Frequently Asked Questions

How does a PsyD differ from a PhD?

A PsyD is a doctorate in professional psychology whereas a PhD in Clinical Psychology is a doctorate degree in philosophy with a specialization in clinical psychology.

Hear from Dr. Stacey Lambert, chair of the Clinical Psychology Department and vice president of academic affairs, about how a student can determine whether a PsyD or PhD is a better fit for them. Watch below!

The primary difference between the two types of programs is that a PsyD program generally places greater emphasis on clinical training early in the program while a PhD program, in many cases, will have greater emphasis on research involvement. For example, most PhD programs in clinical psychology require students to complete a master’s research project as well as a doctoral research project dissertation. In most PsyD programs, students complete a doctoral-level research project, which tends to be smaller in scope than a dissertation. 

All APA-accredited doctoral programs are expected to assure trainees demonstrate research competencies, and William James is no exception. With our PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, you will be involved in clinical coursework and training starting in your first year. We also encourage you to become involved in faculty research early in preparation for your doctoral project. While called a doctoral project rather than dissertation, the length and quality of the projects completed by our students are very similar to dissertations produced by PhD students. In fact, a number of our students have published articles stemming from their doctoral research projects.

Finally, as you are making your decision between a PhD and PsyD, consider that many PhD programs have greater funding opportunities, but tend to have much smaller programs and much lower acceptance rates. If you would like to talk more in depth on whether the William James PsyD in Clinical Psychology is the right fit for you, please reach out to our admissions team at

Can I apply for this program without a master’s degree?

Yes! The PsyD in Clinical Psychology program does not require a master’s degree for admission. In 2021, approximately 67% of the incoming clinical psychology students did not report a graduate GPA in their application.

Prerequisites for this program are:

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution.
  • Basic coursework necessary to apply. (See details here).
  • Academic achievement at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels. While there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply, a 3.0 out of 4.0 is expected.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is optional for students applying to the PsyD in Clinical Psychology for Fall 2024. It is not required for admission. If you have taken the GRE and feel that your strong scores would enhance your application, please feel free to submit. Please note: If you choose to enter self-reported General GRE scores, an official test score report will become a required component of your application.

When will I be working in the field during the program?

As a student in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, you will begin working in the field during your first year. Fourth-year and fifth-year students can choose between two different options for their clinical training experience.

See the chart below for specific details about each year’s field education requirements or learn more here.

Year in the Program Course Hours Per Week Total Hours
Year 1 Clinical Practicum I 16 640
Year 2 Clinical Practicum II 20 800
Year 3 Advanced Clinical Practicum I 24 960
Year 4 Track I: Advanced Clinical Practicum II 20 800-960
  Track II: Half-Time APA Internship 27 2,240 over 24 months
Year 5 Track I: Full-Time APA Internship 40 2,000
  Track II: Half-Time APA Internship (continued) 27 2,240 over 24 months (continued)

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