Contact Information

Deadlines

  • January 1, 2019 (preferred)

Maybe lasts forever. Yes changes the world.

Overview

Change your future. Start today.

The Doctor of Psychology program trains clinical psychologists who will provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to a variety of communities. Our program welcomes students with a strong commitment to social justice, and to working with underprivileged and underserved populations. Sound like you? Apply today. Students are admitted on a rolling basis for a fall start, with an application process that can take as little as 2-3 weeks.

Please consult this page for information about how to apply, requirements, and transfer policies. When you are ready to take the next step, you can do so right from here, or contact an admissions counselor for assistance.

How to Apply

The first step to applying is filling out our online application for Doctor of Psychology Student Admissions. You may do this even before you have the rest of your application materials prepared. Once you have completed and submitted this form, an enrollment advisor will contact you, as early as that same day, to guide you through the rest of the application process and submitting the required materials.

Statistical Information Form

As part of the application process, you will also be asked to fill out a Statistical Information Form. The information requested on this form provides the University with a profile of its students and statistical data required for funding from the federal government and foundations. An applicant’s admission to the University will not be affected if all questions are not answered.

As soon as you submit the online application form, an enrollment advisor will reach out to assist you in gathering the rest of your application materials. These application materials will include the following:

Official Transcripts

Graduate applicants must submit official transcripts from the bachelor degree-awarding institution(s), and any post-bachelor degree institution including any master’s degrees or credits. Transcripts not sent directly to the Admissions Office from the issuing institution must remain sealed to be considered official. Transcripts then become the property of the University and will not be returned or released to another party.

Application Fee

Actually, there is none! Other than your time, there is no cost to apply.

Additional Materials

In addition to your official transcripts, the Doctor of Psychology program requires the following materials to apply:

  • Personal Statement (2-4 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (Preference for letters from academic instructors)
  • Sample Academic Paper

All application documentation must be submitted directly to:

John F. Kennedy University
Admissions Office
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817

We understand that for many students, starting a program will be contingent on financial aid. Since it can take 3-4 weeks for a financial aid package to be determined, we encourage students to get this process started as soon as possible. Please visit our Financial Aid page to learn about submitting a FAFSA with our school code. You can also contact a financial aid officer or speak to your enrollment advisor for assistance with this process. We are here to help!

Your application process will also include an opportunity to speak with a program chair to inquire further about your program of interest, as well as to speak with enrollment, financial aid, and academic advisors to learn more about scholarship opportunities, additional financial aid assistance, campus resources, and academic requirements.

And…that’s it! Congratulations! We’ve been waiting for you to get here!

1. Complete the Online Application

The first step to applying is filling out our online application for Doctor of Psychology Student Admissions. You may do this even before you have the rest of your application materials prepared. Once you have completed and submitted this form, an enrollment advisor will contact you, as early as that same day, to guide you through the rest of the application process and submitting the required materials.

Statistical Information Form

As part of the application process, you will also be asked to fill out a Statistical Information Form. The information requested on this form provides the University with a profile of its students and statistical data required for funding from the federal government and foundations. An applicant’s admission to the University will not be affected if all questions are not answered.

2. Submit Transcripts and Other Materials

As soon as you submit the online application form, an enrollment advisor will reach out to assist you in gathering the rest of your application materials. These application materials will include the following:

Official Transcripts

Graduate applicants must submit official transcripts from the bachelor degree-awarding institution(s), and any post-bachelor degree institution including any master’s degrees or credits. Transcripts not sent directly to the Admissions Office from the issuing institution must remain sealed to be considered official. Transcripts then become the property of the University and will not be returned or released to another party.

Application Fee

Actually, there is none! Other than your time, there is no cost to apply.

Additional Materials

In addition to your official transcripts, the Doctor of Psychology program requires the following materials to apply:

  • Personal Statement (2-4 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (Preference for letters from academic instructors)
  • Sample Academic Paper

All application documentation must be submitted directly to:

John F. Kennedy University
Admissions Office
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817

3. Apply for Financial Aid

We understand that for many students, starting a program will be contingent on financial aid. Since it can take 3-4 weeks for a financial aid package to be determined, we encourage students to get this process started as soon as possible. Please visit our Financial Aid page to learn about submitting a FAFSA with our school code. You can also contact a financial aid officer or speak to your enrollment advisor for assistance with this process. We are here to help!

