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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Apr 25, 2024
2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog 
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2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

PhD International Psychology

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Online and Washington D.C.

Program Overview

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s PhD in International Psychology program attracts passionate and pragmatic learners who want to make a difference in an increasingly diverse and global world. It seeks to bring a rich variety of international perspectives into the field of psychology and to examine psychological phenomena from a global lens. The International Psychology program-the first of its kind in the nation-prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in multinational organizations or organizations with international missions. The program goal is to empower students and faculty to be advocates for international psychology initiatives.

Graduates are equipped with (a) advanced research and program evaluation skills; (b) a rich appreciation for the individual and group consequences of global events; (c) the ability to apply psychological principles in the development of policy; (d) the ability to assist individuals and organizations in understanding and collaborating with diverse cultural populations; (e) the ability to write grants, (f) the ability to design and evaluate the efficacy of international programs.

The curriculum offers excellent preparation to apply theories of international psychology to practice in the field. Students are required to choose a specialization to support their personal interests and career focus. The two concentrations available for specialization are: Organizations and Systems and Trauma Services.

The Ph.D. International Psychology program is taught in online and blended formats. This is a non-clinical, non-licensure, post-masters, 60 credit hour degree program, for individuals working in or desiring to work in the global arena. The program is designed for working professionals.

Program Philosophy

The program espouses the philosophy of psychology as a transformational discipline focusing on broad competencies rather than narrow skills or type of education. Graduates function as scholars, faculty, advocates and consultants in a wide variety of domestic/global settings and contexts. The program emphasizes theory, research, and scholarship from a global psychology perspective. The models of research and scholarship that are introduced and encouraged are culturally sensitive, multimodal and reflective of multiple ways of knowing. Graduates develop cultural competencies and are aware that behavior should always be considered within its specific context.

The program concentrations are predicated on the belief that a competent international psychologist must have both a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles of psychology from a global perspective and the ability to apply that knowledge in culturally sensitive ways and in diverse settings. The curriculum exposes students to a broad range of theoretical principles, international scientific research, and relevant practice skills in class assignments and in international settings. Finally, the program is structured to be flexible in order to adapt course content to reflect developments in the field and emphasizes critical thinking, social justice, willingness to comply with ethical principles, the role of personal values, and cultural diversity.  As global transformational agents of change, students are expected to reflect critically on their identities as cultural beings, and to understand their impact on others. International psychology is a new field that facilitates the broadening of psychological theory, research, and practice to include global perspectives and cultural contexts.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:

Professional Practice

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual heritage of psychology and the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the different traditions and concepts in psychology, including those with roots outside the United States and Europe.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of individual differences and diversity (broadly defined to include culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) and design and/or deliver competent psychological services to diverse populations across varied settings and engage in program management, program evaluation and scholarly work that is sensitive to issues of individual differences and diversity.

Professional Behavior

  • Thoughtfully and skillfully engage in self-reflection and discover, recognize, describe, and manage the behaviors and perspectives that facilitate or impede effectiveness in communicating with individuals, groups or systems.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and a willingness to abide by the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists and The American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct in the areas of justice and respect for people’s rights and dignity; and in their scholarly and professional activities, to demonstrate a deep understanding of social justice issues and a commitment to the development, empowerment, and well-being of all people.


  • Demonstrate competence in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method research design, data analysis, and data interpretation, as well as competence in the critical review and evaluation of the broad range of research literature relevant to International Psychology. Graduates generate an original piece of research and scholarship, and disseminate the results to the profession and broader community. They engage in practice that reflects and is informed by the changing and expanding scientific knowledge base in the field.

Admission Requirements

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Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s PhD International Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in psychology, the behavioral sciences, or related field, and who meets additional entrance requirements. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts be submitted from all schools where credit was earned to ensure a complete application.

Preferred candidates have three or more years of work experience prior to admission. The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admission. Letters of recommendation may be required on a case-by-case basis. Students will also be required to write a 500 word personal statement.

Ph.D. International Psychology, Trauma Services Concentration 

An applicant to the Trauma Services concentration must enter with a master’s degree in Psychology or a related field such as Counseling Psychology, Pastoral Counseling, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, and/or Marriage and Family Therapy, from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants with a master’s degree in a field not listed may qualify if they demonstrate evidence of working in the field of trauma for at least 2 years (professional experience), and who have successfully completed 10 credit hours of undergraduate psychology course work (beyond what is required below). 

In addition, applicants must have completed an undergraduate or graduate course in Statistics, at least one course in graduate Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology and one course in graduate Trauma or Trauma related content (with a grade of “C” or better), which may be met through progression requirements outlined below.

