The Health Service Psychology program at KCU offers broad and general doctoral-level training in clinical psychology with the conferral of a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree (PsyD). The program integrates empirical evidence and practice through competency-based coursework and clinical training experiences.
The mission of the PsyD program at KCU-Kansas City is to offer students broad and general training in preparation for careers in the practice of health service psychology as clinical psychologists both as individuals and as part of an integrated health care team. We are committed to the scientific foundations of psychology, the recognition that science informs practice and practice informs science and a deep respect and understanding of cultural and individual differences.
The PsyD program has four program aims:
Students demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge base in the theoretical and scientific foundations of psychology and are prepared to use this knowledge as health service providers in clinical psychology.
Students develop and demonstrate competency in the use of a strong set of clinical skills, behaviors and attitudes in order to be proficient in evidence-based assessment, intervention and outcome evaluation while working with diverse populations.
Students demonstrate knowledge of psychological research and scientific inquiry and can integrate such scientific knowledge into clinical practice.
Students demonstrate knowledge and skill in integrated health care and are able to function as part of an integrated health care team.
The program’s curriculum begins by exposing you to the basic building blocks of psychology, including the foundations of psychological science and history and systems. There is specific focus placed on psychological assessment skill acquisition, test construction and test interpretation in the first year of the program in order for you to be able to build the skills necessary for practicing clinical psychology.
The second year of the program introduces you to more theoretical and practice focused coursework. Additionally, you are exposed to a series of courses in diversity highlighting the program’s commitment to the professional value of individual and cultural diversity. You will have the opportunity to utilize your assessment skills through a diagnostically focused practicum experience.
The third year of the program asks you to synthesize the coursework material from years one and two in order to demonstrate even more complex skills. For example, you'll be integrating basic neuropsychological science and clinical practice in courses like psychopharmacology, consultation and integrated health care. Further, you'll engage in a therapy practicum where your clinical skills will continue to be assessed through direct observation.
The fourth year of the program continues to integrate complex academic coursework, an advanced practicum experience and the dissertation process. The fifth year is primarily dedicated to internship, however, some students will continue with their dissertation work during this year.
Eye on the Future
The Clinical Psychology program at KCU remains dedicated to training psychologists with an eye towards the future of health care. To this end, we provide students with several unique and important curricular opportunities:
- Integrated Health Care
- Students from psychology, dentistry and medicine come together to learn effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.
- Students receive training in the Interprofessional Education Collaborative’s core competencies - Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Teamwork and Communication.
- Diverse Populations
- Students engage in a diversity course series that spans their entire second year of graduate school in order to develop the cultural humility necessary for competent practice.
- Students engage in multiple geropsychology courses providing them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for competent practice with older adults.
- Students engage in multiple simulated patient experiences in order to receive hands-on experience that enhances skills for more effective practice.
Through simulated patient encounters, students gain hands-on experience to enhance their skills as part of an interprofessional team.
By providing two years of geropsychology coursework, along with supervised practicum and research experiences with an older adult population, KCU’s PsyD program provides an opportunity to uniquely position you to treat the fastest-growing sector of our country’s population.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for psychologists overall will grow by 19 percent between 2014 and 2024, much faster than the seven percent average growth predicted for all occupations. In contrast, employment of psychiatrists is predicted to grow by just 15 percent and social workers by only 12 percent.
“Our program is looking forward to the future of health care, not just making you great psychologists. We’re going to train you to be well-rounded psychologists who can work on an integrated health care team and serve a diverse population.” - Sarah Getch, PhD, Program Director Health Service Psychology
Meet our faculty
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology offers Advanced Standing for students who have completed a master’s degree in psychology or a related field and have been accepted into the PsyD program. There are, however, a number of requirements for the award of Advanced Standing.
Advanced Standing allows students to graduate in four, rather than five years. Because these students enter the program with an advanced degree and clinical experience, they are able to begin practicum in their first year. Students accepted into Advanced Standing will not be awarded a master’s degree from KCU and will only be eligible for some of the Geropsychology courses offered by the KCU Clinical Psychology doctoral program.
KCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The KCU PsyD program is accredited on contingency by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association as of April 11, 2021. A program that is accredited on contingency is an APA-accredited program. The program is accredited on contingency through the following date: May 1, 2024. The program will apply for full accreditation during the 2022-2023 academic year.
Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979