Nadia L.

Doctor of Clinical
Psychology (PsyD)
Program

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Home » Programs » Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program

Make a Positive Impact on the Mental Wellness of Diverse Communities.

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) at National University’s John F. Kennedy School of Psychology prepares you to make an impact in the lives of those in need. Our program provides the highest level of training in the field of clinical psychology, equipping you with the necessary tools to serve communities in vital roles such as clinician, program administrator, evaluator, consultant, educator, and scholar.

NU’s mission is to train practitioner-scholars who will provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to a variety of communities. This mission is embraced by our diverse faculty, staff, and student community. Our particular focus on multicultural and diversity competence sets us apart from other PsyD programs.

While attention to culture and context are woven through every course, students may also choose to complete specialized coursework in one of several concentration areas, such as forensic/correctional psychology, neuropsychology, or integrated health psychology.

NU’s PsyD program is currently unaccredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) for new students but maintains its WSCUC accreditation. Given the program’s long history of accreditation under JFKU, full accreditation may be awarded in 2023. The program is working diligently to establish full accreditation under the JFK-SOP at NU in 2023. However, National University cannot guarantee that APA accreditation will be granted. There is a possibility that the program may not be accredited before you finish, and if you transfer to another institution before National University obtains this accreditation, your credits may not be transferable.

Note: This program is normally delivered in person, on-site, in Pleasant Hill, California. Students may only be admitted to the program once a year, in Fall Quarter.  

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Doctor of Psychology Program — Full-Time Plan for Students Matriculating in Fall 2020 and Beyond

Full-Time Year 1 (2021-2022): 45 Total Units

  • IPS I – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7035 Ethnographic Placement I (2)
    • PSD7046 Group Dynamics (1)
    • PSD7047 Multicultural Awareness in Professional Psychology (2)
  • PSD7035 Ethnographic Placement I (2)
  • PSD7046 Group Dynamics (1)
  • PSD7047 Multicultural Awareness in Professional Psychology (2)
  • PSD7011 Clinical Interviewing Skills (4)
  • PSD7227 Human Development (4)
  • 13 Units
  • IPS I – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7035 Ethnographic Placement I (2)
    • PSD7046 Group Dynamics (1)
    • PSD7047 Multicultural Awareness in Professional Psychology (2)
  • PSD7015 Psychopathology I and Lab (3)
  • PSD7141 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Psychology (3)
  • APPLY FOR BEGINNING PRACTICUM
  • 11 Units
  • IPS I – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7035 Ethnographic Placement I (2)
    • PSD7046 Group Dynamics (1)
    • PSD7047 Multicultural Awareness in Professional Psychology (2)
  • PSD7016 Psychopathology II and Lab (3)
  • PSD7122 Psychodynamic Theory and Applications to Diverse Populations (3)
  • 11 Units
  • PSD7114 Psychometrics: The Basics of Assessment (2)
  • PSD7009 Group Clinical Skills (2)
  • PSD7151 Research Methods and Statistics I (3)
  • PSD7123 Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and Applications to Diverse Populations (3)
  • CLINICAL READINESS EXAM
  • 10 Units

Full-Time Year 2 (2022-2023): 46 Total Units + 1 Elective Unit

  • IPS II – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7135 Beginning Practicum (2)
    • PSD7271 Applied Diagnosis (1)
    • PSD7147 Multicultural Proficiency in Professional Psychology (1)
  • PSD7115 Assessment I and Lab (4)
  • PSD7250 Research Methods and Statistics II (3)
  • PSD7124 Family Systems Theory and Applications to Diverse Populations (3)
  • 14 Units
  • IPS II – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7135 Beginning PracticumII (2)
    • PSD7272 Case Formulation (1)
    • PSD7147 Multicultural Proficiency in Professional Psychology (1)
  • PSD7116 Assessment II and Lab (4)
  • PSD7251 Qualitative Research (3)
  • APPLY FOR ADVANCED PRACTICUM
  • 11 Units
  • IPS II – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7135 Beginning Practicum II (2)
    • PSD7273 Informed Treatment Planning (1)
    • PSD7147 Multicultural Proficiency in Professional Psychology (1)
  • PSD7117 Assessment III and Lab (4)
  • PSD7107 Biological Bases of Behavior (3)
  • PSD7252 Dissertation Proposal I (2)
  • 13 Units
  • PSD7131 Psychology and Treatment of Substance Abuse (3)
  • PSD7180 Psychology of Trauma (3)
  • PSD7253 Dissertation Proposal II (2)
  • Electives (1)
  • 8 Units + 1 Elective Unit

