Catalog 2013-2014 
    Apr 25, 2024  
Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology: PsyD, Sacramento

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:; Web:

Program Outcomes

The Clinical PsyD program offered in Sacramento is designed to train students to be proficient in nine areas of clinical competence:

  • 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;
  • Intervention skills enable students to plan, implement, and evaluate their therapeutic endeavors within a cultural framework, using multiple methods with diverse populations;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Professional Development engages students in self-evaluation and life-long learning in the service of ongoing professional development;
  • Supervision and Management enable students to provide quality clinical and professional feedback to others, effectively manage mental health programs, and establish successful practice settings; and
  • 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 since it began in 1999 as a satellite to the Clinical PsyD Program in Fresno, 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.”

During the program students are evaluated on progressive developmental stages of their training. The evaluation begins prior to admission and includes evaluation of a student’s readiness for practicum training, readiness for internship and readiness for practice.

After a decade of being accredited as a single program, the Fresno/Sacramento Clinical PsyD program submitted to the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association a plan to separately accredit the two sites. The proposal was accepted and; Fresno and Sacramento have begun the process of separating the program. Students entering in AY13-14 will enter either the Fresno or the Sacramento Clinical PsyD program.

Field Training

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 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 Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice, 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.

Research Training

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 serve as committee members, 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

Students applying to the Sacramento Clinical PsyD program must meet the graduate level requirements for preparation in psychology. While an applicant may not have completed the graduate level requirements at the time of application to CSPP, these requirements must be satisfied before the admitted student can enroll.

Applicants may be eligible to receive credit for previous graduate work.

  1. 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. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Listed below are courses that are NOT eligible for transfer credit.
  • PSY 6507 Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice: I (3 units)*
  • PSY 6508 Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice: II (3 units)*
  • 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 assessment course***
  • PSY XXXX Any required intervention course
  • Any course over seven years old

* To apply for a waiver of Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice, students should submit 1) syllabi of graduate level coursework in psychopathology/diagnosis, basic counseling skills, and theories of psychotherapy 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 Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice and a recommendation forwarded to the Program Director.  Because this is a year-long class, students will receive a waiver for the entire year, if granted, rather than just one semester.

** In order to waive a required practicum, students should submit information to the OPT Liaison regarding the nature and content of the practicum, the number of hours, and the site of the experience. The OPT Liaison will make a decision in conjunction with the Program Director and the student will be notified as to whether or not the practicum may be waived. If the practicum is waived, the units must be replaced and the hours of the waived practicum will be added to the next required practicum.

*** In order to waive 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 waivers: 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 waiver is granted the course may be dropped. If the course is not approved for waiver, the student remains in the course. A decision will be made prior to the Add/Drop deadline. If the course is waived, the units must be replaced with elective units. If sufficient elective units have been transferred into the program, an additional course may not have to be completed.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The PsyD Program requires a minimum of 90 academic units and 30 internship units. In order to advance to candidacy students must be in good academic standing and demonstrate:

  1. 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, psychological theory, and intervention [Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice I & II and 1 of the required psychotherapy courses]; law and ethics [Introduction to Ethical Practice & Law].
  2. competency in foundational sciences through successful completion of at least 2 of the 5 Foundational Science Examinations, and
  3. research competency through successful defense of the dissertation proposal at the Preliminary Oral Examination;
  4. integrated clinical competency by successful completion of the Clinical Competency Progress Review (CPPR)

The 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.

Non-Terminal Masters Degree

Students may petition for the Master’s Degree if they have:

  • Good Academic Standing
  • No outstanding tuition/fee balances
  • Completed 60 units of coursework at Alliant International University
  • Completed all of the following courses
    1. Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice I (PSY6507)
    2. Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice  II (PSY6508)
    3. Intellectual Assessment (PSY6501)
    4. Personality Assessment I: Methods (PSY6505)
    5. Personality Assessment II: Integration (PSY6506)
    6. Introduction to Ethical Practice and Laws (PSY6530)
  • Completed one of the following psychotherapy courses
    1. Cognitive Behavioral Approaches to Treatment (PSY7529)
    2. Psychodynamic Approaches to Treatment (PSY7537)
    3. Family Systems Approaches to Treatment (PSY7543)
    4. Group Therapy (PSY7604)


Per university policy, students receiving more than 9 units of transfer credit into their degree program at Alliant are not eligible to apply for a Masters degree en route to their doctoral degrees.

Curriculum Plan


*Assessment courses (PSY 6501, PSY 6505 & PSY6506) 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.

Fourth Year


Several courses are offered through online/distributed learning formats. Students may complete up to 2 foundational science courses, 1 ethics course, and 2 other required courses, as well as up to 11 units of electives, in an online/distributed learning format. Required assessment and intervention courses must be taken in person. The CSPP section of Online Coursework describes the equipment and software needed for full participation in these courses.

Clinical PsyD Program Faculty: Sacramento

Core faculty for the Sacramento Clinical PsyD program are listed below:

Matthew Baity, PhD, Associate Professor

Beth Limberg, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director

Carl Mack, PhD, Associate Professor

Suni Petersen, PhD, Professor

John Preston, PhD, ABPP, Lecturer and Professor Emeritus

Emil Rodolfa, PhD, Professor

Sheetal Shah, PhD, Assistant 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.

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
  • Attrition
  • Licensure

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
Phone: (202)336-5979