Detailed Program Description
A background in psychology with at least 24 semester hours in clinical psychology is preferred. Courses in statistics and in research methods, or the equivalent, are required.
This doctoral program receives many applications each year but only selects five to six full-time students. All applications are reviewed by an admissions committee, and those in the final group of approximately 40 applicants are interviewed individually by at least two faculty members and an advanced graduate student.
As part of the interview process, students are invited to Loyola to participate in a day-long program of activities that includes an orientation, question-and-answer period, opportunities to meet all of the clinical faculty and current graduate students, and a tour of the department and campus. Final applicants are required to participate in this interview day. We do not do telephone interviews as part of the interview process.
Full application requirements can be found at the online application form.
Please note: We require the GRE Subject Test as part of your application.
CUDCP Policy for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances: Info for Applicants
Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP; www.cudcp.us) has adopted the following guidelines for offers into doctoral clinical psychology programs. If you are applying to a CUDCP program, you should expect that the following policies will apply.
- In most CUDCP programs, a subset of applicants will be invited for an interview. Within a few weeks of the final interview dates, applicants will be notified regarding the status of their application. You may be offered admission, declined admission, placed on a wait list, or in some cases, a decision has not yet been reached regarding your application.
- Training programs will notify students no longer being considered for admission as soon as possible. In some cases, this information is communicated by the university graduate school and can take several weeks to be processed. In some cases, you may be able to get updated information on the status of the application process (e.g., whether all interview invites have been extended; whether all offers have been extended), on a clinical program’s website, or by contacting a program administrator. Beware of information posted on student-focused online forums that may be inaccurate or incomplete.
- Offers of admission can be extended during a large time period. Most initial offers of admission are extended by April 1. Offers may be communicated by phone or email, but should be followed up by a written confirmation within 48 hours.
- You should not be pressured, nor feel compelled to accept an offer of admission before April 15! This applies to offers of admission and to funding offers that accompany admission. It is impermissible for programs to request a decision prior to April 15 or to indicate that funding will be available only if students make decisions earlier than this date. Violations of this policy should be reported to CUDCP immediately (http://cudcp.us/contact.html) and your identity will be protected. Of course, it is permissible for you to accept an offer as soon as you are certain of your decision (i.e., even before April 15). But the decision to do so should be based on you, and not due to pressure placed upon you by a training program.
- Do not hold more than two offers for more than one week unless there is specific information (e.g., a visit is scheduled, funding decisions) you are waiting to receive from the program. Difficulty making up one’s mind is not considered an adequate excuse to limit the options available to other applicants.
- Once you have accepted an offer of admission to a training program, you should inform all programs in which you are still being considered. Be sure to inform programs either that you are declining outstanding offers of admission or you no longer wish to be considered for admission.
Nearly all of our students are funded with a stipend and tuition scholarship. Financial assistance is available through a variety of sources, including graduate assistantships, research and teaching, and grant-funded research positions. Moreover, for more advanced students in our program (typically, fourth year and beyond) the university offers fully-funded teaching fellowships and dissertation fellowships.
For more information about financial assistance, please visit the Financial Aid Office website.
The training objectives are reflected in the program curriculum which includes formal classes, advanced seminars, supervised clinical and research experience, and independent study opportunities. While certain requirements are established to ensure that all students acquire the proficiency outlined in the training objectives, flexibility exists for students to pursue their specialized interests and subspecialty training.
General Psychology Requirements: To acquire a knowledge of the substantive content and methodological approaches of psychology, all clinical students are required to take:
- Statistics (two courses)
- Research Methods
- History and Systems of Psychology
In addition, students must complete a series of "core" psychology courses. These core courses represent basic content areas in psychology and serve to fulfill the course requirements for the PhD degree. Students select at least one core course from several offered in each of the following areas:
- Biological Aspects of Behavior
- Social Aspects of Behavior
- Cognitive Aspects of Behavior
- Affective Aspects of Behavior
- Developmental Aspects of Behavior
- A course that integrates across at least two of the above (e.g., Social Development)
Clinical Psychology Course Requirements: To acquire a solid foundation in the theory and practice of clinical psychology, all clinical students are required to take the following courses:
- Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology
- Intellectual and Personality Testing
- Introduction to the Profession of Clinical Psychology
- Practicum in Psychotherapy
- Ethics and Professional Practice
- Human Diversity
- One advanced therapy course
- One advanced assessment course
Electives: Students may pursue their individual interests through elective courses. These electives are selected by the student in consultation with his/her advisor and should be chosen to provide the student with greater depth in his/her specialized interest area as well as a richer contextual framework for his/her clinical interests. Examples of frequently taken electives include:
- Child Psychopathology
- Child Psychotherapy
- Child Assessment
- Family Therapy
- Neuropsychological Assessment
- Health Psychology
- Structural Equation Modeling
Supervised Clinical Experience
Practicum-Externship Experience: Supervised clinical experience is an integral part of the overall program. All clinical students must complete a minimum of 800 hours of pre-internship, or practicum/externship training, experience. This begins during the second year when students complete a two-semester psychotherapy practicum, which is based in the University's Wellness Center.
