Program Overview

The APA accredited Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program in Clinical Psychology prepares students for variety of specialized positions. Our graduates are eligible to pursue licensure as clinical psychologists, to supervise graduate student training in mental health related disciplines, to provide consultation related to mental health within a diverse range of communities and organizations, and to teach undergraduate and graduate students in topics related to clinical psychology. The PsyD program at WCU is a full-time, 5-year program (Fall, Spring, and Summer) which follows a practitioner-scholar model, preparing students for leadership roles. The program provides significant training in evidence-based assessment and therapeutic interventions through coursework and supervised clinical training experiences beginning in the first year of the program. The WCU PsyD program offers students the opportunity to choose a clinical specialization in Child and Adolescent Mental Health or Trauma. Elective courses (12 credits) and advanced practicum training experiences in Years 3 and 4 provide depth of training and expertise in specialty areas. Academic advisors are very hands-on in our program and help each student to select the courses that best support specific training goals that enhance the student’s learning. West Chester University has its own on-campus community mental health services clinic which is open to both the campus and broader West Chester area communities. This state of the art training facility offers a range of assessment and therapy services for a diverse socio-economic population. Supervised by licensed clinical psychologists, WCU PsyD students provide clinical services to children, families, and adults in the community. Clinical training within the in-house clinic begins in the first year of study and continues through year two (in addition to in-class coursework). In the third and fourth years, students continue their clinical training in off-campus advanced practicum placements within the greater Philadelphia region, while completing elective courses, studies in program evaluation, consultation and supervision, as well as their comprehensive examination and dissertation. The fifth year of study is dedicated exclusively to a full-time, predoctoral clinical internship.

 

Tracks

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Students may develop a specialization in work with children and adolescents through mentored research, practica placement, and in our elective courses. Drs. Ellie Brown, Lauren Brumley,Angela Clarke, Stevie Grassetti, direct research labs that focus on youth development. There are several practica placements where students seek externship training in years 4 and 5 including Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Centreville School. We also offer elective courses that help students further this child and adolescent specialization such as PSY 760 Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood, PSY 780 Trauma Interventions for Children and Adolescents, and other special topic graduate seminars. More information about these courses can be found in the Course Catalog.

Trauma

Students may develop a specialization in work with trauma-exposed populations through mentored research, practica placement, and in our elective courses. Drs. Ellie Brown, Lauren Brumley, Angela Clarke, Michael Gawrysiak, Stevie Grassetti, Lauri Hyers, and Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha direct research labs that focus on work with trauma-exposed populations. There are several trauma-focused practica placements where students seek externship training in years 4 and 5 including the Philadelphia VA. Finally, we regularly offer elective courses that help students further their specialization such as PSY 700 Adult Psychopathology, PSY 780 Trauma Interventions for Children and Adolescents, PSY781 Ecological Contexts of Trauma, and other special topic graduate seminars. More information about these courses can be found in the Course Catalog.

 

Program Highlights

  • Training in a state-of-the-art, campus-based community mental health clinic beginning in the first year

  • Clinical supervision from licensed psychologists who are core faculty members

  • Specializations in Trauma or Child and Adolescent Mental Health

  • Experience with outreach to underserved communities

  • Affordable tuition: WCU is the only public university offering a PsyD program in the region

  • Broad range of faculty research interests and publications

  • Faculty and student offices are collocated in the same building as clinical and research space

  • 14% projected industry growth through 2026 (according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • $85,000 median pay for clinical psychologists in 2017 (according to APA Center for Workforce Studies)

 

What can I do with this degree?

Our graduates are eligible to pursue licensure as clinical psychologists.

 

Applying to the WCU PsyD Program

To WCU Community Mental Health Services clients: CMHS is staffed by WCU students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. These students are under the supervision of WCU Clinical Psychology faculty members. If you receive services at CMHS and are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology, you should be aware that PsyD faculty are unable to consider your application for the WCU PsyD Program. The potential for multiple relationships arising is inevitable and in accordance with APA Ethics Code (STANDARD 3.05 MULTIPLE RELATIONSHIPS; https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/) to which our graduate students and faculty adhere, we are unable to consider your application to the WCU PsyD Program. This policy applies to WCU students, WCU alumni, or community members who currently are receiving, or within the last five years have received, psychological services (psychotherapy or testing) at CMHS.

 

Accreditation

The WCU PsyD program is an APA accredited doctoral program. APA has granted the PsyD program accredited on contingency status through July 21, 2024. Accredited on contingency status applies to programs seeking accreditation prior to graduating their first cohort of students. The first cohort of PsyD students will graduate in 2021. Questions related to the program’s accredited 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
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

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