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Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Rosemead School of Psychology

Overview

Rosemead’s Doctor of Psychology in clinical psychology program equips psychologists with the knowledge, training and enhanced professional skills to care for people’s psychological needs in a variety of settings. By integrating the science of psychology with Christian theology, the program prepares graduates who understand and practice psychology as a God-ordained calling. As a practitioner’s degree, the Psy.D. is designed for those who primarily seek to go into full-time practice — and thus emphasizes the ability to understand and apply research, rather than conduct original research. The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1980.


Why Choose the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology?

There are several key advantages to enrolling in Rosemead’s Psy.D. program in clinical psychology, such as:

  • Receive thorough preparation for full-time positions as a psychological practitioner.
  • Take more psychotherapy lab courses and practicum credits to prepare to understand and apply research.
  • Learn from distinguished Christian psychologists and philosophers, with a student-faculty ratio of 8:1.
  • Earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology after the first two years of the Psy.D. program, pending fulfillment of all degree requirements.
  • Graduate with a minor in theology and biblical studies as you earn your master’s and doctoral degrees.

5-6 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary by student depending on background and courseload.
133
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
WSCUC / APA
Accreditation
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

Program Structure

Residence and Coursework

Normally, four years of residency are required unless transfer of credit is brought in and advanced standing granted. While the doctorate is not awarded simply for completion of stated coursework, there are basic credit requirements for the degree (133 semester credits). Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who assists in the planning of each semester's schedule of courses and supervises the student's progress in the program.

  • Psychology: Psy.D. students must complete a minimum of 77 credits of psychology. These 77 credits must include 50 required psychology credits, 18 credits of practicum and 9 credits of elective psychology courses. Students may apply up to 6 credits of graduate coursework from the Cook School of Intercultural Studies toward the total psychology elective hours requirement.
  • Psychotherapy Laboratory: Students in the Psy.D. program must complete 21 credits selected from psychotherapy lab courses. These are taken in the second, third and fourth years.
  • Theology: All students must complete a minor in theology, which includes a minimum of 18 semester credits.
  • Integration Seminars: All students participate in a series of seminars (12 credits) devoted to the integration of a variety of theological and psychological concepts in research, theory and practice.
  • Dissertation Research: Students in Rosemead's Psy.D. program may fulfill the research component of their program either by writing a dissertation or by successfully completing a research consumership sequence (5 credits), which includes a year-long doctoral research seminar, a doctoral paper consisting of a critical review of research literature on a clinical topic, and a comprehensive proficiency examination for consumers of clinical research.


Progress Evaluations

All students have an oral interview with a faculty committee to evaluate their progress and potential for successful completion of the doctoral program. This interview is scheduled after the completion of three semesters in residence, including at least one practicum assignment. The results of this interview are reported to the faculty, which votes on the following:

  1. Psychological assessment and intervention
  2. Integration of psychology and theology
  3. Ethics

These examinations are scheduled annually and serve as the major means of evaluating a student's suitability to continue studies toward the doctorate. The examinations may be taken after completion of 75 percent (100 credits) of the coursework and must be successfully completed prior to the Professional Qualifying Examination.

Only one retake of the examination is allowed. The dates of the Comprehensive Examinations are specified in the Academic Calendar.


Admission to Candidacy

Official candidacy for the doctorate signifies an advanced stage in the student's progress. In order to be admitted to candidacy the student must have:

  • Successfully completed the Second Year Evaluation
  • Passed the Comprehensive Examinations
  • Received approval of the dissertation proposal by the Doctoral Committee or completed the three-semester, 5-credit Doctoral Research Seminar and clinical comprehensive proficiency research examination
  • Completed training therapy experience


Professional Qualifying Exam

All doctoral students must successfully complete an examination that evaluates the student's readiness for a full-time internship. It may be taken any time after the comprehensive examinations have been passed and must be completed prior to acceptance of an internship. Only one retake of the exam is allowed. The examining committee may require the student to complete additional course work, practicum, or other professional growth experiences prior to beginning the internship. See the Professional Qualifying Examination Guidelines in the student handbook for further detail.


Completion of Training Therapy

All students must receive certification of completion of training therapy from the Director of Clinical Training. A minimum of 36 hours of interpersonal therapy plus 50 hours of individual therapy is required. See Training Therapy Guidelines in the student handbook for further details.


Dissertation or Research Consumership Sequence

All Psy.D. students must demonstrate doctoral-level mastery of a research area in clinical psychology. This may be done either by a dissertation or by a research consumership sequence. The research consumership sequence is composed of:

  • A three-semester, 5-credit doctoral research seminar focusing on the critical evaluation and utilization of clinical research;
  • A doctoral paper involving a critical review of research on a selected, clinically relevant topic; and
  • A clinical comprehensive proficiency examination evaluating the student's ability to critically evaluate current clinical research. This comprehensive proficiency exam is taken in conjunction with the first semester of the doctoral research seminar. Psy.D. students must either register for 5 credits for dissertation or for the doctoral research seminar.


Final Examination

The final examination for Psy.D. students who write a dissertation is an oral defense of the dissertation before the doctoral committee and other invited professionals. Students completing the doctoral research sequence must pass the research consumership exam given during the Doctoral Research Seminars.


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