Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

Man at a therapy session



  • Trained to assess and treat mental illness across the lifespan
  • Clinical psychologists address problems ranging from minor adjustment issues (e.g., stress) to serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia and psychosis) for individuals, couples, and families 
  • Primary differences from a Clinical Psychology PhD are a larger emphasis on practice-oriented clinical work as well as greater cost

Program Length

  • A Clinical Psychology PsyD takes on average 5-6 years to complete, including the last year of full-time clinical internship completed at another clinical setting (hospital, clinic, etc.)
  • After the PsyD, a 1-2 year postdoctoral fellowship is completed to accrue additional clinical hours required for licensure


  • Depending on the state, candidates must accrue between 1,500 to 6,000 supervised clinical hour; these include ~2000 accrued during clinical internship, and ~2000 postdoctoral hours. California for example requires 3,000 total hours with 1500 of those hours accrued post-doctorally
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • Pass the state-specific jurisprudence exam, e.g., California Psychology Law and Ethics Exam (CPLEE)

For more REQUIREments, see the board website

Program Specialization Examples

  • Child clinical psychology – focus on treatment for children’s mental health, e.g., autism, behavioral problems, children with physical illnesses, child depression
  • Neuropsychology – focus on assessments such as developmental delay, intelligence testing
  • Geropsychology – focus on treatment for older adults 


  • Clinical Psychology PsyD programs on average cost $34,000 per year according to the APA 

Work Settings

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists may conduct clinical work in medical hospitals, psychiatric wards, psychiatric institutions, forensic settings, community mental health clinics, and outpatient private practice. 

Graduate admissions requirements (in addition to general requirements)

  • Some programs may have specific course requirements (e.g., research methods, abnormal psychology, lifespan development); it will be important to look closely at each program’s admission requirements.

Example Programs

USF's Psy.D. Program

Stanford Psy.D. Consortium Palo Alto University

Wright Institute