Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Overview
In the CSPP, APA-accredited, PsyD in clinical psychology program in San Francisco, you’ll be educated and trained to use multiple methods of assessment and intervention, working with diverse populations across many settings and in changing contexts. The local clinical scientist model focuses on applying empirical knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and local communities, as well as using practice-based evidence to enhance assessments and interventions.
This PsyD in clinical psychology degree program follows a practitioner model that was initiated in the fall of 1991. At CSPP, diversity is not just a buzzword, but forms our philosophy; faculty of the PsyD program in San Francisco, believe in:
- Enriching our community with diverse identities and perspectives
- Students and faculty learn from each other
- Processing microaggressions if and when they happen
- Including cultural considerations in all of our courses
- Preparing students for a multicultural world
- Faculty working to embody diversity
- Diversity and social justice as core elements of curriculum
To learn more about this program and other offerings, visit our CSPP-dedicated microsite. You’ll find videos featuring our university president, dean of CSPP, and faculty, along with numerous interactive features!
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The PsyD program requires a solid foundation in the theory and practice of clinical psychology for all students. 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. These include:
- Child and family psychology track
- Integrated health psychology track
Learn more about these tracks here.
The program’s three aims are designed to reflect and implement the program’s training philosophy and training model, specifically preparing students to be health service psychologists who will function professionally, doing both applied research and clinical work, and will be well-trained to meet emerging societal needs. These three aims are:
- Train students to become clinical health service psychologists who bring critical thinking and active problem-solving skills to bear on human problems.
- Train students who can intervene effectively, using multiple methods of evidence-based assessment and interventions with diverse populations, in many settings across the health spectrum, and in changing and evolving contexts.
- Graduate students with the attitudes, knowledge, and skills to work professionally in a multicultural society.
All students are expected to acquire and demonstrate substantial understanding of and competence in the following nine profession-wide competency areas:
- Ethical and legal standards
- Individual and cultural diversity
- Professional values and attitudes
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
The competencies are met operationally through various academic and training activities that include courses, practicum and internship placements, and supervised research experiences. Multiple data sources are used to assess outcomes relative to these competencies. These competencies specify knowledge, attitudes, and skills that students are expected to achieve by the time they graduate from the program.
In addition, all students are expected to possess discipline-specific knowledge in the following four categories:
- History and systems of psychology
- The basic content areas of scientific psychology, including affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior
- Advanced integrative knowledge in scientific psychology
- Research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics
Psychology Internships, Practicum and Professional Training
A hallmark of our clinical psychology PsyD program is the integration of classroom learning and clinical training. Beginning in the first year and continuing throughout the program, field training placements are paired with a required course. By the end of the PsyD degree program, doctoral students will have a minimum of three years of practicum and one full-time accredited internship.
The San Francisco PsyD program offers unique community engagement opportunities for you to develop your skills. You’ll have the opportunity to be placed in agencies throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties.
San Francisco Bay Area Community Services and Placements
Conduct Meaningful Research
In the second year, you’ll begin working on a clinical dissertation, a major research project that demonstrates the ability to think critically about clinical and social issues and to make appropriate use of scientific knowledge and psychological research in professional practice.
Types of clinical dissertations include:
- Conceptual-analytic investigation with content analysis
- Case studies
- Surveys and epidemiological questionnaires
- Program evaluations
- Educational or clinical interventions
- Quantitative studies
- Qualitative studies
The San Francisco PsyD clinical psychology program is designed to allow you to complete the dissertation in the third year prior to beginning the fourth year internship.
San Francisco Program Features
The PsyD degree program in San Francisco offers two academic tracks. These academic tracks build upon the foundational elements of the program, allow you to focus your studies in an area that interests you, and helps you to better prepare for your future professional roles.
The two academic tracks offered at the San Francisco PsyD program are:
- Child and family psychology (C/FT)
- Integrated health psychology
The CSPP San Francisco clinical psychology PsyD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), which requires that we provide data on time to completion, program costs, internships, attrition, and licensure.
Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (.pdf)
*Questions related to a program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation.
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Our Campus Address
Alliant International University
1475 66th St, Suite 104
Emeryville, CA 94608
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Take the next step in your career
At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.
Founded in 1969, CSPP was one of the nation’s first independent schools of professional psychology. Today, CSPP continues its commitment to preparing the next generation of mental health professionals through graduate-level degree programs in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical counseling, organizational psychology, psychopharmacology, and more.