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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Mar 04, 2024
2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog 
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2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

PsyD Clinical Psychology - Washington D.C.

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Washington D.C.

Program Overview

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program is based on the practitioner-scholar model of education and training, integrating core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and the Cube model (Rodolfa et al., 2005). It is a progressive approach to graduate education in psychology, which also includes social engagement, multicultural training, and service to the community. Department faculty are actively engaged in practice and scholarship, and incorporate a wide variety of clinical examples into classroom activities. Students learn through rigorous course work, challenging practica, an integrative internship, and an innovative, applicable dissertation. The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program strives to provide excellence in training and culturally competent service provision while offering students wide variety of remarkable training opportunities.

Program Accreditation

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program at the Washington DC Campus is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:


Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:



The PsyD Clinical Psychology program has adopted the practitioner-scholar model, which is informed by the NCSPP Core Competency model and the Cube model (Rodolfa et al., 2005).  These models are predicated on the belief that competent practitioners must have both a broad knowledge of scientific and theoretical principles at the core of psychology, which includes a solid understanding of a variety of scholarly work, as well as the ability to apply their knowledge to specific clinical situations. The doctoral department does not advocate any single theoretical orientation. Rather, students learn conceptualization and technique across four general theory areas, and then have the opportunity to take advanced therapy courses in a theoretical orientation in which to specialize. Students are continually challenged to reflect on the art and skills of professional practice, as well as on its scientific basis.


The PsyD Clinical Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. campus is committed to the preparation of health service psychologists, who are competent and effective in the field of clinical psychology and who are trained to ethically provide a broad range of psychological services to diverse and underserved populations. Following a practitioner-scholar model of training, the program’s curriculum and training experiences promote the integration of psychological theory, science, and practice. Through the guidance of supportive mentoring relationships, students will be able to effectively utilize research, deliver evidence-based practices, and promote social justice in their practice of clinical psychology. 

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Professional Practice
    • Profession Wide Competency: Assessment. Graduates demonstrate competence in selecting, conducting, interpreting, and communicating evidence-based assessment results sensitively both orally and in written documents. They demonstrate understanding of psychometric properties, psychopathology/diagnosis, and human behavior within its context drawing on multiple sources and methods, consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology.
    • Profession Wide Competency: Intervention. Graduates demonstrate competence in evidence-based, culturally-informed interventions consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology. Intervention is being defined broadly to include but not be limited to psychotherapy. Interventions may be derived from a variety of theoretical orientations or approaches. The level of intervention includes those directed at an individual, a family, a group, an organization, a community, a population or other systems. Additionally, graduates establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services and evaluate intervention effectiveness utilizing ongoing evaluation and adapt intervention goals as needed.
    • Profession Wide Competency: Supervision. Graduates demonstrate knowledge of supervision roles and practices.
    • Profession Wide Competency: Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills. Graduates demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions and consultation roles and practices.
  • Diversity
    • Profession Wide Competency: Individual and Cultural Diversity. Graduates demonstrate the ability to conduct all professional activities with sensitivity to human diversity, including the ability to deliver high quality services to an increasingly diverse population. They must demonstrate knowledge, awareness, sensitivity, and skills when working with diverse individuals and communities who embody a variety of cultural and personal background and characteristics across all professional activities as well as also have an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
    • Social Justice.  Graduates understand psychology through broader views of societal concerns, equality, oppression, fairness, interdependence and social responsibility, and appreciate the role that psychologists can play as social change agents.
  • Professional Behavior
    • Profession Wide Competency: Ethical and Legal Standards. Gradates demonstrate knowledge of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and other relevant laws and regulations, recognizing ethical dilemmas and engage in ethical decision-making and conduct self ethically.
    • Profession Wide Competency: Professional Values and Attitudes. Graduates behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, these professional values include integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others. Additionally, they engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness as well as actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
    • Profession Wide Competency: Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Graduates develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services. They produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts. Additionally, they demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
  • Scholarship
    • Profession Wide Competency: Research. Graduates are able to integration of science and practice and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and competence sufficient to produce new knowledge, to critically evaluate and use existing knowledge to solve problems, and to disseminate research.


