Course Descriptions

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) curriculum contains five course series designed to cover the broad domains of Behavior, Assessment, Psychopathology, Intervention, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In addition, each semester contains individual courses that address key areas of competency. In years two, three, and four, the Practicum Case Conference provides space for students to present cases, discuss clinical experiences, and receive group supervision while they are engaged in external practicum training.

Foundations of Behavior Series

PSY 601 – 3 cr
This course focuses on the biological underpinnings of behavior including neural, physiological, anatomical, and genetic influences.

PSY 602 – 3 cr
This class focuses on the human lifespan, transitions through various stages of growth, and the intellectual and behavioral changes that occur across an individual’s lifespan.

Cognitive and Affective
PSY 606 – 3 cr
This course examines the ways in which humans learn, elements that affect memory, how thought processes are categorized, and a general overview of decision making. It will also cover response, mood, feeling states, and the interplay between behavior and emotion. Topics will include arousal, intensity, and interaction.


Assessment Series

PSY 720 – 3 cr
This class focuses on intellectual assessment of both children and adults. It also introduces students to assessment report writing, the various components necessary in patient interviews, and how to review supplementary information.

Personality and Emotion
PSY 721 – 3 cr
This portion of the Assessment Series focuses on tests that gauge a patient’s personality and emotional state. Measurements will include those that detect personality disorders and mood disturbances.

PSY 722 – 3 cr
This course is the culmination of the assessment series, using knowledge students have gained about both brain function and the capabilities of psychological assessment. Students will complete full neuro-psychological batteries and review cases of severe impairment, injury, stroke, and dementia.


Psychopathology Series

PSY 603 – 3 cr
This series goes through the DSM-5 reviewing mental conditions found in adult patients. Attention will also be given to the construction of the DSM and a comparison to the ICD 10.

PSY 604 – 3 cr
This course will review DSM-5 diagnoses that are most commonly found among children or adolescents. Special attention will be given to the autistic spectrum and learning disabilities.


Interventions Series

Child and Adolescent
PSY 710 – 3 cr
This course examines empirically supported therapies for children and adolescents.

PSY 711 – 3 cr
This course examines treatments for psychological conditions through the lens of behavioral theories.

PSY 712 – 3 cr
This course focuses on interventions for groups, with special attention given to the ethical and professional issues that differentiate work with groups and individuals.

PSY 715 – 3 cr
This course examines treatments for psychological conditions through the lens of psychodynamic theories.

Crisis and Trauma
PSY 803 – 3 cr
Students in this course will learn effective means to evaluate and treat patients in crisis or who have experienced recent traumatic events. Subjects covered will include a review of the legal avenues for treatment and the ethical responsibilities of clinicians.

Consulting and Supervision
PSY 804 – 3 cr
All psychologists will be consulting throughout their career, whether it is with other psychologists and healthcare providers or with members of the public and professional organizations. This course addresses effective means of supervision and spotlights ethical issues that present themselves in the supervisor/supervisee relationship.


Research and Statistics

Research Methods
PSY 613 – 3 cr
This classes prepares students to critically read research, understand research design, and to begin work on their own research and dissertation.  They will learn the strengths and limitations, means of interpretation, and the technical aspects of rigorous case study.  Students will learn the difference between correlational, descriptive, and experimental research designs and will be introduced to qualitative methods including meta-analysis and quasi-experimentation.

PSY 614 – 3 cr
In this course, students will learn to engage in mathematical modeling, analysis of psychological data, description, inference, univariate and multivariate analysis, null-hypothesis testing, power, and estimation.

PSY 703 – 3 cr
This course builds on the basics learned in Research Methods and Statistics, preparing students for a deeper understanding of topics that will be necessary as they move through the assessment series and start work on their dissertation.  This course reviews psychological measurement theory and techniques, scale and inventory construction, reliability, validity, evaluation of measurement quality, classical and contemporary measurement theory, and standardization.  This is also the first class that introduces students to the formal requirements of the dissertation process.


