The only Psy.D. program of its kind:
focused on graduating socially
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Overview
In the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program, you’ll prepare for the general practice of clinical psychology with an emphasis on socially responsible practice. The program follows the scholar-practitioner model of training and education developed by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. The model seeks to develop knowledge, skills, and values in seven core competency areas:
- Research and evaluation
- Consultation and education
- Management and supervision
- Individual and cultural diversity
Two additional competency areas complete the education and training model and are distinctive to the Adler School. The first is focused training in the theories and methods of Alfred Adler, which lays the foundation for other theoretical perspectives explored in the program. The second competency area is socially responsible practice. The Adler School defines socially responsible practitioners as those who:
- Embrace a diversity of perspectives
- Work to build and maintain bridges across social, economic, cultural, racial, and political systems
- Empower others to identify and address shared problems
- Foster the development of social equality, justice, and respect through compassionate action throughout the global community
The doctoral program is structured for completion in five years for full-time (10 credits hours or more per semester) students. Students will spend four years in coursework and practicum experience followed by a one-year (full-time) or two-year (half-time) internship. Half-time study is only permitted based upon approval of the student's faculty advisor. The maximum time permitted for completion is seven years from the date of first registration following admission to the program. Students are expected to complete the program within two years of completing the internship. Failure to do so may result in administrative withdrawal from the program.
The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and meets the requirements of the National Register of Health Care providers in psychology and state licensure guidelines.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or a comparable degree from an international institution.
- Present an academic record that demonstrates ability to fulfill the academic demands of the program. Successful applicants typically have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework.
- Practicum or work experience in psychology or a related field is highly desirable and is considered in the evaluation of applicants.
- Complete the equivalent of 18 semester credit hours in psychology with grades of "C" or better, including the following prerequisite courses: general or introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, theories of personality, and research methods or statistics. Equivalent coursework in other social sciences may also be considered. Students may be admitted prior to completing these prerequisites, but all students must complete these courses by the end of their first semester of enrollment at the Adler School.
- Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview as the final step in the application process. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.
- Satisfactory completion of all required credit hours, including all required courses
- Satisfactory completion 1,500 minimum hours of clinical practicum
- Satisfactory completion of 200 minimum clock hours of community service practicum
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and no more than two grades or six credit hours of "C"
- Successful completion of all qualifying examinations
- Successful completion of Doctoral Dissertation and Oral Defense
- Satisfactory completion of an approved internship
- Fulfillment of the Residency Requirement:
- Students must fulfill all degree requirements through courses offered at the Adler School.
- Students can transfer up to 24 credits (21% of the total credits required) of coursework taken at a graduate level pending approval based on review by the Program Director.
- Students must complete a minimum of three full-time academic years of graduate study (or the equivalent thereof); at least two of the three academic training years (or the equivalent thereof) must be at the institution from which the doctoral degree is granted, and at least one year must be in full-time residence (or the equivalent thereof) at that same institution.
- Submission of graduation application and full payment of all outstanding tuition and fees
- Faculty approval for graduation and recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the conferral of the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
Degree and Concentration Options
Doctoral students may choose a concentration that provides education and training in a focal area of study. Many graduates report that additional credentials enhanced their value to internship directors and employers. Pursuing the M.A. in Counseling Psychology degree or a concentration area will result in longer completion times for the doctoral degree.
Concentration areas available include the following:
- Advanced Adlerian Psychotherapy
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Clinical Neuropsychology
- Primary Care Psychology
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Traumatic Stress
Students must complete a form that requires the signature of the Concentration Coordinator or Masters of Arts in Counseling Program Director and their faculty advisor in order to add a concentration or the Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree.
In addition, doctoral students may earn the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree while pursuing the Psy.D. Doctoral students interested in earning the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology must complete the following requirements:
- Take course 337 Group Therapy to satisfy a Basic Intervention electives
- Take either course 662 Overview of Marriage and Family Therapy Models or course 663 Effective Marriage and Family Counseling to satisfy a Basic Intervention elective
- Take the following additional courses:
- 569 Career and Lifestyle Development
- 510 Preparation for Counseling Practice
- Successfully complete the doctoral therapy practicum and Therapy Clinical Qualifying Exam
Doctoral students planning to add the Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology are eligible to take the Licensed Professional Counselor Exam, which enables licensing as masters-level clinicians in the state of Illinois. Other states may require more extensive training at the master’s level for licensure.
Students must also pass three qualifying examinations. Qualifying examinations are important capstone tasks integrated throughout the doctoral curriculum that provide students with the opportunity to integrate course material and practical training, reflect upon their educational and training experiences, and apply their learning to clinical and social issues. In addition, they enable faculty to evaluate students' progress toward expected learning outcomes for the doctoral program.
- Community Service Capstone Paper requires students to integrate experiences acquired during their Community Service Practicum with theories and research covered in first-year classes. This integrative paper requires students to conduct a critical review of relevant empirical and theoretical literature on a psychological issue related to a community problem encountered at their practicum site as approved by their faculty advisor. The goal of this capstone paper is to assess the student's ability to integrate course material and material derived from their literature review to the analysis of a community problem and the development of methods of intervening to alleviate that problem. Students are expected to register for this requirement upon completion of one year full-time matriculation or the completion of 51 credit hours, whichever comes first. The Community Service Practicum must also be completed prior to engaging in the capstone paper.
- Doctoral Clinical Qualifying Examination-Assessment Competency consists of a comprehensive psychological report on an individual case integrating assessment material, social history, diagnosis, and treatment plan; a paper integrating research with a pertinent clinical issue posed by the case; a formulation of the case based on Adlerian theory and methods; and a discussion of the impact of social issues on a pertinent clinical issue. Students submit the required written material for the examination to the Examination Coordinator who assigns it to a Core Faculty member for review. Following faculty review of the submitted materials, students present the case orally to the faculty member who examines students on relevant issues to assess competency areas pertinent to the examination. Students must register for and complete the Clinical Qualifying Examination-Assessment Competency during the spring term of their diagnostic practicum year.
- Doctoral Clinical Qualifying Examination-Intervention Competency involves a sample of a therapeutic intervention conducted with a client. The student is required to submit a written case formulation and treatment plan along with an audiotaped/videotaped therapy session; a paper integrating research with a pertinent clinical issue posed by the case; a formulation of the case based on Adlerian theory and methods; and a discussion of the impact of social issues on a pertinent clinical issue. Students must submit required material to the Examination Coordinator who assigns it to a Core Faculty member for review. Following faculty review of the submitted materials, students present the case orally to the faculty member who examines students on relevant issues to assess competency areas pertinent to the examination. Students must register for and complete the exam during the Spring semester of their therapy practicum year. Students must successfully pass this exam in order to receive approval to submit application materials to internship sites. Prerequisites include successful completion of the assessment practicum and Doctoral Clinical Qualifying Examination-Assessment Competency.