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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Jun 14, 2024
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum 
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2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum [Archived Catalog]

PsyD Clinical Psychology - Chicago

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Program Overview

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program bases its training on the practitioner-scholar model of education, integrating core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and the American Psychological Association Standards of Accreditation. Program faculty members actively engage in practice and scholarship, and incorporate a wide variety of clinical examples into classroom activities. Students learn through rigorous course work, challenging practicums, an integrative Internship, and a dissertation. The PsyD Clinical Psychology program is recognized for its excellent training in the provision of culturally competent services and offers students a wide variety of training opportunities.

Program Accreditation

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program at the Chicago Campus is accredited by the American Psychological Association. 

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

The American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242


To inspire and transform students into engaged practitioner scholars who value diversity, professional competence & innovation, and serve those entrusted in their care with dignity and respect.


Students will engage in transformative personal and professional development, cultivating a commitment to lifelong learning, ethically guided professional practice, and an integrated appreciation for the value of diversity. Graduates will possess a demonstrated investment in providing expert psychological care, social advocacy in the profession and the various communities in which they live and serve.


The Program aim is to produce ethical, culturally sensitive, and competent health service psychologists.

Program Competencies:

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (PsyD) has the following program learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are aligned with the institutional mission and learning goals of the Chicago School, the standards established by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association and the mission of the Program:

  • Professional Practice
    • Assessment: Students will demonstrate competency in conducting evidence-based assessment consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology.
    • Intervention: Students will provide effective interventions 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.
    • Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdiscipinary Skills: Students will intentionally collaborate with other individuals or groups to address a problem, seek or share knowledge, or promote effectiveness in professional activities.
    • Supervision: Students will understand how to act as role models, provide mentoring and monitoring of trainees and others in the development of competence and skill in professional practice, provide effective evaluation of those skills, and maintain responsibility for the activities they oversee.
  • Diversity:
    • Individual and Cultural Diversity: Students will 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. Students will demonstrate knowledge, awareness, sensitivity, and skills when working with diverse individuals and communities who embody a variety of cultural and personal background and characteristics.
  • Professional Behavior
    • Ethics and Legal Standards: Students will understand principles of ethical and legal behavior; integrate and adhere to the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, as well as relevant laws, regulations, rules and policies through the application of sound ethical reasoning.
    • Communication and Interpersonal Skills:  Students will develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, demonstrate proficiency at expressive and receptive communication, and demonstrate effective interpersonal skills.
    • Professional Values, attitudes, and behaviors:  Students will behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, engage in self-reflection regarding their personal and professional functioning, actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback, and progressively respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.
  • Scholarship
    • Research: Students will 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 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 is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval, please visit

Application to The Chicago School’s 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.

At the Chicago School, we take great pride that our students represent a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds as well as academic and professional experiences. We admit individuals with a record of academic achievement and personal maturity appropriate to doctoral study, as well as a commitment to service in the larger community.

Applicants for admission to the PsyD Clinical Psychology program at the Chicago Campus must meet the following requirements:

  • Submission of all required application materials by the application deadline.
  • A baccalaureate degree from a college or university that is regionally accredited or an equivalent academic degree from a foreign college or university, earned by the official start of the applicant’s intended term.
  • An academic record that demonstrates the ability to fulfill the academic demands of a doctoral program. Successful applicants typically have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of at least 18 credit hours of psychology, including one course in each of the following with a “B-” or better: Abnormal psychology; Lifespan (human development); Statistics. (An offer of admissions may be extended with coursework pending however all required courses must be successfully completed prior to the start of the intended term and verified through the submission of an official transcript.)
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test within the past five years.
  • Interview with faculty. Interviews are by invitation only.  Applicants will be notified by the Office of Admission should an interview be granted.
  • Demonstration, through written statements and interview, interest in and the basic interpersonal skills needed to begin training for the work of a clinical psychologist.

Details about the application process including deadlines and fees can be found on the Admissions website.   Admission to the PsyD Clinical Psychology program is competitive and possession of the minimum requirements does not ensure admission.

The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants in a holistic manner, considering the following:

  • Prior academic performance & GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, writing)
  • Content and clarity of written and verbal communication
  • Strength of recommendation letters
  • Personal and professional presentation throughout the admission process
  • Community service interest and/or experience
  • Research experience
  • Prior sustained professional work experience and/or substantial volunteer experience in a human services field
  • Evidence of integrity, motivation, and personal ethics
  • Motivation and fit with the profession and The Chicago School mission

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 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 The Chicago School programs that can be counted toward degree completion requirements for both programs.Click on the link of the program that interests you for details.

Psy.D Clinical Psychology and MS Clinical Psychopharmacology  

PsyD Clinical Psychology and MA Counseling Psychology     

PsyD Clinical Psychology and MA Forensic Psychology (Licensure Track)  

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 106 credit hours of coursework
  • Successful completion of Year 2 600-hour basic practicum
  • Successful completion of Year 3 600-hour intermediate practicum
  • Successful completion of Year 4 600-hour advanced practicum
  • Successful completion of Clinical Competency Evaluation
  • Successful completion of Assessment Competency Examination
  • Successful completion of Dissertation
  • Successful completion of 2,000 hour 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 Illinois state law, 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.

A student shall not perform any function that exceeds his/her level of training. Students shall ensure that the appropriate malpractice insurance is in effect prior to their commencement of any clinical practice. In addition, a student 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 training goals and ethical behavior, it is deemed inappropriate for PsyD Clinical Psychology students to engage in professional activities that may infringe upon a primary commitment to training, negatively affect quality of consumer mental health services, or be 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 is viewed as inconsistent with training objectives and unethical for students enrolled in a doctoral program.

The Illinois Clinical Psychology Licensing Act and BOP prohibits independent practice in clinical psychology by non-licensed individuals. Regardless of previous credentials, participation in a psychology training program indicates that the student is committed to developing a professional identity as a psychologist and to developing professional skills within a psychological framework. The development of this identity occurs throughout the course of graduate-level training. It is appropriate for graduate students, whatever their previous experience, to view themselves as psychologists-in-training.

A student 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 her/his 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 referral for disciplinary action including possible dismissal.

Professional Development Group and Academic Advisor Assignment

All students are required to enroll in PY 678 Foundations in Professional Practice and Research I  and PY 679 Foundations in Professional Practice and Research II  during their first two semesters in the program. The group’s instructor serves as academic advisor for those enrollees. Students maintain the same academic advisor during the fall of their second year in the program, but may request a new academic advisor after that time. Generally, during the second year, the student’s Dissertation Chair becomes his/her academic advisor, unless the student requests otherwise.

Applied Professional Practice

Students in the PsyD Clinical Psychology program are assisted in placement for training (practicum and internship) by the professionals in the Office of Placement and Training (OPT) in the Program and at The Chicago School. Students are expected to adhere to guidelines and procedures of OPT related to seeking training, resolving concerns related to training, and submission of documentation related to training. Violation of OPT requirements and guidelines may be grounds for remediation, disciplinary review or expulsion.

Student Disclosure of Personal Information

Self-reflection, introspection, and an ability to examine personal reactions to clinical material are considered critical skills in student development. Students will be required to examine their personal reactions and the impact of their personal histories on the clinical services they are training to provide. Students will not be required to disclose personal information related to sexual history, history of abuse or neglect, personal psychotherapy or in-depth information regarding intimate relationships in course or department related activities. Students are expected to actively reflect upon and effectively manage their personal reactions, including to people who are different from themselves along these and other dimensions, especially when such personal reactions negatively impact clinical work, professional interactions, and ethical responsibilities. Such reflection may be required within the context of an advising relationship, some course assignments, or a supervising relationship on practicum. Students who demonstrate substantial difficulty or delay in the development of these foundational skills may be reviewed for suitability for clinical practice.


The practicum is an integral component of clinical training. It provides a closely supervised clinical experience in which students use the knowledge obtained in the classroom to understand their clients and to develop skills in assessment, psychotherapy, and other discipline related areas. As such, the practicum serves to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of the professional psychologist. It allows students to become familiar with professional collaboration and consultation in a clinical setting.

All students enrolled since fall 2012 are required to take sixteen semester hours of Practicum. (six Basic, six Intermediate and four Advanced, see below). Basic practicum is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. Intermediate and Advanced practicums may be devoted to training in evidence-based models of intervention or advanced assessment training, or a combination of these activities. All practicums require two hours of supervision weekly offered by the practicum site, as well as small group seminars offered by the school.  A minimum of 600 hours are completed by each student at each practicum level.

Students registered in this program incur a one-time $195 Experiential Learning Technology Fee.

Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)

Every Program 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 an intervention, as well as competency to practice in an evidence-based, ethical, and culturally sensitive manner. The program evaluates student performance on the CCE to inform the programs assessment of a student’s clinical competencies in intervention and assessment.


All students are required to take the Department Proficiency Exam in Statistics which is offered each year on multiple occasions. A passing grade on the Proficiency Exam in Statistics is a prerequisite to PY428 Statistics II, a required course in the program. If a student does not pass the exam by the end of their second year in the Program they may enroll in PY427 Statistics I, the final exam of which includes the Proficiency Exam in Statistics. This final exam must be passed to fulfill the prerequisite for PY428. PY427 Statistics I is a remedial course and is not part of the program curriculum.


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 provides the school with the opportunity to formally evaluate the student’s ability to contribute to the field by applying theory and research to areas of clinical psychology, thinking critically and creatively about the profession, and demonstrating self-direction and professional/scholarly writing. 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 successful completion of all course work, practicum, 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 12-24 months (full or part time, respectively). 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). The program requires students to apply to APA accredited sites only in Phase I and II of the APPIC match. The internship is a vital component of the educational requirements and is never waived or transferred. 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

The PsyD Clinical Psychology program is a 106 credit program that includes four years of intensive course work, and three years of required practica focused on both clinical assessment and clinical intervention.  The program also requires a dissertation and a year of clinical internship. Students are able to individualize their clinical training to address their own professional and developmental interests, through the choices they make in elective areas, examples of which are described below.

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, APA-accredited internship. A student must complete all degree requirements within seven academic years. Exceptions to this policy require departmental approval.

Required Core: 94 credit hours

Advanced Intervention: 3 credit hours

Advanced Assessment: 3 credit hours

Electives: 6 credit hours

Program Total

PsyD Clinical Psychology - Chicago: 106 credit hours

Required Core

Advanced Intervention Courses

All students are required to take an advanced intervention course. These courses provide for more in depth study of a specific approach to intervention. Students may take additional advanced intervention courses as electives. The Clinical Psy.D. Department does not advocate any single theoretical intervention approach. Rather, all Clinical Psy.D. students receive an excellent base in theory, conceptualization and technique by completing a Basic Intervention course in each of the four Intervention Orientations offered by the program and then complete Advanced Intervention Courses.

 Advanced intervention courses prepare students for the Clinical Competency Examination which requires students to select a case from their training and demonstrate a thorough understanding of a client’s presenting condition within a theoretical framework and the biological and social context of the presenting condition. Advanced Intervention courses prepare students to demonstrate an understanding of change using both basic and advanced theory and technique   in the context of evidence-based practice.

  • Students who receive a grade of “C” or “F” in any Advanced Intervention course may retake the same Advanced intervention course or another Advanced intervention course to replace the grade  

To sit for the Clinical Competency Exam and to meet graduation requirements, the student must have received passing grades in Advanced Intervention.

Clusters of related courses within the curriculum

Some students choose to take program electives that complement one another and that are organized around a particular topic. Students are not required to select courses within a cluster to meet program requirements.

