Grades are recorded as follows:
|W (Withdrawal without prejudice)
|P/NP (Pass/No Pass)**
|AU (Audit—no credit)
|*for physical therapy courses only
**only for courses offered on a Pass/No Pass basis
|Note: Individual instructors may elect, at their discretion, not to use plus/minus grades.
Doctor of Psychology
The Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology offers a course of studies and supervised experiences leading to the doctor of psychology (PsyD) degree. The overall purpose of the PsyD program is to prepare scholar-practitioners—that is, clinical psychologists who combine the science of psychology with practical clinical applications.
Our objectives are to provide a sequences of academic and experiential learning activities that help students become professionals who are:
- Knowledgeable about the theory, evidence base, and practice of clinical psychology.
- Skilled in applied psychology, including diagnostic psychological assessment, evidence-informed intervention, consultation and interprofessional collaboration,, supervision, program evaluation, and outcome assessment.
- Competent to practice in various settings with knowledge of and adherence to ethical and legal standards.
- Proficient in demonstrating appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes about cultural and individual differences in all professional roles.
- Leader in the broader context of psychology, professional issues, and social, legal, and political concerns.
Widener’s graduate clinical psychology doctoral program and Widener’s internship training program are separately accredited by the American Psychological Association (750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; phone 202-336-5979).
The applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. A major in psychology is desirable but not essential. Students must have courses in statistics, abnormal psychology (or psychopathology), and research design (or experimental psychology) by the time they matriculate. Evaluation of the student’s ability to do graduate work will be based upon past academic performance and high scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Personal character and attributes of emotional maturity and stability and capacity for relating to and working with other people are major factors in acceptance. Evidence for these attributes is sought from records of past performance, letters of reference, work history, and a personal interview.
Applications, including all supporting credentials, are submitted by via PSYCAS, the centralized application service for graduate psychology in early December of the year preceding matriculation (specific application deadlines are announced each year on our website). Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty members. The top candidates are invited to participate in one of four interview days with a personal interview and orientation component. Participation in the interview day is necessary to gain admission into the program. All final acceptance decisions are made and admitted applicants must confirm their acceptance of admissions offers by April 15. Approximately 20 percent of all candidates who apply are given an offer of admission. Spring or summer admission is not possible.
International students should consult the International Student Services Web page at www.widener.edu for international graduate student guidelines or contact the Office of International Student Services at Widener University; phone: 610-499-4499.
A matriculated student is one who has been accepted officially into the doctoral program. With the consent of the instructor and the director of the institute, a student may be exempted from repeating selected graduate-level courses that they have passed at another institution. Please note that a waiver of any requirement for the degree must be approved in writing by the director of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. A course waiver does not reduce the number of credits that a matriculated student must complete to graduate from the program. All students, regardless of courses waived, must complete 120 credits at Widener.
No provision is made for part-time or nonmatriculated students in the program. A maximum of seven calendar years is allowed for completion of the requirements for the doctoral degree from date of matriculation. In most instances, the program, including the exclusively affiliated APA-accredited internship, is completed in five years.
Practical clinical training is integrated into coursework in year 1, and students are in field placement during each of the remaining four years of training. In year one, students learn foundational intervention and assessment skills and students demonstrate basic competency in clinical interviewing and cognitive assessment via supervised role plays. In years two and three, students complete practica, which are supervised experiences designed to acquaint the students with a variety of clinical settings in which they can develop fundamental skills in the nine core competency areas. Each practicum offers progressively more responsibility and patient/staff interaction.
The last two years of the program comprise the accredited internship. Instead of applying to the national internship match, students enter Widener’s APA-accredited internship program. The internship experience includes clinical rotations completed at outside placements, didactic course work, continuous case seminars, and individual and group supervision. Internship clinical rotations occur at an array of varied settings in which professional psychologists practice. These settings, which may be oriented toward children, adolescents, or adults, include all types of mental health service activities ranging from inpatient to outpatient clinics, schools, forensic-related placements, hospital units, community mental health facilities, neuropsychology clinics, rehabilitation centers, private psychology practices, and organizations that consult to businesses. The integrated internship, which is taken three days a week over a two-year period, is considered equal to a full-time doctoral internship.
