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Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)


Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)
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Course Descriptions
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Clinical Psychology (PhD)

Marston/Watson Hall


Faculty, students, and staff in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community strive to become a community of learners:

  • Guided by faith. Exploring the implications of vital expressions of Christian faith for the human condition, as well as for emotional and relational healing and health.
  • Rooted in academic discipline. Fostering rigorous and creative learning environments, as well as contributing primary scholarship to the scientific study of psychological and social processes.
  • Committed to service. Grounding our learning community in the theory, research, and application of our disciplines in order to produce skilled graduates who can serve with character and competence in a broken world; nurturing creative partnerships with our local community and beyond in order to serve in and learn from socially and culturally diverse settings.

Mission Statement
As a community of scholars and professionals who embrace a broad Christian worldview, we are committed to developing psychologists who accomplish the following:

  • Integrate the findings of scientific psychology with the interpersonal skills and sensitivity necessary for effective clinical practice.
  • Incorporate bio-psychosocial and spiritual perspectives into the science and practice of the discipline.
  • Appreciate and respect the inherent diversity that characterizes individuals and groups.
  • Embrace a vocation of service to individuals, families, and their communities.


The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. This program is a full-time, five-year, integrated and organized sequence of studies and practice experiences based on the "local clinical-scientist" model of training. The local clinical-scientist embodies and expands upon the original scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology.

Research and clinical practice are balanced in the curriculum, and our graduates function in various roles as health care clinicians, university scholars, program directors, and supervisors.

Coursework is grounded in empirical literature that examines the interplay among biological, psychological, and social factors related to human adjustment. This bio-psychosocial perspective infuses all aspects of the doctoral curriculum and training experiences.

Perspectives on diversity are incorporated throughout the curriculum, addressing individual and group differences and the implications of diversity for the ethical and effective practice of clinical psychology. And, in our view, a full appreciation of diversity includes spiritual and religious factors as well. Additionally, both faculty and students are committed to a vocation of service to others.

Sequence of Study
To graduate with the PhD, you must complete 195 quarter units of courses that include:

  • 26 units of research and dissertation
  • Two one-year, part-time practicum placements
  • A full-time one-year internship

A master's degree (MS in Psychological Science) is earned en route to the doctorate.


The program begins in Autumn Quarter and admits students once a year. The application deadline is December 15. Listed below is a brief outline of University and program requirements for admission to clinical psychology doctoral studies.

For detailed information on admission, visit The Graduate Center. Apply online, and if you have questions, contact or by calling 206-281-2091 or 800-601-0603.

  • You must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to admission with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. An undergraduate major in psychology is preferable. However, applicants whose bachelor's degrees are not in psychology may wish to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Psychology Subject Test to demonstrate adequate knowledge of general psychology.

All applicants should have successfully completed a statistics or tests-and-measurements course, as well as at least five other psychology courses prior to application from among the following: abnormal, developmental, experimental, physiological, social, learning, motivation, or personality.


  • You will submit three letters of recommendation. Three academic references from current or former professors/instructors are preferred, however you may substitute for one academic reference a professional reference from a person in a related field (e.g., clinical supervisor).

Note: Academic and professional references should be sent on academic or professional letterhead, or you may use the standard form included in the online application and follow the instructions.


  • You must submit a typed personal statement. Generally, statements should be three to four pages in length. Address your career objectives, rationale for seeking a degree in clinical psychology, and why you choose to attend SPU. Mention professional and personal strengths as they apply to clinical psychology, related work experiences, research interests, personal values, religious ideals, and other information you deem appropriate.

Note: Preference is shown to those applicants who possess potential for both clinical and scientific work, as demonstrated by prior work or volunteer experiences.


  • If you are not U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, you must provide an official confidential statement of financial support covering each year of intended enrollment. This is necessary to issue the paperwork for an I-20 immigration form. Documentation must be included in the application packet.

Admission Process
The Admissions Committee of the Clinical Psychology Department (CPY) will conduct a preliminary screening process. Finalists will be invited to come to campus for personal interviews in late February or early March. Admission to the doctoral program depends upon recommendation by the CPY faculty and approval from the department chair.

Transfer of Credit
If you have a master's degree, or have taken other graduate coursework in psychology at a regionally accredited institution, you may be allowed to transfer up to 20 quarter units. You must submit syllabi of any courses for which you request transfer of credit.

Courses accepted for transfer must have been passed at a grade of B or higher and completed within seven years of transfer. A petition to transfer credits is submitted only after formal admission to the program.

Degree Completion

All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven years from the quarter the first post-admission course was taken. Students who need more than seven years to complete the degree must file a time-extension petition with the director of doctoral studies.

Note: Additional details regarding the requirements of our Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program can be found in the Doctoral Student Handbook, Clinical Training Guidelines, and Research and Dissertation Guidelines available from the Department of Clinical Psychology.


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