Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)
The dissertation project provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate doctoral-level scholarship in clinical psychology. It may take a variety of forms, which include an empirical investigation (quantitative or qualitative), a theoretical contribution/critique, a program evaluation, an analysis of a public policy issue as related to professional practice, or other projects as agreed upon by the faculty.
Students have completed dissertation work on a wide range of topics from program evaluation of our campus clinic to quasi-experimental studies of treatment protocols implemented with psychotic inpatients. Many of our students complete dissertations with explicitly faith integrative scholarship components.
Students should begin to pursue their dissertation topic from their first semester in the program. Ordinarily, students must complete dissertation projects relevant to and guided by their sponsoring faculty chair. During the fall of the third year of the program, all students take a Dissertation Project Class (Psy 700) in which they complete a literature review and perform a mock dissertation proposal presentation. Thus, students must have formulated a topic with a faculty chair by this time. During the spring of the third year all students enroll in the Dissertation Proposal Class (Psy 718). In order to successfully pass this class a student must submit a dissertation topic approval form to the course instructor which specifies the topic, dissertation chair and other committee members, and a proposed dissertation time line, all approved by the signatures of the proposed committee. Once a dissertation proposal has been completed, students register for a minimum total of nine dissertation credits (PSY 701-703). Students must submit an application to the SPC Human Subjects Review Committee and receive approval to complete their research prior to beginning their study.
Students must pass a formal defense of their completed dissertation project and submit the required number of copy-edited, revised manuscripts for binding to the library in order to fulfill the dissertation requirement.
To review past Psychology & Counseling student dissertations, please visit the dissertations database page.