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Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program (California)

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Home » Programs » Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program (California)

Make a Positive Impact on the Mental Wellness of Diverse Communities.

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) (California) at National University’s JFK School of Psychology and Social Sciences prepares you to make an impact in the lives of those in need. Our Program provides the highest level of training in the field of clinical psychology, equipping you with the necessary tools to serve communities in vital roles such as clinician, program administrator, evaluator, consultant, educator, and scholar.

The PsyD Program’s mission is to train practitioner-scholars who will provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to a variety of communities. This mission is embraced by our diverse faculty, staff, and student community. Our particular focus on multicultural and diversity competence sets us apart from other PsyD programs. Though NU’s Program is delivered on-site, in-person at the Pleasant Hill campus, upon completion, students are eligible to sit for the national licensing exam in professional psychology.

While attention to culture and context are woven through every course, students may also choose to complete specialized coursework in one of several concentration areas, such as forensic/correctional psychology, neuropsychology, or integrated health psychology. Students must reside in Northern California, as this Program is normally delivered in person, on-site, in Pleasant Hill, California. The Program accepts applications through the PSYCAS portal from November through August. Students may only be admitted to the program once a year, in Fall Quarter.  

NU’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (California) Program is currently not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) for new students. The PsyD Program is currently under accreditation review by APA. National University is regionally accredited by WSCUC.

Doctor of Psychology Program — Academic Plan for Students Matriculating in Fall 2023 and Beyond

Year One: 45 units

PSD7036 IPS 1 Multicult. Foundations (5)

PSD7011 Clinical Interviewing Skills (4)

PSD7227 Human Development (4)

13 units

PSD7037 IPS 1 Multicult. Integration (5)

PSD7015 Psychopathology I & Lab (3)

PSD7122 Psychodynamic Theory & Applic (3)

Units: 11

PSD7038 IPS 1 Multicult. Tx Approaches (5)

PSD7016 Psychopathology II & Lab (3)

PSD7141 Ethical & Legal Issues Psych (3)

Units: 11

PSD7114 Psychometrics: The Basics of Assessment (2)

PSD7151 Research Methods & Stats I (3)

PSD7009 Group Clinical Skills (2)

PSD7123 Cognitive Behavioral Theory (3)

Units: 10

Year Two: 46 units + 3 elective units

PSD7136 IPS 2 Applied Diagnosis (4)

PSD7115 Assessment I & Lab (4)

PSD7250 Research Methods & Stats II (3)

PSD7124 Family Systems Theory & Applic (3)

Units: 14

PSD7137 IPS 2 Case Formulation (4)

PSD7116 Assessment II & Lab (4)

PSD7251 Qualitative Research (3)

Electives (1)

Units: 11 + 1(elective)

PSD7138 IPS 2 Informed Tx Planning (4)

PSD7117 Assessment III & Lab (4)

PSD7252 Dissertation Proposal I (2)

PSD7107 Biological Bases of Behavior (3)

Units: 13

PSD7131 Psych & Treatment Subst Abuse (3)

PSD7180 Psychology of Trauma (3)

PSD7253 Dissertation Proposal II (2)

Electives (2)

Units: 8 + 2(elective)

Year Three: 25 units + 10 elective units

PSD7236 IPS 3 Int Case Concept/Tx Plan (4)

PSD7108 Cognitive & Affective Bases (3)

Electives (2)

Units: 7 + 2(elective)

PSD7237 IPS 3 Clinical Communication (4)

PSD7160 Psychopharmacology (3)

PSD7254 Dissertation Proposal III (1)

Electives (3)

Units: 8 + 3(elective)

PSD7238 IPS 3 Prof Dev/Lifelong Learn (4)

PSD7104 Social & Cultural Bases Behavr (3)

PSD7303 Dissertation Completion (0)

Electives (3)

Units: 7 + 3(elective)

PSD7601 Psych Career Skills Building (1)

PSD7110 Integrated Foundationl Science (2)

Electives (2)

Units: 3 + 2(elective)

Year Four: 9 units + 6 elective units + 4.5 Internship units

PSD7215 Foundations Prof Consultation (3)

PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)

Electives (1)

Units: 3 + 2(elective)

PSD7230 Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision (3)

PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)

Electives (1)

Units: 3 + 2(elective)

PSD7003 History & Systems (3)

PSD7331 Externship (1 elective credit)

Electives (1)

Units: 3 + 2(elective)

PSD7401 Part-time Internship (4.5)

Units: 4.5 part-time

Year Five: 31.5 Internship units

PSD7400 Internship (9)

Units: 9

PSD7400 Internship (9)

Units: 9

PSD7400 Internship (9)

Units: 9

PSD7401 Part-time Internship (4.5)

Units: 4.5 part-time

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive the PsyD degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • After admission to the PsyD Program, all academic requirements must be completed in residence, except where transfer credit units have been awarded
  • Completion of the 180 quarter units required by the Program
  • A full-time load of 36 units must be carried for a minimum of one year, preferably in year one
  • A minimum grade of B- is required in each course applied to meeting degree requirements
  • An overall grade-point average of 3.0 must be achieved in all work for the PsyD Program
  • The Clinical Readiness Examination (1st year) and the Clinical Proficiency Examination (3rd year) must be passed
  • The following professional training must be completed and documented: Ethnographic Placement (1st year), Beginning Practicum (2nd year), Advanced Practicum (3rd year), and Internship (after all coursework has been completed)
  • Thirty sessions of personal psychotherapy must be completed (preferably prior to Internship)
  • The dissertation must be successfully completed and defended (preferably prior to Internship)
  • All Program requirements must be completed within eight calendar years of matriculation

A Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree opens doors in a variety of industries, including health care, social assistance, public administration, and professional, scientific, technical and educational services, among others.

If you’re looking for a program founded on the principles of social justice, diversity, and inclusion and emphasizes multicultural competence, NU’s PsyD degree can prepare you to sit for the national licensing exam for professional practice. Once you’ve earned your doctorate, you’ll be qualified to pursue a position in a field expected to grow by about 8% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* 

NU’s PsyD program focuses on preparing you with the knowledge and skills employers in this field actively seek, including competence in leadership, scheduling, adaptability, research, management, communications, teaching, planning, operations, coordinating, consulting, problem solving, and mentorship. With these qualifications, you’ll be in position to pursue positions** like:

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Sport Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Forensic/Correctional Psychologist
  • Health Psychologist
  • School Psychologists
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
  • Psychological Consultant
  • Program Director
  • Pediatric Psychologist

*SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 21, 2022). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

At National University, our dedicated faculty have expertise in working with diverse populations, as well as in the specific subject matter of their courses. Our educators include leaders within APA and other professional organizations, pioneers in fields such as cultural, LGBTQ+, disability psychology, and social justice advocates. 

Our program maintains a 8-to-1 core student to faculty ratio, ensuring that class sizes are small and that students establish relationships with mentors that continue throughout their doctoral program and beyond. Each PsyD student has a core faculty advisor to help them navigate the program and develop their professional identities.

Earning a PsyD degree can help you further your career in the field of psychology and fulfill your desire to make a positive impact in your community. You’ll also be well compensated for the impact you’ll have on the mental wellness of the communities where you choose to work; the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median annual pay for psychologists was $81,040 in, May 2021 and climbs all the way to $133,890 for the top 10% in the field.*

Job prospects are best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty. Most psychologists also need a license. NU’s PsyD degree prepares students to serve their communities in a variety of vital roles, including:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Post-secondary Psychology Teacher
  • Consultant

*SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this Program, students will be able to:

  • Develop expertise in the integration of science and Health Service Psychology practice.
  • Manage ethical issues in accordance with APA Ethical Principles, applicable laws, and relevant Health Service Psychology standards and guidelines.
  • Integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural diversity in the conduct of Health Service Psychology roles.
  • Cultivate professional values, attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with Health Service Psychology standards.
  • Support effective interpersonal communication through written and oral Health Service Psychology language and concepts.
  • Develop competence in conducting evidence-based and contextually appropriate assessment consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology.
  • Implement evidence-based and contextually appropriate interventions consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology.
  • Incorporate Health Service Psychology supervision models and practices in professional situations.
  • Incorporate Health Service Psychology consultation models and practices in interaction with clients and other stakeholders.
  • Integrate understanding of the history, foundational science, and research principles that underlie the field of Health Service Psychology.

