Apr 21, 2024  
APU 2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
APU 2015-2016 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling Psychology, Psy.D.

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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 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.

Program Description

The degree requires a minimum of 80 hours of credits beyond an appropriate Master’s degree entry requirement.  The program includes required coursework, practicums, a dissertation, and a 2000 hour pre-doctoral internship.  The program consists of four full years of course work or 12 full semesters.  Courses are offered primarily during face to face weekend intensives which are supported by virtual classes. The program curriculum is designed to meet requirements leading to licensure as a psychologist in Alaska.


Consult the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU for admissions requirements. In addition there are several specific requirements for the PsyD program.

Program Prerequisites

Completion of a Master’s degree in appropriate field. An appropriate Master’s degree is defined as including the following coursework:

  • Human growth and lifespan development
  • Social & cultural foundations or diversity training for helping professionals
  • Helping relationships or counseling skills and techniques 
  • Counseling or personality theory
  • Abnormal psychology or psychopathology
  • Research methods 
  • Psychological assessment, appraisal, or tests and measurements
  • Counseling practicum or internship

Applicants who have a deficit in one or more of the areas listed above, and who otherwise would qualify for entrance into the program, may be considered for admission with the understanding that the deficit must be remedied during the first year of the doctoral program. If you have too many prerequisite deficits, the APU PsyD may need to defer application for admittance to the following year.

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 personal interview with representatives from the department.

Admissions Requirements and Procedures

1.  Current Professional CV or Resume.

2.  Letters of professional 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. We are particularly interested in hearing from colleagues and supervisors who are familiar with your academic work and work in the field.

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 PsyD 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 the PsyD.

       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 clarity of thought and organizations, 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.

6.  Complete Previous Clinical Experience form.

7. 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.

8.  Interview. Once all completed applications are reviewed a limited number of the most well-qualified applicants will be contacted for a personal interview.

9.  Application Deadline. The deadline to submit an application is October 15th for classes that will begin the following year (the new student orientation will be held in mid-March).

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.

The Selection Process

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, etc.) classes in the Master’s curriculum, graduate GPA, clinical/counseling experience, professional letters of recommendation, ability to write professionally in APA format, and essays. Incomplete applications as of the deadline date may not be reviewed. Well-qualified applicants are invited for interviews. Following the interviews, offers are extended to the most qualified applicants until a diverse cohort comprised of 10 students is reached. In the event that there are not enough qualified applicants then the program will have a cohort of fewer than 10 students.

Enrollment is limited. This is to ensure the quality of the educational experience.

First Year

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 80

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