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Toby Schmidt



Clinical Psychology
Doctor of Psychology
Are you looking to become a practitioner-scholar in the field of clinical psychology? NNU’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program focuses on preparing our students to integrate their faith into their roles as clinical psychologists. With a comprehensive curriculum that includes psychotherapy/counseling, psychological and cognitive assessment, and program administration, graduates of our program will be more than ready for licensure in clinical psychology.
smiling female student at a table in commons area with phone and cup of coffee
  • ENTER the program with an earned bachelor’s degree OR
  • TRANSFER up to 14 units of an existing master’s degree in a social science field
  • STRONG COMMUNITY SUPPORT through a cohort model

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Go Beyond and Learn Mastery

Embark on a journey of mastery and propel your career to new heights with NNU’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. This program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and faith-based perspective to become practitioner-scholars in clinical psychology. The comprehensive curriculum covers everything from psychotherapy and counseling to cognitive assessment and program administration, emphasizing the integration of faith into clinical practice. Discover how this doctorate can take you beyond and help you achieve your career aspirations in clinical psychology.

degree details

Doctor of Psychology

On Campus

$950 per credit, $150 per semester technology fee, $200 per semester Student Success fee

The Benefits of a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology

  • Receive personalized mentorship from experienced faculty members and clinicians
  • Gain research experience and sharpen critical thinking skills in a Christ-centered environment
  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the psychological sciences and clinical skills with the guidance of experienced faculty
  • Participate in clubs and activities to gain meaningful professional experience
  • Receive individualized attention through a supportive cohort model as you pursue your doctorate
  • Learn how to apply psychology from a faith-based perspective
  • NNU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • In the process of applying for accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation

Goals and Outcomes for Psy.D. Students

  • Get a Christian worldview-based mastery in clinical psychology
  • Experience personalized learning from experienced professionals
  • Strengthen your skills in research design, methodology and data analysis
  • Develop resilience and adaptability in the ever-changing field of psychology
  • Gain expertise in evidence-based practices and ethical principles in clinical psychology
  • Bridge the gap between theory and practical application
  • Receive an education with real-world outcomes that apply to a variety of scenarios
  • Develop the skills you need to work professionally in clinical psychology

Additional Information About NNU’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Psy.D. Program Information

Our Doctorate in Clinical Psychology program is designed to be a 5-year program, accommodating those entering with any bachelor’s degree (including 18 specific pre-requisite psychology classes). Individuals who have previously earned a master’s degree in an accredited social science and have met the program’s entrance requirements may transfer in up to 14 select credits that make the first 4 semesters lighter.

The complete 5-year program, for those entering with a post-bachelor degree, consists of 123 credits—4 years of coursework and a dissertation, with a final pre-doctoral internship year. Those entering with a master’s degree can petition to waive up to 14 credits, which will require a minimum of 109 credits.
The program includes a 3- or 4- year full-time academic residency requirement followed by a full-time 1-year internship experience.

New cohorts begin every year. Applications open in September of the preceding year, and the final application deadline is January 15. Students start every August. Classes meet in person on our main campus in Nampa, Idaho.

Psy.D. Admission Requirements

Application Requirements for NNU’s Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology Program include the following:

  • GPA: 3.0 Undergraduate; 3.5 MA/MS
  • Prerequisites:
    • FOR BACHELOR’S STUDENTS ONLY: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from an accredited college or university OR a minimum of 18 credits of Psychology that must include:
      • General Psychology or Introduction to Psychology
      • Developmental Psychology (covering the Lifespan)
      • A Research Methods or Psychological Statistics class
      • Abnormal Psychology
      • Master’s degree from a related field (Counseling, Psychology, Social Work)
  • Necessary Application Documents for ALL Applicants:
    • Personal Statement
    • Submit a written essay (no more than 4 pages) that covers the following:
      • Why do you want to be a psychologist and what interests you about the field?
      • What experiences in your life have prepared you for being a good psychologist?
      • What unique qualities do you possess that will assist you in becoming a psychologist?
      • Your reasons behind selecting this particular program and Northwest Nazarene University.
      • How do you anticipate this degree will impact your role in the community?
    • CV or Resume
    • Academic Writing Sample
      • A writing sample that is representative of your best academic writing (i.e., thesis, journal article and/or academic paper). The sample should provide evidence of research-based writing and include citations from outside sources. The writing sample should follow APA formatting (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, margins, etc.).

