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Admissions FAQs

View Graduate-level Admissions Requirements.

What are the differences between Clinical Psychology and Pastoral Counseling programs?

A Clinical Psychology program prepares you for licensure and working in all kinds of environments with all kinds of clients. A Pastoral Counseling program prepares you for working in a church setting using Bible-based counseling. Rosemead has two doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology:

  • Psy.D. - Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

What are the main differences between the Psy.D. program and Ph.D. program?

The two programs are approximately 75% the same. The Psy.D. program is more clinically-focused (practitioner-scholar model). The Psy.D. program requires additional psychotherapy lab courses and an additional psychological assessment course. This enhances the clinical preparation of Psy.D. students. The Ph.D. program is more research-focused (scholar-practitioner model). The Ph.D. program requires additional courses in research, a Master’s Project, and a dissertation involving empirical research. This enhances the research preparation of Ph.D. students.

Can someone be accepted into one of the programs and switch later to the other program?

Applicants should think NOW about which program they want. Prospective students can apply to one or both programs; if they apply to both, they can rank their 1st and 2nd choice. Cons to switching programs after acceptance: 1) Requires another application process and is not guaranteed approval, 2) Adds another year to the student’s program, 3) Hurts Rosemead’s attrition rate with APA (American Psychological Association).

What is the application process/timeline?

  • Early application deadline is November 1.

  • Final application deadline is December 1.

  • Interviews are conducted in January and February.

  • In March, the Admissions Committee reads and reviews each application.

  • As per APA guidelines: Decision letters/offers are sent out by April 1. Those who receive an offer must respond by April 15.

  • Approximately ⅓ of offers are for the Ph.D. program, ⅔ of offers are for the Psy.D. program.

  • Classes begin in the Fall semester.

How can I make my application more competitive?

Along with test scores, GPA and references, let the admissions committee get to know you by constructing well-written and authentic essays. Research experience and other extracurricular involvement in the field of psychology should be noted on the application. Any kind of work or volunteer experience in the human services field will be helpful. Noting involvement in church ministry and activities is also beneficial.

What are the acceptance rates?

Out of about 150 applicants every year, about 40 are accepted (25%) and 25-30 of those decide to attend Rosemead.

What are Rosemead’s admissions prerequisites and when do they have to be completed by?

A student must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an average grade of at least "B" (i.e., 3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology or a closely related field are welcome to apply for entrance without any further prerequisite course fulfillment. Applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an unrelated field must achieve a passing grade (C- or better) in five basic psychology courses (15 credits). Prerequisites need to be completed before a student starts Rosemead in the Fall.

Four required courses in:

  1. General Psychology (introductory course)
  2. Statistics in Psychology
  3. Experimental Psychology (or Research Methods)
  4. Abnormal Psychology

One additional course in any of the following (or related coursework):

  1. Theories of Personality
  2. Cognitive Psychology
  3. Social Psychology
  4. Developmental Psychology
  5. Physiological Psychology
  6. Multicultural Psychology

What is the process and requirements for transferring in units from another program?

If a student has previous graduate coursework that they would like to transfer in, credits are able to be transferred as long as they received a B or higher. However, there is no guarantee that courses will be approved. Typically, the amount of transfer credits allotted is determined after admission, sometime during the first semester. This is because the Director of Doctoral Programs goes through the syllabi of the courses to determine if they fulfill the necessary competencies needed, which can be a time-consuming process. Transferring in units will not shorten the length of the program but may lighten the student’s unit load.

  • Students coming in with an MA degree can sometimes transfer in psychology electives. Courses in ethics, psychotherapy labs, or diagnosis/testing often cannot be transferred in.
  • Students coming in with Theology credits may be able to transfer some of these in.

Do you have a master's program?

Rosemead does not offer a terminal master's program. The Psy.D. and Ph.D. students are awarded the master's degrees after successful completion of two years of the program and other requirements. Committing to Rosemead is a commitment to obtain a doctoral degree.

How long does it take to complete the Psy.D. or Ph.D. program?

