Jun 20, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2018-2019 
Academic Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology, PsyD

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Program Purpose and Objectives

The curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking and lifelong learning as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for competent, successful, and ethical practice. Students are exposed to a broad, flexible model of practice including new service delivery models, which reflect changing needs and opportunities for clinical psychologists. Included is attention to the business and administrative aspects of the profession. Graduates are prepared to enter the process of licensure as doctoral level psychologists. They are employed in a very wide variety of clinical and institutional settings in addition to independent and consultative practice.


The PsyD Program has three primary aims:

  1. To prepare culturally and ethically competent, grounded, and humble practitioners who are committed to lifelong learning and application of knowledge;
  2. To prepare culturally and ethically competent, grounded, and humble scholars who are committed to lifelong learning and application of knowledge;
  3. To prepare culturally and ethically competent, grounded, and humble psychologists who are committed to the collaborative practice of psychology and lifelong learning in an effort to advance meaningful change and social justice.

The PsyD Program Aims, Competencies, and Outcome Metrics can be found at SGP’s website.

Coursework and Practica

The PsyD requires five years of full-time study and clinical work. The first four years of study for full-time students consist of required courses, elective courses, and practica.

Practicum training is designed to develop a foundation of clinical skills and professional competence with diverse presenting problems and populations, and to prepare for more substantial responsibilities required during internship. Practicum training is a prerequisite to internship. Each student completes 6 terms (21 credits) of practica. The practicum experience includes a minimum of 500 training hours per year, of which approximately 50% (and ideally 75%) are expected to be spent in direct service; the remainder is dedicated to supervision, training activities, and administrative or clerical duties. Training entails integration of theoretical knowledge through its application in clinical practice. The experience includes supervised clinical practice in the application of professional psychological competencies with a range of client populations, age groups, presentations and service settings. Practicum training takes place at the Pacific Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinics (PCH) in Hillsboro and Portland, and numerous community placements. Practicum experience begins in the first semester of the second year following successful completion of course requirements.


Although it is the purpose of the curriculum to provide a generalist education, tracks within the generalist PsyD program provide students with a way to cluster their training through defined curriculum, programs of research, and clinical practica that solidify core knowledge in the various areas of concentration. Tracks include:

  • Adult Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology

Application for tracks takes place during the admissions process. See PsyD Student Handbook for procedures regarding track membership changes/transfers once matriculated.

Diversity Training

The School of Graduate Psychology sponsors an annual Diversity Conference that is open for attendance to the entire school. The conference offers academic, scholarly, experiential, and social activities. A group of faculty and students are responsible for planning each year’s activities. Students in SGP’s doctoral programs must attend two SGP Diversity Conferences as a non-credit degree requirement. In addition, students take academic, experiential, and elective courses in Human Diversity.

Interprofessional Training.

All first year students take a course in interprofessional clinical concepts. This course is administered by the College of Health Professions and facilitates interprofessional collaboration and communication among students and other healthcare providers.  In addition, students in the PsyD program are required to attend two Interprofessional case conference (offerd by CHP).


As evidence of scholarly competence, students complete a major work that represents an original contribution to research or practice in clinical psychology. In keeping with the practitioner-scholar model of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology, dissertations are not confined to experimental study designs, but may utilize a variety of formats. Students begin work on the dissertation project in their 2nd year (except for those on the Neuropsychology track who start in their 3rd year). The completed dissertation is defended in a public oral examination. The dissertation requirement is fulfilled after advancement to doctoral candidacy and before the internship.

Doctoral Internship

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Internship is the capstone of the PsyD program. It is among the last major tasks undertaken by the student prior to graduation and represents a significant commitment of time and effort. The internship begins after practicum training is completed, advancement to doctoral candidacy, completion of required coursework, and defense of the dissertation.

The doctoral internship provides an opportunity to use and refine clinical skills and knowledge developed during the course of the PsyD program as well as to consolidate a professional identity.

Doctoral Internship placements exist in a variety of outpatient or inpatient settings throughout the United States and Canada. Doctoral Internship training must occur at a program-approved site, and all internships must be funded and meet Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) criteria. Program-approved internship settings include all American Psychological Association (APA) and Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) accredited sites, all sites listed in the APPIC Directory, and other selected sites that have been specifically approved by SGP. Most internship applications are due in November, December, or January, and offers are made in February for placements that begin the following Fall.


The PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology seeks students who demonstrate both academic aptitude and personal qualities that will enable them to develop personally and professionally into effective psychologists. Students of all ages and social backgrounds have been successful in our programs. Although granting a master’s degree on the path to the doctorate, the PsyD Program is intended and designed for students who seek to obtain the doctorate as the terminal degree.

Applications for the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology are considered for Fall term entry only. The deadline for application is in December. A personal interview is required for all finalists. PsyD-specific information is at http://www.pacificu.edu/future-graduate-professional/colleges/college-health-professions/areas-study/psychology-clinical-psychology-psyd/admissions

For questions about the admissions process or to make an appointment for a campus visit, contact gradadmissions@pacificu.edu.