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Series

Human Diversity and Cultural Awareness
PSY 801 – 3 cr
This course will review the social and cultural context of both patient care groups and the clinicians themselves. Students are expected to promote a healthy and safe environment in the class while challenging their own preconceptions and attitudes. They will also be taught the latest research regarding cultural attitudes and norms and the way human diversity effects psychological treatment.

Social and Cultural
PSY 607 – 3 cr
The study of social and cultural behavior includes group process, attributions, discrimination, societal attitudes, and the interface between the subjects of sociology and psychology.

Advocacy and Social Justice
PSY 815 – 3 cr
This course teaches how to competently incorporate advocacy and social justice advocacy into students’ professional identity and behavior as a psychologist. It is designed as the capstone academic experience in the social justice commitment that the College of Psychology has made to its students and to the community.


Individual Semester Courses

History and Systems
PSY 605 – 3 cr
This course includes the origins and development of major areas in the discipline of psychology. The class will move through historical changes in the profession while examining the social and cultural factors that contributed to the advent of particular theories. The course will also examine the changes that have occurred in the discipline, its expanding role in healthcare, and its current state as a profession.

Standards and Ethics
PSY 608 – 3 cr
This course reviews the current American Psychological Association’s Ethics and Professional Code through the lens of real world cases. Students will be challenged in their thinking as they move from recipients of healthcare to practitioners.

PSY 808 – 3 cr
Patients are often prescribed medication in conjunction with behavioral interventions. It is imperative that students learn about the medications that can be used to treat disorders, the resultant physiology, and their overall effectiveness.

Leadership in Organizations
PSY 811 – 3 cr
This course uses experiential learning, real world cases, class discussion, and the latest research to help students develop their own voices as future leaders in the healthcare industry. Students will also gain a deeper appreciation of the talents, skills, and abilities different professions bring to case formulation and the treatment of patients.

Dissertation Research Seminar 1
PSY 861 – 3 cr
This class takes place in the spring semester of the 3rd year and is designed to assist students with the completion of their dissertation. Students will find a supportive environment where they can work through challenges, seek feedback, and progress in a systematic fashion towards completion the capstone to their doctorate experiences.

Dissertation Research Seminar 2
PSY 862 – 3 cr
This is a continuation of Dissertation Research Seminar 1 and takes place in the first semester of the 4th year.

PSY 806 – 3 cr.
This course examines the interface between psychology and the law.  Discussion topics will include competency, violence risk, commitments, malingering, and testimony.  There will also be a review of common assessment tools and report writing for the courts.

NOTE: This course is being phased out of the curriculum. In the 2021-2022 academic year, it will be split between the fall and spring semester of 4th year.


Practicum Experiences

Practicum Preparation 1
PSY 650 – 3 cr
This course prepares students for starting work in the community as new practitioners. Students work toward understanding theoretical orientations, their role as a student volunteer, the rights and responsibilities of a practicum student, and procedural elements such as charting and organizing their appointments.

Practicum Preparation 2
PSY 651 – 3 cr
This is the second semester and a continuation of Practicum Preparation 1.

Practicum Case Conference
PSY 713/PSY 714, PSY 813/814, PSY 913/PSY 914 – 3 cr each
This seminar series provides space for students to discuss their practicum clinical experiences and receive feedback from their peers and the professor.

PRC 750/PRC 751, PRC 850/PRC 851, PRC 950/PRC 951, PRC 799 – 30-33 cr total
Practicum training promotes the integration of academic knowledge with practical experience in real-world settings, preparing students for future training in professional psychology. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students are placed in practicum sites offering diverse clinical training experiences. Yearly practicum commitments vary by site and training year. Some practicum contracts require summer commitments.


Internship Experience

PSY 960  – 40 hours per week for 12 months
Students participate in an APA internship, CAPIC internship, or work with a private psychologist to earn their internship hours as a psychological assistant. Part-time is available and requires 24 months to complete.