PsyD Graduates

Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology program provides training for the professional practice of psychology. 

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Psy.D. program is student-centered and attentive to the needs of the adult learner, preparing students for careers as licensed professional psychologists. In addition to foundation courses, the curriculum allows students to focus their studies in areas consistent with their interests and professional goals. The program emphasizes and integrates ethical practice, service to diverse and underserved communities, and evidence-based practices. There is a strong emphasis on individualized mentoring throughout the program.

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Program Aims

The Saint Mary’s University Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology program is based on a practitioner-scholar model and has two primary aims:

Aim 1: Develop professionally competent graduates prepared to demonstrate commitment to the pursuit of social justice and promote well-being across the lifespan.
 
Aim 2: Produce counseling psychologists who engage in ethical practice with cultural humility and self-reflection.

Accreditation

The Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (PDF)

From Start to Finish

  • You can earn your Doctor of Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology in five years.
  • The program includes four years of coursework and a minimum of two practicum placements. It concludes with a year of a full-time pre-doctoral internship.

Apply by Jan. 15, 2020, for a fall 2020 start.

Degree Requirements/Course Descriptions/Application Process

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Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Psy.D. programs place more emphasis on clinical training and applying knowledge gained from psychology research through the use of empirically based treatment/services. Ph.D. programs place more emphasis on producing scientific research and gaining experience in teaching.

Both degrees focus on clinical training and research methods, and both degrees prepare students to be licensed psychologists.

Clinical psychology doctoral programs tend to focus more on disturbances in mental health and psychopathology training, whereas counseling doctoral programs tend to focus more on overall well-being throughout the lifespan and emphasize multicultural training and a holistic education. 

Graduates from both programs tend to work in the same settings and conduct similar kinds of research.

Yes. Consult with your advisor, but typically students complete the integration paper and the oral exam (final M.A. degree requirements) at the end of year 2 in the Psy.D. program. Connect with the M.A. faculty to set up an appropriate timeline and stay informed about any changes in that program’s procedures.

The program is designed to be completed in no less than 5 years. Students must complete the required coursework in a sequential order and certain degree requirements (e.g. practicum, qualifying exam, dissertation proposal, individualized mentorship, clinical case presentation, dissertation) have prerequisites which hinder completion of the degree in fewer than 5 years.

Psychologist licenses in Minnesota are granted by the MN Board of Psychology, and current licensing requirements can be found on the Board website.

The first step toward licensure is completion of the doctoral degree. Once all degree requirements have been met, students can work toward licensure as a psychologist in Minnesota.

Current licensure requires applicants to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) Part 1 (and soon Part 2), complete one year of practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, and pass the Minnesota Professional Responsibility Exam.

Many students choose to work while they are in the program. Students take the most credits during the first two years of the program and also spend 15-24 hours per week at practicum sites during years two and three, so it is important to consider these time commitments when deciding if, and how much, to work while in the program.

Classes are scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and evenings, so students must make sure their employment and practicum placements will not conflict with these times.

The program does not offer any formal areas of specialization, however students are able to choose amongst a variety of elective courses in three areas: diverse settings, diverse populations, and advanced practice. 

Students are also able to focus on areas of interest when applying to practicum sites and setting up their individualized mentorship. The mentorship is a unique opportunity to focus on a special area of psychology that students were not exposed to in their courses or during their practicum experiences. Deciding which internship sites one will apply to is another method of focusing one’s doctoral training experiences.

87 semester credits are required to complete the program. $850 per credit is the current tuition cost for the 2018-19 academic year.

As part of the school mission to make education more accessible, tuition is kept low. The cost per credit may increase over time and students must also pay a few fees for special program requirements (e.g. clinical case presentation, qualifying exam) and pay for textbooks. In addition, there are expenses associated with applying for internship, due to application fees and travel to sites for interviews. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid to help offset the cost of the program. 

Students should plan to budget $250 to $500 per semester for textbooks. The cost per semester varies and students are encouraged to consider renting vs. purchasing, purchasing used textbooks, and borrowing textbooks from students who have already completed courses as long as the edition of the textbook is still appropriate. Consult with the instructor about possible options.

