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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.

 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. 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)

 Where can I learn about student admissions, outcomes and other data?

That information is available here

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

This program begins in the fall of each year.

Fall Term 2021 Deadlines

  • Priority: November 16, 2020
  • Final: January 8, 2021
  • International Students: January 8, 2021

 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. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination, in addition to a review of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, provide an assessment of an applicant's general knowledge. 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.

 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.

 Do I have to take a standardized test?

Yes. All applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). We are unable to waive this admission requirement regardless of an applicant's academic or professional experience nor do we grant provisional admission. Scores must be received by January of the year of the application. Our institutional code for the GRE is 4326. For more information on the GRE exam and to register, please visit: www.gre.org.

 Is an autobiographical personal statement required?

Yes, an autobiographical statement is required. The statement must be five- to eight-pages and address each of the following: (1) key life experiences (e.g., personal, family, social, educational, job, etc.) which led to your interest in clinical psychology, (2) why you believe you are a good fit for a career as a psychologist (e.g., personal qualities, values, strengths, skills, preparation, etc.), (3) current areas of scholarly and professional interest, (4) experiences and perspectives regarding the role of diversity and culture in your life, and in the work of a clinical psychologist, (5) your reasons for applying specifically to Pepperdine's PsyD Program, and (6) your vision for your career 10 years after graduating.

 Are professional references required?

Yes. At least two letters of reference (with a maximum of 3) should come from individuals who are familiar with your professional and academic abilities. If you are a recent graduate, you should have at least one academic recommendation. If you have been out of graduate school more than three years, you may use either academic or professional recommendations. If you have clinical experience, it is expected that one of the letters would be from a clinical supervisor familiar with your clinical skills. Letters can be sent in lieu of the forms provided in the application booklet.

 Is there an interview process?

Yes. After the initial screening of the applications, the remaining candidates will be invited for interviews by the PsyD Admissions Committee. Special arrangements for phone or video conference interviews may be made if you are outside the Southern California area.

 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?

Applicants who attended schools outside the United States are required to submit certified transcripts in English. Submitted transcripts must include a cumulative grade point average (GPA on a 4.0 scale, A = 4.0) that has been evaluated by a NACES member credential service such as the World Education Services, Incor the International Education Research Foundation.

If you have not completed your bachelor's degree at the time of application, submit a current transcript. Upon degree completion, you are required to provide official transcripts in a sealed envelope prior to enrollment.

Mailing Address:
Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Admissions
6100 Center Drive 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a minimum passing score of 550 on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). The computer-based TOEFL test requires a minimum passing score of 80. Information concerning the availability of this test in foreign countries can be obtained by contacting TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA or online at www.toefl.org. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam. You can find out more at www.ielts.org.

 Can you tell me more about the clinical dissertation and Pepperdine's Applied Research Communities?

Through the dissertation, process students develop and demonstrate the ability to utilize the research literature and to implement a sound
scholarly process to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize relevant information on a focused topic related to the professional practice of clinical psychology. Rigorous systematic reviews of the literature advance science and inform evidence-based practice. Students work with a faculty adviser, who serves as their dissertation chairperson. Research questions emerge from a combination of student interest and the chairperson's areas of expertise and scholarly focus. 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 choose to pursue the "Research Emphasis" Option within the PsyD Program. This option provides the opportunity for qualified students to build upon their Systematic Review progress and develop an original or archival data collection or program development/evaluation project. These projects are most commonly tied to the research activities of the faculty member. Students must receive approval from both the dissertation chairperson and PsyD Program Executive Committee. Consistent with other professional activities, students are required to comply with ethical and professional standards for the conduct of research and scholarship.

 How can I learn more about this program?

Contact Gary Younger, Enrollment Services Officer, at gary.younger@pepperdine.edu or (310) 568-2334.