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Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Embark on a journey to advanced psychological expertise and research.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology at Charisma University is a research-intensive degree designed for candidates aspiring to careers in higher education, research, analysis, or clinical practice in both public and private sectors. The program offers four specializations: Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Health, Clinical Psychology, and Psychoanalysis.

This 64-credit hour program includes core courses like Clinical Research Methods & Psychometrics and Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods, along with a Comprehensive Examination and a Dissertation. A practicum or graduate teaching seminar is also required. Candidates can choose electives from any college program to fulfil credit requirements.

Applicants with a Master’s degree in any discipline are eligible, though those without a psychology background must complete three preparatory courses. Students holding a Master of Science in Psychology from Charisma University may receive up to 15 hours of dual credit towards the Ph.D. The program typically spans three years, but the duration can vary based on transfer credits and attendance frequency. Students aiming for state licensure in psychology-related fields should plan their course selection and internships according to state requirements.

  • Qualify as professional Psychologists or Psychoanalysts.
  • Acquire professional training and clinical skills for roles in education or public/private clinical settings.
  • Use a range of research-based techniques to address clients’ unique needs in clinical psychology.
  • Stay informed on contemporary research and analytical methods in psychology.
  • Prepare for and successfully complete state licensing qualification examinations.

Ph.D. graduates emerge as qualified Professional Psychologists or Psychoanalysts, poised for impactful careers in higher education, research, or clinical practice. Armed with advanced training and clinical skills, they play crucial roles in helping individuals navigate life challenges and mental health issues. Their comprehensive knowledge and research proficiency make them valuable contributors to the field, and their qualification for licensing examinations ensures they meet the highest professional standards in their respective states.

Program Structure

Explore the detailed program structure, including core subjects and a diverse range of electives.

Total Credits required for Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology is 64. In the Elective section, candidates are required to choose one of four program options.

This program has the following course requirements:

For Candidates with a Master’s degree in a field other than psychology.

In this program, each non-dissertation course carries a value of 3 credits, while dissertation courses are assigned 4 credits each. However, exceptions include the dissertation complete and oral defense, which are valued at 2 credits. Additionally, DPSY 938 is valued as 4 credits.

Students are required to complete at least 12 courses from the following list. See other specialisation tracks for required courses.

Students intending to pursue doctoral degrees must take and pass a comprehensive examination after they have completed their non-dissertation courses, because it is a pre-requisite of the dissertation courses. One of the purposes of this examination is to sufficiently assess students’ full knowledge on the dissertation title they wish to research.

Comprehensive examination is valued as 1 credit.

Completion of the following courses in the dissertation course is mandatory for obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. The dissertation itself must be undertaken only after the successful completion of all non-dissertation courses. It is essential to note that not more than one dissertation course can be pursued in a single session.

For detailed Dissertation guidelines, please click here.

Each dissertation course carries a value of 4 credits, with the exception of the “Dissertation Complete” and “Oral Defense” courses, which are valued at 2 credits each.

Candidates must select one of four program options:
The behavior analysis program option is crafted to offer comprehensive training in the field, emphasizing the development of specialized basic, applied, and theoretical interests related to understanding the human condition. It achieves a balance between basic, applied, and theoretical training. The program’s goals include fostering the ability to share accumulated knowledge of behavior science, conducting research for new insights into the human condition, contributing to the betterment of the world through knowledge development and research, and upholding a high degree of professionalism in the field. Mandatory courses for this program option encompass DPSY 801 and DPSY 812.
The Behavioral Health program option is designed to empower students to analyze and address inconsistencies within current healthcare delivery systems. Students will explore both physical and psychological factors contributing to healthcare disparities and work towards mitigating such inequalities in the behavioral health field. Graduates from this program option collaborate with other health professionals to analyze and solve complex health-related challenges in both domestic and international communities. The program aims to equip graduates with tools to develop strategies for expanding healthcare access, delivery, and the assessment of healthcare policy and practice. Mandatory courses for this program option include DPSY 801, DPSY 802, and DPSY 812 .
The Clinical Psychology program option is tailored to train candidates as clinicians, fostering an understanding of psychological issues and strengthening the link between psychological and physical health. This degree option emphasizes developmental psychopathology, adult psychopathology, and health psychology, adhering closely to a clinical training model. Candidates engage in close collaboration with their faculty advisor or clinical mentor, participating in ongoing programmatic clinical practice. Candidates seeking licensure for employment in research or clinical settings should review their state’s requirements before selecting courses. Core courses must include DPSY 703 and DPSY 826.

The program option aims to develop candidates into clinicians capable of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, preparing them for employment in higher education or practical clinical settings. Regardless of the chosen career path, the Clinical Psychology program is designed to provide a comprehensive background in diagnosis and treatment, coupled with a strong foundation in the science and practice of clinical assessment and treatment.
The Psychoanalysis program emphasis provides students with a leading-edge curriculum, preparing them for scholarly research, teaching, or enhancing professional practice through interdisciplinary study. While there is a growing interest in the psychoanalysis of culture and the cultural analysis of psychoanalysis among social scientists and scholars in humanities, few higher education institutions offer an interdisciplinary platform for such pursuits. This program option addresses this gap, fostering systematic dialogue between psychoanalysis, critical social theory, and cultural analysis.

