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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the internship?

Students are required to complete one year of supervised professional experience in the field of Clinical Psychology. This course involves an 1800-hour supervised clinical experience in an organized health service training program over a 12-month (full-time) to 24-month (half-time) period with at least 100 hours of supervisory sessions by two licensed clinical psychologists with a minimum of two hours of individual, face-to-face supervision on a weekly basis . The internship is required for Ph.D. students after successful completion of all doctoral coursework, comprehensive examinations, and residency requirements. Internship placements must be an APPIC organized internship and approved by the Director of Clinical Training. The pre-doctoral internship is the capstone experience of the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. It is a full time experience intended to immerse the student in the professional identity and roles of a clinical psychologist. Students usually emerge from the internship year competent to apply for licensure as a psychologist.   For more information on pre-doctoral internships, please visit

How many credit hours can I plan to take per semester and per year?

A full time student in the Ph.D. program takes anywhere from 11-14 credits per semester. Summer sessions may involve 2-6 credits. Part-time options are available by petition. In special circumstances, a student may take one course over full time with the Permission of the Program Director.

How many transfer credits can be accepted?

Students who have completed graduate level work in psychology may substitute these courses for required courses at the University of the Cumberlands. Transfer of credit is subject to the following conditions:

  • A maximum of 30 graduate hours may be transferred from another institution.
  • Transfer of credit will only be given for graduate course work in which a grade of B or better was obtained.
  • All transferred graduate credit must have been completed within five (5) years prior to a student’s admission into his or her respective program.
  • Transfer of credit may only be given for prior graduate course work judged to be equivalent to courses offered in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at the University of the Cumberlands in which the student is enrolled. This includes elective courses and special concentration courses.
  • Transfer of credit is not granted for practica, internships, or dissertation work. Transfer credit will not be offered for PSYOL - 531 (Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Psychology); PSYC-760-867(Doctoral Practicum/Seminar); PSYC-990-993 (Dissertation Research). We consider these courses to be fundamental to the program’s character and must certify that students have received training according to those standards.
How do I determine how many transfer credits I would receive?

For each course in which transfer credit is sought, the applicant must include the following:

  • A copy of the course syllabus from the semester in which the course was taken. The syllabus must include the course number and name, textbook used (if any), course reading list, and an outline of the course content. The syllabus must also indicate in which semester the course was offered and include the instructor’s name.
  • For courses in which the student is unable to produce a syllabus, the student must provide a letter on university letterhead from the instructor of record for the course. Letters should include a course description and outline of the course content.
  • Official copies of the student’s transcript indicating the university and semester in which the course was completed and the grade received.
    • Petitions for courses given during the Fall Semester of the student’s first term of matriculation in the Program must be submitted no later than August 1 prior to the first year of enrollment. Petitions for courses given during the Winter or Summer Semesters, as well as any course[s] for the remainder of the student’s matriculation in the Program, must be submitted no later than the semester prior to which the course in question is being offered.
  • Along with a Petition for Transfer Credit, completed materials should be returned to the Graduate Recruiter and Advisor for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program, Cassie Cockrum.
    • Requests for transfer credit will be reviewed by the Program Director only after all the required supporting materials are received. Program Faculty reserve the right to require that students evidence satisfactory performance on a competency examination even for information obtained through transfer credits.
Do you assist in securing an internship, or how do we secure one?

Pre-doctoral internships are organized by the Association of Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology requires that a student complete an internship organized by APPIC. For more information on APPIC internships, please visit The Director of Clinical Training assists students in navigating the APPIC application, interview and internship match process.

When do I need to get all my admissions material submitted by?

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of the Cumberlands accepts new students in the Fall of each academic year. To be considered for acceptance into the following Fall’s cohort, applications must be received in complete for faculty review by July 1st. Interviews will be conducted in-person or by phone during July and August for enrollment in Fall semester of that year.

What is the practicum?

Clinical are intended to expose our students to a wide variety of mental disorders and provide an opportunity to assess and treat mental health clients patients of all ages, both sexes, and many cultures under supervision.  Students will participate in 2 yearlong practica placements in a mental health setting and supervised by a licensed psychologist. Practica are closely supervised and structured experiences in a mental health setting designed to provide experience training in applied clinical psychology.  Practica are arranged and designed to grow in complexity and autonomy as a student progressively gains competence. The practicum experience is limited in nature and is intended to allow student to gradually build expertise while simultaneously monitoring quality of services to the public.  The first year of practica will be at a placement located near the Northern Kentucky UC site. The second year of practica may be developed in an area of the student’s choosing with the assistance and approval of the Director of Clinical Training.