The intern’s role is that of a junior colleague who participates intensely in assessment, psychotherapy, and other types of intervention, management, consultation, and other specialized activities. Practicum students are beginners mastering the basics; interns are apprentice professionals honing skills, confidence, and competence.
The integrated internship is unique to Widener University’s PsyD program. In most programs, students must apply for appropriate internships independent of their graduate program. Although our students do apply, interview for, and are accepted to our various rotation sites, the internship itself is embedded in the program and relieves the student of the apprehension and inconvenience of an external process.
Curricular Clusters and Tracks
Given the multiple practice roles that characterize contemporary professional psychology, the faculty believe cultivating areas of interest is an important component of students’ training. A student’s decision to pursue an area of interest may determine that student’s course selection and possibly field placement and dissertation topic.
A student may pursue these clusters: cognitive/behavioral therapy, cross-cultural and diversity psychology, child/adolescent/family therapy, forensic psychology, organizational psychology, health psychology, and psychoanalytic psychology. The listings of courses constituting the curricular clusters is made available to students annually.
The Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology also has specialized certification programs in biofeedback, school psychology, and neuropsychology. Biofeedback training, in concert with passing a national biofeedback examination, leads to certification with the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. The school psychology certification program, after passing the national Praxis exam in school psychology leads to certification as a school psychologist by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The neuropsychology certification program meets training guidelines offered by APA’s Division 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology) and prepares students to function as independent professional practitioners of clinical neuropsychology.
Acceptance for admission does not guarantee the student a place in a curricular cluster or certifcation program. These opportunities may have a limited number of slots. Application procedures vary for each cluster/certification program, and are announced to students each fall. Acceptance is based upon a variety of factors, including the student’s overall performance in the doctoral program.
To remain in a certification program or curricular cluster, students may have to meet certain academic requirements. Additional fees may be associated with these opportunities. In addition, certain clusters/certification programs may require that the students take summer courses, which may result in an increased tuition cost for the student.
Students can pursue a maximum of two curricular clusters or certification programs simultaneously. Students enrolled in a joint degree program can only enroll in one curricular cluster or certification program at the same time. Some combinations of certification programs, curricular clusters, and joint degrees are incompatible.
Joint Degree and Respecialization Programs
The Institute offers several programs of study in addition to the traditional PsyD program:
- The post-doctoral respecialization program is a three-year full-time program leading to a certificate of respecialization. Applicants with a doctoral degree in a non-clinical area of psychology may apply to obtain a clinical specialization.
- The joint degree program with the School of Business Administration offers two degree options: the PsyD with the general MBA, and the PsyD with the MBA in health care management (PsyD/MBA-HCM).
- The joint degree program with master of arts in criminal justice leads to a PsyD/MACJ.
- The joint degree program with master of education in human sexuality leads to the PsyD/MEd (human sexuality).
Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, with the exception of the respecialization program, which is three years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute. Enrolled students may take up to 18 credits per semester (except during the first year, in which students are limited to 15.5 credits per semester). Candidates who complete the joint degree courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester will do so without added tuition. A fee will be charged each semester in which the student is enrolled in the joint degree program. All joint degree program courses above 18 credits, during the third year and beyond, and those taken after five years in the PsyD program will be subject to additional tuition charges at the hourly semester rate of the respective program. Joint degree tuition per semester is calculated on a per-credit-hour basis and therefore varies with the number of credits taken.
