Mercer University is pleased to offer a professional program in psychology which awards the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. The program is offered on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta, Georgia.
The five-year program is designed to produce graduates who are eligible for licensure as practicing clinical psychologists, particularly in interdisciplinary healthcare settings. Mercer PsyD students are led by a distinguished faculty in a stimulating learning environment of integrated didactic courses and a variety of clinical rotations.
Clinical practice provides students with conceptually and empirically based assessment, intervention, and consultation experiences. Students have the opportunity to review the list of program-approved placements and indicate their preferences. The Director of Clinical Training makes assignments, taking student preferences into account. Students are required to meet all clinical obligations, some of which occur on evenings and weekends, and during holidays breaks.
The Mercer PsyD Program offers a variety of outstanding clinical practicum opportunities for our students during the second, third, and fourth years in the program. Students are required to complete three full years of practicum; each practicum placement is for 12 months, beginning in late August for most students. Practicum experiences involve supervised out-of-class training with clinical populations that take place within a variety of healthcare delivery systems throughout the metro-Atlanta area. Practicum training provides an environment for students to apply theoretical knowledge, to practice implementation of techniques based on this knowledge, and to foster professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of a professional psychologist.
The Mercer University PsyD Program has established training partnerships with a variety of academic healthcare centers, hospitals, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, university counseling centers, and independent practices across a variety of specialties. Students are given the opportunity to obtain generalized training to deliver basic and effective assessment and therapeutic intervention skills, as well as, advanced, specialized training in health psychology, neuropsychology, pediatric psychology, and forensic psychology.
During practicum, students are exposed to a wide range of patient populations in need of clinical services which are met through education, psychotherapy, and/or behavioral therapy for health-related issues (ie, treatment adherence, stress, lifestyle change, etc.). Clinical conditions that students gain exposure to include, but are not limited to, cognitive disorders, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, learning disorders, substance use disorders, co-morbid disorders, behavioral addictions (ie, gambling, sex), and paraphilia, among others. In addition, students gain considerable training in conducting psychological evaluations for patients who are referred for many of the above noted conditions and for diagnostic clarity. The Clinical Competency Examination (taken at the end of the third year) evaluates students' understanding of, and skills in assessment and intervention, along with applicable ethical knowledge.
The internship of 2,000 hours is the culmination of clinical training. Students can apply to any APA-approved training site in the country. Intern supervisors provide evaluation of the student. Internships typically are salaried positions and last one calendar year.
Students have the opportunity to be actively involved in research throughout their graduate training. Faculty serve as research mentors and have a wide variety of research interests. Students can be involved in multiple research labs.