Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology is a research-based degree program. It is designed to equip the candidate for employment in higher education, research and analysis, or private or public clinical practice. There are four degree options from which the candidate must choose. These are Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Health, Clinical Psychology, and Psychoanalysis. Each is more fully described below.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology is a 64 credit hour program and must include at least 12 courses from the following list. All three program options must include (DPSY 700) Clinical Research Methods & Psychometrics, DPSY 938 Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods, Comprehensive Examination and (DPSY 999) Dissertation courses. At least one practicum or the graduate teaching seminar is required. Electives from any program in the college may be used to complete the course credit requirement. For DPSY 99c and 99E, student is required to send his/her test scores to receive appropriate credits from the University.

A Master’s degree in any discipline is required for matriculation into the program. If the candidate’s major course of study was not psychology, three preparatory courses are required for entrance. They are (PSY 500) Development of Human Growth Psychology; (PSY 565) Clinical Psychology; and (STAT 500) Introduction to Statistics. These courses will not be counted toward the 60 hour program requirement.

Candidates holding a Master of Science in Psychology degree from Charisma University may receive credit for doctoral level courses used in satisfaction of the master’s degree requirements up to a maximum of 15 hours. In other words, students may elect to take 15 credit hours of “dual-credit courses” that satisfy both the Master of Science in Psychology and the Doctor Psychology degree requirements. Courses meeting these criteria are noted as DCC in the program curriculum.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology degree is designed to be completed in three years; however, individual circumstance (acceptance of transfer credit and frequency of attendance) may shorten or lengthen the completion period. A student desiring state licensure as a psychologist, psychoanalyst, licensed professional counselor, or marriage and family therapist is encouraged to research his/her individual state’s requirements before making course sections. Many states require a one year (1,500 hour) supervised internship for licensure so students desiring this career path should plan accordingly. Students are encouraged to begin planning for their supervised internship (Practicum) as early as possible.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • The Doctor of Psychology degree program will qualify graduates as Professional Psychologists or Psychoanalysts.
  • Graduates will acquire the professional training and clinical skill to enter the workforce in either higher education or practice in the public and/or private clinical setting.
  • The professional Psychologist or Psychoanalyst helps people cope more effectively with life issues and mental health problems.
  • Professional Psychologists and Psychoanalysts employ a variety of techniques based on the best available research and treatment modalities considering each client’s unique values, characteristics, goals and circumstances.
  • Program graduates in the clinical psychology setting will be knowledgeable of contemporary research and analytical methods.
  • Program graduates will possess the knowledge and skill to successfully complete the licensing qualification examination as required by individual state’s licensing boards.
  1. Organized Sequence of Training
    Practicum training is an organized, sequential series of supervised experiences of increasing complexity, serving to prepare the student for internship and partially meeting requirements for licensure. Training experiences shall follow appropriate academic preparation and shall be overseen by the university.
  2. Breadth and Depth of Training
    Practicum training shall be an extension of the student’s academic coursework. A student shall not provide services at the practicum level that are not within the scope of the education received.

There shall be a written plan between the student, the practicum training site, and the university. The training plan for each practicum experience shall describe how the trainee’s time is allotted and shall assure the quality, breadth, and depth of the training experience through specification of the goals and objectives of the practicum, the methods of evaluation of the trainee’s performance, and reference to jurisdictional regulations governing supervisory experience.

Practicum proposals shall also include the nature of supervision, the identities of supervisors, and the form and frequency of feedback from the agency supervisor to the training faculty. The training plan for each practicum shall also provide a rationale for the experience in light of previous academic preparation and previous practicum training, to ensure that the overall practicum experience is organized, sequential, and meets the training needs of the candidate and protection of the public.

  • Hour Requirement
    Each practicum experience shall be a minimum total of 500 hours of supervised professional experience. At least 50% of the total hours of supervised experience accrued shall be in service-related activities, defined as treatment/intervention, assessment, interviews, report-writing, case presentations, and consultations. At least 25% of the supervised professional experience shall be devoted to face-to-face patient/client contact. Time spent in supervision shall count toward the 500 hour requirement.
  • Supervision
    Individual face-to-face supervision shall be no less than 25% of the time spent in service-related activities; 25% of supervision hours can be in a group setting.
  • Supervisor Qualifications
    Although university faculty are accountable for the overall education and practicum experiences of their students, on site practicum supervisors play a critical role in the training of students. A licensed psychologist shall have supervisory responsibility for the entire practicum experience, but up to 25% of the time spent in supervision may be provided by a licensed allied mental health professional, or provided by a psychology intern or an individual completing postdoctoral supervised experience who is supervised by a licensed psychologist. Practicum students should have supervisors who are able to extend the student’s academic education and all supervisors shall be appropriately licensed in the jurisdiction of practice and be a member of the staff at the site where the supervised experience takes place.
  • Training Sequence
    Several part-time practicum placements of appropriate scope and graded complexity over the course of the graduate training can be combined to satisfy the 1500-hour practicum experience required by most state and provincial licensing boards.
  • Setting
    Supervised professional experience shall occur in psychological service settings that have as part of the organizational mission a goal of training professional psychologists. Such settings shall have an identifiable licensed psychologist who is responsible for maintaining the integrity and quality of the experience for each trainee. Adapted from a study completed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards


Program Options

Candidates must select one of four program options:

The program option in behavior analysis is designed to provide comprehensive training in that field of study. It is designed to stress development of specialized basic, applied, and theoretical interests surrounding the understanding of our human condition. It is a balance of basic, applied, and theoretical training. Goals of this program option include developing the ability to impart accumulated knowledge of behavior science to others; researching behavior for the development of new knowledge and understanding of our human condition; contribute to making the world a better place in which to live through knowledge development and research; and maintaining the high degree of professionalism associated with this career field. Mandatory courses for this program option include (DPSY 801) Behavioral Assessment and (DPSY 812) Biological Basis of Behavior.

The program option in Behavioral Health is designed to equip students to compare, analyze and find solutions for inconsistencies in current health care delivery systems. Students will explore physical and psychological factors which contribute to inequality in health care delivery, and work to ameliorate such disparity in the behavior health field. Graduates from this program option collaborate jointly with other health professionals to analyze and find solutions for complex health-related challenges in both domestic and international communities. This program option seeks to provide graduates with the tools to develop strategies for expanding health care access, delivery, and assessment of healthcare policy and practice. Mandatory courses for this program option include DPSY 801 Behavioral Assessment, DPSY 802 Intellectual Assessment and DPSY 812 Biological Bases of Behavior.

The program option in Clinical Psychology is designed to train candidates as clinicians who will promote an understanding of psychological issues or further develop the connection between psychological and physical health. This degree option focuses on developmental psychopathology, adult psychopathology, and health psychology. It closes follows a clinical model of training. Candidates will work closely with their faculty advisor or clinical mentor to train and participate in ongoing, programmatic clinical practice. Candidates desiring licensure for employment in either the research or clinical setting should check their individual state’s requirements before making course selections. Core course must include (DPSY 703) Developmental Issues in Clinical Psychology; and (DPSY 826) Learning, Cognition & Emotion.

The program option in Clinical Psychology is designed to develop the candidate as a clinician capable of diagnosis, prevention and treatment. It is designed to prepare the candidate to enter the workforce in higher education or practical clinical setting. Regardless of which career path the clinical psychology graduate elects to pursue, this program option is designed to provide him/her with a comprehensive background in diagnosis and treatment along with an equally strong background in science and the practice of clinical assessment and treatment.

The program emphasis in Psychoanalysis offers students a cutting edge curriculum and prepares them through interdisciplinary study for scholarly research, teaching or augmentation of professional practice. While social scientists and scholars in humanities and cultural studies are becoming increasingly interested in the psychoanalysis of culture and in the cultural analysis of psychoanalysis, very few institutions of higher education provide an arena for such inter-disciplinary undertaking. This program option was developed to fill the gap for such critical pursuits. Its distinct mission is to promote systematic dialogue between psychoanalysis, critical social theory, and cultural analysis. At present, three states (Vermont, New York, and California) offer licensure in psychoanalysis. Check individual state requirements before making your course selections. Core courses must include (PSYA 800) Freudian Psychoanalysis, (PSYA 801) Jungian Psychoanalysis, and (PSYA 802) Contemporary Psychoanalytical Theory. These and other course courses provide a solid foundation in theory and methods needed for the systematic integration of psychoanalysis, critical social theory, and cultural studies. The distinctive character of the program is its emphasis on crafting new theoretical and methodological links between psychoanalysis, the social sciences, the humanities, and cultural studies and applying an interdisciplinary lens to psychological and cultural phenomena.

Course Requirements

Students intending to pursue doctoral degrees must take and pass a comprehensive examination after they have completed their non-dissertation courses, because it is a pre-requisite of the dissertation courses. One of the purposes of this examination is to sufficiently assess students’ full knowledge on the dissertation title they wish to research.

The following courses in dissertation are all required for graduation Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theology Program. Dissertation must be taken when all the non-dissertation courses are completed.
No more than one dissertation course should be taken per session.
Dissertation Guidelines

DPSY 999a Dissertation – Practical Research I (Proposal)
DPSY 999b Dissertation – Practical Research II (Review of Related Literature & Methodology)
DPSY 999c Dissertation – Practical Research III (Data Collection & Analysis)
DPSY 999d Dissertation – Practical Research IV (Dissertation complete and Oral Defense)

Each non-dissertation course is valued as 3 credits and dissertation course 4 credits with the exception of dissertation complete and oral defense which is valued as 2 credits and DPSY 938 valued as 4 Credits. Comprehensive examination is valued as 1 credit.
Total Credits required for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology is 64.
Please refer to the University Catalog or website for admissions requirementstransfer credits policy; and tuition fees.