Program Structure

Previous Graduate Credits/Transfer Units

The PsyD Degree

Who will be handling my file while applying for admission?

Ty Sohlman
Graduate Admissions Counselor

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Who do you recommend I ask for a reference?

Obtain references from people who have known you in responsible roles, for example, department chairpersons, professors, clinical supervisors and employers, rather than adjunct faculty, non-psychology professors and personal friends.

If you have not been in school for a number of years and do not have faculty to ask for recommendations, do the best you can. Ask current employers and other professional people who know you and your work well.

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Do you offer graduate student housing or married student housing?

We do not offer housing for graduate students. We do, however, assist students in the process of finding housing by connecting students to the cohort immediately upon acceptance and providing a list of recommended local housing and other resources to help students during their transition to Newberg.

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How do I sign up for the GRE tests?

We highly encourage students to register to take graduate entrance exams as early as possible. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is available on computer at local testing centers. To register, and for more information, visit the GRE website. GRE scores less than five years old are valid. Students taking the test multiple times will have their best scores evaluated for the admission process.  GRE scores are to be sent directly to PSYCAS.

You are not required to take the PGRE for admission, although some students may choose to take it as supplemental documentation to compensate for something lacking in their application file.

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What scores do you require on the GRE?

The admission committee will consider your test scores along with scholastic grades, recommendations and admission statements in determining acceptance into the program. We would like to see students score in the 50th percentile or above - typically a combined recommended score of at least 300 for the verbal and quantitative combined portions of the General GRE test.

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Is George Fox University a Christian university? How will my personal faith impact the decision to be accepted into the program?

George Fox University (GFU) is a Christian university, founded in 1891 by Quakers. All faculty and staff, and most students, in in the Graduate School of Clinical Psychology (GSCP) identify as Christian and seek to integrate psychological theory, science, and practice with a Christian worldview. Some students in the GSCP do not identify as Christians, though they understand both the Christian ethos and history of the program prior to admission.

 The GSCP’s enduring commitment to diversity is evident throughout every part of training, including our conversations about faith and psychology. We have coursework and training opportunities in religious and spiritual diversity which provide a dimension of diversity training often overlooked in doctoral psychology education. Also, because students come from a variety of perspectives regarding faith, we have opportunity for meaningful conversation inside and outside the classroom about religion, spirituality, and the integration of faith and psychology.

 Students attending the GFU GSCP recognize the Christian commitments of the program, expect to consider religion and spirituality throughout the training, and learn to respect religious and spiritual differences in one another and in their clinical training settings. All students complete 15 semester hours of training in faith-psychology integration, including coursework in religious diversity and spiritual formation.

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If I do not have much formal background in psychology, how can I prepare for admission into the PsyD program?

You do not need to have a degree in psychology to be admitted to the PsyD program. Generally, you will need 18 semester hours in undergraduate psychology courses. You may take them at your local accredited college or university or at George Fox University.

Recommended courses are:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Statistics and Research Methods
  • Personality Theory
  • Human Development or Child Development
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychological Tests and Measurement
  • Social Psychology
  • Learning Theory
  • Experimental Psychology

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Do you offer an alternative program formats, schedules, or locations, such as online or part-time?

George Fox does not offer the PsyD program via online, distance education or other non-traditional options. Students complete the program full-time as part of a cohort at our campus in Newberg, Oregon.

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How is research conducted at George Fox University?

We provide research in a sequence. Classwork is completed within the first two years.

  • First year: Students visit all of the research vertical teams (RVT). A team consists of a faculty adviser and second-, third-, and fourth-year students, all of whom are engaged in research at various stages.
  • Second year: Students commit to a team and choose a topic or theme. The faculty adviser of the team becomes their adviser. It is hoped that a dissertation proposal will be submitted by the end of the year.
  • Third year: Students begin research on their chosen topic. Often faculty advisers will take members of their team to conferences to present their findings during their third or fourth years.
  • Fourth year: Students are encouraged to complete their research in the form of a dissertation before beginning their internship. This allows students to devote full attention to their internship experience and may help in their selection of an internship site. We are pleased that a very high percentage of our students complete their dissertations on time.

Sample topics of current research include:

  • Cognitive testing in children
  • Validation studies on new projective assessment tool, Thurston-Cradock Test of Shame
  • Diagnosing ADHD among gifted students
  • Attention and working memory, visual perception
  • Sports psychology
  • Postmodernism (recent dissertations: modern parents and their postmodern teens)
  • Religious issues and integration
  • Spiritual well-being, spiritual maturity, spiritual disciplines
  • Marital satisfaction among psychologists
  • Marriage and family dysfunction and assessment
  • Rural psychology
  • Treatment of depression
  • Mental health services in a correctional setting
  • Child and adult memory assessment
  • The role of memory in exceptional spellers
  • Fathering and locus of control
  • Forensics
  • Social responsibility

Miscellaneous Opportunities: Faculty often include students in periodic training opportunities, such as providing consulting services on site at a Philippines missionary school or co-leading a training workshop to an under-served region of Hawaii.

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What is your policy regarding transferring credits?

Transfer of up to 35 hours credit is allowed toward the Doctor of Psychology program from accredited graduate schools. Transfer credit is not allowed toward practicum or internship requirements. Since our program is foundationally built for our cohorts and the class schedules follow a recommended curriculum sequence, transferring in credit does not shorten the length of the program, but it will save you money! 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. The faculty will consider transfer requests and evaluate transcripts once students are admitted into the PsyD program.

More about transferring credits

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If I already have a master's degree, may I be admitted as a third-year student?

At this time, we do not offer advanced standing. However, you may be eligible for transfer of credit. This will allow you to reduce your course load and curriculum costs while in the program.

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

We do not offer a PhD. However, 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.

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What is the difference between a PsyD and PhD in psychology?

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. Not all GDCP dissertations need to 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.

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What is the difference between George Fox's PsyD and master's programs 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 contact us to discuss which program is right for you.

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