Doctoral Program (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology

Doctoral study in the helping professions rooted in psychology and the Catholic tradition.


Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Admission Information

Please note the application process is different for current IPS students and external non-IPS applicants. It is important for external applicants to reach out to our Admissions Department well before the October 1st application deadline.

Admission Process: External Applicants to the Psy.D. Program

External applicants applying to the Psy.D. Program must apply to and be enrolled in at least one semester of the M.S. in Clinical Psychology program at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. Direct application to the Psy.D. program is also accepted from individuals with a master’s degree from a regionally-accredited degree program in a mental health discipline; e.g. psychology (clinical, counseling, or school), counseling, clinical social work, marriage & family therapy. Note: Enrollment in or even graduation from the M.S. Psychology program online does not qualify a student for admission to the Psy.D. program.

For information regarding application to the M.S. in Clinical Psychology Program, please visit the Admissions page here.

Because the admission process is focused on the individual, personal interviews will be held with those students meeting the published academic criteria. These interviews must be scheduled through the Office of Admissions, and must be conducted in person. The applicant is responsible for all personal transportation costs associated with these interviews.

Psy.D. Application deadline (for external applicants) October 1
Psy.D. Application deadline (for current IPS MS students) November 1
Psy.D. interview deadline December 6
Psy.D. decision letters mailed December 18


In considering external applicants to the Psy.D. Program, the Admission Committee considers the following factors: cumulative undergraduate GPA, academic and/or clinical performance in any previous graduate work, GPA in social science courses (undergraduate and graduate), scores on the GRE and TOEFL or IELTS (where applicable), three letters of recommendation, the interview process, personal statements and essays from the applicant, clinical suitability, and commitment to and potential to fulfill the mission of the Institute and the Psy.D. Program objectives. For all applicants, a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) is required in order to be competitive in the admission process.

The Admission Committee reviews only completed applications for each applicant seeking admission. For an application to be considered complete, each applicant must submit the following to the Office of Admissions:

• Application form with personal statements as instructed on the form (form can be downloaded here, or is available from the Office of Admissions);

• Three (3) letters of recommendation capable of evaluating the applicant’s academic preparedness for graduate work in psychology, philosophy, and theology. Download form here.

• Official transcripts from all institutions attended, each in an official sealed envelope. (International students must submit a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation from an approved service, or

• GRE scores – General Test Score – taken within the last five years, submitted directly to the Institute from the Educational Testing Service (IPS school code 5639)

• Non-refundable application fee ($55)

• (For those who do not have English as their first language) Test scores of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS), if applicable, submitted directly to IPS by the testing agency (IPS school code 5639).

• One-page statement of clinical and research interests (Form available from the Office of Admissions).

Applicants holding degrees from outside the United States must arrange to have any international transcript(s) translated and a “Course-by-Course” evaluation completed and sent directly to IPS from an approved evaluation service (i.e., or Official transcripts must also be sent directly to IPS from the institution(s).

Applicants whose native language is not English must have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the past two years. TOEFL scores must be at least 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 250 on the computer-based (CBT), and 600 on the paper-based (PBT) version. Academic IELTS scores must fall into the overall band of at least 7.0, with no individual band scores below 6.0. Test results must be sent directly from the testing agency, which only make them available for up to two years from the test date.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange for the forwarding of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended, and to ensure that all required application materials reach the Office of Admissions before the intended deadline(s).

Once all required forms, fees, and documents are received, the Admission Committee will invite all qualified applicants to schedule onsite personal interviews. All arrangements will be made through the Office of Admissions and must take place by the indicated deadline(s).

Applicants to the Psy.D. Program should note that given the Institute’s aim to integrate psychology and a Catholic philosophical and theological understanding of the human person, all students are required to complete four courses in the areas of theology and philosophy in order to graduate. Students who apply should be prepared to undertake rigorous graduate level studies in philosophy and theology in areas relevant to psychology.

Background Check

Applicants who are admitted and become IPS students should be aware that they will be required to be fingerprinted and to pass a background check prior to beginning work with clients in their external practicum or internships.

International Students

The Institute can accept foreign applicants who are in the United States as dependents of someone in the country on a work visa.  The Institute can also accept students in the country on F-1 and R-1 visas.  International students are required to maintain valid immigration status throughout their stay at the Institute.  In most cases, this requires that the student be enrolled full-time for two consecutive semesters out of every year.  A person whose immigration status is not valid is not considered a current student, and cannot register for classes, participate in the Institute’s activities, or apply for readmission or admission to a degree program.

For any coursework completed outside the United States, please see instructions for the translation and/or evaluation of foreign transcripts.

Admission Process: Current IPS Student Applicants to the Psy.D. Program

Current M.S. clinical students are informed about the Psy.D. program during their orientation to M.S. clinical program, and also through a Psy.D. application meeting midway through the fall semester. Students are eligible to apply to the Psy.D. program after being enrolled full-time for at least one semester  in the M.S. clinical program. Application materials are distributed by the director of the Psy.D. Program and the Office of Enrollment Services.

The criteria for M.S. Clinical students applying to the Psy.D. program are: IPS cumulative GPA, GRE scores, clinical performance at IPS as measured by clinical rating scales courses, a work sample, and lack of being on an clinical remediation plan, interview, and personal statements. Because the admission process is focused on the individual, personal interviews will be arranged with all applicants meeting the published academic criteria. These interviews are typically scheduled in November, and must be conducted in person.

Successful applicants are admitted at the end of the Fall semester and are eligible for taking courses in the Psy.D. curriculum beginning in the Spring semester. However, enrollment in the Psy.D. program begins the fall semester of the next academic year. Once enrolled in the Psy.D. program, students are no longer considered enrolled in the M.S. clinical program.

Note: Psy.D. students can qualify for the M.S. Clinical degree, once they meet all M.S. Clinical degree requirements, including: 65 credit hours as outlined in the M.S. Clinical Program curriculum, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0; a non-credit course in library, information use, and research; the satisfactory completion of the M.S. Clinical Externship, with a minimum of 600 of supervised clinical practice; the satisfactory completion of the M.S. Comprehensive Examination; and satisfactory demonstration of clinical skills as evidenced by successful Clinical Skill Probes. M.S. Clinical students admitted to the Psy.D. Program are permitted to substitute up to 16 credit hours of doctoral-level coursework in order to meet the aforementioned degree requirements of the M.S. Clinical Program.

To view Admissions Policies, please click here.