Doctor of Psychology

Doctor of Psychology: Clinical Psychology


The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Psychology is focused on training students to be practitioner-scholars who integrate faith into clinical work as clinical psychologists. The PsyD program is built on three pillars: clinical competence, academic rigor, and faith integration. Graduates of this program will be prepared for licensure in the practice of clinical psychology, which takes many forms including, but not limited to, psychotherapy/counseling, psychological and cognitive assessment, and program administration.

Program highlights include:

  • Course delivery in late afternoons/evenings and some weekends for your convenience.
  • Utilization of a cohort model to increase support and camaraderie among the students. 
  • The PsyD program is designed to be a dual entry-point 4-year or 5-year program, accommodating those entering directly from a psychology BA program or those with an MA degree in a social science field.
  • The full 5-year program, for those entering directly from a psychology BA program, consists of 118 credits - 4 years of coursework and a dissertation, with a final pre-doctoral internship year. Those entering with an MA degree bypass the first two semesters, allowing for a second entry-point into the PsyD program. This program consists of 101 credits - a little over 3 years of coursework and a dissertation, with a final pre-doctoral internship year.
  • The program includes a 3 or 4-year full-time academic residency requirement depending on entry, followed by a full-time 1-year internship experience.
  • New cohorts for the pre-PsyD track begin in August of each year. Cohorts for the Accelerated track begin in May of each year. The application deadline is January of the previous fall.


NNU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NNU PsyD program will be submitting an “Intent to Apply” application to the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation in the spring of 2023. 

PsyD Admissions Requirements

Application Requirements for NNU's PsyD in Clinical Psychology Program include the following:

  • GPA: 3.0 Undergraduate; 3.5 MA/MS
  • Prerequisites:
    • FOR BACHELOR'S STUDENTS ONLY: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from an accredited college or university OR a minimum of 18 credits of Psychology that must include:
      • General Psychology or Introduction to Psychology
      • Developmental Psychology (covering the Lifespan)
      • A Research Methods or Psychological Statistics class
      • Abnormal Psychology
    • FOR MASTER'S STUDENTS APPLYING FOR ACCELERATED STANDING: Master's degree from a related field (Counseling, Psychology, Social Work).
  • Necessary Application Documents for ALL Applicants:
    • Personal Statement
    • Submit a written essay (no more than 4 pages) that covers the following:
      • Why do you want to be a psychologist and what interests you about the field?
      • What experiences in your life have prepared you for being a good psychologist?
      • What unique qualities do you possess that will assist you in becoming a psychologist?
      • The reasons behind selecting this particular program and Northwest Nazarene University.
      • How do you anticipate this degree will impact your role in the community?
    • CV or Resume
    • Academic Writing Sample
      • A writing sample that is representative of your best academic writing (i.e., thesis, journal article, and/or academic paper). The sample should provide evidence of research-based writing and include citations from outside sources. The writing sample should follow APA formatting (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, margins, etc.).

There will be an interview evaluation and students will be subject to a background check in determining acceptance into this program.

Provisional Admission Acceptance

Any student who is admitted into the NNU PsyD programs through an exception process will begin with an academic standing of Provisional Admission. This standing will be in effect during the 1st semester of the student's enrollment at NNU. NNU reserves the right to conduct an evaluation of the student's progress after the first semester, and those students who do not meet the regular admission standards may be administratively withdrawn from the university.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. To prepare students to be culturally and ethically competent entry-level providers of mental health services with the necessary general knowledge in the discipline of Psychology (DSKs).
  2. To prepare students to be culturally and ethically competent entry-level providers of mental health services with the necessary Profession-Wide Competencies in the discipline of Clinical Psychology (PWCs).
  3. To equip students to ethically integrate psychological theory and application through the four pillars of NNU’s mission: Transformation, Truth, Community, and Service.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the NNU PsyD program are:

  • Candidates accepted into Pre-PsyD track must complete a total of 121 credits: 41 Pre-PsyD credits and 80 PsyD credits. 
  • Candidates accepted into the Accelerated track must complete 104 credits total: 24 Pre-PsyD credits and 80 PsyD credits.
  • Completion of the approved program within seven years of beginning coursework.
  • Students must earn a B- (2.70) or higher in all courses and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Pass an oral comprehensive exam before the Internship Application Process
  • Complete 500 supervised hours minimum per year of Practicum and 2000 Clinical hours in an approved internship
  • Successfully defend a doctoral dissertation project

Pre-PsyD Track

This track is designed for individuals who have completed their Bachelor's degree in Psychology from an accredited college or university OR a minimum of 18 credits of Psychology. These students, upon successful completion, are also eligible to receive the Master's of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. Please see NNU PsyD Admission Requirements for additional information.

Minimum semester credits required: 121 credits Total (41 credits Pre-PsyD, 80 PsyD Courses)

The following courses must be taken at NNU and will count toward the Accelerated Degree Track

PPSY6100, PPSY6170, PPSY6530, PPSY6533, PPSY6550, PPSY6590, PPSY7190, PPSY7201, PPSY7513, PPSY7529, PPSY7535

PsyD Accelerated Track

This track is designed for individuals who have completed a Master's degree from a related field (Counseling, Psychology, Social Work) and passing of a competency exam. 

Minimum semester credits required: 104 credits Total (24 credits Pre-PsyD and 80 credits PsyD

PsyD Courses (80 credits)

All PsyD courses listed below must be completed at NNU by students who have completed either the Pre-PsyD Track or the AcceleratedTrack.

Biblical Integration (6 credits)

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Clinical courses (6 credits)

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Diversity – Individual and Cultural Diversity (4 credits)

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Other Graduation Requirements

  • Clinical Praxis - Communication and Interpersonal Skills (14 credits). 
    Successful completion of all Pre-PsyD and PsyD practicum and internship hours is required for program completion.
  • Clinical Practicum courses will be one unit of clinical consultation for every semester that students are on practicum (except for the Pre-internship year). Students will complete the 500 supervised hours minimum per year required by the APA in 7 credit hours, including PPSY7201 (1 credit) and the following 6 credits of PSYD Clinical Practicum and Pre-Internship courses.
    Practicum (6 credits)
  • Internship (8 credits) 1 full year of internship = 2000 hours minimum
    • PSYD9900. Clinical Internship (4), taken in two semesters 
  • Dissertation – Research (16 credits)
    • PSYD8135. Research Design and Methodology (2)
    • PSYD8990. Dissertation Development (2), taken seven times for a minimum of 14 credits
  • Oral Comprehensive Exam -- Spring Semester of third year
    Before the student is cleared to apply for internship, each student is required to pass an oral comprehensive exam of PsyD content that indicates readiness for internship. The student will sit before a panel to present a portfolio and be examined by a panel of experts. Each student’s work will be evaluated and should reflect psychotherapeutic proficiency; appropriate goal setting; diagnostic understanding; theoretical soundness; diversity awareness, and a biblically-based, holistic approach.  Please see PsyD Student Handbook for further information
    PSYD9400. Oral Clinical Competency Exam (0) (Fee attached)
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