Hear From Our Faculty

Watch our video to hear Program Chair Dr. Doug Haldeman discuss the Program and what you can expect.


Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.

Applications to the PsyD Program are made through the PSYCAS portal, where you will upload all required application materials. The Program accepts applications from November through mid-August. Students begin classes once a year only, in the fall quarter. The Program operates on a traditional academic quarter system, and all classes are held in person at the JFK SOPSS campus in Pleasant Hill, CA.

Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.

To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today.

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The PsyD program is offered only on-site at our campus in Pleasant Hill, CA. Courses are taught in a traditional quarter (11 week) format.

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We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 230,000 alumni worldwide.

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“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology, and a PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy. Training for PsyD students focuses more on clinical work, while PhD students tend to spend more time on research, following the scientist-practitioner model. The PhD also has a more rigorous and lengthier dissertation process involved.

Most PsyD programs can be completed in five to seven years, including an internship.

According to Salary.com, the median salary for a doctorate level psychologist in California earns $124,760 as of March 28, 2023. However, the typical range is between $113,419 and $138,651.*

*SOURCE: Salary.com, Psychologist — Ph.D. Salary in California, on the internet at https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/psychologist-ph-d-salary/ca (viewed April 2023)

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist helping others overcome mental health challenges, then yes, a PsyD is worth the money, as this degree provides the training and skills necessary to do so. Clinical psychology is considered a well-paying and personally rewarding, admirable profession.

Yes, individuals who hold a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) degree have earned a doctoral-level degree and are entitled to use the title “Doctor.”

No, a PsyD is not necessarily “higher” than a PhD. Both degrees require extensive study and research, but the emphasis is different. A PhD in psychology is focused more on research and experimentation, while a PsyD is focused more on clinical practice.

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The Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program is currently under accreditation review by APA. National University is regionally accredited by WSCUC. Questions about WSCUC accreditation can be addressed at:

985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone: 510-748-9001

Our students are strongly encouraged to complete their internship at an APA-accredited site. Students are required to use the APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) system for application to internships and a minimum of 80% of student applications must be submitted to APA-accredited sites.

In the United States, each state makes its own rules regarding the educational requirements for licensure of psychologists. As such, requirements for professional licensure and certification can vary markedly by state. The JFK School of Psychology at National University, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) meets the educational degree completion requirements for licensure in the state of California as a Licensed Psychologist.

The curriculum requirements of the PsyD Program enable students to sit for the National Psychology Licensing Exam (EPPP). Completion of the PsyD Program allows the student to sit for the EPPP in any state, provided that all curricular requirements are satisfied.

It is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from an APA-accredited program. In addition, some agencies of the federal government only hire graduates of APA-accredited programs. If you wish to work for such an agency, please contact them directly for further information on hiring requirements.

We advise you to contact your state licensing and certification body to ensure the degree will meet requirements for licensure in the state in which you seek to be licensed. For licensing board contact information and approval status, please see the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards website. For all students, applicants, or prospective students seeking licensure in any state, please review the chart below outlining the University’s determination about the program’s curriculum and how it relates to the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in that respective state.

California All other states, including the District of Columbia and the US protectorates, as defined in 34 CFR §600.2.

It is strongly encouraged that students, applicants, and prospective students determine any additional (i.e., non-educational) requirements for licensure in the state in which they seek to be licensed. Many licensure boards require more than successful degree completion to obtain a license, such as completion of an examination(s), test(s), background check(s), internship/practicum hours, and other requirements determined by the respective state board. It is the responsibility of the student completing the licensure program to check with the respective state licensing board(s) for the most recent information, rules and requirements.


The Program is currently under accreditation review by APA.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336 – 5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: accreditation.apa.org

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.