There will be an interview evaluation and students will be subject to a background check in determining acceptance into this program.

Psychology Licensure

The NNU Psy.D. degree curriculum meets the education requirements in Idaho for licensure as a psychologist. Information regarding licensure requirements can be obtained by contacting the Idaho Board of Psychologist Examiners:

Board of Psychologist Examiners
Division of Occupational & Professional Licenses
11341 W. Chinden Blvd.
Boise, ID. 83714

If you’re planning to pursue professional licensure in a different state, it is strongly recommended you contact the state’s licensing board for further information on state licensure requirements. This includes curriculum and supervised professional experience. For more information on how to contact the state licensing board for your state, please see below.

Professional License Disclosures


NNU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NNU Psy.D. program is planning to submit an application to be “Accredited, On Contingency” to the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation in the spring of 2024.

Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Student Outcomes

See the full 2024 report on Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

Doctoral clinical psychology programs (PsyD in clinical psychology) open up careers with community mental health agencies, graduate programs, doctoral programs, medical centers and private practices.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Career Paths

The opportunities are endless, whether working as a private practice therapist, conducting research or teaching and clinical training the next generation of psychologists. As a clinical psychologist, one can specialize in their areas of interest, such as child psychology, addiction or trauma. The work can be challenging, but the rewards of helping patients lead healthier and happier lives are immeasurable.

Clinical Psychology Professor

Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice

Meet Our Faculty

My experience in the PsyD department at NNU has been more than I could have ever hoped for. Every professor is dedicated and genuinely cares about my well-being and professional development. I have never felt more supported and understood. Every class propels me forward into being able to help others. All week I look forward to the days I get to class and connect with my peers and learn something new

Paige Gosney

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

My experience at NNU has been unmeasurable; it’s truly my family away from home (Alaska). I have gained more insight than ever before. The faculty supports each student on their academic journey, and I couldn’t be more grateful to consider myself a Nighthawk and be a part of the NNU Psy.D. program.

Aubrey Champagne

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

My time at NNU has really helped me grow and mature as an individual. I have become more independent and am able to learn important life skills that will help me grow in my career as a professional nurse.
Savannah Thanstrom

Class of 2021 - Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions About the Psy.D. Program at NNU

Go beyond and learn mastery in Northwest Nazarene University’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology program! Here are some frequently asked questions to help you learn more about this program.

What makes the Psy.D. program at NNU unique from other programs?

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program at Northwest Nazarene University stands out from other programs by a unique approach to integrating faith and psychology. Our program focuses on equipping students to become practitioner-scholars who seamlessly incorporate their faith into their roles as clinical psychologists, resulting in a transformative and holistic approach to mental health care.

One distinctive aspect of our Psy.D. program is its emphasis on preparing students for licensure in clinical psychology. Graduates are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage in various areas of clinical psychology, including psychotherapy/counseling, psychological and cognitive assessment and program administration. This comprehensive training prepares our students for a wide range of professional opportunities in the field.

At NNU, we are deeply committed to our mission of integrating Christ into higher education, and this commitment is evident in our Psy.D. in clinical psychology. Our faculty members are highly qualified and experienced practitioners and individuals who engage with a fantastic work ethic and actively integrate their Christian faith into their teaching and mentorship. This unique blend of academic excellence and spiritual formation creates a supportive and transformative learning environment.

Our Psy.D. program also offers graduate students a rich spiritual life and community experience. Through chapel services, small groups and various spiritual development activities, students can foster personal growth, deepen their faith and build meaningful relationships with fellow students and faculty members. This vibrant spiritual community adds an extra dimension to the educational experience, nurturing the whole person and preparing students for a lifetime of service.

What sets the Psy.D. program at NNU apart is its commitment to integrating faith and psychology, preparing students to be skilled clinical psychologists who provide compassionate, evidence-based care while embracing a Christian worldview. By choosing NNU’s Psy.D. program, you will join a community of dedicated professionals passionate about positively impacting clinical psychology.

For more information on clinical training, view our Psy.D. Clinical Training Handbook.

Are students able to gain hands-on, real-world clinical experience during their studies?

At Northwest Nazarene University, we understand the importance of hands-on, real-world clinical experience in preparing students for a successful career in clinical psychology. Our Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience alongside their academic studies, ensuring they are well-equipped to make a meaningful impact in the field.

