Clinical Psychology - Seattle Pacific University

Clinical Psychology
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West,

Suite 107
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206-281-2839
Fax: 206-281-2695

Prospective Students: Get Answers

Get Answers: Admissions


Clinical PsychologyDo I have to take the GRE if I have already taken the MAT?

Yes. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for application to the clinical psychology program. We do not substitute MAT scores in place of the GRE score.


Do I have to take the GRE if I already have a graduate degree?

Yes. All applicants, regardless of previous degree earned, are required to take the general GRE to be considered for admission to the program.

If a student has a previous GRE score that is no older than 5 years, they may submit that score.


Do I have to take the psychology subject test of the GRE?

The psychology subject test is not required for admission. We encourage applicants whose degrees are not in psychology to take this test to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter.


What prerequisites do I need for the program?

Check program requirements on our Admissions page.


Do I need a Master’s degree to apply for the program?

No. The minimum requirement by which all applicants are assessed is a Bachelor's degree. Students will earn a M.S., Psychological Science degree upon completion of the first two years of the program.


If I already have a Master's degree, can I transfer credits?

No. Applicants should expect to complete the 5 year program in its entirety. After gaining formal admission to the program and during the first year, students who feel they have successfully completed the same coursework at another regionally accredited institution may submit a petition (with previous syllabi) to their faculty advisor for committee review.


Who should I have write letters of recommendation for me?

  • 3 academic references from former professors or instructors.
  • or, substitute 1 professional reference for 1 academic reference. The professional reference should be from a person in psychology field (e.g., clinical supervisor).
  • letters should be sent on professional letterhead from the recommender, or the standard form on the application may be used.
  • Academic references are most important. In fact, letters from a supervisor and/or personal recommendation might also be from college professors. Learn more on our Admissions page

Is it important for me to have research interests in common with a core faculty member?

Yes.  It is important to note that research and dissertation supervision in our Ph.D. program is fully integrated in the mentoring of our students on core faculty research vertical teams (RVT).  Every student we admit is selected not only for their overall match with our program, but also for the fit between their clinical and research interests and at least one core faculty member.

Are there opportunities to work with other faculty members within the psychology dept.?

There are possible opportunities to collaborate with other faculty members in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community, and in other departments within the University, as well as with other research groups in several regional medical and mental health centers, however, all of these research experiences are integrated under the guidance and overall supervision of the student's core faculty mentor.

Who are the Core Faculty in the Clinical Psychology Department?

A complete listing of the core faculty for the Ph.D. program can be found on the Faculty & Staff page. You can review their CV's as well as find out about their research, writing, and recent publications.


Get Answers: The Program


Is the program accredited?

Yes. SPU’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

The formal date of our accreditation corresponds to the APA site visit at Seattle Pacific, which was conducted in October 2006. The APA Committee on Accreditation voted to award approval for seven years and accreditation was approved until 2020. The CoA specifies time periods of accreditation for three to seven years (between renewal site visits); we are proud to be awarded the maximum duration for approval.

When are classes scheduled?

Classes are scheduled and require full-time commitment Monday through Friday. To get an idea of when the clinical psychology classes are offered, refer to the University Catalog and Time Schedule.

Can I continue working while pursuing the degree?

The doctoral program is designed for a full-time student.  Study, research, group meetings, RVT's, and additional time doing research and preparing for the dissertation take up to 40 hours per week (or more). Practica and dissertation work usually take up many hours that a person would have to use for employment.  Some students, however, do work part time to offset the costs of graduate school.


Where can I do my practicum?

Students work at practicum sites throughout Western Washington. Sites include mental and behavioral health clinics, hospitals, medical facilities, correctional institutions, and university counseling centers and are supervised by licensed clinical psychologists who work in these settings.


Where can I do my internship?

Students participate in a national internship matching process called APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers).. Establishing an internship is a student’s responsibility, however, the Director of Clinical Training is available for consultation and will assist the doctoral students in the application process. Internships are mostly out-of-state. The internship process is very competitive and students are expected to complete their internships at APA-approved sites.

Please review the APPIC directory to learn detailed information about programs by region and/or specialty, and more information regarding the match.


After I graduate, can I be licensed?

The curriculum has been developed to conform to the academic requirements for state licensure.

Students must successfully complete 1,500 hours (in no less than a 12-month time period) post-doctoral supervised clinical work, apply for licensure, and take the written and oral comprehensive exam.

Almost all state licensing boards require one or two additional post-doctoral years of supervised experience beyond internship before application for licensure.  Students in our doctoral program will apply for and obtain a formal 1 year, full-time internship.  These internships are mostly out-of-state and are obtained through the APPIC match system.  the internship process is very competitive and students are expected to complete their internships at APA-approved sites.


In what states have Alumni obtained licensure?

Our alumni have obtained licensure in several states including Washington, California, Utah, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado.


Where are Alumni working?

Our alumni are working at some of the best, widely recognized and respected medical centers, hospitals, community mental health facilities, and HMO's in the United States.  Many are also working in academia and independent practice.


Get Answers: Finances


Where can I find more information about financial aid?

Contact Student Financial Services (SFS)

Financial aid, in the form of student loans and work study, is administered by SFS. Financial aid is available to students who are admitted as degree-seeking students and who demonstrate financial need. Clinical psychology doctoral students are eligible for Stafford loans with very low interest rates.


Do you offer scholarships, assistantships, or fellowships?

Yes. Resources available to students to offset costs include:


  • Student loans. Includes amounts that exceed tuition and provide for living expenses.
  • Merit Scholarships. Offered by the University as an offset to tuition.
  • Graduate assistantships. Department and grant-funded research and administrative assistant positions are offered to a limited number of students each year.
  • Teaching assistantships. Offered to a limited number of students for courses in the Clinical Psychology and other departments.
  • Internship stipend: The majority of internships are funded in the fifth year.

Can you explain the possible types of funding sources for Ph.D. students?

Faculty members typically offer a graduate research assistantship to one member of their research vertical team per year. These positions are usually offered to students in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of the program.  Advanced graduate students are eligible to apply for available teaching assistantships or adjunct teaching positions with the School of Psychology, Family, and Community.

Do faculty members have funding such as grants for students to work on research?

Several faculty members have external grants which provide some funding for graduate student research assistantships. These grant-funded positions vary from year to year.

How much is tuition?

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. graduate tuition rate for 2015-16 is $747 per credit. The doctoral program consists of 195 credits to be eligible for graduation.