About Our Program
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 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, in the second year you are exposed to a series of courses in diversity highlighting the program’s commitment to the professional value of individual and cultural diversity. The second year also provides you with 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, a therapy 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.
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at KCU is pleased to be able to offer 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 the opportunity for 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 eligible for courses specific to the Geropsychology Specialty 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.
Our Psy.D. program has initiated the multi-year process of seeking APA accreditation.
In May 2018, we received "Intent to apply" status from the APA Commission on Accreditation after program document review. KCU has submitted an application for "accreditation, on contingency" in Fall of 2019 and in May 2020 was granted a site visit to take place in late Fall 2020. The "Intent to Apply" status will expire in May 2021.
*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