In Walden’s Ph.D. in Psychology program, you can explore current theories and best practices and carry out research that will help you build the skills and knowledge you need to work with a diverse clientele in a variety of settings.

This program—based on a scholar-practitioner model—encourages you to integrate scholarly research with practical expertise and provides you with the tools to make an impact in your field, helping you change your world and the world of others.

Taught by respected researchers and experts in the field, this program offers eight specializations that allow you to focus on a specific area of psychology. Select the Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology specialization if you want to prepare for licensure and independent psychological practice.*

*The Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology specializations in the Ph.D. in Psychology program are designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams. These specializations are designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s professional specializations in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology are not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and have not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in some states. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state or international location in which he or she intends to work as requirements vary widely. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that the completion of a degree or coursework for graduate credit will permit the student to obtain licensure.

"My degree has inspired others. They saw the cahnge in me and wanted the same." - Jennifer Leach

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Career Options

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

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Doctoral Psychology Degree Entry Points

  • As long as you have a bachelor‘s degree, you can apply for Walden‘s Ph.D. in Psychology program. Additionally, you have the option of earning an M.S. in Psychology along the way, depending on which specialization you choose. Learn more.
  • If you earned your M.S. in Psychology at Walden, you may be able to apply credits toward your Ph.D. in Psychology program. Learn more.
  • If you hold a master’s degree from an accredited university, you may be eligible to transfer credits into the Ph.D. in Psychology, saving you time and money. Call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 to learn more.

Specializations

Find out more about the Ph.D. in Psychology now.  Request Information

Clinical Psychology

Prepare for independent psychological practice with a specialization in Clinical Psychology.* Learn to diagnose, assess, and provide interventions for a wide array of emotional and behavioral disorders. Position yourself to work as a practitioner, researcher, or consultant with multidisciplinary teams in hospitals, clinics, community mental health centers, and group or private practice settings. Assist those who are contending with mental illness and experiencing problems coping with life issues. Work within diverse populations and provide services that are based on empirical evidence, are culturally competent, and are on the cutting edge of clinical psychology. Gain practical, hands-on experience through the Academic Year in Residence (AYR) as well as through supervised practicum and internship requirements.

*Clinical Psychology positions may require state licensure, additional experience, or other factors beyond successful completion of the degree program.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

 

 

AYR courses begin in the sixth quarter and end with the completion of the ninth quarter. These courses are blended with online and face-to-face components.

Elective Courses

The Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology requires you to take 15 credits (three courses) of electives. To meet this requirement, you may choose your elective courses either from one of the clusters below, allowing you to focus your studies on an area that most interests you, or from a mixture of cluster courses if you prefer a broad exposure to a variety of topic areas.

  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
    • PSYC 8719, PSYC 8721, PSYC 8745
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
    • PSYC 8710, PSYC 8712, PSYC 8815
  • Community Psychology
    • PSYC 8785, PSYC 8810, PSYC 8784
  • Couples and Family
    • PSYC 8356, PSYC 8724, PSYC 8830
  • Disaster and Trauma
    • PSYC 8740, PSYC 8748, PSYC 8732
  • Gender and Sexuality
    • PSYC 8825, PSYC 8830, PSYC 8356
  • Leadership and Coaching
    • PSYC 8749, PSYC 8751, PSYC 8757
  • Media and Professional Practice
    • PSYC 8765, PSYC 8759, PSYC 8912
  • Psychology as a Business
    • PSYC 8784, PSYC 8820, PSYC 8912

You may also choose elective courses from the other Ph.D. in Psychology specializations (Educational, Forensic, General, Health, Organizational, and Social Psychology) that are not included in these clusters. Please note that the per credit hour cost will be slightly higher if you choose courses other than those listed above; see Tuition & Financial Aid for exact costs.

Course Descriptions

Note on Licensure: The Clinical Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams. This specialization is designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s professional specialization in Clinical Psychology is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and has not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in some states. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state or international location in which he or she intends to work as requirements vary widely. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that the completion of a degree or coursework for graduate credit will permit the learner to obtain licensure.

Counseling Psychology

Prepare for licensure and independent psychological practice* with a strength-based curriculum that focuses on promoting functional behavior and relationships across the lifespan. Learn how to help clients develop internal resources and access community services as a therapist, researcher, advocate, or consultant. Help clients remediate challenges and difficulties and prevent as well as diagnose and treat psychological problems.

