The Psychology Department is committed to the professional training and development of doctoral level psychologists in the Ignatian tradition of cura personalis, which challenges students to serve and lead others in service.
The goals and objectives of the Psy.D. program exist within the larger context of professional psychology, the principles of the American Psychological Association, and the mission of Loyola University Maryland. The development of these goals and objectives was guided by the six original competencies adopted by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP, 1986-87 Mission Bay Conference); the recently adopted diversity competency (NCSPP, 2002 Chicago Conference); the Jesuit tradition of leadership and service; and the department's own mission and philosophy of training.
The NCSPP competencies of relationship (i.e., professional and interpersonal demeanor), intervention, and assessment form the basis for the first three goals. The NCSPP competency of research, the "scholar" dimension of the "scholar-practitioner" model of training, and the department's commitment to scholarly inquiry across all activities in professional psychology, form the basis for the fourth goal. The NCSPP competencies of consultation/education and supervision guide the development of the fifth and sixth goals.
These goals are based on the department's commitment to training students to adapt to the diverse and changing needs in professional psychology, its recognition psychologists will function increasingly outside of their traditional roles, and its model of training in which students are encouraged to develop unique professional identities. Given their salience, pervasiveness, relevance, and the department's commitment to both, the objectives and competencies of ethics and diversity are integrated within each of the six goals.
The program's philosophy, educational model, and curriculum plan are consistent with the mission of Loyola University Maryland and the graduate division. They are also consistent with the following principles of the discipline:
- Psychological practice is based on the science of psychology which, in turn, is influenced by the practice of professional psychology.
- Training is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for further organized training.
Philosophy of Training
The members of the Psychology Department are committed to providing students with a strong background in clinical psychology and to training students to understand and adapt to the diverse and changing needs in professional psychology. Training will combine a foundation of knowledge of the field with the skills necessary for a systematic approach to answering questions, resolving problems, and enhancing the development of individuals and groups, as well as promotion of the values and attitudes consistent with the practice of professional psychology. This training is built upon excellence in didactic and experiential methods of teaching and supportive mentoring relationships.
Model of Professional Training
The Psy.D. program endorses the "scholar-practitioner" model which is designed to train autonomous practitioners of professional psychology who will deliver mental health services and lead others in service to the general public in diverse settings. In addition, the program is designed to train psychologists who will critically evaluate and use the available literature in the field and who will use a scholarly approach, often in collaboration with others, to solving problems and answering questions at the local level.
The Psy.D. program is committed to a professional development model of training in which each student is encouraged to develop a unique professional identity consistent with the individual's own values, style, and philosophy. Within this framework, the program promotes the integration of theoretical and empirical literature in all types of professional decision making. Investigation of varying theoretical models, interaction with diverse role models within the profession, and supervised experience in a broad range of models are encouraged.
The program is committed to training students in a generalist model. As suggested in the philosophy of training, the faculty believe it is essential that all graduates possess a strong base in the foundations (i.e., both content and methods) of clinical psychology regardless of the extent to which they choose to specialize within the field. To support that base, each student receives training in a minimum of three theoretical models. The faculty espouse different theoretical models; therefore, most students receive training in a variety of them, including cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems, and interpersonal psychotherapies. All students receive training and clinical experience in empirically validated therapies. In addition, students pursue training in a variety of clinical settings with populations who vary in age, ethnic and racial identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
The proximal goals that specify the competencies expected of graduates of the Psy.D. program are as follows:
Goal 1: As service providers, colleagues, and aspiring leaders, students will form and maintain relationships with a sensitivity and awareness of professional and interpersonal demeanor.
Goal 2: Students will competently and effectively use a variety of intervention strategies that expose them to evidence-based treatments and outcomes.
Goal 3: Students will competently and effectively use a variety of assessment strategies, with an appreciation of their value, psychometric properties, and respect for ethics and diversity.
Goal 4: Students will be exposed to the theory and practice of supervision.
Goal 5: Students will exposed to the theory and practice of consultation.
