Doctor of Psychology

Doctor of Psychology

(PsyD degree)


The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program follows a professional, competency-based training model and is designed to prepare licensed, professional psychologists. While the PsyD degree provides training in the scientific foundations of psychology and in research methods and statistics, it places emphasis on the development of clinical skills. Since the initial endorsement of the doctor of psychology degree by the American Psychological Association in 1979, the professional model has been incorporated into the training programs of many universities and professional schools. The Graduate School of Clinical Psychology (GSCP) of George Fox University is accredited by the American Psychological Association. (The American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation is located at 750 First Street N.E. in Washington, D.C. 20002, (202) 336-5979.)

The central distinctive of the program is the integration of a Christian worldview and the science of psychology at philosophical, practical, and personal levels. The program offers specialized training in dealing with the psychological aspects of religious or spiritual issues within the Christian and other religious communities.

Program Objectives

Educational Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Competently provide psychological services in a wide variety of clinical settings
  • Evaluate, implement and apply psychological research
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Become licensed as psychologists
  • Commit themselves to the highest standards of professional ethics.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the PsyD program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and approximately 18 semester hours of psychology or other related social science credits. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Doctor of Psychology application form and application fee
  • Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Scales
  • One official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Four references (forms provided in the application materials)
  • An in-person interview

Transfer Credit

Transfer of up to 35 hours of credit is allowed toward the Doctor of Psychology program from accredited graduate schools (transfer credit is not allowed toward practicum or internship requirements). Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. In addition, only courses taken elsewhere within seven years of the date of matriculation to the Doctor of Psychology program will be considered for transfer. Consult the program website for specific details concerning transfer of credit. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 125 hours required for the Doctor of Psychology program, a minimum of 90 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the degree must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate School of Clinical Psychology (GSCP) faculty. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admission Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the program.

Course Requirements

The Doctor of Psychology program is generally five years in length with 125 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. This involves 93 hours of psychology coursework, 20 hours of faith integration coursework, and 12 hours of dissertation. In addition, 24 clinical internship hours are required for the degree.

The first two years of the program emphasize study in the scientific foundations of psychology and an introduction to clinical theory and practice. As the student advances in the program, the emphasis shifts toward application of basic knowledge through integration of these areas in clinical practice. Professional training in assessment and psychotherapy begins in the first year with course work and simulated psychotherapy, clinical training continues incrementally throughout the program, culminating in the clinical internship during the fifth year.

An optional emphasis area offers the opportunity for students to benefit from a generalist training program while directing some of their academic coursework, clinical practica and research into areas of specialty defined by APA. Current options for academic emphasis include psychological assessment, health psychology, religion and spirituality, and child and adolescence.

Clinical Training
Clinical training is a central component of the PsyD curriculum. Although it is a distinct part of the curriculum, it is also integrated with the academic course work throughout the program. The clinical training process begins in the first year and continues throughout the program, ultimately preparing the student for postdoctoral residency training and licensure as a psychologist.

Graduate Studies in the Integration of Psychology and Christianity
Integration classes involve studying biblical, historical and systematic theology, learning about world religions, and studying integrative themes in psychology and Christianity. Three core integration classes are team-taught with a religious studies scholar and a psychologist in the classroom together, helping students explore the relationship of psychology and Christianity. In addition, the psychology department offers colloquia integrating religion/spirituality and psychology.

Other Degree Requirements

GSCP Faculty perform an annual evaluation of each student's academic progress, interpersonal relationships, legal and ethical conduct, and clinical skills. Practicum supervisors also provide regular evaluations of students' knowledge, skill, and professional attitudes displayed in clinical settings. Students failing to act in an ethical or professional manner, receiving unsatisfactory evaluation by practicum or internship supervisors, failing to comply with George Fox University standards of conduct, or showing other evidence of deficiency in professional development may be dismissed from the program.

A Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology degree is normally conferred following successful completion of the first two years of the program and associated requirements. The MA degree is not designed or intended as a terminal degree; consequently, only students intending to complete doctoral study are admitted into the program. The MA degree is conferred following completion of 62 hours of course work, including 40 hours of psychology coursework, 9 hours of which are Faith Integration coursework, 1 hour of Research Vertical Team/Dissertation and 12 hours of clinical training (marked with an * in the Curriculum Plan below).

Continuous Enrollment
Students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout the program. While full-time enrollment normally consists of a minimum of 8 hours each semester, failure to enroll for a minimum of 2 hours each semester (summer term is excepted) will result in suspension from the program. Reenrollment will require application for readmission.

Professional Standards
Standards for graduate education in psychology, as well as for practice of psychology, are set by the policies of the American Psychological Association (APA) through its Commission on Accreditation and those of the relevant state laws and administrative rules. In Oregon, these include the Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Administrative Rules of the Oregon State Board of Psychologist Examiners. The design, structure, and processes of graduate education at George Fox University are influenced by these statutes and policies. Consequently, in addition to the policies of the university's graduate program, students in the psychology program are expected to know and abide by the professional standards established by these regulatory agencies. Both faculty and students are expected to adhere to the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002).

