The Clinical Psychology doctoral programs prepare students to function as multifaceted clinical psychologists through curricula based on an integration of psychological theory, research and practice. The Clinical Psychology PsyD program is a practitioner oriented program. The Clinical Psychology curricula have four major areas of study: foundations of psychology, clinical and professional theory and skills, applied clinical research and professional growth. Students can follow their own clinical interests and further their individual career goals by selecting a specialized series of courses, research and field placements related to a particular area.
The Sacramento Clinical PsyD Program is a practitioner-scholar program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; Phone: 202-336-5979; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation).
GOAL 1: Foundational Science of Psychology competence incorporates the foundations of scientific psychology (Social and Developmental Psychology, History and Systems, Biological Science, and Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior) into clinical practice linking the core sciences with contemporary thought, research and practice in psychology.
GOAL 2: Intervention skills enable students to plan, implement, and evaluate their therapeutic endeavors within a cultural framework, using multiple methods with diverse populations.
GOAL 3: Professional Practice proficiency prepares students to demonstrate ethical and legal behavior in a variety of practice settings, with a clear understanding of their professional role.
GOAL 4: Relationship skills enable students to develop and maintain constructive and collaborative relationships with clients, peers, colleagues, students, supervisors, members of other disciplines, consumers of services, and community organizations
GOAL 5: Diversity competence facilitates the students’ appreciation for the complexity of diversity and its role in all of their professional activities, helping them understand how their own culture and the cultures of others serve as mediators of one’s world view
GOAL 6: Assessment skills enable students to conduct multi-dimensional evaluation and assessment activities in the clinical context, and to utilize the data in an ongoing process of evaluating their practice, research and teaching
GOAL 7: Professional Development engages students in self-evaluation and life-long learning in the service of ongoing professional development
GOAL 8: Supervision and Management enable students to provide quality clinical and professional feedback to others, effectively manage mental health programs, and establish successful practice settings.
GOAL 9: Research and Evaluation prepares students to critically evaluate the research literature in service of clinical goals and to conduct applied research and program evaluation.
Training Model: A Practitioner-Scholar Program
The Clinical PsyD Program in Sacramento offers doctoral education and training in clinical psychology consistent with a Practitioner-Scholar model. The program, designed primarily for students interested in the professional practice of clinical psychology, emphasizes clinical skills and the application of research knowledge with diverse populations in a wide range of settings.
Systemically oriented, the Program trains students to consider the role of diverse systems in creating and/or remedying individual and social problems. While students receive an exceptional grounding in traditional clinical assessment and intervention, they also are taught to consider the potential value of advocacy, consultation, or public policy work in helping both individuals and entire groups of clients with similar problems. The Sacramento PsyD faculty is committed to offering a broad array of elective courses reflecting theory, assessment, and intervention across a variety of systems, especially across cultural systems. The importance of the cultural system is emphasized throughout students’ academic and clinical training. An integral part of the mission and structure of CSPP, the program’s competencies are well aligned with the university’s mission to prepare “students for professional careers of service and leadership” and to promote “the discovery and application of knowledge to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world.”
The PsyD program emphasizes the integration of academic coursework with clinical practice. Skills learned in the classroom are quickly put to practice as students participate in their professional training experiences (or practica). Students receive supervised clinical training through five semesters of practicum and one year of full-time pre-doctoral internship.
Students registered for practicum are required to have both an on-site licensed psychologist as a supervisor and a campus-based faculty supervisor. At minimum, students meet with their site supervisor once per week for individual and group supervision and their campus-based supervisor for group supervision. Scheduling of when students are on-site is determined by the site coordinator or supervisor but students should expect to be present at their training site on a weekly basis (15 - 20 hours per week depending on training year) and attend weekly campus-based supervision.
Students begin practicum during the 2nd semester of their first year. This first year practicum requires 15 hours per week for 15 weeks (approximately 200 hours) and draws on the skills learned during the first term in courses designed to prepare students for practice (such as Introduction to Psychotherapy, Advanced Psychopathology, Introduction to Ethical Practice & Law, and Intellectual Assessment). In the second and third years, practica are typically 20 hours per week for 40 weeks (approximately 800 hours each year), utilizing psychotherapy and assessment skills in a variety of settings. Practicum placements are available in agencies with a variety of theoretical approaches and serving demographically and culturally diverse populations. Students are required to train in different settings each year, gaining experience with different populations in order to ensure a broad base of training. In addition to onsite supervision, students participate in campus-based supervision with core faculty.
The Office of Professional Training (OPT) Liaison assigns students to agencies based how the available training experiences match individual practicum learning plans, developed for each student to provide a breadth of experiences in keeping with the student’s level of experience and career goals. Each practicum agency is screened prior to being presented to the student as a placement and evaluated annually by the student and the OPT staff.
Fourth year students are responsible for obtaining an appropriate 1-year, full-time internship (approximately 2080 hours) and are strongly encouraged to seek an APA-accredited internship, although APPIC, or CAPIC member internships are permissible. The Office of Professional Training assists students as they negotiate the internship placement application process.
