Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Program Information

Financial Assistance

All of our current students are funded with a stipend (typically $18,000 per year for 5 years, with an increase of $500 each year) and a tuition scholarship (for the 72 credits that you need to graduate with a PhD from our program). Some students are university funded (and serve as graduate research and/or teaching assistants) whereas others are grant-funded as research assistants. Some summer funding is available through grants or from research awards provided by the Psychology Department. After students are awarded their MA degree, they often work in psychology-relevant positions at clinical sites (e.g., psychological testing) or teach extra courses for additional funding. Funding for professional conference travel is available from the Graduate School and Psychology Department.
 
For more information about financial assistance, please visit the  website.
 

Program Requirements

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.
 

Coursework

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
  • Psychopathology
  • 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
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Adolescence
  • Structural Equation Modeling
For a sample of student courses and milestones per year, please see: Sample Course Schedule A and Sample Course Schedule B
 

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
  • Alexian Brothers Neuroscience Institute
  • DePaul University Family and Community Services
  • Pediatric Development Center
  • Frances Xavier Warde Schools
  • Hines VA Hospital
  • Jesse Brown VA Hospital
  • NorthShore Hospital
  • Loyola Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Shriner's Hospitals for Children
  • University of Chicago Medical Center
  • University of Illinois 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
  • Allendale Associates/ Bradley Counseling Center
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Brown University Medical School
  • Canvas Health
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Children's Hospital Clinic of Minnesota
  • Children's Mercy Hospital
  • Dupont Hospital for Chidlren
  • Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital
  • Indiana University Medical School
  • Indianapolis University School of Medicine
  • Jesse Brown VA Hospital in Chicago
  • Judge Baker's/Boston Children's Hospital
  • Kaiser-Permanente in Los Angeles
  • Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago
  • Medical College of Pennsylvania
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Northwestern University Medical School
  • Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Minnesota Medical School
  • University of Washington Medical School
  • USC/ Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison - Psychiatry
  • VA Medical Center, Minneapolis
Previous Internship Placements and Postdoctoral Fellowships
A review of recent internship placements and postdoctoral fellowships for students and graduates is available here.
 

Research

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. 
 

Examinations

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.
 

Child-Clinical Subspecialty

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
 

Neuropsychology Module

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.
 

Student Committees

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:
 
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.
 
Employment and Fellowship Committee, which organizes information on potential employment and fellowship opportunities. 
 
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. 
 
Social Committee, which arranges social gatherings involving all faculty and students, once per semester.
 
Technology Committee, which oversees the quality of our website and administers the biennial student survey.
 
Diversity Committee, which plans a special event for interviewees from underrepresented groups during the admissions interview process, reviews all syllabi from clinical program for infusion of diversity issues, and links with diversity committees at other local PhD programs.
 
Graduate students are also active in the admission process.