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Courses | Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Core Requirements

Planning and implementation of a research project including literature review, problem definition, hypothesis formation, design, and implementation of field research, data analysis, and report writing. The student's dissertation research is supervised by a faculty chair and committee. The final stage requires the student to successfully sustain an Oral Defense of the dissertation. Notes: Required of Ph.D. Grade Mode: D.
An introduction to the theory and techniques of psychotherapy. Includes an emphasis on the relationship between models of psychopathology and psychotherapy, an overview of various approaches to psychotherapy, and a discussion of foundational therapeutic techniques. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Concepts and techniques involved in the analysis and interpretation of clinical and research data. Lecture and laboratory descriptive and inferential statistics. Major topics include correlation, multiple regression, tests of significance and analysis of variance. Instruction assumes undergraduate background in statistics. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. This graduate level course may be taken by senior psychology majors with consent of the departmental chair obtained through a permission request form from the Psychology Department (see PSYC 420). Grade Mode: A.
This course will provide an overview of the processes involved in program evaluation and consultation. The competency of consultation will be defined, and application of consultation processes across organizational settings will be explored. Specific focus will be given to the process of consultation separate from that which occurs within the clinical therapeutic/assessment context. For the purpose of this course, program evaluation is understood as an application of the consultation competency. Specific foci will include an examination of the types of evaluations, methodology involved, outcomes, and communication of findings. Grade Mode: A.
This course provides a comprehensive study of the current Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This includes training in diagnosis, and the various psychopathological processes covered in the DSM, as well as honing diagnostic ability and familiarizing students with a range of psychopathology. Notes: Required for Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
An overview of the history of psychology and classical systems in psychology. The class also considers issues in the philosophy of science relevant to psychological systems, research, theory, and practice. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. This graduate level course may be taken by senior psychology majors with consent of the departmental chair obtained through a permission request form from the Psychology Department (see PSYC 440). Grade Mode: A.
This course will provide an overview of psychoanalytic theory in order to provide students a foundation for understanding contemporary relational psychodynamic therapies. The course will review Freud's drive/structure model and its developments in Ego Psychology as the historical backdrop for understanding the relational/structure model that emerged in the 1930s and 40s. the course will focus on two theoretical lines that developed out of classical psychoanalysis within the relational/structure model: interpersonal and object relations theories, and attachment theory. the course will trace the development of both of these lines of thought with special attention being given to contemporary relational psychoanalysis and attachment-based psychoanalytic therapy. Clinical applications of the various theories will be discussed throughout the course. Notes: Required of Ph.D., Psy.D. Grade Mode: A.
Covers the design and analysis of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Basic principles of sampling, measurement, design validity, reliability, multivariate analysis, and research ethics are presented. The role of research as it pertains to evidence based practice in clinical psychology and in the integration of psychology and theology are explored. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 0-credit lab component is required for Ph.D. students. Notes: Required for Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Presents an overview of cognition and emotion in relation to human functioning. All topics will be covered from the perspective of recent empirical research in the areas of cognitive and affective neuroscience, and will include an integration of cognitive processes with emotional functioning and regulation. Topics include, but are not limited to the social and affective influences on perception, attention, memory, and vision as well as complex cognitive skills such as language, reasoning, and problem solving. Application to clinical practice is discussed when appropriate. Notes: Required for Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Examines the anatomy and function of the nervous system with special emphasis on brain neurotransmitters and hormones, reproductive behavior, sensory and motor functions, brain development and change, language, arousal and sleep, emotion, and emotional and neurological disorders. Current research methods pertaining to the above topics are included in the course materials. Notes: Required for Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Problems and theories of the person in the social context, including person perception, interpersonal relations, role formation and differentiation, attitude formation, maintenance and change. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Supervised experience in planning, conducting and reporting psychological research. The specific nature of the research project will be determined by the student with his or her advisor. Students will be required to submit a written review of literature and research proposal, conduct data gathering activities, analyze the data and submit a final report of the project in APA format. The required total of 4 credits must be completed by the beginning of the first semester of the third year in the program. Grade Mode: A.
Supervised experience in planning, conducting and reporting psychological research. The specific nature of the research project will be determined by the student with his or her advisor. Students will be required to submit a written review of literature and research proposal, conduct data gathering activities, analyze the data and submit a final report of the project in APA format. The required total of 4 credits must be completed by the beginning of the first semester of the third year in the program. Notes: Required of Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This lab is a complement to RSPY 601 for Ph.D. students. It focuses on the development of a specific research project in conjunction with the study of Research Design. Notes: Required for Ph.D. students only. Co-registration in RSPY 601 is required. Grade Mode: C.
Concepts and processes involved in the development of the person throughout the lifespan are reviewed with emphasis on cultural variations. Major theoretical systems and empirical findings relevant to individual development are examined. Emphasis is upon the study of neurobiological, cognitive, and affective changes manifested throughout the lifespan. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.

