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PhD in Clinical Psychology Degree Requirements

Are You Ready to Earn Your PhD in Clinical Psychology?

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program takes an average of five years to complete and is open to individuals who hold a bachelor's or master's degree and have completed the required prerequisites prior to applying for admission. Space in the program is limited, and students must complete each step of the admissions process to be considered for admission. 

The PhD program requires a minimum of 3 full-time academic years of graduate study (full-time is defined as at least 27 units per year; starting in Year 5, full-time is defined as a minimum of 3 units per quarter). At least 2 of the 3 academic training years (Years 1-3 required coursework) must be in residence at the PAU PhD program, and at least 2 years must be in full-time residence.

What You Need in Order to Graduate

Academic Training:  The PhD in Clinical Psychology program at PAU requires that candidates complete 150 units of required academic coursework and 18 elective units for a total of 168 units, which typically takes three years for full-time attendees.

Clinical Training: Students must complete a minimum of two full-time practicums (completed in Years 2 and 3). They may also complete an additional elective practicum in Year 4 as well as elective supplemental part-time practica throughout the program after Year 1.  During their final year of enrollment, students complete a 2,000-hr internship.

Research: Students must complete an empirical dissertation; most of the work on the dissertation occurs in Year 4 of the program.  In addition, students must make a significant contribution to a peer-reviewed journal article, book chapter, or literary contribution to another scholarly publication.

Milestones: In addition to an Oral Clinical Competency Exam, three written exams on research competency, clinical competency, and assessment competency must be passed.

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program at Palo Alto University expands opportunities for academic success and professional advancement. Check out our frequently asked questions about our program to learn more.