Psychology — Ph.D.
Director of clinical training
David A. Vermeersch
The APA-accredited Ph.D. degree program in clinical psychology has been informed by the traditional scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes training in research and clinical practice. The Ph.D. degree program is designed to be completed in six years (or approximately twenty-four quarters of full-time enrollment).
The specific objective of the Ph.D. degree program is to provide students:
- a solid academic foundation (with a minimum accepted grade of B or Satisfactory (S),
- high-level training in the empirical methods of science so that they are capable of conducting independent and original research,
- the skills to be highly competent clinicians for whom research and practice constantly inform each other, and
- preparation for academic careers involving research as a significant component.
Among the outcomes measures used to determine the Ph.D. degree program's success in achieving the above-mentioned objectives are the following:
- Psychological science foundation and clinical course performance, as well as successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
- Training in empirical methods of science—performance in research methods and statistics courses, thesis, and dissertation; presentations, publications, and grants; research and teaching assistantships; teaching positions in area colleges/universities; and membership in scientific/professional organizations.
- Clinical skills—performance in general clinical, assessment, and treatment courses; ongoing clinical evaluations from practicum placements and internship; and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
The clinical Ph.D. degree program requires completion of course work in the following areas: psychological science foundations, quantitative/research foundations, wholeness, general and elective courses, psychological assessment and treatment, clinical practice, and research. The specific course requirements are predicated on the training model (i.e., scientist-practitioner). The specific curriculum requirements associated with the Ph.D. degree program are indicated below.
With regard to elective courses, all students are required to complete a specified number of elective units for the completion of their degree. The department offers elective course work in specialty areas such as clinical health psychology, neuroscience and neuropsychology, clinical child psychology, and social/cultural health psychology, among other areas.
Students have the option (but are not required) to utilize 12 units of their total elective unit requirement to fulfill a professional concentration. In order to complete a professional concentration, students must submit a formal proposal to the Department Academic Affairs Committee indicating the 12 elective units they propose to use toward the completion of their professional concentration, as well as the proposed title of the professional concentration. The Department Academic Affairs Committee will consider each proposal individually in making a recommendation to support/not support the proposed concentration.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. 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
telephone: 202/336-5979; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation
In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Behavioral Health and the Faculty of Graduate Studies admissions requirements, the following minimum criteria are preferable to be considered for a pre-admission interview:
- A bachelor's degree in psychology or a related discipline.
- An undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale or a master’s degree G.P.A. of 3.3 or higher from a regionally accredited graduate program
- Verbal and quantitative scores, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test: The sum of the GRE verbal and quantitative percentile rankings must equal or exceed 100, and neither percentile ranks can be below the 35th percentile. Only the most current GRE scores are admissible (exam must have been taken within the last 5 years and the most recent dated exam will be considered). The GRE psychology subject examination is not required.
- Writing assessment, GRE general test: The GRE analytical writing section score must equal 4.0 or higher.
- Structured pre-admission interview by invitation: The psychology department requires a structured pre-admissions interview.
- Recommendation letters: Three letters of recommendation from professionals unrelated to the applicant and qualified to assess the applicant’s potential for graduate education. A minimum of two letters are preferred from current or previous professors.
Any exceptions to the established G.P.A. and GRE minimum criteria, or any other admissions criteria, are made at faculty discretion and grounded on faculty’s overall assessment of the applicant and his/her credentials (e.g., demonstrated record of scholarship and/or specialized research training, strength of the applicant’s prior academic training /institution, strength of applicant’s letters of recommendation, and previous clinical experience).
