The College of Health Sciences' Clinical Psychology Program helps you to develop the essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills for a successful career as a Clinical Psychologist. Utilizing a practitioner-scholar model, our APA-Accredited Doctoral Program will help you develop an extensive understanding of the theoretical principles in the clinical practice of psychology and the ability to use that knowledge in a clinical setting. Your training as an ethical, patient-centered caregiver will help you build your career as a member of tomorrow's healthcare team.

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Program Description

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Program Description

The Midwestern University (MWU) Clinical Psychology Program emphasizes a broad and general training in psychology.  Because the Clinical Psychology Program is housed within a medical school and healthcare environment, students have the opportunity to interact with many healthcare professionals. As part of an interdisciplinary approach, training provides opportunities for professional interaction and collaboration with other health care professionals through various formal and informal activities such as research forums and community outreach and involvement activities.

Program Aims and Competencies

The Midwestern University Clinical Psychology Program's central purpose is to train prospective students using a Practitioner-Scholar model of training through an academic curriculum designed to integrate disciple-specific knowledge in psychology and theory with the practice and delivery of evidenced-based psychological interventions, diagnostics, assessments, and scholarship. Training and educating within the program emphasizes the application of psychological knowledge and skills and the integration between science and practice in a manner that is respectful and appreciative of diversity and contextual factors

Program Aim: To provide broad and general training in clinical psychology that is empirically-based and diversity-informed to be able to practice as health service psychologists who deliver psychological services in intervention and assessment in a manner consistent with accepted ethical and legal practices; account for appropriate diversity and contextual factors in application; and incorporate scientific and evidentiary knowledge in practice using accepted professional wide competencies and discipline specific knowledge.

Program Competencies: The Program assesses student competency using a portfolio-based system (the Comprehensive Assessment Method in Psychology [CAMP]) to evaluate work samples throughout the Program for demonstrations of competency. The Comprehensive Assessment Method in Psychology (CAMP) serves as the Program’s focal point for information regarding its effectiveness in training students on the nine Health Service Psychology Profession-wide Competencies outlined in the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service psychology approved by the American Psychological Association in 2015. These areas include:

  1. Research
  2. Ethical and legal standards
  3. Individual and cultural diversity
  4. Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills
  6. Assessment
  7. Intervention
  8. Supervision
  9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills.

The profession-wide competencies demonstrate functional abilities and skills essential to the professional practice of health service psychology. CAMP was developed to evaluate competency through portfolios of student work samples, such as literature reviews, intervention tapes, and testing reports. Many of the CAMP assignments are included in course requirements and are therefore reflected in course grades. Course grades provide a general measure of developmental progress, knowledge, and skills, while CAMP assignments provide assessment of student achievement of competency. In addition to gauging how students are progressing along Program competencies, the CAMP system provides a concrete method for students to assess and monitor their own unique strengths and weaknesses as they progress in a sequential, and increasingly complex manner through the curriculum.

The profession-wide competencies are predicated on the acquisition of discipline specific knowledge that serves as the foundation for the identity and orientation to health service psychology. These core areas of knowledge base and foundation are acquired through the Program’s curriculum and include: History and Systems of Psychology, Basic Content Areas (Affective, Biological, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social Aspects of Behavior), and Research Methods, Statistical Analysis, and Psychometrics.

The foundational courses expose students to knowledge through learning experiences with primary source materials, critical thinking and communication at an advanced level, and integration of discipline-specific knowledge with practice. Diversity and culture as well as scientific and evidence bases of psychology are incorporated throughout the foundational classes through primary source articles and class activities. The student’s knowledge is assessed by course grades as well as a capstone project or specific class assignment for each area identified above.

The Program views self-reflection as a critical element in adopting a commitment to life-long learning and interest in scholarly activity. The developmental nature of competency achievement in a cumulative progression from basic- to intermediate-level tasks allows students first to acquire knowledge and skills in distinct areas of competency, followed by opportunities to demonstrate competency through integration and application of knowledge and skills on more complex tasks required within the profession.

FIELD PLACEMENTS:

The Clinical Psychology Program at Midwestern University (Glendale Campus) provides applied training opportunities for its students to integrate theoretical and evidenced-based knowledge with clinical skills. This is achieved through three types of training experience: (1) Clerkship (an observational learning experience), (2) Practicum, and (3) Doctoral Internship. Each of these training components serves to systematically develop, refine, and integrate knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes necessary to practice within the field of professional psychology. These experiences are designed to be developmental; become increasingly more complex and require more sophisticated and integrated knowledge, skills and attitudes as students progress through each level of training.