Progression Requirements for Trauma Services Concentration: 

Progression Requirements must be completed by the end of their second semester (fourth online term) of study and may be fulfilled through successful completion of the following TCSPP courses: 

  • IN 542 - Statistics or TCS 390 Statistics or Undergraduate Statistics - BA 380 Statistics 
  • IN 507 - Global Perspectives of Psychopathology 
  • IN 551 - Crisis Response - Trauma and Crisis Intervention  

Ph.D. International Psychology, Organizations and Systems Concentration 

Students seeking admissions to the Organizations and Systems concentration must enter with a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and show evidence of an undergraduate or graduate course in Statistics, and two (2) courses of undergraduate or graduate psychology coursework (with grade of “C” or better), which may be met through progression requirements outlined below.   

Progression Requirements for Organizations and Systems Concentration: 

Applicants who are required to complete Progression Coursework may choose from the following options available at TCSPP: 

  • TCS 390 Statistics or Undergraduate Statistics or BA 380 Statistics   
  • BA 300 - Fundamentals of Psychology 
  • BA 320 - Developmental Psychology 
  • BA 330 - Behavioral Psychology 
  • BA 350 - Abnormal Psychology 
  • BA 360 - Neuropsychology 
  • BA 370 - Educational Psychology 
  • BA 406 - The Psychology of Business Management 
  • BA 409 - Psychology in an International Context 
  • BA 425 - Theories of Personality 
  • BA 426 - Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology 
  • BA 427 - Learning and Cognition in Children and Adolescents 
  • BA 435 - Organizational Development 
  • BA 446 - Social Psychology and Culture 
  • TCS 380 - Introduction to Psychology 

Progression Requirements: 

Progression Requirements for either concentation must be completed by the end of the second semester (fourth online term) in the program. Students who do not successfully fulfill their Progression Requirement will not be allowed to register in any further courses in the program until the requirement is met. Extensions may be requested from the Department Chair or designee if extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the requirement in the specified timeframe. Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Department Chair for consideration. 

Based on the evaluation of their materials, candidates may be invited to an interview for further consideration of their application. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements. Applications must be submitted with the $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated. 

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • Successful completion of dissertation to include completion of all manuscript preparation tasks
  • Successful completion of Comprehensive Examinations
  • Successful completion of two field experiences
  • Attendance at two residences (Online Students only)


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.

Residency Requirements (Online Students Only)

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. International Psychology Online program must attend two Residency sessions at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (campus locations may vary). The three-day residencies focus on special topics in international psychology and research methodology. Both residencies provide in-depth learning and opportunities for face-to-face mentoring for dissertation work and program learning. Residencies are also an opportunity for students to build relationships with their classmates/cohorts and program faculty.  Students are required to attend two residencies. Failure to complete the residency requirements will result in failure in the program.

Ethical Guidelines

Students are expected to engage in all graduate work, including but not limited to course work, field experience trips, and scholarship, with a high degree of integrity and professionalism. It is essential that students approach professional working relationships, collegial relationships, and client/partner-contact with respect for individuals, groups, and cultures. Further, students are expected to adhere to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the “evolving universal code of ethics” (Gauthier, 2005). Students who choose to seek employment in the field of psychology shall not work beyond their level of competence and shall not use titles governed by credentialing statutes and/or regulations unless authorized by the relevant jurisdictional authority. Students who fail to comply with ethical and professional behavior guidelines are subject to department remediation and/or referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal.

Field Experience Requirements

All students participate in two required, minimum nine-day international Field Experiences at an international destination selected by the program (one in year two and the other in year three).

Field Experience I

All enrolled students will participate in a minimum nine-day field experience at an international destination selected by the program. Students should be aware of the following components of this experience

  • Up to three of the nine days may be spent in travel.
  • Students will be in the country for up to seven nights and will have five to six full days for the field/service learning experience. Coursework will be based on the number of students in the cohort, available opportunities level of international experience, and professional interests.
  • TCSPP creates professional agreements with one or more international organizations in the country in order to facilitate the course activities.
  • A minimum of one full time TCSPP faculty member will accompany students during this first international field experience.
  • Students may not bring family or friends on Field Experience trips.

Field Experience II

Students are required to participate in a second field experience with their cohort, for a minimum of nine days. While most students will participate in the option developed by the program, some students may be approved to select another option.

All enrolled students will participate in a minimum nine-day field experience at an international destination selected by the program. Components of this experience include:

  • Up to three of the nine days may be spent in travel to the destination country.
  • Students will be in the assigned country for up to seven nights, with five to six full days of field/service-learning experience.
  • TCSPP will arrange an agreement with one or more international organizations in country in order to facilitate the course activities.
  • A minimum of one full time TCSPP faculty member will accompany students during this first international field experience.
  • Students may not bring family or friends on the field experience trips.

Independent Field Experience

The second Field Experience requirement may include the option of an extended and independent opportunity for students who have obtained IRB approval and wish to collect dissertation data.  This independent Field Experience 2 may only be conducted in countries where TCSPP has an International Liaison Office (ILO), to ensure on-ground support and guidance. In order to apply for this option, students must complete the Independent Field

Experience Checklist and Application.

Prior to application, the student must obtain IRB approval for data collection.