After the second year, students progress to advanced-level externship placements where they continue to receive supervised experience, generally with a wider range of assessment and intervention techniques and more diverse clinical populations. The Clinical Program maintains a close working relationship with many hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and mental health facilities in the Chicago metropolitan area. One of the great advantages of Loyola's Clinical Program is its location in Chicago which offers a variety of practicum training opportunities. Students can obtain training in different therapeutic and assessment approaches and with diverse client populations in such placements as:
- Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
- Stroger Cook County Hospital
- NorthShore Hospital
- Hines VA Hospital
- Jesse Brown VA Hospital
- Loyola Medical Center
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- University of Chicago Medical Center
- University of Illinois Chicago
- Alexian Brothers Neuroscience Institute
- DePaul University Family and Community Services
- Rush University Medical Center
- Shriner's Hospital for Children, Chicago
Internship: The 12-month full-time internship is generally taken in the 6th year of study and may be completed at an APA-accredited site within the Chicago area or anywhere in the United States. Over the years, our students have been very successful in securing desirable internship positions. Examples of internship sites in recent years include:
- Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago
- Indiana University Medical School
- Judge Baker's/Boston Children's Hospital
- Kaiser-Permanente in Los Angeles
- Medical College of Pennsylvania
- Northwestern University Medical School
- Rush University Medical Center
- University of Chicago
- University of Washington Medical School
- Jesse Brown VA Hospital in Chicago
- Nationwide Children's Hospital
- Brown University Medical School
- Children's Mercy Hospital
- University of Wisconsin, Madison - Psychiatry
- Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
All clinical students are required to complete an empirical master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation. The program emphasizes research on clinical problems in applied clinical settings and strongly encourages such research. Because of the close working relationships between the clinical program at Loyola and Chicago-area mental health facilities, opportunities for clinical research are available at a variety of locations.
In addition to the required research and related courses, other elective opportunities exist for students to participate in research activity. Within the Department, faculty lead research teams that provide active forums for generating research ideas. Such research covers areas such as family and marital issues, depression, ethics, adolescence, psychotherapy research, exposure to violence, children's mental health services, and pediatric psychology. Finally, our faculty encourage students to present papers and posters at professional meetings and to publish their research.
In addition to the oral examinations associated with the master's thesis and doctoral dissertation, all clinical students are required to complete the Clinical Qualifying Examination. This exam is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of professional and scientific competency in clinical psychology. Students typically take this exam after their third year of study. This exam covers three major areas: assessment, intervention, and psychopathology. An oral exam, the Clinical Competency Examination, is also required. In this exam, students are required to discuss clinical material related to a case that is given to the student by the examination committee. Students typically take this exam at the end of their fourth year of study.
The child subspecialty allows students to develop special expertise in psychological approaches to understanding and treating children, adolescents, and families. Many of the clinical faculty teach courses and conduct research on issues related to children, adolescents, and families. In addition, clinical students and faculty interact closely with students and faculty of the developmental division through program meetings and research collaborations.
Students who enroll in this "track" complete the core courses required of all clinical students. In addition, they complete a series of advanced coursework in the child-clinical subspecialty and acquire clinical and research experience relevant to this subspecialty as described below. It is important to note that all clinical students may take child-clinical courses and acquire child-related experiences. However, students can only report that they have been trained as child-clinical psychologists if they complete the following requirements:
- In addition to the basic program course requirements, students in this track must take the following courses: Social Development, Cognitive Development, Child Psychopathology, Child Assessment, Child Psychotherapy.
- Students must complete a dissertation directly related to child, adolescent, or family issues. Also, at least one faculty member from the child track must serve on each student's Thesis and Dissertation Committees.
- Following the second year psychotherapy practicum, students must complete an advanced externship focusing primarily on work with children, adolescents, and/or families.
- Students are required to complete an internship where at least 33% of one's time is spent working with child, adolescent, or family clients
The neuropsychology module allows students to develop special expertise in clinical neuropsychological assessment. Students who wish to pursue completion of this "module" enroll in the core courses required of all clinical students. In addition, they complete advanced coursework in clinical neuropsychology and acquire clinical experience relevant to clinical neuropsychology as described below. It is important to note that all clinical students may take neuropsychology and acquire neuropsychology-related experiences. However, students can only report that they have focused their training in clinical neuropsychology if they complete the following requirements:
- In addition to the basic program course requirements, students in this track must take the following courses: Neuropsychology, Neuropsychological Assessment, and Psychopharmacology.
- Following the second year psychotherapy practicum, students must complete an advanced externship focusing primarily on clinical neuropsychological assessment of adults and/or children.
- Students are required to complete an internship where a significant portion of one's training is in the practice of clinical neuropsychology.
Graduate students in the clinical program are very involved in the management of the program. Specifically, graduate students attend clinical faculty meetings and all students are members of the Clinical Students Association (CSA). Students can also participate in the following committees:
Information Committee, which produces our program newsletter and the program bulletin board. They have also recently produced a student life handbook, which includes a vast amount of information regarding life as a graduate student.
Practicum Committee, which oversees a database that includes information on a variety of practicum experiences in the Chicagoland area.
Colloquium Committee, which organizes program-wide colloquiums and panel discussions on a range of topics, including consultation, supervision, health psychology, forensic psychology, and alumni panel discussions.
Technology Committee, which oversees the quality of our website and administers the biennial student survey.
Social Committee, which arranges social gatherings involving all faculty and students, once per semester.
Employment and Fellowship Committee, which organizes information on potential employment and fellowship opportunities.
Graduate students are also active in the admission process.
Previous Internship Placements and Employment Outcomes
A review of recent internship placements and current employment outcomes for students and graduates is available here.