The program does not offer paid research assistantships. There has been a Graduate Assistant position with infrequent hours assisting on projects as needed, and one or two of the assessment courses have had supplemental coaching/instruction from a Teaching Assistant position (this position offers feedback and instruction but does not grade student work; all grading is done by the faculty member).

Frequently psychologists in the community and practicum sites will contact the program with paid opportunities for students (e.g. psychometrist positions, research opportunities, part-time psychotherapy positions) which are then posted on the Psy.D. program page on Blackboard. Current students can check the Blackboard page for opportunities.

Faculty in the program conduct research projects from time to time and often opportunities are available for students to participate, but there is not usually funding for payment. Opportunities in research could include gaining experience with conducting portions of the research study, such as collecting data, analyzing data, writing up results or literature reviews, presenting at professional conferences, and submitting manuscripts for publication. 

Students are made aware of various training opportunities available, including in-person and virtual/web-based trainings, and free trainings. Also, from time to time the program and the Psy.D. Student Association (PSA) sponsor speakers to come in and share research and/or discuss various psychological topics.

Students are encouraged to become members of the Minnesota Psychological Association and American Psychological Association, and as members students can get substantial discounts on training opportunities and resources. 

Students can design independent study courses to cover material which is not otherwise offered in the curriculum. Independent study courses are generally used to meet advanced elective requirements.

Independent study is done in conjunction with a faculty member, and a syllabus must be developed which is approved by the student, faculty member, and Program Director. Once enrolled in the program, students cannot take courses in other doctoral programs and transfer the credits to the Saint Mary’s program to be used toward completion of the degree.

There are some internal and external scholarships available to Saint Mary’s graduate students.

Scholarship information

There is also a Fund for PsyD Dissertation Research (FPDR) Scholarship, which provides grants up to $500 for conducting dissertation projects.

Connect With Us

Daniel Lawrence

SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Health and Human Services

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH116

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4529

dlawren@smumn.edu

Daniel Lawrence

Faculty

Erin Ayala, Ph.D.

Doctor of Psychology Program - Core Faculty

Brother Louis Hall, BLH248

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4515

eayala@smumn.edu

Meet Erin Ayala
Ashley Sovereign, Psy.D.

Program Director and Core Professor, Doctor of Psychology Program

Brother Louis Hall, BLH137

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4557

asoverei@smumn.edu

Meet Ashley Sovereign
Daniel Holland, Ph.D.

Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology - Core Professor

Brother Louis Hall, BLH232

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5163

dholland@smumn.edu

Meet Daniel Holland
Andrew John, Psy.D.

Psy.D. in Counseling Program - Practicum Training Coordinator/Core Professor

Brother Louis Hall, BLH136

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5164

ajohn@smumn.edu

Meet Andrew John
LaRae Jome, Ph.D.

Psy.D. Counseling Program - Adjunct Professor

Signe Nestingen, Psy.D.

Psychology Doctorate Program - Core Associate Professor and Internship Director

Brother Louis Hall, BLH138

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4571

snesting@smumn.edu

Meet Signe Nestingen
Kenneth Solberg, Ph.D.

PsyD Counseling Psychology - Core Professor

Brother Louis Hall, BLH232

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4548

ksolberg@smumn.edu

Meet Kenneth Solberg
Phyllis Solon, Psy.D.

Psychology Doctorate Program - Core Professor

Brother Louis Hall, BLH246

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4572

pcsolon@smumn.edu

Meet Phyllis Solon
Daniel Bucknam, Ph.D.

Psychology - Assistant Professor

Hendrickson Center, HC136

Campus Box: #1449

(507) 457-6948

dbucknam@smumn.edu

Daniel Bucknam Ph.D.
Bill Handschin, Ph.D.

Counseling and Psychological Services Program - Adjunct Associate Professor

(651) 357-0707

bhandsch@smumn.edu

Bill Handschin Ph.D.
Robin McLeod, Ph.D.

Doctor of Psychology Program - Adjunct Assistant Professor

(651) 739-7539

rgmcleod@smumn.edu

Yasmine Moideen, Ph.D.

Psy.D. Program - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Nicholas Ruiz, Ph.D.

Counseling and Psychological Services - Adjunct Program Professor

Professor smiling with students

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