Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology

Chair:  Cheryll Rothery, PsyD, ABPP

Psy.D. Program Highlights

  • Accredited by the American Psychological Association  
  • Requires 117 credits, including practica, internship, and dissertation. Students who enter with a bachelor's degree must also complete an additional 18 credits in the first two years of the program.
  • Students who enter at Year I receive the M.S. in Clinical Psychology en route to the doctoral degree in August of Year II.
  • Qualified applicants with master's degrees may apply to enter with Advanced Standing and may apply to transfer up to 24 credits.
  • Program may be completed in six years for students who enter with bachelor's degrees and five years for students who enter with Advanced Standing.
  • Classes are scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to enable students to complete practica or pursue other activities.
  • There are eight core doctoral faculty, six associated faculty, and four other contributing faculty members.  Of the core faculty members, seven teach in the doctoral program, and one is the full-time Clinic Director who supervises students in practicum and internship. The program is further supported by associated faculty members including:  1) the Director of the CHC Internship Consortium (who also teaches, supervises, and participates in dissertation committees); 2) five other  faculty members of the college who teach select doctoral courses, provide clinical supervision, and/or participate in dissertation committees. An additional four  faculty members serve on dissertation committees and provide consultation services.
  • Program follows a cohort model. Students who enter the program at the same time progress through the program as a cohort and take all of their classes together, thus facilitating cooperation, collaboration, and the development of personal bonds.
  • Optional concentrations available in Psychological Assessment or Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Theoretical orientation of the program is a complementary blend of psychodynamic and systems theories.
  • Lab courses enable students to practice clinical skills under supervision of program faculty.
  • Chestnut Hill College Assessment and Psychotherapy Clinic provides supervised field placements for students on practica.
  • Chestnut Hill College Internship Consortium provides local internship placements for qualified students. In 2014-15, the Consortium provides placements for 10 students. The Consortium is a member of American Psychology Post-doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).  
  • Structured sequence of mentoring and advising is designed to enable the student to complete the dissertation in a step-by-step manner prior to internship.
  • Assistantships that provide partial tuition remission are available for a limited number of qualified students.



Chestnut Hill College offers the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in clinical psychology with optional concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy or Psychological Assessment. Students who complete the requirements for a concentration will receive a Certificate of Concentration in addition to the diploma at graduation.
The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology prepares graduates to become professional psychologists with skills in psychotherapy, psychological assessment, supervision, and consultation. The Psy.D. program follows a practitioner-scholar model of training. Students are trained in clinical skills and also acquire a broad base of academic knowledge to permit them to evaluate and contribute to the scholarly literature in the field of clinical psychology. The curriculum is based on the list of competencies developed by the National Council for Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and provides the proper academic framework for the graduate to prepare for the licensing examination in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
Admission to the Psy.D. program is open to: 

  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution and at least 12 undergraduate credits (4 courses) in psychology. These applicants enter via the M.S./Psy.D. track and earn the M.S. in Clinical Psychology en route to the Psy.D. degree.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in clinical and/or counseling psychology, or a closely related field. These applicants may be eligible for admission directly to Year II of the Psy.D. program. For criteria for admission with Advanced Standing, see Psy.D. Program: Admissions.

The program will also accept a limited number of students transferring from other APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical psychology.  (See Doctoral Admissions for information relevant to these applicants.)


The Doctoral Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, national origin, disability, relationship status, or on the basis of any other criteria that is inconsistent with state or local laws in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, or financial aid.


Theoretical Orientation

The theoretical orientation of the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College is a complementary blend of psychodynamic and systems theories. Psychodynamic theory serves as a method for understanding the personality formation and inner psychological world of the individual. The perspective of systems theory provides students with the understanding of the ways in which individuals, families, and communities influence one another.


David Pulley_Commencement2013Program Goals

The goals of the Psy.D. Program are as follows:

  • To prepare students to become competent practitioners of clinical psychology by facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for effective clinical practice.
  • To foster respect for human diversity and to enable students to work effectively with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • To foster ethical thinking and behavior in professional work and appreciation of legal and quality assurance principles that have an impact on clinical practice.
  • To facilitate the development of a scholarly attitude, respect for the value of empirical findings in guiding one's clinical decision-making, the ability to be effective consumers of research literature, and the ability to utilize research principles to answer clinically relevant questions.
  • To promote professionalism, self-awareness, and active involvement in the profession of psychology and advocacy efforts.

Each of these goals has specific objectives and competencies associated with it.  For a complete list of the goals, objectives and competencies, click here.