Based on a practitioner-scholar model, the overall goal of the PsyD Program at Roosevelt University is to train clinical psychologists who are able to diagnose and treat psychological problems. We expect that 1) graduates demonstrate the requisite general knowledge and skills of intervention and assessment necessary for the ethical and competent practice of psychology, 2) students address psychological problems and disorders using critical inquiry, and 3) students engage in productive and professional relationships with others.
To reach these goals, we use a competency-based model (Fouad et al., 2009) that focuses on the following objectives that students achieve:
In addition, interested and qualified students, after completing a master’s degree, may teach undergraduate psychology courses with the guidance of the Instructor Development course. Our university home also allows students to enhance their psychological training with relevant experiences from other disciplines.
Candidates for admission to the PsyD program must have either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in psychology or in a closely related field and must have completed the following courses with at least a 3.0 (B) average: General Psychology, either a Statistics or Research Methods course, and Abnormal Psychology. Deficiencies in prerequisite courses may be completed at Roosevelt University but will not count toward the PsyD degree. Students entering with a bachelor’s degree will earn a master’s degree (modified from the terminal MA offered by the Department of Psychology) during their progress through the doctoral program.
Applicants must submit:
Roosevelt considers each applicant on an individual basis and seeks diversity in ethnic and cultural background, education and life experience, and sexual orientation. Although GPA or test cutoffs are not strictly adhered to, a GPA of at least 3.25 for undergraduate work and above-average scores (>50th percentile) on each section of the GRE are typical expectations.
Applications can be requested online here.
PsyD students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average. Students who earn a C in a course must retake the course. Students who earn a C for either semester of practicum must repeat the entire, year-long practicum sequence. Students who earn a D or F, or a second C in any course will be dismissed from the program. PsyD students may also be dismissed from the program for lack of progress on a thesis or doctoral project if they do not meet a deadline decided by their thesis or doctoral project chair and the PsyD Program director.
Upon admission to the PsyD program, students meet with the director of the PsyD Program to develop a program completion plan covering all courses required for the doctoral degree, clinical training experiences, the comprehensive exam, and the doctoral project.
All students must complete a minimum of 102 semester hours of graduate study plus 3 hours of internship credit, for a total of 105 semester hours. In addition to coursework, students must pass the comprehensive examination, complete an introductory practicum or thesis, and complete at least two doctoral practica (supervised clinical training in the community), a pre-doctoral internship, and a doctoral project.
The standard course load for a full-time student in the PsyD program is 12 semester hours each fall and spring semester and from one to three courses in summer semesters. Students must complete at least 30 semester hours of work in a 24-month period. For at least one of those two years, the student must be at Roosevelt on a full-time basis. Thus, students must complete at least two consecutive semesters of full-time study before becoming eligible for the doctoral degree.
The PsyD program may accept credit for substantially equivalent graduate-level coursework completed at approved universities or schools of professional psychology, up to 27 credits. A maximum of 36 semester hours of credit may be waived with approval of the doctoral program advisor for those entering with a master’s degree; a maximum of 27 credits may be transferred for those entering with a BA or BS. Credit is granted only for courses in which the grade obtained was a B or higher and only if the courses were taken within seven years prior to the beginning of the student’s doctoral program. Students entering with a master’s degree will meet with the director of the PsyD Program to identify which required courses will be waived based on their previous graduate work. The doctoral project, internship, and at least six semester hours of practicum must be completed at Roosevelt University.
Courses taken in the PsyD program more than seven years before the semester in which the graduate degree is to be granted may not be counted toward the degree. There is a maximum limit of 10 years for completion of all components of the program, including the pre-doctoral internship and the doctoral project. Students who have not completed the program by 10 years will be dismissed. Students' progress will be evaluated at the seven-year point; if progress has not been adequate, students may be dismissed from the program.
Applied clinical experience, which includes practica and the pre-doctoral internship, is a cornerstone of the PsyD program. Students entering with a bachelor's degree have the option of completing an introductory practicum or a thesis prior to beginning their doctoral practica. Students may begin their introductory practicum after they have completed eight courses (24 semester hours). These courses must include two semesters of Psychopathology, Basic Clinical Skills, either two semesters of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies or Psychodynamic Therapies, Intellectual Assessment and Personality Assessment. Students register for and attend the MA Practicum Seminar (for six credits) during their introductory practicum.
Following completion of the introductory practicum or thesis, students must complete at least two doctoral practica. During their practica, students typically spend 16 to 24 hours per week at their clinical training site and attend a weekly doctoral practicum seminar. Each practicum seminar is 3 credit hours per semester, for two semesters each practicum. Most practicum site placements are for 9 to 12 months, for approximately 20 hours per week. The focus of training depends on the individual student’s needs, interests, and experience.
Students electing to complete a thesis in lieu of the introductory practicum are required to complete a third doctoral practicum. Students with little clinical experience or those who encounter problems in training may be required to take a third doctoral practicum. Students may also choose to enroll in a third doctoral practicum for specialized training experiences and to increase their competitiveness for internship placement. The third practicum seminar credits may be used to fulfill elective requirements.