This specialization emphasizes a developmental approach to addressing problems in living and mental disorders and focuses on research design and methods; vocational/career theory, assessment, and intervention; competence in multicultural issues and individual differences; ethical practice, including empirically supported therapeutic interventions, consultation, and supervision; and a commitment to critical thinking, lifelong learning, and scholarly contribution to the profession. Gain practical, hands-on experience through the Academic Year in Residence (AYR) as well as through supervised practicum and internship requirements.

*Counseling Psychology positions may require state licensure, additional experience, or other factors beyond successful completion of the degree program.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

AYR courses begin in the sixth quarter and end with the completion of the ninth quarter. These courses are blended with online and face-to-face components.

Note on Licensure: The Counseling Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams. This specialization is designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s professional specialization in Counseling Psychology is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and has not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in some states. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state or international location in which he or she intends to work as requirements vary widely. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that the completion of a degree or coursework for graduate credit will permit the learner to obtain licensure.

Educational Psychology

Contribute to the field of education through independent, professional research. Deepen your understanding of key psychological theories affecting issues related to the learning experiences of both high achievers and individuals whose needs are more specialized. Explore how to apply these theories to teaching learners across their lifespan and researching student cognition, motivation, and development.

This specialization will prepare you for a career as a higher education faculty member, educational psychologist, researcher, program administrator, or consultant.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology, or Social Psychology.

Note on Licensure: The Educational Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Forensic Psychology

Develop a greater understanding of the criminal justice system and the mental health issues that drive many aspects of criminal behavior. Broaden your understanding of advanced forensic psychology research methods. Explore ways to evaluate programs designed specifically for such forensic populations as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, the mentally ill, and juvenile offenders. This specialization will provide you with a deeper understanding of systems and programs that strive to create positive change in the legal system and community settings. Gain the skills you need to prepare for a career as a researcher or consultant in law enforcement, government, education, and nonprofit sectors.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology, or Social Psychology.

Note on Licensure: The Forensic Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

General Psychology (Research Option)

Gain the skills and acumen you need to make valuable contributions to the field of psychology. This specialization can help you examine the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive issues impacting human behavior and acquire the foundation necessary to plan and conduct relevant psychological research. You can also explore the real-world legal and ethical issues faced by today’s industry professionals and choose among options to focus on teaching and/or research in psychology.

Completion Requirements

  • 105 or 106 total quarter credits
    • Courses (45 or 46 cr.)
    • Breadth courses (25 cr.)
    • Electives (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.) 
  • Ph.D. residencies (4 four-day sessions)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Foundation Course

Core Courses

Breadth Courses

Breath Courses are taken in quarter 1,2,3, and 5.

Must select two courses from the list below:

Must select three more courses from the list above and/or below:

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology, or Social Psychology. One elective course is taken in quarter 4, 5, and 6.

Dissertation Course

Note on Licensure: The General Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

General Psychology (Teaching Option)

Gain the skills and acumen you need to make valuable contributions to the field of psychology. This specialization can help you examine the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive issues impacting human behavior and acquire the foundation necessary to plan and conduct relevant psychological research. You can also explore the real-world legal and ethical issues faced by today’s industry professionals and choose among options to focus on teaching and/or research in psychology.

Completion Requirements

  • 105 or 106 total quarter credits
    • Courses (45 or 46 cr.)
    • Breadth courses (25 cr.)
    • Electives (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.) 
  • Ph.D. residencies (4 four-day sessions)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Foundation Course

Core Courses

Breadth Courses

Breath Courses are taken in quarter 1,2,3, and 5.

Must select two courses from the list below:

Must select three more courses from the list above and/or below:

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology, or Social Psychology. One elective course is taken in quarter 4, 5, and 6.

Dissertation Course

Note on Licensure: The General Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Health Psychology

Develop the strong theoretical background needed to design and conduct research into the biological, psychological, behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to health and illness. By learning how to apply advanced research methodologies, you can promote positive health behaviors and encourage change as a researcher in academic, medical, business, government, and community settings.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, Organizational Psychology, or Social Psychology.