Full-Time Year 3 (2023-2024): 28 Total Units + 8 Elective Units

  • IPS III – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7235 Advanced Practicum (3)
    • PSD7371 Integrative Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning (1)
  • PSD7160 Psychopharmacology (3)
  • Electives (2)
  • DISSERTATION — WORK WITH COMMITTEE
  • 7 Units + 2 Elective Units
  • IPS III – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7235 Advanced Practicum (3)
    • PSD7372 Clinical Communication (1)
  • PSD7108 Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior (3)
  • PSD7254 Dissertation Proposal III (1)
  • Electives (1)
  • APPLY FOR EXTERNSHIP
  • 8 Units + 1 Elective Units
  • IPS III – Integrated Professional Seminar:
    • PSD7235 Advanced Practicum (3)
    • PSD7373 Professional Development and Lifelong Learning (1)
  • PSD7104 Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior (3)
  • PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)
  • Electives (2)
  • CLINICAL PROFICIENCY EXAM (April)
  • DISSERTATION PROPOSAL DEFENSE
  • 7 Units + 2 Elective Units
  • PSD7126 Applied Clinical Theory (3)
  • PSD7110 Integrated Foundational Science (2)
  • PSD7901 Psych Career Skills Building (1)
  • PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)
  • Electives (3)
  • INTERNSHIP APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW PROCESS
  • 6 Units + 3 Elective Units

Full-Time Year 4 (2024-2025): 13.5 ~ 18 Total Units + 7 Elective Units

  • PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)
  • PSD7215 Foundations of Professional Consultation and Advocacy (3)
  • Electives (2)
  • PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)
  • INTERNSHIP APPLICATION and INTERVIEW PROCESS
  • 3 Units + 3 Elective Units
  • PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)
  • PSD7230 Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision (3)
  • PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)
  • Electives (1)
  • PETITION TO GRADUATE (Feb)
  • INTERNSHIP INTERVIEW PROCESS
  • 3 Units + 2 Elective Units
  • PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)
  • PSD7003 History and Systems (3)
  • PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)
  • Electives (1)
  • FINAL DEADLINE – FINAL DISSERTATION DEFENSE
  • 3 Units + 2 Elective Units

PSD7400 Internship (9) OR PSD7401 Part-time Internship (4.5)

Full-Time Year 5 (2025-2026): 27~31.5 Total Units

PSD7400 Internship (9)

  • PSD7400 Internship (9)
  • APPLY FOR GRADUATION
  • PSD7400 Internship (9)
  • Commencement, Sash Bash, and Graduation (if dissertation defended by May 15 and at least 36 units of internship completed by end of summer quarter)

PSD7401 Part-Time Internship (4.5) Only if you began internship with 4.5 units.

Notes

  • Externship: Students are urged to complete an externship during the fourth year.
  • Total program units = 180
  • Core coursework: 128 units
  • Electives: 16 units minimum. Elective units may be taken any time after Spring Quarter of Year 1.
  • Total Units for years 1-4 must equal or exceed 144
  • Internship: 36 units

Degree and Course Requirements

(180 quarter units)To receive the PsyD degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • After admission to the PsyD program, all academic requirements must be completed in residence, except where transfer credit units have been awarded
  • A full-time load of 36 units must be carried for a minimum of one year, preferably in year one
  • A minimum grade of B- is required in each course applied to meeting degree requirements
  • An overall grade-point average of 3.0 must be achieved in all work for the PsyD program
  • The Clinical Readiness Examination (1st year) and the Clinical Proficiency Examination (3rd year) must be passed
  • The following professional training must be completed and documented: Ethnographic Placement (1st year), Beginning Practicum (2nd year), Advanced Practicum (3rd year), and Predoctoral Internship (after all coursework has been completed)
  • Fifty hours of personal psychotherapy must be completed (preferably prior to Predoctoral Internship)
  • The dissertation must be successfully completed and defended (preferably prior to Predoctoral Internship)
  • All program requirements must be completed within eight calendar years of matriculation

A Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree opens doors in a variety of industries, including health care, social assistance, public administration, and professional, scientific, technical and educational services, among others.

