Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization

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Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization

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Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization

University of the Rockies is no longer accepting applications for its Colorado Springs location. All programs previously offered in Colorado Springs will be offered in Denver, with projected start dates in August 2014. This transition will not affect online programs. Please call Denver Admissions at 303.446.5867 for more information.


Denver Instructional Site

Program disclosures for Denver Instructional Site

This program may lead to licensure.^

Practicum Experience
Research Opportunities
Graduation Requirements

Degree Objective

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. The completion of a Concentration is not required in order to graduate with the PsyD, Clinical Specialization degree, but may be chosen by students who want focused education and/or experience in one of the concentration areas. The completion of a Concentration will not be noted on the diploma, but will be listed on graduate transcripts following the granting of the degree.

Students who complete a Master of Arts in Psychology/Master of Arts in Counseling program with a specialization in either Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling at University of the Rockies may apply up to 43 credits from their Master’s degree toward the Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization, upon acceptance to the program.

View a depiction of the training model and the program goals, objectives, and competencies.


Core faculty members who teach courses within this program include:

  • Allen Cornelius, PhD
  • Gary Mears, PhD, PsyD
  • Nicole J. Peak, PhD
  • David C. Solly, EdD
  • Camea Gagliardi-Blea, PhD
  • Ian Wickramasekera, PsyD


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.

Graduate Activities

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.

Other Resources

  • 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.
  • Library
    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.

Administrative Procedures

For a full list of University procedures, please reference the current University of the Rockies Academic Catalog.

Practicum Experience

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.

Research Opportunities

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.

Graduation Requirements

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.

Licensure Information

^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: 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)

Read more about the concentrations.

Required Courses >>

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