For information on where The Chicago School of Professional Psychology meets, does not meet, or has not determined if the program meets licensure eligibility requirements for the  state in which you wish to be licensed, please visit:

Admission Requirements

For information on where The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval, please visit

Application to The Chicago School’s Psy.D Clinical Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. The school admits students whom it judges to possess sufficient academic aptitude, as well as the emotional and social maturity to function effectively as professional psychologists. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work.

Factors considered in admission are:

  • GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools
  • Successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree
  • Essays:
    • In your role as a clinical psychology student, you are likely to work and study with people from many backgrounds. Tell us what will be some of the challenges for you studying with people different from yourself, and what you would contribute in your interactions with them.
    • Many people choose Clinical Psychology as a career because they are interested in helping other people. Please tell us additional reasons, other than helping people, why you would like to be a clinical psychologist.
  • 3 Letters of recommendation from academic professors or supervisors from professional or volunteer experiences.

An undergraduate or graduate GPA of a 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the Program. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. Applicants are encouraged to submit transcripts from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program requires 18 semester hours of psychology credit, including three specific courses (Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Child/Human Development) that must be completed prior to enrollment with a grade earned of ‘C’ or better (please see the application for admission for detailed requirements). Where an applicant is missing the required undergraduate coursework or hours, graduate coursework or hours may be substituted, provided that the student earned a grade of ‘B’ or better in the course. Graduate coursework used to meet prerequisites will be considered for transfer on a case-by-case basis. Based on the evaluation of these materials selected candidates may be invited to interview for further consideration of their application. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50 (US) fee in order to be evaluated.

Applicant Notification

If, after initial review of all application materials the Admission Committee so recommends, the applicant will be invited for an interview day with members of the Department faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and mandatory for full consideration.

Post interview, the applicant will be notified of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding his or her application. The Chicago School 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

Articulation Agreements

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has also established agreements between the PsyD Clinical Psychology program and the programs listed below to allow qualified students to receive transfer credit for courses taken in other TCSPP programs that can be counted toward degree completion requirements for both programs. Click the link below for details.

MA Forensic Psychology and PsyD Clinical Psychology Washington DC      

MA Counseling Psychology and PsyD Clinical Psychology Washington DC  

MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling and PsyD Clinical Psychology Washington DC   

MS Clinical Psychopharmacology and PsyD Clinical Psychology Washington DC  

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 104 credit hours of coursework
  • Successful completion of Year 2 600-hour (expected) basic practicum
  • Successful completion of Year 3 600-hour (expected) intermediate practicum
  • Successful completion of Year 4 600-hour (expected) advanced practicum
  • Successful completion of Clinical Competency Evaluation
  • Successful completion of Dissertation
  • Successful completion of 2,000-hour doctoral internship


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.

Ethical Guidelines

The Chicago School expects that all PsyD Clinical Psychology students will be knowledgeable of and adhere to the APA Ethical Guidelines as published by the American Psychological Association. Sound ethical reasoning and accountability to the larger community for adherence to guidelines for ethical behavior are the two characteristics that mark a profession as distinct from a career or job. As a result, several expectations of students are derived from the ethical code.

First, no student shall obtain part-time or full-time employment that is beyond the scope of their cumulative training in the field of psychology. In accordance with state laws, no student may serve under the title of “psychologist,” “clinical psychologist,” or any closely related title or job function until granted an appropriate license by the state after the awarding of the doctoral degree. Students may, however, work as psychological assistants, researchers, or psychometricians under the supervision of a professional psychologist who is duly licensed or certified by the appropriate state agency.

Students shall not perform any function that exceed their level of training. Students shall ensure that the appropriate malpractice insurance is in effect prior to their commencement of any clinical practice. In addition,  students may not establish or continue psychotherapy with any department or affiliate faculty member under any circumstances or with any adjunct faculty member while registered in his or her course or while under his or her supervision. A student who fails to adhere to this policy or otherwise fails to demonstrate the appropriate ethics required for practice in the field of professional psychology is subject to discipline.

A second derivation of the ethical code is that of integrity. The Chicago School expects that all students demonstrate the highest form of academic integrity. This applies to all of their graduate work and studies ranging from course work, to general scholarship, to interactions with faculty, staff, and students. Further, given that graduate students as part of their training gain access to extremely sensitive clinical information, The Chicago School expects that students show the highest form of professional integrity in their training settings. These expectations range from client contact, to professional communications, to representation as a student of the school. Integrity is taken very seriously and a violation of academic and professional standards is grounds for remediation, suspension, or expulsion.

