Center for Psychological Studies

Clinical Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy Program (Ph.D.)

Program Description

The Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology is based on a scientist-practitioner training model.  Accordingly, its goals are to train future psychologists to (1) understand the core science areas of the discipline, (2) contribute to the knowledge base through active scholarship and research that focuses on evaluating, developing, and scientifically examining theories and methods of assessment, intervention, and other applied aspects of professional practice, (3) understand foundations for the practice of clinical psychology, and (4) employ skills in evidence based assessment and intervention techniques for effective and meaningful service to diverse individuals, groups, and communities. Inherent in these goals is our educational philosophy that psychology is a scientific discipline rooted in empirical investigation, and that professional practice includes both advancing such inquiry and applying its results.

It is our view that the clinical psychologist will contribute most to society when trained for the roles of both scientist and practitioner. Hence, the focus of the program is on the empirical investigation of current topics and problems in clinical psychology, with a particular emphasis on the development of sophistication in applied clinical research. This research frequently involves the development and investigation of innovative assessment and intervention methods. The research training culminates in the dissertation, a mentored research project proposed to and defended before a faculty committee. Integrated with research training is a graduated sequence of courses and experiences with clinical populations in supervised practica. Altogether, the program prepares the graduate to assume the roles of academician, researcher, and practicing clinical psychologist.

There are four broad program goals. The successful graduate of the program is expected to:

There are some required courses (e.g., Diversity in Assessment & Intervention) that may require some personal disclosures by the student as part of the course requirements. Other elective courses (e.g., Group Theory and Process) may require a higher level of ongoing self-disclosure as part of the class process.

Program Curriculum

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 118 (Ph.D.) credits, successfully pass the Clinical Competency Examination, and complete a one-year internship to be eligible for the degree. Courses are taken in general psychology, assessment, intervention, and methodology. Some courses have specific prerequisite requirements that students must meet; these should be checked to ensure compliance. List of required Courses with corresponding description.

PSY 1403 Adult Psychopathology   3 credits
PSY 1405 Developmental: Child and Adolescent    1.5 credits
PSY 1407 Developmental: Adult & Older Adult   1.5 credits
PSY 1409 Professional Issues and Ethics    3 credits
PSY 1501 Assessment: Intelligence Testing with Lab   3 credits
PSY 1605 Diversity in Assessment & Intervention   3 credits
PSY 1408 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology PSY 1405 3 credits
PSY 1412 Psychobiology   3 credits
PSY 1502 Assessment: Interviewing  PSY 1403 3 credits
PSY 1610 Adult Intervention I  PSY 1403, PSY 1411, Co/Pre-Req PSY 1605 3 credits
PSY 1703 Pre-Practicum I   1 credit
PSY 1807 Advanced Statistics   3 credits
PSY 1401 History & Systems of Psychology   3 credits
PSY 1809 Research Design   3 credits
PSY 2507 Objective Personality Assessment  PSY 1501-1502  3 credits
PSY 2509 Behavioral Assessment PSY 1501-1502  1.5 credits
PSY 2603 Systems/Family Therapy   1.5 credits
PSY 2604 Child and Adolescent Intervention  PSY 1408 1.5 credits
PSY 2701 Clinical Practicum I (All first year except PSY 1412, PSY 1416) 3 credits
PSY 2703 Supervision I   1 credit
PSY 2808 Multivariate Statistics I with Lab PSY 1807 3 credits
PSY 1416 Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behavior   3 credits
PSY 2511 Projective Personality Assessment  PSY 1501-PSY 1502, PSY 2507-2509 3 credits
PSY 2606 Case Conceptualization  PSY 1610, PSY 2603-2604, PSY 2701-2703 3 credits
PSY 2702 Clinical Practicum II PSY 2701 3 credits
PSY 2704 Supervision II PSY 2703 1 credit
PSY 2812 Multivariate Statistics II with Lab PSY 2808 3 credits
PSY 3403 Social Bases of Behavior   3 credits
PSY 270A Summer Practicum I PSY 2702 3 credits
PSY 270B Summer Supervision I PSY 2704 1 credit
PSY 2406 Psychopharmacology PSY 1412 1.5 credits
PSY 3701 Clinical Practicum III PSY 2507-2509-2511, PSY 2603-2604-2606 2 credits
PSY 3703 Supervision III PSY 2702, PSY 2704 1.5 credits
PSY 3803 Major Paper PSY 1803-1804, PSY 2803-2804 1.5 credits
PSY 3807

Theories of Measurement Elective *

2812 3 credits
PSY 3406 Consultation & Supervision   3 credits
PSY 3702 Clinical Practicum IV  PSY 3701 3 credits
PSY 3704 Supervision IV PSY 3703 1 credit
PSY 3803 Major Paper   1.5 credits
  Elective *   3 credits
PSY 370A Summer Practicum II PSY 3702 3 credits
PSY 370B Summer Supervision II PSY 3704 1 credit
PSY 4499 Advanced Professional Development   1 credit
  Clinical Competency Exam  All required courses plus 6 credits of intervention electives (PSY 46xx)  
PSY 5850 Dissertation   6 credits
PSY 5850 Dissertation   6 credits
PSY 5700 Internship

(0.5 credits per fall, winter, summer semesters)

All course work excluding PSY 5850: Dissertation 2 credits

Degree Total: 118

*  For the 6 credits of electives, students must take Intervention electives (46XX). Concentration students may be required to complete additional credits. In some instances, elective practica that are predominately intervention oriented may be counted as intervention electives.

