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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology


 Is this program accredited?

Yes. The PsyD in Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). More information about APA accreditation can be found at http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation or by contacting APA at the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242 or by phone: 202.336.5979. Pepperdine University has regional accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).


 What are the unique features of Pepperdine's PsyD Program?

The program fully integrates academics, clinical training, and applied research in the setting of a nationally ranked, major university. Over 95% of courses are taught by tenured or tenure-track faculty, who are experts in their respective fields. All first-year students are trained in one of the university's four community-based clinics and supervised by Pepperdine faculty. During the second and third years, students are placed in training clinics and medical centers throughout Southern California. These training experiences, together with the quality of instruction and research mentoring, prepare students to be highly competitive and to obtain APA-accredited internships.

In addition, the program is unique in its approach to scholarship. Different from many PsyD programs, students complete a clinical dissertation, which provides an opportunity to investigate a clinically relevant topic and to meaningfully contribute to the profession. 

 Where is the program offered? What are the time commitments?

The PsyD program is held at our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus and is full-time. Students take courses two days per week during Years 1 and 2, and one day per week during Year 3. Also, students are involved in clinical training, which can require up to two to three days per week, in addition to their clinical dissertations. Traditionally, students complete a full-time internship during Year 4.

 How long does the program take to complete?

The program is full-time and structured to be completed in four years, including an internship. Although the program is intended to be completed in four years, the median length of time to complete the degree has recently been 5 years. There are two primary reasons for delays in completion: (1) modifications in matriculation are approved based on unanticipated life events, such as unanticipated medical or family circumstances, which result in increased time to complete and (2) failure to complete the clinical dissertation.

To support timely completion of the clinical dissertation, the program has instituted a new model for the "Clinical Dissertation" which utilizes a rigorous systematic review methodology informed by the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses). These guidelines were established and accepted by the scientific community as a standard for the conduct of systematic literature reviews that inform evidence-based practice. Dissertation courses and faculty advisers provide the structure and resources for students to graduate in four years. Students begin work on their clinical dissertation early in the first year and are provided curricular and faculty advisement with the intent to complete the clinical dissertation prior to the internship. Commitment, organization, and effort are required to meet that expectation and objective.

 How much does the program cost?

Please visit our Financial Aid page for current information on program costs, financial aid, scholarships, and grants.

Our financial aid award packages can consist of Colleagues grants, federal direct loans, and departmental scholarship. To be eligible for the most amount of aid, we encourage all applicants to submit their FAFSA applications.

In addition, tuition, books, and supplies (e.g., pens, notebooks, etc.), students are required to pay the Student Government Association (SGA) fee ($30.00 per year) and obtain professional liability insurance (approximately $35.00 per year). Although not required, the cost of parking passes for the WLA campus ($65.00 per academic term)

 When does the program start and what is the deadline to apply?

Admissions deadlines can be found here

 Do I need a master’s degree to apply to this program?

Yes. All applicants must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in psychology or a closely related field. If you are currently pursuing your master's degree, you can apply for the program so long as your degree will be posted before the doctoral program begins in the fall.

 What factors are considered in admissions decisions?

We take a holistic approach to review applications and admission decisions are based on an applicant's potential for success in our program. The PsyD Admissions Committee takes into consideration the breadth and depth of an applicant's foundation of general knowledge of psychology, clinical and research experience, personal and professional experiences, and interpersonal competencies in granting admission. A review of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, provide an assessment of academic preparation and performance. The profession of clinical psychology requires individual and interpersonal competencies in addition to academic preparation. Interpersonal attributes and skills are therefore taken into consideration in assessing an individual's qualification for admission.

*Please note the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is now waived as an admission requirement for the applications to the 2024-25 Doctoral of Psychology (PsyD) entering class and will no longer be considered in future admissions decisions. This decision was made following a review of the usefulness of the GRE in predicting academic success in graduate education, its predictive validity in Pepperdine’s PsyD program, and the existing critique of the GRE concerning possible bias and fairness.

 What is the required GPA?

We ask that candidates have a 3.0 cumulative GPA from both their master's and baccalaureate programs; the average undergraduate GPA for the 2008-2012 entering classes was 3.36. However, the PsyD program admissions committee carefully reviews each applicant’s academic background and factors that have impacted previous academic performance.


 What are the minimum admission requirements?

Please visit our Admissions Requirements page for a full list.

 Is there an interview process?

Please refer to our Admission Requirements webpage.

 When will I learn if I have been admitted? Do you have a wait list?

Applicants will be informed of admission decisions in late March. A list of qualified students, who have not been offered admission, will be notified that they have been placed on a wait-list and will be contacted should a position in the incoming class become available.

 I am an international applicant. What additional admission requirements do I need to submit?

Please visit our Admissions Requirements page for a full list.

 Can you tell me more about the clinical dissertation?

An essential feature of a university-based doctoral program is a commitment to scholarship. Pepperdine  University’s PsyD program is committed to a practitioner-scholar model that affirms the importance of evidence-based practice. The necessary connection between scholarship and practice is a foundational and guiding principle of our program. Further, the demonstration of research competence is a critical area of professional competence required for degree completion. Students demonstrate research competence, in part, through the completion of a  clinical dissertation, which provides an opportunity to closely examine the literature on a clinically relevant topic and to meaningfully contribute to the profession through the production of a rigorous piece of scholarly work.

Students take courses during their first and second years to guide the development of their dissertation proposal.  Students work closely with their dissertation instructor and their dissertation chairperson throughout the process. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines, accepted by the scientific community as the standard for the conduct of systematic literature reviews, informs the dissertation process.

Students with more substantial research experience and interests may consider pursuing the "Research Emphasis" option within the PsyD Program. This option provides the opportunity for qualified students to develop an original or archival data collection or program development/evaluation project. These projects are most commonly tied to the research activities of their dissertation chairperson. Students must receive approval from both the dissertation chairperson and PsyD Program Executive Committee. Consistent with supervised clinical practice and other professional activities, students are required to comply with ethical and professional standards for the conduct of research and scholarship.


 Is it possible to visit doctoral classes?

Class visits may be arranged for applicants who have been offered admission to assist in their final decision-making.