The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology is designed to meet the needs of working professionals by providing 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 leadership excellence in the career domains of Education, Mental Health, and Human Services.
The Psy.D. program expands the development of APU’s existing Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) to the terminal degree level, providing doctoral students with individual attention through a combination of short-term residencies and individual contract instruction as they prepare to become leaders for the fields of psychology, education, and human service work. This model of learning offers the advantages of allowing working professionals to craft a degree plan of professional training in collaboration with doctoral-level advisors and mentors.
The degree requires 60 hours of credits beyond an appropriate Master’s degree entry requirement, including a dissertation or project called a Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE) and a 1500 hour pre-doctoral internship. The program consists of three full years of course work or 9 full semesters. The first year of APU’s Doctoral program consists of 8 intensive weekend seminars to cover the core curriculum required for licensure. In the second year students work on their PDE and complete practicums. In the third year, students are completing their 1500 hour pre-doctoral internship. Weekend seminars continue in the second and third year, but are generally less intensive as much of the work is being completed out of the classroom.The program curriculum of Track 1 is designed to meet requirements leading to licensure as a psychologist in Alaska and elsewhere. Track 2 is designed for students not desiring licensure as a psychologist in Alaska but wanting a terminal degree in an area of Counseling Psychology that allows them to be creative in designing a personal educational experience emphasizing practical application in a specialized area. The program for both tracks is organized around the following learning themes each year:
Year One: Theory and Application
Year Two: Research and Practice
Year Three: Professional Experience and Internship
Consult the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU for admissions requirements. In addition there are several specific requirements for the Psy.D. program.
For the licensure track (track 1) – Completion of a Masters degree in appropriate field. The program of study should have been designed to lead to licensure as a professional counselor or similar level of professional license. The program should have included a significant internship and/or practicum.
For the non-licensure track (track 2) – Completion of Masters degree in appropriate field that provides a base of understanding necessary to undertake the Psy.D. at APU. Graduate courses should typically include graduate level work in abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, research methods and counseling skill courses.
Admissions Requirements and Procedures
1. Current Professional CV or Resume.
2. Letters of recommendation (note 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.
3. A one or two page autobiography (personal as opposed to professional) that highlights your strengths.
4. An essay that addresses the following questions:
a. What are your reasons for wanting a Psy.D.from APU at this time?
b. 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.
c. Describe your abilities and desires regarding rigorous independent work within a cohort setting or model along with your plans to enter into Track 1 (license eligible as psychologist) or Track 2 (non- traditional counseling psychology models)
d. Describe your plan to balance graduate school, work, and personal life should you be admitted to the program.
5. Provide an example of professional writing that demonstrates the ability to use citations to support arguments and document citations in a reference section.
6. If licensed as a counselor, mental health provider, or social worker, provide proof of licenses 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.
7. Interview. Once all completed applications are reviewed a limited number of well-qualified applicants will be contacted for a personal interview.
8. Application Deadline. The deadline to submit an application is February 1st.
Enrollment is limited. This is to ensure the quality of the educational experience.