The Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program builds upon Xavier’s strong commitment to the Jesuit tradition of “service within the context of scholarship.” The program provides students with the knowledge and range of skills necessary to provide psychological services in today’s changing professional climate. The full time, five-year program includes four academic years and one internship year. The practitioner-scientist orientation emphasizes the importance of a scientific foundation in psychology. Although the PsyD program is designed to prepare students for the general practice of clinical psychology, it also addresses the service of specific groups of under-served individuals in today’s society- children and adolescents, older adults, and individuals with severe mental disability. Within the curriculum, students have the opportunity to pursue these areas of interest by taking specialized courses, gaining experience in practicum placements, and conducting applied research.
Program of Studies
Students are accepted into the program on a full-time basis and are required to complete a minimum 114 credit hours to graduate. The curriculum of the first four years is divided into two major types of learning experiences: 1) knowledge/academic based, and 2) skills/clinical based. Ninety credit hours consist of courses that are primarily “academic” in nature. These courses are designed to develop content and methodologies in specific areas identified by the American Psychological Association as essential for clinical training–biological, cognitive and affective, social and cultural aspects of behavior, individual differences in behavior, history and systems in psychology, psychological measurement and assessment, human development, psychopathology, professional standards of ethics, research and evaluation, and professional interpersonal conduct. Twenty-four credit hours include courses such as professional development and practicum, clinical practicum, and internship that provide supervised experience and training in a range of clinical areas.
A unique feature of the program is the opportunity for students to develop an “Area of Interest” in clinical child psychology, applied geropsychology, or the psychology of severe mental disability. Prior to applying for internship in the fall of the fourth year, students must successfully complete the Clinical Competency Examination, patterned after the examination given by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and propose their dissertation.
Students who are accepted into the doctoral program who already hold a master’s degree in a field akin to clinical psychology may expect a portion of the previous graduate work to be credited toward the fulfillment of the doctoral degree requirements. The allowable number of transferable hours may vary. In all cases a minimum of 75 hours of the required 114 must be completed at Xavier.
Petitions for transfer of credit will be granted with the recommendation of the Department Chair and approval of the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Health, and Education. Courses will be considered for transfer at a grade of B or higher. Courses taken more than six years prior to entering the doctoral program will normally not be accepted for transfer.
Requirements for the PsyD degree
To ensure comprehensiveness in the program, all students must include each of the following courses designed to provide integrative education in the graduate field of psychology. Although the curriculum may change to match advancement of the field of professional psychology, the current curricular requirements are listed below in the present order of completion.
**Earn M.A. in Psychology
- Clinical Competency Examination or Dissertation proposal must be successfully completed by the end of the spring semester prior to applying for internship.
- Internship applications are completed during the fall semester of the fourth year.
- Clinical Competency Examination and the Dissertation proposal must be successfully completed prior to applying for the internship in the Fall.
All students are required to take eight elective courses, four of which are specified as the student’s “Area of Interest”–clinical child psychology, applied geropsychology, or the psychology of severe mental disabilities. The other four electives are chosen by students in consultation with their advisor. A unique feature of the program is that students may opt to use their additional electives to work toward a “Certificate in Organizational Concepts and Management” or a “Certificate in the Foundations of Health Services Administration.” In cooperation with the Williams College of Business and the Health Services Administration Department, doctoral students may elect to take courses which offer a foundation in business or in the health services discipline which provide a basis for understanding the dynamics involved in the delivery of health care services in today’s changing professional climate.
The PsyD degree will be awarded upon successful completion of required coursework, Clinical Competency Examination, Doctoral Dissertation and an internship. After the fourth year of enrollment in the doctoral program (or its equivalent for students admitted with advanced standing) the student is expected to be enrolled in either PSYC 999, Internship, or PSYC 790, Continuous Major Research, until the dissertation is defended and deposited in the library or the student has reached the 8-year limit for the PsyD program.
This policy remains in effect after the completion of the internship, until the dissertation is defended and deposited in the library. There is an eight year time limit to complete all program requirements. A minimum of 75 of the 114 hours required coursework for the PsyD. Degree must be completed at Xavier.
Grades are based on a student’s performance meeting the standards established and communicated in writing by the professor of the course. A semester grade point average of 3.000 or higher is required for a student to remain in good standing. Any student whose semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) GPA falls below 3.000 or who earns a grade of “C (includes C+ or C)” or “F” in any 2 credit hour course will be placed on “WARNING” by the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Health, and Education and remains on WARNING throughout the remainder of the program. Once on warning, any student whose semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) GPA falls below a 3.00 may be dismissed. In addition, once on warning, any student who earns a grade of “C” or “F” in any course is subject to dismissal. A student who earns a grade of C or lower in 4 hours or more of course credit in one semester may be subject to dismissal immediately. The following interpretation of letter grades is used by the department A= excellent, B=good, C=minimal, and F=failure. Faculty may use a +/- system in grading. Students receiving a “C” in a course may be required to retake the course or do additional work to satisfy specific deficiencies. This will be determined by the professor of the course and will be discussed with the student and his/her advisor. The student may be required to register for a one hour tutorial (
) to complete the necessary remedial work, for which he/she must earn a grade of pass to fulfill the requirements for the additional work. The work must be completed by the student during the following academic semester. Students receiving an “F” in a course are required to retake the course. A cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher is required for graduation. An A = 4 points, a B = 3 points and a C = 2 points. Pluses and minuses alter the merit points by .3. All students are required to complete the “Yearly Graduate Student Activity Report: for each academic year by May 1.
Admission Requirements for the PsyD degree
To be eligible for admission, applicants should submit materials before the annual deadline date of December 1st.
Go to http://www.xavier.edu/psychology-doctorate/admission.cfm on the Xavier website to reference the full details and the admission process.
Summary List of Admission Requirements
To be eligible for admission, applicants should submit the following items to the Department of Psychology before December 1st:
- A completed application form.
- Non-refundable $35 application fee.
- One official transcript from each college or university attended. A minimum 3.000 overall undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.000 scale), and a minimum 3.000 average in all psychology courses.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A written personal statement of reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in the psychology department at Xavier University, and plans after completion of studies.
- GRE scores: General Knowledge (verbal, quantitative and analytical) area is required. Psychology Subject Test is required for those without psychology as their undergraduate major or minor.
- A completed Application for Financial Assistance form for possible financial aid if interested.
- Any other information that might aid in the selection process.
Students must have a minimum of 18 undergraduate hours in psychology, including general psychology, psychology statistics, research methods course with lab, and tests and measurements. Courses in developmental and abnormal psychology are helpful. Courses in biological science and college mathematics are also recommended as a preparation for graduate studies. Students with graduate training in clinical psychology or a related field who are accepted with advanced standing may expect a portion of their previous graduate work (if the student has earned a grade of “B” or higher) to be credited toward the fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree. All decisions regarding acceptance of graduate credit will be made by the Department Chair in conjunction with the student’s advisor by the end of the first year.
In all cases, a minimum of 75 of the 114 hours required coursework for the PsyD. degree must be completed at Xavier.