Concentrations / Tracks

Although the center's doctoral programs are committed to the general training of clinical psychologists, we also give students the option of beginning to specialize. Concentrations and tracks have been developed in recognized areas of psychology. Each concentration accepts a limited number of students at admission or during the first or second year of study and therefore a student is not guaranteed a slot in a particular concentration. Students are permitted to participate in one concentration only. Each concentration consists of a set of electives, a practicum in an approved clinical program related to the concentration, and research activities with faculty in the concentration.

Concentrations / Tracks
Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology Multi-cultural / Diversity
Forensic Psychology Neuropsychology
Health Psychology Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Long-term Mental Illness  

Clinical Training

Clinical practice provide students with conceptually and empirically based assessment, intervention, and consultation experiences. Students have the opportunity to review the list of school-approved placements and indicate their preferences. The director of clinical training makes assignments, taking student preferences into account. Students are required to complete two full years of practicum, usually during their second and third years of residence. Each practicum placement is for 12 months, beginning in late August for most students, but in late May or early June for others. Students are required to meet all clinical obligations, some of which occur on evenings and weekends and during holidays and session breaks. Students' practicum activities are covered by the center's professional liability insurance.

The Clinical Competency Examination must be completed no later than 30 days before the end of the fall semester of the  calendar year preceding the internship year. The examination evaluates the students' understanding of, and skills in assessment and intervention, along with applicable ethical knowledge. Clinical Competency Examination procedures are outlined in the Clinical Competency Examination Guidelines.

The internship of 2,000 hours is the culmination of clinical training. Students can apply to any APA-approved training site in the country. Intern supervisors provide evaluation of the student. Internships typically are salaried positions and last one calendar year.

Research Training

Ph.D. students are expected to be actively involved in research throughout their graduate training. With mentors integrally involved in the admissions process, students enter the program as members of ongoing research teams. These teams provide a critical context for the research training sequence by introducing newer students to the full spectrum of tasks associated with research. The developmental sequence from research assistant to independent researcher is fostered by program expectations that all students be actively involved in research. The student’s transition to independent researcher is advanced further through work on his or her Major Paper, which often leads directly to the dissertation. The culmination is the Dissertation, defended before a faculty committee as a contribution to the field and of publishable quality.


Licensure of psychologists is regulated at the state level and as such may vary from state-to-state. Degree conferral from an APA accredited program does not ensure automatic acceptance of program curricula by a given state for the purpose of licensure. Individual eligibility should be verified through careful review of the state licensure regulations for the state in which you plan to reside to determine their specific requirements.

Joint Ph.D. and MBA Program


Students are able to be admitted to the M.B.A. program during their second year.  Current CPS doctoral students interested in admittance to the MBA program should contact the CPS Director of Academic Affairs. There are no additional requirements for admission to the M.B.A. program.  The student will fulfill the typical clinical psychology admissions process by completing the application packet obtainable at the Center for Psychological Studies. Typically students will begin M.B.A. classes during the third year of their psychology studies, if they are in good standing and will pay respective current tuition rates for both the clinical psychology program and the M.B.A. program.

Coursework to Complete the M.B.A.

Three psychology courses can be transferred into the M.B.A. program.

  1. Psy 2806 Intermediate Statistics with Lab will transfer in place of GMP 5040 - Quantitative Thinking
  2. Psy 1409 Professional Issues and Ethics will transfer in place of GMP 5015 - Legal, Ethical and Social Values of Business
  3. Psy 4693 Application of Psychology of Organization Settings will transfer in place of GMP 5020 - Managing Organizational Behavior

While the transfer of credits will be awarded, it is recommended that the student take the appropriate business courses.  Students may elect to take classes online or in the traditional classroom setting which is also available in a weekend format.  In addition, it is recommended that Capstone GMP 5102 Leadership & Values Management be taken in place of GMP 5100 Master's Project or GMP 5101 Master's Thesis.

Visit the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship website for more details.

Joint Ph.D. and MBA Program Contacts:

Dr John E. Lewis
Director Academic Affairs, Center for Psychological Studies
Telephone: (954) 262-5729

Dr. J. Preston Jones
Associate Dean, Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship
Telephone: (954) 262-5127

Doctoral Program Information
800-541-6682, 27563 or 954-262-7563

Doctoral Academic Policies

Registration and Residency

All students must be in full-time residence for the first three academic years to be eligible for the doctoral degree. This requirement, which is independent of the number of transfer credits the students may receive, is defined as completion of a minimum of 18 credits each year. After the residency requirement is met, students must enroll for at least one credit each semester. All enrolled students must be in continuous registration every fall and winter semester until they receive their degree, unless a leave of absence has been granted. 


