a particular facet of clinical work.

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What is the difference between a Psy.D. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology?

What to expect in a Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program

Your internship occurs during your fifth year. It is a full-time commitment which is generally paid.

The content of the internship will vary depending on the site where it is completed. Internship sites can be searched through a national database, which allows you to potentially complete it anywhere in the U.S.

Students at The Chicago School are required to apply to an APA-accredited internship site.


What is the difference between the M.A. in Clinical Psychology and the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program?

The Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program is a full-time, five-year doctoral program which includes a dissertation, three practica, and a full-time internship in preparation for EPPP licensure, which allows you to practice as a clinical psychologist. There are many different master’s degrees which can also lead to careers that require licensure as well.

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How can I make myself a competitive applicant?

The admission process relies on a holistic approach when reviewing an applicant for consideration to the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program.

It is strongly recommended that you choose someone to recommend you who is knowledgeable of your skill set as it pertains to the field of psychology. Their relationship to you is more important than the person’s professional title, although their professional expertise will also be taken into account.

Applicants do not need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology although it’s preferred.

The Chicago School requires 18 credit hours of psychology coursework to be completed including a course in statistics, abnormal psychology, and lifespan development with an earned grade of B- or better. If you have not taken one of these courses, you may be able to take them prior to beginning the program.

A competitive GPA is generally considered to be above 3.2 for a bachelor’s degree and 3.4 for a graduate degree. Within your resume, it is recommended to include any clinical and/or research experience you may have in addition to volunteer work and extracurricular activities.


What happens after I graduate?

Many graduates of Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology programs pursue post-doctoral work that reflects their career goals. The duration of post-doctoral work may vary depending on which licensure(s) are pursued and where you are located. In addition to post-doctoral work, graduates spend time preparing for the EPPP licensure. At The Chicago School, we pride ourselves in remaining connected with our graduates and act as a valuable resource throughout their post-doctoral training.


Learn more about clinical psychology programs at The Chicago School

If you would like to learn more about the clinical psychology programs offered at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, fill out the form below to request more information. You can also visit our clinical psychology programs page, or apply today through our application portal.

The Chicago School


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