Focused on graduating socially
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is a Psy.D. different from a Ph.D.?
The Psy.D. (Doctorate of Psychology) is comparable to a Ph.D. in that both can lead to eligibility to be registered or licensed as a Psychologist. Traditional Ph.D. programs are based on the scientist-practitioner model and put equal emphasis on training as a scientific researcher and as a clinician. In contrast, the Psy.D. is based on the scholar-practitioner or local clinical scientist-practitioner model where the primary goal is to prepare Practitioners of Clinical Psychology. The Psy.D. places proportionally greater emphasis on training as a clinician and as a consumer of scientific research in order to apply that knowledge to clinical practice.
- What is clinical psychology?
Clinical psychology is a domain of professional psychology that focuses on the assessment and treatment of human functioning and impairments in human emotional and behavioral functioning. In comparison with counselling psychology, clinical psychology places a greater emphasis on assessment, diagnosis, and treatments that have been empirically supported for given diagnoses.
- Can I be registered as a Psychologist in Canada after graduating?
The Psy.D. program at Adler University’s Vancouver campus is specifically designed to meet the requirements of Colleges or Boards of Psychologists in most jurisdictions in North America. For example, view the registration requirements for the University's Vancouver campus registration/licensing jurisdiction.
Psy.D. graduates of the Adler University’s parallel Chicago-based Psy.D. program have become registered in Canada as Psychologists, including in British Columbia. Applicants hoping to register with other jurisdictions should consult the registration criteria for their local Colleges. Registration/licensing bodies evaluate applications on a case by case basis and it is important for prospective graduates to familiarize themselves with licensing requirements in the province or state in which they expect to practice to ensure their training experiences meet all necessary requirements.
- Is Adler University’s Vancouver-based PsyD program CPA-accredited?
Not at this time. The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has taken the approach of excluding independent universities in their eligibility criteria which mandates that only “provincially or territorially chartered institutions” (p.28) are able to apply for accreditation.
However, a lack of CPA accreditation does not affect the opportunity for students of Adler’s Psy.D. program to graduate and to pursue licensure. CPA has stated that accreditation status does not impact a programs’ ability to graduate students, nor does it impact students’ ability to gain registration/licensure. Graduation from an accredited program is not a requirement for registration/licensure in any Canadian jurisdiction.
The primary advantage for graduates from CPA accredited programs is that their programs more quickly meet registration/licensure requirements by the licensing bodies. Graduates from non-accredited programs, such as Adler’s Psy.D., have the same opportunity to apply for registration and their applications may be reviewed by Colleges’ Registration Committees to ensure that they satisfy the registration requirements. As previously noted, Adler’s Psy.D. program has been specifically designed and developed to meet the registration requirements of Colleges or Boards of Psychologists in most North American jurisdictions.
- Can the Adler Vancouver Psy.D. program apply for APA Accreditation?
No, the program is not eligible to apply for American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation because we are a Canadian program.
- How big are the classes?
Each of our students enters with a cohort of a maximum of 14 other students. The program is “lock-step” in that typically students will take courses only with other students from the cohort with whom they enter.
- When is the application deadline, how do I apply, and what are the application requirements?
For the most current admissions information, please refer to our admissions page.
- What does the Admissions committee consider when they are accepting students?
Our students are a diverse group and we define diversity broadly to include persons from visible (e.g., race/ethnicity) and non-visible minority groups (e.g., sexual orientation, geographical location); our first three cohorts are from across Canada and we have been fortunate in attracting the successful applications of several international students. Other important aspects of the application review are the more traditional academic requirements such as GPA, GRE scores, reference letters that can attest to an applicant’s ability to excel in a doctoral program, and a statement of intent from the applicant (for a listing of all of the requirements for application to the PsyD program, please review the Program Overview.
A final important component of a successful application is an applicant’s interest in and understanding of the concepts of social justice and social responsibility which takes shape in many different ways.
- Do I need research and/or clinical experience in order to apply for the Psy.D. program?