Limitations to Combining Joint Degrees and Certificate-Granting Programs
Students who are accepted to study in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology have the option of working toward one dual degree and no more than one other certificate-granting track or curricular cluster. Students should be aware, however, that not all of these programs and tracks are complementary in relation to the sequencing of courses. Students admitted to the general PsyD/MBA program will not be able to enroll in the school psychology or neuropsychology tracks. Students admitted to the MBA-HCM option will maintain the ability to join the school psychology programs.
Psychology in Business Programs
These unique multidisciplinary programs train clinical psychologists to apply psychological principles and knowledge of change processes in organizational settings. Through our core curriculum, applied field experiences, and professional development activities, students learn to integrate clinical psychology expertise with in-depth knowledge of organizational/business systems. Upon graduating, students will be prepared to take on leadership roles in health care administration, business management, and leadership development and training.
Students spend five years in full-time residence at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology to earn the PsyD degree. Beginning the summer following the first year of the PsyD program, students take additional courses working toward one of two degrees offered in the School of Business Administration:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Business Administration in Heath Care Management (MBA-HCM)
In addition to the business classes, students in the MBA program take a core sequence of courses within the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology that serve to integrate the psychology and business school curricula. The courses listed below are sequenced to build cumulatively on each other and on the general clinical psychology curricula to instill the core competencies needed for psychologists to be successful in organizational settings.
- Consulting and Organizational Psychology
- Leadership Development
- Executive Assessment
- Executive Coaching
- Organizational Change Management
Students gain hands-on supervised experience through placements in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology’s Organizational Development Services (ODS) unit. Students will teach leadership skills in a group format, provide leadership and personality assessments, use those personality assessments as the basis of initiating productive coaching relationships, and may have opportunities to consult with organizations for development, team building, and change management with an emphasis on organizational social responsibility. The dual degree culminates with the production of a dissertation that integrates the practice of psychology in organizational contexts.
Students must first be accepted into Widener’s PsyD program. Each applicant must possess a BA or BS degree from an accredited institution. A major in psychology is desirable but not essential. Evaluation of the student’s ability to do graduate work is based upon academic performance and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Personal character and attributes of emotional maturity, stability, and capacity for relating to and working with other people are major factors that are evaluated in reviewing applicants. Evidence for these attributes is sought from records of past performance, letters of reference, work history, and a personal interview.
During the second semester of the first year, interested students who are in good academic standing in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology may apply to the psychology and business program. The application process entails a review of the applicant’s standing in the clinical psychology program, responses to essay questions demonstrating adequate interest and commitment, consultation with the business school dual degree advisor, and an in-person interview. After being accepted to a psychology and business program, students seek formal admission to the School of Business Administration. Students must sign a release form to have their application materials copied and forwarded from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology to the School of Business Administration.
The Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and the School of Business Administration will make every effort to accept all qualified applicants into the program. Nevertheless, graduate student status in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology does not guarantee admission into a psychology and business program. Throughout their tenure in the program, students must maintain good standing in the clinical psychology program in order to take business courses.
Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Psychology in Business students who complete their School of Business Administration courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester (except during the first two years, during which students are allowed to take only 15.5 credits per semester) will do so without added tuition. There is no additional tuition charged for Business School classes taken in the summers of the first and second years. All School of Business Administration courses above 18 credits, those courses taken during summer sessions in years three and beyond, and those courses taken after five years in the PsyD program are subject to additional tuition charges at the School of Business Administration rate per semester hour. A dual-degree administrative fee is charged by the University each semester (fall or spring) while enrolled in the School of Business Administration.
The School of Business Administration programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. In addition, the MBA-HCM program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Healthcare Management Education and is a full member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The PsyD program and its exclusively affiliated internship are accredited by the American Psychological Association. (750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; phone 202-336-5979).
ProgramsDoctor of PsychologyDoctor of Psychology/Master of ArtsDoctor of Psychology/Master of Business AdministrationDoctor of Psychology/Master of Business Administration in Health Care ManagementDoctor of Psychology/Master of EducationCertificate