Academic Year in Residence

Academic Year in Residence                

Your next chapter awaits. Tailor your Psychology PhD program to the career you want and take your impact further.
Your next chapter awaits. Tailor your Psychology PhD program to the career you want and take your impact further.
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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.

Highlights and Benefits

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 student success 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.

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 Clinical Psychology specialization:

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


Costs and Funding

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

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 PhD?

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.