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School of Psychological Sciences Clinical Psychology Doctorate (PsyD)

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PsyD Graduation Requirements

To receive the PsyD degree in clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis, students must complete the following requirements within seven years of being admitted into the program:

1. Successful completion of a minimum of 111 credit hours (3 + 1 option) or 120 credit hours (4 + 1 option). The total credit hours must include all required courses specified in the curriculum.

2. Demonstrated competence on the Core and Clinical Competency Exams.

Every student in the PsyD program is required to pass comprehensive examinations, which ensure that students have mastered the core knowledge and skills needed to function as competent clinical psychologists.

For the Clinical Proficiency Exam, the student submits a clinical portfolio to a faculty committee for evaluation. The clinical portfolio should include samples from two major areas:

  • A comprehensive psychological evaluation, including a rationale for the instruments utilized, test protocols/raw data, and a written report with assessment interpretations and recommendations
  • A therapy case demonstrating clinical skill; a case analysis that provides background information, presenting problem, overall treatment plan, and goals for treatment; and outcome measures demonstrating the efficacy of interventions.
The second comprehensive exam is the Core Competency Exam, a written test where students answer questions covering basic knowledge learned from all of the required coursework. This ensures that students have mastered the breadth of basic knowledge in the field of psychology appropriate for doctoral-level practice.

3. Successful completion of the dissertation, including oral defense.

Every student in the doctoral program must complete and defend a dissertation. The dissertation requirement is designed to reflect students' future roles as professional psychologists who function not only as practicing clinicians, but also as scholars, local scientists and consumers of research. To achieve this goal, students select an area or issue that is clinically significant and produce a written product that is both scholarly and creative. The faculty use the written work to assess students' ability to evaluate and synthesize knowledge gained from theory, research and clinical practice.

Dissertations may involve any of a number of types of scholarly inquiry, such as empirical research projects; the development, implementation and evaluation of psychoeducational programs, skills training programs, or specific clinical intervention programs; evaluation of assessment techniques or procedures; needs assessments and proposals (including scholarly review of the literature in some content area); or evaluation of intervention programs through case studies or single case designs. Depending on the nature of the project, dissertations may also be more qualitative in design and consist of more theoretical analyses or public policy formulations.

4. Minimum of 1,200 hours of clinical practicum.

Practicum experiences are an integral part of the applied training sequence in professional psychology at UIndy. A minimum of 1,200 hours of practicum is required of all students. Practicum placements include a variety of settings, such as hospitals (general, psychiatric, VA), community mental health centers, university counseling centers, schools,  outpatient clinics, residential treatment programs, and correctional facilities.

In these placements, students gain supervised experience in psychological assessment and testing, psychotherapy with various types of clients, collaboration and consultation with interdisciplinary treatment teams, program development and evaluation, treatment planning and case management, and various other aspects of professional psychology. In order to encourage both the breadth and diversity of experience, students will be expected to gain experience in at least two training sites.

Practicum training involves a minimum of twelve hours per week at training sites, although other arrangements are possible depending on agency and student needs. Clinical practicum placements and training are coordinated through the School of Psychological Sciences Director of Doctorate Programs. All students involved in training at a practicum site must concurrently participate in a weekly practicum seminar group at the University. These groups address a variety of topics important to the practice of psychology and the development of a professional identity.

5. Satisfactory completion of a 2,000 hour internship at an approved health service training program site.

The clinical internship is a capstone training experience required of all doctoral students and provides an integrative experience for students where they provide a wide range of psychological services under supervision in an organized health service training program. Most internships are independently operated outside of doctoral training programs and provide the student with a training stipend. Students normally complete a one-year, full-time (2,000 hour) internship during the fourth year of study, after all other program requirements have been met. During the predoctoral internship year, students enroll in 6-credit hours of PSY-698 per semester at a reduced rate (1/3 tuition reduction, equivalent to 4-credit hours). A part-time internship for two consecutive years is also possible, although these are less commonly offered. The Director of Doctorate Programs, the student's academic advisor, and the clinical coordinator assist students in the internship planning and application process. The Director of Doctorate Programs and the Committee maintain contact with the student during the internship year, monitor student progress and assess the need for any remedial efforts with the student while on internship.

6. Final cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

7. Satisfactory compliance with the requirements of the School's professional competency standards (see above).