May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Clinical and School Psychology, Psy.D.

Graduate Program Director, David Szwedo
Phone: (540) 568-6439

Admission Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program requires that applicants:

  • have completed an advanced degree (M.A./M.S. or Ed.S.) in clinical, school or counseling psychology or a related field.
  • submit a typed personal statement that includes description of professional goals.
  • submit three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with their academic work and any relevant clinical and professional experiences.
  • submit transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.
  • submit a current professional vitae.

The program is typically initiated at a post-master’s degree level. Any exceptions to these admission requirements must be approved by the core faculty of the program.

The program is one of 14 APA-accredited combined programs, and integrates train in clinical and school psychology. Five to seven full-time students are admitted each year. Priority will be given to application materials received by January 15 in anticipation of fall admission. Group and individual interviews with both faculty and current students to assess abilities, characteristics and readiness for the program are scheduled in February. All applicants are notified of admission decisions no later than March 15. Students offered admission are expected to reply as soon as possible and no later than April 15.


The mission of this doctoral program is to produce leading health service psychologists who are broadly trained in the science and practice of psychology, actively self-reflective, optimally prepared to work in a wide variety of settings with clientele across the lifespan, and demonstrably committed to an ethic of personal responsibility, social awareness and global engagement.

The Clinical and School Psychology program training uses an innovative, integrative approach that merges the traditional professional areas of clinical, counseling and school psychology into a generalist approach that provides students with a broad foundation from which to operate. A generalist orientation opens up pathways to draw from each of the three practice areas in a manner that is complementary and synergistic. The rationale for the training stems from the fact that there is a) tremendous overlap in the basic training of the three specialty areas of clinical, counseling and school psychology; b) there is a need to define the core competencies of professional psychologists; and c) there are emerging trends for greater integration within the field.

In regards to training objectives, we work to develop graduate health service psychologists who can:

  • understand and integrate contributions and perspectives from the three major areas of applied activity in our larger field (i.e. clinical, counseling and school psychology);
  • develop conceptualizations of human behavior that integrate biological, psychological, social and cultural dimensions of analysis;
  • integrate various theoretical perspectives into a coherent framework; and
  • work effectively in an interprofessional context.

A limited number of full-time students are admitted each year. All students receive a full-time teaching or graduate assistantship that includes tuition and stipend.

This doctoral program exhibits strong commitment to diversity through:

  • Required applied experiences specific to multicultural issues
  • Multicultural/gender issues covered in course work throughout the curriculum
  • Practical experiences with clients from a variety of cultures and backgrounds
  • Faculty with interests in international issues


Students in this doctoral program earn a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) degree. An individualized doctoral plan of study is developed for each student consisting of courses in Psychological Foundations as well as courses and field experiences in the required core curriculum. Previous graduate course work may be accepted to meet the Psychological Foundations courses. If after admission to the program, it is determined students do not have the foundational course work, they will be required to complete relevant course work. This additional coursework will be reflected in their individual doctoral plan of study. These courses represent the foundational knowledge of biological, cognitive and affective, and social bases of behavior. Through coursework and clinical field experiences students must demonstrate profession wide competencies in research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. A minimum of 62 credit hours of doctoral required core courses must be taken at JMU which includes one continuing education (CE) credit for each of three terms students enroll in internships (for a total of three CE credits). Academic progress is monitored throughout the program and feedback is provided to each student periodically.

All students must complete a pre-doctoral internship and a scholarly dissertation. Internships typically consists of twelve months of fulltime experience and the internship host agency provides financial support. Internships must be approved by the American Psychological Association or meet the standards set forth by APA. Students are required to pay an additional fee for the electronic presentation of their dissertation research.

In addition to the Psychological Foundations course work, the following are required courses that must be taken at JMU; any exceptions to this curriculum must be approved by the core faculty.


This program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please refer to the JMU Professional Licensure Program Status by Jurisdiction Index to determine if this JMU program meets the educational requirements specified by the associated licensing or certification agency in the state or territory in which you are located and other states and territories. Requirements vary by state and are subject to change. The information provided is current as of the review date indicated in the table.

Required Courses

Total: 62 Credit Hours


1 PSYC 878  is taken each semester of the student’s three year residency for a total of 27 credit hours.

PSYC 881  is taken for a total of 6 credit hours.

PSYC 895  is taken for a total of 2 credit hours.

4​​​​​​​ PSYC 900  is taken for a total of 6 credit hours.

CE 850  is taken for a total of 3 credit hours (one credit in each of three semesters).

Foundation Courses and Electives