  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.4 during the last 2 years is desirable.
  • The General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within 5 years of application. Applicants with a graduate degree may apply for a waiver of the GRE requirement.
  • A strong undergraduate background in psychology. Applicants do not need to have majored in psychology.
    • One math-based statistics course is required.
    • Abnormal Psychology is required.
  • In addition, 2 of the following 6 courses are required as preparation for work at the graduate level:
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Personality Theory
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Experimental Psychology
    • Physiological Psychology
    • Social Psychology

Applicants may be admitted with pre-requisite courses in progress. All prerequisite courses must be completed with passing grades of “B” or higher before an admitted student can matriculate into the program.

Applicants applying with a Master’s Degree may request to transfer in coursework meeting certain requirements (see SGP Policies below regarding transfer credit). Certain PsyD course requirements may be adjusted based upon Master’s training; however, time to completion is not expected to change.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following through http://www.pacificu.edu/future-graduate-professional/colleges/college-health-professions/areas-study/doctor-psychology/how-apply

  • Pacific University School of Graduate Psychology application
  • Two letters of recommendation and evaluation form
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • TOEFL test scores, if applicable
  • $40 application fee

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for those for whom English is not the native language. Minimum score information is available from the Office of Admissions.

Applicants who attended a non-US or non-Canadian college, university, or graduate school must provide a course-by-course evaluation of all international college and university transcripts. Several third party organizations provide this service; WES (World Education Services – www.wes.org) is preferred by Pacific University. The credentials evaluation must be received in our Admissions office by the application deadline to ensure consideration of your application.


Student Advisement

Upon enrollment in the PsyD program an academic advisor is assigned to each student. This person, a member of the full-time faculty, works closely with the student to provide continuity and coherence throughout the student’s program. The advisor provides guidance on the educational plan and general coursework and program requirements. PsyD students work with advisors and Clinical Mentors throughout the program, including thesis, dissertation, clinical proficiency, and internship. Advising may encompass academic and professional concerns and opportunities, career questions, and other topics. Students may petition to request a different advisor than the one assigned.

Advancement to Candidacy for the PsyD Degree

Advancement to candidacy signifies that the student is ready for doctoral-level training. To be advanced to candidacy for the PsyD degree, students must have successfully completed:

  • All Master’s degree course requirements
  • One year of practicum training (3 terms of GPSY 887 )
  • Dissertation proposal defense
  • Successful completion of CCC course (GPSY 886)

Scheduling the Dissertation Defense

The final dissertation defense may not be scheduled or conducted until advancement to candidacy is complete. Students must earn a passing grade (A or B) in GPSY 866 - Dissertation Seminar III  (i.e., defend the dissertation proposal successfully) before being approved to apply for internship

Doctoral Internship

Students may apply for internship upon:

  • Advancement to Candidacy
  • Good Standing in the program (i.e., “Outstanding”, “Satisfactory” or “Acceptable with Concerns”). Students who are on Probation or Warning will not be approved to apply for internship.

Prior to beginning internship, students must:

  • Complete practicum training
  • Successfully defend the dissertation
  • Complete all required coursework

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 135 credits are required, including 75 credits of coursework, 21 credits of clinical practica, 12 credits of dissertation research, and 27 credits of the doctoral internship. Additional credits required, depending upon track membership, range from 10-42 credits. Students must complete, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, all required coursework. The PsyD typically can be completed in five years of full-time study, with four years devoted to coursework and practicum and one year designated for the doctoral internship.

Students entering with an approved Master’s degree may request transfer of credit for certain coursework. Students entering without an approved Master’s degree must complete requirements for the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology before they may advance to doctoral candidacy, defend their dissertation, or apply for internship.

Other requirements include the following:

  • Completion of three terms each of Practicum I and Practicum II (21 credits total), with a minimum of 16 hours of clinical work per week
  • A minimum of 1,500 training hours of doctoral internship (either full-time supervised clinical experience for one calendar year, or a comparable half-time supervised clinical experience for two consecutive years)
  • Successful proposal and defense of dissertation research
  • Attendance at two SGP Annual Diversity Conferences
  • Completion of the Interprofessional Competence course (CHP 515 )
  • Attendance at two or more Interprofessional Case Conferences

The following are required:

*Courses required for the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

Human Diversity: 7 Credits

Supervised Clinical Experience: 51 Credits

Additional Tracks

In addition, students will focus in one of the following Tracks:

Adult Track: 10 Credits

Note: Additional elective coursework may be required of certain clinical placements

Child Track: 18 Credits

Note: Additional elective coursework may be required of certain clinical placements

Health Track: 18 Credits

Note: Additional elective coursework may be required of certain clinical placements

Neuropsychology: Track 42 Credits

Note: Additional elective coursework may be required of certain clinical placements

*See Neuropsychology Track Director for more information

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