The PsyD Program in brief:

5 years full-time enrollment to complete the degree with Advanced Standing available for students with a licensable master's degree (LMFT, LPCC, or LPSW), which reduces the minimum program length to 4 years.

Entry in the Fall semester of the Academic year, which begins in late August.

Required to graduate:

  • 90.0 units (60.0 units with Advanced Standing)
  • 3 years coursework plus comprehensive exams, two years of practicum, one year of internship, proposal, and dissertation.
  • Classes are held weekdays on campus. Practicum and internship placements generally also occur on weekdays.

The Clinical Psychology doctoral (PsyD) program is an independent clinical training program. It is designed for clinicians who wish to deepen and refine their training in deep integral-psychodynamic theory and practice.

The PsyD fulfills the academic requirements to sit for licensure as a Psychologist in the state of California. The Board of Psychology of the state of California is the sole agency with the authority to grant the psychologist license, and the degree does not fulfill the academic requirements for a master's level mental health license (LMFT, LPCC, or LPSW).

Deep Integral-Psychodynamic Focus

Our integral-psychodynamic focus offers deep and advanced training in the theoretical ideas and practice of psychodynamic approaches. These theories include but are not limited to:

  • contemporary psychoanalytic
  • feminist psychoanalytic
  • intersubjective, relational, and other psychodynamic ideas

The program considers this body of work and how it relates to humanistic, and transpersonal theories and praxis. Psychodynamic theories are well-developed and address the deep relational aspects of the psychotherapeutic endeavor.

Advanced Standing

We are among the first PsyD programs to allow students to apply a significant portion of their masters-level preparation toward attaining a PsyD degree. Students accepted with advanced standing may transfer up to 30.0 units. Advanced standing allows students to progress through our program in 4 years. This is the equivalent of 2 years of coursework with concurrent practicum, a 2-year, half-time CAPIC internship (or optional 1-year full-time).


The dissertation will be completed during the internship. Our dissertation process offers two options:

  • a research dissertation (with a focus on the use of qualitative methods) or
  • a clinical dissertation (an in-depth case study).


WASC logoCIIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WASC-WSCUC).  Graduates of the PsyD program at CIIS are eligible to apply for licensure as psychologists in California and many other states.

Why a CIIS PsyD Degree?

A major benefit of PsyD training at CIIS is the focus on integral-psychodynamic approaches. Our coursework pays attention to the whole person and to the philosophical bases for psychodynamic theory.

We offer a culturally critical and situated view of psychotherapy, as well as advanced and rigorous training in depth-oriented approaches. This unique focus on the depth of training, the dissertation process, and having exposure to assessment processes at a more complex level are central features of earning a PsyD degree.

"The program challenged me to bring my gifts to the table. The environment fostered the exploration of Eastern and Western approaches to health and healing, multiple perspectives on mind, body, and spirit, and expanded my discourse of the measurable and immeasurable facets of the human psyche. Combined with the knowledge and dedication of the faculty, the amazing students, and the exciting classes and offerings, this was a rigorous and unique academic environment for personal and professional growth." -Priya Bhogaonker, PsyD Alum

WASC Accreditation and Career Advancement

With doctoral-level training from a WASC-accredited institution, a career in psychotherapy can include: 

  • the ability to charge greater fees for services due to the depth of training and specialization
  • expanded opportunities for publishing and consulting
  • teaching and supervision positions that are only available to doctoral-level clinicians

CIIS, and the San Francisco Bay Area at-large are at the forefront of change in the psychology field. We welcome you to come visit us and learn more about the CIIS Clinical Psychology experience.

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