The Admissions committee considers a range of experiences in an applicant’s background. Beyond the requirements detailed above and on the Adler website, we look for well-rounded applicants who will bring diverse experience and backgrounds to the program. Research experience is not required but could be of value to you as an applicant. This is also the case for clinical experience. There is no one type of clinical experience that is most sought after. We believe that having some involvement in clinical work or volunteer work in community and mental health settings will provide the applicant with some context for the work ahead of them in the doctoral program.
- Do I need to find a supervisor before applying to the program?
Applicants do not need to find a faculty supervisor in order to apply to the program. The Psy.D. degree is based on a scholar-practitioner model. We are the first of our kind on the West Coast of Canada and because it is a new model to Canada, it is our responsibility to make sure that students know what makes our program different from more traditional Ph.D. programs (scientist-practitioner model). One of the main differences is the emphasis on research that is found in the traditional Ph.D. program. Students in Ph.D. programs usually seek a supervisor with whom they want to do research prior to applying. With a practice-based program (where the emphasis is on training clinicians), being able to understand and utilize research is more of the goal. With that goal, you will need to do a doctoral dissertation but this will likely be an applied project and students typically choose a supervisor once they are already in the program.
- Can I obtain credit if I already have a Master’s degree in Psychology?
Students who enter the Psy.D. program with a Master’s degree which was completed within the last 5 years are eligible to transfer up to a maximum of 24 credits of graduate coursework to apply toward the Psy.D. degree, excluding practicum. Students must have received a grade of B or higher in these courses and must demonstrate course equivalency with the corresponding Adler course requirements in order to receive transfer credit. The Transfer Credit committee must take into account many factors when considering applications for transfer credit. Because it is a time-consuming process to evaluate transfer credit applications, applications are not permitted until a student has been accepted to the program. Please contact Admissions to obtain more information.
- How long does the Psy.D. program take to complete?
The Psy.D. program at the Vancouver campus is designed to be completed in five years, including four years of course-work and a one year pre-doctoral internship. Students entering the program with a Master’s degree can anticipate having a lighter course-load in their first year, but may not be able to reduce the number of years to completion due to the cohort-based lockstep sequence.
- How does the course scheduling work? For example, are classes held during the day, each day of the week?
Courses for the Psy.D. have been planned to occur primarily during the day and early evening with additional demands on students’ time during the week, such as working on group assignments and practicing skills. Social Justice and Clinical Practica also occur during the week. The expectation is that students are enrolled full-time in the program and will not be employed more than part-time hours outside of school (less than 20 hours/week).
- How successful have students at Adler University been in gaining good clinical practicum experiences in the community?
Support is provided in locating and securing a practicum placement, though the process can be competitive. The Training Department is well-connected to the mental health community in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. The Department is headed by our Director of Clinical Training and Community Service who is a Registered Psychologist. One of our PsyD Core Faculty serves as Training Coordinator; she is also a Registered Psychologist. Each year of the program, 100% of our students were matched into community-based practica (both clinical and social justice practicums).
- Can any of the practicum be paid?
Yes, Adler University permits practica to be paid opportunities as long as the positions retain the emphasis on fostering good training (as opposed to fulfilling job responsibilities). However, most clinical practicum opportunities developed by Adler are not paid. The 1-year long internship, that is a final requirement of doctoral training in clinical psychology, is often paid.
- What would the payment range for the pre-doctoral internship?
The predoctoral internship is completed in the fifth year of studies as a degree requirement. Many pre-doctoral internships are paid and generally range between $18,000 and $40,000.
- The Psy.D. program is a member of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). What does this mean?
Students may apply for internship programs that are members of CAPIC (California Psychology Internship Council). CAPIC internships meet doctoral internship criteria set by the California Psychology Internship Council, a California-based organization of training agencies and doctoral programs. Note that students must choose internships that satisfy the predoctoral internship requirements of the PsyD program; students will also receive support from the Training Department in considering the requirements of the registration or licensing body to whom they plan to apply. Information on available CAPIC internships, as well as CAPIC application and matching processes can be found online. Our listing is on Page 4.
