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Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D)

This program is designed to be completed in five (5) years. Its continuous curriculum includes 96 credits between classes, two (2) evaluation laboratories, seven (7) supervised internships, a 2,000-hour internship, a comprehensive master’s exam, a doctoral candidacy exam, and a doctoral or dissertation project.

The program’s mission is to train counseling psychologists who serve as exemplary health service providers focused on integrating health and wellness. The program also seeks to involve students in the process of lifelong learning, promoting ethical behavior and a deep respect for human beings, cultural and individual differences, and diversity.

This program will prepare students to master the traditional models of counseling psychology and keep up with its practical advances regarding well-being, integrative health, and complementary therapies. Students will be able to enter a promising and rapidly expanding field in the United States and worldwide, and they will find themselves at the forefront of a new generation of therapeutic models. Our graduates will be able to find employment in a variety of settings where mental health services are available in the public and private sectors.

Available in the following locations:

SJU MYZ

Credits

100 credits

Academic Level

Doctoral degree

Duration

5 years
Dra. Sonia Cepeda

Program director:

Dr. Sonia L. Cepeda Hernández

787-725-6500, ext. 1517
scepeda@albizu.edu
PO BOX 9023711
San Juan, PR 00902-3711

Highlights

  • This program validates master's degree credits obtained at Albizu University (AU) and other institutions.
  • Students in this program will be able to interact as health service providers who are prepared to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge based on scientific evidence.
  • Graduates of the program will be able to apply interventions in models of counseling psychology for preventive services and health promotion, such as complementary and alternative health, as well as models based on acceptance, mindfulness, cognitive, behavioral, third-generation, and contextual therapies (e.g., yoga; techniques for meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation; progressive muscle relaxation; etc.).
  • In addition, they will be able to encourage interdisciplinary work and promote innovation for the creation, implementation, and dissemination of new social practices in order to generate well-being and promote health at the individual, group, family, community, and institutional levels.

In Focus

  • This program is offered on campus. However, online and hybrid courses are available as well.
  • The program follows the practitioner-scholar training philosophy established at the APA Vail Conference in 1973. As a practice-oriented program (APA, 1973, Korman, 1974), this program focuses on professional service and direct practice, as well as the evaluation and improvement of such services. From the beginning of the program, students will learn theory and put it into practice.
  • The program conducts an annual Student Research Meeting where our students have the opportunity to present their research. Moreover, various academic experiences prepare them to offer consulting, vocational, psychometric, and personal evaluations.
  • All our faculty members and supervisors have a doctoral degree, while almost all of them have a specialty in counseling psychology and are licensed for professional practice. Some of our faculty’s topics of interest in research, certifications, and specialties are the promotion of well-being, emotional regulation, self-care, body image, social determinants of health, gender, masculinity, obesity, bariatric surgery, couple and family relationships, depersonalization, positive psychology, mindfulness, sexual abuse, trauma, and contextual therapies.

Join our student community!

  1. Evidence of having completed a master's degree in psychology or a related field of study at an accredited university. A minimum cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) is required. This is the cumulative GPA, not the concentration or graduation rate. The applicant must have earned the required minimum GPA during the semester immediately preceding the end of the admissions period at AU. However, if an applicant who has entered the ranking order finishes their master's degree with a lower than required GPA, admission to the program will be revoked.
  2. Evidence of having completed a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA) degree in psychology from an accredited university. Applicants may request a credit validation of a maximum of 21 credits. The program director will evaluate and determine the total credits that will be accepted. Candidates who have pursued a master’s degree at Albizu University (AU) may opt for this program and transfer any applicable credits.
  3. Albizu University reserves the right of admission to candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements and will consider the following exceptional admission criteria: a minimum GPA of 2.5, as long as the cumulative general average is at least 3.0 in the specialization or concentration courses. A minimum 3.0 GPA for a master's degree can also be considered. Admitted applicants will have a semester to meet satisfactory academic progress applicable to their academic level in order to remain as active students in the program for the rest of the course of study.
  4. Access the following link to complete the application for admission: https://albizu.elluciancrmrecruit.com/Admissions/Pages/prospectinquiry.aspx. In addition, the required documents can be attached in PDF format.
  5. Present official transcripts from all the institutions you have attended. Please send them to the following address:
    Albizu University
    Admissions Office
    PO Box 9023711
    San Juan PR 00902-3711
  6. Results of the Graduate Studies Admission Examination (EXADEP) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Only the scores from exams taken within the last five years will be accepted.
  7. Two (2) letters of recommendation from a teacher, employer, or community leader (in accordance with the AU format).
  8. Negative criminal record certificate, which can be requested  online at https://servicios.pr.gov/cap.
  9. Original health certificate.
  10. Certificate of Vaccination of the Department of Health (PVAC-3, green form) with original signature of the issuing physician. Applies only to applicants who are 21 years of age or younger at the time of admission. Act No. 25 of 1983 (on immunization) requires that all students 21 years of age or younger, who wish to enter any educational institution in the country, provide an original copy of their PVAC-3 to show that they comply with the minimum immunization requirements. For more information, visit http://www.salud.gov.pr/Dept-de-Salud/Pages/Unidades-Operacionales/Secretaria-Auxiliar-de-Salud-Familiar-y-Servicios-Integrados/Division-de-Inmunizacion-Vacunacion.aspx.
  11. International students must present the evaluation of their academic credentials certified by a duly authorized agency.

NOTE: Albizu University reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

PREPARATORY COURSES FOR PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Applicants who did not pursue a major in psychology must complete 15 credits (5 courses of 3 credits each) in psychology in order to qualify for an admissions assessment for the selected program. These courses are as follows: experimental psychology (laboratory course), statistics, abnormal psychology, personality theories, and physiological psychology (laboratory course).

Albizu University grants students a maximum of one (1) year to pass the preparatory courses indicated in the admissions letter. Current institutional policy states that students won’t be able to take these courses to improve their academic degrees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The approval of these preparatory courses does not guarantee that applicants will have an admissions interview or that they will be admitted to a graduate program.

Albizu University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and licensed by the Commission for Independent Education of the Florida Department of Education. The San Juan Campus doctoral programs (PhD and PsyD) in Clinical Psychology and the Miami Campus PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

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