Walden’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program can prepare students to practice, teach, or research to positively impact the mental health of diverse clientele.
In this blended doctoral program, featuring online and in-person participation, students can gain the skills to assess mental wellness and provide interventions as a practitioner, educator, researcher, or consultant. Taught by respected psychology faculty, coursework explores current theories and empirically supported practice. Students can combine scholarly research with practical experience to build the skills and knowledge to work with people who are struggling with mental illness or general life issues.
At the end of this program, graduates will be able to:
- Evaluate the origins and development of major ideas in the discipline of psychology, as well as major theories of psychology.
- Critique the basic content areas of scientific psychology including the breath, range, and depth of the affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior.
- Apply integrative knowledge in scientific psychology including the ability to integrate, evaluate, analyze, and conceptualize multiple discipline specific content areas.
- Integrate advanced knowledge and applied skills in psychometrics, research, quantitative, and qualitative methods.
- Synthesize the principles of research methods in order to independently formulate, conduct, and disseminate research and related scholarly activities.
- Critique and apply relevant research in the development and implementation of evidence-based interventions in clinical decision making, as well as evaluate treatment effectiveness, goals, and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
- Communicate competency in the application of APA ethics and codes, as well as the relevant laws, regulations, policies, rules, professional standards, and guidelines in the practice of clinical psychology.
- Model professional values and attitudes including integrity, comportment, identity, accountability, lifelong learning, self-reflection and care, and concern for others welfare in all relationships.
- Demonstrate professional competence, including professionalism, respect for diversity, and relational competency
- Demonstrate competence in the profession specific clinical competencies, including diagnosis, assessment, and psychotherapeutic interventions.
- Integrate knowledge of individual and cultural diversity in professional practice.
Changing specializations may increase a student’s expected time-to-degree completion and cost.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- Doctoral Writing Assessment
- Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
- Foundation course (5 cr.)
- Core courses (45 cr.)
- Research courses (20 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Clinical practicum (6 cr.)
- Internship (12 cr.)
- Blended Academic Year in Residence (40 cr.)
- Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
- Dissertation writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion)
- Completion of a beginning-of-quarter, mid-quarter, and end-of quarter plan for each term
- Four PhD residencies
Foundation Course (5 cr.)
Research Courses (20 cr.)
Specialization Courses (15 cr.)
These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization.
For the General program, select three courses from any of the PhD in Clinical Psychology specialization courses as electives. For all other specializations, please see the course list on each specialization page.
Clinical Practicum (6 cr.)
Blended Academic Year in Residence (40 cr.)
The courses associated with the Blended Academic Year in Residence (BAYR) must be completed consecutively within a 12-month calendar year. Students that stop the course sequence and do not complete in a consecutive calendar year will need to resume the BAYR course sequence again from the beginning.
- Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
- Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course (RSCH 8310).
- Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
- Residency 4 –Complete residency 4 after your prospectus is approved as follows:
Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
- CPSY 9000L - Dissertation
Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.
To complete a doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
Students undertake courses in the following sequence.
* The courses associated with the Blended Academic Year in Residence (BAYR) must be completed consecutively within a 12 month calendar year. Students that stop the course sequence and do not complete in a consecutive calendar year will need to resume the BAYR course sequence again from the beginning.
** Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their doctoral dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
Note on Licensure
The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams in some states. This program is designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s PhD in Clinical Psychology is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and has not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in many states.
Walden enrollment specialists can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state in which he or she resides, as requirements vary widely. Walden University enrollment specialists can provide general guidance on licensure requirements; however, it is the responsibility of each student to understand and comply with the most current psychology licensure information for his or her individual state. Walden makes no guarantee that its PhD in Clinical Psychology program will meet the licensure requirements in any state.
Prospective students should review the specific, detailed licensure requirements applicable to their state(s) of residency to see if the Walden program meets all of the requirements to sit for licensure as set forth in the state regulations. Additionally, some states have additional coursework, residency, or fieldwork requirements that students will need in order to be eligible for licensure as a psychologist in that state.
Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification, or other credential in another state. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate, and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.
Doctoral Writing Assessment
Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.
9-year Maximum Time Frame
Students have up to 9 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements). Students may petition to extend the 9-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.