Do you assist in securing practica, or how do we secure one?

Students will need to secure at least two year-long practica placements during the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Program. The student and the Director of Clinical Training will work collaboratively to identify potential mental health facilities and licensed psychologists for practica. The Director of Clinical Training has listings of previous placements for students to apply to. Ultimately, as many sites have an interview process and select students, it is up to the student to secure the practicum site. The first year practica will be located near the Northern Kentucky UC site to allow for face-to-face seminars to supplement the on-site practica training.  The second practica experience can be coordinated at a site in a community of the student’s choosing; if practica requirements are met.  The Director of Clinical Training will work with students to select a practicum site that meets program and state requirements.

What does an academic plan (course plan) for this program look like?

Please see program overview.

Do we offer housing during the on-campus year?

No. The University of the Cumberlands does not have graduate housing available on the Northern Kentucky site. However, the greater Cincinnati area has many cost efficient and comfortable housing options. For more information, please go to:

How long is the on-campus year?

The residency is one calendar year, ranging from August to July of the student’s 2nd year in the program.

What does the on-campus year entail?

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program allows students to complete the second year of courses in residency (coursework in the program taken in a face-to-face format where students interact with faculty and fellow learners) at the Northern Kentucky site in Florence, KY. The site is located at: 410 Meijer Dr. Florence, KY 41022. The year in residency consists of intensive face-to face training focusing on clinical skill development. Specifically, courses on-campus are designed for students to receive laboratory practice with immediate feedback concerning foundational skills of assessment and psychotherapy. In addition, students will receive supplementary clinical supervision of practicum cases during practicum seminar lasting the majority of the year on-campus.

How many credit hours does it take to complete the program?

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program is 93 credit hours. It is designed to be completed in three years of coursework and one year of full time pre-doctoral internship. Courses are offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

Does the on-campus year have to be consecutive?

Yes, most, if not all, states require a year of residency in the program.  The residency must be full time enrollment in the three consecutive semesters during the second year (Fall, Spring, Summer).

What’s the average salary for a licensed clinical psychologist?

Please use the following resources to research your potential earnings as a psychologist. A quick web search will yield several additional salary and earnings databases, the program cannot verify the accuracy of the data of these databases and therefore cannot advise an exact predicted salary for a licensed psychologist. Please note that due to the variability in types of positions, settings, Leadership opportunities, and private practice vs academic vs agency work settings making a precise prediction of salary is at best, unreliable.

How long does it take to complete the internship?

The pre-doctoral internship is a one year (12 months) full time 1800 hour training experience. Some internships may allow a student to complete the internship on a part-time (24 month) basis. This will vary by site. Before you pursue a part time internship option we advise that you take time to learn the licensing laws in the state in which you plan to practice.

When can you begin the practicum?

The first practicum is designed to begin in the Fall of the second year in the program.

When can you begin the internship?

Most pre-doctoral internship sites begin their internship year in August. As planned in the curriculum, students begin this experience in the fourth year of the program. Students who elect to complete an additional practica year may start internship in the August of the fifth year in the program.

Is the program APA accredited?

*Note: Although the University of the Cumberlands Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is designed to meet APA guidelines and Kentucky state licensure requirements , it is the licensing board of each state that determines eligibility for and granting of licensure. Regarding APA, although the program is designed to meet APA guidelines; we are not currently APA accredited. The University may seek APA accreditation in the future but cannot guarantee APA accreditation at this point.

What states can I practice in with a degree from University of the Cumberlands?

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of the Cumberlands is designed to allow students to apply for licensure as a psychologist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. However, many other states may apply. An applicant must inquire about the state in which they intend to practice allows licensure to applicants from a non-APA accredited program. Applicants are encouraged to review residency requirements, policy on distance learning options, supervision / internship requirements, and state specific coursework. For specific assistance navigating the jurisdictional handbook on ASPPB ( please contact the Program Director, Tammy Hatfield, Psy.D. at

Does the study abroad option in Oxford decrease time spent on-campus?