This course provides an introduction into cultural factors that influence clinical work. Emphasis is placed on helping students gain awareness of their personal biases while developing sensitivity to differences between and within various culture groups. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: C.

This course provides an introduction into cultural factors that influence clinical work. Emphasis is placed on helping students gain awareness of their personal biases while developing sensitivity to differences between and within various culture groups. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: C.

A consideration of the impact of social and cultural factors upon the utilization and dynamics of mental health services. Focuses on developing the student's sensitivity to the cultural dynamics involved in the therapeutic process. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course is the first in a sequence of courses that are dedicated to promoting psychological-assessment competency. This first course is designed to introduce students to the primary tools included in cognitive assessment batteries that are administered across the human lifespan (e.g., school-based interventions under IDEA 2004, eligibility for test accommodations, and dementia assessment). This course is also designed to help students continue developing foundational competencies in the following key areas: describing examinee mental status and behaviors, conducting clinical interviews, understanding basic psychometric theory, selecting appropriate assessment methods, integrating assessment data, articulating case conceptualizations, developing data-driven recommendations, and writing psychological reports. Furthermore, it is designed to help students develop multicultural competencies in the area of psychological assessment, emphasizing the diversity domains of age and generational influences, gender, ethnic and racial identity, religion and spiritual orientation, sexual orientation, and developmental disabilities and disabilities acquired later in life. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course is the second in a sequence of courses that are dedicated to promoting psychological-assessment competency. This second course is designed to introduce students to the following instruments: the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), and the Mini-Mental State Examination, 2nd Edition (MMSE-2). Opportunities to administer and interpret the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), figure drawing methods, and sentence completion methods are also provided. The overall purpose of this course is for students to develop basic competencies in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the instruments included in two psychological assessment batteries, with a particular emphasis on self-report inventories. This course is also designed to help students continue developing foundational competencies in the following key areas: describing examinee mental status and behaviors, conducting clinical interviews, understanding basic psychometric theory, selecting appropriate assessment instruments, integrating assessment data, articulating case conceptualizations, developing data-driven recommendations, and writing psychological reports. Special interest is given to multicultural competencies in the area of psychological assessment, emphasizing various diversity domains such as age, gender, ethnic and racial identity, sexual orientation, religion and spiritual orientation, and developmental disabilities and disabilities acquired later in life. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A, C.
The first of a two-course sequence designed to facilitate the development of empathic listening, interpersonal skills and basic therapeutic techniques including an introduction to ethics. This first course emphasizes a small, interactive group format for the development of skills. Grade Mode: C.
The second of a two-course sequence designed to facilitate the development of empathic listening, interpersonal skills and basic therapeutic techniques. During this course, direct observation and videotaping of the student's first clinical practicum in the University's counseling center are utilized to provide a closely supervised introduction to the therapeutic process. Notes: This course or RSPY 680 required for Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: C.
This course is designed to provide peer and faculty consultation to students in their first practicum placements--school settings at which students provide educational/psychological assessments. Consultation groups consist of 6-8 students meeting weekly with a faculty member. Feedback is given about students' assessments to promote knowledge and skills in ethics awareness, understanding of and synthesis of data, professional presentations in written and oral formats, awareness of cultural and diversity issues relevant to cases, adherence to evidence based assessment practices, and the students' openness to feedback. Small group consultation coordinated by Director of Clinical Training. Notes: This course must be taken concurrently with all practica (RSPY 689, 691-699). Required of Ph.D., Psy.D. Grade Mode: C.
