Program of Study

The Psy.D. program of study (POS) requires 113 hours, and is designed to be completed in 5 years. Students will earn an M.A. degree en route to the Psy.D. degree. All courses are offered in person.

Program Aims

The Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Appalachian State University is dedicated to preparing professional psychologists to help address the needs of rural and other underserved populations in the Appalachian region and beyond. As such, the program is designed to provide students with broad training in the foundations of the science of psychology, the applications of psychological science to clinical populations, and the development of interpersonal, clinical, and scholarly competencies that ensure graduates are capable of providing high-quality, evidence-based services to diverse populations. In service of this mission, the program follows a scholar-practitioner model, with emphasis placed on developing competencies in these areas:

1) A generalist training model: Professional psychologists in rural areas frequently are expected to effectively serve individuals across the lifespan with a wide range of presenting problems. Additionally, psychologists may be expected to take on a number of roles in rural settings. We help our students develop a broad array of competencies to effectively navigate these challenging environments.

2) Use of evidence-based practice: Effective practice in rural areas requires effective use of treatment approaches that have the highest chances of succeeding. Moreover, clinicians will need to remain informed of new developments in assessment and intervention to continue to thrive in the field. Our model emphasizes training in state-of-the-science treatment approaches that are delivered with attention paid to factors that can impact their effectiveness (e.g., cultural factors, socioeconomic status). 

3) Proficiency in scientific inquiry: In addition to providing direct services to consumers, rural psychologists may be called upon to identify needs and evaluate the effectiveness of the services that they and their organizations provide. Additionally, practitioners can effectively contribute to the general corpus of psychological knowledge. The program emphasizes competency in applied research methodologies to prepare students to operate as practitioners and scholars in rural settings.

4) Attention to individual-level and systems-level factors: Effective rural practitioners understand that individuals’ health and well-being are intertwined with their environments. Therefore, practitioners must be able to take into consideration and work within systems (e.g., communities; families; healthcare, education, and religious organizations) and be responsive to cultural considerations to promote positive outcomes for all consumers. Our program emphasizes equitable and ethical individual-level and systems-level intervention to support consumers in often under-resourced rural areas.

The curriculum is sequenced, graded and requires full-time residence. Currently, the program does not waive requirements or transfer graduate-level credit(s); this is to create and maintain a productive and cohesive cohort-based learning culture in the early years of the program. Beginning the first year of internship matriculation (i.e., year 5 of the program, 2023-2024), when the program has students at all levels, the program will consider waiving requirements or transfer credit on an individual basis after syllabus review and documentation of acquired knowledge and/or professional competencies. Transfer credit hours will be limited to 9 hours, which is consistent with the university’s Graduate School policy. All students, regardless of waived requirements or transfer credit, will be required to complete a minimum of three academic training years plus internship, with at least two years in residence at Appalachian State University. 

The following requirements are included in the total hours required for the Psy.D. degree:

  • Thesis

  • M.A. degree earned

  • Practicum (a minimum of seven supervised clinical placements including at least one rural community placement and one assessment-focused placement)

  • Preliminary Examination

  • Advancement to Candidacy for both M.A. degree and Psy.D. degree

  • Dissertation

  • Internship (1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time)

Psy.D. Program of Study Sequence

See the 2024-25 Graduate Bulletin for course descriptions.


1st Year Fall
PSY 5020: Research Methods (3)
PSY 5300: Learning (3)
PSY 5552: Diagnosis & Psychopathology (3)
PSY 5551: Ethical and Legal Standards and Foundational Skills of Health Service Psychology (3)
TOTAL: 12 hours

1st Year Spring
PSY 5030: Quantitative Methods (3)
PSY 5700: Cognitive Assessment and Psychometrics (3)
PSY 5720: Cognitive Assessment Pre-Practicum (1)
PSY 5714: Evidence-based Psychotherapy Interventions I (3)
PSY 5724: Evidence-based Psychotherapy Interventions Pre-Practicum (1)
PSY 6105: Developmental Psychopathology (3)
TOTAL: 14 hours

