PsyD Comprehensive Examination


The Clinical Oral Examination in the Department of Clinical Psychology requires the Clinical Psychology candidate to demonstrate, both in written and oral form, the ability to assess, formulate, treat and evaluate his or her work on a clinical case. In most instances, a student will present an individual psychotherapy case for the Clinical Oral Examination. It is also acceptable to present a group, couple, family, or therapeutic classroom intervention as long as the write-up and oral defense illustrate the student’s ability to conceptualize, plan, implement, monitor and discuss the therapeutic intervention and its underlying theoretical principles. Because the Clinical Oral Examination is a formal process, and an individual work sample, the Clinical Oral Examination differs in significant ways from the more informal and collaborative style of many class projects. It asks that the student take on the role of a professional presenting to other professionals, prepared to succinctly present the essentials of a case and to defend a point of view.

The Clinical Oral Examination must be passed by June 1st of the year that a student plans to apply for internship. This means that most students will take the exam during their third or fourth year of the program, or when they, their advisor and their clinical supervisors feel the student is ready to apply for internship. It is recommended that students choose a relatively recent case for the Clinical Oral Examination that best represents their clinical work. Students should be aware that the  Clinical Oral Examination committee may ask the student to remediate the Oral Examination and that such remediation needs to be completed by June 1st of the year that a student plans to apply for internship. Thus, students are advised to schedule the initial Clinical Oral Examination by May 1st so there is time to complete any needed remediation.