4. Speak to Your Program Chair

Your application process will also include an opportunity to speak with a program chair to inquire further about your program of interest, as well as to speak with enrollment, financial aid, and academic advisors to learn more about scholarship opportunities, additional financial aid assistance, campus resources, and academic requirements.

And…that’s it! Congratulations! We’ve been waiting for you to get here!

Requirements to Apply

By the time of enrollment, applicants to the Doctor of Psychology program must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited undergraduate institution or a 3.5 from an accredited graduate institution.

There are four required prerequisite courses for admission to the PsyD Program, which must be completed prior to beginning the program. Preference is given to applicants who have completed these prerequisite courses upon application.

 

  • Introductory Psychology or Developmental Psychology/Human Development
  • Abnormal Psychology or Theories of Personality
  • Statistics
  • A Diversity-related course – (This does not have to be a Psychology course. For example, it may be an overview course such as: Psychology of Diversity, Cultural Anthropology, or Introductions to Social Justice; it can also be a course on a specific subject such as Immigrant and Refugee Health, Intersectional Feminism, or Afrocentric Theory).

These courses need to have been taken at an institution with regional accreditation or other recognized accreditation within the past ten years, with a grade of C or better if taken as part of an undergraduate program, or with a grade of B- or better if taken as post-baccalaureate work, or with a grade of Credit in a Credit/No Credit graded class.

If you have not completed all the prerequisites prior to being offered admission to the program, your admission will be conditional until completing any unfinished prerequisites before classes begin.

Preference is given to applicants who have some clinically relevant experience (e.g., working at a suicide prevention or crisis support services agency, case management, behavioral therapy).

Bachelor’s Degree

By the time of enrollment, applicants to the Doctor of Psychology program must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

GPA

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited undergraduate institution or a 3.5 from an accredited graduate institution.

Course Prerequisites

There are four required prerequisite courses for admission to the PsyD Program, which must be completed prior to beginning the program. Preference is given to applicants who have completed these prerequisite courses upon application.

 

  • Introductory Psychology or Developmental Psychology/Human Development
  • Abnormal Psychology or Theories of Personality
  • Statistics
  • A Diversity-related course – (This does not have to be a Psychology course. For example, it may be an overview course such as: Psychology of Diversity, Cultural Anthropology, or Introductions to Social Justice; it can also be a course on a specific subject such as Immigrant and Refugee Health, Intersectional Feminism, or Afrocentric Theory).

These courses need to have been taken at an institution with regional accreditation or other recognized accreditation within the past ten years, with a grade of C or better if taken as part of an undergraduate program, or with a grade of B- or better if taken as post-baccalaureate work, or with a grade of Credit in a Credit/No Credit graded class.

If you have not completed all the prerequisites prior to being offered admission to the program, your admission will be conditional until completing any unfinished prerequisites before classes begin.

Clinically Relevant Experience

Preference is given to applicants who have some clinically relevant experience (e.g., working at a suicide prevention or crisis support services agency, case management, behavioral therapy).

PsyD Transfer Credit Policy

Students requesting course transfer credit must have achieved a “Credit” grade, or a grade of ‘B’ or higher. “Credit” grades must be supplemented with written course evaluations. All courses must have been completed within eight years prior to enrollment in the PsyD program from a regionally accredited institution. The maximum number of approved credits that may be transferred in to the PsyD program from masters-level courses is 18. A maximum of 30 credits of doctoral-level course work in clinical/applied psychology may be transferred. Transfer credit is awarded only for required courses, with the exception of The Integrated Professional Seminars (IPS) and the Practicum experiences, which cannot be waived. In order to receive transfer credit, students must have completed the equivalent of at least three quarter-units of master’s or doctoral level work in the content area of the JFKU PsyD course. When a course is also required for licensure as a psychologist, master’s level transfer courses need to have met the current requirements of the California Board of Psychology. Although receiving transfer credit may reduce the cost of the program, these credits will probably not reduce the length of time in the program. Some students will have a lighter unit load because of their transfer credits. Students should be aware that, if awarded transfer credit, they are still responsible for course material as it is taught in the program when taking the written comprehensive examination and the oral clinical proficiency exam. When deciding to request transfer credit, students are advised to review copies of the course syllabi from the program to determine whether or not the previous course covers similar material in a similar manner.

