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PSY.D. Admissions

PSY.D. Admissions

 The Psy.D. Application is online at https://admissions.chc.edu/portal/psyd_info.


The minimum requirements for admission to the Psy.D. Program are as follows:
Bachelor’s degree with 12 undergraduate credits (four courses) in psychology, which must include General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Statistics, and one additional course in psychology, all completed with a minimum grade of B. Applicants with bachelor’s degrees must enter via the M.S./Psy.D. track.
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.
REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS (along with $60 application fee)
  • All application materials are listed on the online application (https://admissions.chc.edu/apply). These include transcripts, three recommendations, a 5-page essay, CV or resume, GRE score report (taken in the last 5 years), and graduate syllabi if advanced standing is sought.  Graduates of CHC are not required to submit a CHC transcript.
  • A printable version of the PsyD Recommendation Form may be emailed to PsyDapps@chc.edu if your references prefer to submit via email:  Psy.D. Recommendation Form.  Letters of recommendation should be from core faculty members and/or clinical supervisors who are familiar with the applicant's skills and potential. At least one letter from a doctoral level instructor and/or core faculty member must pertain to the applicant's academic performance and potential. At least one letter should pertain to the applicant's clinical performance and/or potential. For applicants seeking advanced standing, one of the letters of recommendation must be an evaluation from a practicum supervisor or a supervisor at a work placement in a mental health setting.
  • Official transcripts can be delivered to PsyDapps@chc.edu, or hard copies delivered to Doctor of Psychology Program, Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA   19118.



Personal Essay

In an essay of approximately 1200 words (5 double-spaced pages), please address each of the following topics:

  • What unique qualifications do you believe make you suited to a career in professional psychology?
  • How does the Psy.D. Program at Chestnut Hill College fit with your professional goals? Please be as specific as possible. Discuss the match between your interests and those of the doctoral faculty (see faculty biographies)
  • One of the objectives of the Psy.D. Program is to foster “an understanding and appreciation of cultural factors relevant to the delivery of psychological services to a diverse client population.” Please discuss your background and interest in the topics of diversity and serving diverse populations, specifically addressing how you can contribute to the Psy.D. Program’s commitment to training students who will be competent to provide services to an increasingly diverse population of potential clients. (The Program adopts APA’s definition of “diversity,” which includes but is not limited to the following characteristics: age, disabilities, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.)

Essays will be evaluated both for content and for writing style.

Personal Interview

A personal interview with members of the faculty is required. Invitation to the personal interview is extended to selected applicants after review of the submitted materials. At the interview applicants will be required to disclose any past criminal history. In some cases an applicant may be required to undergo a criminal background check.

Transfer Credits

A catalog course description and syllabus are required for any course for which the applicant wishes to request transfer credits. These materials must be submitted with the application if the applicant wishes to be considered for admission directly to Year II. Syllabi and course descriptions are not necessary for graduate courses completed at Chestnut Hill College. See the policy on Transfer Credits (below) for more information.

Applicants currently enrolled in other doctoral programs:

The program will consider applications from those who currently attend or previously attended another doctoral program. In such cases, the applicant must submit a letter from the Chair of the program indicating that the student either is in good standing or left the program in good standing. A full application packet is required.


Eligibility to Apply to Year II with Advanced Standing

To be eligible to apply to enter the program in Year II with Advanced Standing, applicants must meet all of the following requirements: 

Master’s degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology or a closely related field. 

  • Completion of a supervised master's level field placement lasting at least three semesters for a total of 700 hours.
  • Three 3-credit graduate-level courses that cover theories and techniques of psychotherapy, all completed with a grade of B or higher. Course syllabi must be submitted with the application. These courses are considered pre-requisites for Year II doctoral courses and are not counted towards the credit requirements for the Psy.D. degree.  
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in group therapy equivalent to PSYG 717 Group Therapy.
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in multicultural issues in psychotherapy equivalent to PSYG 716 Culture and Gender in Psychotherapy
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in Human Development equivalent to PSYG 704.
  • Two 3-credit graduate courses in Couple and Family Therapy where a systemic focus is the treatment approach.
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in Psychopathology equivalent to PSYG 703.
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in Research Design equivalent to PSYG 712
  • One 3-credit graduate-level course in Ethics that covers the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association and that is equivalent to PSYG 713  

Applicants who do not meet all of the above criteria are not eligible for admission with Advanced Standing but may apply to enter at Year I.  Where applicable, consideration is given to admit applicants with advanced standing who may need no more than three courses prior to the start of the Year III course sequence.


