Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)
The Psy.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and provides strong, generalist training across the lifespan. Additionally, students can choose four electives to individualize their advanced training or choose one of two emphasis areas: Health Psychology, Forensic Psychology. Students are accepted into the Psy.D. program with either a master's or bachelor's degree. All clinical faculty are licensed and actively engaged in the practice of psychology. Care has been given to designing programs that qualify students to sit for appropriate certification and licensing exams in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other states with similar requirements. Graduates are expected to practice psychology in compliance with appropriate state statutes. The statute in Kentucky is KRS 319, copies of which are available in the School of Psychology.
The Doctor of Psychology program in Clinical Psychology was first accredited by the American Psychological Association (750 First Street, Washington DC 20002; 202 336-5979) in 1989 and has continually maintained its APA accreditation to this date.
Specific Admission Requirements
In addition to the general University requirements, the applicant must submit three letters of reference; a writing sample; a three-page, double-spaced, typed autobiography, which includes relevant personal and professional experience and aspirations; and scores of the verbal, quantitative, and analytical parts of the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants will also be evaluated on the basis of personal attributes; therefore, personal interviews are required. Those selected for interviews are notified regarding specific dates and times. Students are admitted to the program only in the Fall semester.
It is expected that applicants will have a background in psychology at the undergraduate or graduate levels and must have a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology at either of these levels.
There are two distinct tracks by which students enter the doctoral program.
Track I: Applicants having earned a master's degree in psychology or a related field may apply for the doctoral program. Transfer credits are granted consistent with stated transfer regulations.
Track II: Applicants who have earned the bachelor's degree and a minimum of 18 credit hours may apply to the doctoral program.
Transfer Credit Policy
A maximum of 30 credit hours can be transferred from previous graduate-level work provided it meets the following criteria:
- The Director of Graduate training (DGT) must approve all transfer credit.
- Transfer credit is given only for course work with a grade of B or higher at the graduate level from accredited institutions.
- Transfer credit is given only for courses that are equivalent in sophistication and content/skills to courses at Spalding University.
- Transfer credit may not be awarded for an equivalent course if, in the judgment of the evaluator, the course was taken too long ago to be of current value.
- Transfer credit may be denied if, in the judgment of the evaluator, the course would not be acceptable to state boards of psychology.
- Ordinarily, credit is given for course work taken in psychology programs. However, credit may be given for work in closely related programs provided the above criteria are met.
- Students may be required to provide syllabi or other documentation to support transfer credit requests.
Students are required to submit a written qualifying examination the summer prior to the completion of their last year of course work. Specific information about the Qualifying exam is available in the Graduate Student Handbook.
Practica and Internship Experiences
Students usually begin their first practica in their second year of the program, unless they transfer in with a master's degree, in which case they may be placed on practica the first year of the doctoral program. Practica are of one calendar year duration, and there are four practica required for completion of the doctoral program, including the two practica required for completion of the master's program. Practicum sites include community mental health settings, psychiatric hospitals, school settings, university counseling centers, general hospitals, physical medicine/rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, private practice/managed care clinics, children's home, child abuse treatment center, State Family Services, and a private family clinic. All sites must meet the training needs that the University has established and are carefully monitored.
The doctoral internship of two thousand (2000) hours (PSY 892) must be completed in one year of full-time or two years of part-time commitment. Students are expected to apply nationally for internship placement and must apply to APA accredited sites or sites that meet APPIC guidelines. Students are required to register for 1 credit hour per semester, during their internship, and will be charged tuition and fees. All internships must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training and meet published departmental guidelines. The Spalding program has an excellent record of internship placement. Specific internship match rate information is available through the department.
Dissertation (PSY 893)
The doctoral degree requires the completion of a dissertation, which is consistent with the professional training model employed by Spalding University. Students are encouraged to obtain a copy of the dissertation guidelines and requirements early in their program and to think in terms of a topic throughout their pre-dissertation course work. The School of Psychology faculty can help in this effort. The Doctoral Seminar (PSY 891) must be taken the year after the student completes practicum II.
The time limit for completion of a doctoral dissertation is 2 years after completion of the student's final course (exclusive of registration for dissertation and internship credit). If not completed within that time frame, the student must make a request for a formal extension of time to the faculty for each additional semester that the dissertation is in progress. If the dissertation goes beyond 3 years from the time of the last course, the student may be required to apply for reinstatement into the program. If the departmental faculty agree to reinstate the student, the student may be required to take and pass the Doctoral Qualifying Exam at the next scheduled exam date, as well as meet any other conditions imposed by the faculty, to be allowed to graduate.
Doctoral students must spend at least one year in full-time residence at Spalding. This requirement is met by completing 18 credit hours of course work in one year (defined as the Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions). Doctoral students must always complete a minimum of l5 credit hours per year. Students who fail to meet these regulations are subject to dismissal.