The Psy.D. 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). 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 Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program has been nationally recognized for its excellent training in the provision of culturally competent services and offers students a wide variety of training opportunities.
The Chicago Campus Clinical Psychology doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. 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 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 of Professional Psychology, 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 Psy.D. 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.
- Students whose primary language is not English must submit proof they are able to communicate in English at the Graduate level. Language proficiency must also be evident through writing submitted with the application and in the interview. Acceptable proof of English ability is listed on the program admissions webpage (link)
Details about the application process including deadlines and fees can be found on the Admissions website. Admission to the Psy.D. 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
TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students
TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from his requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 213 computer based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.
ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School 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 (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc (www.ece.org). In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.
International students: International students must submit a completed application by the general consideration deadline. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, a copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.
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, in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 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.
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.
Academic Development Plans
An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the Department in which the student is enrolled when a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior. 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 graduate and undergraduate completion programs in applied professional disciplines. In order to meet the TCSPP standard for academic quality, all programs will develop overall program competencies, learning objectives, assessment instruments, course descriptions, and course learning objectives. Each of these curriculum components must align in order for students to understand how their program will prepare them for the profession and how they will learn what TCSPP intends.
All academic programs at TCSPP are required to develop, conduct, and report annual assessments of student learning and program effectiveness in compliance with the processes and procedures established by TCSPP.
The Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program requires of each student a minimum of three full-time academic years of graduate study (four years for students enrolled since fall 2012) or its equivalent and completion of an internship prior to awarding a doctoral degree. All students must fulfill the Program’s one year continuous Residency Requirement, which may be satisfied by completion of two consecutive semesters of full-time on-campus study (11 credits or more, excluding summer semester) or the completion of 30 credit hours within one 12-month period (including summer semester).
Program Philosophy and Mission
The program bases its training on the practitioner-scholar model developed by the National Council of Schools in Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Instruction and training are provided by practitioner-faculty who, as role models help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to deliver ethical, high quality, entry-level clinical services to a diverse range of clients. This emphasis is consistent with the Program mission, which asserts: “Through curricular and extra-curricular learning and training, students in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program will experience a transformation in personal and professional identity manifest in 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.”
Professional Knowledge & Behavior: At graduation students will demonstrate through their deportment and conduct that they possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes to practice psychology in a reflective, responsible, ethical and professional manner and the interpersonal and communication skills to relate effectively and professionally to others.
Diversity: At graduation students will demonstrate through their personal and professional conduct, academic work and performance at clinical training sites the ability to apply theoretical and practical knowledge about individual and cultural differences; their awareness of themselves and others as shaped by multiple contexts; and their understanding of impact of power, privilege and oppression on well-being.
Professional Practice: At graduation students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to integrate theory and evidence from scholarly research related to clinical practice to develop, deliver and evaluate clinical applications appropriate to clients’ needs, values and preferences. These applications include assessment, intervention, consultation, teaching and supervision.
Systems and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: At graduation students will demonstrate the ability to integrate social, political, economic and cultural factors into service provision; an understanding of and respect for the viewpoints and contributions of other professionals; and values that support collaboration with patients, families, communities and other health care workers to deliver the highest quality care.
Science/Scholarship: At graduation, students will understand the scientific foundations of psychology and apply this knowledge to professional practice; demonstrate critical thinking and disciplined inquiry in examining assumptions, evaluating evidence and approaching their professional practice; and demonstrate the skills necessary to identify, evaluate, apply and produce theoretical and research knowledge.
Ethical and Professional Behavior
The Chicago School expects that all Psy.D. 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 of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) 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 of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) 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.
Consistent with training goals and ethical behavior, it is deemed inappropriate for Psy.D. 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 TCSPP. 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 TCSPP, 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 a Professional Development Group 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 their second year in the program, but may request a new academic advisor after that time. Generally, following the second year, the student’s Dissertation Chair becomes his/her academic advisor, unless the student requests otherwise.
Applied Professional Practice
Students in the Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program are assisted in placement for training (practicum and internship) by the professionals in Applied Professional Practice (APP) in the Program and at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Students are expected to adhere to guidelines and procedures of APP related to seeking training, resolving concerns related to training, and submission of documentation related to training. Violation of APP 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.
Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology
A M.A. Clinical Psychology can be awarded following the successful completion of required coursework. At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the master’s degree, he or she is required to submit online a Petition for Program Completion to the Office of Academic Records. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the degree. Students who meet the requirements are eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. All students who file a Petition for Program Completion will be charged a fee.
The specific requirements for award of a Master of Arts degree for the general Program student are as follows:
- Good academic and professional standing
- Successful completion of Basic Practicum I, II, and III (PY 409 , PY 410 , and PY 411 )
- Successful completion of the following courses:
- Professional Development Group I and II (PY 417 and PY 418 )
- Basic Psychopathology and Advanced Psychopathology ( ) and ( )
- Intellectual Assessment (PY 434 )
- History and Systems of Psychology (PY 426 )
- Clinical and Diagnostic Interviewing (PY 422 )
- Psychology of the Lifespan I and II (PY 437 and )
- Personality Assessment (PY 436 )
- Diversity in Clinical Psychology I and II (PY 443 and )
- Advanced Assessment (PY 442 )
- Professional Issues & Ethics (PY 450 )
- Basic Intervention: Psychodynamic (PY 462 )
- Basic Intervention: Cognitive-Behavioral (PY 464 )
- Basic Intervention: Existential-Humanistic (PY 466 )
- Basic Intervention: System (PY 468 )
The specific course requirements for award of a Master of Arts degree for the Major Area of Study in Clinical Child Psychology (CCPAS) are as follows:
- Good academic and professional standing
- Successful completion of Basic Practicum I, II, and III ( , , and )
- Successful completion of the following courses:
- Research Clerkship ( and )
- Professional Development Group I and II ( and )
- Basic and Advanced Psychopathology ( and )
- Intellectual Assessment ( )
- History and Systems of Psychology ( )
- Clinical and Diagnostic Interviewing ( )
- Psychology of the Lifespan I, II, and III ( , , )
- Personality Assessment (PC 436 )
- Diversity in Clinical Psychology I and II ( and
- Advanced Assessment ( )
- Professional Issues & Ethics (PC 450 )
- Basic Intervention: Psychodynamic ( )
- Basic Intervention: Cognitive-Behavioral ( )
- Basic Intervention: Existential-Humanistic ( )
- Basic Intervention: System ( )
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 fourteen semester hours of Practicum. (four Basic, six Intermediate and four Advanced, see below). Basic practicum is primarily devoted to training in psychological assessment. Intermediate and Advanced practicums are primarily devoted to training in evidence-based models of intervention. 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.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
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.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
All students are required to take the Department Proficiency Exam in Statistics offered each year on multiple occasions. A passing grade on the Proficiency Exam in Statistics is a prerequisite to PY/PC 428 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 PY/PC 427 Statistics I, the final exam of which includes the Proficiency Exam in Statistics. This final exam must be passed to fulfill the prerequisite for PY/PC 428. PY/PC 427 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.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
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 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.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
The Psy.D. 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, however, through the choices they make in several elective areas, each of which is described below.
Required Core Courses: 91 credits
Advanced Intervention: 4 credits
Electives: 11 credits