No. Currently, the Oxford program is in addition to the residency requirement in Northern Kentucky.

What does the Commonwealth of Kentucky board exam entail?

The Commonwealth of Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology requires an oral examination for applicants seeking licensure. Content may cover state law and professional competency. For more information on Kentucky application, please go to:

Each state organizes state exams for licensure differently. To inquire about a specific state’s exam, please go to the specific state’s website located in the jurisdictional handbook on ASPPB:

What is the EPPP and what is the percentage of students that pass it?

The Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology or EPPP is the national examination for psychology organized by ASPPB. The exam is used by many state licensure boards for applicants seeking licensure as a psychologist. For more information on the EPPP, please go to:

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology does not currently have any students who have attempted the EPPP. The EPPP is commonly taken after the degree is completed and an individual applies for licensure. The program has not had a graduating class at this point. Current program coursework and content competency exams are modeled after the EPPP examination style and content to prepare students for this exam.

What does getting licensed entail?

Each state regulates professional services in its jurisdiction. For a full review of a specific state’s licensure process and requirements, please go to: Commonly, after the completion of all degree requirements in the doctoral program (e.g., coursework, competency exams, practica, internship, and dissertation) an applicant applies to the state board by completing an application.  If the applicant is approved they are granted permission to take the national exam, Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). A state may require that an applicant gather a specific number of post-doctoral hours during a temporary licensure period. In addition, a state may have a state law or competency test. After successful completion of all examinations, an applicant may be awarded a license to practice psychology.

How long does it take to complete practica?

Clinical practica span the course of two years in the program. According to ASPPB guidelines on doctoral practica experiences, it is recommended student complete anywhere from 16-20 hours per week, totaling approximately 750 hours per year. If a student chooses to take an additional practicum year, the hours per week and year may be considerably lower. Students who opt for a 3rd year of practica can obtain 1700 hours or more of practica experience.

What can I do with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychologists assess and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. These range from short-term crises, such as difficulties resulting from adolescent conflicts, to more severe, chronic conditions, such as schizophrenia. Some clinical psychologists treat specific problems exclusively or specific populations. They also consult with physicians on physical problems that have underlying psychological causes. Clinical Psychologists are also involved in research, teaching, training, and consultation.

Is the program regionally accredited?

YES. University of the Cumberlands is accredited to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033 • (404) 679-4500 • Fax: (404) 679-4558). Interested constituents may contact SACS 1) to inquire about the University’s accreditation status, 2) to file a third-party comment as part of its decennial review, or 3) to file a complaint alleging non-compliance with a standard or requirement. Any other inquiries, such as those concerning admissions requirements, financial aid, educational programs, should be addressed directly to the University and not to the Commission’s Office.

What can I do with this degree without getting licensed?

Many Ph.D. holders in Clinical Psychology have a productive career without ever seeking licensure to practice. Potential career options include, but are not limited to administration, teaching, research, and consultation.

What does SACS, regional accreditation mean?

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredits institutions of higher education to award academic degrees. SACS is not discipline specific. American Psychological Association accredits specific doctoral degrees in psychology. SACS meets the regional accreditation standards outlined by many state licensure boards. For more information, please go to:

Do other Universities and states recognize SACS accreditation?

Yes. SACS is a regionally recognized accrediting body for higher education.

Will getting a degree from a non-APA accredited program hinder my career?

This depends on your career objectives and the state(s) you intend to practice. The Ph.D. program at the University of the Cumberlands has been designed to follow APA guidelines in order to seek accreditation. Additionally, the program has been designed to meet educational requirements for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or other states as they apply.  However, a student enrolling in a program that does not currently have APA accreditation should be informed of the process. For more information on licensure as a psychologist and APA accreditation for career options go to:

Specifically, each student interested in getting licensed as a psychologist should go to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards ( to review licensure requirements for the state in which they intend to practice. Students who have questions concerning licensure laws for their state work with the Clinical Director to understand educational and training requirements.

What can I do with a non-APA accredited psychology degree?

Many states, such as Kentucky allow applicants for licensure as a psychologist to apply from a non-APA accredited program. Once licensed in the state they intend to practice, a license holder may practice as a psychologist. Additionally, many individuals who are not licensed teach at Colleges, Universities, and Academic Institutions as well as work in administrative positions.

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