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University of Denver Psy.D. Program Review

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For many people who want to help others cope with their emotional and behavioral health issues, earning a Psy.D. is the first big step. Getting a doctoral degree in psychology, such as a Doctor of Psychology, can make graduates eligible for state psychologist licenses, which is a prerequisite for most psychologist jobs.

The University of Denver’s well-regarded Psy.D. program is attractive for many reasons, so let’s review what’s best about the program and what would make students interested in pursuing their Psy.D. at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP).

About the Program

Let’s take a look at some of the basic statistics and facts about the University of Denver’s Psy.D. program:

Basics

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Main campus: Denver
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association
  • First year of program: 1979

Tuition and fees

  • Full-time, in-state tuition: $68,448
  • Full-time, out-of-state tuition: $68,448
  • Per credit-hour tuition for part-time students: NA
  • Institution fees: $4,100

Student outcomes

  • Median years to completion:7 (2018-19)
  • Percentage completing in <5 years: 37% (2009-2019)
  • Percentage completing in 7+ years: 2% (2009-2019)
  • Degrees conferred, 2009-2019: 259
  • Percentage of students obtaining internships: 100%
  • Percentage of graduates earning professional licensure: 90%

Degrees & requirements

  • PsyD. degrees offered: PsyD in Clinical Psychology
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: None

Admissions

  • Application method: Online
  • Application fee: $65
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor’s degree with minimum GPA of 2.5 or master’s degree in psychology; for applicants without psychology background, GRE score of at least 660 on subject exam; English proficiency scores for non-native speakers
  • Admissions office address: 2450 S. Vine St., Denver, CO 80210

Biggest Pros

What factors play into GSPP’s favor when it comes to attracting students?

APA accreditation

The University of Denver and its Graduate School of Professional Psychology earned the stamp of approval from the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1979. Earning this accreditation is the single biggest boost to any Psy.D. program, as APA-approved degrees are required (or strongly encouraged) for psychologist licensure in most states. In fact, a couple of states do not accept non-APA-accredited Psy.D. programs for licensure candidates.

Sterling reputation

To go along with APA accreditation, the GSPP is one of the most highly regarded schools of psychology in the country, and earning a degree from the institution is an instant signal of aptitude and excellence.

Real-world clinical experience

Clinical training in psychology begins from Day One in the program, and students spend time throughout their course of study working directly with clients in several functioning mental health clinics. This lets students get in-depth personal experience as psychology service providers across a range of population groups and psychological specialty areas, including military, health, forensic, trauma psychology and more. Operational clinics include:

  • Professional Psychology Clinic
  • Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence
  • Center for Performance Excellence
  • The Colorado Resilience Collaborative
  • The CUB Clinic
  • Denver FIRST
  • The Sturm Center
  • Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic

Specialty focus areas

Students can choose to pursue specialty focus areas as part of their degree program. Possible specialties include military, dynamic psychotherapy, neuropsychology, forensic psychology, behavior therapy, substance abuse, child assessment and more. Students who are interested in a unique specialty that’s not listed may be able to work with faculty to create a personalized course.

Biggest Cons

What limitations of the program exist that might make some students think twice about pursuing a Psy.D. at the University of Denver?

Cost

Annual tuition in the University of Denver’s GSPP is high — almost $70,000 per year. With at least three years of classroom work, students can expect to spend upwards of $200,000 even before they begin an internship. For many learners, the expected costs will rule out this program entirely.

Lack of online options

All coursework in the program is done face-to-face, and students don’t have the flexibility to attend part-time or online. This is another factor that may rule the GSPP out for many students across the country who can’t relocate to Denver.

The Bottom Line

Still unsure about whether the University of Denver’s GSPP Psy.D. degree will work for you? Check out the chart below to help guide you:

Is the University of Denver Psy.D. Program Right For Me?
Need Yes No
I need to take my classes online x
I’m interested in clinical psychology x
I want to focus on a particular population group x
I’m interested in applied psychology x
I’m interested in school psychology x
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychology x
I have a very limited budget for a Psy.D. program x
A well-established program is important to me x
I want to work in a real-world mental health clinic x
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projects x
I don’t want to take the GRE* x
* Students without psychology background as undergrads or via master’s program will need to take psychology subject matter GRE exam

Conclusion

The University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology is among a handful of truly elite Psy.D. programs out there, but for students who are accepted, the cost of attending is quite high. Still, there’s little doubt that with a near-100% licensure rate, for those who want to begin practicing as psychologists, earning their Psy.D. through this program will provide a rigorous, valuable education.

Additional Resources