Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Mar 04, 2024
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum 
Catalog Navigation
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum [Archived Catalog]

PsyD Clinical Psychology - XULA

Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study

At Xavier University of New Orleans (XULA)

Program Overview

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology Program of The Chicago School at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) (the “Program”) offers rigorous training in culturally competent service provision and exposes students to a wide variety of health service training opportunities. The Program follows a practitioner-scholar model. The Doc­tor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology is the highest degree for practitioners in the field who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. The Program provides broad and general training in scientific psychology and in the foundations of practice in health service psychology. Students will experience extensive clinical training with community partners, including clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and governmental agencies. The Clinical PsyD Program at The Chicago School-XULA is accredited on contingency by the American Psychological Association (APA).  Additionally, The Chicago School has received the designated status “accredited, inactive” for this program, which applies only to The Chicago School at Xavier University/Argosy Teach-Out program.  Students included in this group are those who have been admitted to The Chicago School at Xavier University/Argosy Teach-Out program and who were previously enrolled in an APA Accredited PsyD in Clinical Psychology Program at any Argosy University campus.  This status does not apply to any other students who are accepted into, matriculated in, or successfully complete (i.e., graduate from) the Clinical PsyD program at The Chicago School at Xavier University of Louisiana who did not transfer from an APA accredited program at Argosy University.

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

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

Based on a task analysis, the Program has mapped, these profession wide competencies onto the following 13 task competency categories to support acquisition and evaluation of student skills in a graded and developmental fashion.

  1. Professional Values and Attitudes
  2. Individual and Cultural Differences
  3. Ethical Legal Standards and Policy
  4. Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care
  5. Relationships
  6. Scientific Knowledge and Methods
  7. Research and Evaluation
  8. Evidence-Based Practice
  9. Assessment
  10. Intervention
  11. Consultation
  12. Supervision
  13. Interdisciplinary Systems

The Program considers task competencies 1 - 5 foundational and expects students to meet specified expectations in these five areas even at initial enrollment, then throughout each learning experience, and specifically in certain classes, evaluation points, and training experiences.

Program Philosophy

The Program has adopted the practitioner-scholar model. This model is predicated on the belief that competent practitioner-scholars 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. Scholarly productivity should reflect on this integration of science, theory, clinical applicability. The Program does not advocate any single theoretical orientation. Rather, students learn conceptualization and technique across four general theory areas, and then choose either the Cognitive-Behavioral or Systems theoretical orientation in which to specialize. Students are continually challenged to reflect on the art and craft of health service practice, as well as on its theoretical and scientific bases.

Program Mission

Based on respect for and understanding of their personal identities, through curricular and extra-curricular learning and training, students in the Program will develop a professional identity as a health services psychologist manifested by a commitment to life-long learning and scholarship, sophisticated cultural awareness and competence, integrity and personal responsibility, psychological-mindedness, and a demonstrated investment in both the profession and the various communities in which they are engaged through their practices and lives.

Profession Wide Competencies

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

Professional Practice


  • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
  • Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
  • Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.


  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services .
  • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
  • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
  • Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
  • Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
  • Demonstrate skills in supervisory practices

Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of consultation models and practices.


Individual and cultural diversity:

  • An understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
  • Knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
  • The ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
  • Demonstrate the requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work.

Professional Behavior

Ethical and legal standards:

  • Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:
    • The current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
    • Relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and
    • Relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  • Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
  • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors:

  • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others
  • Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
  • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Communications and interpersonal skills:

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
  • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.



  • Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., critical literature reviews, dissertation, efficacy studies, clinical case studies, theoretical papers, program evaluation projects, program development projects) that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base.
  • Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
  • Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.


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

The Chicago School is not currently enrolling new students in this program.

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 Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission include GPA from undergraduate schools.  Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in social science and liberal arts courses OR a graduate degree in a related discipline with a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.  Additional factors that are considering in admission include the following:

  • Completion of 18 credit hours of psychology prerequisite coursework. Of those hours, students must have completed at least one course in Abnormal psychology, Lifespan (human development), and Statistics. The remaining prerequisite credits may include courses like Theories of Personality, Biopsychology, Tests and Measurements, and Research Methods. All coursework must have been completed earning a grade of ‘C’ or better prior to matriculation in the program.
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test within the past five years.
  • Interview with faculty.( Interviews are by invitation only and applicants will be notified by the Office of Admissions should an interview be granted.)
  • Have demonstrated through written statements and interview sufficient foundational competencies needed to begin training for health service psychology.

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.

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 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. 

Ethical Guidelines

The Chicago School at XULA considers competency in Ethical Legal Standards and Policy a foundational competency and expects that all Program 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 health service 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 health service psychology is subject to discipline.

A second derivation of the ethical code is that of integrity. The Chicago School at XULA 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 at XULA 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,  professional and health service standards is grounds for remediation, suspension, or expulsion.

A final derivation of the ethical code is that of suitability for health services work. 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. 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  health service 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 department goals and the focus on ethical behavior, it is deemed inappropriate for Program students to engage in health service 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.

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 at XULA. 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 for intervention, remediation, or disciplinary action, or for referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal.

Professional Performance Evaluation (PPE) Requirements

The Program evaluates students’ performance in foundational competencies in all courses and experiential activities using Professional Performance Evaluations (PPEs). The Program considers task competencies 1 - 5 foundational (see above). Failure to perform foundational competencies at the expected level may result in remedial and/or disciplinary action such as meetings with the advisor, being placed on an Academic Development Plan, or additional disciplinary action.