Goal 6: Students will employ a scholarly, scientific approach to generating knowledge, addressing problems, and enhancing the development of the field through their research.
The Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology offered through the Department of Psychology is accredited with the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA), 750 First Street NE, Washington DC 20002‑4242, 202‑336‑5500.
Admission to the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is limited to a highly select group of students who have a proven competency in psychology through a strong academic background. The successful applicant will have received either a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited institution and obtained at least an overall 3.000 grade point average (out of 4.000) at the undergraduate level of study or an overall 3.200 (out of 4.000) grade point average at the graduate level of study. Applications are considered for fall admission only. The student's completed application will be reviewed and evaluated by teams of psychology faculty members, and a decision will be communicated via email to the applicant.
Students who are accepted for the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and have only completed a bachelor's degree in psychology will be expected to complete four years of full-time study plus an additional full-time internship year. Students who have completed a master's degree in clinical psychology may only be required to complete three years of full-time academic study plus an additional full-time internship year.
Admittance to the doctoral program in psychology is contingent upon passing a criminal background check. Each student recommended for admission into the program will be required to obtain, pay for, and pass a criminal background check. These background checks are routinely required by the Loyola Clinical Centers, schools, hospitals, and other agencies that participate in the clinical education of Loyola students. Failure to pass a criminal background check may make a student ineligible to complete requirements and result in revocation of the student's acceptance into the graduate program. Additional information regarding the criminal background check process will be included in the acceptance letter.
Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission .
All applicants to the Psy.D. program must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in psychology or another field. Applicants must have competence in the following areas of psychology: general psychology, social psychology, psychopathology, personality theory, statistics and/or research methods, tests and measurements, and learning theory or cognitive psychology. Students who apply with a bachelor's degree should have completed coursework in each of these areas, whether their degree is in Psychology or another field. Students entering the program with a master's degree may be eligible to begin the program at the second year of the curriculum, if they have completed graduate coursework that is equivalent to the required curriculum listed for the first year of the program and are eligible for psychology associate status in Maryland.
The above mentioned prerequisite courses are not only essential for readiness for doctoral study, but it is important to note that an outcome goal of the program is to adequately prepare the student for success in passing the National Licensure Examination in Psychology. A solid preparation in the breadth of psychology is essential for assisting the student in meeting this goal.
The doctoral program requires the completion of 126 credits for those students entering the first year of the curriculum and 93 credits for those students entering the second year of the curriculum (with a master's degree in clinical psychology), including credits earned for coursework, clinical placements, professional supervision, and dissertation. Students are also required to complete a full-time internship in the fifth year of the program. All requirements for the Psy.D. program, including the dissertation and internship, must be completed within seven years of enrollment in the program. This necessitates that students apply for the internship no later than the fall of their sixth academic year.
The awarding of the doctoral degree requires successful completion of all required coursework, clinical placements, internship, and dissertation, as well as passing comprehensive exams.
Grades and Academic Dismissal
University-wide academic standards can be found in the section on Academic Standards and Dismissal under Academic Regulations and Policies.
In addition, students who receive a grade of less than B- (2.670) in any course will not be permitted to count this course for their degree. Students receiving a grade of less than B- in a required course must retake and successfully complete the course, and are encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss this issue. Both the original and retake grades remain on the student's transcript and will be calculated into the cumulative quality point average (QPA).
Students receiving a grade of less than B- in an elective course must meet with the advisor to determine if they should retake the same course or substitute an alternative elective. In either case, the original course grade remains on the student's transcript and is calculated into the cumulative QPA.
It is the student's responsibility to make certain that the minimum QPA requirement of 3.000, which is a B average, is maintained. Students who fall below this level of achievement will be placed on academic probation for one semester, and must meet with their advisor to discuss their progress. Failure to raise the cumulative QPA to 3.000 in the following semester will result in dismissal from the program. Moreover, either the receipt of one F (0.000) or the accumulation of two grades of C+ (2.330) or lower also will result in dismissal from the program.
