Psy.D. Degree


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Professional Dissertation

The professional dissertation develops your core competencies. The American Psychological Association has outlined nine core competency areas which are required for students who graduate from programs accredited in health service psychology, including research, ethics and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values, attitudes and behaviors, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision and consultation, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills.

Standards for professional dissertations:

  • It is an original creative work.
  • It is produced independently by you with limited technical guidance from the chair and committee.
  • It is a product that exemplifies your ability to think critically and to critically evaluate research, theory or other scholarly work.
  • It represents a synthesis and integration of scholarly work, research, or theoretical perspectives.
  • It represents a substantive scholarly contribution, demonstrating focus and depth of knowledge in a particular area of professional psychology.
  • It represents a vehicle for you to demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly both in writing and orally.
  • It is a project or undertaking the topic of which is generally psychological in nature and consistent with the school's mission.

The policies for the dissertation are outlined in the professional dissertation handbook (PDF). All forms related to the dissertation can be found in the handbook. Links to most of the paperwork are also included below.


Writing Links