Field Placement Opportunities:

The program provides a broad and general training in psychology. The program utilizes field placements that provide valuable and meaningful opportunities to learn and grow in the field of health service psychology, and is consistent with a practitioner-scholar model of training. Practicum placements range broadly and reflect the breadth of settings that offer psychological services in Arizona and the Phoenix area. Sites range from the largest community based mental health service provider in the state of Arizona (Southwest Behavioral Health Services), the Arizona State Hospital, Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC), to Beljan Psychological Services (Pediatric Neuropsychology), Banner Boswell Medical Center (neuropsychology research hospital), and S.T.A.R. Academy (school based setting for emotionally and behaviorally challenged children).

The Program constantly seeks out new field placement opportunities for its students to work with diverse treatment populations and supervisors in terms of race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, age, sexual orientation. Approved sites provide sufficient opportunities for students to acquire, refine, and integrate their skills, while training with qualified professionals who mentor in an environment conducive to learning. Practicum sites are evaluated on their overall quality and adherence to the practitioner-scholar model of training. The DCT utilizes student feedback from evaluations of sites at year-end and informal discussions of their clinical experiences to determine which sites to retain for the next year’s cohort, which sites to discontinue, and which types of sites to add to enhance clinical training experiences for students.

Field placement training sites vary in the clinical opportunities they provide to students. Some sites may have more opportunities in assessment and others in intervention. Regardless of what site a student is placed, there is valuable opportunity to learn and grow professionally and develop clinical skills consistent with profession-wide competency areas. Through two required practicum experiences and clerkship experience, students can expect to be exposed to experiential training in many of the following tasks:

  • Perform direct initial interviews of actual patients (with audio and/or video-taping capabilities)
  • Conduct collateral interviews with pertinent informants and review records when necessary
  • Provide psychological testing with a variety of recognized instruments (preferably a mixture of measures)
  • Receive supervision and didactic training from qualified professionals in clinical activities
  • Perform ongoing psychotherapy/counseling with actual patients (with audio and/or video-taping capability)
  • Provide therapeutic services with couples, families, and/or groups
  • Participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning and/or case management
  • Provide consultation to agencies and providers in areas of psychological expertise
  • Provide crisis intervention to individuals in need
  • Document services
  • Have professional role models

Upon completion of a practicum, students should be able to use information from a variety of sources to: (1) provide a diagnosis and recommendations supported by specific and relevant data, (2) formulate a case summary that is theoretically consistent and well organized, (3) write a professional psychological report, (4) conceptualize a case and develop, implement, direct, and manage a comprehensive treatment plan, and (5) use appropriate empirical methods (quantitative or qualitative) to evaluate the outcome of their interventions. Practicum is designed to assist students in gaining the experience necessary for development in the nine profession-wide competency areas of the program, however it is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate achievement of these competencies through both successful completion of field placement experiences and work samples within the CAMP system.

Clerkship

Students benefit from early exposure to clinical and professional roles. Students participate in an observational learning field training experience called clerkship beginning in the winter quarter of their first year, after successfully completing an Introduction to Clerkship course in Fall quarter of the first year.  Clerkship students shadow, interact, assist and collaborate with health and mental health professionals in a clinical setting during their first year in the program. This introduction to clinical practice provides opportunities to observe the delivery of healthcare services with clients in a variety of settings. Clerkships are located in traditional mental health settings and broader healthcare settings.

Practicum

Practicum is a clinical training experience in which second and third year students are placed in a health care delivery system at a Program approved field placement site. Students learn to deliver psychological services under the supervision of a licensed psychologist in a variety of setting with diverse clinical populations. This 12-month field experience is coupled with an on-campus seminar course to process and reflect on clinical training experiences, and to integrate science and theory with their applied experiences.

Internship

Successful completion of the doctoral internship experience is an essential Program requirement toward degree attainment. The doctoral internship typically requires a one-year, full-time (or two-year half-time) clinical training placement in which doctoral candidates engage in clinical activities under supervision of qualified professionals. Internships are part of a national process where qualified students apply to internship sites throughout the country. The Program strongly advises students only to apply to APA accredited sites unless there are specific circumstances in which the student’s professional goals align with a site that is not APA accredited but an APPIC member site.

Accreditation

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The Clinical Psychology Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).  Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC,  20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979; Email: apaaccred@apa.org

Website: http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/index.aspx

Midwestern University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC/NCA), 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413; 800/621-7440.

This program meets the "Guidelines for Defining 'Doctoral Degree in Psychology'" as implemented by the ASPPB/National Register Designation Project. Therefore, a graduate of this designated program who decides to apply for licensure as a psychologist typically will meet the jurisdictional educational requirements for licensing. However, individual circumstances vary, and, there are additional requirements that must be satisfied prior to being licensed as a psychologist. Please contact the state / provincial / territorial licensing board in the jurisdiction in which you plan to apply for exact information. Additional information including links to jurisdictions is available on the ASPPB's web site: www.asppb.org.