Supervised clinical experiences including diagnostic and therapeutic activities with inpatient and outpatient clientele. Hospitals, private and public clinics, mental health organizations and schools and college counseling centers are utilized. Notes: RSPY 691-694 required for Ph.D.; RSPY 691-696 required for Psy.D. Grade Mode: C.
Supervised clinical experiences including diagnostic and therapeutic activities with inpatient and outpatient clientele. Hospitals, private and public clinics, mental health organizations and schools and college counseling centers are utilized. Notes: RSPY 691-694 required for Ph.D.; RSPY 691-696 required for Psy.D. Grade Mode: C.
Supervised clinical experiences including diagnostic and therapeutic activities with inpatient and outpatient clientele. Hospitals, private and public clinics, mental health organizations and schools and college counseling centers are utilized. Notes: RSPY 691-694 required for Ph.D.; RSPY 691-696 required for Psy.D. Grade Mode: C.
Supervised clinical experiences including diagnostic and therapeutic activities with inpatient and outpatient clientele. Hospitals, private and public clinics, mental health organizations and schools and college counseling centers are utilized. Notes: RSPY 691-694 required for Ph.D.; RSPY 691-696 required for Psy.D. Grade Mode: C.
A continuation of RSPY 601 for Ph.D. students. In this course major emphasis will be given to multiple regression analysis, including validity of assumptions, diagnostics, outliers, transformation of variables. We will also cover the multivariate techniques of canonical correlation, multiway frequency analysis, multivariate analysis of variance and covariance, discriminant analysis, logistic regression, principal components analysis, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Introduction will be given to structural equation models. Computer implementation and applications will be emphasized. Notes: Required for Ph.D. only. Grade Mode: A.
Introduction to models and methods for analysis of data hypothesized to be generated by unmeasured latent variables including latent variable analogues of traditional methods in multivariate analysis. Emphasis is given to measurement models such as confirmatory and higher-order factor analytic models and structural equation models, including path and simultaneous equation models. Parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and other statistical issues are covered. Computer implementation and applications. Notes: Required for Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
A study and discussion of the ethics of professional psychology with an emphasis on the American Psychological Association's Code of Ethics, guidelines, and laws that govern the profession. Preparation for the Rosemead Comprehensive Exams, the Professional Qualifying Exam and the written portions of the licensing exam in the state of California is also given emphasis. The challenge to integrate a professional, Christian, and personal ethical code is discussed. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
A course designed to give students training and practice in supervisory and consultation roles. Mutual supervision and case presentations are used to develop skills. This course is required of Ph.D. and Psy.D. Grade Mode: A.
For official indication on the student's transcript of required personal growth experience through interpersonal therapy. Students may choose group, marital or spiritual direction. Notes: Required of all doctoral students. Grade Mode: C.
For official indication on the student's transcript of required personal growth experience through individual training therapy. Notes: Required of all doctoral students. Grade Mode: C.
This two semester, team-taught course has as its overall aim the development of a relational understanding of the human person. Contributions from theology include a discussion of the creation of humanity in the image of God, the subsequent distortion of that image due to the fall, an understanding of sin (both original sin, being sinned against, and habituated personal sins), and a relational understanding of Christian salvation as the deepest solution to the sin problem. This relational theology will be brought into conversation with a relational understanding of human nature from the vantage point of psychology and related disciplines in order to bring about a robust relational anthropology. This discussion will include integrating contributions from attachment theory, emotion research, neuroscience, infant research, and relational psychoanalysis. Special attention is given to helping the student come to their own depth understanding of the essential role human and divine relationships play in psychopathology and health, including the students' own experience of and resistance to such an understanding. Notes: Required of Ph.D., Psy.D. Grade Mode: A.
