Overview and Mission



The program seeks to prepare students to understand, prevent, and treat mental health problems and psychiatric disorders across the lifespan using evidence-based approaches. It includes training and course work in both clinical practice and research methods, based on the premise that these mutually inform and strengthen each other. Because the Psy.D. is a practice-oriented degree, emphasis is placed on the development of the knowledge, skills, and competencies that psychologists use in clinical practice. Graduates may pursue clinical positions in the community, hospitals, health care organizations, government, and industry; clinical research positions in private and public institutions and industry; and academic positions in university settings. Graduates who wish to become licensed clinical psychologists must additionally pass a national examination and fulfill all state licensing requirements.


The mission of the William Paterson University Psy.D. program in clinical psychology is to prepare students to become competent and highly-skilled psychologists in the delivery and evaluation of psychological services. Graduates are trained to critically evaluate research, contribute to psychological knowledge, and develop innovations in treatment and service delivery. The program is grounded in a practitioner-scholar model that emphasizes evidence-based theories and practice in psychological assessment, interventions, consultation, and supervision. Academic course work, supervised clinical training, and research experience are integrated at each stage of the student’s development within an ethical, culturally sensitive, and supportive context. The program promotes lifelong learning and continual self-improvement.


*Emphasizes the ethical responsibility of practitioners to be knowledgeable and up-to-date in their understanding of psychopathology, health-related behaviors, therapeutic applications, and research on new or evolving intervention and techniques.

*Encourages continual improvement and re-examination of multicultural competency, awareness of limitations, and pursuit of consultation, supervision or referral as appropriate.

*Prioritizes the highest caliber of teaching, clinical supervision, research, and support in obtaining quality practicum and internship experiences in order to enhance student training.

*Enhances knowledge and skills by emphasizing the value of scholarship, critical thinking, reflection, intellectual independence, and informed interpretation of research findings, techniques, and approaches.