Training Opportunities

Student Competencies

The clinical program offered in Fresno is designed to train students to be competent in nine broad areas:

  • Scientific Psychology (Social and Developmental Psychology, History and Systems, Biological Science, and Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior) links the core sciences with contemporary thought, research and practice in psychology
  • Intervention Skills enable students to plan, implement, and evaluate their work within a cultural framework
  • Ethics and Professional Practice proficiency prepares students to effectively and ethically intervene in a variety of settings, using a variety of techniques and modalities
  • Relationship Skills enable students to make interpersonal connections, maintain professional boundaries as appropriate to the multicultural context in which they are operating, and engage in ethical and professional behavior
  • Diversity Competence involves developing awareness of students’ own culture and the cultures of others as mediators of one’s world view;
  • Assessment and Diagnostic Skills (diagnosis, interviewing, testing, and report writing) enable students to engage in an ongoing process of evaluating their practice, research and teaching
  • Lifelong Learning engages students in self-evaluation and life-long learning;
  • Supervision and Management enables students to provide good clinical and professional feedback to others and effectively manage programs, and establish practice settings
  • Research and Evaluation prepares students to critically evaluate the research literature in service of clinical goals and to conduct applied research and program evaluation

Professional Training and Internship

The PsyD program emphasizes the integration of academic coursework with clinical practice. In order to integrate appropriate skills with material learned in the classroom, students typically participate in a professional training placement experience beginning in the first year. The professional training placement experiences completed prior to the full-time predoctoral internship are known as practicum experiences. The practica and internship constitute the professional training component of the program. Students complete their professional training requirements in community mental health centers, clinics, inpatient mental health facilities, medical settings, specialized service centers, rehabilitation programs, residential or day treatment programs, correctional facilities, and educational programs. Students are required to train in different settings each year, gaining experience with different populations in order to ensure a broad base of training.

Students are typically placed in a 10-15 hour/week practicum in the second semester of their first year, after successfully completing Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice I, Intellectual Assessment, and Introduction to Ethics. Second-year clinical PsyD students are required to participate in a 15-20 hour/week practicum. Third-year clinical PsyD students will spend 20 hours per week in a practicum at the Psychological Services Center on campus.

Assignments to the practica are accomplished with guidance from the Office of Professional Training. Each practicum agency is screened prior to being presented to the student as a placement. The student and his or her Professional Training Liaison make the final placement decisions jointly.

Fourth year students are responsible for obtaining an appropriate 1-year, full-time APA, APPIC, or CAPIC internship (up to 2080 hours) and are assisted in this process by the Office of Professional Training. During the time that students are completing their internship requirements, payment of the full internship fee is required. For many students, in the fourth year the internship stipend covers the costs of tuition and living expenses.  Students who intern at the Golden State Psychological Internship Association (GSPIA), which is CSPP-supported, generally receive internship stipends of $15,000 or more. GSPIA makes every effort to ensure that internships for clinical doctorate students meet the licensing standards of the California Board of Psychology and other states.

International students should discuss regulations and issues related to stipends well in advance with the Director of Professional Training.