Note on Licensure: The Health Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Organizational Psychology

Help build successful organizations by improving the performance and well-being of their employees. This doctoral specialization is designed to deepen your knowledge of workplace and organizational behavior. You will develop scholarly and practical expertise in selection, performance management, motivation, work attitudes, leadership, and organizational behavior and development to identify how organizational effectiveness can be improved through hiring practices; motivational, reward, and feedback systems; and the creation of synergistic work environments that foster employee well-being. The curriculum for this specialization is based on competencies identified by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The coursework is designed to prepare you for a career in academia or nonprofit research or to work as a practitioner or consultant in a variety of industries.

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, or Social Psychology.

Note on Licensure: The Organizational Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Social Psychology

Apply your knowledge of social psychological theory to conduct research on such important social issues as social cognition, attitudes, interpersonal processes, and group dynamics. The first program of its kind available online, the Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Social Psychology can expand your understanding of how social factors influence human psychology and behavior. Learn to use sophisticated research methods and prepare yourself to teach and conduct research in the field of higher education. You can also prepare for a career as a researcher or consultant in the government and nonprofit and for-profit sectors.*

Completion Requirements

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Course

For your elective courses, select from courses in these Ph.D. in Psychology specializations: Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, or Organizational Psychology.

Note on Licensure: The Social Psychology specialization in the Ph.D. in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 159 total quarter credit hours  $495 per quarter credit hour $78,705
Residency Fee Four 4-day residencies
(Residency 2 and Residency 4 may be virtual)
$1,160 each (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional)
Virtual: $1,260 each
$4,640
In-Residence Supplemental Tuition 8 in-residence courses during a one-year period, 2 courses per term $855 fee per course (in addition to per quarter credit hour tuition), travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional $6,840
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $3,360
    Total $93,545
    Transfer up to 45 credits  $23,235
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $70,310

Ph.D. in Psychology (all other specializations: Educational, Forensic, General, Health, Organizational, Social)

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 105 total quarter credit hours  $555 per quarter hour $58,275
Residency Fee Four 4-day residencies
(Residency 2 and Residency 4 may be virtual)
$1,160 each (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional)
Virtual: $1,260 each
$4,640
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $2,640
    Total $65,555
    Transfer up to 53 credits  $30,735
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $34,820

Tuition Savings Available

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $6,000.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

Transfer credits for you doctoral program

The Ph.D. in Psychology program will prepare you to use current theory and research to make valuable contributions to government, nonprofit, and private organizations. With your degree, you will have the ability to work directly with individuals at varying developmental levels, from infants to older adults, as well as diverse groups ranging from families to universities.

Settings in which you may practice can include mental health centers, government agencies, healthcare organizations, corporations, community agencies, social services, and schools. Your career options,* depending on your specialization, may include a role as a:

  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Teacher
  • Director of career services
  • Staff psychologist
  • Administrator
  • Political strategist
  • Marketing director
  • Human resources manager

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

The Ph.D. in Psychology program includes:

  • Online courses focused on real-world solutions.
  • Residencies that prepare you for each phase of your program.
  • Academic Year in Residence (AYR) for the Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology specializations.
  • Challenging fieldwork (depending on your specialization).
  • Faculty mentoring to support you through your dissertation.

As a student in Walden’s Ph.D. in Psychology program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s Ph.D. in Psychology program:

Earn a Master's Degree While Completing Your Ph.D.

Certain specializations in the Ph.D. in Psychology program allow you to earn your M.S. in Psychology as you complete your Ph.D. The specialization you choose for your doctoral program will determine the M.S. in Psychology specialization you complete.

Chosen Ph.D. in Psychology Specialization  M.S. in Psychology Specialization You Will Earn 
Clinical Psychology  Applied Psychology
Educational Psychology Educational Psychology 
General Psychology General Psychology 
Health Psychology  health-psychology 
Organizational Psychology  Organizational Psychology 
Social Psychology  Social Psychology

Academic Year in Residence (AYR)

The Academic Year in Residence (AYR) is designed to provide you with the critical clinical skills that are essential for professional practice in the field of psychology. It allows you to focus on your development as a doctoral student and practitioner-in-training.

This period of study allows for the acquisition and evaluation of skills essential for supervised and entry-level practice in practicum and internship placements. You’ll develop assessment and intervention skills through evidence-based practice and by using empirically supported techniques to identify and resolve psychological difficulties. Additional coursework in ethics, consultation and supervision, and multicultural psychology during the AYR will complement your training. Further, you will focus on research and dissertation skills with the guidance of faculty members and in concert with your peers.

