Admission Requirements

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Apply to this program through a central application: GradCAS. Review the sections below before you begin.

The PsyD program at MSU begins fall 2024. Applications are due December 15, 2023. 

Doctor of Psychology

Dana Paliliunas, Program Director
Hill Hall, Room 318; Phone 417-836-6349

Program description

The Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) is designed to train and develop clinical psychologists to meet the immense mental health challenges that our communities experience today and will continue to face, in the future. The core coursework consists of 118 credit hours that include coursework, practicums, professional seminars, and the completion of a dissertation and internship. Coursework is completed in four years and the dissertation and internship are completed in the final year. A unique feature of this program is that in addition to the core 118 hours, students will also complete a 12-hour specialization in one of three areas: Diversity and Activism, Integrated Health, or Behavior Analysis (meeting the coursework requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst). Each of these specializations are designed to meet the needs of communities served by clinical psychologists and represent the scope and depth needed to become a competent and effective scientist practitioner.

Admission requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, including:
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate and graduate work
    • Major in psychology or submission of the GRE Psychology Advanced Subject Test scores
  2. Submission of GRE Scores including Quantitative, Verbal, and Critical Thinking and Writing
  3. A personal statement outlining career goals and preparation for advanced doctoral work in psychology.
  4. A diversity statement addressing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical psychology.
  5. At least 3 letters of recommendation, including at least 2 from college-level teachers who are well acquainted with the student's academic achievements.
  6. A formal interview for selected applicants.

Degree requirements - 130 hours total

The Doctor of Psychology program includes a core curriculum of 118 credit hours with an additional 12 credit hours in one of three specialization areas (total of 130 credit hours). The program includes the required coursework, a comprehensive examination, practicum and internship experiences, and a doctoral dissertation.

Core curriculum - 118 hours
CORE AREA: Theoretical and Scientific Foundations - 21 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 614 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis 3 hrs
PSY 703 Human Growth and Development 3 hrs
PSY 780 Social Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 800 History & Systems: Orientation to Clinical Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 801 Philosophy and Contextual Behavioral Science 3 hrs
PSY 905 Biological Basis of Behavior 3 hrs
PSY 906 Advanced Cognitive and Affective Psychology 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Research Methods for the Scientist-Practitioner - 6 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 745 Statistics and Research Design 3 hrs
PSY 752 Research Methods 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Evaluation of Clinical Research and Practice - 6 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 747 Single Case Research Design in Applied Behavior Analysis 3 hrs
PSY 913 Program Evaluation and Qualitatiave Analysis 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Classification and Assessment - 18 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 720 Individual Intelligence Testing 3 hrs
PSY 740 Psychological Assessment 3 hrs
PSY 757 Observational Methods and Functional Assessment 3 hrs
PSY 766 Psychopathology 3 hrs
PSY 823 Psychopathology II 3 hrs
PSY 824 Psycholgocial Assessment II 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Individual and Cultural Diversity - 9 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 830 Diversity and Inclusion in Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 831 Identity Development 3 hrs
PSY 932 Culturally Competent Therapy 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Professional Values and Communication - 14 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 760 Clinical Communication Skills 3 hrs
PSY 761 Ethics and Professional Issues 3 hrs
PSY 941 Supervision,, Consultation, and Professional Practice 3 hrs
PSY 942 Professional Seminar in Clinical Psychology 5 hrs
CORE AREA: Effective Intervention - 12 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 850 Empirically Supported Treatments I 3 hrs
PSY 851 Empirically Supported Treatments II 3 hrs
PSY 952 Couples and Family Therapy 3 hrs
PSY 953 Advanced Clinical Case Conceptualization 3 hrs
CORE AREA: Clinical and Research Experience - 32 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 890 Practicum in Clinical Psychology 14 hrs
PSY 990 Internship in Clinical Psychology 9 hrs
PSY 999 Dissertation in Clinical Psychology 9 hrs
Specialization Area Electives - 12 hrs
SPECIALIZATION AREA: Behavior Analsysis - 12 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 767 Behavior Disorders of Childhood 3 hrs
PSY 770 Behavioral Systems Analysis 3 hrs
PSY 777 Conceptual Foundations in Behavioral Analysis 3 hrs
PSY 962 Behavioral Theories of Language and Congition 3 hrs
SPECIALIZATION AREA: Diveristy and Activism - 12 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 970 Healing Historical Oppression: Context, Identity and Intersectionality 3 hrs
PSY 971 Mental Health Disparities: Eliminating Barriers to Treatment 3 hrs
PSY 972 Governance, Law & Policy: Advocacy and Activism in Clinical Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 973 Multicultural Foundations in Practice: Assessment, Treatment and Consultation 3 hrs
SPECIALIZATION AREA: Integrated Healthcare - 12 hours
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 971 Mental Health Disparities: Eliminating Barriers to Treatment 3 hrs
PSY 980 Clinical Health Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 981 Integrated Healthcare: Advanced Topics 3 hrs
PSY 983 Consultation and Collaboration in Healthcare 3 hrs

Transfer Credits: Students may receive transfer credit for graduate courses taken at a regionally accredited institution; the Doctor of Psychology program will evaluate transfer graduate credits on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the university Graduate Transfer Credit policy.

Interested in transfer credit?

Depending on your educational background, you may be able to transfer up to 21 hours of academic credit into the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program.

Review our transfer credit policy.