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Clinical Psychology, Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Offered in: CHICAGO

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:

  • Assessment: a) Accurately assess client problems by combining knowledge of psychopathology with the ability to establish rapport and work with clients of diverse backgrounds and b) Recognize the influences of individual and cultural differences in assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning and implementation.
  • Intervention: Select, implement, and evaluate appropriate psychological interventions using a variety of theoretical perspectives and therapeutic modalities.
  • Ethics: Conduct clinical and academic work in a manner consistent with rules of ethics, standards of practice, and legal requirements.
  • Reflective practice: Practice with knowledge of one’s own competencies, with self-reflection and with appropriate self-care.
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity: a) Conceptualize ways in which developmental processes, personality, and environment contribute to clients’ psychological health and distress and b) Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to working with diverse individuals and communities.
  • Scientific Knowledge and Methods: a) Demonstrate the capability to critique, design, and execute research focused on clinical problems and services and to articulately present the results of their scholarship to others and b) Base their knowledge and practice on the historical and scientific traditions of psychology.
  • Professionalism and Relationships: Work productively and professionally with others.

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:

  • Online PsyD application form.
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE; the Psychology subtest is not required).
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional references, using the program’s letter of recommendation form.
  • A personal statement. The personal statement should demonstrate a clear well-articulated understanding of the expectations and responsibilities of graduate training in clinical psychology, strong career motivation, and well-formulated career plans.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • $25 application fee.

Selected applicants are invited to an interview that is required before admission is granted.

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 the doctoral project if they do not meet a deadline decided by their 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, 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.

Clinical requirements
  PSYC 516A Psychopathology .....3
  PSYC 516B Psychopathology .....3
  PSYC 520 Basic Clinical Skills .....3
  PSYC 620 Intellectual Assessment .....3
  PSYC 625 Personality Assessment .....3
  PSYC 641A Cognitive Behavioral Therapies .....3
  PSYC 641B Cognitive Behavioral Therapies .....3
  PSYC 642A Psychodynamic Therapies .....3
  PSYC 642B Psychodynamic Therapies .....3
  PSYC 643 Evidence Based Practice .....3
  PSYC 644 Multicultural Psychology and Psychotherapy .....3
  PSYC 698A MA Practicum .....3
  PSYC 698B MA Practicum .....3
  PSYC 735 Clinical Supervision and Consultation .....3
  PSYC 791* Clinical Practicum (12-credit minimum.) *Registration sequence: 791A/B-794A/B .....12
  PSYC 799 Clinical Internship (taken twice) .....1.5
Non-clinical requirements
  PSYC 500 Advanced Statistics .....3
  PSYC 530 Advanced Research Methods .....3
  PSYC 631 Advanced Personality Theory .....3
  PSYC 633 Social Psychology and Group Dynamics .....3
  PSYC 634 Community Psychology and Social Justice .....3
  PSYC 635 Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues .....3
  PSYC 636 Human Development .....3
  PSYC 638 History and Systems .....3
  PSYC 710 Biopsychology .....3
  PSYC 712 Psychopharmacology .....3
  PSYC 716 Cognitive, Affective and Learning Bases of Behavior .....3
  PSYC 789 Doctoral Project Seminar .....3
  PSYC 790 Doctoral Project .....3

Electives: three required

  PSYC 407 Intermediate Statistics .....3
  PSYC 515 Chemical Dependence .....3
  PSYC 540 Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents .....3
  PSYC 639 Child and Adolescent Assessment .....3
  PSYC 650 Group Psychotherapy .....3
  PSYC 651 Psychodrama and Role Playing .....3
  PSYC 652 Psychotherapy of Women .....3
  PSYC 653 Brief Psychotherapies .....3
  PSYC 654 Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy .....3
  PSYC 655 Couples and Family Therapy .....3
  PSYC 660 Employment Testing .....3
  PSYC 662 Organization Behavior and Practice .....3
  PSYC 664 Job Analysis and Performance Management .....3
  PSYC 668 Organizational Assessment and Development .....3
  PSYC 669 Instructional Design and Training .....3
  PSYC 681 Instructor Development Seminar .....3
  PSYC 690 MA Thesis (Parts 1 and 2) .....6
  PSYC 695 Independent Study .....3
  PSYC 719 Clinical Neuropsychology .....3
  PSYC 720 Neuropsychological Assessment .....3
  PSYC 725 Projective Personality Assessment .....3
  PSYC 727 Advanced Psychodiagnostics .....3
  PSYC 740 Advanced Psychotherapy Seminar .....3
  PSYC 741 Child Psychopathology .....3

Clinical practicum

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 complete an introductory practicum 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, 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 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.

Comprehensive examination

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.

Pre-doctoral internship

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 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.

Doctoral project

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.

Student evaluations

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.