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Clinical Psychology – PsyD Programs (Doctor of Psychology)

The Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the Hawaii School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Hawaii has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1998. In 2011, the APA extended our programs accreditation for an additional five years.

A driving goal of our program is to prepare students to serve diverse populations. Since our program is one of only two doctoral programs in clinical psychology in Hawaii, and the only one designed to produce practitioners, we believe that our program is vitally important for developing psychologists to meet the mental health needs of our state and across the greater Pacific Rim. Our programs graduates also consistently serve in leadership roles critical to the continued advancement of the psychology profession in Hawaii. Currently, three of the four psychologists that comprise the Hawaii Board of Psychology are alumni (the fifth psychologist position is currently vacant).

Our alumni also currently occupy the following Hawaii Psychological Association (HPA) offices: secretary, clinical division representative, diversity committee chair, and legislative chair & federal advocacy coordinator. Last years HPA president was a graduate of our program. We feel honored to be in the unique position to lead and serve in these ways and value immensely the role our PsyD program plays in this regard.

Our program bases professional training of students on the science of psychology by integrating research into our curriculum and through the teaching of evidence based practices. Our program proudly employs the practitioner-scholar and Local Clinical Scientist models of training, both of which emphasize educating and training doctoral students to become clinicians and practitioners.

In particular, we strive to instill in students the desire and skills necessary to help them address local problems with the clinical skills and research evidence found in the science of psychology. Clinical training begins during the second year in the program and involves supervised out-of-class work with clinical populations. Through practicum work, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques based on this knowledge, and develop the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of the professional psychologist.

Practicum training covers a wide range of training opportunities, and students gain training experience at state psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, VA hospitals, forensic sites, child and adolescent facilities, and group based private practice settings. Students also complete a full-2000-hour internship prior to graduation and obtain internships that are APA-accredited or affiliated with the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

As many of our students wish to complete their education in Hawaii rather than move to the mainland for their training, we maintain an APPIC-affiliated Internship Consortium exclusively for our interns. By the end of their clinical training, our students possess well-developed and effective assessment and intervention skills, and practice in a highly ethical and culturally sensitive manner.

Both by virtue of the location of Hawaii and by the specific design of the faculty, a central focus of education is the importance of social issues, social justice, and human diversity and difference in the training of our students. As such, our program is comprised of diverse faculty members who devote part of their time to the practice of psychology and have various areas of expertise. Our faculty is committed to mentoring students who provide effective and relevant services to underserved populations.

Classroom experiences allow students the opportunity to develop a strong knowledge base of theory and research, to include the development and application of clinical competence to work with diverse and marginalized populations. In so doing, our program establishes an academic standard of excellence essential to preparing competent, valuable contributors to the field of psychology.

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Degree Program

The PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program and its faculty are committed to the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills essential to the training of clinical psychologists. Our program is designed to educate and train students to function effectively as clinical psychologists. Our curriculum provides for the meaningful integration of theory, training, and practice. Specific goals of the program include the following:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the foundational information of clinical psychology during relevant courses and practicum, by restating, describing, and explaining that information, through activities and assignments and examinations.
  • Students will deliver assessment and diagnostic services in a manner consistent with professional and ethical standards by effectively assessing and conceptualizing the strengths and problems of diverse clients through a variety of appropriate assessment techniques and accurately communicating findings in a professional manner.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to consider, judge, select and apply appropriate psycho therapeutic techniques during relevant courses and practicum by comparing and contrasting therapeutic options, defending and critiquing their selections and implementing their choices appropriately with diverse clients.
  • Students will demonstrate the abilities to articulate and generalize theories of consultation and apply them ethically and appropriately to a variety of diverse individuals, groups and/or organizations.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of and competence in addressing, the needs, values and experiences of people from diverse, or under served or marginalized sub-populations during relevant courses and practicum by recognizing and distinguishing people from such sub-populations, differentiating their experiences and prioritizing their needs.
  • In support of their lifelong learning, students will demonstrate the ability to critique, draw conclusions from, and apply clinically the existing and evolving body of knowledge and methods in the practice and science of psychology.
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding, and correct application of the APA Code of Ethics as that code applies to themselves and to other professionals during all interactions with students, staff and faculty, and in all courses and practicum by anticipating ethical dilemmas, consider potential solutions, and initiating consultation as need, to create ethical solutions.

Clinical Training Overview

Students clinical training involves supervised out-of-class contact with clinical populations. Through this contact, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques based on this knowledge, and develop the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of a professional psychologist. By the end of clinical training, HSPP students possess effective assessment and intervention skills, and practice in a highly ethical and culturally sensitive manner.

During their clinical training, students advance through progressively more challenging levels of training. At each level, students progress is assessed in multiple ways by multiple faculty members and field supervisors. PsyD students generally complete their practicum in the second and third years of the program, with the option of also completing an Advanced Practicum during the fourth year. Students typically complete their internship training during the fifth year.

