Psychology — Ph.D.

Director of clinical training
Holly Morrell

The APA-accredited Ph.D. 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 (approximately 24 quarters of full-time enrollment).  

Program learning outcomes:

By the end of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Show an advanced understanding of the science of psychology.
  2. Demonstrate skills for conducting independent and original research.
  3. Function as a highly competent clinician for whom research and practice constantly inform each other.
  4. Integrate whole-person care into clinical work.
  5. Consistently engage in activities that promote lifelong learning.


The Ph.D. clinical degree program requires completion of coursework 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.

All students are required to complete a specified number of elective units for the completion of their degree. The department offers elective coursework in specialty areas such as clinical health psychology, neuroscience and neuropsychology, clinical child psychology, social/cultural health psychology, and psychology of religion 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. A list of pre-determined concentrations can be found on the departmental website. If students wish to create a unique concentration, they must submit a formal proposal to the Department of Psychology Academic Affairs Committee indicating the proposed 12 elective units to use toward the completion of their professional concentration, as well as the proposed title of the professional concentration. The Department of Psychology Academic Affairs Committee will consider each proposal individually in making a recommendation to support/not support the proposed concentration.   

Under certain circumstances and upon recommendation of the Department of Psychology Academic Affairs Committee, students may adjust courses or numbers of units taken during the current and subsequent academic year(s) to best fit their program requirements. Also, upon such recommendation, students will be permitted to move forward as members of the cohort with which they enrolled.

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 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
telephone: 202/336-5979; email:; website:

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 an accredited college or university.
  • 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 five years and the most recent dated exam will be considered).  The GRE psychology subject examination is not required. Due to issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE General Test is waived for all 2021-2022 applicants to doctoral programs in the School of Behavioral Health. Please do not submit GRE scores through ETS or report your scores in any application materials as they will not be taken into consideration.
  • 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 their 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 524History, Systems, and Philosophy of Psychology 12
PSYC 545Cognitive Foundations 14
PSYC 551Psychobiological Foundations 14
PSYC 564Foundations of Social and Cultural Psychology 14
PSYC 575Foundations of Human Development 14
PSYC 591Colloquia (One unit each year for three years; one unti for M.A.) 13
Core Curriculum II: Quantitative psychology research methodology
PSYC 501Advanced Statistics I 14
PSYC 502Advanced Statistics II 14
PSYC 503Advanced Multivariate Statistics (required only for M.A. of students pursuing the Ph.D.) 14
PSYC 505Research Methods in Psychological Science 14
PSYC 511Psychometric Foundations 13
Core Curriculum III: Wholeness
PSYC 526Ethics and Legal Issues in Clinical Psychology 13
PSYC 554Health Psychology 14
PSYC 567Human Diversity3
RELE 5__Graduate-level ethics3
RELR 540Wholeness and Health 1, 53
RELT 530Spirituality and Clinical Psychology3
Clinical psychology: General
PSYC 555Psychopharmacology2
PSYC 571Adult Psychopathology 14
PSYC 681Clinical Supervision and Consultation2
Psychological assessment
PSYC 512Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment2
PSYC 512LCognitive/Intellectual Practice Laboratory1
PSYC 513Objective Personality Assessment2
PSYC 513LObjective Personality Practice Laboratory1
PSYC 516Neuropsychological Assessment2
PSYC 516LNeuropsychological Assessment Practice Laboratory1
Psychological treatment
PSYC 581Evidence-Based Psychological Practice I2
PSYC 581LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice I (Laboratory)1
PSYC 582Evidence-Based Psychological Practice II2
PSYC 582LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice II (Laboratory)1
PSYC 583Evidence-Based Psychological Practice III2
PSYC 583LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice III (Laboratory)1
PSYC 584Evidence-Based Psychological Practice IV2
PSYC 584LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice IV (Laboratory)1
Possible electives include, but are not limited to: 218
Cultural Psychology
Advanced Topics in Multivariate Analyses I
Advanced Topics in Multivariate Analyses II
Geropsychology 3
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
Seminar in Advanced Topics in Psychology
Directed Clinical Experience 4
PSYC 697Ph.D. Doctoral Research (1-4)51
Total Units157
Clinical practice 4
PSYC 721Practicum Preparation I3
PSYC 781Internal Practicum (2)8
PSYC 782External Practicum (4)16
PSYC 798Pre-Internship (4)16
Internship (any combination of PSYC 799A and PSYC 799B is acceptable)40
Internship (5)
Internship (10)
Total Units83

Required for M.A. degree


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.


California licensure courses


 700-numbered courses are in addition to didactic units required for the degree


Fulfills service learning requirement

Minimum required grade point average

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of B (3.0) in all courses taken for the degree. Furthermore, three failed grades (B- or below, or U) is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive examination

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 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 life span development
  • assessment and diagnosis
  • treatment/intervention
  • research methods
  • ethical/legal/professional issues

Doctoral research

Students in the Clinical Ph.D. program are expected to meet specified research requirements, among which is the doctoral dissertation.  The requirements for the  dissertation are delineated by the Department in accordance with standards established by the School of Behavioral Health and the Faculty of Graduate Studies   For the doctoral dissertation, a formal proposal must be submitted to and approved by a faculty supervisory committee.  Furthermore, upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, 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 doctoral dissertation proposal

Normal time to complete the program

Six (6) years — full-time enrollment required