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One of the most popular degree programs at CalSouthern, the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is an applied, clinically focused degree that meets the educational requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist in the state of California. The PsyD program culminates in a doctoral project focused on a topic about which you are most passionate—it’s one of the most exceptionally rewarding academic experiences you can undertake.
The PsyD: Psychology’s Applied Doctorate
The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) differs from the Ph.D. in that, whereas the Ph.D. is focused primarily on academic research and scholarly publication, the PsyD degree is an applied degree that is clinically focused. It emphasizes counseling and therapy and gives you great leverage and opportunity in your career—you can move into virtually any position in any organizational hierarchy with the PsyD.
The PsyD also is a degree that can lead to licensure as a clinical psychologist; CalSouthern’s online PsyD program meets the educational requirements for licensure in California and CalSouthern alumni have been successful in obtaining licensure via the PsyD program. (The requirements vary state-by-state, and we encourage you to inquire about your state’s policies. Of course, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have regarding licensure.)
CalSouthern’s online PsyD program attracts students from across the country and around the world. It’s an innovative degree program that combines a comprehensive selection of foundational courses as well as a variety of elective coursework that emphasizes the service orientation of a professional clinical degree.
The PsyD program culminates not in a dissertation, but in a doctoral project that is challenging and rigorous—and one of the most rewarding academic pursuits you’ll ever experience. The doctoral project—which may include a community-based action-research project, a critical analysis of the literature in a field of study, or a clinical application and analysis—can focus on a topic of the greatest interest to you and about which you are most passionate.
The program learning outcomes of the Doctor of Psychology degree program are:
Formulate and express advanced conceptualizations of psychological ideas through interaction with others, with the capacity to design, evaluate, and defend these concepts.
Construct and assess logical and/or empirical evidence from advanced clinical psychological theory and research, employing complex judgments drawn from inferential statistics and scientific methodology.
Cultural and Social Understanding
Critically weigh and consider the clinical impact that cultural and social institutions have on psychotherapy clients’ ethical systems, values, worldview assumptions, and presenting, psychological symptoms.
Evaluate psychological sources and information, as well as generate psychological reports in professional and technically proficient language.
Critically appraise advanced psychological principles and findings from the clinical psychological literature, and generalize them to personal experiences so that the information is meaningful and organically applied to humanistic, grounded professional goals.
Distinguish between advanced, statistically based reasoning processes and apply to complex psychological research and questions about clinical treatment and assessment
Design an advanced system of inquiry that is rooted in peer-reviewed, empirical research findings to describe, critically evaluate, hypothesize about, predict outcome, and intervene with clinical populations.
Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues
Justify and validate the rationale underlying ethical behavior as it relates to professional standards of practice in clinical psychology.
Additional Content Specific Competencies
Assessment and Diagnosis
Incorporate psychometric theory in designing assessment methods in clinical psychology, including critically evaluating established systems of diagnosis.
Create and evaluate evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment plans to reduce psychopathological symptoms and improve clients’ adaptive functioning.
Biological Basis of Behavior
Evaluate and integrate advanced findings from brain science with clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning.
Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior
Summarize and clinically incorporate research findings from cognitive science, affect theory, learning, memory, and motivation.
Growth and Lifespan Development
Distinguish between statistically normal and abnormal patterns of development across the lifespan, and discriminate between the various protective vs. risk factors that influence developmental outcomes for clinical populations.
The following Doctor of Psychology courses comprise the PsyD program at CalSouthern. The PsyD program includes 33 credit hours of required core courses, and 18 credit hours of elective courses, in addition to a doctoral project and other requirements. Although the PsyD and Ph.D. are both respected doctorates, they differ in that the PsyD is an applied degree, clinically focused, as opposed to the Ph.D., which is more focused on research and scholarly publication.
