Denver Psyd Essay

Our mission is help advance the field of clinical psychology—both by the research we do and the students we train. This mission is reflected in five emphases that make our program unique.

  1. Clinical science—We believe that the practice of clinical psychology requires a stronger scientific/research foundation. We ascribe to a clinical science model, and belong to the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, a coalition of doctoral training programs that share a common goal of producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding and amelioration of human problems.
  2. Clinical child psychology—Children and families have been underserved populations. As clinical scientists, we believe the field needs a stronger knowledge base regarding developmental psychopathology. It also needs to develop and implement more effective assessment and intervention techniques for children and families from diverse backgrounds.

    Accredited by the APA in clinical psychology, our clinical child program is one of the few programs that primarily focuses on providing training in clinical child psychology and one of the very few that approaches clinical child psychology from a clinical science model. Almost all of our clinical faculty, rather than just one or two, have special interests in children and families.
  3. The social system—Children and adolescents are viewed as members of a number of important social systems (e.g., family, school and community). As clinical scientists, we research such systems, and students learn to work with married couples, parents, and the family and community systems relevant to children (e.g., schools). Students also receive training in adult psychopathology and adult psychotherapy, and have opportunities to do clinical work with adult clients.
  4. Developmental cognitive neuroscience—Our program is one of the very few programs in the world that offers graduate training in clinical child neuropsychology. All students in our program receive at least a year of such training.

    Many clinical students are also part of the developmental cognitive neuroscience program in which they receive much more extensive training in clinical child neuropsychology and can pursue careers in this specialty.
  5. An emerging emphasis on diversity, community-based programs and social change—All students are trained to be sensitive to individual differences and cultural diversity in approaching research and clinical issues.

Both research and clinical opportunities exist for working with diverse populations. We are also exploring ways in which our research and clinical work can have a broader impact on different groups of people and social systems.

Degree flexibility

We aspire to have all our faculty, students and graduates help advance the field of clinical child psychology.

Our program, however, is highly flexible and has a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities, providing students opportunities to develop specializations of their choice.

Our graduates work in a diverse array of professional careers, including clinical science research careers in universities, institutes, and medical schools. They also pursue careers in college-level teaching, scientifically based clinical practice, public service and public policy.

We want our graduates to be leaders in whatever career choice they make. If you are interested in becoming a private practitioner, this is not the appropriate training program for you.

Program standards

Regardless of the specific nature of their career, our faculty, students and graduates are expected to meet the following standards:

  • We are current in our knowledge of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of clinical science, research and practice.
  • We can competently conduct and evaluate clinical science research.
  • We are competent in carrying out science-based clinical work.
  • We are able to communicate and disseminate our knowledge to others.
  • We approach our work with knowledge of and sensitivity to developmental issues, individual differences and cultural diversity.
  • We are ethical and professional in our relationships with clients and colleagues.
  • We aspire to help advance the field of clinical psychology.


Admission Procedures

Application Deadline

Fall 2018 Submission Deadlines: 
Early Deadline:  November 4, 2017
Final Deadline:  December 4, 2017 11:59pm (Mountain Time)
 - you can "submit" your online application and upload supplemental documents later.
*The PsyD program only admits for the fall term.

Online Application - choose 2018-2019 cycle

*International applicants should strive to submit application materials by November 4, 2017, as the international student office will need time to evaluate documents.

Application Resources

How to Apply

A completed Psy.D. application includes:

  • Online ApplicationFirst, submit your online application.  You can then upload your supplemental documents to your online application after your application is submitted. 

  • International Students
  • Essay Responses
    • Please respond to both essay prompts and upload to online application.

  • Letters of Recommendation
    • 2 letters required; 3 letters strongly encouraged
    • It is helpful to have 1 letter speak to academic abilities.
    • You will submit referee names and email addresses in the online application. DU will contact referees directly.
    • Please be sure to provide current contact information to avoid any delays in processing your application.

  • Transcripts
    • 1 official copy required from any institution where 2 or more credits were earned (this includes study abroad credits and college credits earned while in High School). 
    • Do not wait for final grades/degrees before sending transcripts; if you are offered admission, you will submit final transcripts then.
    • Mailing Address:
      University of Denver
      Office of Graduate Studies
      Mary Reed Bldg., Room 5
      2199 S. University Blvd.
      Denver, CO 80208-4802

      Electronic Transcripts: The University of Denver accepts electronic transcripts ONLY from these third-party agencies: Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS), Docufide/Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, and Scrip-Safe. Electronic transcripts from the parties listed above can be sent directly to All other transcripts must be mailed to the address above.

  • GRE Scores
    • To have official scores sent to DU, please use School Code 4842, and (if asked) Department Code 2001.
    • General GRE required; GRE psychology subject test optional.
    • GRE must have been taken within 5 years of application date.
    • Applicants should take the General GRE no later than the last testing date in December of the year prior to potential enrollment.
    • To schedule testing, call 1-800-GRE-CALL or visit GRE website.
    • GSPP does not have GRE cut-off scores; we look for baseline scores near the 50th percentile or higher.

  • GPA Requirements
    • Applicants for graduate study at the University of Denver must meet a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 to be considered for admission. For applicants with an earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution, the GPA from the graduate degree may be used to meet the GPA requirement.
    • GSPP looks for an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 and, if applicable, a graduate GPA of at least a 3.0.
    • GSPP reviews each application in its entirety to determine all assets an applicant brings to the program. Please be sure to highlight your strengths if your GRE scores/GPA are lower than our baseline scores.

  • Resume/Curriculum Vita (CV) 
    • Please detail all relevant experiences in your resume/CV. (Having paid or volunteer experience providing services to clients having emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders is an asset.)
    • Upload this document during the online application process. 

  • Prerequisites 
    • This requirement is for applicants without a Bachelor's (major or minor) in psychology, or applicants without an MA/MS in clinical or counseling psychology.
    • The psychology prerequisite can be met through coursework or by obtaining a score of at least 660 on the psychology subject GRE exam. 
    • For applicants WITHOUT a psychology background, you are required to complete four (4) psychology courses from a regionally accredited institution, earning a 'B' or better in these classes. Applicants offered admission should be aware that all psychology classes must be completed before registration in September.  Applicants should detail how they plan to meet this prerequisite somewhere in their application.
    • We recommend the following foundation courses: 
      • abnormal psychology
      • child psychology
      • experimental psychology (requires the student to complete the content portion of an experimental psychology class [e.g., learning, perception, cognition, motivation, physiology, and to perform one or more direct experiments using the scientific method applied to some empirical question. This second requirement is often met by taking an experimental lab associated with the course.)
      • personality theory
      • statistics

    • Required of all graduate applicant, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language: 550 pBT; 80 iBT; or 6.0 IELTS

  • Re-Applying for Admission

Review of Applications

In reviewing applications, we are concerned with the quality of the whole application, evidence of academic ability, quality of work done in the human service role, how referees view the applicants potential to become a professional psychologist, and how the applicant presents him or herself in answering questions on the Supplemental Application. Our aim is to enroll people who have an appreciation of psychology as a scientifically based discipline and sufficient emotional and social maturity to function effectively in applied professional work. Even though we do not require an undergraduate major in psychology, we expect applicants to have knowledge of and curiosity about psychological theory and issues.

Because clinical work starts in the first year, the in-person interview is particularly important. Based on both written and interview materials, the full faculty meets to select candidates. For the past five years, GSPP has made an average of 77 admission offers and welcomed an average class size of 38. Students are notified of admission decisions by April 1 of the admission year.

Please contact the Admissions Office with questions by email or phone: 303-871-2908

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