Director of clinical training
Kendal C. Boyd

The APA-accredited Psy.D. Program, influenced by the practitioner-scholar model, emphasizes training in clinical practice based on the understanding and application of scientific psychological principles and research. The Psy.D. degree program is designed to be completed in five years or approximately 20 quarters of full-time enrollment.

Program learning outcomes

Upon completion of the Psy.D. Program, the graduate will:

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

The Psy.D. degree program makes a systematic attempt to promote an understanding of human behavior in relation to psychological, physical, spiritual, and social/cultural dimensions. For this purpose, the program provides a positive environment for the study of psychological, biological, cultural, social, and spiritual issues relevant to psychological research and practice.


The Psy.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. Specific course requirements are predicated on the practitioner-scholar training model. Curriculum requirements associated with the Psy.D. degree program are indicated below.

All students must complete the same set of core courses. In addition to these core courses, students must also select and complete coursework in one of four specialization areas according to their interests and career goals: generalist, clinical child, health psychology, or neuropsychology. Students will also complete a specified number of elective units, depending on their area of specialization.

The Doctor of Psychology 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 the faculty’s overall assessment of the applicant and their credentials. Credentials include a 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: Psychological science foundations
PSYC 544Affective Aspects of Behavior 14
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/research foundations
PSYC 501Advanced Statistics I 14
PSYC 502Advanced Statistics II 14
PSYC 505Research Methods in Psychological Science 14
PSYC 508Psychometric Foundations 12
Core Curriculum III: Wholeness
PSYC 526Ethics and Legal Issues in Clinical Psychology 13
PSYC 554Health Psychology 14
PSYC 567Human Diversity 13
RELE 5__Graduate-level ethics3
RELR 540Wholeness and Health 1, 33
RELT 530Spirituality and Clinical Psychology3
Clinical psychology: General
PSYC 571Adult Psychopathology 14
PSYC 681Clinical Supervision and Consultation2
PSYC 681LClinical Supervision and Consultation Laboratory1
Psychological assessment
PSYC 512Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment2
PSYC 512LCognitive/Intellectual Practice Laboratory1
Psychological treatment
PSYC 580Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Foundational Clinical Skills and Common Factors3
PSYC 581Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy2
PSYC 581LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice Lab: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Laboratory)1
Area of specialization
Complete one area of specialization listed in the tables below.18-20
Students must complete the following number of elective units depending on area of specializatione selected: 216-18
Neuroscience GS 5
Foundations in Neuroscience 5
Cortical Circuits 5
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 696Psy.D. Doctoral Research (1-8)16
Total Units124
Clinical practice 4
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 Units80

Required for M.A. degree


Required total combined units for area of specialization and electives is 36. Students may meet their elective-unit requirement through any of the following:  1) any elective course offered by the Department of Psychology that is not being used to meet another requirement, 2) any graduate-level course offered in any other department in the School of Behavioral Health, or 3) any graduate-level course offered in any other school other than the School of Behavioral Health with department approval.


Fulfills service learning requirement


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


Strongly recommended for neuropsychology specialization students.

Areas of specialization

Required courses
PSYC 555Psychopharmacology2
PSYC 582Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, and Group Psychotherapy3
PSYC 583Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Emotion-Focused/Process-Experiential Therapies2
PSYC 583LEvidence-Based Psychological Practice III1
PSYC 584Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Child and Adolescent Therapy3
Choose two (lecture/lab combination is considered one): 16
Objective Personality Assessment
Objective Personality Practice Laboratory
Pediatric Assessment
Neuropsychological Assessment
Neuropsychological Assessment Practice Laboratory
Total Units17
Clinical child
Required courses
PSYC 514Pediatric Assessment3
PSYC 584Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Child and Adolescent Therapy3
PSYC 592Child Colloquium 33
Choose from the following:6
Autism Diagnostic Assessment
Pediatric Health Psychology
Behavioral Parent Training
Mindfulness Interventions and Stress Management
Modular Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training
Choose based on your primary research lab:3
Applied Imaging Intervention Research
Family-Based Intervention Research
Intersection of Pediatric Psychology and Developmental Disabilities
Community Engaged Research
Pediatric Health Behavior Research
Total Units18
Health psychology
Required courses
PSYC 537Applied Behavioral Medicine3
PSYC 546Primary Care Psychology3
PSYC 555Psychopharmacology2
PSYC 568Health Disparities and Inequalities3
PSYC 685Drug Addiction and Therapy3
Choose from the following:4
Cultural Research Methods in Health Psychology
Pediatric Health Psychology
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, and Group Psychotherapy
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice II
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Child and Adolescent Therapy
Human Sexual Behavior and Treatment
Child, Partner, and Elder Abuse
Mindfulness Interventions and Stress Management
Total Units18
Required courses
PSYC 516Neuropsychological Assessment2
PSYC 516LNeuropsychological Assessment Practice Laboratory1
PSYC 555Psychopharmacology2
PSYC 654Behavioral Neurology2
PSYC 655Functional Neuroanatomy2
PSYC 656Neurocognitive Disorders in the Aging Population2
Choose 3 units: 13
Objective Personality Assessment
Objective Personality Practice Laboratory
Pediatric Assessment
Choose one course (lecture and lab): 13
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, and Group Psychotherapy
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice II
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Emotion-Focused/Process-Experiential Therapies
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice III
Evidence-Based Psychological Practice: Child and Adolescent Therapy
Total Units17

If an additional course is taken, it will be applied to electives.


Units above 3 will reduce elective units.


Requires repeated registrations.

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, two failed grades (B- or below, or U) is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive examination

Students in the Psy.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 part of 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 Psy.D. programs are expected to complete specified research requirements, among which is the doctoral project, the requirements of which are delineated by the Department in accordance with standards established by the School of Behavioral Health.  For the doctoral project, a formal proposal must be submitted to and approved by a faculty supervisory committee. Furthermore, upon completion of the 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 and the required number of units
  • required practicum experiences
  • the comprehensive examination
  • the doctoral project proposal

Normal time to complete the program

Five (5) years — full-time enrollment required