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Students study in class Clinical Psychology

Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology

  • San Diego, CA
  • Full-Time
  • 3 years

As licensed clinical psychologists, graduates of the Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program will have the opportunity to independently diagnose and treat mental disorders in a variety of clinical environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for clinical psychologists will grow much faster than average over the next several years. Psychologists with a […]

As licensed clinical psychologists, graduates of the Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program will have the opportunity to independently diagnose and treat mental disorders in a variety of clinical environments.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for clinical psychologists will grow much faster than average over the next several years. Psychologists with a Psy.D. will find themselves uniquely qualified to provide therapeutic treatments—as well as conduct studies or educate the next generation of practitioners. In addition, wages for psychologists who have a doctoral degree measure 69% higher than therapists with a master’s degree.

Preparing graduates to sit for licensure in California, this doctoral clinical psychology program integrates eight core competencies developed by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Graduates of this Applied Clinical Psychology program at The Chicago School will be academically prepared to sit for the National Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLEE). Prior to applying for licensure, students must complete a minimum number of hours of post-doctoral supervised professional experience.

The faculty of this doctoral program are actively engaged in practice and scholarship, and incorporate a wide variety of clinical examples into the classroom. In addition to their coursework, students can take part in a remarkably wide variety of training opportunities.

San Diego Student Experience

The Chicago School has served Southern California for the better part of a decade. By providing exceptional programs in psychology and the related mental health sciences—including Clinical Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Marriage and Family Therapy—the programs at our San Diego Campus provide expanded access to students in diverse communities all throughout Southern California.

Maintaining partnerships with local organizations and clinical sites all through Southern California, our San Diego Campus gives students the opportunity to engage in hands-on training where they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations. By serving diverse and underserved neighborhoods and communities, students will develop a global worldview that can be applied to a career in any field.

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Existential Psychology: Theories and Interventions

This course is designed to present and overview of the field of existential psychology, including the basic foundations of conducting psychotherapy using the existential approach, the existential viewpoint, its major theories, and its application to helping patients to live a meaningful life. Students will acquire and demonstrate knowledge of effective psychotherapeutic techniques and modalities in this area. Salient topics include the philosophical and psychological contributions of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Binswanger, Boss, Rollo May, Ernest Becker, Viktor Frankl, Irvin Yalom, and several others.

Existential Psychology: Theories and Interventions

This course provides an overview of the history and applications of neuropsychology. Introductory topics include major neuropsychological syndromes (e.g., aphasia, apraxia), selected functional neuroanatomy (e.g., cortical and subcortical organization), and cognitive development (e.g., hemispheric specialization). Brain mechanisms of emotion, language, perception, memory, attention, and executive functions will be discussed.

Geropsychology

In this course students will be exposed to the developmental and clinical aspects of working with older adults, particularly those over the age of 65. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major clinical issues, concepts, and methods in the study of aging. Students will tackle various issues relevant to later life and address the societal implications of an aging population.

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

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 who apply for a waiver 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.

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. The school admits students whom it judges to possess sufficient academic aptitude, as well as the emotional and social maturity to function effectively as professional psychologists. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work.

The Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology program requires specific pre-requisite courses that must be completed in a student’s master’s program or completed as part of the elective options while enrolled in the doctorate program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Graduate coursework used to meet pre-requisite requirements will be considered for transfer or waver on a case-by-case basis. Based upon the evaluation of these materials selected candidates may be invited to interview for further consideration of their application. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50 (U.S.) fee in order to be evaluated.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Applicants for admission to the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the San Diego 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’s 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
    • 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)
      • Statistics

*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
      • Biopsychology
      • Tests and measurements
      • Research methods

Applications submitted by the early application deadline and completed prior to November 10 may qualify for an early interview. Applications received after the March 15 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 15 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.

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