School of Professional Psychology


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About Our Curriculum

Our curriculum includes course work, supervised clinical practica, a professional dissertation, and the doctoral internship. Most students attend on a full-time basis, but provisions may be made for part-time study during a portion of the program.

Our school's curriculum is organized around a five-year plan that includes four years of coursework and clinical practica followed by a year-long doctoral internship. Our curriculum offers a breadth of course work and clinical training experiences while also providing time and opportunities to pursue special interests. The curriculum begins with basic science courses and a foundation in theory and practice, followed by more advanced work in specialized areas of theory or practice.

Throughout the first year, classroom training and practice experiences are linked. In the second year, students will spend a minimum of two days per week (or a minimum of 700 hours per year) in supervised clinical practice. Supervised clinical practicum continues through years three and four of the program. Overall, School of Professional Psychology students enroll in a minimum of three years of supervised clinical experience and accumulate a minimum of 2,100 total hours.

The Internship

Our program requires a doctoral internship in the final year of the program. To apply for an internship, you must pass the school's Comprehensive Clinical Examinations (CCE)s and have a dissertation prospectus approved by the dissertation committee. All students must complete their dissertations before going on internship. Our students have been very successful in obtaining accredited internships, even as the competition for accredited internships has increased.

Applicants with Prior Graduate Education

We welcome applications from individuals who have completed master's or doctoral degrees in psychology or related professional fields. Over the years, approximately one-fourth of SOPP's entering class has had advanced degrees in psychology or related fields.

If you have completed graduate coursework and clinical field work, you may request course waivers after you have been accepted for admission to the school. Course waivers are based on how closely the content of a course, clinical practicum, or other training experiences matches that offered by the school. In most instances, only course work or supervised practica taken within five years of admission to the SOPP are considered for course waivers. A maximum of 30 semester hours of course credits including a maximum of 12 credit hours of supervised clinical practica may be waived from other graduate or professional programs.

The Professional Dissertation

The professional dissertation is a scholarly or creative work produced by the student with limited technical guidance from the faculty. It will exemplify your ability to critically evaluate research, theory, or practice and to communicate clearly both in writing and orally. Although the dissertation in science-oriented doctoral programs in clinical psychology can be considered a capstone research experience that will help to launch the student into a career as a scholar, the professional dissertation in a practitioner model program is typically designed to demonstrate critical thinking and an ability to formulate solutions to problems of a clinical or applied nature.

The professional dissertation may take many forms, such as an empirical research study, a needs assessment, a program evaluation, a program proposal, a unique case study, or an innovative treatment protocol. Regardless of the form, the student must demonstrate a synthesis and integration of theory, research, and practice.

The Comprehensive Clinical Examination

The purpose of the Clinical Competency Examinations (CCE) is to assess the student's competencies in general psychological practice, including those identified by the American Psychological Association in their Standards of Accreditation such as Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Assessment and Intervention. The CCEs also aid in identifying areas of strength and weakness in performance that may inform and guide the student's clinical training and provide feedback to the faculty on the performance level of students and success of the curriculum. To that end, the CCE has two separate components: The assessment competency exam (ACE), and the intervention competency exam (ICE). Students must pass both competency exams before approval is granted to apply for internship. If a student is on an approved accelerated plan or has an approved academic plan extension, then the timetable will be adjusted accordingly.

Practice Tutorial Seminar

Practice Tutorial Seminars (PT) consist of small groups of students, representing various levels in the program, who will meet with a faculty member to focus on developing case conceptualization skills, oral and written clinical presentation skills, and the ability to provide and receive feedback on clinical work. The groups meet each week during the fall and spring semesters in a case- and issue-focused learning experience.


Our program is a pioneer in many aspects of supervision. The School of Professional Psychology takes pride in its formal training in supervision and its use of extensive video and in vivo feedback. The integration of academic and field practice is a major strength of the program, with core faculty providing a percentage of supervision.

Practicum Opportunities

Wright State has two training placements on campus, plus many off-campus training sites that offer a comprehensive array of training opportunities. The Psychological Assessment Services is directly managed by SOPP and students are supervised by faculty. Psychological Assessment Services (PAS) offers specialized evaluation for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). PAS is located in the Health Sciences Building on the main campus. Students also have practicum placements at Counseling and Wellness Services, the university counseling center which is located on campus in the Student Union. 

Other practicum placements will be in one or more of the school's affiliated training sites in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, or other locations mainly in southwestern Ohio. Supervision is provided by doctoral-level psychologists. Over the years, the school has been able to provide funding for training activities for most clinical practicum sites.

Directed Studies

Enrollment in Directed Study is with the approval of a faculty member. A contract (linked below), signed by both the faculty member and the student, must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) before students can register. After the Directed Study is completed, the student must submit a Directed Studies Log (see student handbook) signed by the faculty member to the OAA for inclusion in the student's academic file.

Teaching Assistants

Enrollment in Applied Teaching Practice is with the approval of a faculty member. Applied Teaching Practice (PSI 9940) provides academic credit for students' teaching experience. In this course, students are given hands-on experience in assisting faculty in teaching a course or seminar. A contract (see student handbook), signed by both the faculty member and the teaching assistant, must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) before students can register.

Residency Requirement

The SOPP Psy.D. program at Wright State University consists of four years of full-time academic coursework plus one year of full-time internship (or two years of part-time internship). Three of the required four academic training years must be completed within the SOPP Psy.D. program at Wright State University. A minimum of one year must be in full-time residence at Wright State University’s, SOPP Psy.D. program.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

The SOPP allows non-degree seeking students to enroll in SOPP (PSI) courses based on availability with approval of the associate dean and course instructor under one of the following conditions:

  • The individual is a current Wright State University graduate student in good standing
  • The individual is a current student in good standing in a graduate psychology program at another institution
  • The individual obtained a doctorate in psychology from an APA-Accredited program.

Non-degree seeking students may not enroll in the following courses: Diversity I, Diversity II, Diversity III, Professional Development, and Practice Tutorial.

Non-degree seeking students interested in enrolling in a SOPP (PSI) course should email the associate dean at least six weeks before the first day of classes during the relevant term with their request to enroll in the course, updated CV, and graduate transcript.