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Transfer Credit Policy

A catalog course description and syllabus is required for any course for which transfer credit is requested. Courses must be substantially similar in content and coverage to the corresponding course at Chestnut Hill College. Similarity is assessed by the faculty by comparing the syllabus to the syllabus of the course taught at Chestnut Hill College.  

To be considered for transfer credit, the course grade must be “B” or above. Online courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Only three-credit graduate-level courses for which letter grades were assigned are eligible for transfer. Pass/Fail courses are not eligible for transfer. Courses must have been completed within seven (7) years of application to be eligible for transfer. 

The program will accept up to 24 transfer credits for foundational and elective courses at the master's level for students who are admitted to Year II and up to 12 transfer credits for students who are admitted to Year I. See the list below for courses eligible for transfer credit. 

For the following courses, transfer credit will be granted only if the student passes the corresponding Competency Examination (80% exam grade):  

  • PSYG 703 Psychopathology (exam requirement waived if course was completed with a grade of A or A-)
  • PSYG 704 Development Across the Lifespan (exam requirement waived if course was completed with a grade of A or A-)
  • PSYG 712 Research Design and Methodology (exam requirement waived if course was completed with a grade of A or A- .or  if the applicant completed a single course in Research Design with a grade of B or higher and also completed a master's thesis.)
  • PSYG 713 Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychotherapy (exam requirement waived if course was completed with a grade of A or A-)

The following courses are eligible for transfer credit without competency examination:

  • The Role of Culture and Gender in Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy  
  • A Systemic Approach to the Problems of Adolescents
  • Couple and Family Therapy (Systemic Focus)

The program will also consider transferring up to 18 credits for courses at the 800 level and above if (1) the course was taken in another APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology and (2) the course was completed within seven years of enrollment at CHC. Transfer credit will not be given for internship. In order to transfer credits from practica, the applicant must submit a written evaluation by the practicum supervisor as well as a detailed accounting of the activities performed and the number of hours spent in each activity.  This material will be evaluated and a decision made by the Chair/ Director of Clinical Training and other members of the department. 

Procedure for Evaluating Course Equivalence 

  • Student submits a syllabus, catalog description, and official transcript showing the grade for the course for which transfer credit is requested. Course syllabi from the semester the courses were completed must be submitted with the application. Courses will not be considered for transfer if a syllabus is not provided.
  • This information is reviewed by the Chair or a designated member of the department faculty who has experience in the area covered by the course.
  • The faculty member compares the syllabus and catalog description to the syllabus and catalog description of the corresponding course at Chestnut Hill College. If there is “substantial similarity,” which is defined by coverage overlap of 80% or more, and if the official transcript grade was B or above, the course is eligible for transfer credit. If either one of these criteria is not met, the course is not eligible for transfer credit.
  • If it is not clear if the criteria for “substantial similarity” are met, then the reviewer will request that the student submit additional information, such as copies of the course texts or other readings, or copies of graded assignments, tests, or papers. In some instances the student may be required to obtain a written statement from the instructor of the course that explains in detail how the required content was covered in the course.     
  • Transfer Credit Challenge Examinations are administered for grades of B or B+ on a case-by-case basis. These examinations are administered in May and June at a date to be announced. They are typically 2-3 hours in length. Applicants have one opportunity to pass each Competency Examination at at least 80%. Applicants who do not pass the Competency Examination on the first attempt will not be granted transfer credit for that course and must complete the course at Chestnut Hill College within their first year of enrollment.    


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