If you’re looking for a program founded on the principles of social justice, diversity, and inclusion and emphasizes multicultural competence, NU’s PsyD degree can prepare you to sit for the national licensing exam for professional practice in California. Once you’ve earned your doctorate, you’ll be qualified to pursue a position in a field expected to grow by about 8% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* You’ll also be well compensated for the impact you’ll have on the mental wellness of the communities where you choose to work; the BLS states the median annual pay for psychologists was $81,040 in, May 2021 and climbs all the way to $133,890 for the top 10% in the field.

NU’s PsyD program focuses on preparing you with the knowledge and skills employers in this field actively seek, including competence in leadership, scheduling, adaptability, research, management, communications, teaching, planning, operations, coordinating, consulting, problem solving, and mentorship. With these qualifications, you’ll be in position to pursue positions** like:

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Sport Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Forensic/Correctional Psychologist
  • Health Psychologist
  • School Psychologists
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
  • Psychological Consultant
  • Program Director
  • Pediatric Psychologist

*SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 21, 2022). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

At National University, our dedicated faculty have expertise in working with diverse populations, as well as in the specific subject matter of their courses. Our educators include leaders within APA and other professional organizations, pioneers in fields such as cultural, LGBTQ+, disability psychology, and social justice advocates.

Our program maintains a 12-to-1 core student to faculty ratio, ensuring that class sizes are small and that students establish relationships with mentors that continue throughout their doctoral program and beyond. Each PsyD student has a core faculty advisor to help them navigate the program and develop their professional identities.

Earning a PsyD degree can help you further your career in the field of psychology and fulfill your desire to make a positive impact in your community. You’ll also be well compensated for the impact you’ll have on the mental wellness of the communities where you choose to work; the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median annual pay for psychologists was $81,040 in, May 2021 and climbs all the way to $133,890 for the top 10% in the field.*

Job prospects are best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty. Most psychologists also need a license. NU’s PsyD degree prepares students to serve their communities in a variety of vital roles, including:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Post-secondary Psychology Teacher
  • Consultant

*SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the foundational concepts and guiding principles of scientific psychology
  • Develop, articulate, and maintain constructive and contextually sensitive working relationships with clients, colleagues, supervisors, and other professional contacts
  • Promote, restore, sustain, and enhance positive functioning and a sense of well-being in clients through preventive, developmental, or remedial services
  • Describe, conceptualize, characterize, predict, and present clinically relevant aspects of clients in sociopolitical and cultural contexts
  • Conduct problem identification, selection of appropriate methodology, analysis and interpretation of data, and clear and accurate communication of findings
  • Articulate, value, and work consciously with individual and contextual differences within intersecting systems, in accordance with professional standards, laws, and ethics

Hear From Our Faculty

Watch our video to hear Program Chair Dr. Doug Haldeman discuss the program and what you can expect.

Admissions

Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.

Applications to the PsyD program are made through the PSYCAS portal, where you will upload all required application materials. The program accepts applications from October through mid-July. Offers of admission are made on a first-come, first-served basis until the full cohort size is reached or until July 15, whichever comes first. Students begin classes once a year only, in the fall quarter. The program operates on a traditional academic quarter system, and all classes are held in person at the JFK-SOP campus in Pleasant Hill, CA.

Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.

To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today

11 WEEK COURSES
The PsyD program is offered only on-site at our campus in Pleasant Hill, CA. Courses are taught in a traditional quarter (11 week) format.

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  • 75+ Degree Programs
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We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 185,000 alumni worldwide.

“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology, and a PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy. Training for PsyD students focuses more on clinical work, while PhD students tend to spend more time on research, following the scientist-practitioner model. The PhD also has a more rigorous and lengthier dissertation process involved.

Most PsyD programs can be completed in five to seven years, including an internship.