The AYR offers a unique opportunity for you to become socialized into the profession of psychology, encouraging close interaction with faculty members and fellow students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for professional practice and scholarship. During your AYR, your progress toward developing these skills and attitudes will be evaluated and assessed by faculty members, providing the opportunity for individualized feedback and developmentally focused training in a face-to-face setting.

As part of your AYR experience, you will complete eight courses (40 quarter credit hours, total) in a blended format. This means that you will take part of each course online, but the majority of the course will occur in person with your classmates and faculty members at Walden University in Minneapolis. You must complete these courses, two per quarter, over a 12-month period (four consecutive quarters), typically beginning in the sixth quarter of the degree program. You will be required to travel to Minneapolis once per quarter to complete the in-residence portion of your courses.

The AYR is in addition to the Ph.D. residency sequence required by the university.

See the locations and dates of residencies that are available to current students.

Learn More

Costs and fees related to the Academic Year in Residence (AYR) are added directly to your tuition bill. These costs do not include travel, lodging, and most meals during the residency.

If you qualify for financial aid, you may be able to use it to pay residency fees. Travel, lodging, and meals cannot be paid directly from financial aid.

View fees for the AYR.

What is the purpose of the Academic Year in Residence?

The Academic Year in Residence (AYR) socializes students to the profession of psychology and assesses their progress toward habits, skills, and insights that are necessary for practice and scholarship at the doctoral level. The year in residence is an opportunity to concentrate on skill development, particularly in psychological assessment, diagnostic acumen, and empirically supported interventions designed to treat psychological disorders and problems. You’ll also interact closely with faculty members and peers, participate in formal and informal educational experiences, learn from visiting scholars and speakers, and receive feedback from faculty members in areas of practice-related skills. Research skills are also emphasized and reviewed, helping prepare you to successfully conceptualize and plan the dissertation.

Why is the Academic Year in Residence a requirement for my Ph.D.?

A year in residence, consisting of 12 consecutive calendar months of study, is a standard requirement for doctoral training in psychology in specializations designed to lead to the practice of psychology.

Where are residencies held?

The AYR is held in Minneapolis. You will be face-to-face with peers, faculty members, and staff members of the university during the in-person portion of your courses.

When do I begin the Academic Year in Residence?

You’ll begin the Academic Year in Residence in the sixth quarter of the program. As part of the AYR, you will complete eight courses in a blended, in-residence format (40 quarter credits total). You will take part of each course online, but the majority of the course will occur in person with your classmates and faculty at Walden University in Minneapolis. You will be required to travel to Minneapolis once per quarter during this year to complete the in-residence portion of the courses. Thus, you will travel to Minneapolis four times during the AYR, once each quarter, for nine-day sessions Saturday through the following Sunday including travel time. 

How do I register for the Academic Year in Residence?

Once you have completed the necessary prerequisites, you will be automatically enrolled in the Academic Year in Residence (AYR). You will be required to travel to Minnesota for one week out of each term in order to complete the face-to-face portion of the AYR. The additional fee will be charged at the time you are enrolled in AYR. The fee will be applied directly to your tuition statement.

What if I can’t complete my AYR requirements within a year?

Students must complete the AYR within 12 consecutive calendar months to complete program requirements. This is a requirement of professional psychology students in general and is not specific or unique to Walden. In unique situations beyond students’ control that result in missing courses, or in the event an AYR course is not passed, an individual plan will be crafted that will include additional coursework and require additional quarters of residency to ensure a contiguous 12-month academic experience with sufficient in-person, face-to-face components.

Can I take my child/family to a residency? 

Family members, including children, cannot attend an academic residency program or courses with you.

Are extensions provided? 

No. The AYR must be completed within 12 calendar months, and the courses that are part of the AYR must be successfully completed with a grade of B or better.

