The School of Professional Psychology (SPP) offers three degree options: a Master's in applied psychological science (clinical or research specialty), a PhD in clinical psychology and a PsyD in clinical psychology. The school also offers internship opportunities, as well as services to the public through the Pacific Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic in two locations. All career paths and services in SPP reflect core values of compassion, integrity, diversity, and discovery. All programs lead to meaningful careers that allow students to apply their skills and knowledge acquired in the program in work that can range from clinical service to administration to teaching to research and more. Our graduates report that they are able to establish successful and fulfilling careers that allow them to continue to grow, contribute, and make a difference.
Striving for excellence, the faculty at Pacific University’s School of Professional Psychology prepare psychological professionals who foster collaborative relationships, have inquiring minds, create meaningful change, and dedicate themselves to models of health and well-being that support diversity and social justice.
Practice and Scholarship
SPP provides a comprehensive and integrated educational experience that offers an extensive psychological knowledge base and fosters the development of applied clinical and research competence. SPP curricula are designed to build and integrate the many components and aspects of psychological practice. SPP emphasizes community involvement and flexible, diversity-appropriate, practical applications of scientific psychology. Depending upon the program or area of emphasis, students learn how to apply and contribute to knowledge of human behavior to resolve problems and improve conditions. The programs offer broad and general doctoral education and training that includes preparation in health service psychology. Our PsyD program places relatively greater emphasis on training for engaging in professional practice and our PhD program places relatively greater emphasis on training related to research. The PsyD program presents students with a broad range of theoretical perspectives and exposes them to assessment, intervention, research/evaluation, consultation/education, and management/supervision. Students in the PhD program are trained to integrate the science and practice of psychology by completing specific coursework, producing original empirical research, and engaging in clinical practicum placements. Graduates of each program, however, must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of and competency in both research/scholarly activities and evidence-based professional practice. The goal of the Master’s Program in Applied Psychological Science is to foster learning of and competence in skills necessary for responsible and ethical professional practice in a variety of contexts and settings.
The School of Professional Psychology maintains two in-house psychology training clinics, which provide supervised clinical experiences for doctoral practicum students while offering a wide range of psychological services to the community. The school also has partnerships with more than 70 practicum sites, including Juvenile and County Correction Centers, Oregon State Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University and local counseling centers.
Practicum and Internship Flexibility
Doctoral and clinical Master's students complete an internship during their last year of the program. Doctoral students complete practica throughout their second and third years in the program, with the option of a fourth-year field placement. Training helps integrate scientific knowledge with clinical application, and you will gain supervision experience with a range of client populations in a variety of clinical settings. In addition, there are dozens of practicum and internship sites where you can further develop your interests.
The school offers its own American Psychological Association-accredited internship program for doctoral internship training. We successfully place interns at approved sites across the country that match their interests, including hospitals, academic counseling centers, Veterans Administration facilities, community mental health centers and military internships that prepare you for entering with the rank of captain after graduation. During your internship, you will learn under clinical supervision and be prepared to practice, teach or conduct research upon graduation.
The School of Professional Psychology, housed in the College of Health Professions in Hillsboro, Ore., is proud to be one of eight schools within Pacific University's College of Health Professions. This dynamic college provides a consortium of graduate and professional health students, creating a unique interdisciplinary environment.
Students at Pacific are engaged in interdisciplinary study in the first semester while enrolled in Interprofessional Competence: Theory & Practice, a course designed to bring students from all programs together to gain interprofessional knowledge and awareness in a team-based setting. Course topics include team building, diversity and leadership.
The College of Health Professions hosts six annual interprofessional Case Conferences in which faculty and community health professionals present case studies on current healthcare issues. By integrating these conferences throughout the year, we give students a forum for interaction and dialogue on topics that directly affect their areas of study while learning about the perspectives of other future healthcare providers. Students also have the opportunity to engage in the practices of other university programs by using on-campus clinic services for their individual healthcare needs.
Interested in learning medical Spanish? The College of Health Professions also offers an optional medical Spanish course for all health students — yet another opportunity to develop your skills while gaining interprofessional knowledge. In addition to on-campus involvement, you can apply your Spanish across borders. Students completing the Latino Psychology Emphasis or with fluency in Spanish can travel to various parts of the Pacific Northwest for a summer experiential course to further develop their skills.