Notably, licensure in psychoanalysis is currently offered in three states: Vermont, New York, and California. Students are advised to check individual state requirements before finalizing their course selections. Core courses, including PSYA 800, PSYA 801, and PSYA 802, lay a solid foundation in theory and methods essential for the systematic integration of psychoanalysis, critical social theory, and cultural studies. The program’s distinctiveness lies in its emphasis on creating new theoretical and methodological connections across psychoanalysis, the social sciences, humanities, and cultural studies, employing an interdisciplinary lens to analyze psychological and cultural phenomena.
These guidelines outline the process for selecting and obtaining approval for practicum placements.
Practicum training is a structured and progressive set of supervised experiences designed to prepare students for internships and fulfill, in part, the licensure requirements. These training experiences are aligned with the students’ academic preparation and are overseen by the university.
Practicum training is an extension of a student’s academic coursework, ensuring that services provided align with the education received. To facilitate this, a written plan is developed collaboratively between the student, the practicum training site, and the university. This plan outlines the allocation of the trainee’s time, ensuring the quality, breadth, and depth of the training experience. It includes specific goals and objectives, methods of evaluating performance, and adherence to jurisdictional regulations governing supervisory experience.

Additionally, practicum proposals detail the nature of supervision, identities of supervisors, and the form and frequency of feedback from the agency supervisor to the training faculty. Each practicum’s training plan rationalizes the experience in light of prior academic preparation and practicum training, ensuring a well-organized, sequential experience that meets the candidate’s training needs and upholds public protection.
Each practicum experience is required to encompass a minimum total of 500 hours of supervised professional experience. Of these hours, at least 50% should be dedicated to service-related activities, including treatment/intervention, assessment, interviews, report-writing, case presentations, and consultations. Moreover, a minimum of 25% of the supervised professional experience must involve face-to-face patient/client contact. Importantly, the time spent in supervision is considered part of the 500-hour requirement.
Individual face-to-face supervision is a mandatory component, constituting no less than 25% of the time spent in service-related activities. Additionally, up to 25% of supervision hours can be conducted in a group setting.
While university faculty maintain overall accountability for students’ education and practicum experiences, on-site practicum supervisors play a crucial role in student training. The supervisory responsibility for the entire practicum experience lies with a licensed psychologist. However, up to 25% of the supervision time may be provided by a licensed allied mental health professional, a psychology intern, or an individual undergoing postdoctoral supervised experience, all supervised by a licensed psychologist. Supervisors must have the capacity to extend students’ academic education, and all supervisors should be appropriately licensed in the jurisdiction of practice, also being members of the staff at the site where the supervised experience occurs.
It is possible to fulfill the 1500-hour practicum experience required by most state and provincial licensing boards through a combination of several part-time practicum placements. These placements should offer appropriate scope and graded complexity over the course of graduate training.
Supervised professional experience must take place in psychological service settings that include training professional psychologists as part of their organizational mission. These settings are required to have an identifiable licensed psychologist overseeing the experience, responsible for ensuring the integrity and quality of the training for each trainee. This information is derived from a study conducted by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, available at

Tuition and Financial Aid

For comprehensive information on tuition costs and associated fees, please visit our dedicated Tuition and Fees page.

Program Brochure

Looking to find your perfect fit? Learn more about this program from our detailed program brochure. Download our comprehensive program brochure now.

How to Apply

Find detailed information about application requirements and important deadlines for enrollment. Ready to begin your journey? Start your application now at our Online Application Portal.

Please visit our Admission Requirements page for detailed information on the institution-wide application requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The duration of our graduate programs varies. Master’s programs typically take 1-2 years, while Doctoral programs may take 3-5 years to complete, depending on the field of study, program structure, and whether you’re enrolled full-time or part-time.

Many of our graduate programs offer a degree of customization through elective courses, independent study options, and specialized tracks. This flexibility allows students to tailor their studies to align with specific career objectives and research interests.
Charisma University understands the need for flexibility in graduate studies. We offer various options, including part-time enrollment, evening classes, and online courses, to help students balance their academic pursuits with work or other personal commitments.

Contact Information

For more information about this program, the degree requirements and program information, please contact the following personnel.
Administrative Support Contact.

(649) 941-7337
(406) 831-9384

More Information

(649) 941-7337
(406) 831-9384

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Clinical Hours
1 credit unit = 45 clinical hours
MSN-C 511
MSN-C 665
MSN-C 700
MSN-C 750
MSN-C 761
MSN-C 765
MSN-C 771
MSN-C 801
Clinical Credits
Clinical Hours