|Core Curriculum I: Foundations of psychological science|
|PSYC 524||History, Systems, and Philosophy of Psychology||2|
|PSYC 545||Cognitive Foundations||4|
|PSYC 551||Psychobiological Foundations||4|
|PSYC 564||Foundations of Social and Cultural Psychology||4|
|PSYC 575||Foundations of Human Development||4|
|PSYC 591||Colloquia (One unit each year for three years) 5||3|
|Core Curriculum II: Quantitative psychology research methodology|
|PSYC 501||Advanced Statistics I||4|
|PSYC 502||Advanced Statistics II||4|
|PSYC 503||Advanced Multivariate Statistics (required only for M.A. of students pursuing the Ph.D.)||4|
|PSYC 505||Research Methods in Psychological Science||4|
|PSYC 511||Psychometric Foundations||3|
|Core Curriculum III: Wholeness|
|PSYC 526||Ethics and Legal Issues in Clinical Psychology||3|
|PSYC 554||Health Psychology||4|
|PSYC 567||Human Diversity||3|
|Choose one course from each prefix||9|
Graduate-level Ethics 1
|Spirituality and Mental Health (or another RELR graduate-level relational elective)|
Graduate-level Theological 1
|Clinical psychology: General|
|PSYC 571||Adult Psychopathology||4|
|PSYC 681||Clinical Supervision and Consultation||2|
|PSYC 512||Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment||2|
|PSYC 512L||Cognitive/Intellectual Practice Laboratory||1|
|PSYC 513||Objective Personality Assessment||2|
|PSYC 513L||Objective Personality Practice Laboratory||1|
|PSYC 516||Neuropsychological Assessment||2|
|PSYC 516L||Neuropsychological Assessment Practice Laboratory||1|
|PSYC 581||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice I||2|
|PSYC 581L||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice I (Laboratory)||1|
|PSYC 582||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice II||2|
|PSYC 582L||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice II (Laboratory)||1|
|PSYC 583||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice III||2|
|PSYC 583L||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice III (Laboratory)||1|
|PSYC 584||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice IV||2|
|PSYC 584L||Evidence-Based Psychological Practice IV (Laboratory)||1|
|Possible electives include, but are not limited to: 2||18|
|Advanced Topics in Multivariate Analyses|
|Clinical Supervision and Consultation Laboratory|
|Management and Professional Practice|
|Human Sexual Behavior and Treatment 3|
|Drug Addiction and Therapy 3|
|Child, Partner, and Elder Abuse 3|
|Directed Clinical Experience 4|
|PSYC 597||Supervised Research 5||8|
|PSYC 697||Doctoral Research 5||43|
|Clinical practice 4|
|PSYC 721||Practicum Preparation I||3|
|PSYC 781||Internal Practicum 5||8|
|PSYC 782||External Practicum I||4|
|PSYC 783||External Practicum II||4|
|PSYC 784||External Practicum III||4|
|PSYC 785||External Practicum IV||4|
|PSYC 798||Pre-Internship 5||16|
|PSYC 799B||Internship (10 units per quarters [2000 hours]) 5||40|
RELE 600 level courses will also be accepted
Students may meet their elective-unit requirement through any of the following: 1) any elective course chosen from this list, 2) any other elective course offered by the Department of Psychology that is not being used to meet another requirement, 3) any graduate-level course offered in any other department in the School of Behavioral Health, or 4) any graduate-level course offered in any other school other than the School of Behavioral Health with department approval.
700-numbered courses do not count toward total graduate units required for the degree
Multiple registrations required to fulfill total required units.
Minimum required grade point average
Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of B (3.0) in all courses taken for the degree.
Students in the Ph.D. program must successfully pass the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is taken after completing the core curriculum. Though the specific format of the comprehensive examination is subject to change, the department currently utilizes the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) as the comprehensive examination. This examination covers the following domains:
- Biological bases of behavior
- Cognitive—affective bases of behavior
- Social and multicultural bases of behavior
- Growth and lifespan development
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Research Methods
- Ethical/Legal/Professional issues
Students in the Clinical Ph.D. program are expected to meet specified research requirements, among which are a thesis and a dissertation. The requirements for the thesis and dissertation are delineated by the Department in accordance with standards established by the School of Behavioral Health (SBH) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). For both the thesis and doctoral dissertation, a formal proposal must be submitted to and approved by a faculty supervisory committee. Furthermore, upon completion of each project, a public defense before the supervisory committee is required.
Advancement to candidacy
Students may apply for doctoral candidacy upon successful completion of:
- the core curriculum
- required practicum experiences
- the comprehensive examination
- the thesis
- the doctoral dissertation proposal
Normal time to complete the program
6 years — full-time enrollment required