Students requesting transfer credit first obtain and complete a “Request for Transfer Credit” form available in the GSPP lobby. Requests for transfer credit with supporting documentation should be submitted as early as possible to allow sufficient time for review. The form is then submitted along with transcripts, course syllabi, and other relevant materials from the course(s) in question to the Academic Director. A core faculty member who is expert in the specific content area in question will be appointed to determine if the course taken previously is substantially similar to program course for which it would be substituted. Students will be notified in writing if their request for transfer credit has been granted. If transfer credit is denied, the rationale behind the denial will also be given in writing. Students should not assume credit has been granted until they receive written approval of such credit.

The PsyD classes (3 units each) eligible for transfer credit include but are not limited to:

PSD7003T History & Systems PSD7015 Adult Psychopathology I PSD7016 Adult Psychopathology II PSD7104 Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior PSD7105 Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior PSD7107 Biological Basis of Behavior PSD7122 Psychodynamic Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7123 Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7124 Family Systems Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7131 Psychology of Addiction PSD7225 Lifespan Development I: Childhood & Adolescence PSD7226 Lifespan Development II: Adulthood & Aging PSD7250 Quantitative Research

General Information

Students requesting course transfer credit must have achieved a “Credit” grade, or a grade of ‘B’ or higher. “Credit” grades must be supplemented with written course evaluations. All courses must have been completed within eight years prior to enrollment in the PsyD program from a regionally accredited institution. The maximum number of approved credits that may be transferred in to the PsyD program from masters-level courses is 18. A maximum of 30 credits of doctoral-level course work in clinical/applied psychology may be transferred. Transfer credit is awarded only for required courses, with the exception of The Integrated Professional Seminars (IPS) and the Practicum experiences, which cannot be waived. In order to receive transfer credit, students must have completed the equivalent of at least three quarter-units of master’s or doctoral level work in the content area of the JFKU PsyD course. When a course is also required for licensure as a psychologist, master’s level transfer courses need to have met the current requirements of the California Board of Psychology. Although receiving transfer credit may reduce the cost of the program, these credits will probably not reduce the length of time in the program. Some students will have a lighter unit load because of their transfer credits. Students should be aware that, if awarded transfer credit, they are still responsible for course material as it is taught in the program when taking the written comprehensive examination and the oral clinical proficiency exam. When deciding to request transfer credit, students are advised to review copies of the course syllabi from the program to determine whether or not the previous course covers similar material in a similar manner.

The Process

Students requesting transfer credit first obtain and complete a “Request for Transfer Credit” form available in the GSPP lobby. Requests for transfer credit with supporting documentation should be submitted as early as possible to allow sufficient time for review. The form is then submitted along with transcripts, course syllabi, and other relevant materials from the course(s) in question to the Academic Director. A core faculty member who is expert in the specific content area in question will be appointed to determine if the course taken previously is substantially similar to program course for which it would be substituted. Students will be notified in writing if their request for transfer credit has been granted. If transfer credit is denied, the rationale behind the denial will also be given in writing. Students should not assume credit has been granted until they receive written approval of such credit.

The PsyD classes (3 units each) eligible for transfer credit include but are not limited to:

PSD7003T History & Systems PSD7015 Adult Psychopathology I PSD7016 Adult Psychopathology II PSD7104 Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior PSD7105 Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior PSD7107 Biological Basis of Behavior PSD7122 Psychodynamic Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7123 Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7124 Family Systems Theory and its Application to Diverse Populations PSD7131 Psychology of Addiction PSD7225 Lifespan Development I: Childhood & Adolescence PSD7226 Lifespan Development II: Adulthood & Aging PSD7250 Quantitative Research

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline for the application?

The priority application deadline for fall is December 1st with a final application deadline of January 2nd; however, we will still consider applications submitted after the final deadline on a space-available basis.

What is the difference between a PhD and a PsyD?

The PhD degree (Doctor of Philosophy) is typically awarded by doctoral programs that are focused on preparing psychologists for a career in research. The PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) degree is a different type of doctoral degree that focuses on preparing psychologists for clinical practice.

What is the program’s theoretical model?