The Academic Year in Residence (AYR) is a requirement for doctoral training in professional psychology. It offers the opportunity for you to focus on developing your skills and knowledge as well as honing the attributes and attitudes of a professional psychology practitioner. You will work closely with your peers and program faculty members, interacting formally and informally to create a network of colleagues; receive specific feedback on your progress; and practice skills you will need for the future. Benefits include:

Acquisition and demonstration of clinical skills and knowledge:

  • Receive in-residence instruction of skills in clinical assessment and intervention, professional ethics, and multicultural competence.
  • Use hands-on exercises such as role play, small-group work, modeling, and application to gain expertise and knowledge.
  • Gain practice with assessment instruments and methods, scoring and interpretation of tests, diagnostic formulation, and clinical report writing.
  • Learn evidence-based therapeutic techniques that prepare you for supervised practice in the practicum and internship segments of the program.
  • Receive feedback on skill development from faculty members.

Socialization into the profession:

  • Interact on a regular and consistent basis in-person with faculty members and peers.
  • Receive academic advising support.
  • Receive mentoring from faculty members to help navigate the doctoral program and prepare for career entry.
  • Gain insight into your areas of focus through formal and informal conversations with faculty and students on topics of interest in psychology.
  • Receive feedback on your professional presentation and the attitudes and attributes of being a psychologist, which you will build and develop over the year.

Practitioner preparation:

  • Support your practitioner training with a foundation of theory and knowledge to broaden your understanding of the field.
  • Prepare for field training (practicum and internship) through skill development, practice, and feedback from your faculty members.
  • Process case examples that include complicated diagnostic, multicultural, and ethical features.
  • Study models of consultation and supervision as well as gain skills and knowledge in specialized areas of psychological practice.

The Academic Year in Residence (AYR) typically takes place during the sixth through the ninth quarters of your program. The AYR is required for completing your Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology. Prior to starting your AYR, you must attend your first academic residency (which typically occurs in the first 90 days after you begin the program) as well as complete the prerequisite coursework as outlined in the specialization’s program of study.

The AYR spans 12 consecutive calendar months, a standard requirement for doctoral training in psychology. Your AYR comprises eight courses (as listed below), which are completed over four quarters in a blended format. Part of each course is online, but the majority is taught face-to-face in Minneapolis. You will also experience formal and informal interaction with faculty members, administrators, students, staff members, and other professionals as part of the in-residence year.

The AYR comprises the following courses for students in the Counseling Psychology specialization:

  • Ethics and Standards of Psychological Practice
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Personality Assessment
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Career Assessment and Intervention
  • Interventions II
  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Consultation and Supervision in Psychology

The AYR comprises the following courses for students in the Clinical Psychology specialization:

  • Ethics and Standards of Psychological Practice
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Personality Assessment
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Interventions II
  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Consultation and Supervision in Psychology

Getting Recognition for Your Research

A Walden Ph.D. in Public Health graduate offers advice about how doctoral students can gain more exposure for their research.

View this article

Clinical Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s Clinical Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as clinical psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will be able to explain the contributions of the biological, affective, social, and cognitive areas of psychology as they impact human adaptive and maladaptive functioning.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to articulate the history of clinical psychology, how the specialty of clinical psychology is unique, and how to develop a clinical psychology identity.

Program Goal 2 

Walden University’s Clinical Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in evaluating the effectiveness of empirically supported treatments using an evidence-based practice approach.
  • Learning Outcome 2.3
    Students will synthesize theory and contemporary research to establish a theoretically and empirically anchored personal orientation to the practice of clinical psychology.

Program Goal 3

Walden University’s Clinical Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in the use of empirically supported psychological assessment and intervention techniques with diverse clientele in various settings.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in utilizing empirically supported models of clinical psychotherapy, consultation, and supervision with diverse populations.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in utilizing cognitive and personality assessment skills with diverse populations.
  • Learning Outcome 3.3
    Students will develop constructive working relationships with clients, supervisors, instructors, and colleagues while also demonstrating an appropriate and professional demeanor.

Program Goal 4

Walden University’s Clinical Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with a diverse clientele.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will engage in personal self-assessment to examine their feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions regarding their own and others’ cultural perspective and world view.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will be able to describe salient experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.3
    Students will utilize critical thinking and apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA, ACA) to decision making with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Learning Outcome 4.4
    Students will demonstrate the ability to use multicultural clinical intervention and assessment skills in varied training and professional settings.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the clinical psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving as clinical psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will demonstrate an awareness of how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of clinical psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will engage in professional activities related to clinical psychology that promote positive social change.