One of the unique aspects of the PsyD program is the design of its dissertation sequence. The 4-semester course sequence begins in the 2nd year and is completed in the 3rd year, before students leave for internship. Utilizing a cohort model, students in the class are integrally involved in each other’s dissertations, supporting each other under the supervision of the instructor, a core faculty member who serves as dissertation chair. The seminar format draws on the expertise of other students to stimulate new ideas and to offer and receive critical feedback as students progress through the dissertation process. This intensive structure has proven extremely successful in facilitating students completing the program on time. Students who do not complete their dissertation in time with this course sequence must register for Dissertation Extension.
In addition to course offerings, several faculty members lead voluntary research groups, providing opportunity for students to engage in hands on research endeavors, to present at state and national conferences, and to publish their findings.
Specialized Admissions Requirements: Credit for Previous Graduate Work
The Program allows a maximum of 30 units of graduate level transfer credit; these credits must be completed with a grade of a B or better and must be from an accredited institution. Any single course can only be used to fulfill one course requirement. Graduate level transfer credits meeting our requirements are allowed even if the master’s degree has not been awarded.
Transfer credits reduce the total number of units a student must complete in order to obtain the degree. Although it is sometimes possible for a student to reduce a four-year program to three years, students should consult with their academic advisor immediately if they believe they can reduce their time to completion, as specific course sequences are necessary for this to occur.
Regardless of the number of transfer units allowed, a student must complete all requirements remaining in the core areas for which transfer credit was not allowed.
Approval of the course syllabus is required for every course requested for transfer. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain this documentation, as well as any additional material requested (e.g., a sample work product). Requests for transfer that require additional material include 1) Introduction to Psychotherapy and 2) any required assessment course.
In order to apply for transfer credit for a required assessment course, students should submit 1) syllabi of graduate level coursework in assessment and 2) a sample report (with all identifying information removed) reflecting the student’s ability to integrate assessments specific to the course requested for transfer). Requests to transfer Intellectual Assessment should include documentation of coursework in both cognitive and achievement assessment. Requests to transfer Personality Assessment should include documentation of coursework in both objective and projective assessment. Submitted materials will be reviewed by an assessment instructor and a recommendation forwarded to the Program Director.
In order apply for transfer credit for Introduction to Psychotherapy, students should submit 1) syllabi of graduate level coursework in basic counseling skills, and 2) a 30-minute videotaped role play therapy session so the student’s basic counseling skills can be assessed. Submitted materials will be reviewed by the instructor of Introduction to Psychotherapy and a recommendation forwarded to the Program Director.
In order to apply for transfer credit for a required assessment course, students should submit 1) syllabi of graduate level coursework in assessment and 2) a sample report (with all identifying information removed) reflecting the student’s ability to integrate assessments specific to the course requested for waiver (submission process can be discussed with the admissions counselor). Requests to waive Intellectual Assessment should include documentation of coursework in both cognitive and achievement assessment. Requests to waive Personality Assessment should include documentation of coursework in both objective and projective assessment. Submitted materials will be reviewed by an assessment instructor and a recommendation forwarded to the Program Director.
For all transfers: Materials for consideration should be submitted no later than mid-August (submission process can be discussed with the admissions counselor). The student must sign up for the course during registration, and if the transfer is granted the course may be dropped. If the course is not approved for transfer, the student remains in the course. A decision will be made prior to the Add/Drop deadline. In special circumstances, the program may grant exception to this transfer policy to students transferring within Alliant International University.
Listed below are courses that are NOT eligible for transfer credit.
- PSY 7911 PsyD Proposal Development I (3 units)
- PSY 7912 PsyD Proposal Development II (3 units)
- PSY 8913 PsyD Dissertation I (3 units)
- PSY 8914 PsyD Dissertation II (3 units)
- PSY XXXX Any required ethics course
- PSY XXXX Any clinical practicum
- PSY XXXX Any required intervention course
- PSY XXXX Any required cultural diversity course
Courses taken more than 7 years ago will not be considered for transfer.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
The PsyD Program requires a minimum of 90 academic units and 30 internship units (120 units in total). In order to advance to candidacy students must be in good academic standing and demonstrate:
- successful completion of 60 units of graduate study, including demonstration of the following key competencies through the successful completion of the associated courses: assessment [Intellectual Assessment, Personality Assessment I & II]; diagnosis [Advanced Psychopathology], psychological theory [Theories of Personality & Psychotherapy], intervention [Introduction to Psychotherapy and 1 of the required psychotherapy courses]; and law and ethics [Introduction to Ethical Practice & Law];
- competency in foundational sciences through successful completion of at least 3 of the 5 Foundational Science Examinations;
- research competency through successful defense of the dissertation proposal at the Preliminary Oral Examination; and
- integrated clinical competency by successful completion of the Clinical Competency Progress Review (CPPR)
A score of 3.5 or higher on the Analytic Writing portion of the GRE general test or the GRE ScoreITNow Writing Exam, to be taken prior to the start of classes. (Note: this exam will not be used to decide admissions, but is solely a requirement for those admitted students intending to enroll). Students scoring below a 3.5, are also required to complete writing course(s) that is outside the required units of the program and approved by the program director and/or student advisor.