Core Course Requirements
PSY 87500 Advanced Theories of Personality - 3 Credits
PSY 87503 History and Systems of Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87504 Ethical and Professional Issues - 3 Credits
PSY 87506 Advanced Psychopathology - 3 Credits
PSY 87508A Cultural Diversity - 3 Credits
PSY 87524 Cognition, Emotion and Motivation - 3 Credits
PSY 87540 Statistical Methods and Analysis - 3 Credits
PSY 87700 Psychopharmacology - 3 Credits
PSY 87701 Physiological Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87702 Psychological Assessment I - 3 Credits
PSY 87127 Research Methods in Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 82307 Advanced Physiology and Pharmacology of Addiction - 3 Credits
PSY 82309 Advanced Ethical and Professional Issues in Addiction Counseling - 3 Credits
PSY 82316 Advanced Personal and Professional Wellness for the Substance Abuse Counselor - 3 Credits
PSY 82507 Advanced Case Management: Assessment, Treatment Planning, Relapse Prevention, and Aftercare - 3 Credits
PSY 87100 Applied Sport Psychology I - 3 Credits
PSY 87101 Applied Sport Psychology II - 3 Credits
PSY 87110 Current Issues in Sport Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87115 Psychology of Coaching - 3 Credits
PSY 87120 Enhancing Performance: Preparation/Motivation - 3 Credits
PSY 87125 Research in Sport Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87507 Human Sexuality - 3 Credits
PSY 87509 Advanced Psychology of Marriage and Family Systems - 3 Credits
PSY 87513 Psychological Tests and Measurements - 3 Credits
PSY 87514 Brief Therapy - 3 Credits
PSY 87515 Social Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87518 Hypnosis: Theory and Practice - 3 Credits
PSY 87519A Crisis and Trauma Counseling - 3 Credits
PSY 87521 Organizational Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87525 Cognition and Memory - 3 Credits
PSY 87527 Psychology of Stress and Stress-Related Disorders - 3 Credits
PSY 87528 Psychology of Violence and Domestic Abuse Reporting - 3 Credits
PSY 87529 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - 3 Credits
PSY 87530 Dream Analysis - 3 Credits
PSY 87533 Psychology of Death and Dying - 3 Credits
PSY 87534 Dual Diagnosis - 3 Credits
PSY 87536 Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy - 3 Credits
PSY 87537 Psychology of Chronic Illness - 3 Credits
PSY 87538 Advanced Psychology of Addiction and Compulsive Behaviors - 3 Credits
PSY 87539 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity, Autistic Spectrum, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders - 3 Credits
PSY 87541 Psychology of Religion - 3 Credits
PSY 87542 Eating Disorders - 3 Credits
PSY 87545 Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment - 3 Credits
PSY 87547A Career Counseling - 3 Credits
PSY 87550 Positive Psychology - 3 Credits
PSY 87552 Diagnosis and Treatment of Individuals with Intellectual Disability and Borderline Intellectual Functioning - 3 Credits
PSY 87560 Media Psychology: Writing, Publishing and Promoting a Self-Help Book - 3 Credits
PSY 87561 Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace - 3 Credits
PSY 87600 Supervision and Consultation - 3 Credits
PSY 87601 Clinical Interviewing - 3 Credits
PSY 87703 Psychological Assessment II - 3 Credits
PSY 87704 Practicum I - 3 Credits
PSY 87705 Practicum II - 3 Credits
PSY 87707 The Psychology of the Mind: Mind-Body Connection - 3 Credits
PSY 87708 The Psychology of the Mind II: Mind-Body Connection - 3 Credits
PSY 87710 Integrative Therapy: From Orientation to Practice - 3 Credits
PSY 87800 Comprehensive Examination - 1 Credits
Doctoral Project Course Requirements
PSY 87991A Doctoral Project I - 3 Credits
PSY 87992A Doctoral Project II - 3 Credits
PSY 87993A Doctoral Project III - 3 Credits
PSY 87994A Doctoral Project IV - 3 Credits
PSY 87995A Doctoral Project V - 2 Credits
PSY 88000 Internship - 0 Credits
Getting started on your Doctor of Psychology is a quick and simple process. There are no entrance examinations and courses start monthly throughout the year; you can begin your program as soon as your schedule permits. Just complete these five steps:
Complete Your Enrollment Application
Submit Your Official Transcripts of Your Undergraduate and Graduate Coursework
Write and Submit a Personal Statement
Pay Your $75 Application Fee
Upon Acceptance, Sign Your Enrollment Agreement
Once the signed enrollment agreement is received, you’ll be contacted by your academic support team including your academic advisor and student success advisor. They will confirm the start date for your first course and walk you through a quick, but thorough orientation process that will give you all the information you need to get started. And they will be there for you every step of the way to ensure that you successfully complete your degree program.
Previous Education Requirements
Admission to the PsyD program requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent completed at an appropriately accredited post-secondary institution as well as a master’s degree in the field of study or related field from an appropriately accredited post-secondary institution.
If the applicant has earned a master’s degree in another field, the applicant may petition the Admissions Committee to evaluate the foundational readiness to be successful in the program. In this case, the Admissions Committee may require the completion of six prerequisite graduate level courses for the PsyD degree:
Counseling Theories and Strategies
Theories of Human Development and Functioning
Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency Detection and Treatment
Cross-Cultural Mores and Values
California Southern University may accept a maximum of 30-semester credits in transfer for courses completed at an appropriately accredited institution toward the PsyD degree program. The courses must be doctoral level courses completed with a grade of B or better and the courses must be directly related to the respective degree program at California Southern University.