PsyD Clinical Psychology

As one of the first PsyD programs in the nation, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology has offered a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) since 1976. The mission of the PsyD program is to train doctoral-level practitioner/scholars who have foundational interpersonal and scientific skills, a functional mastery of psychological assessment and intervention, and can apply this knowledge and skill in a range of settings.

We aim to train psychologists who contribute to the common good through their interpersonal awareness and skill. Students graduate from GSPP as psychologists with a solid grounding in psychology's scientific, ethical and professional foundations, with skills in assessment and intervention that can be applied to many contexts and communities.

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    Specialty Coursework

    We offer training in a variety specialty areas including Latinx Psychology, Military Psychology, Oncology Psychology, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorder Psychology.

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    Foundations of Diversity

    Our required multicultural sequence ensures students are prepared to work with diverse populations.

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    Clinical Experience from Day One

    Clinical practice begins in the first quarter of the program at DU's community-based psychological center. Additional fieldwork opportunities are available through our partnerships at 130 different practicum sites.

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    Exemplary Breadth

    We offer extensive hands-on and experiential opportunities to complement our students' broad base of knowledge along with their analytical and research skills.

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    Career Preparation  

    We connect our students with internships, mentorships and professional development opportunities to help ensure professional success.

PsyD Faculty Statement in Support of Black Lives

As a PsyD faculty with a wide range of opinions, we recognize that it is not often possible for us to speak with one voice.  Yet, we are uniformly dismayed by the loss of George Floyd,Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, and we are united in strongly believing that the lives, safety, and mental and physical wellbeing of Black people matter. We strive to understand the role that people and institutions, including ourselves, have played in creating and perpetrating injustice directed against Black individuals and communities. Furthermore, we are committed to continuing and actively deepening our understanding of our actions on Black students, faculty, and staff, and being strong advocates for our Black student body and community; we are dedicated to working on this together in full transparency and imperfection. We also share resources below organized by GSPP faculty Apryl Alexander and Lavita Nadkarni.

Katy Barrs, Peter Buirski, Terri Davis, Jenny Erickson Cornish, Kim Gorgens, Laurie Ivey, Michael Karson, Fernand Lubuguin, Hale Martin, John McNeill, Laura Meyer, Lavita Nadkarni, Henrietta Pazos, Shelly Smith-Acuna, Nicole Taylor, Jennifer Tippett, and Tracy Vozar

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Program Overview

The PsyD Program at GSPP is committed to providing broad-based training that provides students the basis for general practice, with an adequate foundation to pursue specialty training. As such, we cover the following broad and general areas of psychological study through our 135-credit program. The curriculum includes required and elective coursework in the following areas:

  • Theoretical & Scientific Bases

    We provide a four-course theory sequence that is supplemented with a fifth elective. These courses address both the history and scientific foundation of each area of psychology.

    • Psychoanalytic Models
    • Behavioral/Contextual Models
    • Cognitive Bases of Behavior Models
    • Systems Models
    • History and Systems of Psychology
    • Humanistic-Existential Theory and Therapy (elective)
  • Research Methodology & Data Analysis

    The research and data analysis area begins with two statistics courses that review the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics for evaluating clinically relevant questions. The quantitative research design course focuses on how to critique and integrate the empirical psychology literature with critical concern for issues such as design plans, artifacts and applicability to clinical work. This reviews theory and techniques for assessing both ongoing processes and outcome effectiveness of psychological programs. A second methodology course deals with understanding, evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Finally, the third methodology provides theories and techniques of program evaluation.

    • Statistics for the Clinician I & II
    • Quantitative Research Methods
    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • Program Evaluation Techniques
  • Assessment

    Assessment begins with a theory course that lays the foundation for the assessment courses. It focuses on validity, reliability and standardization issues in psychological testing and the statistical properties of commonly used tests as well as clinical inference. This is followed by an assessment sequence providing students the background and skill necessary to administer, score, interpret and integrate results from cognitive and personality measures into insightful, helpful and even therapeutic effects.  

    • Issues in Measurement
    • Cognitive Assessment
    • Introduction to the Rorschach
    • Self-Report Assessment
    • Integrated Personality Assessment
    • Electives include: Advanced Personality Assessment, Advanced Rorschach Analysis, Therapeutic Assessment and Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Developmental Foundations

    The developmental sequence consists of three courses that consider the phases of human development from infancy through adulthood, including the relevance of personality theories and research. Attention is given to issues of culture and gender. Guest panels, community resources, videotapes and small discussion groups are incorporated. Child observations are included in the early phases, and a life review interview is required in the final course.

    • Infancy and Early Childhood
    • Adolescence and Young Adulthood
    • Late Adulthood
  • Social Bases

    Social Bases is a two-quarter sequence. The first course reviews both theories and techniques of understanding and utilizing group dynamics. The second focuses on the implications of social psychology/social cognition for the practicing clinician.

    • Group Interventions and Dynamics
    • Social Psychology
  • Biological Bases of Behavior

    The Biological Bases of Behavior area is covered with a two course required sequence, and two electives are provided. These courses are designed to familiarize students with the principles, terminology and research findings in this area.