Additional Information
Additional program information can be obtained on the program website. Among this material is an FAQ page within which can be found information concerning time to completion, program costs, success in internship placement, attrition rates and licensure following graduation.

Graduation Requirements

In order to complete the Doctor of Psychology program students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 125 semester hours of coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Retake a designated course if a grade below a B- is received (for more specific information, please refer to the GSCP Handbook)
  • Successfully pass the Comprehensive Clinical Exam. The Comprehensive Clinical Exam has two components, a Scientific Foundations Exam (SFE) and Clinical Intervention and Assessment Exam (CIAE). The first component is a Scientific Foundations Exam that ensures a student has acquired a minimal level of achievement related to the scientific and theoretical aspects of academic psychology. Students are required to pass this exam before they can advance to doctoral candidacy, including the scheduling or defense of their preliminary dissertation proposal. The second component is the Clinical Intervention and Assessment Exam, which demonstrates a minimum level of achievement in conceptualization from a specific theoretical orientation, the selection of evidenced-based interventions, the use of standardized assessment data to inform their understanding of the client and clinical practice, and the ability to assess and respond to outcome data. The CIAE must be passed before student begins the internship application process (see GSCP handbook for additional details).
  • Complete the equivalent of a one-year full-time clinical internship (normally 50 weeks and 2,000 clock hours; 24 semester hours)
  • Successfully defend the doctoral dissertation (minimum of 12 hours) and submit related documentation components (See the GSCP Student/Clinical Training Handbook)

Curriculum Plan

Core Psychology Courses (58 hours)
PSYD 501 Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy* 3
PSYD 502 Psychopathology* 3
PSYD 503 Learning, Cognition, and Emotion* 3
PSYD 504 Social Psychology* 3
PSYD 505 Lifespan Development* 3
PSYD 507 History and Systems of Psychology* 3
PSYD 509 Biological Basis of Behavior 3
PSYD 511 Psychometrics and Test Development* 3
PSYD 512 Statistics 3
PSYD 513 Research Design* 3
PSYD 517 Ethics for Psychologists* 3
PSYD 518 Professional Issues 2
PSYD 521 Personality Assessment* 3
PSYD 522 Cognitive Assessment* 4
PSYD 541 Multicultural Issues in Therapy 3
PSYD 551 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy* 3
PSYD 552 Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy* 3
PSYD 563 Family Therapy in a Diverse Culture 3
PSYD 591 Consultation, Education, and Program Evaluation I 1
PSYD 592 Consultation, Education, and Program Evaluation II 1
PSYD 593 Supervision and Management of Psychological Services I 1
PSYD 594 Supervision and Management of Psychological Services II 1
Core Psychology Course Electives (3 hours)
Students must select 3 hours from the following courses:
PSYD 524 Comprehensive Psychological Assessment 3
PSYD 527 Neuropsychological Assessment Foundations 2
PSYD 528 Neuropsychological Assessment Interpretation 1
Faith Integration Courses (20 hours)
PSYD 571 Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Psychotherapy* 3
PSYD 572 Bible Survey for Psychologists* 4
PSYD 574 Spiritual and Religious Diversity in Professional Psychology 3
PSYD 578 Christian History and Theology Survey for Psychologists 4
PSYD 579 Spiritual and Religious Issues in Professional Psychology 2
PSYD 616 Spiritual Formation 1* 2
PSYD 617 Spiritual Formation 2 .5
PSYD 618 Spiritual Formation 3 .5
PSYD 619 Spiritual Formation 4 .5
PSYD 620 Spiritual Formation 5 .5
Clinical Training (24 hours)
PSYD 530 Clinical Foundations I* 3
PSYD 531 Clinical Foundations II* 3
PSYD 532 Practicum I* 3
PSYD 533 Practicum I* 3
PSYD 535 Practicum II 3
PSYD 536 Practicum II 3
PSYD 538 Preinternship 3
PSYD 539 Preinternship 3
Clinical Psychology Electives (8 hours)
PSYD 510 Psychopharmacology 2
PSYD 516 Child and Adolescent Treatment 2
PSYD 523 Projective Assessment 2
PSYD 526 Child and Adolescent Therapy and Assessment 2
PSYD 556 Contemporary Psychoanalytic Therapy 3
PSYD 561 Group Psychotherapy 3
PSYD 562 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 3
PSYD 581 Human Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction 2
PSYD 582 Substance Abuse 2
PSYD 587 Health Psychology 3
Dissertation (12 hours)
PSYD 801 Research Team - I* 1
PSYD 802 Research Team - II 2
PSYD 803 Research Team - III 3
PSYD 655 Dissertation (continuation as needed) 2
Clinical Internship (24 hours)
PSYD 610-615 Clinical Internship 24
PSYD 655 is required for students who do not finish their dissertation research within the minimum 12 hours. PSYD 655 is repeatable until the dissertation is finished.
College of Behavioral and Health Sciences Course Descriptions