Doctor of Psychology Admissions

We seek to recruit and retain a diverse student group across a number of dimensions. Designed as a cohort model, there are two routes of admission to the program—traditional or advanced standing.

The curriculum of the existing M.Ed. in Counseling and School Psychology, the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the Ed.S. in School Psychology, and the Ed.S. in Counseling programs overlap with the doctoral program and serve, in part, as introductory courses. As such, current students in these programs may apply for admission to the doctoral program after the successful completion of 40 graduate credits. If granted admission, you will be moved to Advanced Standing upon completion in good standing of the remaining introductory course requirements.

General Admissions Requirements for All Applicants

See additional requirements for Traditional Route and Advanced Standing Route below. For admission to the Doctor of Psychology program, you will need the following general requirements as well as program-specific requirements listed below.

  • A completed Online Application
  • A $100.00 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions where you have received degrees and/or course credit
  • A written Statement of Purpose (3-6 pages) that reflects on the following:
    • Your professional experience and how this experience relates to doctoral study
    • Your reasons for pursuing doctoral study
    • Research and/or clinical goal(s), problem(s), and/or question(s) you may wish to address during doctoral study and research
    • How doctoral study will enhance your personal and professional career goals
    • Why you think you would be a good fit for the combined program in counseling and school
    • Diversity experiences and evidence of a commitment to serving diverse populations
  • At least three (3) letters of reference that speak to your professional and/or academic work, potential for successful completion of doctoral study, and character (see Letters of Reference below)
  • For students whose native language is not English:
    • Evidence of proficiency in the English language.
    • Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are accepted.
    • Doctoral programs require minimum scores of TOEFL (95), IELTS (7.0), and PTE (66).

Admissions Requirements for the Traditional Route

To qualify for the Traditional Route, you must hold a bachelor’s degree. This program of study will include coursework, practicum, research, and internship requirements as outlined in the curriculum. If you enter the program under this classification, you may transfer graduate credits consistent with foundation course offerings at the discretion of the Program Director.

Students who enter under this classification may earn an Ed.S. in Counseling degree en route to the Psy.D. Students are never admitted to the Psy.D. program for the purpose of completing the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Ed.S. in School Psychology or Counseling programs.

Traditional Admission to the Psy.D. program requires:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field from an accredited institution
  • Resume or CV
  • Undergraduate grade point average, with a preference of 3.0
  • GRE scores in Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing within the last 5 years
  • An academic writing sample
  • Evidence of commitment to the values, goals, and mission of the University and the Psy.D. program in the Statement of Purpose and Letters of Reference
  • Interview with the Core Faculty Committee members

Admissions Requirements for Advanced Standing

To qualify for Advanced Standing, you must hold a master’s, specialist, or C.A.G.S. degree or the equivalent in Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Psychology from a regionally accredited institution. Transcripts, course syllabi, and institutional numbering and grading system will be reviewed to ensure that up to 45 credits of introductory course requirements are met.

In most cases, you may be required to complete introductory course requirements not covered in your previous master’s, specialist, or C.A.G.S./Ed.S. programs or that were completed more than six years prior to admission. The Program Director may, in consultation with faculty, require that some courses taken within the six-year time frame are retaken if the content is not reflective of current knowledge or standards in the field.

You will be required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of core (“800 level”) credits which will consist of coursework, research, practicum, and internship requirements as outlined in the proposed curriculum model to reach the minimum credits for program completion.

Advanced Standing admission to the Psy.D. program requires:

  • An earned master’s degree in a field related to psychology or counseling from an accredited institution and coursework relevant to the Program (see below regarding Introductory Courses for Advanced Standing)
  • Resume or CV
  • Undergraduate grade point average, with a preference of 3.0, and a graduate grade point average, with a preference of 3.5
  • General GRE scores within the last 5 years
  • A minimum of one representative clinical work sample that includes an overview of current professional skills (i.e., test reports, treatment plans, case conceptualizations or summaries, etc.). If none of these are available, an academic writing sample should be submitted.
  • Evidence of commitment to the values, goals, and mission of the University and the Program in the Statement of Purpose and Letters of Reference
  • Interview with the Core Faculty Committee members

Introductory Courses for Advanced Standing

In order to be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing applicants must:

  1. Possess a master’s, specialist, C.A.G.S., or Ed.S. degree or the equivalent in Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Psychology from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Provide evidence of preparation at the graduate-level equivalent to that provided by at least 36 credits from the below introductory courses offered in the Psy.D. program:
    • ED 501 Fundamentals of Research (3)
    • ED 505 Advanced Psychology of Human Development (3)
    • ED 530 Assessment of Learning and Reading Disabilities (3)
    • ED 538 Cognitive Assessment I (3)
    • ED 610 Basic Human Interaction (3)
    • ED 611 Psychotherapy for Children (3)
    • ED 614 Clinical Counseling Theories (3)
    • ED 615 Clinical Counseling Techniques (3)
    • ED 616 Group Counseling (3)
    • ED 618 Professional Orientation and Ethics of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
      or
    • ED 701 Foundations of School Psychology (3)
    • ED 623 Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
    • ED 624 Psychopathology (3)
    • ED 625 Testing and Assessment (3)
    • ED 629 Addictive Behaviors (3)
    • ED 681 Career and Lifestyle Development (3)
    • ED 704 Personality Assessment I (3)
    • ED 705 Neuropsychological Assessment I (3)
    • ED 720 Social/Cultural Foundations of Counseling and Education (3)
    • ED 721 Advanced Multicultural Perspectives (3 credits)

Courses that may be credited for Advanced Standing will be reviewed during the admissions process. That is, any such courses should have been taken at a regionally accredited institution, should have earned a “B” grade, should be at the graduate level (500 or above), and should have been taken in the previous six years.

As an Advanced Standing student, you may be required to complete foundation course requirements not adequately covered in their previous graduate programs or not reflecting current knowledge and standards in the field. Any such courses will be indicated in the student’s Program of Study. Advanced Standing students may be granted up to 45 credits for previous coursework and internship training experiences.

Letters of Reference Details

Each applicant is required to submit at least three (3) letters of reference that speak to the applicant’s professional and/or academic work, potential for successful completion of doctoral study, and character.

Applicants are encouraged to provide individuals making the recommendations with a copy of their personal written Statement of Purpose to ensure that the recommendation addresses these topics. Letters of Reference must have been written within six (6) months of the date of the completed application.

Letters of Reference may be written by current members of the faculty of the Division of Education and Counseling of Rivier University. If a current faculty member agrees to write a letter of reference and that faculty member is serving on the Core Faculty Committee, said faculty member must recuse him/herself from the admission decision process while the applicant’s application for admission is being considered. Similarly, if a faculty member of the Core Faculty Committee has recruited an applicant to the Doctoral Program, that faculty member must also recuse him/herself from the admission decision process while the applicant’s application is under consideration.

The Core Faculty Committee may invite members of the faculty of the Division of Education and Counseling who have provided letters of recommendation to speak on behalf of an applicant while the Committee is deliberating.

Application Deadlines

Each spring, prior to the application cycle for the upcoming academic year, the Program Director provides a timeline for the admission process that states all associated deadline dates.

Unless otherwise advertised on the website the dates for the admission cycle are:

February 1 Application deadline
Mid-February Decisions on interviews
March 1 Notification of interview decisions
April 1 Notification of admission decisions
April 15 Student notification of decision deadline

Application Review and Interviews

After the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions forwards completed application to the Program, copies are provided for members of the Admission Committee. Committee members independently review and rate the application. These ratings are then reviewed at a meeting of the Committee.

On the basis of ratings and Committee review, finalists for admission are invited to campus to be interviewed by members of the Core Faculty Committee. In this interview, applicants are asked to clarify and/or expand on aspects of their application, including but not limited to their personal Statement of Purpose and reasons for seeking doctoral study. Following the interview, the Core Faculty Committee reconvenes to discuss applicant interviews.

After review of all applicant files and interviews, the Core Faculty Committee selects applicants for admission to the Psy.D. program. Following this review, the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions notifies applicants of their admission status.

Rivier University does not discriminate in its application process. Read our non-discrimination policy.

Psy.D. Program Details

Learn how to advance your career with Rivier's Doctor of Psychology degree. Explore the curriculum, meet faculty, and review career outcomes.

Contact

Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions