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Clinical Psychology graduates are prepared to conduct psychological testing, create treatment plans, collaborate with physicians, and to provide therapy. Clinical Psychology

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Full-Time
  • 5 Years

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is the highest degree for those who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. Through The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program, students will gain a broad knowledge of scientific and theoretical psychology principles. After completing 50 semester hours of required coursework including three semesters of practicum, students in […]

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is the highest degree for those who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. Through The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program, students will gain a broad knowledge of scientific and theoretical psychology principles.

After completing 50 semester hours of required coursework including three semesters of practicum, students in the Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program may petition to be awarded a master’s degree. Guided by practitioner faculty, students will acquire the tools to provide the following services in both education and clinical settings:

  • Conduct clinical interviews and psychological testing
  • Create treatment plans and provide therapy
  • Consult and collaborate with physicians and other professionals

Graduates of The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program will be qualified to sit for national licensure exams and will be prepared to pursue employment as licensed clinical psychologists in a variety of settings, including government, nonprofit, or private practice.

Areas of Study

  • Child, Adolescent, and Family
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Generalist

Additional Information and Data About the Washington, D.C. Campus’ Clinical Psy.D. Program

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology: Washington, D.C. Student Experience

Surrounded by much of the nation’s historical and cultural riches, students will have the opportunity to benefit from a location essential to much of the United States’ political, governmental, and multi-national affairs.

Expanding on the success of the Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County, Calif. campuses, the Washington, D.C. campus reflects The Chicago School’s commitment to diversity and effort to expand mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities.

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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.

Personality Assessment

This course introduces models of objective and projective personality assessment. The goal is to leave this course with a foundational conceptual and practical knowledge of personality assessment techniques. Students learn the administration, scoring, and interpretation of major personality instruments in both objective and projective realms such as MMPI-2/A, Rorschach, and the Thematic Apperception Test. Throughout the lecture and lab portions of the course, students learn quantitative and qualitative methods of interpretation. Students learn to understand the construction and psychometric properties of the instruments, and the standardization process and the appropriateness of generalizing interpretively from that sample. Students will also be introduced to clinical and actuarial approaches to diagnosis and treatment planning.

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.

Intermediate Practicum Seminar I

This is the first course in the Intermediate Practicum sequence and emphasizes therapy. This course provides a small consultation group in which students examine relevant clinical and professional development issues that arise as the result of participation in intermediate practica. Students present practicum cases to gain mastery in the integration of theory and practice. Case conceptualizations consider client/therapist relationship, broad system issues (e.g., family, school, community, court, political, other treatment professionals/programs), and areas of diversity and difference (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status) as contextual variables. Presentations and discussions are designed to help students prepare for their Clinical Competency Exam (CCE).

The Washington D.C. campus’ Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program prepares graduates to sit for the national licensure exam, a requirement to becoming a psychologist. The program meets the academic requirements to sit for a licensure exam as a Psychologist  in the District of Columbia,  Virginia, and Maryland. Students who wish to practice in jurisdictions other than these states should consult with their local licensing agency to determine licensure requirements.

A graduate can also apply to sit for the national licensure examination, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and may also able to apply for licensure in other states, and both of these options are subject to individual state requirements and completion of any state-required post-doctoral residency requirements. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to the campus. Students may want to visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards website for more information.

The Psy.D in Clinical Psychology program at the Washington DC 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
202.336.5979

Practicum Experience

Students participate in three years of organized, sequential, and well-supervised practicum experiences that increasingly expose them to the range of roles and responsibilities of a clinical psychologist.  All practicum experiences are an extension of the students’ academic coursework, and are defined by an annual training agreement that details such things as supervisory contact information, duration of training experience, available clinical activities, and methods of evaluating the students’ performance and the site’s training program.

Situated in the nation’s capital, students in the Program have access to a diverse selection of practicum sites that offer experiences consistent with the Program’s values and training goals.  Sample placement sites include hospitals, community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, and forensic settings.  The Practicum requirements include:

  • Year 2: 600-hour basic practicum
  • Year 3: 600-hour intermediate practicum
  • Year 4: 600-hour advanced practicum

The first three-semester practicum sequence is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. The second three-semester sequence is primarily devoted to training in psychotherapy.  The Advanced Practicum is designed to offer students advanced experience in a particular area of interest (e.g., neuropsychology) or help them secure additional experience in assessment or treatment. Advanced Practicum also has an emphasis on consultation and supervision.  All practica require individual supervision offered by the practicum site, which can be complimented with group supervision.  Students must be simultaneously enrolled in small group seminars offered by the school.

Research Experience

Students are exposed to research training through coursework such as Research Methods, and a year-long Research Clerkship class.  Core faculty in the Program engage in a number of scholarly and research activities that span diverse clinical research areas (e.g., specific clinical disorders and intervention methods), and clinical populations (e.g., adults, adolescents and children).  Both through informal research involvement with faculty and through a sequential progression of Dissertation Maintenance coursework, students increasingly gain independent and sophisticated research skills that prepare them for the conceptualization and execution of a dissertation towards the end of the Program.

Dissertation

All students are required to complete a dissertation. The dissertation is an essential aspect of a student’s academic experience and clinical education at the school. 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.

Internship

All students are required to complete an internship following the completion of all course work, practica, 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 a 12-24 month (full- or part-time, respectively) period. 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) or the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). An independent internship may also be created and approved through the Clinical Psy.D. Department within The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. All internships must meet and/or exceed the APPIC membership criteria, as well as meet the hour requirements noted above. The internship is a vital component of the educational experience and is never waived or 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.

Prospective students to the Program undergo an extensive review process, overseen by the Admissions Committee composed of Program faculty.  The Admissions Committee employs a holistic, structured evaluation process to identify applicants who are, by aptitude and prior achievement, appropriate for the Program.  Applicants invited to interview typically demonstrate an undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher, or have demonstrated increased levels of achievement throughout their undergraduate and, when applicable, prior graduate experiences.  Successful applicants are also required to have taken the GRE, have successfully completed 18 hours of psychology coursework at the undergraduate or master’s level, and to have had exposure to research and clinical work.  Applicants must submit two essays — one a personal statement of their desire to become a clinical psychologist trained at the doctoral level and one speaking to their appreciation of the importance of individual differences and cultural diversity — and three letters of recommendation; these are assessed for potential fit with the Program goals.

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. Students applying to the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essays – Please answer the following two questions on separate sheets of paper (approximately 500 words each).
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • 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.
    • Transcripts must reflect 18 hours of psychology credit with earned grade of C or better, including one course in  Child/Human Development or Lifespan, Abnormal Psychology, and Statistics
  • 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. Letters should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal.
  • Official GRE Scores
    • You must arrange for your official GRE scores to be sent to the school. Our school code is 1119.
    • Students who have yet to take the GRE examination should contact them at GRE.org to register for an exam date.
    • Students who have taken the test within the last five years should contact them at GRE.org, to have their scores forwarded directly to the school.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
350 N Orleans ST STE 1050
Chicago, IL 60654-1822

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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