A final derivation of the ethical code is that of professional suitability. As a field, our primary responsibility is to the public we serve. As a result, should a student show signs that he or she is likely to cause harm to those we serve, swift action will be taken to mitigate that risk for harm. Such action could range from requiring additional education and remediation for the student to disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion. Should a student demonstrate, over time and despite efforts to remediate, that he or she is not able to assume the responsibilities of the profession, he or she may be dismissed from the school. Professional suitability is defined in part by the school, in part by the field of psychology, and in part by the larger society. Should a student’s ability to engage in professional practice change, for example through conviction of a crime that prevents licensure, the department may determine that completion of the program is not possible for the student.

Independent Practice

Consistent with the training department goals and the focus on ethical behavior, it is deemed inappropriate for PsyD Clinical Psychology program students to engage in professional activities that may infringe upon a primary commitment to training, negatively affect quality of consumer mental health services, or are inconsistent with ethical and legal standards. Students’ participation in outside work activities should be secondary to training and should also uphold and be consistent with the ethical and legal standards of the profession. Engaging in independent practice in psychology prior to appropriate licensure, as a result, is viewed as inconsistent with these training objectives and unethical for doctoral-level students.

Students may hold a valid license in another profession (e.g., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or Marriage and Family Therapist) or may obtain such a license during their training at The Chicago School. Such students may practice within the scope of their license consistent with the following:

The demands of the practice in time or other resources must not jeopardize the student’s primary commitment to training in the department.

The manner in which students represent themselves to colleagues, clients and the public (e.g. marketing materials and reports of service) should not create a belief that the practice is under the auspices of or sanctioned by The Chicago School, that the practice is part of the school’s training, or that the practice is that of a trained and licensed clinical psychologist.

A student who fails to comply with the requirements of this section will be referred to the Department Chair for intervention, remediation, or disciplinary action, or for referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal.

Professional Development Group and Academic Advisor Assignment

All students are required to enroll in a Professional Development Group during their first two semesters in the program and will be assigned an academic advisor in their first year. Students are expected to meet with their advisor at least once in the Fall and Spring semesters. After their first year, students may request a new academic advisor.  Generally, the student’s Dissertation Chair becomes their academic advisor, unless the student requests otherwise.

Student Disclosure of Personal Information

In accordance with the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002) Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct Standard 7.04, students should be aware that some Clinical PsyD courses may require disclosure of certain personal information related to the student’s ability to understand the purposes of these courses and their application to the effective practice of clinical psychology.  Students may be required to participate in learning activities that involve different levels of self-disclosure. Students may be evaluated in areas that include, but are not limited to, demonstration of sufficient: a) interpersonal and professional competence; b) self-awareness, self-reflection and self-evaluation; c) openness to processes of supervision; and d) resolution of problems or issues that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner.  Such reflection may be also required within the context of an advising relationship or a supervising relationship on practicum.

Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology

A student in the PsyD Clinical Psychology program can earn an MA Clinical Psychology following the successful completion of required coursework and specific program requirements.  At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the master’s degree, they are required to submit a Petition for Degree Conferral to the Office of the Registrar. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the degree. A student who meets the requirements is eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. A student who files a Petition for Degree Conferral is charged a fee.

The specific requirements for award of a Master of Arts degree for the general Program student are as follows:

Academic and Financial Aid Good Standing

Successful completion of practicum 

Successful completion of the following courses:


Students participate in three years of organized, sequential, and well-supervised practicum experiences that increasingly expose them to the range of roles and responsibilities of a clinical psychologist.  All practicum experiences are an extension of the students’ academic coursework, and are defined by an annual training agreement that details such things as supervisory contact information, duration of training experience, available clinical activities, and methods of evaluating the students’ performance and the site’s training program.

Situated in the nation’s capital, students in the Program have access to a diverse selection of practicum sites that offer experiences consistent with the Program’s values and training goals.  Sample placement sites include hospitals, community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, and forensic settings.  The Practicum requirements include:

  • Year 2: 600-hour (expected) basic practicum
  • Year 3: 600-hour (expected) intermediate practicum
  • Year 4: 600-hour (expected) advanced practicum

The first three-semester practicum sequence is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. The second three-semester sequence is primarily devoted to training in psychotherapy.  The Advanced Practicum is designed to offer students advanced experience in a particular area of interest (e.g., neuropsychology) or help them secure additional experience in assessment or treatment. Advanced Practicum also has an emphasis on consultation and supervision.  All practica require individual supervision offered by the practicum site, which can be complimented with group supervision.  Students must be simultaneously enrolled in small group seminars offered by the school.

