The Psy.D program originated from a longstanding and dire need for licensed psychologists in rural, underserved areas of the United States, most specifically in the rural South. The mission is consistent with Georgia Southern University’s commitment to serve the needs of the southeastern region of the country. The program has an ongoing mission to increase awareness of diversity, especially related to rural and underserved populations. The first cohort was accepted in 2007 and the first student graduated in December 2012. The Psy.D. program at Georgia Southern is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association*.
*Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st St., NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Southern psychology faculty are dedicated to preparing students for clinical psychology work, focusing especially on clinical practice in rural settings. We work closely with students, give feedback regularly, and pride ourselves on giving students a “small school” experience in a 20,000-student university.
The doctorate program in Clinical Psychology at Georgia Southern University is a full time, day program offering a course of study leading to the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. The program’s curriculum prepares graduates for the practice of Psychology with a special focus on practice in rural areas. Coursework and training prepare students for licensure as psychologists, with an emphasis on educating emerging psychologists for the underserved areas in the state of Georgia and adjacent regions in the Southeast.
The program trains students according to the practitioner-scholar model. Students are taught to become generalists effective in the delivery of psychotherapy, psychological assessment, and psychological consultation services in rural areas. Consistent with the framework of a generalist approach, the curriculum, beginning with foundational courses, strives to create and maintain a dynamic and integrative program, emphasizing behavioral, cognitive, existential, family systems, humanistic, and psychodynamic approaches to service. View the Psy.D. Goals, Objectives, and Competencies, more information about practical training experiences, the clinical qualifying exam, and the dissertation on the Files and Links page.
The program is designed to foster the academic, professional and personal development of each student. This process is aimed at helping students cultivate balance within their personal and professional growth. In addition to academic requirements, students are encouraged to take initiative and responsibility for personal and professional growth through independent readings, interaction with fellow students and faculty, attendance at colloquia, and additional elective research and practica opportunities. Students are encouraged to seek experiences that enhance personal growth and awareness through self-exploration. To this end, all students are required to complete a minimum of 15 sessions of personal psychotherapy (individual, group, or family) with a licensed therapist during their time in the program. The sessions need not be continuous, with the same therapist, nor with the same style of therapy for the entire time. All psychotherapy issues are confidential and not shared with program faculty.
The Psy.D. is a professional degree, and focuses on the development of applied practice skills. Because the program is an integral part of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in a regional university, doctoral students engage in all aspects of scholarly inquiry, including quantitative research and professional membership in state, regional, and national organizations.
The curriculum covers the breadth of scientific psychology; the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of clinical practice; diagnosing or defining problems through psychological assessment; formulating intervention strategies; and understanding diversity and multicultural issues. In the first year, students take didactic courses concurrently with experiential skill-building courses. The psychological assessment sequence is also offered in the first year. In the second year, students begin the Practicum experience. The third and fourth years include practica focused on rural practice (3rd year) and professional development (4th year). Other clinical courses are interspersed among years one through four. You may view the typical course sequence for an individual entering the program with a Bachelor’s degree on the Files and Links page.