Program elective courses are subject to change from year to year. Their offering is based on identified student interest (as determined by periodic surveys). Additional courses related to a topic area may be developed in addition to or to replace previously offered courses Special topics (elective) courses including Study Abroad courses may also be offered.

Child, Adolescent, and Family courses:

The following courses enhance the preparation of students interested in serving the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and their parents. Courses introduce students to conceptual and practical skills in working with children, adolescents and families across the lifespan, including assessment, diagnosis, and interventions. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered.

Forensic courses:

Forensic Psychology is a field that focuses on the application of the science and professional competencies of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The following courses provide students with basic knowledge regarding psychologists’ roles in the legal system, including, mental health law and the treatment and evaluation of offenders. Students will also be introduced to testifying as an expert witness and forensic report writing. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered.

Health Psychology courses:

Health Psychology involves in the application of psychological principles and techniques to the problems of health, including working with people whose behaviors and difficulties impact health status. Health psychologists use the skills of Clinical Psychology to assess the impact of psychosocial factors in the origin and course of physical conditions, illnesses, and disabilities. Health Psychologists use a variety of   interventions aimed at helping people prevent illness, recover quickly, or live with chronic conditions in a way that maximizes their functional capacities and quality of life. Coursework in Health Psychology is part of the preparation for students who wish to work in Primary Care and other interprofessional settings.   

Students taking program electives in the area of Health Psychology gain an overall awareness of the role of professional psychologists as researchers, consultants, clinicians, patient-educators, and members of inter-professional teams. Students with coursework and experience in this area enhance their preparation to enter into an advanced practicum or internship opportunities in healthcare settings including primary care. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered.

International Psychology and Human Rights courses:

The following International Psychology and Human Rights elective offerings   introduce students to the emerging field of international psychology with a particular focus on human rights. Utilizing an interdisciplinary and global perspective, students are introduced to sociocultural, political, and human rights issues of concern domestically and internationally. Students become familiar with the literature and empirical research in clinical responsiveness related to psychological and spiritual issues of concern to domestic international populations, refugees and internationally displaced persons, and clinical issues in international relief/crisis work. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered.

Human Sexuality, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) courses:

The following Human Sexuality, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity courses introduce students to culturally competent behavioral health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families across the lifespan. Culturally competent clinicians foster and promote psychological and emotional care, as well as behavioral interventions, that recognize and respect the intersection of sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression for individuals, families and communities. They aspire to understand how issues of stigma and discrimination intersect, particularly for individuals who experience multiple forms of oppression. These clinicians also strive to understand and respect the historical and cultural context within which sexual orientations and gender identities are created.

The Human Sexuality, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity courses provide a clinical foundation for students who are committed to expanding access to high-quality culturally competent mental health care for sexual minority individuals and their families across the lifespan. Special topics (elective) courses in this area may also be offered.   

Optional Advanced Practicum

The Optional Advanced Practicum Sequence allows students who have completed the program’s required practicum sequence to pursue additional supervised clinical training hours.  For students who require additional time to complete dissertation work or who need to extend their progress through the program by one year, this elective training experience can serve as an opportunity to increase one’s clinical hours, to pursue additional specialized training, or to continue active practice of one’s clinical skills during the year prior to internship.  This optional sequence is only open to students who have successfully completed of Beginning Practicum I-III, Intermediate Practicum I-III, and Advanced Practicum I-III with a grade of “Credit”.  Students must obtain approval from the program’s Director of Clinical Training in order to participate in this optional training sequence. This Optional Advanced Practicum Sequence sits under the Doctoral stage of education and training in the APA Taxonomy and may be part of an Emphasis in the pursuit of specialty training. The two credits earned in completing the optional advanced practicum sequence may be applied to the elective credit requirement.


The following is a list of courses that may be offered for elective credit in the program. Special topics courses that meet elective requirements may also be offered. 

Extension Courses

Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology

A student in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program may earn a MA in 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 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. Eligibility guidelines are contained in the catalog under which the student was admitted. 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 Basic Practicum I, II, and III  

  • Successful completion of the following courses: 

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