Degree Requirements: Ph.D. in Depth Psychology Emphasis in Psychotherapy


Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with specialization in Psychotherapy must meet the following degree requirements below.

1. Students must complete a total of 83 quarter units to fulfill the degree requirement for graduation. A minimum grade of C is required in each completed course. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained.

2. Students must comply with attendance requirements as stated in the Student Handbook.

3. Students must successfully pass a qualifying examination at the end of the second year of coursework.

4. Students must successfully present a Control Paper describing their clinical work with one client to two faculty members during the third year of the clinical practica.

5. Students must successfully complete a comprehensive oral presentation at the end of the third year of course work.

6. Students must write, submit, and defend an original dissertation accepted by the faculty.

7. Students are advised to take part in depth-oriented psychotherapy or analysis while enrolled. While this is not monitored or required for graduation, it is strongly recommended.

Practicum requirements

There is no minimum number of required hours of practice, but students must be engaged in the practice of psychotherapy while enrolled in coursework. This assures that all students will be able to participate fully in the sequence of practicum courses. Pacifica does not provide supervision as required for licensure or any other purpose. Students must provide for their own insurance coverage for professional liability.

Notice regarding internship and licensure

The Depth Psychology with specialization in Psychotherapy is designed specifically for those who are already licensed or already have sufficient academic and other credentials to pursue licensure at the level in which they intend to practice. The degree provides in-depth education in the theory and practice of psychotherapy and related research practices. Although some students may wish to pursue licensure after earning the doctorate, this curriculum does not contain any license-specific coursework. Furthermore, although students will engage in some form of psychotherapeutic practice while in this specialization, Pacifica Graduate Institute does not authorize, monitor, or supervise that practice, nor do we arrange or administratively support traineeships, pre- or post-doctoral internships, or other licensing practice requirements.

Comprehensive examinations

The comprehensive examination consists of a written portion taken in the spring of second year and an oral portion taken in the summer of third year. The written exam is divided into three sections corresponding to the three study tracks of the specialization: Theory and Traditions of Depth Psychotherapy; Psychotherapy Informed by the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences; and Integrated Praxis: Research and Casework. It is designed to assess knowledge gained in the first two years of coursework and serves as a qualifying exam that students must pass in order to continue into the third year of study. The third-year oral examination consists of the student's formal oral presentation addressing the ways the three years of study have informed and seeded their work.

Control Paper

During the third year case presentation series, each student presents a control paper that demonstrates his or her clinical work and the ability to synthesize a variety of appropriate clinical perspectives while maintaining his or her own unique style of practice.

Doctoral Dissertation

The dissertation process involves the completion of all coursework in research methodologies, dissertation development, and dissertation writing. Students must complete Dissertation Development I and have an approved Concept Paper before enrolling in Dissertation Writing. The Dissertation Committee is composed of a Chair, a Reader, and an External Reader. Each committee member must possess an earned doctorate based in part on a dissertation unless the Research Coordinator for the specialization waives this requirement.

For a full description of all requirements, consult the current edition of the Pacifica Student Handbook.

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