Psy.D. in Counseling and School Psychology

One of only a few programs in the country, Rivier's combined doctoral program is deliberately designed to integrate the two transitional practice areas of counseling and school psychology.

Why Earn Your Psy.D. at Rivier?

Our unique approach to doctoral training prepares health service psychologists to work in a variety of professional settings as licensed psychologists and is consistent with the generalist approach to training entry-level psychologists. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of agency, community, independent practice, and public service settings.

The Combined Doctoral Program in Counseling and School Psychology builds on Rivier’s existing M.A. and Ed.S. programs at Rivier University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Psychology that lead to licensure by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (Clinical Mental Health Counseling) or that are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education (School Psychology). 

The program follows the practitioner-scholar model, which integrates clinical skills in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and consultation with the empirical foundations of the discipline. 

Students are prepared as critical thinkers and problem solvers who draw on the theory and knowledge of psychology and education to deliver empirically-supported services. Students are trained to be consumers of research that informs their practice as skilled professionals delivering assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, and preventive services.

Distinguished Faculty

This Psy.D. program brings together distinguished faculty from a variety of disciplines with rich experience in:

  • Counseling and school psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychological assessment
  • Clinical and systems consultation
  • Cultural diversity
  • Research design and analysis
  • Supervision

All core faculty are licensed psychologists or school psychologists.

Program Overview

The program is designed with professional standards and licensing requirements in mind. Traditional students can complete the degree in six years, including the 2000-hour internship in the final year of the program. Advanced Standing students can complete the degree in five years, including the final internship year. A minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent thereof) plus an internship are required prior to receiving the doctoral degree. At least two of the three academic training years (or the equivalent thereof) must take place at Rivier.

At least three semesters (two of which must be consecutive) of full-time registration at Rivier are required for residency in the program. Because of the demands of doctoral studies, practicum placements, and research projects, students in the program do not work more than 20 hours per week.

Courses are generally offered weekdays in the late afternoons and evenings as well as on Saturdays. The program includes a limited set of online courses in keeping with the New Hampshire Board of Psychology licensing requirement that the method of teaching is predominately face-to-face. Courses are offered in 7-week or 14-week terms. There are a total of six 7-week terms per year (two terms in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters). 14-week terms are offered once per semester in the fall, spring, and summer.

The University has extensive resources for practicum experience requirements, which begin early and continue throughout the program, increasing in scope and complexity. Students gain experience in intervention and assessment across a variety of school, community mental health, outpatient and hospital-based practicum placements. The Regina Library offers dedicated space for doctoral students, as well as reference materials, psychological assessments, and extensive online access to journals, affording students the opportunity to conduct research at convenient times and locations.

Accreditation

The Psy.D. program has been accredited on contingency by the American Psychological Association (APA); which grants national accreditation for programs in health service psychology. The University will apply for full accreditation within three years. The program’s current APA accreditation status of accreditation, on contingency, expires on April 7, 2024. The curriculum meets the State of New Hampshire licensing requirements for Psychologists.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 336-5979, apaaccred@apa.org, www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

View Student Admissions Outcomes and Other Data

 

Where Will Your Degree Take You?

Rivier’s Psy.D. degree prepares health service psychologists to work in a variety of professional settings as licensed psychologists.

Careers

Program graduates go on to have rewarding careers across a range of settings:

  • School psychologists
  • Practitioners in private practice or counseling centers
  • Practitioners in mental health agencies and programs
  • Practitioners in inpatient hospital settings

Robert Walrath, Psy.D., Associate Professor of Education, has worked as a clinical child psychologist and a school psychologist in New Hampshire since 1985. Working in private practice and school settings, as well as inpatient psychiatric units, Dr. Walrath has evaluated and treated thousands of children and adults in his career. His research interests include psychological assessment, family therapy, non-suicidal self-injury, and clinical supervision. He currently serves on the New Hampshire Board of Psychology.

Take the Next Steps

Degree Requirements

Become a critical thinker and problem solver able to work in applied settings and draw upon the theory and knowledge of psychology and education to deliver a continuum of empirically supported services.

Contact

Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions

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Take your career to the next level with a Psy.D. in Counseling and School Psychology.