Students who enter the program with a master’s degree will complete three doctoral practica. If a clinical practicum was completed as part of the master’s degree, the practicum may transfer in as the introductory practicum (upon review by the PsyD director), leaving two doctoral practica to be completed. Students who earned practicum credit as part of a doctoral program may transfer up to two semesters of clinical practicum upon review by the PsyD director. Additional practicum credit may be transferred as elective credit at the discretion of the PsyD director. A final practicum evaluation or letter from the practicum supervisor documenting that the student has achieved the appropriate level of clinical skill should accompany any transfer of practicum credit request. No undergraduate practicum credit is accepted.
The PsyD student handbook and the clinical training manual have more details on requirements for practica and internship. Note that because the selection process for practicum placements begins early, students should begin preparation for an introductory or doctoral practicum a year before their anticipated start. The clinical training manual can be accessed at the PsyD program website.
The comprehensive examination provides an opportunity for students to review and integrate their knowledge of the theory, research, and practice of clinical psychology. The examination is taken after students have completed at least 72 semester hours of coursework, including PSYC 791A and B (one complete doctoral practicum). Students must indicate their intention to take the comprehensive examination at the beginning of the spring semester of the year in which they plan to take the examination. If a student decides to change the date on which he or she intends to take the examination, the PsyD director must be notified no later than one month prior to the examination date. If a student notifies of a change after one month or does not appear on the examination day, it will be considered a failure of the examination. If a student does not pass the examination, he or she may retake it once. If the student is unable to pass it the second time, the student will be dismissed from the program.
All students must complete a 1-year, full-time pre-doctoral internship approved by the director of training. To be eligible to begin a pre-doctoral internship, students must have finished all course work and practica, passed the comprehensive examination prior to application submission, and defended their doctoral project proposal by October 31 or as stated by project chair.
Students are expected to seek internships accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) accredited internship training. Obtaining an internship is a competitive national process, involving an electronic matching system. Students need to prepare to look outside of large metropolitan areas to increase the likelihood of obtaining an internship. The director of training will provide guidance throughout this process.
Students register for a total of 3 credits for their internship experience, divided into 1.5 credits in the Fall semester and 1.5 credits in the Spring semester. Students are considered full time during their internship experience.
The scholarship component of the program’s practitioner-scholar model is addressed by several components, including coursework, the optional thesis, the Comprehensive Examination, and the doctoral project. Students may further their scholarship skills by participating in faculty or independent research (which often involves posters, presentations, and publications). Students who have completed the requirements for the master’s degree are eligible to teach undergraduate courses in psychology once they have taken the Instructor Development Seminar (or if they are taking it concurrently with their first teaching experience). Students are paid for their teaching and may have multiple opportunities for teaching.
Students develop and enhance scholarly skills pertinent to the practice of clinical psychology by completing a doctoral project. In the doctoral project, students demonstrate their ability to assess and integrate the research literature on the management and conceptualization of clinical issues. There are five types of projects: a traditional empirical study, a case study, a review of the literature on a selected topic, applied program research such as grant proposals, and treatment and program evaluations. PSYC 530 Advanced Research Methods and PSYC 789 Doctoral Project Seminar help prepare students for the doctoral project. Students may begin informal work on their doctoral project at any time and are expected to begin such work by the start of their third year in the program, at the latest. At the end of the doctoral project seminar, students must have completed a formal doctoral project proposal and selected three faculty members who agree to constitute their doctoral project committee.
The doctoral project is to be conducted under the guidance of this three-person doctoral committee, which determines when the project is acceptable and conducts the final oral defense of the project. The final oral defense is a public event and is expected to be held on the University campus with all committee members present. At least two members of the committee, including the committee chair, must be full-time or half-time members of the Roosevelt University Department of Psychology faculty. The committee chair serves as the project director. One committee member may be from another program, an adjunct faculty member, or a psychologist supervising work at a practicum placement. See the current PsyD Doctoral Project Manual for details on the doctoral project.
As noted above, students must have successfully defended their doctoral project proposal by October 31 to be eligible to apply for internship. If October 31 falls on a weekend, the proposal defense must occur by the Friday before.
The PsyD program at Roosevelt University is accountable to the profession and the public for the development of the professional standards of its future practitioners. Thus the successful completion of the program entails development of academic knowledge and skills, professional skills, and interpersonal competencies necessary to function as an effective practitioner. Professional and interpersonal competencies include, but are not limited to, the ability to cultivate and maintain productive and respectful relationships across academic and clinical settings; the ability to respond productively to feedback and change problematic behavior that interferes or has the potential to interfere with one’s ability to function as a student and trainee; and the ability to act in an ethical manner following cultural and professional standards.
The faculty provides feedback on students’ academic and professional development throughout the program. Students will be formally evaluated each year; students may be evaluated more frequently when concerns arise. Students are evaluated via a collaborative process that involves faculty and clinical training supervisors. Failure to meet the above standards may result in specific remediation requirements or dismissal from the program. Failure of a practicum or internship is also grounds for dismissal from the program.
Practice of psychology by graduate students
PsyD students who render psychological services (other than practicum-related services) must report their activities to the director of the PsyD Program. If this activity is not within the student’s competence and under professional supervision, as determined by the director, the student will be asked to desist. Failure to comply with this regulation will be grounds for immediate termination from the psychology doctoral program.
APA Accreditation information
Roosevelt University's PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The Commission on Accreditation of the APA can be reached at 202-336-5979, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.
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