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Doctor of Psychology

Improve the emotional and mental health of your fellow human beings with the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) from the Golden State College. In this degree program, you will build your knowledge base in the history and systems of psychology, and then you will focus your PsyD degree by selecting a specialization that aligns with your specific career and research interests. If you value the importance of improving the mental health of others, then you can understand why pursuing a doctorate in psychology is essential to enact meaningful change in society.


The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program is designed for students who are, or desire to be, practitioners in particular disciplines such as Criminal Justice, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Sport and Performance Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and others that have in common a desire to demonstrate service to the community through improving the emotional and mental health of clients. PsyD students become practitioner-scholars by becoming knowledgeable of the theory, research, and evidence-based practice in their specializations. The culminating Applied Doctoral Project becomes a personal contribution to the field of practice and of scholarship. Upon completion of the doctorate of psychology degree, students will be able to:


Apply best practices in the field regarding professional values, ethics, attitudes, and behaviors

Exhibit culturally diverse standards in working professionally with individuals, groups, and communities who represent various cultural and personal backgrounds

Utilize a comprehensive psychology knowledge base grounded in theoretical models, evidence-based methods, and research in the discipline

Integrate leadership skills appropriate in the field of psychology

Critically evaluate applied psychology research methods, trends, and concepts



Program Requirements

Total number of credits: 62 credits

Core Course Requirements: 30 credits

Capstone and Applied Doctoral Project or Dissertation Course Requirements: 11 credits

Specialization Course Requirements: 21 credits


To be awarded the Doctor of Psychology, you must complete the program coursework of 62 credits with a 3.00 minimum cumulative grade point average. You will need to complete three (3) non-credit In-Residence Workshops.* You will also need to complete all Dissertation requirements.** 


*For the Doctor of Psychology, you are required to attend three In-Residence weekend workshops. 


**As a requirement for graduation from theGolden State College with a degree of Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), each student must complete and successfully defend an Applied Doctoral Project (ADP) or Dissertation. The ADP is intended to extend or apply research by examining an issue within a real-world setting for a practical situation, leading to many different forms of studies that are different than the traditional dissertation. An ADP may look a lot like a dissertation study, or it can be a meta-analysis, a program design, program evaluation, a theoretical work, an action research, or a case study. The purpose of the Dissertation is to ensure that the student has mastered the ability to pursue a systematic investigation, which examines significant issues or problems in applied psychology. The Dissertation requirement is also designed to contribute to the student's knowledge, skills, and research expertise in psychology. Students choose a topic that addresses carefully chosen research questions that the student then investigates with quantitative or qualitative research, with a meta-analysis, or with a program design or program evaluation. Prerequisites, timelines for completion, and attendance requirements for an Applied Doctoral Project and Dissertation, as well as a detailed explanation of each step in the process, are described in the Applied Doctoral Handbook and the Dissertation Handbook.

The Doctor of Psychology includes 10 core courses, plus seven (7) specialization courses, and a capstone seminar. You will then complete an Applied Doctoral Project, which includes two (2) planning courses as well as five (5) units of the Applied Doctoral Project course. This doctorate in psychology is taught by qualified faculty members who all have doctorates themselves. They possess recent experience in the field of psychology, which allows them to teach theory and practical applications of the curriculum.


Core, Capstone, and Applied Doctoral Project Course Requirements*: (41 credits)


*You may choose to complete a dissertation instead of an Applied Doctoral Project. Please submit a change request if you are interested in completing a dissertation.


Doctoral Capstone

DOC 8770 Doctoral Capstone Seminar


Organizational Leadership

ORG 7101 Assessment Tools for Organizational Leadership

ORG 7272 Group Process & Group Leadership in Organizations



PSY 7210 Adult Psychopathology & Treatment I

PSY 7510 Biological Bases of Behavior

PSY 7512 Psychology of Leadership



RES 7105 Scholarly Argument I

RES 7110 Scholarly Argument II

RES 7302 Applied Research I

RES 7430 Applied Research II

RES 7480 Evidence-Based Practice

RES 8910 Dissertation Planning I

RES 8912 Dissertation Planning II

RES 8920 Applied Doctoral Project Planning I

RES 8922 Applied Doctoral Project Planning II

RES 8981 - 8985 Applied Doctoral Project

RES 8990 Dissertation

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