This two semester, team-taught course has as its overall aim the development of a relational understanding of the human person. Contributions from theology include a discussion of the creation of humanity in the image of God, the subsequent distortion of that image due to the fall, an understanding of sin (both original sin, being sinned against, and habituated personal sins), and a relational understanding of Christian salvation as the deepest solution to the sin problem. This relational theology will be brought into conversation with a relational understanding of human nature from the vantage point of psychology and related disciplines in order to bring about a robust relational anthropology. This discussion will include integrating contributions from attachment theory, emotion research, neuroscience, infant research, and relational psychoanalysis. Special attention is given to helping the student come to their own depth understanding of the essential role human and divine relationships play in psychopathology and health, including the students' own experience of and resistance to such an understanding. Notes: Required of Ph.D., Psy.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course serves as an introduction to the content, methods, task, and goals of systematic theology, particularly for those students who have had little to no formal training in theology. It will provide an overview of the basic concepts in each of the topics in Christian doctrine and will discuss their inter-relationship to each other. The relevance of theological theories and concepts to psychological theories and concepts will be noted throughout the course. Special focus will be applied to the doctrine of the Trinity as the organizing principle for Christian theology. Grade Mode: A.
This course treats the nature of new life in Christ, the role and meaning of the cross in the Christian life, and the process of formation in the Spirit. Particular attention is given to understanding the implications of life in Christ regarding guilt, shame, legalism, and loneliness as well as the New Covenant ministry of the Spirit in transforming the heart in light of the dynamics of original sin, early relational development, and the habits of sin developed over time. Attention is also given to the developmental stages of spiritual growth. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course continues the discussion of spiritual formation/sanctification with a focus on the means of grace. The course focuses on the Spirit's use of the Word of God, the people of God, trials, and spiritual disciplines in Christian transformation. The interrelationship of natural formation and spiritual formation is also explored. Notes: Required Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course is meant to assist the student in the investigation of what Scripture has to offer for the development of psychological theory and practice. The course covers the nature and authority of Scripture, the illumination of the Spirit, and biblical hermeneutics. The course will include a study of various biblical texts that are particularly relevant for psychological theory and practice as well as a hermeneutical project that requires each student to interpret, contextualize, and apply a biblical passage relevant to psychological theory and/or practice. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
This course develops a theology of the kingdom of God as providing a comprehensive vision of the Christian life in the present age and the age to come. Attention is given to how the work of the Christian psychologist fits within God's kingdom plan as well as the notion of a vocational calling to psychology as 'kingdom work'. Life within the kingdom of God requires an understanding of Christian ethics understood as the theory and praxis of living a good life and being a good person. Special attention is given to the place of moral values in psychological theory and practice, the history of ethical theory, virtue ethics, and developing an informed position on contemporary ethical issues (e.g., abortion, divorce, social justice, etc.). Since the ultimate fulfillment of ethics is the prefect shalom of God's fully realized kingdom, this course also addresses the issues in eschatology, including a theology of death, the intermediate state, heaven and hell. Notes: Required of Psy.D., Ph.D. Grade Mode: A.
Professional experience of a one-year (12 months) internship in a facility approved by the Clinical Training Committee. Notes: RSTN 731 or RSTN 732 is required. Grade Mode: C.
Internship is a continuation of the full-time, year long, Internship in Clinical Psychology, which continues through the summer term. Grade Mode: C.
An introduction to the contributions a biblical understanding of human nature can make to the psychological practitioner's understanding of the therapeutic process. Special attention is given to the relational dimension of human growth and development. Notes: Required of all first year students to be taken concurrently with Pre-practicum. Grade Mode: C.

Elective Requirements

Students must take the following for elective credit:
Practicum Electives (as listed), 3 credits
Psychology Electives (RSPY only), 7 credits
Integration Electives (RSTP), 11 credits
Psychotherapy Lab Electives (RSLB), 12 credits

For students desiring supervised clinical experiences beyond the practicum requirements for their degree. These are used as elective practica. Notes: Elective. Grade Mode: C.
For students desiring supervised clinical experiences beyond the practicum requirements for their degree. These are used as elective practica. Notes: Elective. Grade Mode: C.
For students desiring supervised clinical experiences beyond the practicum requirements for their degree. These are used as elective practica. Notes: Elective. Grade Mode: C.

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