The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Counseling Psychology is designed to meet the needs of working professionals desiring to further their education and meet requirements to become a licensed psychologist in Alaska. The program provides rigorous doctorate level education and training through an applied active learning model to produce professional practitioners who are able to integrate theory, practice, and research to provide practice and leadership excellence. The program embraces place-based learning and cultural relevancy as critical for mental health practitioners serving Alaska’s diverse communities. The program curriculum is designed to meet requirements leading to licensure as a psychologist in Alaska.
Upon completion of the degree, students will have demonstrated competence in:
- Theory and practice of evidence-based practice in intervention
- Theory and practice of evidence-based practice in assessment
- Knowledge and application of ethical and legal standards
- Individual and cultural diversity
- Professional values and attitudes
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Theories and practice of interdisciplinary consultation
- Theories of supervision
- Reflective practice
The PsyD program admits students to the Fall semester only. The application deadline for PsyD is February 15th. The application for admission and all required supplemental documents must be received by the February 15th deadline in order to be considered for admission to the program.
A Master’s degree is pre-requisite, earned in a related field of study. Students may be eligible to transfer in a maximum of 31 credits of graduate-level coursework according to APU transfer policies. Potential coursework to be transferred in will be evaluated by the Program Director to determine if courses are current and substantially equivalent to APU required curriculum. Required coursework for the PsyD which has been successfully completed through APU’s MSCP is accepted if taken within 5 years of starting the PsyD program.
Preference will be given to applicants with strong academic credentials and relevant experience as a helping professional. Applicants who are finalists for admission will be invited on campus for a formal interview with representatives from the program area. Enrollment is limited to ensure the quality of the educational experience. The following criteria are used to evaluate applicants for the program: academic area in which Master’s degree was earned (e.g., counseling, counseling psychology, social work, or related field); classes in the Master’s curriculum; graduate GPA; clinical/counseling experience; professional letters of recommendation; ability to write professionally in APA format; and essays.
The general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog. In addition, there are supplemental requirements the PsyD program as follows:
- Current Professional CV or Resume
- Three letters of professional recommendation dated within the past year (recommendation letters should include an appraisal of your ability to work in a significantly self-directed program at the doctoral level as well as your critical thinking, analytical, creative expression, and communications skills; letter writers should include the writer’s address, telephone number(s) and e-mail and their relationship to you; the program is particularly interested in hearing from colleagues and supervisors who are familiar with your academic work and work in the field)
- Graduate Record Exam (within the past 5 years): Alaska Pacific University’s reporting code is 4201
- A 1-2 page autobiography (personal as opposed to professional) that highlights your strengths.
- An essay that addresses the following areas relating to your professional interests in the program:
- What are your reasons for wanting a PsyD from APU at this time?
- What are your short- and long-term personal and professional goals? How do you see yourself contributing to the improvement of the community or larger society with the doctorate?
- Describe your abilities and desires regarding rigorous independent work within a cohort setting, along with your plans to enter into the PsyD.
- Describe your plan to balance graduate school, work, and personal life should you be admitted to the program.
- Provide an example of professional writing that demonstrates clarity of thought and organization, adheres to proper APA formatting, uses APA citations to support arguments, and documents citations in a reference section. Previous academic papers may be used if done in the format of the APA Style manual, 6th Edition or later.
- Complete Previous Clinical Experience form.
- If licensed as a counselor, mental health provider, or social worker, provide proof of license(s) and a statement that no license actions have been taken against you, if that is the case. If there have been license actions against you, please explain the circumstances and the resolution.
- Interview. Once all completed applications are reviewed a limited number of the most well-qualified applicants will be contacted for a formal interview.
- After a student has been fully admitted to the program, authorization for a background check will be required. Results will be shared only with the program director, and will be used for advising purposes, as they may impact internship placement and potential for state licensure.
Students must have a Master’s degree and have met the following prerequisites before beginning the PsyD:
One of the following courses must have been completed:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Personality Theories
- History and Systems of Psychology
- Social Psychology
Each of the following courses must have been completed:
- Research Methods or Experimental Psychology
- Human Development (e.g., Child Development, Adolescent Psychology, Life-span Development)
The Program Director will advise students who have questions about prerequisites and whether prior coursework is applicable. Students may complete prerequisites at Alaska Pacific as non-degree seeking students.
PsyD Format and Program Delivery
The PsyD program is designed to be completed in 12 semesters across 5 years of enrollment.
Coursework is delivered in a hybrid format with synchronous eLearning sessions and on-campus intensives. Intensives allow for face-to-face knowledge and skill building, provide opportunities for students to practice skills in person, and prepare students for practicum and internship placements. Synchronous eLearning sessions allow for material delivery and seminar discussion. Student should expect to meet on campus for three 3-day intensives per semester; for each course, students should expect to meet in weekly eLearning sessions between intensives.