School of Psychology

Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

The APA accredited Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program builds upon Xavier's strong commitment to the Jesuit tradition of service within the context of scholarship. The program provides students with the knowledge and range of skills necessary to provide psychological services in today's changing professional climate. The full time, five year program includes four academic years and one internship year. The program emphasizes the importance of a scientific foundation in psychology. The Psy.D. program is designed to prepare students for the general practice of health service; it also provides training in three areas of interest: children and adolescents, individuals with severe and chronic psychopathology, and health care psychology in medical settings. Students have the opportunity to pursue these areas of interest by taking specialized courses, gaining experience in practicum placements, and conducting applied research. Ethics and values play a significant role in the program. 

The basic philosophy of the Psy.D. program is to educate skilled practioners who have a solid appreciation of the role of science in all aspects of professional activity. The program recognizes a need for the student to achieve a balance between a knowledge of the basic science of psychology and proficiencies. The practitioner-scientist model recognizes the continued dependence of the profession of a scientific foundation, the importance of practitioners being skilled consumers of research, and the development of applied skills that will allow the graduate to contribute to the field of clinical psychology, serving as a local clinical scientist.

Following the model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), the Xavier Psy.D. program emphasizes seven competencies. The Xavier program has categorized them as follows:

  1. Overarching competencies, important throughout training and beyond, in application of all other competencies: Relationship and Diversity
  2. Competencies of practice, combining knowledge, attitudes and skills, utilized before and after graduation: Assessment, Intervention, Research and Evaluation, and Consultation and Education
  3.  Competencies of later development, taught with emphasis on knowledge to set the stage for further development later in the graduate's career: Management and Supervision

Not only do we seek students of varying backgrounds for our Psy.D. program, but we strive to nurture an appreciation of differences among people. The goal is to help students come to better appreciate the similarities and differences among people and to extend that understanding to serving the needs of others.


For more information about APA accreditation, contact the American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington DC, 20002-4242, Phone 202-336-5979,