Practicum and Practicum Seminar Requirements

Full-time students are normally placed in a Diagnostic Practicum and Seminar during their second year of study and in an Intervention Practicum and Seminar during the third year. For registration purposes, the practicum and seminar are treated like one course. Practicum usually begins in September and concludes in June. Throughout the year, the student will be required to spend 20 to 24 hours per week or a minimum of 720 hours in the practicum training experience (not including the seminar). All students enrolled in practicum must be concurrently enrolled in a practicum seminar class, which meets weekly throughout the academic year (fall, spring, and summer I). Concurrent enrollment in practicum seminars is mandatory.

The Diagnostic Practicum is designed to emphasize the observation and diagnostic interviewing of clients and provides exposure to psychological evaluation and other assessment procedures. The Intervention Practicum usually emphasizes some aspect of therapeutic intervention. Time is proportionately allocated to direct client contact, seminars and meetings, and supervision.

The goal of the practicum is to foster the training of competent clinicians capable of providing effective assessment and therapeutic intervention. Evaluation of student progress in clinical field training focuses on three areas: theoretical knowledge bases, clinical skills, and professional attitudes. A thorough review of site and seminar evaluations is conducted by the Training Department.

Pre-doctoral Internship

HSPP doctoral students are required to complete a one-year, 2,000 hour, full-time 12 month, or a two-year, half-time APA accredited or APPIC member pre-doctoral internship as a condition for graduation. This intensive and supervised contact with clients is essential for providing breadth and depth to the students overall training experience.

Typically, full-time students will begin the internship during fifth year of enrollment. Students obtain a pre-doctoral internship by participating in the national match process through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The Clinical Training Department actively provides guidance and support for students throughout the internship application process.

The HSPP Internship Consortium was set up to provide an APPIC-member training program exclusively for students from our program. The Consortium offers a comprehensive pre-doctoral training program in professional psychology and is designed to fulfill the clinical internship requirements for the doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

It is made up of a collection of internship training facilities spread throughout the island of Oahu and provides a valuable resource for students for whom seeking an off-island internship would produce a hardship due to economic, familial, or cultural factors, as well as for students who decide to specialize in local or indigenous diversity training. As the HSPP Consortium consistently provides outstanding internship training for its students, Argosy University has continued to enthusiastically support the Consortium and its growth over the years.

Research and Scientific Literacy

The philosophy of the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program with respect to research, research skills, and the Clinical Research Project (CRP) is consistent with our practitioner-scholar model. We expect our students to critically evaluate research and use research findings as a primary resource for their clinical work. We expect our students to read current research articles and evaluate the methods and statistics, draw appropriate conclusions from research, and critique research in terms of internal and external validity.

All of these skills are important and necessary when integrating information in our field and, more generally, in being a qualified clinical psychologist. We do not expect that most students will be involved in publishing large-scale scientific studies. They may, however, be involved in case studies, program evaluation research, and quantitative and qualitative research.

Clinical Research Project (CRP)

HSPP requires each doctoral degree program student to develop a Clinical Research Project (CRP) as a requirement for graduation. The CRP is a scholarly work that provides students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and thought about a particular clinical area, to demonstrate the ability to critically analyze methodological issues, and to produce an original and potentially publishable piece of research and/or scholarly work in the field of clinical psychology.

Students must register for the Clinical Research Project during each semester in which they either consult with or use their CRP advisor or committee. This registration guideline applies to Pre-Interns as well as to Interns. Students must register for a minimum of two semesters of CRP in order to graduate. It is recommended that students successfully defend their CRP proposal by the end of the spring semester preceding their internship year. Students who are unable to do so will be required to register for CRP credit until the proposal defense is completed. Students who have successfully defended their proposal are not required to be enrolled for the CRP unless they are in contact with their committee. Students must register for CRP during the semester that they defend.

Graduation Requirements

Students who are admitted into the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program are responsible for completing the program requirements that are in effect at the time of their admission. The school retains the right to modify these requirements in accordance with the demands of the profession of psychology. The courses are completed in the order recommended by the Hawai`i School of Professional Psychology.

To be eligible for graduation, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of 98 semester credit hours of which 60 must be completed by the end of the fourth year of matriculation.
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination no later than the beginning of the fifth year.
  • Successful completion of the second, and third year Clinical Evaluation Conference (CEC).
  • Successful completion of a 2,000-hour pre-doctoral one-year, full-time internship or a two-year, half-time internship.
  • Successful completion of the Clinical Research Project (CRP)
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale)
  • Completion of these requirements within seven years of matriculation into the program


Matriculation through the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program curriculum is designed to help prepare students to sit for the national licensure examination. Licensure requirements and standards for professional practice vary from state to state; therefore, prospective and enrolled students are urged to examine the requirements of the specific state in which they plan to practice. State licensure requirements may be obtained from:

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, P.O. Box 4389, Montgomery, Alabama 36103, 332.832.4580