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 have earned a graduate degree from a regionally-accredited degree program in a mental health discipline; e.g. psychology, counseling, clinical social work, marriage, and family therapy.
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.
For external applicants, application materials must be submitted by October 1 for the following fall semester, and interviews are held for approved candidates by December 7. Admission decisions will be mailed December 31.
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, www.wes.org or www.ece.org.)
• 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., www.wes.org or www.ece.org). 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.
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 practicum at the Center for Psychological Services or prior to working in external practica or internships.
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
Students currently enrolled in the IPS Master of Science (M.S.) Program in Clinical Psychology must have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours in order to apply (or have completed their fall semester of 13 credit hours and be enrolled for 12 credit hours in the spring when they make their application). Application materials will be distributed by the director of the Psy.D. Program and the Office of Enrollment Services. Deadline for submission is November 1; interviews must be completed by December 7 and admission decision letters will be sent out by December 31.
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. The applicant is responsible for all personal transportation costs associated with these interviews.
In considering IPS student 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, clinical rating scores, scores on the GRE and TOEFL or IELTS (where applicable), three letters of recommendation, the interview process, personal statements, and essays from the applicant, 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.
Once accepted, IPS student applicants may apply all credits earned thus far from the M.S. Program toward the degree requirements for the Psy.D. Program, and are permitted to substitute up to 12 hours of upper-level coursework in order to meet the degree requirements for the conferral of the M.S. Clinical degree.
Course-for-Credit or Audit
A limited selection of master’s-level courses may be taken on a course-for-credit or audit basis by non-degree seeking students holding an appropriate baccalaureate degree. Any person wishing to apply to register on a course-for-credit or audit basis must submit a completed application, official undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcript(s), and the required application fee ($35). Personal statements, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and interviews are not required. The application is reviewed and approved by the Chair of the department and registration will be subject to the enrollment limitations that follow.
Only the following courses are eligible to be taken by non-degree students (unless special permission is received from the Department Chair and Academic Dean): PHT 502, PHT 535, PHT 614, PHT 633, PHT 635, PSY 500, PSY 503, PSY 504, PSY 605. Students receiving permission to register course-for-credit or audit are not admitted nor guaranteed admission to a degree program. Enrollment is subject to limitations of class size, with priority given to students enrolled for credit, any special requirements for auditing a particular class, and the exclusion of auditors from a particular class or a given type of class.
For students registering on a course-for-credit or audit basis, attendance is required (see “Class Attendance”). Auditing students will not be obliged to complete any of the class requirements. No academic credit is awarded for auditing a course.
A student currently taking a course on an audit basis may petition to take the course on a course-for-credit basis through the Office of Enrollment Services. The petition must be presented and approved prior to the commencement of the third scheduled week of classes. Students who have previously audited a class for which they later wish to receive credit may later re-enroll in the same course, for credit, by registering and paying the regular registration fee. Students who have previously audited a class, and who are now taking the course for credit are required to complete the assignments for the course as outlined by the current syllabus for that class, including any requirements for class participation, papers, and examinations. The student may, however, petition the instructor and Academic Dean in writing for a modification of the class attendance requirement of the Institute.
Criteria for Transfer of Credit
Graduate credits are transferable from regionally accredited institutions. Courses considered for transfer must have been completed within a period of six years prior to acceptance into the Institute’s programs. Exceptions to this time limit may be granted for applicants who have been actively involved in the field in which the degree was earned on a continuous basis prior to admission. Extension, continuing education, or in-service courses that are not intended by the institution offering the courses as part of a degree program are not acceptable for transfer credit to the Institute. No graduate credit can be awarded for undergraduate-level courses.
Students admitted to the M.S. Program in Clinical Psychology or General Psychology may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours. Students admitted to the Psy.D. Program may petition for the transfer of a maximum of 18 credit hours. All transfer courses must have been earned at a graduate-level program in a regionally accredited college or university.
Transfer of graduate credits earned at other institutions is not automatic. Only graduate credit for courses determined to be equivalent to courses offered at the Institute can be transferred for course credit. In addition, only courses for which a grade of B (3.0) or better is obtained will be considered for transfer.
