Q: What sets PCOM's Clinical PsyD program apart from others?
A: PCOM's APA-accredited Clinical PsyD program trains practitioner-scholar psychologists to offer assessment, therapeutic interventions and follow-up which are firmly rooted in methods of scientific inquiry. We offer specialized training in cognitive-behavioral therapy. At PCOM, we train psychologists to work in primary care settings or in collaboration with the primary care physician to treat the whole person. Our students have the unique opportunity to demonstrate their acquisition of these skills through annual STEPPS exercises, during which students conduct intake evaluation sessions with standardized mental health patients. "SPs" are individuals who are trained to realistically simulate mental health conditions in a standardized way.
Q: Why must the program be completed on a full-time basis?
A: The Clinical PsyD program must be completed on a full-time basis according to the prescribed course sequence in order to maintain cohesion and support within a cohort, and to allow students to fulfill the program residency requirements established by the American Psychological Association.
Q: When are the courses held?
A: Because we recruit the in-practice professional, our courses are held on weekday evenings starting at 4:00pm. A few courses are offered on weekends (typically electives). We utilize a quarter term system: fall term is August-November, winter term is November-February, spring term is March-May, and summer term is May-August. There is typically a one-week break between terms.
Q: What does the comprehensive examination involve?
A: The comprehensive examination is a 3-part exam. The objective (200 multiple-choice questions) and take-home essay portions are taken following the completion of the first two years of required coursework. The STEPPS portion of the exam is completed following students' 3rd year in the program. Students are given 3 attempts at successfully completing each portion. The exams must be taken upon eligibility according to the prescribed course sequence. Upon the successful completion of all three portions, doctoral candidacy is achieved and students are awarded the MS in Clinical Psychology degree.