Counseling Psychology Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s Counseling Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as counseling psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will be able to explain the contributions of the biological, affective, social, and cognitive areas of psychology as they impact human adaptive and maladaptive functioning.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to articulate the history of counseling psychology, how the specialty of counseling psychology is unique, and how to develop a counseling psychology identity.

Program Goal 2

Walden University’s Counseling Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in evaluating the effectiveness of empirically supported treatments using an evidence-based practice approach.
  • Learning Outcome 2.3
    Students will synthesize theory and contemporary research to establish a theoretically and empirically anchored personal orientation to the practice of counseling psychology.

Program Goal 3

Walden University’s Counseling Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in the use of empirically supported psychological assessment and intervention techniques with diverse clientele in various settings.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in utilizing empirically supported models of counseling/therapy, consultation, supervision, and career counseling with diverse populations.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in utilizing cognitive, personality, and vocational assessment skills with diverse populations.
  • Learning Outcome 3.3
    Students will develop constructive working relationships with clients, supervisors, instructors, and colleagues while also demonstrating an appropriate and professional demeanor.

Program Goal 4

Walden University’s Counseling Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with a diverse clientele.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will engage in personal self-assessment to examine their feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions regarding their own and others’ cultural perspective and world view.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will be able to describe salient experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.3
    Students will utilize critical thinking and apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA, ACA) to decision making with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Learning Outcome 4.4
    Students will demonstrate the ability to use multicultural counseling skills in varied training and professional settings.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the counseling psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving as counseling psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will demonstrate an awareness of how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of counseling psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will engage in professional activities related to counseling psychology that promote positive social change.

Educational Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s Educational Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as educational psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will integrate current theory and research to explain behavior in the biological, affective, social, individual difference, and cognitive areas of psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to articulate the history of educational psychology, how the specialty of educational psychology is unique, and how to develop an educational psychology identity.
  • Learning Outcome 1.3
    Students will be to apply seminal works within the field of educational psychology (including the areas of educational psychology, tests and measurement, psychology of the exceptional individual, special education, adult development and learning, and instructional design) in various educational settings.

Program Goal 2

Walden University’s Educational Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will be able to conduct scholarly educational psychological research in areas including development, cognition, motivation, adult, and special needs learning.

Program Goal 3

Walden University’s Educational Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to teaching and empirically based research regarding human learning across the lifespan in various educational settings.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will be able to synthesize educational psychology theory and research in the areas of development, cognition, motivation, adult, and special needs learning to enhance the quality of instruction.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will be able to apply evidence-based educational psychology research methods to enhance educational instruction in various educational institutions and organizations.

Program Goal 4

Walden University’s Educational Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will utilize critical thinking to apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in research practice and work settings.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the educational psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving as educational psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of educational psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will engage in professional activities related to educational psychology that promote positive social change.

Forensic Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1:

Walden University’s Forensic Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will be able to integrate current theory and research to explain behavior from a forensic psychology perspective.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to discuss seminal works within the field of forensic psychology and how they relate to education and/or research.

Program Goal 2:

Walden University’s Forensic Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology with a focus on education and research.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in evaluating the effectiveness of empirically supported methods of research and/or teaching.

Program Goal 3:

Walden University’s Forensic Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and research skills.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will integrate current theory and research to explain behavior from the perspective of forensic psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will be able to apply evidence-based psychological research in various institutions and organizations.

Program Goal 4:

Walden University’s Forensic Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in both research practice and work settings.

Program Goal 5:

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the forensic psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of forensic psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will apply their knowledge of forensic psychology to scholarly and/or professional activities to promote positive social change.

General Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s General Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will be able to articulate the general history of psychology by explaining the depth and breadth of the field from the perspective of a future educator and/or researcher.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to discuss seminal works within the field of general psychology including the broad areas of biological/physiological, learning/cognition, and social/developmental psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 1.3
    Students will be able to discuss how seminal works in the field of general psychology relate to education and/or research.

Program Goal 2:

Walden University’s General Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology with a focus on education and research.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in evaluating the effectiveness of empirically supported methods of research and/or teaching.
  • Learning Outcome 2.3
    Students will synthesize theory and contemporary research to apply in the practice of research or teaching.

