Academic Tracks

The PsyD program requires a solid foundation in the theory and practice of clinical psychology for all students. Therefore, the initial phases of the curriculum address the basic areas of clinical psychology consistent with the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. Building upon this strong foundation, students may select coursework from tracks to begin preparation for their future professional roles. Tracks focus on one or more of the following variables: special populations, specific problems, identified theories and techniques, and special settings. As described below, Tracks involve a greater commitment and more specialized training than do Emphasis Areas. Students are considered for admittance into tracks after being admitted into the PsyD program. Track acceptance does not impact admissions decisions. Students do not need to select a track. Non-track students are welcome to take classes designated for track students if space allows.

Child and Family Psychology Track (C/FT)

The Child and Family Track is designed for PsyD students who specifically intend to dedicate their careers to working primarily or exclusively with children, adolescents, and their families. In the Child and Family Track, about 50 percent of the student’s coursework and field training focuses on child and family issues, with the remainder focusing on adult-clinical and general psychology.

Applicants interested in being considered for the PsyD Child and Family Track will indicate their interest at the time of application. Those unable to be accommodated in the track due to space limitations can take the child/family electives offered to those in the general program. Students start in the track during the first semester and commit to being in the track for their entire graduate program. If students’ career goals change, they must formally petition to transfer out of the track.

Students in this track have the same graduation requirements as those for the clinical PsyD program with the following modifications. In the first year, track students take designated sections with an enhanced focus on child and adolescent issues in Observation and Interviewing, Assessment, and Advanced Psychopathology. Also, it is recommended that they complete the first-year Practicum in a Child/Family setting. In the second year, track students take designated sections of Clinical and Ethical Issues. To meet the first and second year Theory and Technique of Clinical Practice requirement, track students must take family systems as their first Theory and Technique course.

In the third year, track students take specified sections of the Advanced Clinical Seminar and at least two of the four units of the Supervision/Consultation/Management requirement from Child/Family selections. Students must also take Advanced Clinical Skills: Child Therapy as one of their Advanced Clinical Skills course requirements. Either the second or third year practicum must be in a Child/Family setting involving families, children, or adolescents. It is recommended that the internship for Child/Family Track students be in a setting where at 50 percent of clients served are children, adolescents, or families. Also, the student’s clinical dissertation must focus on a Child/Family topic.

Forensic Family Psychology Track (FFT) – on hiatus

The Forensic Family Psychology Track is designed for PsyD students whose career goals are to specialize in forensic and clinical work with children, adolescents, and their families. A substantial portion of the students’ training will focus on psychological services to families and children and on the legal contexts in which these clients are involved, with the remainder focusing on adult-clinical and general psychology.

Applicants must indicate their interest in the PsyD Forensic Family Psychology Track at the time of application. Space is limited, but those unable to be accommodated can pursue forensic work through electives. The track begins in the first semester and students are committed to remain in it until completion of the program. If students’ career goals change, they must formally petition to transfer out of the track.

Students in this track have the same graduation requirements as other clinical PsyD students, with the following modifications. In the first two years, track students take designated sections in Observation and Interviewing, Assessment, Advanced Psychopathology, and Clinical and Ethical Issues. These designated sections offer track students an enhanced focus on forensic and family/child issues. Track students should complete the first-year practicum in a child-related setting. Track students must the family systems course to meet their Theory and Technique requirements. Track students also take a two-unit course entitled “Clinical Psychology and Law.”

In the third year, track students take designated sections of Advanced Clinical Seminar. They complete the advanced clinical skills and the supervision/management/consultation requirements through the following specific courses: Court Consultation and Expert Witnessing; Disability, Law and Families; Legal Competencies; Families and Violence; and Child Custody Evaluation and Mediation. Either the second or third year practicum must be in a forensic setting involving families, children, or adolescents. It is recommended that the fourth year internship for Forensic Family Psychology Track students be in a setting where at least 25 percent of the work is in a forensic context with families, children, or adolescents. The student’s clinical dissertation must focus on a forensic family/child topic.

Integrative Health Psychology Track (in development)

Integrated Health Psychology is focused on the psychological and behavioral aspects of physical and mental health, specifically how biological, environmental, cultural, social, cognitive, emotional and behavioral faculty impact health and illness. Additional factors related to health, illness, and/or disability include the health care system, health care policy, and health care providers. The PsyD Program has certain requirements for an area to be designated as a Track. These include sufficient expertise in at least twoof the faculty, placement opportunities for practica, and enough student interest so that Track classes fill with at least ten students. For this Track we have been adding a new feature each year, but are still short on being able to declare it a full Track. Nonetheless several features of a track on in place.

Students interested in Integrative Health Psychology are introduced to this emerging field which deals with the important psychological, behavioral, and social concomitants of physical symptoms, chronic and life threatening illness, and rehabilitation as well as speaks to the mid-body connection in mental illness Faculty have interests in health across the lifespan; ethical issues in medical and mental health care and policy; positive aging; health care disparities; the impact of exercise on health; stress management; mindfulness; substance abuse; children, parents and families with disabilities; collaboration with medical professionals; models of disability; telehealth provision in primary care settings; complex trauma and neurophysiologically informed interventions for complex trauma; risky health behaviors of adolescents; increasing diversity in the health workforce; clients with Multiple Sclerosis; cultural-specific health and health care access issues.

Students in this track will have the same graduation requirements as other clinical PsyD students, with the following modifications. In the first two years, track students take designated sections in Observation and Interviewing, Advanced Psychopathology, and Clinical and Ethical Issues. These designated sections offer track students an enhanced focus on the intersection of physical and mental health and working in integrative health settings. Track students must take CBT as one of their Theory and Technique requirements.

In the third year, track students must complete at least three units of the Advanced Clinical Skills requirement from integrative Health sections and must complete Consultation in Medical Settings as their 2-unit Consultation Requirement. Either the second or third year practicum must be in a integrative or primary care health setting. It is recommended that the fourth year internship for Integrative Health Track students be in a setting where at least 50 percent of the work is in a integrative health or primary care setting. The student’s clinical dissertation must focus on a integrative health topic.

Social Justice Psychology Track

The Social Justice Psychology Track is designed for students who wish to have a concentrated area of study in the provision of mental health services to historically underserved and culturally diverse populations. In the Social Justice Track a substantial portion of the student’s training will focus on understanding concepts of power, privilege, and oppression, and their application on micro (individual)-and macro-systemic levels of intervention. Faculty affiliated with the track have expertise in working with racial-ethnic minorities, in gender studies and LGBT issues, in disability, and in community based interventions and research.

Applicants interested in being considered for the Social Justice Psychology Track will indicate their interest at the time of application and submit a one paragraph statement of interest. Space is limited, but those interested students unable to be accommodated can pursue some of the social justice-focused course offerings, space provided, through the general program offerings. The track begins in the first semester, and students are committed to remain in it until completion of the program. If students’ career goals or interest change, they must formally petition to transfer out of the track.

Students in the track have the same graduation requirements as other Clinical PsyD students with the following modifications. Track students take designated sections of required courses with an enhanced focus on issues of social justice and service delivery to historically underserved populations. In the first year track students take designated sections of the Introduction to Professional Psychology course and Assessment. In the second year, track students take designated sections of Clinical and Ethical Issues. In the third year of the program students must take Consultation: Program Evaluation.

Either the second or third year practicum must be in a community setting serving a historically underserved population. The students’ clinical dissertation must focus on a historically underserved multicultural population and must include a plan for the dissemination of results to local relevant community groups or agencies.