Applied Psychology, Doctor of Psychology (0476)


Program Coordinator

Frederick G. Grieve,, (270) 745-4417

The Doctor of Psychology in Applied Psychology provides knowledge and skills for its graduates to become effective change agents within educational and education-related environments. The program is designed to prepare scholarly practitioners whose program content and experiences emphasize application to the real world.

The Psy.D. in Applied Psychology prepares students to:

  • Function as competent practitioner/scholars, skilled in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based practices, particularly for rural and other under-served populations, in their chosen area of concentration;
  • Provide ethical, competent, and professional supervision of psychological practice in their communities of practice; and
  • Contribute to the practice and scholarship of psychology, consistent with the practitioner/scholar model, with the capacity to review scholarly literature, effectively integrate it with practice considerations, and evaluate outcomes.

Program Admission

Admission to the doctoral program requires the applicant to have either a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology or related field or a specialist-level degree in School Psychology. Applicants with graduate degrees from closely related fields may be considered for the program, but, if accepted, may need to take additional courses to complete the foundational coursework. Program admission is based on a comprehensive evaluation of a candidate’s application file and an interview. The application file must include:

  1. GRE scores (or equivalent) evidencing minimum scores of 145 Verbal, 145 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytic Writing. In lieu of the GRE scores, applicants can submit a portfolio that includes evidence of at least five years successful practice in the field and evidence of managerial/supervision experience or superlative practice
  2. Graduate transcript(s) evidencing a minimum graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 and undergraduate transcripts verifying undergraduate degree(s)
  3. Three letters of recommendation from professionals in a position to evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in a doctoral program.
  4. Personal statement describing professional interests, expectations from the doctoral program, and career goals.
  5. Resume or curriculum vita.
  6. Psychology Department application form
  7. Graduate School application form

International students are encouraged to apply and must meet two additional requirements. They must submit evidence of the ability to communicate in English (as evidenced by a minimum of 570 on the paper based TOEFL, a minimum of 88 on the iBT TOEFL, or a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic Version). Evidence of adequate financial resources is also required.

In addition to the application materials, interviews will be held with all viable candidates based on review of the application file. The purpose of the interview is to ascertain the applicant’s fit with the program’s goals and objectives and with their intended career paths (APA, 2013). In addition, the interview serves to inform potential students of the Doctor of Applied Psychology program’s mission, goals, curriculum and expectations for students.

Applicants with graduate degrees from closely related fields and international students will be considered for the program, but, if accepted, may need to take additional courses to complete the foundational coursework. Foundation coursework in clinical and school psychology programs provides the basis for understanding human behavior and consists of courses in the areas of social psychology, physiological psychology, developmental psychology, cognition/learning, and diversity/multicultural awareness. Applicants with degrees in clinical or school psychology will also have their transcripts reviewed for these foundation coursework due to variability in training across programs and universities.  Because some students may lack coursework in the foundational areas of psychology, assessment of applicants’ previous graduate coursework will be important to help them be successful in the program and to be eligible for licensure upon graduation. Students will be informed of any deficiencies upon program entry when they will sign a curriculum contract identifying deficiencies in the foundational areas of psychology that will need to be completed. Consistent with university policy, any identified deficiencies will need to be remediated prior to admission to candidacy and any courses taken as remediation for deficiencies may not be counted in the 48 hours required for the Psy.D. degree.

All applicants must also submit an affidavit affirming that they have not been convicted or charged with a felony crime or an ethical violation. A criminal background check will be required of successful applicants during the first semester of graduate study at the applicant’s expense. Individuals evidencing a history of felony conviction are not eligible for licensure in Kentucky as a psychologist. Further, training programs have an ethical obligation to disclose the inability to obtain licensure at program entry. Thus, a history of felony conviction will preclude applicants from being accepted into the Doctor of Applied Psychology program.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (48 hours)

The program consists of 48 hours beyond a master's or other graduate degree. The program includes 27 hours of core coursework and a choice of two specializations, Clinical Psychology and School Psychology, consisting of an additional 21 hours each.  Each student's academic background and professional experiences will be assessed at the time of admission, and students may be allowed to count up to 12 hours of previously-completed graduate-level course work toward program requirements. To complete the program, students must pass a qualifying exam that includes questions related to program core and specialization outcomes, and propose, complete, and successfully defend a dissertation.

Required Courses
EDFN 500Research Methods3
or EDFN 501 Educational Statistics
or EDFN 740 Intermediate Statistics and Design
or EDFN 744 Seminar in Advanced Research Methods
PSY 701History and Systems of Applied Psychology3
PSY 751Clinical Psychopharmacology3
CNS 588Family Systems Counseling3
or PSY 741 Family Systems in Therapy
PSY 777Foundations of Supervision3
PSY 799Dissertation in Psychology6
PSY 895Pre-Doctoral Internship6
Select a concentration21
Total Hours48

Clinical Concentration

PSY 642Clinical Interviewing and Psychotherapy3
PSY 862Advanced Psychotherapy Interventions3
CNS 552Testing and Assessment in Counseling3
or CNS 567 Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment in Counseling
or CNS 654 Educational and Intellectual Analysis of Children and Adults
or PSY 560 Assessment of Individual Intellectual Functioning:Theories and Issues
or PSY 561 Advanced Assessment in Educational Settings
or PSY 562 Practicum in Psychological Assessment
or PSY 643 Academic Assessment and Intervention
or PSY 647 Addictions: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning
or PSY 660 Assessment of Personality and Socio-Emotional Functioning
or PSY 766 Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
or SWRK 623 Social Work Clinical Assessment and Intervention
ADED 611Adult Development and Learning3
or CNS 557 Human and Family Development in Counseling
PSY 801The Profession of Clinical Psychology3
PSY 877Advanced Clinical Supervision3
PSY 791Advanced Psychology Practice3
Total Hours21

School Psychology Concentration

PSY 785Doctoral Seminar in School Psychology3
PSY 792Advanced Practicum in School Interventions3
PSY 640Psychopathology3
PSY 520Individual Differences and Human Diversity3
Select a specialization option9
Therapies and Interventions with Children
Play Therapy
Advanced Play Therapy
Expressive Arts Techniques in Counseling
Sandtray Techniques in Counseling
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Social Skills Instruction & Behavioral Programming for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Educational Leadership
Select three of the following (or equivalent courses):
Fundamentals of School Administration
Seminar in Administration of Special Education
Special Education Law and Finance
Introduction to School Leadership
Strategic Planning in Education
Legal Issues for Professional Educators
Instructional Leadership
Total Hours21