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Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology

  • Irvine, CA
  • Full-Time
  • 3 Years Full-Time

Through The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology program, students will be uniquely positioned to make a transition into private practice. This program prepares students for careers in a variety of settings, including: Schools Children’s hospital Specialized health care centers Universities Public health agencies Private consultation/practice settings Guided by practitioner faculty, and with a strong […]

Through The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology program, students will be uniquely positioned to make a transition into private practice.

This program prepares students for careers in a variety of settings, including:

  • Schools
  • Children’s hospital
  • Specialized health care centers
  • Universities
  • Public health agencies
  • Private consultation/practice settings

Guided by practitioner faculty, and with a strong focus on cultural competency, Applied Clinical Psychology students will cover a wide range of scientific and theoretical principles and build the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations.

Students may apply to complete their clinical training hours at one of The Chicago School Counseling Centers, located in West LA and Irvine.

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.

Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology: Irvine Student Experience

Our Irvine campus, is located in Orange County next to UC Irvine in the heart of University Plaza. Over 100 national and multinational businesses are headquartered in Irvine, opening up significant networking and job opportunities.

Our Irvine campus is also home to one of our well-known Chicago School counseling centers, which provide students the extraordinary opportunity to apply to gain real-world training at the centers while also learning marketing and operations related to running a private practice or mental health clinic.

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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.

The Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program aligns with degree requirements for licensure as a Psychologist in California. In order to meet the coursework requirements for eligibility to become a licensed psychologist in California, students who have not completed the following courses in their Master’s degree program will be required to complete coursework in the following content areas in addition to the program coursework requirements:

  • Human Sexuality (10 contact hours)
  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 contact hours)
  • Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Detection and Treatment (1 semester credit hour)
  • Spousal/Partner Abuse (15 contact hours)
  • Aging and Long Term Care (10 contact hours)

These courses may be completed either while enrolled in a doctoral program or post degree. More information about these requirements can be found at the California Board of Psychology’s application information webpage.

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 of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLEE). All candidates are also required to complete the licensure application process, which includes fees and/or background check. For further information about licensure, please visit the California Board of Psychology.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

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 clients 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.

Students in the Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program are required to complete 800 hours in the practicum. Those students who completed a practicum in their master’s program will be able to apply for a waiver of 200 hours from the current 800-practicum hour requirement. Students who wish to apply for a waiver must do so by the end of their first semester or the deadline for applying to practicum sites, whichever comes first. Students must have been in a practicum experience that lasted at least 600 hours during their master’s program. They must have provided psychotherapy during the practicum. Their psychotherapy work must have been supervised by a licensed professional (MFT, LCSW, or Psychologist). They must offer proof that they met the above requirements to the Applied Clinical Psychology Director of Training who will make the final determination, and process the waiver.



The dissertation is an essential aspect of a student’s academic experience and clinical education at the school. The dissertation provides the school with the opportunity to formally evaluate the student’s ability to contribute to the field by applying theory and research to areas of clinical psychology, thinking critically and creatively about professional psychology, and demonstrating self-direction and professional/scholarly writing. The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the body of knowledge in a chosen area, as well as ability to critically evaluate and synthesize this knowledge. The student’s Dissertation Committee is responsible for assessing the student’s abilities and critical thinking, determining the professional standards the dissertation must meet, and giving final approval to the dissertation.


All students are required to complete an internship following the completion of all coursework, practicum, and dissertation requirements. During their 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.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60601

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a master’s degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following question within three double spaced typed pages (approximately 750 words).
    • In your role as a psychology student, you will likely assist individuals from diverse backgrounds in a variety of contexts. Tell us reasons why you want to receive your Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology. Include what your career aspirations are and some of the challenges you might encounter when working with diverse individuals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. 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.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.
  • Previous Coursework
    • 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.

International Application Requirements

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.

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