|Major Code: 9144
||Degree Awarded: Doctor of Psychology
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
||Admission Status: Graduate
|Admission Materials: letters of recommendation, GRE subject exam, résumé, objectives, transcripts
||Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
Victoria M. Follette, Ph.D.
The degree of Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is a service-oriented degree emphasizing clinical skills. The program leading to the Psy.D. is based on a practitioner/scientist model and is committed to the Vail model of training and the training conferences of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Florida Tech was the first university in the southeast to offer the Psy.D. and the model of training that it represents. In addition to classes and seminars, the training program in clinical psychology includes supervised experience in testing, diagnosis, counseling and therapy, and research projects related to special fields of interest. Before completing the doctorate, students complete one year of supervised internship training. Graduates are licensed throughout the United States and hold positions of responsibility in mental health clinics, hospitals, medical centers, HMOs and independent practice.
Students are expected to be aware of a range of theories of human nature and of various treatment modalities. Students are encouraged to assess the problems of the clients, to select the procedures for behavioral change most appropriate to the problem, to assess the effectiveness of the therapy and, if necessary, to select alternate procedures. Every effort is made to emphasize the value and dignity of psychology as a profession. To this end, the importance of a problem-solving approach, as well as knowledge of the results of scientific investigations in psychology and the other behavioral sciences, is stressed.
The university’s program in clinical psychology subscribes to the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics and all students are bound by the principles enumerated in that code.
Students who accept admission into the program are subject to the ethics, professional standards and laws relating to psychologists and the practice of psychology. To engage in activities that are either unethical or inappropriate to their level of training will be cause for dismissal from the program.
Licensing/certification laws vary for different states. Although the curriculum is based on recommendations of the Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association, and the clinical psychology program is accredited by the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4212; phone 202-336-5979; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.apa.org/ed/accreditation), completion of any program does not ensure admission to the licensing/certification examinations of any state. The applicant or admitted student should obtain and study the laws and regulations pertaining to licensing/certification in the state or states in which they plan to practice and should consider the educational demands on choosing both elective work and internship positions.
The program is designed with the view that the essence of professional psychology involves process and content. The process is the problem-solving approach and the content involves the knowledge of basic principles and professional skills. Both process and knowledge are in a continuous state of change but this state of change does not negate their significance. Because the model emphasizes the quality and quantity of professional skills, the practicum and internship experiences are of special importance in our program.
Program Goals and Objectives
The overarching goal of the Psy.D. program is to prepare qualified students for postdoctoral entry into the field of health service psychology. The curriculum involves both discipline-specific and profession-wide competencies as defined by the APA standards of accreditation for health service psychology.
To accomplish this, the program has several objectives and goals, including (1) the preparation of graduates with strong and continually developing clinical competencies, with an objective of the development of clinical competencies in relationship, assessment, intervention, research and evaluation, supervision, consultation, and administration; (2) the preparation of graduates whose clinical competencies are informed by, and in turn inform, the scientific and theoretical knowledge base of the discipline of psychology, with an objective of the development of knowledge bases in biological bases of behavior, cognitive/affective bases of behavior, social and cultural bases of behavior, individual differences, history and systems of psychology, integrative knowledge, advanced integrative knowledge in discipline-specific content areas; and (3) the preparation of graduates who will respect and value cultural and individual differences and whose work will be guided by the highest of ethical and professional principles and standards, with an objective of development of a strong knowledge base and sensitivity to cultural and individual differences, and the attainment of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become ethical and professional clinical psychologists.
An applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Although it is not necessary for the major area to have been psychology, it is expected that those entering without a previous degree in psychology will have completed at least 18 credit hours of psychology coursework at the time of application. These courses must have been taken in a department of psychology and should include statistics, personality theory, abnormal psychology, learning, physiological psychology and social psychology.
All application materials must be received by January 1. The application and application fee should be received by the university before receipt of reference letters and transcripts, so the applicant’s file can be established. Applications cannot be acted on until all required materials have been received. Applicants must apply online at www.fit.edu.
All applicants are required to submit the completed graduate school application form with the application fee; a résumé of professional experience; a statement of professional career objectives; three letters of recommendation from psychologists familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or clinical work, to be mailed directly by the recommenders (forms are available online from the graduate admissions website at www.fit.edu/grad/forms/php); official undergraduate and graduate record transcripts, sent directly from the degree-granting institutions; and Graduate Record Examination General Test (required) and Psychology Subject Test (required) results. Plan to take the GRE early enough to allow test results to be reported by January 1. Results may take up to six weeks to be reported by the Educational Testing Service. Attendance at the Open House/Interview Day is strongly recommended.
To receive the doctoral degree, the candidate must have been a matriculated student in full-time residence at the school for a minimum of four years (eight semesters and three summer terms). This period represents the minimum of attendance to complete the course requirements. In addition to these years of coursework, the internship requires an additional year for completion. To obtain an approved internship, students must make the application and be accepted at one of the many APA-accredited internship training facilities located throughout the country.
A student admitted to the doctoral program is awarded the master of science degree when the following 38 credit hours are successfully completed and when the student has successfully completed the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE)
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed no later than seven years from the date of first attendance. No more than 12 credit hours of Doctoral Research Project (PSY 6998 ) may be counted toward the doctoral degree.
A student who completed graduate work at another accredited university can petition for transfer of a maximum of 18 semester credits. Such requests are evaluated by the program chair. Transfers are not granted for the core clinical specialization courses listed in the curriculum description.
A student receiving a grade of C in a required course will be required to repeat the course and attain a grade equivalent to a B or better to remediate specific deficits. All grades will enter into the grade point average, but only credit hours from the final repeat will be credited toward the minimum credit hour requirement.
Requirements for the Psy.D. degree include:
- A minimum of 123 semester hours of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree, including the required courses described in the curriculum section below.
- A minimum of four years of full-time residency: eight semesters and three summer terms. Full-time status is defined as nine or more credit hours.
- Admission to candidacy requires the successful completion of the following four components:
- Clinical proficiency examination (CPE). At the completion of nine practicum-related credit hours, the clinical faculty of the School of Psychology makes an assessment of student progress in clinical skill development. This CPE contains numerous components, including a written conceptualization and treatment plan of the videotaped case and an oral presentation and defense of the case.
- Second year student review. At the end of the second year, the clinical faculty reviews all students across a number of personal and interpersonal dimensions, which are directly tied to their ability to function as professional psychologists.
- Satisfactory academic progress. A 3.2 grade point average, computed on the basis of all university coursework applied to the doctoral program, is required for admission to candidacy.
- Passing the comprehensive examination. At the end of the third year of study, all students are required to take and pass a written comprehensive examination.
- Completion of the doctoral research project.
- An internship consisting of 2,000 clock hours of supervised experience in an internship facility accredited by the American Psychological Association to offer clinical training. This placement provides the trainee with the opportunity to take substantial responsibility for carrying out the major professional functions with appropriate supervisory support. Liaison between the Office of Clinical Training and the internship facility is maintained.