Applicants should note that given the unique mission of the Institute, certain courses completed at other academic institutions may differ significantly in content, although a similar title is given to the course at both institutions. Therefore, the following courses typically are not eligible for transfer from another institution:
PHT 502 Philosophical and Theological Anthropology
PHT 535 The Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity
PHT 614 Practical Reasoning and Moral Character
PHT 635 Theology of Marriage and Family
PSY 512 Law, Ethics, and Psychology
PSY 516 Basic Interviewing and Clinical Skills
PSY 609 Adult Psychotherapy
PSY 610 Child Psychotherapy
PSY 611 Marital Psychotherapy
PSY 724 Advanced Adult Psychotherapy
PSY 734 Advanced Child, Marriage, and Family Therapy I
PSY 735 Advanced Child, Marriage, and Family Therapy II
PSY 736 Child Psychopathology
PSY 836 Advanced Personality Assessment
Students wishing to apply for transfer of credit to the Institute must be enrolled in a degree program and must submit the appropriate transfer of credit form (obtained from the Office of Enrollment Services) to the Program Director prior to the end of the second semester in which they are enrolled in their degree program. This request will be reviewed by the Department Chair who will notify the student of the decision regarding the request.
Life Experiences and Course Exemptions
IPS does not permit course exemptions for life experiences.
Deferral of Enrollment
Admission is granted only for the semester to which the applicant applies. Deferral of enrollment does not guarantee deferral of financial aid package. Those failing to register for the semester for which they have received acceptance can request that their application remain active for up to two years from the year for which they originally applied, provided:
1) the applicant understands that admission to a future semester is not guaranteed and their application will be re-considered with the pool of applicants for the year they choose to apply;
2) the request to maintain an active application file must be received in writing by the Office of Admissions prior to August 15 of the year for which they were offered enrollment;
3) the applicant confirms to the Office of Admissions his or her desire to be re-considered for admission prior to January 1 of the year for which they would like to enroll. This confirmation comprises updated materials for their file to reflect their work or study since the time of their original application, including:
a. personal Statement “A” explaining how their current goals coincide with study at IPS;
b. official transcripts reflecting any academic work completed since the original submission;
c. at least one letter of recommendation from a professor or employer which reflects the applicant’s accomplishments or abilities;
d. test scores (GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable). Students must re-take tests if test scores have expired prior to enrollment
e. admission or degree requirements adopted since original application may be required as well;
f. application fee of $55; and,
4) interviews may or may not be required at the discretion of the Admission Committee
Re-Application for Admission of Previously-Enrolled Student
Students who have withdrawn from the Institute in good standing may re-apply for admission. If their re-application is within three years of their withdrawal, they are not required to re-submit official transcripts from their education prior to IPS but should be prepared to submit the following:
1) revised application form, including updated contact information;
2) revised Personal Statement “A,” stating the reasons for their desire to return to complete their studies at IPS;
3) official transcripts reflecting any academic work completed during the time they have been away from IPS;
4) at least one letter of recommendation from a professor or employer which reflects the applicant’s accomplishments or abilities in the time they have been away from IPS; and,
5) application fee of $55.
The student will be required to adhere to the admission and degree requirements adopted since original matriculation or to special requirements imposed as a condition of re-admission, such as repetition of certain examinations or courses.
If it has been more than three years since the student’s withdrawal they must re-submit all application materials as required by the Office of Admissions.
Students who have financial obligations to the Institute are ineligible until these obligations are satisfied.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Institute admits qualified students of any age, race, gender, color, nationality or ethnic origin to its programs. Applicants should understand that the central mission of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences is the development of a Christian approach to the psychological sciences. The Institute welcomes qualified students of any religious faith; nonetheless, all students who seek admission must sincerely desire to share the Institute’s mission and objectives. Given its distinct and unique goal of integrating psychology with the Catholic view of the person, the degree programs at the Institute differ from traditional psychology programs in their approach, while maintaining the rigor in both the quantity and quality of clinical training.
Director of Admissions
703.416.1441 x 117