Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization
Colorado Springs Campus
This program may lead to licensure.^
Clinical Psychology training at University of the Rockies follows the Practitioner-Scholar Model, which prepares all students, regardless of previous earned master's degrees or transfer credits, to be skilled practitioners who provide mental health services that are based upon and firmly grounded in the science of psychology. The program philosophy is to prepare practitioners with the knowledge and skills requisite to critically evaluate and effectively apply scientific research findings to everyday practice. To this end, students complete research methodology coursework and engage in research as a part of the program. Through this experience, students grow in their ability to evaluate the research of others and to conduct research that will ultimately enhance the effectiveness of the services they provide.
Further, the program employs an educational model of experiential learning wherein students learn by and while doing. This is clearly reflected through student involvement in practicum experiences that allow for sequentially graduated levels of responsibility and complexity, from the point of matriculation through the completion of all foundation and applied skill coursework.
Classes are offered in a combination of evening and weekend formats and are taught on campus in a face-to-face format.
Within the PsyD, Clinical Specialization, doctoral candidates may pursue one of these areas of concentration: Clinical Neuropsychology, Forensic/Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Sport Neuroperformance.
Students seeking admission to the PsyD, Clinical Specialization must hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or an equivalent international degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students entering with a grade point average of 2.00 to 2.99 will be placed on Academic Watch.
Students who have completed graduate-level coursework at another college or university may transfer up to 36 graduate-level credits from a regionally accredited institution of higher education on a course-by-course basis. Please review the transfer credit policies for nontransferable courses and program requirements.
Students earning the PsyD, Clinical Specialization, will have acquired a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical psychotherapy experience in Clinical Practicum and Pre-Doctoral Internship, and are required to obtain 30 hours of personal therapy.
Students who enroll in University of the Rockies' Master of Arts program and desire to enter the University of the Rockies' PsyD program must submit updated admission materials as required for the PsyD, Clinical Specialization to the Campus Registrar after successful completion of at least the first year of the MA program and must complete an interview with an Interview Panel appointed by the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee may choose to waive the interview for a student on an individual basis. The Admissions Committee will review the student's records and the Interview Panel's recommendations and make a final decision regarding admission to the PsyD program.
An applicant must submit the following information and forms to be considered for full admission:
- University of the Rockies' Application for Admission for Mental Healthcare Specializations Applicants.
- Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, or graduate schools attended.
- A 3-5 page autobiography. The autobiography should cover personal and professional goals; academic and professional experience; personal qualities that will contribute to the candidate's success as a graduate student; and why the candidate has chosen to apply to University of the Rockies and the desired program of study.
- Three letters of recommendation on University of the Rockies' Applicant Recommendation form. Letters must be from individuals who are familiar with the candidate's academic ability, work ability, integrity, and potential as a professional psychologist.
- Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that has been completed within one year of the application.
- Consent to a criminal background check at www.validityacademics.com.
- Official copies of TOEFL or transcripts to satisfy the English language requirement, if applicable.
Core faculty members who teach courses within this program include:
- Allen Cornelius, PhD
- Steven Gray, PhD
- Gary Mears, PhD, PsyD
- Nicole J. Peak, PhD
- David C. Solly, EdD
- Camea Gagliardi-Blea, PhD
- Ian Wickramasekera, PsyD
University of the Rockies Campus
University of the Rockies is located near downtown Colorado Springs with vast, rolling plains to the east and Pikes Peak towering at over 14,000 feet to the west.
The campus occupies three buildings near the intersection of Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues, including the historic Santa Fe railroad depot.
Rockies Counseling Center
Students benefit from our on-site community counseling center. Under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists, students meet with clients from the community to practice their psychotherapy skills. Rockies Counseling Center (RCC) serves patients who have medical insurance, as well as those who are uninsured or who have limited ability to pay. Clients are referred to the Center from other community organizations, local hospitals, and the court system. No one is denied service based on inability to pay.
RCC is approximately 10,000 square feet and includes a dozen therapy rooms, a charting room, an audiovisual room, a classroom, an intake office, seven offices, and a student lounge. Each therapy room is uniquely designed so that clients and student-therapists can test room orientations and color schemes. Several rooms have been dedicated to therapy using music, art, and play, and some rooms can also accommodate group therapy.
All 12 therapy rooms are equipped with video cameras, so therapy sessions may be recorded for supervision and teaching purposes. An audiovisual room located in the Center has 13 wall-mounted monitors and wireless headphones for secure viewing.