Once licensed, a graduate of a designated program is eligible to apply for credentialing as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. Graduation from a designated program typically ensures that the program completed meets the educational requirements for the National Register credential. However, individual circumstances vary, and, there are additional requirements that must be satisfied prior to being credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists and listed on the FindaPsychologist.org database. Doctoral students may apply to have their credentials banked and reviewed prior to licensure. For further information about the National Psychologist's Trainee Register and the National Register application process, consult the National Register's web site: www.nationalregister.org.

Fast Facts

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Degree

  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

General Requirements for Admission

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • 18 semester hours of prerequisite psychology course work
  • GRE general test scores

Length of Program

The program is a minimum of 4 years. Student can elect to complete the Program in 5 years, which includes an additional practicum experience. See Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data tab for information about how long it has taken our graduates to complete the Program.

Details about the Class of 2021 (matriculated in Fall 2017)

  • Class Size: 27
  • Female: 74%
  • Male: 26%
  • Average Age: 28
  • Average Overall GPA: 3.48
  • In-State: 52%

Practicum Placements

Practicum placements are located in urban and suburban settings in the Phoenix metro area. Students are occasionally provided opportunities in more rural parts of the state.  

  • Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health facilities
  • Social service agencies
  • Diagnostic centers
  • Clinics
  • Independent Practices (Forensic, Family, Geriatrics) 
  • Corrections/Detention Centers
  • School Districts
  • Department of Veteran Affairs

Practicum locations at which students are placed include: The Reuter Center for Neuropsychology and Integrative Counseling; Banner Sun Health; Arizona State Hospital; Arizona State Hospital; Desert Heights Academy; Southwest Neuropsychological services; Prescott VA; Forensic Counseling and Evaluations; Childhelp; STAR Academy, Avondale School District

Career Opportunities1

  • Private Practice
  • Outpatient mental health clinics
  • Outpatient substance abuse clinics
  • Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Centers
  • Schools and school systems
  • Social service agencies
  • Research and testing services
  • Management consulting firms
  • Corrections/Detention Center
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

US Employment Projections and Figures

Data from the APA Center for Workforce Studies suggest above average growth (15 percent) for clinical and counseling specialists, especially for those holding doctorates and those working in school settings1

Median Salary (2009)1

  • Overall: $87,015
  • 0-5 years of practice: $69,950
  • 6-9 years of practice: $75,889
  • 10-14 years of practice: $84,000
  • 15-19 years of practice: $84,250
  • 20-24 years of practice: $90,000
  • 25-29 years of practice: $94,000
  • 30+ years of practice: $98,250

Mean Salary (2015)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics2, the following is the mean salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists based on data from employers of all sizes, in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas:

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

$84,020

Sources:

12009 Salaries in Psychology. Center for Workforce Studies, American Psychological Association. 2010, http://www.apa.org/workforce/index.aspx (accessed 2/14/13)
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S., Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014 Edition, Psychologists, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_622100.htm (accessed 9/15/15).

Admission Requirements

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To be considered for admission within our competitive selection process applicants must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. Completion of 18 semester hours or equivalent of prerequisite coursework in psychology, with a grade of B- or better, including:
    • Introductory/General Psychology
    • Human Growth & Development or Personality Theory
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Statistics or Tests and Measurements
  4. Graduate Records Examination (GRE) general test scores using the Midwestern University institution code of 4160.
    • Scores will be accepted from tests taken within the last 5 years
    • For more information about the GRE, contact Educational Testing Services (ETS) at 866/473-4373 (toll-free) or visit www.gre.org
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Demonstration of a people or service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities.
  7. Motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
  8. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues
  9. Commitment to abide by Midwestern University's Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy
  10. Passage of Midwestern University's criminal background check.

Application Deadline

Completed applications are reviewed by the Clinical Psychology Admissions Committee. Qualified candidates will be invited to participate in group interviews, during which candidates meet with Program faculty, staff, and students. All application materials, including evaluations in the interview process, are then reviewed by the Admissions Committee for final admissions decisions. Please see below for the application deadlines.


Priority Application Deadline - December 15th

Applicants who submit their completed materials on or before December 15th will be given first consideration for admission and will be notified of the admissions decision on or before January 31st. Those who are not accepted into the Program at this time will have the option of forwarding their application into the standard deadline (see below).

Standard Application Deadline - April 20th

Applicants who submit their completed materials on or before April 20th will be considered for admission and will be notified of the admissions decision on or before May 21st. Students are encouraged to apply after the standard application deadline. Applications received between April 21st and July 15th will be considered on a rolling basis for seats that may be available or placement on the alternate list. 

Additional Application Information

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