The Clinical Doctor of Psychology Program at CNU

Dear Prospective Student,

Thank you for considering the Clinical Doctor of Psychology Program (Psy.D.) at California Northstate University (CNU). As the Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, it is my pleasure to introduce our program.

We want our students to succeed. The Psy.D. at CNU is a small, cohort-based program. Our students learn and grow together, developing close relationships that will serve them well in the professional world. The intimacy of the Psy.D. Program is complemented by the larger university of CNU, where Medical, Pharmacy, and Psychology students attend classes under the same roof.

We believe in the importance of mentoring, guiding, and supporting our students. The majority of our faculty are licensed clinical psychologists, meaning that you will be learning from working professionals in the field. Our faculty also serve as academic advisors who meet individually with students at least four times per year to monitor progress and assist with attaining professional and academic goals.

We’ve done away with first-year practicum placements, where students often feel thrown into the deep end without adequate preparation. Before ever setting foot in a real-world clinical situation, our students spend a full year being trained in basic assessment, diagnostic, and intervention techniques. This is accompanied by our simulated clinic, where students work with standardized patients (professional actors) under the close supervision of faculty.

Well-prepared to begin working with real clients, our students then choose from among the numerous field training sites throughout the Greater Sacramento Area that have already been selected and screened by our Clinical Training Office. We are excited to announce that construction has begun on a CNU training clinic in which our students will provide mental health services to the local community.

We are a diverse institution that knows the importance of giving back to the communities that support us. Our students participate in outreach events multiple times per year providing mental health consultations under the supervision of licensed faculty and staff. This builds resumes while simultaneously developing confidence and clinical skills.

We are committed to helping our students complete their graduation requirements in a timely fashion and without incurring unnecessary expense. Our curriculum includes a year-long dissertation workshop and a semester-long internship application workshop focused on assisting students to complete their doctoral education without undue delays.

Our program will prepare you to take advantage of the growing demand for psychologists.  In the next seven years it is estimated the US will need an additional 60,000 psychologists[1], despite the profession growing at a rate of 14% per year[2]. This has created a very favorable job market with students who have a doctorate in psychology experiencing an employment rate of 98.8%[3].

At CNU, student experience is our highest priority. I encourage you review our program information and curriculum, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Sincerely yours,

Mark Ettensohn, Psy.D.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions
College of Psychology
California Northstate University


[1] US Dept of Health and Human Service. (2016 Nov.)
[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept of Labor
[3] American Psychological Association. (2017). Graduate Study in Psychology 2017. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.