Academic dismissal may also result from excessive course withdrawal, academic dishonesty, or other unethical unprofessional conduct reflecting upon a student's ability to enter into the academic or professional field in which the degree is being offered. If the Psychology Department perceives that a student is not progressing satisfactorily in the development of the competencies and behaviors required at his or her level of professional development, a Professional Assessment Review (PAR) will be conducted for the purpose of remediation or dismissal.
Evaluation and Review
Each semester, the Psychology Department conducts a Psy.D. Professional Standards (PPS) evaluation for all Psy.D. students, evaluating their professional development in specific domains. Students also engage in self-evaluation. Students then meet with their advisors to discuss the results of the PPS. If significant concerns are raised about a student's professional development, the director of clinical training may appoint a Professional Assessment Review (PAR) Committee to meet with the student to discuss those concerns and provide recommendations for remediation.
In order to remain in the program, students are given three attempts to pass two doctoral comprehensive exams. The written doctoral comprehensive exam assesses knowledge and integration of material relevant to clinical psychology. The doctoral clinical oral competency exam assesses case conceptualization and oral presentation skills.
The doctoral dissertation requires the student to demonstrate a sound understanding of an area of professional interest and provide a scholarly contribution that may be of an applied nature. It is expected that the dissertation includes an extensive review of theory and previous research. An oral presentation of the proposal and an oral presentation and defense of the finished dissertation are required. The doctoral dissertation may consist of:
- the implementation and evaluation of a clinical intervention or training program, or evaluation of a preexisting program;
- a needs assessment, followed by a model for implementation;
- empirical or theoretical analysis of aspects of a model of psychopathology;
- the development and/or evaluation of an assessment instrument;
- the implementation and evaluation of an intervention technique using single case design methodology.
Case studies may be used in conjunction with one of these approved categories of dissertation research, but may not stand alone as a project.
Clinical Placement and Internship
The clinical placement and internship experience are integral components of the student's academic experience. Through these supervised experiences, students are afforded an opportunity to apply skills and techniques acquired from assessment and intervention-oriented course material. Students are supervised on-site by licensed psychologists. Clinical placement facilities have been carefully chosen by the department for the quality of their training experiences and supervision. Students also participate in group consultation and professional development on campus.
A minimum of 1,410 clinical placement hours are completed in the first four years of the program; students who enter the program in the second year of the curriculum complete a minimum of 1,260 hours in their second through fourth years. In either case, about 25 percent of the total placement hours involves direct client contact/intervention. The fifth year of the curriculum is a full-time internship, for which a student applies during the fourth year. The internship year may or may not be spent in the local area.
The Loyola Clinical Centers is the training clinic for the Psychology Department. Under the supervision of psychology and the Multidisciplinary Assessment Center, doctoral students have a wide range of training opportunities: child, adolescent, and adult therapy; individual, couples, family, and group therapy; and assessment. Located at Belvedere Square (approximately one mile from the Baltimore Campus), The Loyola Clinical Centers is a multispecialty clinic offering a wide range of services to the Baltimore community.
Each semester, a time period is designated for the scheduling of presentations by community professionals, faculty, or other students on varying topics relevant to professional psychology. Students also attend group meetings each semester with the director of doctoral education or other faculty to discuss their progress and needs in the program.
Program of Study
Students entering the program with a master's degree in psychology may be eligible to begin their studies at the second year of the curriculum. The following course schedule applies to those students entering the program Fall 2013 or later. Students entering the program prior to this time should refer to the curriculum schedule for their particular class.
Departmental facilities are available for research and clinical training experience. The Psychology Department also maintains a behavioral medicine laboratory for research and training. Additionally, computers are available for student research, with helpful tools such as SPSS, PsycINFO, and internet access.
The Psychology Department has a limited number of teaching and/or research assistantships available for qualified graduate students. These assistantships typically include partial tuition remission and a stipend. Psychology assistantships are usually not available to students during their first semester of enrollment in the master's program or the first year of the Psy.D. curriculum. Students who are interested in such opportunities after their first semester may complete an application, available from the department secretary. Students who are interested in assistantships or employment in other departments on campus may contact the Human Resources Office for further information.