Graduates are employed across the country, in settings that include hospitals, mental health centers, inpatient and outpatient therapy facilities, practice groups, independent private practices, and consulting firms. Graduates have been licensed in a number of states, including Colorado, California, Illinois, Texas, and North Carolina, among others. The majority of our graduates work in outpatient facilities or in private practice.
- Mentoring & Academic Advising
Students partner with a faculty member, who mentors them, provides advice on course selection, and who provides professional guidance and support. Students also receive guidance on their program requirements, progress toward graduation, and access to student support services.
The University Library provides a selection of psychological, educational, counseling and specialty journals, as well as access to books that support research and learning. University librarians are available for research assistance by email or telephone seven days a week.
- Writing Center
Rockies Writing Center is an online resource to help students develop their academic writing skills. Coaches are also available to provide feedback on scholarly papers and dissertations. In addition, the Writing Center is staffed by professional Writing Coaches who will review papers and provide feedback on grammar, clarity of language, and APA style.
For a full list of University procedures, please reference the current University of the Rockies Academic Catalog.
Supervised clinical training is an integral part of graduate education in psychology at University of the Rockies, and Rockies Counseling Center offers a unique opportunity for students early in their training to obtain experience and feedback from experienced psychologists. Practicum students participate in providing psychological services to clients during their training at University of the Rockies.
The goal of the practicum is for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and self-knowledge needed to become competent psychology interns and, eventually, psychologists. The practicum complements classroom education, provides the opportunity to work with experienced clinicians, and helps students develop their professional identity. Students practice and develop skills in psychological assessment, diagnostics, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, and assessing treatment outcomes. The School of Professional Psychology and Rockies Counseling Center work together to provide professional training experiences and excellent care for persons receiving psychological services from our students. The practicum is also one way in which we are able to meet APA compliance standards, specifically, Domain C-3-f: “access to or control over practicum training sites and facilities that are appropriate to the program's goals, objectives, and training model.”
For more detail, please refer to the Clinical Practicum Handbook.
Faculty research interests on which students can collaborate include impaired professionals and ethics; eating disorders; depression and suicide; youth development and sport; job satisfaction; pediatric neuropsychology; correctional mental health; counterfactual thinking; and other topics.
To be eligible for the PsyD, Clinical Specialization, you must successfully complete:
- The approved program consisting of 121 credits*;
- Doctoral Qualifying Exam;
- Doctoral Comprehensive Exam;
- 1,500 hours of practicum;
- Pre-doctoral Internship;
- Personal therapy requirement;
- Dissertation requirements; and
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
*Students who elect to enroll in the Sport Neuroperformance Concentration are required to complete 127 total program credits.
Note: The date of degree conferral recorded on the student's transcript and diploma will reflect the end of the term in which the student completes all degree requirements. However, release of transcripts, diplomas, and verifications for degrees awarded are contingent upon submission of an electronic version of the dissertation for binding, the Petition to Graduate form, payment of the graduation fee, and payment of any outstanding balances with the University. Students who have already completed a Master's degree from an accredited institution may be eligible to waive or reduce some of these requirements. Please speak with a University of the Rockies representative for more details.
Applicants to the PsyD, Clinical Specialization program are not required to hold a Master's degree. In this program, students who complete the first 39 credits of the PsyD, Clinical Specialization program and pass the Comprehensive Exam will be awarded a Master of Arts in Psychology degree en route to their PsyD, Clinical Specialization.
Completion of the PsyD, Clinical Specialization degree requires a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised clinical psychotherapy experience during the Pre-Doctoral Internship.
^The Clinical Specialization in the Doctor of Psychology program is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or registered with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), which is a requirement for licensure in some states. Other factors, such as a student’s criminal history, may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure or employment in this field of study. All prospective students are advised to contact individual state boards of psychology for additional information relating to licensure requirements prior to enrolling. In addition, beginning in 2017, APA accreditation will be a requirement for students who intend to participate in APPIC Match or APPIC-member internships, which may be a requirement for licensure in some states. A list of state psychology boards is available here: www.asppb.net/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3395. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s policies and procedures relating to licensure as those policies are subject to change.
Students may choose a concentration in the PsyD, Clinical Specialization. Advisors will help students to focus their elective coursework in a concentration.
To add a concentration to the PsyD, Clinical Specialization program, students choose an area from those listed below and complete the credit hours of elective courses required for each concentration:
- Clinical Neuropsychology (9 credits)
- Forensic/Correctional Psychology (9 credits)
- Health Psychology (9 credits)
- Marriage and Family Therapy (9 credits)
- Sport Neuroperformance (15 credits)