School of Psychology

Practicum, Clinical Competency Exam, and Internship

The purpose of clinical experience is to provide meaningful supervised interactions in a clinical setting with fellow students and an experienced clinical supervisor. The goal is for students to integrate didactic training, personal experience, supervisory feedback, and peers' perception of their experiences. These training experiences take place during the second, third, and fourth years at Xavier, as well as during the internship year.


Field experiences for clinical training in psychology are known as practicum. Psy.D. students have field placements during the second, third, and fourth years of the program. These experiences are designed to enhance the student's competence in psychological assessment, therapy, and application of knowledge and skills related to diversity. Xavier has developed a variety of partnerships with mainly community based agencies to provide these experiences. Every year students are placed in 30-40 different agencies. During the second year of the program, students spend about 500 hours at practicum sites, while in each of the third and fourth years, they spend about 1000 hours. The majority of these sites are public, providing services to underserved populations. Sites include primary care offices, hospitals, schools, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, facilities for persons with developmental disorders, residential and day treatment programs, forensic centers, as well as Xavier University's own Psychological Services Center and Student Health & Counseling Services, located in the Health United Building (HUB).

Here is a list of sites where our students have gained practicum training in recent years:

  • Adolescent Substance Abuse Program/Clarity Behavioral Health
  • Best Point Behavioral Health: The Olympus Center
  • Bethesda Family Practice
  • Central Clinic- Adult Services, Child Services
  • Child Focus
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Cincinnati Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center
  • Court Clinic Forensic Services
  • Dayton Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center
  • Forward Focus Psychological Associates
  • Galia Collaborative
  • Healthsource Ohio
  • Jewish Hospital
  • Lindner Center of HOPE
  • Mercy Health Physicians
  • Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Health, Counseling, and Student Wellness
  • Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers
  • Summit Behavioral Health Center
  • TriHealth Clark Montessori School
  • TriHealth North Avondale and Parker Woods Montessori School
  • University of Cincinnati (UC) Counseling and Psychological Services
  • UC Health: Mood Disorders Clinic
  • UC Health: Neuropsychology (Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience)
  • UC Health: Ridgeway/ UC-Division of Forensic Psychiatry
  • UC Health: Stress Center
  • Viewpoint Psychological Services
  • Xavier University: Psychological Services Center; Health & Wellness Center (HUB)

Clinical Competency Exam

The Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) is designed to evaluate the student's knowledge and skills in the psychological assessment, intervention, diversity, and ethics as demonstrated in a video, written work sample, and oral discussion with faculty examiners. Emphasis is placed on integration of clinical work with theory and empirical literature. Related topics such as consultation and development are often included as appropriate to the specific cases discussed.


Students are required to do a full year, full time internship or its equivalent, usually during the fifth year of the program. It is expected that students will obtain their internship assignment through the national computer match carried out by the National Matching Service under the auspices of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Before a student is eligible to apply for internships, the student must have formally proposed the dissertation and passed the CCE. Xavier has had an excellent record of matching students to internship in a wide variety of settings including university counseling centers, Veteran's Administration facilities, children's hospitals, federal prisons, state mental hospitals, medical centers, community mental health facilities, developmental disorders clinics, and various consortia involving combinations of those.

View a List of Recent Internship Sites. 

Access Statistics on Xavier Psy.D. Students' Success in the Internship Match.