Psy.D. Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our program, admissions process, and culture!

About the Program

The doctorate of psychology is a practice-based degree that provides students with coursework and practical experience necessary to qualify for state licensure as a psychologist.

A Ph.D program tends to emphasize research, and a Psy.D. program tends to emphasize training for professional clinical practice. Both are based on scholarly theories and evidence-based practices.

No, the program is a 5-year intensive, full-time, and in-residence program. The first four years combine full-time coursework, with at least 10 hours per week of practicum training at community sites. The fifth year is spent in a full-time internship site away from SUU. Summer courses and practicum experiences are also part of the program.

You may request transfer credit(s) for certain courses you have already completed, but, because of the nature of this training program, your time in the program will most likely not be substantially shortened.

In addition to receiving grades on coursework and practica, students are engaged in other academic activities to facilitate professional development and assess readiness to progress through the program. Each year, students will receive an annual evaluation which will provide written feedback on their overall performance. Students also engage in an annual self-reflection assignment regarding skills, competencies, ethical decision-making, sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity, and other aspects of professional identity formation. Throughout the program, there are may important benchmarks that assess a student’s progression. One is successfully completing the three-phase Qualifying Examination, the second is completion of a scholarly integrative project, and the third is a year-long predoctoral, full-time internship.

  • You will complete a three-phase qualifying examination process
  • Phase I; You will write an integrative, APA-style literature review
  • Phase II; You will take a comprehensive licensing-style examination
  • Phase III; You will present a comprehensive and integrative case conceptualization
  • You will complete a scholarly professional project, under the supervision of a faculty mentor and support team/committee
  • You will receive annual feedback regarding your progress in the program

We are a newly approved program at SUU. A new program undergoes an intensive quality review using the American Psychological Association’s Accreditation Standards as a guiding document. Before students are enrolled, our program will apply for Intent to Apply for Accreditation. The APA will carefully review all of the program policies and syllabi for quality. Within three years, the program will apply for Provisional Accreditation, and submit a self-study. Once this application is accepted, the program has full accreditation status. Within five years, the program will apply for Full Accreditation. All students who graduate from our program will qualify for licensure as having completed a doctoral degree from an accredited institution.

We plan to welcome students to campus Fall semester 2022.

The program will cost $600.00 per credit hour, plus student fees. The number of credit hours varies from semester to semester between 9 and 12. The entire program is 114 credit hours over 5 years ($68,400).

There will be limited numbers of graduate assistantships to help students with tuition. In addition, we anticipate some of the practicum training sites will consist of paid training hours. The 5th-year internship is fully compensated at a full-time rate. Federal funding through student loans may also be available.

Students will work with many types of clinical clients, including (but not limited to) SUU students, clients at local tribal agencies, low-income clinics, hospital settings, school settings, veterans, community members, children, adolescents, older adults, people with persistent mental illness, members of traditionally marginalized groups, and athletes.

About Admissions

Applications will be accepted via SUU's website. Applications are due February 1, 2022.

Psy.D. Application

  • You will submit a letter of intent describing how your personal and career goals match the aims of our program.
  • You will submit a statement on diversity and inclusion that describes your views on diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical psychology, evidence of your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and your commitment to these practices in your future career.
  • You will arrange for three letters of recommendation from individuals who know you well, and who can speak of your career interest, level of conscientiousness, potential for evidence-based clinical work, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and your propensity for success in the field of health services psychology.
  • A curriculum vitae outlining academic, occupational, and professional achievements and recognitions relevant to the pursuit of doctoral studies in health services psychology.
  • If you are an international student, you will need to include documentation of English proficiency.

No, there is no requirement to have a Master’s degree for SUU’s Psy.D. program.

No, but if you have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than psychology, or if your undergraduate degree in psychology is more than 10 years old, you will have to demonstrate a knowledge-base in psychology by taking the Psychology Subject GRE, or the Psychology Major’s Field Test, and score at, or above the 50th percentile. You must also have maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in your undergraduate program.

You must have completed (with at least a B grade) courses in:

  • Psychological Statistics/Quantitative Methods
  • Research Design
  • Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology.
  • In addition, applicants must have successfully completed courses in at least two of the following areas: Biological aspects of behavior, social aspects of behavior, cognitive aspects of behavior, developmental aspects of behavior, and human diversity. You will be asked to describe these courses in your application materials, and submit official transcripts that verify your coursework.
  • We also strongly recommend applicants complete courses in personality theory, health psychology, psychometrics/tests and measurement, counseling and psychotherapy, and/or substance abuse. Additional coursework in psychology and in related disciplines is likely to strengthen a candidate’s application. A "B" grade or higher is preferred although a grade below C- is disqualifying."

If you earned your undergraduate degree in Psychology within 10 years of your Psy.D. application date, no GRE score is required. If your undergraduate degree is in a discipline other than psychology, and you have all of the prerequisite courses, you may still apply for the Psy.D. program, but you will need to score above the 50th percentile on the GRE Psychology Subject exam or the Major Field Test for Psychology

You can take the exam through SUU's Specialized Testing Services.

Our plan is to enroll a maximum of 10 students per year into the program.

About the Culture

Nestled at the foot of Cedar Mountain and with over 256 sunny days per year, the area is a mecca for outdoor activities and events. Twice voted the Most Outdoorsy School in the Nation, Southern Utah University is the only officially designated University of the Parks in the country. SUU is located within half a day’s drive to more than 20 national parks and monuments in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada , and within two hours drive to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), Cedar Breaks National Monument, Sand Hollow State Park, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Three Peaks Recreation Area, and millions of acres of National Forest and BLM ground. World-class rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, canyoneering, camping , paddle boarding, fishing, golfing, and a myriad of  winter sports are just minutes away. In this area, you can literally snowboard in the morning, climb 5-15 routes at lunch, and cap the day off by water skiing, wakeboarding, or golfing in the evening. SUU is also home to the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. There is no shortage of fun activities or events.  

Cedar City has just over 32,000 residents, and is a quiet and safe town located on interstate 15. We have a total of three bars or pubs in town. If fast-paced night life is your jam, St. George is 45 minutes to the south, and Las Vegas is an easy two-and-a half-hour drive, and Salt Lake City is three and a half hours to the North.

We have brought together a fantastic team to help create the best program possible!

Meet the Team

The Psychology Department will annually host an Open House in October, and a second in late February or early March. Potential students are welcome to attend, meet faculty, explore our facilities, and ask questions.

The Director of the Program is:

Steve Barney (He, His, Him)


Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)