Upon admission, students are admitted to degree candidacy.

Students admitted to the doctoral program must have access to a computer and their own internet service provider account. Students will be required to demonstrate technological competence and computer literacy during the program, including the use of the electronic library. NSU requires that all students maintain one official university-assigned computer account that is used to access major computing resources, including electronic mail. All official electronic mail communications directed to CPS students will be sent exclusively to NSU-assigned computer accounts to ensure timely and accurate delivery of information. Students may forward their NSU generated electronic mail to external locations, but do so at their own risk.

En Route Master's Degree

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology may earn, as an intermediate degree, a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. The curriculum for this degree consists of all courses in the first two years of the model doctoral curricula. Courses transferred into Nova Southeastern University’s program do not count toward this degree. Any doctoral course with a comparable number of credit hours may be substituted for a transferred course. Graduates with the degree will not have met the educational requirements for certification or licensure in Florida and should not expect to provide psychological services as an independent practitioner. Rather, this degree should demonstrate master’s-level achievement and enhance employment opportunities.

Time Limits

Students are required to complete their program and be awarded a doctoral degree within eight years from the time of first enrollment. Students who do not complete all requirements within the eight-year time limit (excluding approved leaves of absence), must enroll in the center and complete 18 credits (at least six credits each fall and winter semester unless a defense is scheduled), as specified in the doctoral students' Policies and Procedures Handbook and approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. Failure to remain in continuous registration will be deemed as the student's withdrawal from the program. Students whose dissertation advisor becomes unavailable after the eight-year limit will have to start their dissertation over with a new chair.

Evaluation of Doctoral Students

Each student is evaluated on an ongoing basis while enrolled in the program. Included are evaluations during each course, the Clinical Competency Examination, dissertation defense, and while on internship. In addition, each student receives annually a written evaluation of progress in the program. The purposes of such evaluations are to provide students with relevant and timely feedback, to formulate plans for improvement or remediation if needed, and to serve as a screening procedure for maintaining high-quality standards in the profession of psychology. Candidates for the degree must possess, with or without reasonable accommodation, multiple abilities and skills, including intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities. Areas of evaluation include academic achievement, responsible behavior, ethical behavior, interpersonal behavior, emotional self awareness and emotional maturity.

Professional Standing Committee

The Professional Standing Committee of the Center for Psychological Studies is appointed by the dean of the center and serves in a variety of capacities related to the review of student professional standing matters. The committee consists of faculty, a student representative and other members as appointed by the dean.

The committee may be asked to review alleged violations of the University Student Code of Conduct, including academic standards and ethical standards of the field. In addition, the committee may conduct reviews concerning emotional behavior problems serious enough to suggest interference with professional functioning, academic performance, or performance in a clinical practicum or internship setting.

The purpose of the committee’s review and recommendations are not limited to disciplinary actions, but may encompass efforts to remediate a deficiency or problems so that the student can continue his or her education and function competently as a professional. Committee activities are designed to insure a process by which all relevant facts can be determined, including providing the student with full opportunity to present important information. Actions the committee may recommend to the dean could include, but are not limited to remediation, referral, warning, or sanctions up to suspension or termination.

In instances of complaints regarding violations of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility, the dean may charge the committee with conducting a formal investigation into the facts pertaining to allegations of misconduct. In such cases, the committee will adhere to professional standing committee guidelines that insure a timely and complete review of the facts. The process will insure that the student and involved parties have opportunity to present relevant information.

Grading and Academic Standing

The doctoral programs in the Center for Psychological Studies assign grades to course work according to the following system: A, B, C, and F, except for dissertation and directed Study: research, which receive P, F, or PR, PG (in progress). A grade of I (incomplete) is given only with instructor's approval and under exceptional circumstances.

The Center for Psychological Studies doctoral programs require that, to remain in good academic standing, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. In addition, other minimum requirements exist that are described in detail in student handbooks. Failure to meet these requirements will result in academic probation or dismissal, as detailed in the student handbook. A student is allowed one year (two full semesters excluding summer session) to remove probationary status. Automatic dismissal will occur if more than two grades below B are recorded, if two grades of F are received, or if academic probation extends beyond one year. Automatic dismissal will also occur in doctoral programs if the clinical competency exam is failed a fourth time or a grade of C or lower is received for internship.


Students are required to attend all scheduled learning activities, including classes, lectures, seminars and exams. Anticipated absences should be cleared in advance with the instructor. Excessive absences may result in a lower grade at the instructor’s discretion or may necessitate a withdrawal from the class. However, it is the policy of the university to excuse, without penalty, absences due to religious observances and allow students to make up missed work. First year doctoral students are required to attend incoming student orientation and the CPS Professional Development Institute which is typically scheduled during the same term.

Doctoral Programs Information:
800-541-6682, 27563 or 954-262-7563