Foundational Science exams are offered at the end of each semester (during finals week) and are intended to be taken at the end of the term in which the student completes the related course. The CPPR is offered annually and is intended to be taken after the student has completed his or her 2nd year of study. Failure to pass these exams will lead to remediation. Repeated failure may lead to dismissal. Students may not apply for internship until they have met all requirements for advancement to candidacy.
Students must also complete a total of 30 personal psychotherapy hours with a licensed psychologist.
Courses are 3 units, unless otherwise indicated.
Course sequencing is subject to change at any time. While every effort will be made to keep students apprised of those changes, responsibility for completing all program requirements rests solely with the student.
First Year - Fall or Spring
- PSY #### - Elective (2 units) ***
*Assessment courses (PSY 6501 & PSY 6505) require weekly participation in both 3-hour instruction and 1-hour lab (scheduled separately).
**First year students participate in a reciprocal learning experience with a third year student, who has been assigned by the Supervision Seminar instructor. The first year student meets with the faculty instructors of the Supervision Seminar class during the fall semester to accomplish the match of first and third year students. During the second semester, the matched supervisor-supervisee meet weekly to examine clinical material as an adjunct to the supervision provided by the first year student’s field placement agency.
***Elective units may be taken in either semester.
Second Year - Fall or Spring
- PSY #### - 1 Required Intervention Course
- PSY #### - 4 of 5 Required Foundational Science Courses ***
- PSY #### - Electives (2 units)
* Assessment course (PSY6506) require weekly participation in both 3-hour instruction and 1-hour lab (scheduled separately).
** Specific courses listed above in the Fall and Spring of Second Year are required to be taken in the semester they are listed. However, students should also expect to take 4 out of 5 Foundational Sciences Courses (The first Foundational Course is taken in the First Year); 1 required Intervention course; and at least one 2-unit Elective in their Second Year.
*** List of Required Foundational Science Courses (to be taken by end of the Second Year)
Third Year - Fall or Spring
- PSY #### - 1 Required Intervention Course **
- PSY #### - Electives (5 units)
* Specific courses listed above in the Fall and Spring of Second Year are required. However, students should also expect to take 1 required Intervention course; and at 5 units Elective in their Third Year.
** Required Intervention Courses (2 out of 4 are required)
Students may request an exception to participate in a 2-year, half-time internship (PSY9561-PSY9566) in place of a 1-year, full-time internship.
Several courses are offered through online/distributed learning formats. Students may complete all electives in an online/distributed learning format. Other required courses, including assessment, intervention, and ethics courses must be taken in person. The CSPP section of Online Coursework describes the equipment and software needed for full participation in these courses.
All psychologists who offer direct services to the public for a fee must be licensed or certified by the state in which they practice. Applicants for licensure in the state of California must hold an earned doctoral degree in psychology, educational psychology, education with a specialization in counseling psychology, or education with a specialization in educational psychology from an approved or accredited educational institution. They also must have completed 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience (of which at least 1,500 must be postdoctoral) and have taken and passed the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Supplemental Examination (CPSE). In addition, they must submit evidence of having completed coursework in human sexuality, child abuse, substance abuse, spousal abuse, and aging and long-term care. Continuing education is required to maintain the license. CSPP doctoral course requirements are designed to fulfill the programmatic requirements for licensure in California, and in some cases they exceed the requirements.
Every state has its own requirements for licensure. Therefore, it is essential that all CSPP Clinical PsyD and PhD students who plan to apply for licensure in states other than California contact the licensing board in those states for information on state requirements (e.g., coursework, practicum and internship hours, supervision, or nature of the doctoral project or dissertation). Students seeking licensure in other states should plan ahead to ensure they meet all of those states’ requirements.
For further information on licensure in California or other states contact:
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
PO Box 241245
Montgomery, AL 36124-1245
(334) 832-4580, email@example.com
California Board of Psychology
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1400
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-2699, firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Directorate American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979, email@example.com
APA Education and Training Outcomes
The CSPP Sacramento Clinical Psychology PsyD program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) and publishes the following outcome data as required by APA:
- Time to Completion
- Program Costs
- Internship Placement Rates
Please visit the “About CSPP Programs” section of our website to view these data.
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
Clinical PsyD Program Faculty: Sacramento
Matthew Baity, PhD, Professor and Program Director
Beth Limberg, PhD, Professor
Carl Mack, PhD, Associate Professor
Suni Petersen, PhD, Professor
John Preston, PhD, ABPP, Lecturer and Professor Emeritus
Emil Rodolfa, PhD, Professor
Ronald W. Teague, PhD, ABPP, Professor
For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of faculty for the California School of Professional Psychology.