1. What is the program's curriculum?
The Program is 90 semester units, and has a strong emphasis on therapeutic practice and spirituality. Six of those units are used for the completion of the dissertation. We have three required courses that address spirituality as a content area. These are:

  • Religion and Spirituality in Clinical Practice (PSY 5019)
  • Neuroscience and Spirituality (PSY 6664)
  • Buddhism and Psychotherapy (PSY 6724)

Electives in this and other important areas are offered regularly with the approval of the academic advisor. Students may also take electives in other programs at CIIS. For more information about specific course listings, please see our Course of Study page.

2. What is the curriculum for an Advanced Standing student who already has a Master's Degree in a related field?
Full time students who enter the program with Regular Standing (those who enter with a BA) typically take three to four years to complete coursework. This is followed by the internship, which takes one year if it is a full-time internship (about forty hours a week), two years if it is a part-time internship (about twenty hours a week). The dissertation also follows coursework and, while it is possible to complete the dissertation in one year, students typically take two years to complete and write up their research. Realistically, a full time student admitted with Regular standing can expect to complete the degree in five to seven years, depending on their choice of internship and the nature of their dissertation project.
Advanced Standing students (those who enter with a Master's degree in Psychology, or the equivalent) have the option of completing the program in four years, with three years of reduced-load coursework and concurrent dissertation work, followed by one year of internship. The majority of Advanced Standing students take four and a half to five years to complete the degree. Students with qualifying graduate work may receive up to 30 units of credit toward our degree. A Faculty Advisor will work with each Advanced Standing student to produce a program plan detailing which of the required courses can be waived because of previous graduate level coursework. If your Master's Degree included a field placement you may be able to waive the first year of our practicum series.

3. What are the field placement and internship requirements?
While they are taking foundational coursework in clinical skills, first year students also move through a structured series of clinical experiences at our Psychological Services Center, the training clinic affiliated with our program. In the second and third years students work in practicum placements throughout the Bay Area, usually with a 16-20 hour a week commitment and frequently in Community Mental Health clinics and programs. After completing most of their coursework students work at a full-time year-long or a two-year part-time internship. 

4. What kinds of dissertations are acceptable in the program?
Students may pursue dissertation projects using the qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research methodologies. Dissertations involving Program Development and Evaluation and Integrative Literature Review are also possible. Some dissertation topics from recent years included:

  • The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Mother-Infant Bonding
  • Slavery and the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma in Inner City African American Male Youth: A Model Program
  • Applied Ecopsychology for Adults: Outcomes of the Kamana Nature Awareness Training Program and Sensory Awareness Practice
  • Trauma Research & Treatment of Combat Veterans: An Evidence Based Integrative Literature Review

5. Is the PsyD program accredited?
Our program applied for accreditation by the American Psychological Association on June 1, 2016. We have been approved to schedule an APA site visit during the Fall 2016 semester. CIIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASC-WSCUC), which is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. A degree such as ours, from a regionally accredited institution, is sufficient for licensure in California and many other states. 

6. What financial Aid is available for applicants?
For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.

You can also contact the Financial Aid office 415-575-6122 or email them at finaid@ciis.edu.  
Some scholarships are available.

Stay Connected