Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Summary of Requirements:

Master’s Degree
Students are granted the Master’s degree when they have: (a) completed 65 hours of required coursework with an acceptable GPA; (b) completed 500 hours of supervised practica with acceptable ratings; (c) passed the Doctoral Qualifying Examination ; (d) presented satisfactory writing samples; (e) paid all tuition and fees due the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology.

Psy.D. Degree
The Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) degree is awarded by the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology to students who, within ten (10) years have: (a) completed all required semester hours or the equivalent (including any transfers); (b) completed 2,000 hours of supervised practicum experience; (c) attended three ethics seminars; (d) successfully passed the Doctoral Candidacy Examination as described in the WSPP Student Handbook; (e) finished a one year full-time or two year half-time approved internship in clinical psychology; (f) completed an original Dissertation; and (g) paid all tuition and fees due the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology.

Other Requirements:

Residency Requirements 
In the course of their academic work, students must complete at least one academic year of full-time residence, which is defined as fall and spring semesters with six (6) or more academic credits and 50 or more clinical hours in each semester. Clinical hours reflect on-going, supervised clinical activity.

Time Limit
Students entering WSPP must complete all requirements of the Psy.D. program including coursework, practicum, exams, internship, and dissertation within ten (10) years of the date of matriculation as a degree-status student.

Class Scheduling
Required classes are scheduled from 6:30pm-9:00pm Monday thru Thursday and meet once per week to accommodate student practicum and employment schedules. Class size is not permitted to exceed 15 in order to maximize opportunity for participation and discussion. Faculty advisors and instructors are readily available for student conferences.

Course Sequence
WSPP faculty, through its committee structure, deliberated to develop the best possible program with the most effective sequence of coursework. The first year emphasizes a firm foundation in theory and science which forms the basis for psychological principles. Clinical casework begins after the first summer with extremely close supervision which gradually decreases as the student gains skill. The second academic year emphasizes advanced skills in assessment and intervention. We believe that psychological assessment is a cornerstone of professional practice. There is also an increased emphasis on developing research skills during the second year. During the third academic year there is a focus on the application of advanced clinical skills. The student is also expected to develop and defend a Dissertation proposal. The fourth year of academic study provides for further progress on the dissertation and preparation for the clinical internship. Throughout all coursework, there is appreciation for and training in research. Multicultural diversity is stressed in every class and all practicum experiences. Finally, professional standards and ethics are ingrained in student thinking throughout the curriculum.

WSPP Model Curriculum Progression for Full-time Students

Required Courses
640 A&B Clinical Practice Seminar
650 Introduction to Cognitive Assessment
651 Introduction to Personality Assessment
653* Introduction to Psychopathology
654* Lifespan Developmental Psychology
655 Ethics and Professional Issues
656* Introduction to History & Systems of Psychology
657* Personality Theories
658 Empirically Supported Procedures
659* Research & Experimental Methods in Psychology
660 Introduction to Clinical Skills
665 Diversity in Clinical Practice
685* Social Psychology
740 Community Psychology & Consultation
752 Assessment: Integration and Consultation
753 Adult Psychopathology
754 Child Psychopathology
760* Cognitive & Affective Bases of Behavior
761 A&B Research Seminar
762 Psychological Measurement
771 Psychotherapy: Process & Relationships
783 Group Psychotherapy & Practicum
790 Biopsychology
HP* Health Psychology
840 Adult Dynamic Psychotherapy & Practicum
841 Child Dynamic Psychotherapy & Practicum
845 Adult Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy & Practicum
846 Child Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy & Practicum
860 Advanced Statistics & Research
861 Research Seminar – Advanced
865 Supervision in Clinical Psychology
850 A&B Adult Assessment & Practicum
851 A&B Child Assessment & Practicum
and Four Elective Courses*

*Courses eligible for transfer of credit. A maximum of 2 elective courses may be eligible.

Transfer of Courses & Practicum Credit
Students are expected to complete all required courses. However, it is possible to transfer course credit under certain circumstances. A course may be transferred if a graduate level course, judged to be equivalent, was completed at another regionally accredited institution with a grade of “B” or better. Courses eligible for transfer are identified on the Required Course listing. The transfer requires written approval of both the WSPP course instructor and the Dean. No more than 18 credit hours may be transferred. Practicum courses are not transferable.

Students may be granted a maximum of 400 clinical practicum hours from a previous training program provided those hours were supervised by a licensed psychologist.

Course Load-Part-time or Full-time?
Since it is anticipated that most students attending the School will be at least partially employed during their period of attendance, regularly matriculated students may elect to attend on a full or part-time basis. Courses are taken in the order designated in the Curriculum and are offered on the same evenings year to year, with all academic coursework completed prior to the initiation of the internship. Students are cautioned that the timelines suggested in the Model Program Course Sequence assume full-time enrollment with no outside work commitments.

All students, full or part-time, are required to complete all degree requirements within the specified time limits.

WSPP practicum opportunities are abundant and students receive all their supervision from licensed psychologists.

Practicum Hours and Opportunities
Clinical training is vital to the education of a professional psychologist. All students are required to accumulate at least 2,000 hours of supervised practicum experience during their tenure as Doctoral students. WSPP emphasizes practicum requirements in the training of clinical psychologists.

Students complete the majority of their practicum requirements through the WSPP Psychology Training Center. One clinical hour is awarded per hour of direct client service, such as individual, family, group or couple therapy, psychological assessment or consultation, and indirect client service such as report writing, supervision, observation of direct client service and attendance at staffings and case conferences. Students may be granted a maximum of 400 clinical practicum hours from a previous training program provided those hours were supervised by a licensed psychologist.

WSPP also utilizes the facilities of a variety of community resources for practicum placements.

Ethics Seminars
In addition to regular coursework, all degree students are required to attend at least three WSPP-sponsored seminars on professional ethics.

Preliminary Examination (DQE)
All students are required to take an examination and submit a writing sample at the end of their second year of coursework. The examination covers the content of all required coursework taken in the first two years. The writing sample includes one term paper of the student’s choosing. Students must pass both the examination and writing sample in order to receive a Master’s degree and continue with doctoral level classes. Students are given up to three opportunities to pass the Preliminary Examination (DQE).

Comprehensive Examination (DCE)
The Comprehensive Examination (DCE) is an examination covering all areas of the program. The emphasis of this examination is on the ability to synthesize what one has learned in the program at the level required for independent clinical practice in psychology. The examination has five separate sections: Clinical Assessment, Theoretical Assessment, Psychotherapy, Psychopathology, and Professional Standards and Ethics. Students take this examination prior to their internships. Students are given up to three opportunities to pass any section of the Comprehensive Examination (DCE) and must pass all sections in order to receive the Doctorate.

WSPP requires of each student a 2,000-hour internship to be served in one year on a full-time or two year part-time basis. It is preferred that the internship be APA-accredited, but those accredited by APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral & Internship Centers) are also acceptable. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain admission to an internship, although WSPP assists in placement. Students have completed internships locally as well as at numerous internship sites throughout the U.S.

Completion of a dissertation is required. Students are required to successfully defend the dissertation proposal prior to applying for internship. The main criteria for an acceptable dissertation are that it be of sufficient quality to be published in the peer-reviewed professional literature, and be of interest to a significant audience of professional psychologists. Guidelines for the dissertation process are found in the Dissertation Guide which is found as an appendix in the Student Handbook. The dissertation must be successfully defended in open forum to the student’s Dissertation Committee and printed in final form before the project is considered completed.