The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology is a practice-based degree program that prepare you for a career as a clinical psychologist in private practice, at a health agency, or in a forensic setting. PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs are less focused on research and more focused on clinical training; however, you still usually need to complete a dissertation. Below, we will explore several California-based PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs, including their degree, clinical experience, dissertation, and entrance requirements.
PsyD Clinical Psychology Programs in California
California Lutheran University
In Thousand Oaks, CA, California Lutheran University offers a 114-unit PsyD in Clinical Psychology. This is a 5-year program that includes coursework on human development, social psychology, psychopharmacology, and family therapy. In addition, there are three clinical training aspects, including an internal practicum where you work at one of California Lutheran University's training clinics; an external practicum completed in a partner clinic, hospital, or treatment center; and a 1-year internship as clinical a therapist in the community. Also, you must complete a second-year project or competency exam, a qualifying exam, and a dissertation prior to graduation.
Antioch University - Santa Barbara
You could complete a PsyD in Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University - Santa Barbara in about 5 years when attending full-time. This program requires 106-143 units and meets the requirement for psychologist licensure in California. Your coursework centers on family forensic psychology, including the practice of child custody evaluation. If you enter the program with just a bachelor's degree, you'll need to complete 1150 hours of community-based clinical hours; those with a master's just need to complete 1000 hours. Along with a dissertation and comprehensive and professional competency exams, you are also required to complete a 1-year internship or clinical traineeship.
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco's PsyD in Clinical Psychology program consists of 4 years of academic study in which you take courses on clinical interviewing, cognitive behavior, research design, and biological psychology. As you complete your coursework, you are also required to complete 1500-2000 hours of clinical training. The 5th year in the program consists of an internship. Both of these clinical experiences could take place at a treatment center, a children's hospital, or a community health agency among other options in the Bay Area. A clinical dissertation is also required.
At the West Los Angeles campus of Pepperdine University, you could earn PsyD in Clinical Psychology in about 4 years. This is an 82-unit program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The coursework consists of classes in cognitive assessment, social aspects of behavior, and clinical psychopathology. During your program, you complete clinical training hours both at Pepperdine University's community-based clinics and other clinics throughout the state. Your final year is spent completing your clinical dissertation and completing a year-long internship.
University of La Verne
In La Verne, CA, the University of La Verne offers a 120-semester hour PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree. In this 5-year program, you spend your first 3 years taking courses on medical psychology, personality assessment, and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy among others classes and develop your dissertation proposal. Concurrently with academic study, in the 2nd and 3rd year, you also complete 1,500 hours of clinical training at two different sites. Your final 4th year is spent completing elective courses, finishing your dissertation, and the final year is spent completing an internship.
Admission Requirements for PsyD in Clinical Psychology Programs
Admission requirements for PsyD programs vary by school. Some schools, such as Antioch, only require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in psychology (or a closely related field) from an accredited institution and to have completed specific psychology courses. Other programs require applicants to hold a master's degree in psychology (or a related field) and be able to demonstrate a foundational knowledge of specific psychology areas.
When applying to a PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, you need to submit an application, letters of recommendation, and a resume. All of the programs discussed above, except Antioch University, also require general GRE scores, and only the University of San Francisco requires both general GRE and GRE psychology subject test scores. These programs also require an interview process, which usually, but not always, occurs after the initial application review. Some programs could require that you submit essays or a personal statement.
Along with coursework, a PsyD in Clinical Psychology program requires extensive clinical training that aims to prepare you fully to become a psychologist. These kinds of programs are available at multiple schools in California, and they often include a dissertation, and comprehensive exams as well.