1st Year Summer
PSY 6310: History and Systems of Psychology (3)
HPC 5110: Multicultural Counseling (3)
TOTAL: 6 hours


2nd Year Fall
PSY 5701: Personality Assessment and Psychometrics (3)
PSY 5721: Personality Assessment Pre-Practicum (1)
PSY 5998-: hesis Proposal (3)
PSY 5904: Practicum I: Clinical Psychology (3)
PSY 6114: Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for Youth (3)
TOTAL: 13 hours

2nd Year Spring
PSY 5330: Developmental Seminar (3)
PSY 6714: Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Interventions II (3)
PSY 5999: Thesis (3)
PSY 5905: Practicum II: Clinical Psychology (3)
TOTAL: 12 hours

DEFEND THESIS by end of Spring 2nd year. 

2nd Year Summer
PSY 5906: Practicum III: Clinical Psychology (3)
TOTAL: 3 hours

Students who have not successfully defended the thesis prior to administration of the Preliminary Examination during Fall of their 3rd year (November) will not be able to sit for the examination and it will trigger a remediation plan. Note that some faculty may not be available to participate in thesis defense meetings during the summer.


3rd Year Fall
PSY 7000: Preliminary Examination (2)
PSY 7020: Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology (3)
PSY 7805: Advanced Practicum: Clinical Psychology (3)
PSY 7110: Professional and Ethical Issues in Rural and Health Service Psychology (3)
TOTAL: 11 hours

3rd Year Spring
PSY 7025: Community Psychology (3)
PSY 7805: Advanced Practicum: Clinical Psychology (3)
PSY 6340: Seminar in Social Psychology (3)
PSY 6320: Biological Bases of Behavior (3)
TOTAL: 12 hours


4th Year Fall
PSY 6725: Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior (3)
PSY 7815: Supervision and Consultation Seminar (3)
PSY 7805: Advanced Practicum: Clinical Psychology (3)
PSY 7999: Dissertation (3)
TOTAL: 12 hours


4th Year Spring
Electives (6)
PSY 7805: Advanced Practicum: Clinical Psychology (3)
PSY 7999: Dissertation (6)
TOTAL: 15 hours

PSY 7900: Clinical Internship (3)-1 internship hour across 3 separate semesters (dependent upon start and end date of individual internship)
TOTAL: 3 hours

TOTAL = 113 hours (minimum)

Electives: Options (based on availability and permission of instructor as well as approval by Major Professor and Program Director):

PSY 5001: Teaching of Psychology (1)
PSY 5015: Research Seminar (1)
PSY/MGT 5055: Leadership, Groups and Teams (3)
PSY 5310: Cognitive Processes (3)
PSY 5531: Advanced Quantitative Methods (3)
PSY 5593: Biofeedback (3)
PSY 5717: Assessment & Intervention Planning for Special Populations (3)
PSY 5820: Multi-tiered Prevention and Intervention (3)
PSY 6620: School-Based Consultation (3)
PSY 7904: Advanced Seminar in Clinical Psychology (e.g., Suicide and Self-Injury; Substance Use Disorders; Psychopharmacology; 3)
HCM 5210: Foundations of the US Health Care System (3)
HCM 5240: Health and Disease (3)
HCM 5680: Management and Human Resources in Health Organizations (3)
HPC 5790: Group Methods and Processes (3)
HPC 6530: Body/Mind (3)
SW 5010: Human Behavior and the Social Environment (3)
SW 5230: Evaluation of Professional Health Services (3)
SW 5840: Non-Profit and Public Human Services Administration (3)
ANT 5120: Appalachian Culture and Social Organization (3)
SOC 5300: Appalachia in Social Context (3)
SOC 5560: Race and Minority Relations (3)
SOC 5420: Healthcare and Aging (3)