According to Salary.com, the average psychologist in California earns $118,102 as of June 28, 2021. However, the typical range is between $106,268 and $132,634.*

*SOURCE: Salary.com, Psychologist — Ph.D. Salary in California, on the internet at https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/psychologist-phd-salary/ca (viewed October 2021)

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist helping others overcome mental health challenges, then yes, a PsyD is worth the money, as this degree provides the training and skills necessary to do so. Clinical psychology is considered a well-paying and personally rewarding, admirable profession.

Introducing the
Opportunity Scholarship

In honor of our students, and in celebration of our 50th anniversary, National University is investing $30 million in new student scholarships. To learn more about the Opportunity Scholarship, how you can apply, and how much you can save, inquire today.

Program Disclosure

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program had been American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited since 2003, and moved to “accredited, inactive” status in 2021. Meaning that while it remains APA-accredited for all students enrolled prior to 2021, new students will be admitted to an identical program (same curriculum and faculty), the JFK School of Psychology at National University Psy.D. program, which will seek APA accreditation on an accelerated timeline. Until accreditation is achieved, the program will be unaccredited by APA.

National University cannot guarantee that APA accreditation will be granted. There is a possibility that the program may not be accredited before you finish the Program, and if you transfer to another institution before National University obtains this accreditation, your credits may not be transferable. If the JFK School of Psychology at National University Psy.D. program becomes APA-accredited in the future, all students admitted will receive all the benefits of attending an APA-accredited doctoral program.

Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program continues to be regionally accredited by WSCUC. Questions about WSCUC accreditation can be addressed at:

985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone: 510-748-9001

As a program seeking APA-accredited program, our students are strongly encouraged to complete their internship at an APA-accredited site. Students are required to use the APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) system for application to internships and a minimum of 80% of student applications must be submitted to APA-accredited sites.

In the United States, each state makes its own rules regarding the educational requirements for licensure of psychologists. As such, requirements for professional licensure and certification can vary markedly by state. The JFK School of Psychology at National University, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) meets the educational degree completion requirements for licensure in the state of California as a Licensed Psychologist.

Since many states have unique licensing requirements, the JFK School of Psychology at National University, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) cannot confirm whether its Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) degree meets all the educational, licensure, and certification requirements in any state other than California. Further, these requirements can change frequently and often without notice.

It is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from an APA-accredited program. In addition, some agencies of the federal government only hire graduates of APA-accredited programs. If you wish to work for such an agency, please contact them directly for further information on hiring requirements.

We advise you to contact your state licensing and certification body to ensure the degree will meet requirements for licensure in the state in which you seek to be licensed. For licensing board contact information and approval status, please see the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards website. For all students, applicants, or prospective students seeking licensure in any state, please review the chart below outlining the University’s determination about the program’s curriculum and how it relates to the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in that respective state.

PROGRAM MEETS EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTSPROGRAM DOES NOT MEET EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTSCANNOT BE CONFIRMED IF PROGRAM MEETS EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS
California All other states, including the District of Columbia and the US protectorates, as defined in 34 CFR §600.2.

It is strongly encouraged that students, applicants, and prospective students determine any additional (i.e., non-educational) requirements for licensure in the state in which they seek to be licensed. Many licensure boards require more than successful degree completion to obtain a license, such as completion of an examination(s), test(s), background check(s), internship/practicum hours, and other requirements determined by the respective state board. It is the responsibility of the student completing the licensure program to check with the respective state licensing board(s) for the most recent information, rules and requirements.

Accreditation

The program is working diligently to establish full accreditation under the JFK-SOP at NU in 2023. Given the program’s long history of accreditation under JFKU, full accreditation may be awarded in 2023. However, National University cannot guarantee that APA accreditation will be granted. There is a possibility that the program may not be accredited before you finish, and if you transfer to another institution before National University obtains this accreditation, your credits may not be transferable.

This program is fully campus-based in California. National University transitioned courses online to proactively respond to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the health and well-being of our campus community. To ensure the continuity of education for our students and as a practical matter, please be prepared to conduct coursework online until July 2021, and until further notice. The University continues to monitor national, state, and local health authorities, programmatic accreditors, and licensure agencies.

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
Email: [email protected]
Web: accreditation.apa.org

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements in a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Depending on where you reside, many positions may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met. We encourage you to also review program-specific requirements. Any data provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee that completion of any degree program will achieve the underlying occupation or commensurate salary.

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