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Why you should consider this program

Pacifica’s Psy.D. Program in Counseling Psychology offers a uniquely immersive, experiential and relationally designed doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology designed to prepare graduates for licensure as licensed psychologists. This exciting new program is deeply informed and organized around principles of psychodynamic psychology, and emphasizes psychotherapy practice informed by an appreciation for the importance of the unconscious life in the individual and in communities, as well as an emphasis on the deeply relational quality of human psychology, both as a philosophy of psychotherapeutic intervention and as an organizing principle for the academic program itself. Following a practitioner-scholar model (also called the “Vail model”), this program represents Pacifica’s commitment to grounding the principles of depth psychology in clinical practice within community settings. Its graduates will be prepared to function as licensed psychologists in a variety of applied settings, including private practice, community mental health, substance abuse and dual diagnosis settings, hospital and inpatient settings, the nonprofit and private sectors, and many other professional contexts.

Pacifica trains students toward an integration of broad and general knowledge in applied counseling psychology with research on the unconscious and relational factors that motivate individual and collective behavior. Depth psychology invites a curiosity about the psyche and respect for the diversity and resiliency of the human experience. Interdisciplinary courses exploring literature, mythology, religion, and culture deepen students’ abilities to link collective systems and archetypal themes to sociopolitical issues in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Although broadly psychodynamic in its orientation, the Psy.D. Program offers particular emphasis in psychotherapeutic training informed by both psychoanalytic and analytic (Jungian) perspectives.

This program develops psychologists who are skilled in a broad range of clinical work, including psychotherapy, assessment, supervision, and consultation, as well as integrative approaches to health, which are informed by depth psychological perspectives through a psychodynamic lens. As a Psy.D. Program, this degree offering is dedicated to educating future psychologists who prefer to focus on applied practice rather than research, although appreciation for and fluency with the language and methodology of research also informs the program, culminating in a doctoral dissertation which represents a unique individual contribution to the established research literature. The emphasis on applied practice is grounded in the program’s clinical training requirements, including progressively advanced supervised experiences in applied settings gained in practicum and pre-doctoral internship.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 114,666 $ 30,000 $ 84,666
Out of state $ 114,666 $ 30,000 $ 84,666

* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

For students enrolling directly into the PsyD: application fee waiver; tuition waiver of $2,500 per quarter for 12 quarters for a maximum waiver of $30,000

For students transferring from the Counseling MA into the Counseling PsyD: application fee waiver; tuition waiver of $2,248 per quarter for 9 quarters for a maximum waiver of $20,225.

Fellowships Awarded Per Year (average)


Annual Cost of Living (estimated)

$ 22,236

Application Fee Waived?



The Counseling PsyD includes clinical training at two levels: the practicum, which represents applied supervised clinical experience at a program-approved training site during years two and three of the program, and the pre-doctoral internship, which students undertake when they have completed the curriculum (and alongside their doctoral dissertation process). All fellows complete internships in underserved communities in the United States, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Volunteers.

The applied practicum experience is integrated with the curriculum through practicum seminars. A minimum of 1,000 hours of practicum and 1,500 hours of internship are required. Students will be placed in practicum in coordination with the Director of Clinical Training. Students must obtain Internship through a competitive application process. Pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology is a supervised summative training experience, which integrates academic learning and previous applied clinical training at the practicum level.

Program Length

4 years (12 quarters plus one year of internship plus doctoral dissertation work)

Application Requirements

Applicants must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state-approved institution of higher learning. The Counseling Department seeks applicants who are psychologically-minded, and who show evidence of emotional resilience, cultural awareness, and commitment to scholarly questioning necessary to work with diverse individuals and communities. Successful applicants will display scholarly writing skills and an interest in research.

Admissions Process

Prospective students are asked to submit an online application at The fee is waived for Coverdell Program applicants. Other documents to submit include: a Personal statement (3-5 pages), resumé/curriculum vitae (CV), an 8-10 page academic writing sample, 3 letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional) with recommendation form, an acknowledgment of licensure requirements information form, and official transcripts documenting a master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education.

Upon the Admissions Committee’s review and recommendation, applicants will be invited to an admissions interview.

Program Begins

Cohorts begin the first year fall academic quarter in September.

Non-traditional Options

Classes for the Counseling Psychology Program take place in nine three-day sessions, approximately once each month during fall, winter, and spring, and one week in the summer. This format allows students to live in their home communities and travel to campus when the program is in-session.

Year Coverdell Fellows Partnership Started