Psy.D.

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Residence and Coursework

Normally, four years of residency are required unless transfer of credit is brought in and advanced standing granted.  While the doctorate is not awarded simply or completion of stated course work, there are basic unit requirements for the degree (133 semester hours).  Each student has a faculty advisor who assists in the planning of each semester's schedule of courses and supervises the student's progress in the program.  For transfer credit, see General Academic Information.

Psychology: Psy.D. students must complete a minimum of 76 semester hours of psychology.  These 76 units must include 46 required psychology units, 18 units of practicum and 12 units of elective psychology courses.  Students may apply up to 6 units of graduate coursework from the School of Intercultural Studies toward the total psychology hours requirement.

Psychotherapy Laboratory: Students in the Psy.D. track must complete 21 units selected from psychotherapy lab courses.  These are taken in the second, third, and fourth years.

Theology: All students must complete a minor in theology, which includes a minimum of 17 semester units.

Integration Seminars: All students participate in a series of seminars (14 units) devoted to the integration of a variety of theological and psychological concepts in research, theory, and practice.

Research: Students in Rosemead's Psy.D. program may fulfill the 5 unit research component of their program either by writing a dissertation or by successfully completing a research sequence which includes a year-long doctoral research seminar, a doctoral paper consisting of a critical review of research literature on a clinical topic, and a proficiency examination on clinical research.

Second Year Evaluation (Preliminary Oral Interview)

All students have an oral interview with a faculty committee to evaluate their progress and potential for successful completion of the doctoral program.  This interview is scheduled after the completion of three semesters in residence, including at least one practicum assignment.  The results of this interview are reported to faculty, which votes (1) allowing the student to continue, (2) allowing the student to continue with conditions, or (3) not allowing the student to continue in the doctoral program.

Comprehensive Examinations

All students must pass a set of doctoral-level comprehensive examinations covering the following areas: psychological assessment, intervention, professional ethics, and integration.  These examinations are given twice during the summer and serve as the major means of evaluating a student's suitability to continue studies toward the doctorate.  The examinations may be taken after completion of 75% (100 units) of the course work and must be successfully completed prior to the Professional Qualifying Examination.  Only one retake of the examination is allowed.  The dates of the Comprehensive Examinations are specified in the Academic Calendar.

Admission to Candidacy

Official candidacy for the doctorate signifies an advanced stage in the student's progress.  In order to be admitted to candidacy the student must have:

  • Successfully completed the Preliminary Oral Interview
  • Passed the Comprehensive Examination
  • Received approval of the dissertation proposal by the Doctoral Committee or completed the two-semester, five credit Doctoral Research Seminar and comprehensive proficiency research examination.
  • Completed training therapy

Professional Qualifying Exam

All doctoral students must successfully complete a one-year, full-time clinical internship prior to graduation.  All internships are approved in advance by the Director of Clinical Training.  There is some provision for students to complete this requirement in two years at half-time status.

Completion of Training Therapy

All students must receive certification of completion of training therapy from the director of clinical training.  A minimum of 50 hours of interpersonal therapy and 50 hours of individual therapy is required.

Dissertation OR Research Consumership Sequence

All Psy.D. students must demonstrate doctoral-level mastery of a research area in clinical psychology.  This may be done by completing a dissertation or a doctoral paper. Most Psy.D. students elect to complete the doctoral paper research sequence. The research sequence necessary to complete the doctoral paper involves: (a) a two-semester, 5-credit doctoral research seminar focusing on the critical evaluation and utilization of clinical research; (b) a doctoral paper involving a critical review of research on a selected, clinically relevant topic; and (c) a proficiency examination evaluating the student's ability to critically evaluate current clinical research. This proficiency exam is taken in conjunction with the first semester of the doctoral research seminar.  Psy.D. students must register for five units either for dissertation or for the doctoral research seminar.

Final Examination

The final examination for Psy.D. students who write a dissertation is an oral defense of the dissertation before the doctoral committee and other invited professionals.  Students completing the doctoral paper research sequence must pass the research proficiency exam given during the Doctoral Research Seminars.

Featured Faculty

Elizabeth Lewis Hall

Professor of Psychology

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000