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Clinical Psychology – PsyD Programs (Doctor of Psychology)

The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1985, making it the longest, continually accredited Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program in the Midwestern United States. Our PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program prepares graduates to engage the world as clinical psychologists. Our practitioner-scholar model combines a foundation in the science of psychology, close guidance in clinical practice, and encouragement of personal and professional growth through experiential learning opportunities.

Teaching Excellence

When we ask students why they chose The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago for their doctoral education, students consistently respond, "the faculty." Although varied in their approaches, the faculty has a strong tradition of collaboration and respect which results in fostering an academic environment of support and creativity. This culture allows for close working relationships through which students develop personally and professionally. The direct experience of this model of collaboration and cooperation encourages life-long contributions to the field.

The faculty is a diverse group of teachers and mentors, passionate about their work and the development of their students. Our faculty includes experts in each of the major theoretical orientations, leaders in the profession, and models of service to the broader community. All faculty are actively engaged in the field – either as practitioners, researchers, or consultants. Faculty bring their experience with the world to the classroom and model bringing it to the community through leadership and scholarship. A few examples include Dr. Sue Bae, who frequently presents her research on psychotherapist development internationally, and recently founded the Women's Division of the Midwest Regional Chapter of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA). Dr. Marge Witty recently published an important book on Barbara Temaner Brodley, Carl Rogers' prolific student who championed the client-centered approach. Dr. Torrey Wilson serves as the chair of the Ethnic-Racial Diversity committee of the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and serves as liaison to the APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs. Dr. Kathleen O'Brien, Board Certified Forensic Psychologist, frequently provides expert witness evaluation and testimony in child custody cases, Social Security Disability appeals, and competency hearings. Learn more about our impressive faculty on the faculty bios page.

Student Focused

Our committed, impressive faculty members mentor students in and out of the classroom. Student clubs and the program's concentrations provide an opportunity for students and faculty with shared interests to gather for intellectual, professional development, and social purposes. For example, many of the concentrations sponsor events with invited speakers, often held as potluck gatherings in the homes of faculty members who teach in the concentration. The program's long-standing commitment to strong mentorship, evident in small class sizes and intimate practicum seminars, fosters the development of close relationships among faculty and students.

A real strength of the program lies in the commitment to fostering students' development. In the first year, each student takes a course called "Personal and Professional Development." This course focuses on increasing knowledge, enhancing skills, and examining attitudes and values involved in interpersonal and group interaction. In this experiential approach, students learn to increase self-awareness and empathic understanding of others, practice more effective listening and communication skills, and work on developing greater interpersonal competency in order to guide their development as clinicians and professional psychologists. The program is committed to providing quality, practical training experiences for students in the PsyD program. As part of the degree requirements, students complete a minimum of 3 practicum and internship training years including psychodiagnostic practicum, psychotherapy practicum, and the capstone internship year. The faculty and staff in the clinical psychology program's training department assist students in the preparation for the practicum and internship application processes. In addition, the program has an in-house training clinic, The Psychological Services Center at Argosy University, Chicago, that provides practicum training opportunities for some students in the program.

An additional strength of the program and wonderful opportunity for students is the Lake Michigan Internship Consortium (LMIC), which is an APPIC member, Chicago-area, internship consortium for our students. The LMIC began in 2007 championed by our faculty and Argosy, Chicago administrators who were motivated to increase the number of quality internship training sites in the Chicago area. The LMIC has 12 interns in the 2011-12 academic year in settings as diverse as a psychiatric hospital, a university counseling center, a community mental health center, and an institute for psychoanalysis. We are thrilled to offer these local internship opportunities to our students.

Student groups provide wonderful opportunities for students and faculty to gather for intellectual, cultural, and social growth. Some examples of such groups are the Student Government Association (SGA), Black Student Association (BSA), Latin American Student Association (LASA),Supporting American Veterans' Issues Nationally and Globally (SAVING) and A2Z, a group interested in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. Several faculty sponsor reading groups where students and faculty gather to discuss articles and books on particular topics (e.g., psychoanalysis, international psychology, gender issues). Students also serve as members on multiple department and campus committees and help shape the school's culture and programs.

Globally Engaged

The PsyD program at The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago promotes engagement in the global community. For many years, the International Cross-Cultural Awareness and Support Group (ICAS) has brought students and faculty together for rich cultural exchange, learning across difference, fundraising to support international disaster relief (e.g., the 2011 earthquakes in Pakistan), and celebration. ICAS is a student support group focused on meeting the needs of international students enrolled in all Argosy University, Chicago programs, and welcomes all students interested in international and cross-cultural issues. ICAS plans events each semester centering on multiculturalism.

