As a future clinician and scholar of health service psychology, you want to make positive contributions to the field. Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology program emphasizes high-quality clinical training, professional development, and an understanding of diverse intersectional identities. Prepare for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist and cultivate multiple roles in the evolving field that includes applied research, psychotherapy and assessment, administration, family forensics, and advocacy.
AUSB’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) prepares students for multiple roles in the field of psychology while promoting self-reflection, clinical and research skills, and the development of theoretical knowledge required for a successful career. This challenging and rewarding program is designed to meet national curricula standards and emphasizes the increasingly important areas of family forensics, systems and modern psychodynamic psychology within a multicultural approach that honors diversity. Our program features:
- A learner-centered, practitioner-scholar approach that stays true to AUSB’s commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice by exploring systemic and contextual factors that affect one’s life and development
- Expansive curriculum that covers core areas of scientific psychology in addition to family forensics, systems psychology, and the needs of underserved communities to prepare students for client advocacy and navigation of the legal system
- Weekly, in-person cohort classes promoting rich discussion and diverse opinions and experiences
- Dynamic faculty (both core and adjunct) who provide extensive mentorship and advising inside and outside of the classroom to prepare and welcome their future colleagues into the field
- A blend of current cutting-edge psychological research and practice within a context of civic engagement and social justice
Students attend full-time and complete 3-4 years of academic study depending on whether enrollment is at the post-bachelor’s level (4 years/142 units) or post-master’s level (3 years/106 units). Students enroll for 11-13 units per quarter over 9-12 quarters and 1 unit for an internship that commences in year 5 of the program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The post-bachelor track has a 100% time to completion of 60 months (5 years) and, per federal regulations and the SAP policy, students must complete the program within 150% time to completion, which would be 90 months (7.5 years).
The post-master’s track has a 100% time to completion of 48 months (4 years) and, per federal regulations and the SAP policy, students must complete the program within 150% time to completion, which would be 72 months (6 years).
The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) is a 106 – 143 unit degree that meets the California academic requirements for Psychologist licensure in the State of California. The program is a practitioner-scholar model and follows the core competencies of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology and is built to meet standards of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). To complete the degree students must also complete a clinical dissertation and a pre-doctoral internship (1 year full-time or 2 years part-time) and must pass both the comprehensive and professional competency exams.
The curriculum and program include 15 units of practicum and 12 units of courses in Family Forensic Psychology which includes child custody evaluation. Students engage in supervised clinical work in a community-based clinic. Post -bachelors complete 1150 hours and post-masters complete 1000 hours in fulfillment of the practicum requirement.
The Clinical Dissertation is intended to demonstrate that students have integrated the course material, knowledge of research methodology and critical reasoning skills they have learned during the doctoral program. Early in their program, students select an appropriate project. The Research Methods course sequence prepares students to be competent in the conceptual and methodological material so they can conduct qualitative and/or quantitative research. It is expected that students will complete their dissertation proposal prior to beginning their internship. We are interested in stimulating student creativity, therefore the options for completion of this project vary. The PsyD is an applied degree, thus the clinical dissertation will involve the investigation of a practical application, either through empirical (quantitative or qualitative), theoretical, or clinical evaluation strategies. Students will be guided in their work by their dissertation advisor, a second faculty member, and an outside expert.
It is required that students will acquire a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical experience (practicum) prior to beginning the internship. Students should expect to be placed in a practicum site early in the program and will collect hours throughout each year.
Students in the PsyD program are required to complete a one-year, full-time pre-doctoral internship (or two years of half-time internship) to graduate, usually during the 5th year of the academic program. This doctoral internship provides students with the opportunity to enter fully into the role of a Health Service Psychologist in the community, working as part of a team with the mission of serving marginalized and underserved people. As interns, students often find their identities as colleagues in a larger community of helping professionals and see more clearly their role as a psychologist-in-training. Many of the internship training sites are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and meet the membership criteria of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) or the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC).
Students take Comprehensive Examinations at the end of spring quarter of Year 3. This is a two-part exam, the first part is oral and the second part is written. For the oral, or Professional Comprehensive Exam (PCE), students identify and conceptualize a case, which is then developed for presentation. The PCE is intended to demonstrate students’ attitudes, knowledge, and skill in the field of clinical psychology and to integrate their academic and clinical learning. The PCE must be passed prior to engaging in the internship application process. For the written part, the examination measures knowledge of multiple content areas in clinical psychology and is evaluated as pass/fail. A passing evaluation on all components of the exam is required for students to be eligible to apply for an internship.
Advancement to Candidacy
Candidacy refers to the formal designation of a student’s readiness for advanced clinical training. In order for a student to advance to candidacy, they must successfully complete all required courses, pass all sections of the comprehensive exam, and pass the Professional Competency Examination. Additionally, the student must be in good academic standing and not be on any type of probation. Students who advance to candidacy may refer to themselves as “doctoral candidates,” but never before advancing to candidacy.
Previous graduates of AUSB’s PsyD Program have accepted postdoctoral fellowships or employment as Licensed Clinical Psychologists in a variety of settings across the United States, including mental health organizations, hospitals, university counseling centers, prisons, correctional facilities, community agencies, outpatient facilities, child abuse treatment centers, and as psychological assistants within private practices. The following are just a few examples from a complete list of specific employment sites:
- Santa Barbara County Mental Health
- Child Abuse and Mediation Center
- Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
- Behavioral Health Network, Massachusetts
- Kapi’olani Child Protection Center, Hawaii
- San Luis Obispo Latino Mental Health
- Corcoran State Prison
- Epilepsy Institute of North Carolina
- Brandon Maynard – “From Dawn to Dan: the Journey of Karate Masters,” Committee Chair: Daniel Schwartz, PhD
- Camilla Seippel – “Comparison of Implicit Thought and Learning in Individuals with Schizophrenia,” Committee Chair: Henry V. Soper, PhD
- Caryn Whitacre – “An Exploration into the Lived Experience of the Jazz Funeral,” Committee Chair: Salvador Trevino, PhD
- Clandis Payne – “Immersive Cultural Plunge: How Mental Health Trainees Can Exercise Cultural Competence with African American Descendants of Chattel Slaves A Qualitative Study,” Committee Chair: Ron Pilato, PsyD
- Divina Johnston – “A Phenomenological Study of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome,” Committee Chair: Salvador Trevino, PhD
- Dustin Weissman – “Impacts of Playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG’s) on Individuals’ Subjective Sense of Feeling Connected with Others,” Committee Chair: Brett Kia-Keating, EdD
- James Chavers – “Double Whammy: Understanding the Psychological Effects of Living with HIV and the Age-Related Comorbidities of Older Adulthood in African-Americans,” Committee Chair: Daniel Schwartz, PhD
- Mauricio Ortiz – “Understanding the Experience of Immigration Among Adult Mexican-Born Males Living in the United States: An Exploration of Grief, Loss, and Coping,” Committee Chair: Salvador Trevino, PhD
- Vanessa Olguin – “Knowledge, Experience, and Training of Southern California Psychologists and Doctors Psychology Interns on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” Committee Chair: Salvador Trevino, PhD
Antioch’s five-campus university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Our PsyD program is a practitioner-scholar model that follows the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), and the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP).
Eligible undergraduate students can fast track their graduate degree, including our MFA, MA in Clinical Psychology, or PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs, by applying for admission through one of AUSB’s Pathway programs. Those accepted receive grants applied toward BA tuition. Learn more about our BA Pathway programs.