Program Goal 3:

Walden University’s General Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and research skills.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will integrate current theory and research to explain behavior in the biological, affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will be able to apply evidence-based psychological research in various institutions and organizations.

Program Goal 4:

Walden University’s General Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in both research practice and work settings.

Program Goal 5:

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the general psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy and professional problem-solving as general psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of general psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will apply their knowledge of general psychology to scholarly and/or professional activities to promote positive social change.

Health Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1 

Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as health psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will explain behavior using current theory and research in the biological, affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology. 
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to discuss how key issues within the field of health psychology impact health-related issues.

Program Goal 2

Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will be able to synthesize theory and research to apply in the practice of health psychology.

Program Goal 3

Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in the use of empirically supported intervention techniques with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will be able to identify and describe personal and environmental factors that impact health.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in using empirically supported evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of health-related treatments.

Program Goal  4

Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in both research practice and work settings.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the health psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving as health psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of health psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will engage in professional activities related to health psychology that promote positive social change.

Organizational Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s Organizational Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as organizational psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will explain behavior using current theory and research in the affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to articulate the history of organizational psychology, how the specialty of organizational psychology is unique, and how to develop an organizational psychology identity.
  • Learning Outcome 1.3
    Students will be able to discuss how key issues such as individual behavior, leadership, job analysis, and performance measurement affects organizations.

Program Goal 2

Walden University’s Organizational Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will demonstrate proficiency in using evidence-based practices to evaluate the effectiveness of empirically supported talent management systems.

Program Goal 3

Walden University’s Organizational Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in the use of scientific research-based organizational change techniques with diverse populations in various settings.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will be able to evaluate individual, group, organizational, leadership, and cultural diversity factors that impact organizational performance.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will use empirically based research to evaluate and document the impact of organizational change initiatives.
  • Learning Outcome 3.3
    Students will be able to consult with organizations about the use of research-based best practices to incorporate issues of diversity in their organizational development activities.

Program Goal 4

Walden University’s Organizational Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in conducting research and applying research-based practices in all aspects of job analysis, job fit, and performance measurement.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to conduct valid and defensible job analysis projects for organizations.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will be able to identify appropriate methods and measures for valid, fair, and defensible worker-selection systems.
  • Learning Outcome 4.3
    Students will be able to develop valid and useful performance measurement systems for assessing worker performance.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the organizational psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem solving as organizational psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of organizational psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will apply their knowledge to scholarly and/or professional activities related to organizational psychology to promote positive social change.

Social Psychology Specialization Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1

Walden University’s Social Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as social psychologists.

  • Learning Outcome 1.1
    Students will explain behavior using current theory and research in the affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology. 
  • Learning Outcome 1.2
    Students will be able to articulate the history of social psychology, how the specialty of social psychology is unique, and how to develop an identity as a social psychologist.
  • Learning Outcome 1.3
    Students will be able to discuss how seminal works within the field of social psychology (including the areas of social cognition, social influence, attitudes, intergroup relations, and interpersonal relations) apply to social contexts.

Program Goal 2

Walden University’s Social Psychology graduates will acquire research-based skills relative to their work as social psychologists. These skills will be related to areas such as social cognition, social influence, attitudes, intergroup relations, and interpersonal relations.

  • Learning Outcome 2.1
    Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent, scholarly work.
  • Learning Outcome 2.2
    Students will apply theory and contemporary research in the practice of a social psychologist.

Program Goal 3

To prepare Walden University graduates to apply their theoretical knowledge and research skills in the areas of social cognition, social influence, attitudes, intergroup relations, and interpersonal relations.

  • Learning Outcome 3.1
    Students will be able to explain how social psychological theory and research applies to behavior in social settings.
  • Learning Outcome 3.2
    Students will be able to apply social psychological research methods in work environments known to utilize social psychological methods.

Program Goal 4

Walden University’s Social Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

  • Learning Outcome 4.1
    Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Learning Outcome 4.2
    Students will apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in both research practice and work settings.

Program Goal 5

To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the social psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry and research, advocacy, and professional problem solving as social psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

  • Learning Outcome 5.1
    Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies and events impact the field of social psychology.
  • Learning Outcome 5.2
    Students will be able to apply their knowledge of social psychology to scholarly and/or professional activities to promote positive social change.

For assistance in deciding which specialization fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.