The PsyD Program at John F. Kennedy University is designed to produce practitioner-scholars: clinicians who work in applied settings and who are skilled and thoughtful consumers of research. The curriculum addresses the “core competencies” outlined by the National Council of Schools and Program of Professional Psychology (NCSPP): Relationship, Assessment, Intervention, Diversity, Research/Evaluation, Management/Supervision, and Consultation/Education. Within these competency areas, many theoretical models are taught, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and family systems.

How is our PsyD program different than other PsyD programs?

All accredited PsyD programs address diversity in some fashion, but our program puts multicultural competence and a deep understanding of diversity at the center of all coursework and training experiences.

Is the program accredited?

The PsyD Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)*. The PsyD Program is also a Member of the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP). John F. Kennedy University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

How long does it take to complete the Doctor of Psychology Program?

The time to complete our PsyD program varies based on how students choose to attend, but the short answer is: between four and six years. Full-time students finish their coursework in four years, and usually go to a full-time one year internship (although some choose to do two part-time internships, spread over one or two years). Students may choose to enroll in an intensive program whereby all coursework is completed in three years and then go to internship in their fourth year. Part-time students finish their coursework in five years and in their 6th year go to internship. All students must complete all requirements, including internship and dissertation, within eight calendar years from when they enter the program. Also, each student must spend at least one year doing coursework at the full-time rate (minimum 36 units for the year). At present, about two-thirds of our graduates finish the program in five years or less.

*Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association

750 1st Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Phone: (202)336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed.accreditation

Can the PsyD program be completed through online or correspondence courses?

No, while we strive to accommodate working students’ schedules, all classes are held on campus in Pleasant Hill, and regular attendance is required.

Does the program offer specialized study?

The program offers generalist training at the doctoral level, along with elective coursework in a variety of theoretical and applied areas of interest. Additionally, the program has developed two areas of concentrated study in Clinical Sport Psychology and Neuropsychology. Both of these areas use advanced electives to build on foundational coursework in these areas. Further in-depth clinical training is available through externships and internships at a variety of sites.

Am I able to transfer any units into the PsyD Program?

Students requesting course transfer credit must have attained a grade of “credit” or a letter grade of B or higher from an institution that is regionally accredited. Courses eligible for transfer credit must have been taken within the last eight years. The maximum number of approved credits that may be transferred into the PsyD program from master’s level courses is 18. The maximum number of approved credit that may be transferred into the PsyD program from doctoral level courses is 30. If a student is transferring credits from both master level and doctorate level courses, the total transfer credits cannot exceed 30 units. Although transfer credits may reduce the cost of the program, they will not reduce the overall length of the program, due to the three required years of the Integrated Professional Seminar (IPS I, II & III). The transferability of each class will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis after students are admitted to the program.

Are there any prerequisites?

Four prerequisite courses are required: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, Theories of Personality, and a diversity-related course. These courses may be taken at the undergraduate or graduate level, although post- bachelor’s applicants are encouraged to take master’s level courses in preparation for the doctoral program. Prerequisite courses are offered at John F. Kennedy University, although students may also take them from an institution that is regionally accredited or has other recognized accreditation. Prerequisite courses must be completed before beginning the PsyD Program; however, they do not need to be completed at the time a student applies to the program.

Is the GRE required for admission?

Not at this time.

When are the courses/practica placements offered?

Generally, courses are offered Mondays through Thursdays, throughout the day and evening. Elective courses may be taught on weekends. The schedule is created considering the time preferences of current students and faculty and is subject to change. Practicum placements are available every day of the week and usually include both day and evening hours.

What is the clinical dissertation project?

This is an intensive study in an area of the individual student’s interest. The clinical dissertation project should demonstrate the student’s ability to formulate, investigate, and describe a specific and well-defined topic using available research findings. Our students’ dissertation projects are original scholarly works that have both clinical and multicultural relevance.

How do I find my practica/internship?

The training committee places all first year students in ethnographic placements. Beyond the first year, students obtain approval to apply for various clinical practica and internships. Directories of approved sites are available for student review. BAPIC, CAPIC, APPIC, and APA host websites identifying and describing various internship placements. Students consult with advisors and the training director throughout the process.

Will the practica/internships be paid?

Practica experience will most likely not be paid. Internships may be paid or unpaid. All students who enter APA-approved internships will receive stipends.