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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Jun 14, 2024
2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Ph.D. International Psychology

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Online - Washington D.C.

Program Overview

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Ph.D. International Psychology program attracts passionate and pragmatic learners who want to make a difference in an increasingly diverse and global world. It seeks to bring a rich variety of international perspectives into the field of psychology and to examine psychological phenomena from a global lens. The International Psychology program is offered in two formats. The online format allows students the flexibility to complete a doctoral degree while balancing their personal and professional responsibilities. The on-ground-blended format is offered in Washington D.C. in a bi-weekly weekend blended format. The International Psychology Program-the first of its kind in the nation-prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in multinational organizations or organizations with international missions. The program goal is to empower students and faculty to be advocates for international psychology initiatives.

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

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

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

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Research. Demonstrate competence in qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research design, data analysis, and data interpretation, as well as competence in the critical review and evaluation of the broad range of research literature relevant to International Psychology. Graduates are knowledgeable about and capable of generating original research and scholarship, and disseminating the results of their research to the profession and broader community and they engage in practice that reflects and is informed by the changing and expanding scientific knowledge base in the field.
  2. Diversity.  Demonstrate knowledge of individual differences and diversity (broadly defined to include culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) and they demonstrate the ability to design and/or deliver competent psychological services to diverse populations across varied settings and engage in program management, program evaluation and scholarly work that is sensitive to issues of individual differences and diversity.
  3. Critical Self-Reflection. Thoughtfully and skillfully engage in self-reflection and demonstrate the ability to discover, recognize, describe and manage the behaviors and perspectives that facilitate or impede their effectiveness in communicating with individuals, groups or systems.
  4. Critical Psychology. Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual heritage of psychology and the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the different traditions and concepts in psychology, including those with roots outside the United States and Europe.
  5. Ethics and Social Justice. Demonstrate an understanding of and a willingness to abide by ethical principles endorsed by the American Psychological Association in the areas of Justice and Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, and in their scholarly and professional activities, to demonstrate a deep understanding of social justice issues and a commitment to the development, empowerment, and well being of all people

Admission Requirements

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

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

Students seeking admissions to the Organizations and Systems concentration must enter with a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and show evidence of nine semester hours of undergraduate or graduate psychology coursework, plus one course in graduate statistics with a grade earned of “C” or better.

Students seeking admission to the Trauma Services concentration enter with a master’s degree in Psychology or a related field such as Counseling Psychology, Pastoral Counseling, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, and/or Marriage and Family Therapy from a regionally accredited institution. In addition, at least one course is required in graduate statistics, plus one course in graduate abnormal psychology/psychopathology, AND one course in graduate trauma/crisis intervention, each with a grade earned of “C” or better.

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

TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students

TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not the primary language, the student must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with the application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a master’s degree from a regionally accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are : TOEFL - 550 paper based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.

ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc., which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.

International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. ( In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.

International students: International students residing in the United States may not be eligible to obtain an F-1 visa and, thus, may not enroll in this online program.

Applicant Notification

After the initial review of all application materials, and if the Admission Committee so recommends, the candidate will be invited for an interview either face to face or via electronic means (e.g., telephone, webinar, Skype) with members of the faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and mandatory for full consideration. Post interview, the candidate will be notified of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding his or her application. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 (Online-Blended) and $500 (Chicago) 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 established agreements between The M.A. Psychology and the Ph.D. International Psychology program to allow qualified students to enter early into the doctoral program.  This agreement allows qualified students to begin their doctoral study while completing their master’s degree.  Click on this link  for details.


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid.  Information on the Academic Success Program is located under Student Life on the school website.

Academic Development Plans

An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the program in which the student is enrolled. When a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior, the ADP is initiated. Academic Development Plans (ADPs) do not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.

Student Learning Assessment

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate completion program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, identified program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment.   Data collected from the results of student learning and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.  

All academic programs report annual assessments of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process.

Residency Requirements (Online Students Only)

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. International Psychology Online program must attend two Residency sessions at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (campus locations may vary). The four-day residencies focus on special topics in international psychology, research methodology, and are the venue in which students take Comprehensive Exams (Residency 2). Both Residencies provide in-depth learning and opportunities for face-to-face mentoring for dissertation work and program learning. Residencies are also an opportunity for students to build relationships with their classmates/cohorts and program faculty.  Students in all concentrations are required to attend two Residencies. Failure to complete the Residency requirements will result in failure in the program.

Ethical and Professional Behavior

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


The Ph.D. International Psychology program offers concentrations in: Organizations and Systems, and Trauma Services. The Ph.D. International Psychology program espouses the philosophy of psychology as a transformational discipline focusing on broad competencies rather than narrow skills or type of education. Graduates function as scholars, faculty, advocates and consultants in a wide variety of settings and contexts. The program emphasizes theory, research and scholarship from a Global Psychology perspective. The Models of Research and Scholarship that are introduced and encouraged are culturally sensitive, multimodal and reflective of multiple ways of knowing. Graduates develop cultural competencies, and are aware that behavior should always be considered within its specific context.

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

Program Delivery Options and Learning Format

There are two program delivery options. The Online format offers program courses online and two in-person requirements (Field Experience and Residency). Students attend two international Field Experience trips and two required Residency sessions in person. The Field Experience courses include intensive study in another country (typically a developing country). The Residencies take place on a TCSPP campus and focus on research skills, group cohesion and support, and students’ presentations of topical issues in the field. Students also take their written and oral comprehensive examinations during their second Residency.

The On-ground Blended format offered at the Washington DC campus combines on-ground and online coursework.  On-ground courses in the blended format are taught on weekends for the convenience of working professionals.

Field Experience Requirements

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

Field Experience I (Year 2)

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

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

Field Experience II (Year 3)

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

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

  • Up to three of the nine days may be consumed by travel.
  • Students will be in the assigned country for up to seven nights, with five to six full days of field/service learning experience. Activities will be designed by the faculty member, based on the number of students in the cohort, levels of international experience, and professional interests.
  • TCSPP will arrange an agreement with one or more international organizations in country.
  • A minimum of one full time TCSPP faculty member will accompany students during this first international field experience.
  • Students may not bring family or friends with them on Field Experience trips.

Independent Field Experience

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

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

The application includes:

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

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

Students are responsible for the tuition cost, creating and obtaining approval for the course material, IRB approval, and contacting the International Liaison Office. Logistics, travel arrangements and all costs associated with the FE2-Independent Study are the sole responsibility of the student. Students should contact the office of Financial Aid officers to explore whether financial aid is available for this option.

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

Independent Internships

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

Comprehensive Examination

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

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

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

Doctoral Candidacy:

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

  • Dissertation Proposal Development Course (IP901)
  • Successful completion of the first Field Experience Course
  • Successful Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exams

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook and the IP Resource Café online.


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

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

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

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.


The Curriculum

Doctor of Philosophy, International Psychology, Program Requirements

The International Psychology program provides intensive course work that balances theory, practice, and research. Students must complete 60 graduate semester hours of study, including an empirical dissertation. Upon entry to the program students must choose a concentration: Trauma Services or Organizations and Systems.

Required Core Courses: 50 Credits

Concentration Courses: 10 Credits

Total International Psychology credits: 60

Concentration Courses

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