Admissions Requirements

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The Psy.D. in Counseling and School Psychology is designed as a cohort model. There are two types of admission to the
programs—Traditional and Advanced Standing.

Traditional admission is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and requires the completion of 120 credit hours
for conferral of the doctoral degree. This program of study will include coursework, practica, research and internship
requirements as outlined in the proposed model curriculum. Students who enter the program under this classification may
transfer into the program a maximum of nine graduate credits. Students who enter under this classification may earn, as an
en route degree, an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling or a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) degree in
School Psychology, depending upon their area of specialization.

Advanced Standing is for students who graduated from a regionally accredited institution with a master’s, specialist,
or C.A.G.S. degree or the equivalent in psychology, mental health counseling, or school psychology; or who are licensed
or certified at the state or national level as a mental health counselor or school psychologist. Students who hold these
qualifications or credentials will be required to complete 60 credit hours which will consist of coursework, research, and
internship requirements as outlined in the proposed curriculum model.

It is important to note that the curriculum of the existing Master's Degree Programs in mental health counseling and school
psychology are in support of the doctoral program and serve as foundation courses. As such, current students in these
programs may apply for admission to the doctoral program after successful completion of 40 graduate credits. If granted
admission, these students will be approved to move to Advanced Standing upon completion in good standing of their
remaining course of study requirements.

A candidate for admission to the Psy.D. program is expected to have:

  • For Advanced Standing, an earned master’s degree or higher in a field related to psychology or counseling from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.5.
  • For Traditional admission, an earned bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.5.
  • Earned minimum scores of 153 for Verbal Reasoning, 144 for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.0 for Analytic Writing on the Graduate Record Examination. If you have taken the GRE test within the last five years on ETS's prior scoring scale, a minimum score of 500 is required.
  • Interviewed successfully with the Program Admissions Committee.
  • Evidence of commitment to the values, goals and mission of the University.

Students must successfully:

  • Complete all 60 credits of foundation courses or their equivalent.
  • Complete 45 credits of core doctoral courses and 15 credits of elective courses including a 50 week, 2,000-hour clinical internship. School psychology interns not seeking independent licensure complete a 1,500-hour, nine month internship.
  • Complete oral and written comprehensive examinations.
  • Complete the Praxis II examination for school psychology (school psychology students only).
  • Work closely with an advisor and committee to conduct research related to their area of interest, and defend and complete a dissertation within seven years of beginning the program.


To apply to Rivier University's Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) program, submit the following to:  
Office of Graduate Admissions, Rivier University, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060

  1. Application form: Available online as a pdf or from the Office of Graduate Admissions
  2. A $100 non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  4. GRE test scores within the last five years in verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing, as well as the Psychology content exam
  5. Current resume or curriculum vitae documenting at least three years of professional experience
  6. Statement of purpose: A three-page essay that states your professional experience and how that experience relates to your intended doctoral study; your rationale for pursuing doctoral study; a statement of a research goal(s), problem, or question you intend to pursue through doctoral study or are interested in researching; and the ways in which doctoral study will contribute to your personal and professional experience and enhance your career goals and plans
  7. Three letters of recommendation:
    • one from a present or former employer who can address your professional experience and leadership potential
    • one from a current or former professor or colleague who can discuss your ability and potential for advanced course work, scholarship, and research
    • one from someone who can speak to your personal and professional character

Electronic transcripts, letters of recommendation, statements of purpose and resumés/vitaes may be emailed directly from the original source to psyd@rivier.edu.