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Walden’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program can prepare students to practice, teach, or research to positively impact the mental health of diverse clientele.
In this blended doctoral program, featuring online and in-person participation, students can gain the skills to assess mental wellness and provide interventions as a practitioner, educator, researcher, or consultant. Taught by respected psychology faculty, coursework explores current theories and empirically supported practice. Students can combine scholarly research with practical experience to build the skills and knowledge to work with people who are struggling with mental illness or general life issues.
At the end of this program, graduates will be able to:
- Explain the contributions of the biological, affective, social, and cognitive areas of psychology as they impact human adaptive and maladaptive functioning.
- Articulate the history of clinical psychology, how the specialty of clinical psychology is unique, and how to develop a clinical psychology identity.
- Synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
- Demonstrate proficiency in evaluating the effectiveness of empirically supported treatments using an evidence-based practice approach.
- Synthesize theory and contemporary research to establish a theoretically and empirically anchored personal orientation to the practice of clinical psychology.
- Demonstrate proficiency in utilizing empirically supported models of clinical psychotherapy, consultation, and supervision with diverse populations.
- Demonstrate proficiency in utilizing cognitive and personality-assessment skills with diverse populations.
- Develop constructive working relationships with clients, supervisors, instructors, and colleagues while also demonstrating an appropriate and professional demeanor.
- Engage in personal self-assessment to examine feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions regarding their own perspective and worldview as well as those of others.
- Describe salient experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
- Utilize critical thinking and apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA, ACA) to decision making with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
- Demonstrate the ability to use multicultural clinical intervention and assessment skills in varied training and professional settings.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of clinical psychology.
- Engage in professional activities related to clinical psychology that promote positive social change.
Changing specializations may increase a student’s expected time-to-degree completion and cost.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- Doctoral Writing Assessment
- Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
- Foundation course (5 cr.)
- Core courses (45 cr.)
- Research courses (20 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Clinical practicum (6 cr.)
- Internship (12 cr.)
- Blended Academic Year in Residence (40 cr.)
- Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
- Dissertation writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion)
- Completion of a beginning-of-quarter, mid-quarter, and end-of quarter plan for each term
- PhD residencies (four 4-day sessions)
Foundation Course (5 cr.)
Research Courses (20 cr.)
Specialization Courses (15 cr.)
These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization.
For the General program, select three courses from any of the PhD in Clinical Psychology specialization courses as electives. For all other specializations, please see the course list on each specialization page.
Clinical Practicum (6 cr.)
Blended Academic Year in Residence (40 cr.)
- Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 face-to-face as soon as you begin your program.
- Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 face-to-face or virtual at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course (RSCH 8310).
- Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 face-to-face once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
- Residency 4 – Complete Residency 4 while in the development stage of your Proposal:
- a face-to-face or virtual residency (RESI 8404)
- an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability)
- a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000 to progress toward completion and defense of the dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.
Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
- CPSY 9000L - Dissertation
Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.
To complete a doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
*Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their doctoral dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
Note on Licensure
The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams in some states. This program is designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s PhD in Clinical Psychology is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and has not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in many states.
Walden enrollment specialists can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state in which he or she resides, as requirements vary widely. Walden University enrollment specialists can provide general guidance on licensure requirements; however, it is the responsibility of each student to understand and comply with the most current psychology licensure information for his or her individual state. Walden makes no guarantee that its PhD in Clinical Psychology program will meet the licensure requirements in any state.
Prospective students should review the specific, detailed licensure requirements applicable to their state(s) of residency to see if the Walden program meets all of the requirements to sit for licensure as set forth in the state regulations. Additionally, some states have additional coursework, residency, or fieldwork requirements that students will need in order to be eligible for licensure as a psychologist in that state.
Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification, or other credential in another state. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate, and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.
Doctoral Writing Assessment
Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.
8-Year Maximum Time Frame
Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.