Typically, it takes a student 5 years to complete either program (4 years of coursework and practica experience, and a year-long internship). However, when certain competencies are not met within the designated time, for whatever reason, a student’s time in the program may be prolonged.

Do you offer any specialization tracks?

No. Rosemead's main focus in training clinical psychologists is to provide the skills needed for general clinical psychological services. Our students gain experience in a wide variety of clinical services with a wide variety of clientele. Specialization in the field is usually gained after the doctorate, and even after the license is obtained. Our students gain the broad training to be competent therapists; our alumni specialize in many different facets of service.

Students desiring to focus their professional practice on a particular population or area of emphasis (e.g. children/families, neuropsychology) can take elective courses in these particular areas, as well as apply for practicum experiences in those areas over the course of the program. Students may also write their dissertations or doctoral research papers in a preferred area or population.

When do students start seeing therapy clients and how many? What types of clinical work do students do while at Rosemead?

Students start seeing therapy clients in the second semester of their first year at the Biola Counseling Center (BCC) during the Pre-practicum experience. At this point, students will see one volunteer academic client. The following year, students will be placed at two practicum sites (i.e., a school site and at the BCC). At the school site, practicum students will work with many students giving psychological assessments, and at the BCC, students will hold a caseload maximum of three undergraduate students as well as conduct bi-weekly intake assessments. During the third and fourth years, there are many practicum opportunities in which students can complete psychological assessments or conduct psychotherapy. It will depend on the practicum site regarding how many clients students see every week (could be up to 10+ clients). Most practicum sites require students to be on-site from 15-25 hours per week. Some examples of practicum placements include university counseling centers (UCC), inpatient and outpatient hospitals, VAs, jails, and prisons. During the internship year, students complete a full-time, year-long internship.

What does research look like at Rosemead?

Research at Rosemead is a highly individualized experience and thus can be represented in a variety of ways. Ph.D. students are required to complete a master’s thesis and dissertation, and Psy.D. students are required to complete a dissertation or doctoral paper. In the Fall semester of the first year of the program, a research colloquium is held so students can be made aware of the variety of research interests each faculty member maintains. Students then have the opportunity to forge relationships with faculty members who align with their own research interests, creating a synergistic and collaborative research environment. Further, there are several research labs you can join, typically related to the subject matter you are researching. Some of our research labs include: Mental Health & The Church, Culture and Social Development, Culture & Mental Health, Women's Issues, Relational Spirituality & Psychodynamics, and Social Media Addiction. These labs meet on a regular basis to encourage continued growth in research as a competency as well as give the opportunity to support other students in their research endeavors. There are times as well where faculty have been awarded grants to conduct research, and students may participate in completing those research projects.

Can you talk about diversity and multicultural training at Rosemead?

Our goal and desire in this program is to train graduate students who are not only equipped with the skills to work with diverse populations, but the heart to do so in order to create lasting impact in the world in the present and beyond. This is part of the integrative nature of our program, not just the integration of psychology and theology, but of heart and mind. 

We offer two core and specific courses on multicultural processes and application in clinical settings, both of which are taught by professors with culturally diverse backgrounds and experiences. More so, our training in diversity is a step-wise iterative process that spans throughout the entirety of your time in the program in a variety of settings. 

In the first year in the program, students are required to take a Seminar in Multicultural Issues. This course is designed to help students gain awareness of their personal biases and position themselves with cultural humility while developing sensitivity to differences between and within various culture groups. The course covers a broad range of multicultural topics including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, class, and religion, all with an intersectional lens on identity in keeping with APA’s multicultural guidelines. 

In the second year in the program, students are required to attend what are called Multicultural Grand Case Presentations where a licensed clinician presents a clinical case with myriad cultural layers. In the first half of the presentation, the clinician presents their case. In the second half of the presentation, the clinician dialogues with two of our clinical faculty regarding specific aspects of the case, whether related to process or other multicultural case-related content. These presentations are positively received by students as they give insight into how to begin applying multicultural training to clinical work. 