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. A student’s Professional Development Group instructor automatically becomes her/his academic advisor Students usually retain their advisor for the duration of their second year in the program but have the option of changing advisors should the student wish to do so. Students have no less than two face-to-face meetings per semester with their advisor during their second year in the program. Generally, the student’s Dissertation Chair becomes the academic advisor as of the third year of study, unless the student requests otherwise. Any change in advisors requires a three way meeting between the old advisor, the new advisor, and the student. In case the old advisor is not available, the Department Chair will instead participate in the three-way meeting with the new advisor and the student.

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. However, students are expected to actively reflect upon and effectively manage their personal reactions to people who are different from or similar to themselves along these and other dimensions, especially when such personal reactions negatively impact clinical health service work, professional interactions, and ethical responsibilities. Such reflection may be required within the context of an advising relationship, certain course assignments in the Program, or a supervising relationship on practicum.

Practicum and Internship

The three year-long practicum experiences are an integral component of clinical training. They provide a closely supervised clinical experience in health service settings in which students apply knowledge from the classroom and combine it with individual independent clinical knowledge seeking as they develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to assess and diagnose client and systemic problems and to intervene in helpful ways. As such, practicum serves to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of the health service psychologist-in-training. Finally, practicum affords students the opportunity to become familiar with case management, multidisciplinary collaboration, and consultation and supervision in a clinical health services setting.

All students are required to take six semester hours each of Basic and Intermediate Practicum. The first three-semester practicum sequence is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. The second three-semester sequence is primarily devoted to psychotherapy. Both practica require individual supervision and some may offer additional supervision at the practicum site, as well as small group seminars offered by the Program.

Advanced Practicum gives students the chance to focus more deeply on an area or population of particular interest, such as neuropsychology, children, or incarcerated persons. Advanced Practicum students again receive site supervision but are often given more responsibility for cases and at times begin to serve as consultants and supervisors at their practicum sites. The accompanying small group seminars also help develop skills in consultation and supervision as students near the end of their residency in the Program. Advanced practicum is four semester hours.

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

Clinical Qualifying Examination (CQE)

Every student is required to pass the Clinical Qualifying Examination (CQE) to progress to Intermediate Practicum. The aim of the CQE is to evaluate the student’s foundational competencies, competencies related to interviewing, psychopathology and assessment, and the ethical and cultural issues involved in diagnosing and assessing in an interprofessional health service setting. The CQE is given during the Beginning Practicum Seminar at the end of the spring semester in year two.

Clinical Competency Examination (CCE)

Every student is required to pass a Clinical Competency Examination (CCE). The CCE has written and oral components and is given in Intermediate Practicum Seminar at the end of the spring semester in year three. The aim of the CCE, is to evaluate the student’s foundational competencies and competencies related to theory, research, and practice in their chosen theory of intervention as practiced in an ethical and culturally sensitive manner. The CCE evaluation must be based in part on direct observation of the practicum student and his/her developing skills. Passing of the CCE is required for progressing to Advanced Practicum.


All students are required to complete a dissertation. Under guidance of an experienced faculty member and with additional help from a second faculty member, the dissertation affords student’s the opportunity to spend two years to independently research an issue of professional interest they feel personally passionate about. As part of their dissertation, students conduct an exhaustive literature review, formulate hypotheses or questions to be answered, and create and execute a method to investigate, and finally combine empirically derived data with conceptual knowledge to reach conclusions about their hypotheses and answers to their questions. Communication of findings to the community of scholars is integral to this process and helps the student grow into a productive member of the profession and the field at large.


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

Internship consists of a minimum of 2,000 hours of training over 12-24 month (full or part time, respectively). Appropriate sites for internship are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA), members of the Association of Psychology Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Internship Centers (APPIC), the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC), or are programs that offer equivalent training. 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: 94 credit hours

Intervention Orientation: 4 credit hours

Elective: 8 credit hours

Program Total

Psy.D. Clinical Psychology - The Chicago School@XULA: 106 credit hours

Required Core

Intervention Orientation Electives

One way students can individualize their training is through their choice of Intervention Orientation. The Clinical Psy.D. Department does not advocate any single theoretical intervention. Rather, all Clinical Psy.D. students receive a base in theory, conceptualization, technique and the related evidence base by completing a Basic Intervention course in each of the four Intervention Orientations. They then select either the Cognitive-Behavioral or Systems Intervention Orientation for further in-depth and take Advanced Intervention course work in that theory.

The Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Orientation

Students who choose this intervention begin in the Basic Intervention course studying the basic building blocks of cognitive-behavioral theory, its evidence base, and the basics of treatment planning, case conceptualization, and evaluation of treatment efficacy. They then take two of the Advanced Intervention courses from among the CBT courses below.

The Systems Intervention Orientation

Students who choose this Intervention begin in the Basic Intervention course studying basic conceptualization, intervention skills, and their evidence base to recognize and counter forces in a system, differentiate problematic and normal functioning in a context, and deliver culturally sensitive evidence based treatment. They then take two Advanced Intervention courses from among the Systems courses below.

Focus Area and General Electives:

Another way students can individualize their training is through their choice of Elective Courses. Each student takes 8 semester hours of electives. Students can freely choose from among all the electives offered including taking additional intervention electives from the list above both from within and outside their Intervention Orientation Area. Students who wish to complete the requirements for one of the two Focus Areas (Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology and Psychology in a Diverse and Multicultural context) take all electives in their Focus Area.

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 or Major Area of Study in the pursuit of specialty training.

Extension Courses

Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology

A student in the 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 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 are eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. All students who file a Petition for Degree Conferral will be 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 Good Standing
  • Successful completion of Beginning Practicum (Diagnostic)
  • Successful completion of the following courses:

Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study