The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing
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Doctor of Psychology

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Clinical Psychology

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  • Emphasis in Behavioral Health
  • Focus on Underserved Populations

Demonstrating a commitment to improving access to behavioral health services and leadership in health professions education, the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco offers a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program in Clinical Psychology. The innovative program

  • emphasizes the integration of mental, emotional and physical health in applied settings
  • focuses on cultural competence in meeting the needs of underserved populations
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What is behavioral health?

As a general concept, behavioral health refers to a field of scientific study, academic education, and clinical healthcare practice that focuses on the integration of psychosocial, behavioral, and biomedical knowledge relevant to health and illness.

What is a PsyD Degree?

The PsyD degree adheres to the Vail Model of training in Psychology. It is generally termed the “Practitioner-Scholar” model, which emphasizes applied methods of clinical psychology and inquiry, rather than theoretical and scientific research. The Boulder Model of training typically characterizes Ph.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology. The PsyD is a practice doctorate and referred to as a professional degree while the Ph.D. is a research doctorate and often considered an academic degree. Both can engage in the full range of psychological practice, depending upon their specific training and advanced credentials.

The PsyD Program at the University of San Francisco

The USF PsyD Program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has Associate Member status in the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Graduates of the PsyD program at USF are eligible for licensure in California as psychologists.

  • The USF PsyD program will seek APA accreditation as soon as it is eligible. The program will make available ongoing updates regarding progress toward accreditation. 
  • Graduates from WASC-accredited programs, such as USF, are eligible for licensure in California and some other states.
  • Accreditation - To attain licensure in most states, graduates must complete a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). Since APA does not allow a program to apply for accreditation until the first cohort of students has completed four years of course work, we anticipate submitting our application for accreditation in 2017. If the program is granted accreditation before the Fall of 2017, our first cohort of students would graduate from an APA accredited program. While every effort is being taken to ensure we will meet the APA Commission on Accreditation standards, APA requires us to inform prospective students that there is no guarantee the program will be accredited.

Mission of the Program

The PsyD in Clinical Psychology is a program that prepares doctoral students to serve in a variety of community health settings as professional psychologists. Graduates are proficient in the empirical and theoretical underpinnings of integrated, behavioral health interventions while sensitive to contextual, cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic environments of individuals and communities. Advancing the Mission of the University of San Francisco, the primary focus is to address disparities in the delivery of physical and mental health services to the underserved and marginalized.

More Information

For more information about the program, please contact Susana Torres in the School of Nursing and Health Professions (San Francisco main campus) at (415) 422-2806 or

Behavioral Health Department Program Assistant: Linsey Wirt