The application includes:

Student development of a syllabus for the trip, consistent with typical Field Experience 2 requirements
Approval from their Dissertation Chair
Approval from the IP Department Chair
Approval from International Liaison Office (see Resource Café for list)

If scheduled in advance, it may replace the cohort scheduled Field Experience 2. TCSPP is not responsible for any of the planning or logistical components of the trip. All costs (including travel, accommodations, and study activities) are the responsibility of the student. In order to receive credit for Independent FE, students must register for an Independent Study or one of the existing FE courses.

Students are responsible for the tuition cost, creating and obtaining approval for the course material, IRB approval, and contacting the International Liaison Office. Logistics, travel arrangements and all costs associated with the FE 2-Independent Study are the sole responsibility of the student. Students should contact the office of Financial Aid officers to explore whether financial aid is available for this option.

Successful completion of both Field Experience courses is required for graduation from the program. Assessment of performance includes coursework and projects completed in the online course prior to the travel component, in addition to work assignments and projects conducted during travel (critical self-reflection). In addition to demonstrating integration of knowledge and concepts of the program, students are expected to demonstrate appropriate professional and ethical behavior on site during field experience.

Independent Internships

While the IP program does not currently offer or manage internships abroad, students may apply for internships independently. In order to obtain TCSPP elective credit for an internship, the student must provide an official position offer letter with contact information for the agency, and details of the acceptance dates/terms of internship. The internship may not substitute for Field Experience courses. Students are responsible for the tuition cost, creating and obtaining approval for the course material. Logistics, travel arrangements, and all costs associated with the Internship are the sole responsibility of the student.  

Comprehensive Examination

Every student is required to pass written and oral Comprehensive Examinations.  The aim of the written examination is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of Research Methods, Diversity, Foundational Literature, and Ethics in the field. The oral exam involves a presentation by the student of their Dissertation Proposal. Comprehensive Examinations are conducted during the second year of a student’s doctoral study. Students must receive a grade of 80% or better on each exam to pass Comprehensive Exams.

Students who fail the first attempt at comprehensive exams are provided a second opportunity to take the exams. This may involve a schedule modification (as students who do not pass comprehensive exams are not eligible to complete IP903). Students who fail will be given a second opportunity to take the exam and may be placed on an Academic Development Plan (ADP) and required to prepare a plan for retaking the exam. After two failed attempts, students will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), which may result in dismissal from the program.

Students who fail a section are required to retake that exam section. Students who pass only one of the four written sections will be required to retake the entire exam (all four sections) during the next scheduled Comprehensive Exam sitting. Students are required to use the new Study Guide for the next exam. Students who fail the Oral Exam (Dissertation Proposal Defense) are required to retake by or at the next exam session, and may not move forward with their dissertation until they pass. Online students may petition the Department Chair to request a virtual/video conference oral exam if travel to another Residency is not feasible.

Doctoral Candidacy:

In order to advance to candidacy and assume the title “doctoral candidate,” a student must be in good standing in the program and have successfully completed the following:

  • Dissertation Proposal Preparation (IP901 course)
  • Completion of the first Field Experience Course
  • Pass the Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Pass the Comprehensive Exams


Completion of an original dissertation research study is an essential and significant aspect of the doctoral student’s academic experience and professional education. The dissertation represents the student’s ability to examine the literature on a psychological phenomenon, identify a gap in the IP field, and conduct research that will address global issues. The dissertation represents the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about relevant research issues in international psychology, and to contribute to global improvement.

The International Psychology program requirements for dissertation research are as follows:

  • The dissertation must be international in nature and contribute to the overall international psychology literature (topic to be approved by the Department Chair, Departmental Dissertation Lead Faculty, and Dissertation Chair). 
  • The standard of references and resources used in the dissertation must be peer-reviewed journals and professional publications in psychology (or related fields such as social work, sociology, and organizational psychology).  Additional resources may be incorporated at the discretion of the Dissertation Chair.          
  • Students are not eligible to apply for graduation/Commencement until they have passed the dissertation defense (without significant revisions). Participation in Commencement includes application deadlines - please consult with Student Support Services for further information.

The Curriculum

Required Core: 50 credit hours

Concentration: 10 credit hours

Program Total

Ph.D. International Psychology: 60 credit hours

Required Core


Optional Crisis-Informed Care Track

Ph.D. students who have successfully completed the courses below may petition for conferral of the Crisis-Informed Care for a Diverse, Globalized World Certificate   through the office of the registrar, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Student meets Financial/Financial Aid Good Standing.
  • Student meets Academic Good Standing at the time the requirements for the certificate (or degree) were completed.
  • Student’s cumulative GPA for the coursework required for the certificate must meet the graduation requirements of the certificate.
  • The petition for Degree Conferral must be submitted within 1 year from the date the final certificate requirement was completed.
  • All SAC referrals for behavioral misconduct or issues of professional comportment must be deemed as fully remediated by the SAC committee before the certificate can be conferred.

Selection of the Optional Crisis-Informed Care Track will add 3 credit hours to students’ program total.

Extension Courses

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