Psy.D. students will embark on a 4-year full-time academic residency requirement during the program, depending on their entry point. This rigorous educational component provides the foundational knowledge and theoretical understanding necessary for clinical practice. Students engage with a comprehensive curriculum covering various topics, including clinical psychology, assessment, therapy techniques and ethical considerations.

In addition to the academic residency, students will complete a full-time 1-year internship experience. This internship allows students to apply their classroom learning in real-world settings, working alongside experienced professionals in various clinical settings. Through this hands-on experience, we prepare students with valuable practical skills, research methods, professional development and therapeutic techniques.
The combination of academic residency and internship experience ensures that our students graduate with a well-rounded education integrating theory and practice. They are prepared to navigate the challenges and complexities of clinical work, understanding the importance of evidence-based approaches and ethical considerations in their practice. This practical training sets our graduates apart, giving them a competitive edge in their future careers, postdoctoral clinical training and professional practice.

At Northwest Nazarene University, we are dedicated to providing our students with a transformative and comprehensive education in clinical psychology. Hands-on, real-world clinical experience is essential to their professional growth and development. By choosing our Psy.D. program, you can expect to gain the practical skills and experience needed to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities through clinical psychology.

How does your faith-based perspective integrate into the curriculum and class content?

At Northwest Nazarene University, our faith-based perspective is intricately woven into our clinical psychology program’s curriculum and class content. True transformation happens when faith and psychology are integrated, creating a holistic approach to mental health care.

Throughout the program, students will encounter coursework that explores the intersection of faith and psychology, enabling them to understand how these two disciplines can work together to provide compassionate and effective care. Our faculty members—experienced practitioners and scholars—infuse their teaching with a faith-based perspective, incorporating biblical principles and ethical considerations into the curriculum.

In addition to the academic components, NNU’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program includes a 4-year full time educational residency requirement, followed by a full-time 1-year internship experience. During these periods, students have opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings, working with diverse populations under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Our commitment to a faith-based perspective also extends beyond the classroom. At NNU, we foster a vibrant spiritual community where students can grow in their faith and develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Through chapel services, small groups and spiritual development activities, students can integrate their faith with their clinical practice, recognizing the power of spirituality in the healing process.

By integrating faith into the curriculum and class content, NNU’s clinical psychology program equips students to become practitioner-scholars who view mental health care holistically, valuing individuals’ spiritual, emotional and psychological well-being. Our goal is to prepare graduates who are not only skilled clinicians but also compassionate caregivers who can make a positive impact within their communities.

At NNU, we believe that faith and psychology go hand in hand, and our curriculum reflects this belief. By choosing our clinical psychology program, you embark on a transformative journey that combines academic excellence, spiritual growth and practical experience, empowering you to serve others with empathy, professionalism and a deep understanding of the human experience.

What career opportunities are available after graduating from the Psy.D. program?

Graduating from the Psy.D. program at Northwest Nazarene University opens up exciting career opportunities in clinical psychology. With a strong foundation in theoretical knowledge and practical experience, our graduates are well-equipped to make a meaningful impact in various professional roles.

Upon completing the program, you can begin supervised practice under a licensed psychologist to obtain licensure, providing psychotherapy, psychological assessment and counseling psychology services to individuals, couples, families and groups. With additional education and training, you can specialize in neuropsychology, child psychology, correctional psychology, industrial-organizational psychology or clinical psychopharmacology. Clinical psychology can be applied in a multitude of directions that align with your professional goals. This specialization allows you to work closely with specific populations and tailor your approach to meet their needs.

Another avenue for graduates is engaging in research to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of clinical psychology. By conducting psychological research studies, publishing scholarly articles and presenting at conferences, you can influence the discipline’s future and contribute to evidence-based practices.

Teaching and training the next generation of psychologists is another rewarding path after graduating from the Psy.D. program. As a faculty member in a university or college setting, you can share your expertise, mentor aspiring psychologists and shape the future of the profession through education and training opportunities.

Our Psy.D. program graduates have diverse and dynamic career opportunities. You will have the flexibility to choose a path that aligns with your interests, values and aspirations. The field of clinical psychology offers endless possibilities for growth and impact, allowing you to forge a fulfilling and meaningful career.

At Northwest Nazarene University, we are committed to preparing our students for successful careers in clinical psychology. Our comprehensive curriculum, hands-on training and integration of faith and psychology provide a solid foundation for pursuing various career opportunities. By choosing our Psy.D. program, you embark on a transformative journey that equips you with the skills and knowledge to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.