The Division 52 journal club meets monthly to review current scholarly works in International psychology, and this group gathers for potluck meals hosted by faculty in their homes. The faculty mentors for this club are models of global action. Dr. Neal Rubin is the president of APA's division 52 (International Psychology), a reviewer for the International Psychology bulletin, and a Representative/ Special Projects Associate to the United Nations NGO Team, American Psychological Association. With his encouragement, many students have participated in Psychology Day at the UN each year. Dr. Sandra Zakowski , recently returned from a year in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where she helped to develop a graduate program in mental health and trained local mental health providers. Dr. Zakowski also led a service learning trip for two students to Rwanda in 2009.

The program has several Study Abroad Opportunities each year, typically single classes offered in an intensive format in settings around the globe. Since 2006, the program has offered courses in Amsterdam, Berlin, Seoul, and Athens. Plans are underway to offer courses in Jerusalem, India, and other locations. These unique opportunities pair the course content and local culture in a thoughtful way: for example studying Mourning and Loss with visits to the Anne Frank House and the Auschwitz Concentration Camp; or studying the ancient philosophers in Greece as part of the History and Systems of Psychology course.

Program Goals and Objectives

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree program at The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago emphasizes the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential in the formation of professional psychologists who are committed to the ethical provision of quality services. We have five broad goals—Assessment, Intervention, Diversity, Scientific Foundations and Scholarship, which are detailed below:

Goal 1: Prepare professional psychologists to accurately, effectively, and ethically select, administer, score, interpret, and communicate findings of appropriate assessment methods informed by accepted psychometric standards and sensitive to the diverse characteristics and needs of clients.
  • Objective 1a: Accurately and ethically administer and score various psychodiagnostic instruments.
  • Objective 1b: Accurately interpret and synthesize assessment data in the context of diversity factors, referral questions, and specific objectives of the assessment, and organize and communicate results in writing and orally.
  • Objective 1c: Examine psychometric properties of psychological assessment instruments, and use that knowledge to evaluate, select, administer, and interpret psychological tests and measures appropriate for the client, the referral question, and the objectives of the assessment.

  • Goal 2: Prepare professional psychologists to select, implement, and evaluate psychological interventions consistent with current ethical, evidence-based, and professional standards, within a theoretical framework, and with sensitivity to the interpersonal processes of the therapeutic relationship and the diverse characteristics and needs of clients.
  • Objective 2a: Synthesize the foundations of clinical psychology, including psychopathology, human development, diagnosis, diversity, ethics, and various therapeutic models in clinical applications.
  • Objective 2b: Select, plan, and implement ethical and evidence-based interventions with sensitivity to the diverse characteristics and needs of clients.
  • Objective 2c: Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to effectively implement and participate in psychological consultation and supervision.
  • Objective 2d: Demonstrate personal development and self reflective capacity, including growth of interpersonal skills, and therapeutic relationships.
  • Goal 3: Prepare professional psychologists to analyze the complexity and multidimensionality of human diversity, and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to understand diverse worldviews and the potential meaning of social, cultural, and individual differences for professional psychological services. Goal 4: Prepare professional psychologists to examine the historical context and the current body of knowledge of biological, cognitive, affective, developmental, and social bases of human functioning. Goal 5: Prepare professional psychologists to critically evaluate the current and evolving body of scholarly literature in psychology to inform professional practice.

    Program Format

    The The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago PsyD in Clinical Psychology program is offered in a traditional, though flexible format with classes meeting in the mornings, afternoons and some evenings. The program can be completed in as little as four years, however most students complete the program in five or six years. This program must be completed in seven years.

    The program prepares students to become licensed clinical psychologists (provided they pass the appropriate licensure examinations). Argosy University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to Argosy University. The program has a strong track record for producing licensed psychologists as is evident in our licensure rates.

    Illinois School of Professional Psychology Timeline

  • 1976 founded
  • 1980 First graduating PsyD class
  • 1985 Initial APA accreditation
  • 1988 First Personal and Professional Development Group Retreat
  • 1990 & 1992 NCSPP Award for Promotion of Cultural Diversity
  • 1997 Anixter Center Award for Training in Rehabilitation
  • 2001 Transformed into Argosy University, multidisciplinary professional university
  • 2006 First study abroad courses
  • 2007-08 Lake Michigan Internship is founded and is granted APPIC Membership
  • 2009 Psychological Services Center founded