Clinical Psychology – PsyD Programs (Doctor of Psychology)
Our clinical psychology doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). In 2011, the APA extended our accreditation for an additional seven years.
The strength of our PsyD program lies in our commitment to student learning and mentoring, our diversity among faculty and student body, and our focus on clinical practice. Our practicum training opportunities cover a wide range of training opportunities. Students can gain training experience at state psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, VA hospitals, forensic sites, child and adolescent facilities, and group based private practice settings. Our faculty members devote part of their time to the practice of psychology and have various areas of expertise.
Classroom experiences allow students the opportunity to develop a strong knowledge base of theory and research but, more importantly, how to translate this knowledge into professional practice. The central goal of our program is to establish an academic standard of excellence essential to the integrity of our program and to prepare competent, valuable contributors in the field.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Degree Program
The PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program at the Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Phoenix and its faculty are committed to the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills essential to the training of clinical psychologists. Our Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology degree program has been 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:
Effective Psychological Services
The preparation of practitioners capable of ethically delivering diagnostic and therapeutic services effectively to diverse populations of clients in need of such treatment.
The preparation of practitioners competent in the evaluation and application of the relevant body of knowledge in the areas of psychology that form the foundation of psychological practice, and apply relevant concepts to clinical practice.
Research Literacy and Scholarship
The preparation of practitioners capable of evaluating and utilizing the evolving knowledge base and methodologies of psychology, committed to lifelong learning, engagement with scholarship, critical thinking, and the development of the profession.
The preparation of practitioners who understand the relevance of diversity in psychology, value awareness and respect for many forms of diversity, and are capable of delivering psychological services to diverse populations of clients (broadly defined as related to gender, age, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, national origin, religion, physical ability, socio-historical contexts, and social economic status).
Clinical Training Overview
Clinical training for our students involves supervised out-of-class contact with a clinical population. Through this contact, students apply theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques based on this knowledge, and develop the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of a professional psychologist. Clinical training follows a developmental model of learning, where students advance through progressively more challenging levels of training. A students progress is assessed in multiple ways by several faculty members and field supervisors keeping in mind the developmental level of the student.
Students in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program generally complete two years of practicum (in the second and third years of the program) with some students opting for a third year of practicum. These clinical experiences prepare students to be successful on their pre-doctoral internship in the fifth year of the program. By the end of clinical training, Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Phoenix students receive the requisite training for effective assessment and intervention skills.
Practicum and Practicum Seminar Requirements
Practica provide opportunities for students to gain clinical field training by working under supervision with a clinical population in a behavioral health delivery system. Practica are an essential part of clinical training, and all students are required to participate in two years of practicum experience, typically during their second and third years of study.
During each year of practicum, students also participate in a practicum seminar on campus. Students enrolled in practicum meet in a weekly year-long practicum seminar led by a faculty member. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the necessary psychological knowledge base, learn basic clinical assessment and intervention skills, and demonstrate appropriate professional attitudes throughout the practicum. These practica allow the student to reflect on practicum experiences and to acquire additional skills and attitudes useful in field training. The specific content and emphasis of the seminar varies according to the practicum setting and focus of the enrolled students and the professional expertise of the faculty member.
All doctoral degree program students are required to complete a 2,000-hour internship as a condition for graduation. This intensive and supervised contact with clients is essential for giving greater breadth depth to the students overall clinical experience. Typically, full-time students will begin the internship during their 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 search process in both group and individual formats.
Research and Scientific Literacy
The philosophy of the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program faculty with respect to research, research skills, and the Clinical Research Project (CRP) is consistent throughout the program. In our practitioner-scholar model, we expect our students to understand research and use research findings as a primary resource for their clinical work. We expect our students to read current research articles and understand 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)
Each doctoral degree program student is required to develop a Clinical Research Project (CRP) as a requirement for graduation. The CRP is intended to provide students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and thought about a particular clinical area, to demonstrate the ability to analyze methodological issues, and to produce an original piece of scholarly work in the field of clinical psychology. Types of projects that are acceptable for the CRP include a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods.
The Clinical Psychology program embraces a broad definition of social and cultural diversity, and strives toward the creation of a diverse educational community. Our program defines diversity broadly and includes the following: race/ethnicity/cultural background, gender, age, sexual/affectional orientation, national origin/immigrant status, religion/spirituality, physical ability, social economic status and regional differences.
The program has made a commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and student body, as well as to ensuring that all students understand the complex factors that contribute to social and cultural identity in order to competently offer psychological services to individuals and groups who differ from them.
The program infuses coverage of diversity across the curriculum so that students are taught the necessary skills and competencies with an emphasis on valuing diversity and exploring the cultural context of behavior in most courses. In addition to formal coursework, students gain additional knowledge and experience through non-course events and resources. The campus-wide, weekly Diversity Community Forum sponsors a number of events annually in order to provide an interactive and supportive environment to all students, staff and faculty (e.g., Dia de los Muertos celebration, Diversity Film Series)
Faculty model building bridges across diverse backgrounds by participating in outreach, consultation and faculty development work in diverse communities across Arizona. Examples of faculty involvement include crisis response consultation to immigrant populations traumatized by aggressive policing, assistance to local schools with diversity programming, consultation work with the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, and volunteering for an equestrian therapy group with veterans. Students are invited and encouraged to participate in these activities with faculty.
To receive the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree, the student must fulfill the degree requirements of the program, which include:
- Satisfactory completion of all requirements in the program of study, including passage of comprehensive exams
- Satisfactory completion of 98 semester credit hours, including internship
- 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. Many of our graduates go onto become licensed Psychologists in one or more states. Licensure requirements and standards for professional practice, however, 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