Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology                            

The doctoral program in clinical psychology is based upon the scientist-practitioner model. In other words, clinical psychology is conceived both as a knowledge-area which can be advanced by appropriate empirical study and as a practical realm of treatment, skill, know-how, information, etc. that can be acquired through education. With regard to the possibility of advancing clinical knowledge through empirical study, the Institute's position is that qualitative research methods have traditionally been underemphasized in scientist-practitioner programs and in clinical research in general, and for this reason PSY 703 (Qualitative Research Methods) has been incorporated into the core curriculum in order to enable students to think in terms of qualitative research projects and methods for the dissertation requirement. In the realm of clinical psychology, it cannot be overlooked that advances in theory and practice primarily emerge from the writings of especially astute clinicians rather than from traditionally trained researchers. The notorious gap between clinical understanding and traditional methods for generating quantitative group data for statistical analysis is taken quite seriously at the Institute. For this reason, qualitative methodologies are presented as a real dissertation option for clinical research.



The problem-area and task for clinicians is to address the following related set of questions: what is the matter, how and why did it develop, what can be done to remedy or ameliorate what is wrong? The core curriculum is primarily devoted to offering courses which address these key clinical questions. It is worth pointing out that the core curriculum does not overlook a range of clinical issues which commonly receive short shrift in clinical psychology programs such as how to identify indications of somatic pathology which may easily be misconstrued as psychopathology, clinical practices and social policies which may interfere with treatment benefit or even cause harm iatrogenics, critical examination of drug treatment research and findings.


Students may pursue:


1. A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with Integral Psychology emphasis




2. A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology for students intending to obtain a clinical licensing. *


*For information on the current status of CIHS in regards to clinical licensing, please contact the Dean of Academic Affairs.



For information on Licensing Requirements as a Psychologist in California, please click here.




The aim of the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology is to provide advanced coursework which addresses core issues in clinical psychology as a treatment area and as a research area, and in addition to provide elective coursework opportunities in the field of psychology broadly speaking, including areas in which psychology overlaps with other disciplines.



Degree Requirements

Ninety (90) graduate quarter units beyond the Master's Degree are required to complete the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The number of core courses and curriculum graduate quarter units (including the dissertation) required would depend on the number of core courses that students have completed at the Masters Level.  This would take into consideration 1) the core courses associated with the school’s mission and 2) students that may enter the program with an M.A. level clinical license that includes the core courses required for clinical licensing.  It is therefore important for students to establish that they have completed the requisite number of core courses in consultation with the Program Director. The remaining elective units will be planned with the student's career goals in mind. With the approval of the Program Director the student may draw upon the Ph.D. programs in Life Physics, Comparative Religion and Philosoph and Integral Health to fulfill elective coursework requirements.


Students in this program may be required to take prerequisite courses if it is felt that their background at the M.A. level has not fully prepared them to succeed in the Institute's Ph.D. program.


Advancement to Candidacy is a formal step in the Ph.D. program. Eligibility for the Advancement to Candidacy examination consists of successful completion of all coursework (excepting PSY 896, 897 and dissertation). Successful Advancement to Candidacy is a prerequisite for internship, PSY 896, 897, and dissertation, except upon specific approval of the Program Director. The examination tests the student's ability to provide sophisticated written discussions concerning substantive matters in psychology.




Required for all Ph.D. students (unless the courses have been completed at the Masters level).

PSY 701           Foundations in Integral Studies (4 units)

PSY 702           Consciousness Studies (4 units)

PSY 703*          Counseling & Communications Skills (4 units)

PSY 704*          Spiritual Education (4 units)

PSY 705***       Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (4 units)

PSY 706***       Advanced Quantitative Research Methods(4 units)

PSY 896           Dissertation Topic Research (5 units)

PSY 897           Dissertation Methodology Review (5 units)

PSY 898A         Dissertation I (6 units)

PSY 898B         Dissertation II (6 units)

* PSY785 Foundations of Life Coaching fulfills the requirements for PSY703

** Additional units may be taken as electives

***Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research and Research Statistics are a prerequisite to Advanced Research courses. Students may take one or both of these two

courses depending on their research interests.



PSY 710           Ethics and Law in Psychology (4 units)

PSY 716           Models of Human Intelligence (4 units)

PSY 717           Psychopharmacology (4 units)

PSY 718           Human Sexuality (4 units)

PSY 719           Diagnosis in Clinical Psychology (4 units)

PSY 720           Complexities of Treatment (4 units)

PSY 724           Neuropsychology (4 units)

PSY 725           Mind Body Energy Psychology (4 units)

PSY 726*          Psychological Testing and Assessment I (4 units)

PSY 727*          Psychological Testing and Assessment II (4 units)

PSY 728           Domestic Violence (4 units)

PSY 730           Psychopathology and Psychopathogenisis (4 units)

PSY 738           Substance Abuse Theories and Therapies (4 units)

PSY 800           Psychology of Personality (4 units)

PSY 810           Advanced Therapeutic Skills (4 units)

PSY 819           Psychotherapy: Approaches and Strategies (4 units)

PSY 820           Pre-Doctoral Internships (1-4 units)

 *Students may complete one or both of these units.

Electives for the Clinical Program can be selected from Integral Psychology courses or other CIHS courses in consultation with the program director.



PSY 742           Advanced Consciousness Studies (4 units)

PSY 748           Foundations of Energy Psychology (4 units)

PSY 749           Clinical Applications of Energy Psychology (4 units)

PSY 750           Bio-Energetic Psychology and Therapy (4 units)

PSY 751           Psychoacoustics  (4 units)

PSY 756           Hypnotherapy and Guided Imagery (4 units)

PSY 763           Psychology of Shamanism (4 units)

PSY 764           Transpersonal Psychology (4 units)

PSY 784           Ecopsychology (4 units)

PSY 785           Foundations of Life Coaching (4 units)

PSY 786           Introduction to Four Expressive Arts Modalities (4 units)

PSY 790           Topics of Special Interest (4-8 units)

PSY 799           Independent Study (2-12 units)



Advancement to Candidacy

Ph.D. students must take a comprehensive written or oral examination in order to be allowed to enroll in pre- dissertation or dissertation courses. The comprehensive examination is taken after students have successfully completed sixty-eight (68) course credits.  Students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, who intend to obtain clinical licensing, may be allowed to take the comprehensive examination after completing forty-eight (48) credit units, thirty-six (36) or more of which must be clinical course credits.  For additional information on the comprehensive examination, doctoral dissertation guidelines, or other graduation requirements, please contact your program director.





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California Institute for Human Science
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Encinitas, CA 92024