Doctor of Psychology Admissions

Rivier’s Psy.D. program prepares students to become successful, ethical mental health service psychologists.

This is a fall-start cohort program. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The application closes on August 15, 2024, but early application is highly recommended.

Psy.D. Admissions Requirements

For admission to the Doctor of Psychology program, you will need the following general requirements as well as program-specific requirements listed below.

  • For Fall 2024 admissions, Rivier is utilizing PSYCAS, the Centralized Application Service for graduate study in psychology. To apply for our Psy.D. program, please create an account and submit your application through PSYCAS.
  • 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 psychology
    • 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, your potential for successful completion of doctoral study, and your character (See Letters of Reference below.)

The Program accepts and enrolls a diverse student group each fall semester. Students need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission to the Program. The number of credit hours required to complete the Program is dependent on previously completed coursework. There is no upper limit to the number of foundation (graduate) courses that can be counted toward completion. However, only 9 credit hours of doctoral course(s) at the 800 level can be transferred into the program.

Students are never admitted to the Program for the purpose of completing another degree. Students enrolled in the Program do not complete a master’s degree en route.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants are reviewed and evaluated on the following criteria and materials:

  • For admission to all Rivier University graduate programs:
    • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    • Letters of Reference (see Letters of Reference below)
    • Statement of Purpose
  • For admission to the Psy.D. Program:
    • A minimum of an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
    • Resume or CV
    • Undergraduate GPA, with a preference of 3.0 and above
    • Graduate GPA, with a preference of 3.5 and above (if relevant)
    • General GRE scores submission is optional
    • Interview with the Core Faculty Committee and/or Program Director
    • Evidence of commitment to the values, goals, and mission of the Program in the Statement of Purpose and Letters of Reference

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 Counseling and Psychology or the Division of Education 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 members who have provided letters of recommendation to speak on behalf of an applicant while the Committee is deliberating.

Application Review and Interviews

Applications are forwarded to the Admission Committee for review and rating after all required application items have been received and processed by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions.

On the basis of ratings and Committee review, applicants considered for admission are invited to campus for an interview; while an in-person interview is preferable, alternate interview options can be accommodated. 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. Shortly after the interview, 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.

International Applicants

Due to the F-1 program requirements by the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the online course offerings of Rivier’s Doctoral programs do not apply to international students seeking an F-1 visa. At this time, we are unable to process applications for international (F-1 visa seeking) students to our Doctor of Psychology program.

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.


Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions