Jul 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology, PsyD

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Program Purpose and Aims

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 coursework available focused on 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 Aims, Competencies, and Outcome Metrics can be found at SGP’s website.

Coursework and Practica

The PsyD requires the equivalent of 5 years of full-time study and clinical work.

Practicum training is designed to develop a foundation of clinical skills and professional competence to prepare for more substantial responsibilities required during internship. Practicum training is a prerequisite to internship. Each student completes 9 terms (minimum 27 credits) of practica. The practicum experience includes a minimum of 500 training hours per year (for the first two years of clinical training), 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. Required orientation to the first practicum experience occurs in August of the first year.


Although it is the purpose of the curriculum to provide a generalist education, emphases 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. Emphases include:

  • Adult Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology (not accepting applicants for Fall 2021)
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology

Application for emphases takes place during the admissions process. See PsyD Student Handbook for procedures regarding emphasis 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, applied, and experiential courses in 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, consultation, and communication among students and other healthcare providers. In addition, students in the PsyD program are required to attend two Interprofessional Case Conferences (ICC) (offered 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 emphasis 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 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 in summer or 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 most students earn 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.

Students entering the PsyD program with a qualified Master’s degree and/or extensive transfer credit (more than 25% of the credits required for the Master’s degree) may not earn the additional Master’s in Clinical Psychology. For additional detail, see PsyD Program Student handbook.


  • 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.
  • 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 above regarding transfer credit). Certain PsyD course requirements may be adjusted based upon Master’s training; however, time-to-completion does not change.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following through https://www.pacificu.edu/psyd-clinical-psychology/admissions/apply-now

  • 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
  • TOEFL test scores, if applicable
  • Fee: Pacific does not have an application fee. However, PSYCAS, our online, central application system, has a charge for applications.

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.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 98 credits are required (including 64 credits of coursework, minimum 22 credits of clinical practica, and 12 credits of dissertation research), and an additional 27 credits of the doctoral internship. Additional credits required, depending upon emphasis membership, range from 12-37 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. As stated above, students entering the PsyD program with a qualified Master’s degree and/or extensive transfer credit (more than 25% of the credits required for the Master’s degree) may not earn the additional Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. For additional detail, see PsyD Program Student handbook.

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, over 6 terms, of Practicum I and Practicum II (minimum 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 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice, Equity & Inclusion course (CHP 550)
  • Attendance at two CHP Interprofessional Case Conferences

The following are required:

*Courses required for the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

Discipline Specific Knowledge: 9 Credits

Diversity Coursework: Minimum 6 Credits

Assessment Coursework: 9 Credits

One of the Following: Minimum 1 Credit

Professional Development: Minimum 15 Credits

Research Coursework: minimum 18 Credits

Supervised Clinical Experience: Minimum 49 Credits

Additional Emphasis

In addition, students will focus their training in one of the following Emphases:

Child Emphasis: 15 Credits

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

Health Emphasis: 14 Credits

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

Neuropsychology Emphasis: 43 Credits

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

*See Neuropsychology Emphasis Director for more information

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