FAQs - The PsyD Degree

The PsyD Degree

Do you offer a PhD program or other master's degree in behavioral sciences?

We do not offer a PhD In addition to our PsyD degree, the university does offer master's degrees at our Portland Center, a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling. These degrees are separate from the PsyD program with their own location, faculty and curriculum.

What is the difference between the PsyD and PhD?

The difference between these two degrees in clinical psychology tends to be one of emphasis. The PhD traditionally emphasizes research in topics within the field, whereas the PsyD tends to emphasize practice. However, most clinical psychology PhD programs provide clinical practice experience and many PsyD programs provide research. At George Fox University, the PsyD program includes research and our students are encouraged to complete their dissertation by the fourth year. All GDCP dissertations need not be empirical; most will be similar to those from many PhD programs. If you are interested in more client contact and supervision, the PsyD degree would likely be the better fit for you. In addition, there is a growing trend to hire people who hold PsyD degrees for academic positions, traditionally the exclusive domain of the PhD.

What is the difference between the PsyD and the master's program in counseling?

Our PsyD students receive four years of clinical training in practicum settings followed by a one-year full-time clinical internship, or equivalent. Psychologists alone are trained extensively in the area of diagnostic assessment, such as personality, intellectual, and neuropsychological evaluation. In addition, there is a greater emphasis upon understanding and contributing to a research and theoretical literature. People with doctoral-level training have more autonomy and greater flexibility in the types of clients they see and job settings available than those with master's-level training.
Our master programs in counseling and marriage and family therapy are approved by the state of Oregon. These programs lead to licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). We encourage you to call our admission office to discuss which program is right for you.

Do you offer assistance with job placement?

George Fox University Career Services is available to current students and alumni (careers@georgefox.edu or 503/554-2330). In addition, faculty often assist students locating and applying for jobs throughout the United States.

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