Competency Presentation Exams (CPEs) and Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)

Embedded within three of the assessment courses (Cognitive Assessment, Projective Assessment, and Advanced Assessment); Diversity in Clinical Psychology II; and Supervision, Consultation, and Professional Practice are Competency Presentation Exams (CPEs). These exams allow the faculty to assess students’ attainment of specific competencies. Students must demonstrate proficiency to progress in the program.

Every student is required to pass a Clinical Competency Examination (CCE). The aim of the CCE, broadly stated, is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of the theory, research, and practice of a chosen theory of intervention, as well as competency to practice that theory in an ethical and culturally sensitive manner. Ultimately, the CCE allows the department to assess the student’s abilities as a future clinical psychologist.


All students are required to complete a dissertation. The dissertation is an essential aspect of a student’s academic experience and clinical education at the school. The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the body of knowledge in a chosen area, as well as ability to critically evaluate and synthesize this knowledge.


All students are required to complete an internship following the completion of all course work, practica, and dissertation requirements. On internship, students integrate academic knowledge with clinical skills and demonstrate the effective and ethical use of these skills in clinical practice. Through intensive supervised training, students gain direct experience in applying their knowledge with a clinical population.

The internship experience consists of a minimum of 2,000 hours of training over a 12-24 month (full- or part-time, respectively) period. Appropriate sites for internship training include programs that are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) and programs that are members of the Association of Psychology Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Internship Centers (APPIC). Students interested in the Mid Atlantic Internship Consortium should review the program website. Students are required to register for Internship during each semester they are on internship. Registration for Internship automatically assigns full-time student status.

The Curriculum

On average, a student who progresses successfully through the academic program should expect to complete the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree in five academic years. The recommended plan is for four years of coursework followed by a full-time internship. A student must complete all degree requirements within seven academic years. Exceptions to this policy require departmental approval.

Required Core: 90 credit hours

Intervention Orientation: 4 credit hours

Electives: 10 credit hours

Program Total

Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Washington D.C.: 104 credit hours

Required Core

Intervention Orientation

The Clinical PsyD Department recognizes the strong evidence bases of the primary four theoretical orientations within the program: existential humanism, cognitive behavior, psychodynamic, and family systems. All clinical PsyD students receive a broad generalist base in theory, conceptualization and technique within these theoretical orientations by completing a basic intervention course in four intervention orientations. They then take advanced intervention course work in their third year of the program. The basic intervention courses combined with the advanced intervention courses and the intermediate practicum seminar all help prepare students for the Clinical Competency Examination (CCE; explained above). The CCE requires a thorough understanding of a client’s presenting condition, the choice of treatment approach, and the understanding of change using both basic and advanced theory and technique.

Students may choose from the following (or other approved advanced intervention) courses based on interest and availability. Not all courses are offered every term. 


The Psy.D. program offers a variety of electives that allow students to advance their knowledge beyond the coverage from required courses in the curriculum (e.g., Seminar in Pediatric Psychopharmacology), or learn about specific client populations (e.g., Evaluation and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender) or specific interventions or assessment techniques (e.g. Dialectical Behavior Therapy). The listed below are examples of elective courses offered in recent years, but it is not all inclusive and other topic areas are also offered based upon faculty expertise and student interest.

Forensic Practice Area (8 credit hours)

Students may choose electives within the forensic practice area of study. Students must complete at least 8 credit hours for the practice area, and it is recommended that they pursue at least one practicum placement in a forensic setting and complete their dissertation on a forensic psychology-related area. Students are required to take Introduction to Forensic Psychology or PY520D or PY521D, and the other three electives should be forensic-designated electives by the program. 


Extension Courses

Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology

A student in the PsyD Clinical Psychology program can earn an MA Clinical Psychology following the successful completion of required coursework and specific program requirements.  At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the master’s degree, they are required to submit a Petition for Degree Conferral to the Office of the Registrar. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the degree. A student who meets the requirements is eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. A student who files a Petition for Degree Conferral is charged a fee.

The specific requirements for award of a Master of Arts degree for the general Program student are as follows:

Academic and Financial Aid Good Standing

Successful completion of practicum

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