Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) : The Path to Success

If you’re interested in psychology and want to focus on clinical study, a PsyD degree is essential. A PsyD degree is a doctorate in clinical psychology. A PsyD is the preferred choice for those wish to open their own private practice and help clients with their problems. In fact, it is required in order to become a licensed psychologist.

A PsyD is very intensive and requires an internship, dissertation and up to seven years of study before completion. This degree prepares students for the licensing exam they are required to pass before practicing as a psychologist. Although PsyD programs focus on preparing students for clinical practice, students with a PsyD degree can work in academics and research as well.

Although a PsyD focuses on clinical work, it also incorporates elements of theory and research so that students have a well-rounded education. Students also learn important skills such as effective communication, ethics, compassion and sensitivity. Since psychology involves dealing with people, students must be willing to help and listen. The research portion of the program teaches students how research is conducted in the real world. This means that students learn to work with others and present accurate and detailed findings.

The PsyD program can require anywhere from 100-141 credit hours of study. The program requires completion of the following types of courses:

– Personality and cognitive assessments
– Treating diverse populations
– Psychopharmacology
– Behavioral, experimental and psychodynamic therapy
– Assessment and intervention skills
– Group, family and couples therapy
– Consultation and supervision
– Ethics and professionalism
– Human development
– Social and physiological psychology
– Cognition
– Psychopathology
– Research and statistics
– Clinical research


One accredited school that offers this degree is Argosy University, which has a clinical psychology program that emphasizes knowledge and skill development necessary to become a psychologist. Students will learn to assess clients’ problems and strengths by using appropriate and professional diagnostic measures. They are also taught to communicate their findings effectively.

Students learn professional methods to carry out successful interventions and evaluate their outcomes. They learn critical thinking skills by evaluating psychological literature and research studies. The program also teaches students to build relationships with others, including co-workers, supervisors and clients, and working with them effectively to provide quality consultations.

Admission requirements for a PsyD program depend on the school. Some require a specific grade point average, test scores, essays or an interview with a member of faculty. Students must complete the PsyD program in seven years, although it is usually completed by most students five or six years.

Those who enter the psychology field have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, government, schools and large corporations. Besides psychology, a PsyD can prepare students who want to pursue careers in other fields, including law, government, science, academics and marketing.

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