Catalog 2016-2017 
    Jul 20, 2024  
Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology

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Overview Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs


The clinical doctoral programs at CSPP lead to the PsyD or PhD degree through a sequence of courses, field experiences, and research training. The standard PsyD curriculum takes four years to complete, and the standard PhD curriculum takes five years. Education and training in all programs are sequential and cumulative; later courses build on earlier ones and provide increasingly complex and demanding learning experiences.

Multiculturalism is infused throughout the curriculum. In addition, specific courses address both the effect of socio-cultural factors on human development and behavior and their implications for psychological intervention.

In most programs, during the second or third year, students must pass formal evaluations, which may include written comprehensive or preliminary examinations, in order to be advanced to doctoral candidacy. Each program establishes specific methods for evaluating students that are published in program materials, such as the program’s handbook.

Although the general curriculum design is shared by all CSPP programs, each has its own academic requirements based on APA core requirements and the program’s training philosophy and goals. In addition, programs have developed areas of emphasis and strength, making available a variety of advanced training opportunities. In this way, each program emphasizes the academic interests of its faculty and community, while retaining the coherent professional training of the school as a whole. Emphasis areas are locally defined, are more structured in some locations than in other locations, and vary in content by program.

Field Training

Field experiences constitute a major portion of each student’s program. Graduate students participate in either a practicum or an internship during most years of their program. All students are expected to participate in a variety of placements with a variety of supervisors during their CSPP career so that, upon graduation, they will be able to provide a wide range of professional psychological services to a variety of client populations.

Students may participate in practicum experiences requiring 8-20 hours of student time per week in their first, second, and/or third years, depending on their choice of degree program and campus.

For more advanced students, internships occupy 20 to 40 hours per week. Clinical internship requirements meet and, in some programs, exceed the 1,500 hours of predoctoral internship accepted by the California Board of Psychology. Full-time internship options include APA-accredited or the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)-member training programs, pursued through the national selection process, or local internship programs approved by the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). Students are encouraged to apply nationally for an APA-accredited or APPIC-member internship. Students for whom this is not an option have the possibility of completing the internship requirement in a local CAPIC approved internship, which may be one year full-time or two years of sequenced half-time internship rotations. The Fresno PsyD, Sacramento PsyD, and the Fresno PhD programs require a full-year internship except under certain circumstances that must be cleared by the Office of Professional Training. Students should also be aware that various postdoctoral training positions and some employers (e.g., the Veteran’s Administration) require that successful applicants have completed an APA-accredited internship.

Research Training

Research training in the doctoral programs occurs through formal courses, as well as through the process of completing a clinical dissertation or a doctoral project in the PsyD programs or a dissertation in the PhD programs. Research courses provide students with a basic understanding of statistics, measurement, research-design, and investigative methods. Students choose their doctoral project or dissertation topic on the basis of their interests, faculty expertise, and the availability of research opportunities. The development of research skills is emphasized for students in both programs; however, for the PhD programs, the ability to conduct original research is a major goal.

Some students finish their doctoral dissertation or project by the end of their final year of coursework; others continue their dissertation work beyond the completion of coursework. The maximum time to completion of the degree requirements, including successful completion of the dissertation, is 8 years. Deadlines for time to completion are strictly enforced. Students who continue to work on their dissertation after completing all the required dissertation sequence units are required to register for program-specified dissertation extension units and pay the appropriate tuition.

Personal Growth/ Development

Prior to receipt of the clinical doctorate, students in most programs must complete 30-45 hours of personal psychotherapy. Through firsthand exposure to the therapeutic process, students have the opportunity to view psychotherapy from a different perspective. This experience provides students with increased awareness of their own behavior in a supportive environment. Some programs allow continuing educational or other professional growth experiences to count for this personal growth requirement; others make therapy a strong recommendation.

Non-Terminal Master’s Degree

Students enrolled in some doctoral programs may petition to receive a master’s degree when all requirements for the work of the master’s degree or equivalent have been completed. In general, students who enter programs with credit for previous work or with prior master’s degrees in clinical psychology do not qualify for the non-terminal master’s degree at Alliant International University since they have already received master’s degrees for this work in their previous programs.

More information can be obtained from the program office or academic advisor. A fee is charged to process this master’s degree diploma (see Tuition and Fee Schedule).

Transfer Credit: Credit for Previous Coursework

Transfer credit into master’s programs: Graduate coursework taken at an accredited institution can be considered for transfer credit. A maximum of 6 semester units of graduate coursework can be accepted into a master’s program of 40 semester hours or less and a maximum of 9 semester units in an academic program of 41 semester units or more.

Time to Degree

Most master’s level programs require two years of study. Some are designed as a one year program.

Requirements for CSPP Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs: Non-Terminal Master’s Degree

Students enrolled in the CSPP Clinical doctoral programs must meet the following requirements to apply for a non-terminal master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University:

  1. 3.0 or above Grade Point Average and in Good Academic Standing.
  2. Completed all of the G1 and G2 coursework designated in the program curriculum, with a maximum of 9 units credited for transfer units.
  3. The specific program can designate what G1 and G2 courses will not be accepted for transfer or waived units and are required to be completed at CSPP at Alliant International University.
  4. Passed diagnostic writing assessment or successfully completed writing course or remediation plan.
  5. No outstanding tuition/fee balances.
  6. The student has not previously earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology.

Clinical Doctoral Requirements

The doctorate is awarded to students who have completed the program upon satisfactory evaluation by the faculty and completion of the following requirements:

  1. Completed a PsyD doctoral dissertation or project or a PhD dissertation.
  2. Fulfilled the equivalent of four (PsyD) or five (PhD) academic years of full-time attendance at CSPP following admission at the graduate entry level, or three to five academic years following admission with credit for previous graduate work.
  3. Successfully completed program course and unit requirements, as specified in each program section.
  4. Completed personal psychotherapy or other personal growth requirements as specified by each program.
  5. Fulfilled practicum and internship requirements.
  6. Passed formal evaluations required by the program, such as preliminary or comprehensive examinations.

The faculty maintains the traditional academic prerogative to grant degrees based on their judgment regarding the candidate’s ability to function as a professional psychologist at the doctoral level.

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