    • Physiological Psychology
    • Clinical Neuropsychology
    • Electives: Psychopharmacology, Health Psychology
  • Ethical Issues in Psychology

    The Ethical Issues in Psychology course offers in-depth consideration of ethical standards applicable to the science and practice of psychology. Ethical issues are also covered in each of our professional seminar courses.

    • Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • Individual & Cultural Diversity

    Individual and cultural diversity are addressed throughout the curriculum, as well as in our four-quarter multicultural sequence.

    • Racial/Ethnic Identity Development
    • Social Psychology of Racism and Oppression
    • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues
    • Culturally Competent Psychotherapy
  • Diagnosis & Psychopathology

    Most of the intervention electives address issues of diagnosis and psychopathology. We also offer a specific diagnosis class and an elective in adult psychopathology.

    • Diagnosis and Classification
    • Adult Psychopathology I, II, & III
  • Supervision & Consultation

    Students are expected to address issues of supervision and consultation in advanced seminars, and the foundations for consultation theory are addressed in the Systems Models class. Advanced students can also elect to do a supervision practicum.

    • Supervision
    • Business Issues in Psychology
    • Supervision Practicum
  • Effective Therapeutic Interventions

    Students can take clinical courses that build on the scientific foundations presented in the required courses, and allow students to explore intervention techniques and means of tracking and assessing their effectiveness. These courses are taught from a variety of theoretical perspectives and focus on several different clinical populations and problems.

    • Assessment and Treatment of Children
    • Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents
    • Couples Therapy
    • Family Therapy
    • Behavioral analytic principles I & II
    • Behavioral Analytic Case Formulations
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Intersubjective Theory and Practice
    • All professional seminars also address effective therapeutic interventions.

Course of Study

Specialty Focus Tool

The program provides a broad and general education. Each student also has the opportunity to choose a specialty area to increase depth of theoretical knowledge and skills. Examples include adult or child assessment and therapy, behavior therapy, family therapy, forensic psychology, behavioral medicine, treatment of women, Latinx psychology, or military psychology.

 

Specialties

Clinical Competency Exam

This exam is generally taken in the second year to ensure students demonstrate minimum standards for clinical skill and scholarship. It is comprised of three sections: clinical vignettes, clinical case conceptualization and clinical intervention strategies.

Doctoral Paper

The doctoral paper requires students to make an original contribution to psychological scholarship. They may choose to do a qualitative or quantitative research project or select another form of scholarship such as developing a case study or treatment protocol.

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Course Descriptions

Check out the most recent Graduate Bulletin for a full list of course descriptions.

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Clinical Training

Professional Psychology Clinic (PPC)

Students become staff members of the PPC and work with clients in the clinic each year prior to their internship. PPC client cases are supervised by faculty members, seminar co-leaders and individual community professionals.

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Community Field Placements

In the years prior to their internship, students serve in field placements for a minimum of eight hours per week. Sites may include mental health centers, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and residential treatment homes.

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Doctoral Internship

During their clinical internship, a vital part of our program, students gain valuable experience interning at sites around the U.S. and Canada and are able to pursue placements in a variety of settings. Our program has a 100% match rate to accredited sites. 

Past Placements
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Our Internship Consortium

At the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, our innovative Internship Consortium is a nationally recognized program and serves as a model for other similar programs around the country. 

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Meet the Director

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"I am delighted that you are exploring this program, one of the first PsyD programs in clinical psychology to be created and APA-accredited. Take your time learning about the program and deciding how it might help you fulfill your academic, life and professional goals. The knowledgeable faculty, committed students and dedicated staff can help you reach and surpass your potential. Developing and challenging doctoral students to becoming ethical, multicultural-oriented, competent psychologists is the purpose of this program. I welcome your phone calls, emails and visits."

- Terri M. Davis, Ph.D., Director

 

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Interested in Applying?

Learn more about our admissions process and tap into our available resources. 

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Program Requirements

  • GPA & Degree Requirements
    • Bachelor's degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.
    • Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.
    • Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Prerequisites

    Applicants without a psychology background (major or minor) must meet the department's psychology prerequisite prior to matriculation. The psychology prerequisite can be met either through psychology coursework or by obtaining a score of at least 660 or higher on the psychology subject GRE exam. Applicants should state how they plan to meet the psychology prerequisite in their application. For the psychology coursework prerequisite, applicants must complete four (4) psychology courses earning a 'B' or better in these classes from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants offered admission should be aware that all psychology classes must be completed before registration in September.

  • Standardized Test Scores

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.

  • English Language Proficiency Test Score Requirements

    The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for this degree program are:

    • Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 80
    • Minimum TOEFL Score (Paper-based test): 550
    • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5
    • Minimum CAE Score: 169

    English Conditional Admission: This program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

APA Accreditation & Contact Information

The program is Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the 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: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

 

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Learn About Our Alumni Network

At the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, our alumni base becomes your community for life. 

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