Respecialization in Clinical Psychology

Psychologists who hold doctoral degrees in developmental, experimental or other areas of psychological study who wish to develop expertise in Clinical Psychology may consider the Respecialization Program. In 1976, the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA) determined that training in Clinical Psychology requires both academic and applied components. While the applied component might be obtained in a variety of settings, only an academic institution can provide the academic component. William James College's integrative training model offers a rigorous academic and applied experience for psychologists who wish to become clinicians.

The Respecialization Program admits students on a rolling basis. All programming is individualized, and training is designed to address the unique experiences of those who hold prior doctoral degrees in psychology. The Respecialization Program is designed to prepare psychologists for eligibility for licensure and a career in clinical practice to complement or supplement earlier professional interests. Please note however that different states have different licensure requirements and that it is the student's responsibility to be aware of these as some states require a degree from an APA accredited doctoral program in order to be license eligible. Respecialization is a certificate program and not a degree and therefore is not considered equivalent to having completed an APA accredited doctoral program. APA does not accredit respecialization programs.

Apply to this program.

Who This Program Is For

 The Respecialization Program is open to qualified individuals who already hold a doctorate in psychology in one area- e.g. developmental, experimental - who wish to make a lateral change to clinical psychology. In accordance with APA guidelines, the program is not appropriate for individuals who hold doctoral degrees in another field, for example guidance counseling.

Admissions Requirements

All Applicants

All applicants must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US institution, or its equivalent, by the start date of enrollment. All applicants must submit official translations of all non-US transcripts (please refer to the online application for additional instructions). Completion of an online application (with essay), submission of all required supporting documents and an interview are required. Although cut-off scores are not strictly enforced, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL combined score (no more than two years old) of at least 637 (paper-based test), 270 (computer-based test) or 110 (internet-based test) is preferred.

All Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Applicants

Submission of General GRE scores (no more than five years old) is required, even if the applicant has successfully completed graduate coursework or a graduate degree at another institution. William James College’s School Code/Reporting Number is 3501. All Clinical Psychology doctoral applicants must successfully complete the following undergraduate pre-requisite courses prior to enrollment: General Psychology; Abnormal Psychology and two out of the following six courses: Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Personality Theories; Behavioral Statistics; Tests & Measurements; Physiological Psychology.

William James College offers these pre-requisites as online courses. For more information, click here.

All Re-specialization Certificate in Clinical Psychology Applicants

All applicants must have completed a doctoral degree in psychology by the start date of enrollment. General GRE scores are not required.

Program Format

 Students in the Respecialization program take courses with our PsyD students and participate in the same practica and internship training.  Once accepted, your specific program is individually designed, based on your previous academic and clinical experience with careful attention to the current licensing requirements in Massachusetts. If you wish to apply for licensure in other states, you should review the specific requirements of the state you are considering to be sure that your program meets those requirements.

Educational Delivery Model

The Respecialization Program in Clinical Psychology falls under the "Traditional" course delivery method. Traditional courses meet almost exclusively face-to-face, and on-campus, although occasionally a faculty member may use web-based technology to supplement a face-to-face meeting or deliver course materials. In addition, instructors often upload course materials to the course's webpage which are housed in our Course Managements System "Canvas." Materials uploaded to Canvas may include the course syllabus, documents, calendar, assignments, etc.

The amount of educational technology used for each course in the Clinical Respecialization program is at the discretion of the individual faculty member, and may change from semester to semester.

Due to the extensive "on-campus" requirement of this program, all students must live within commuting distance to William James College.

Time to Completion

The length of the program varies, depending on factors such as the recency of your doctorate and the pace at which you move through the program. Each respecialization student program is developed on a case-by-case basis. Respecialization students do not complete a dissertation at William James College. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded a Certificate of Respecialization.

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