- How much does the Adler University Vancouver Campus Psy.D. program cost?
Students should refer to our Financial Aid webpage for the most up to date figure on tuition. Please note that tuition and fees may go up slightly each year, usually for the Fall term (likely between 2% and 5% per year). There is an initial $500 deposit (non-refundable) that is required 15 days after your acceptance. This is applied to your tuition when you register.
- What are some of the ways that I can fund my education at the Adler University in Vancouver?
Canadian students are eligible to apply for students loans through the Canadian government and through their individual province (U.S. students can complete a FAFSA for student loans through the U.S. government). In addition, the Canadian government offers eligibility to utilize the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP). This plan allows you to withdraw amounts from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education. Under the plan you may withdraw up to $20,000 towards funding your education.Our students are also eligible for a Professional Line of Credit through Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). They also can apply for funding of their research through Canadian Research funding programs such as CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research).
- Can you teach or do research while you are completing the program?
Yes, we anticipate that there will be opportunities to serve as a Teaching Assistant; students will also be able to participate in research opportunities that will emerge as the program develops. As well, there is a requirement for the student to do their own independent research project (the Doctoral Dissertation) to fulfil the requirements of their Psy.D.
- Likelihood of graduates finding employment after the program?
Service Canada projects continued strong employment growth for psychologists. Employment and Social Development Canada reports positive employment prospects for psychologists through at least 2020. In the United States, employment of psychologists is expected to grow between 12 and 22 percent through 2022. We believe that graduates will be entering a market that is needing their services and will value the practice-oriented and social justice-infused training that students will receive here at Adler University.
- Do I only learn about Adlerian Psychology?
While students of Adler University's Psy.D. program will benefit from its unique coverage of Adlerian assessment and intervention, their training is best characterized as “generalist” as they will receive training and supervision in a broad range of contemporary and evidence-based clinical orientations and modalities, including cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic, and humanistic/existential interventions.
- Who was Alfred Adler?
Alfred Adler was one of the founders of depth psychology, along with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Adler was truly ahead of his time and many of his ideas and discoveries, including birth order, organ jargon, the inferiority complex and social interest, have had a profound impact on postmodern professional psychology. Alfred Adler is sometimes viewed as the father of community psychology, due to his emphasis on the role of social context in individual health. With the current rise of the social justice movement in psychology and the recognition that social determinants impact individual health and well-being, the field is just now catching up with what Alfred Adler was talking about in the early 20th century. Today, Adler University prides itself in graduating socially responsible practitioners who are capable of both treating individuals and advocating for social changes that lead to a healthier society.
- What kind of work will I be doing as a graduate of the Psy.D. program?
Psy.D. graduates (once Registered or Licensed) may be employed in a variety of settings as Registered or Licensed Psychologists. They will be thoroughly trained as clinicians to provide assessment and evidence-based clinical treatment for a range of mental health issues. The program will also prepare graduates to become leaders and managers in the field of mental and behavioral health. Settings in which Psy.D. graduates might typically work include:
• Private and group practices
• Independent consulting and contracting
• Mental health and substance abuse centres
• Health Care Authorities
• Not-for-profit, government-contracted programs and agencies
• Government-based programs and agencies (e.g., The Ministry of Children and Family Development)
• Forensic Psychiatric Institutions
• EAP and EAFP agencies
• Military-contracted agencies
- What is the average income of a Psychologist?
Salaries for Psychologists range quite widely and are dependent upon the setting, region, and type of work. In British Columbia, the British Columbia Psychological Association’ approved rate for private practice is $200/hour (some psychologists charge more than that and others, far less). Please view the following publication (p. 4) for a comparison of recommended rates in other provinces. General information related to salary ranges in the United States and Canada can also be accessed online.
- Who can I contact with specific questions I have about the program?
Cindy Weisbart, Psy.D., RPsych (CPBC #1899)
Program Director/Core Faculty
Michael Mandrusiak, Psy.D., RPsych (CPBC #1803)
Director of Training & Community Engagement/Core Faculty