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Doctor of Psychology - PsyD Program

The priority application deadline for Fall 2015 is December 15, 2014; the final application deadline is January 16, 2015.

The Doctor of Psychology program at John F. Kennedy University follows the practitioner-scholar model, where primary emphasis is placed on excellence in practice, grounded in science. Our program learning outcomes are influenced by the competencies developed by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP).

Our PsyD program provides clinical training with a multicultural emphasis by a diverse, dedicated faculty of experienced practitioners and scholars. In the selection of faculty, staff, and students, the PsyD program aims to reflect the diversity of California’s community, and we offer a student-faculty ratio of 13:1. We create an environment where people of varied backgrounds and beliefs can all feel welcome, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, ability, and other aspects of diversity. Attention to multicultural competence is incorporated into every aspect of the program.

Graduates are prepared for the key roles that contemporary psychologists must fill to competently serve their communities: clinician, evaluator, assessment expert, and critical consumer of psychological research. We also provide training in the fundamentals of consultation, supervision, program administration, and education. Our program welcomes students who demonstrate a strong commitment to working with underprivileged and underserved populations.

All students complete a dissertation project, 144 units of coursework, and 36 units of internship, either as one full-time or two part-time years. Coursework may be completed in one of three ways.

  • Full-time plan - the typical pace for coursework which takes five years to complete (four years of coursework plus a year of full-time internship). Students may petition to attend the program under
  • Intensive plan - a plan which students may petition to attend and in which they complete their coursework in three years and then go to a full-time internship.
  • Part-time plan -  a modified schedule of coursework that may take up to six years to complete. Students consult with their advisors to develop this plan. Note, however, that part-time students must spend at least one year in full-time residency, completing a minimum of 36 units within that year.

Regardless of which plan is pursued, students must complete the program requirements within eight years from the time of matriculation.

Completion of the PsyD from John F. Kennedy University makes students eligible to apply for licensure as a psychologist. The licensure process is regulated by the California Board of Psychology, and licensure requirements currently include a minimum 3,000 hours of verified supervised professional experience. The California Board of Psychology may be contacted directly at: 1625 North Market Street, Suite N-215, Sacramento, CA 95834, or via email at

The PsyD Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), which requires that we provide the student outcome data available via the links on this page. We hope this information will help you to make an informed decision regarding your graduate study.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the APA's Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:

Program Learning Outcomes

The goals of the PsyD Program with their underlying associated objectives are as follows:

Goal #1: Students acquire knowledge of the foundational concepts and guiding principles of scientific psychology.

  • Behavioral Science – Students demonstrate knowledge of the science that forms the foundations of clinical psychology.
  • History and Ethics – Students demonstrate knowledge of the history, philosophy, and ethical principles governing clinical psychology.
  • Development and Difference – Students demonstrate knowledge of norms and theories of human development across the lifespan, as well as knowledge about cultural differences.
  • Psychological Measurement – Students demonstrate knowledge of principles of psychological measurement, research design, and techniques of data analysis.
  • Professional Roles – Students demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and empirical foundations of supervision, management, consultation, and education in a multicultural professional environment.

Goal #2: Students acquire developmentally appropriate skills in each of these areas of professional psychology: Relationship, Assessment, Intervention, and Research and Evaluation.

  • Relationship – Students develop, describe, and maintain constructive and culturally sensitive clinical relationships with clients, supervisors, and others with whom they interact professionally.
  • Assessment – Students assess clinically relevant client characteristics, and use the information gathered to describe, conceptualize, and diagnose within sociopolitical and cultural context.
  • Intervention – Students engage in effective, ethical, theory-informed, research-based, culturally appropriate activities that promote, restore, sustain, or enhance positive functioning and a sense of well-being in clients through preventive, developmental, or remedial services.
  • Research and Evaluation – Students demonstrate the ability to interpret, design, and implement clinically and culturally appropriate research.

Goal #3: Students demonstrate the personal and professional attributes of multiculturally-competent practitioner-scholars.

  • Multicultural Awareness – Students recognize, value, and work consciously with individual and cultural differences within intersecting systems.
  • Professional Conduct – Students conduct themselves in accordance with professional standards, laws, and ethics.
  • Scholarship – Students demonstrate their commitment to the practitioner-scholar model of clinical psychology.


To receive the Doctor of Psychology, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • The Comprehensive Written Examination and the Clinical Proficiency Examination must be passed.
  • Fifty hours of personal psychotherapy must be completed.
  • All training logs and supervisors' evaluations must be submitted to the Training Office.
  • The dissertation must be successfully defended.
  • After admission to the Doctor of Psychology program, all academic requirements must be completed in residence, except for transfer credit units.
  • A full-time load of 36 units must be carried for a minimum of one year.
  • A minimum grade of B- is required in each course applied to the degree.
  • An overall grade-point average of 3.0 must be achieved in all work for the PsyD.
  • Candidates for doctoral degrees are required to file a Petition for Degree and pay the required fee by February 15 of the year prior to the beginning internship..
  • All program requirements must be completed within eight calendar years of matriculation.

For the program curriculum, please see the PsyD Supplemental Information available on the right sidebar.