Psy.D. Program Academic Course Work

Courses are organized into six major sequences:

  • The Wright InstituteCase Conference/Professional Development Seminar series
    The Case Conference sequence is at the heart of the Wright Institute's Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. In weekly small-group meetings, students integrate theory and practice, considering what it means to think critically and function effectively as professional psychologists. Spanning all nine trimesters of academic residency, the sequence follows a developmental progression that responds to the students' evolving learning needs. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteFoundations Series
    In this group of courses, students explore the fundamental knowledge base of clinical psychology. Principles of general psychology are integrated with important clinical practice issues. Students learn psychopathology and psychodiagnosis in two courses, exploring psychological, sociocultural, and biological perspectives on mental illness. In the first course, they learn diagnostic categories by exploring dysfunction and core conflicts, maladaptive cognitions, and organic disorders. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteAssessment Series
    This series explores the interplay between subjective versus objective ways of learning about client issues. The series complements concurrent coursework, integrating concepts of psychological testing and measurement with their relevance to clinical experience. Students think critically about the possibilities and limitations of information gathering in the clinical setting. They also learn to make informed, critical judgments about the uses, appropriateness, accuracy, and reliability of assessment tools. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteIntervention Series
    The Intervention series begins by exposing students to three major theoretical approaches to psychotherapy: psychodynamic, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral. Students are introduced to the theory and practice of cognitive-behavioral intervention in the first trimester. They explore the therapist's essential tasks and attitude, addressing questions of how to listen, understand, and speak, as well as how to manage the therapeutic relationship. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteSociocultural Issues Series
    The Wright Institute emphasizes educating clinical psychologists to be multiculturally sensitive, and proficient to practice with diverse populations. The Wright Institute approach to learning in this area, like the entire doctoral program, is developmental and integrative. Students use awareness of themselves, and critical thinking to gain an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how culture and personal biases affect the clinical endeavor. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteResearch Methods Series
    The Research Methods and Statistics series provides students with knowledge and experience regarding the role of research methods in professional psychology practice. Students gain a progressively more complex understanding of the relevance of a variety of research methods to professional practice, and the application of these methods to clinical problems. Read more »
  • The Wright InstituteElectives
    Students select at least two elective courses from a range of offerings in their third year. They may pick courses focusing on a particular population, or augment learning in a specific theoretical approach as indicated in the Intervention Series electives. Read more »