In the third year, students are required to take a course entitled Multicultural Issues in Clinical Psychology. This course aims to further increase students’ multicultural competence in working with clients from various cultural backgrounds. As students are often in very diverse practicum settings during this year, attention is given to direct clinical application of multicultural training to students’ clinical experiences.

In addition to the required courses that are specific to multicultural issues, multicultural content and consideration of culture and diversity is taught, encouraged, and practiced in all of our courses in the program, whether it be in a clinical, professional, or personal context. Further, many of our practicum sites give ample opportunity for students to obtain diverse clinical experience and the relevant supervision experience that will build upon the classroom training they receive. Each of our program hurdles (e.g., second year evaluation, third year comprehensive exams, fourth year professional qualifying exams) require that students reach multicultural benchmarks in order to move along in the program.

Finally, we also have a committee dedicated to the advancement of cultural responsiveness at Rosemead. This committee is made up of various faculty and a student-elected student representative. This committee hosts events each semester dedicated to the advancement of diversity training opportunities in a variety of domains.

What are Rosemead’s tuition and fees?

See the Tuition and Aid page to view the current year’s tuition rates and fees.

  • Students typically take 12-16 units per semester for 4 years (8 semesters).
  • Required summer units: 6 units after the first year and 3 units after the second year. Students should set aside money for summer tuition.
  • Students pay the internship fee during their internship year (2 semesters) instead of tuition.

What kinds of scholarships are available?

All incoming students receive some scholarship dollars upon entry. All students are eligible each year to receive further funding. These are need-based scholarships and require completion of a scholarship application. Rosemead scholarships can only be used towards tuition. The Financial Aid Office also awards scholarships (see: Scholarships and Aid).

Are Teaching Assistant positions available (TAships)?

Yes, TAships are available, though not guaranteed. A student is welcome to apply to available TAships beginning the second year of their program. A number of TAships are available to help students gain experience and supplement income each year.

Do you have time to work at Rosemead? What do teaching/work opportunities look like?

The amount of time to work off-campus will vary depending on the semester as well as individual commitments and practicum schedules. The program has many commitments that extend beyond courseload, including clinical practica, consultation groups, and research requirements. As such, any time spent working will need to be on a part-time basis and scheduled around the requirements of the Rosemead schedule. Many students find about 10-15 hours per week to be feasible alongside school requirements.

There are various opportunities for employment within Rosemead that are often easier to incorporate into students’ busier schedules than external jobs. There are numerous opportunities to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA), which can include grading coursework and/or leading small groups of students in a “lab” format. Further into the program, there are opportunities to work as a Staff Therapist at the Biola Counseling Center (which involves carrying a caseload of 7 clients) as well as teaching an undergraduate course, as available.

What kind of housing is available?

Limited off-campus housing options are available through the graduate housing office at Biola (562-944-0351, ext. 5814). Apply early for a better chance at getting in.

Will this program prepare me for state licensure?

Rosemead's APA-accredited degree programs and connections with APA-accredited internship sites meet most, if not all, state licensure requirements. The education you receive at Rosemead will also prepare you to take and pass the licensing exams most states require. Check with your state's board of psychology for more specific information.

Does Rosemead teach conversion therapy?

We recognize that it is commonly assumed that faith-based psychology programs teach conversion therapy. Rosemead School of Psychology and Biola Counseling Center do not teach or practice conversion therapy for same-sex oriented individuals. However, we believe that individuals who seek psychological treatment in order to process any incongruent feelings, beliefs, behavior and attitudes between their sexual orientation and religious convictions should be treated with respect to these differences in a client-centered approach.

The faculty at Rosemead School of Psychology take seriously our mission of producing graduates who can integrate both the science and practice of psychology with Christian theology, and who are prepared to meet the psychological needs of the world in general, and the Christian community specifically, through professional service and scholarship. Our goal is to integrate faith and practice in a way that dignifies all people as image bearers of God. We believe that Scripture provides the greatest insight into the human condition. This is why the integration of theology and psychology is important in training psychologists to understand their role in partnering with God in his redemptive work in an individual’s life and the Spirit’s guidance in their practice.