Compare the Ph.D. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

While in large part very similar to each other, Rosemead School of Psychology’s two doctoral programs in clinical psychology offer distinct program differences that can form to your specific career goals. Learn more about how the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology programs compare.

Mission and Training Models

The mission of both Psy.D. and Ph.D. programs is the same:

The mission of Rosemead School of Psychology is to produce graduates who can integrate 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.

While the mission is the same, the training models are different for the doctoral programs. Both programs prepare psychological practitioners and virtually all of the graduates become licensed psychologists. The training models for practitioner programs are based on the core curriculum developed by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP). The training models for the programs are:

  • Ph.D. Training Model: Scholar-Practitioner
    Research Emphasis — The Ph.D. program requires a master’s-level thesis, additional courses in research, and a dissertation (including a proposal, data colloquium and oral defense.) This enhances the research preparation of Ph.D. students.
  • Psy.D. Training Model: Practitioner-Scholar
    Practitioner Emphasis — The Psy.D. program requires additional psychotherapy lab courses, an additional assessment course and additional semester hours of practicum. This enhances the clinical preparation of Psy.D. students.

Program Goals

The differences between the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs can be seen in the distinctions between the program goals, objectives, and competencies. These are presented below and the differences are noted in bold.

Goal 1

  • The goal of the Ph.D. program is to produce clinical psychologists who possess the requisite clinical skills (including knowledge and professional attitudes) to meet the psychological needs of society.
  • The goal of the Psy.D. program is to produce clinical psychologists who possess enhanced clinical skills (including knowledge and professional attitudes) to implement a broad spectrum of psychological interventions to meet the needs of society.

Objective 1.A.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 1.A. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in forming and maintaining professional relationships Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in forming and maintaining professional relationships
Competency 1.A.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships
Competency 1.A.b. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in forming and maintaining relationships with other professionals Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in forming and maintaining relationships with other professionals
Competency 1.A.c. Students will demonstrate satisfactory personal awareness of self as well as their impact on others Students will demonstrate satisfactory personal awareness of self as well as their impact on others
Competency 1.A.d. Students will demonstrate satisfactory understanding and application of professional ethics Students will demonstrate satisfactory understanding and application of professional ethics

Objective 1.B.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 1.B. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological assessment Develop enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological assessment
Competency 1.B.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in administering, scoring, and interpreting cognitive and objective personality tests Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in administering, scoring, and interpreting cognitive, objective, and projective personality tests
Competency 1.B.b. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in evaluating clients, performing differential diagnoses, and writing psychological evaluations Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in evaluating clients, performing differential diagnoses, and writing psychological evaluations

Objective 1.C.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 1.C. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological interventions Develop enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological interventions
Comptency 1.C.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in implementing psychological interventions Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in implementing a broad range of psychological interventions with a variety of populations

Objective 1.D.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 1.D. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in human diversity Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in human diversity
Competency 1.D.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in working with multicultural issues in psychological practice Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in working with multicultural issues in psychological practice

Objective 1.E.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 1.E. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological consultation and supervision Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in psychological consultation and supervision
Competency 1.E.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in individual case consultation and supervision Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in individual case consultation and supervision

Goal 2

  • The goal of the Ph.D. program is to produce clinical psychologists who can generate applied research that serves psychological practitioners and society at large.
  • The goal of the Psy.D. program is to produce clinical psychologists who can understand, critique, and apply research in clinical settings.

Objective 2.A.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 2.A. Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes in conducting and producing applied research Develop requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for understanding, critiquing, and applying research
Competency 2.A.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in utilizing appropriate research methodologies Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in utilizing psychological research in their clinical work

Goal 3

  • The goal of the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs is to produce clinical psychologists who, by knowledge and training, can meet the psychological needs of the Christian community.

Objective 3.A.

Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Objective 3.A. Develop enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes in relating biblical and theological concepts to theory, research, and practice Develop enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes in relating biblical and theological concepts to theory, research, and practice
Competency 3.A.a. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in integrating psychology and theology and communicating these concepts with the Christian community Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in integrating psychology and theology and communicating these concepts with the Christian community
Competency 3.A.b. Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in working with religious/spiritual issues with both Christian and non-Christian clients Students will demonstrate satisfactory skills in working with religious/spiritual issues with both Christian and non-Christian clients

Program Structure and Credits

The differences in training models, goals, objectives and competencies lead to different curriculum emphases. These are presented in the table below and they are elaborated in the section of the website devoted to the specific program.

Semester Credit Hours Ph.D. Program Psy.D. Program
Foundational Curriculum 38 41
Psychotherapy Labs 12 21
Practicum Requirements 12 18
Research Hours 16 6
Dissertation/Doctoral Paper 12 5
Theology Hours 18 18
Integration Hours 12 12
Elective Hours 13 12
Total Hours 133 133