Location offered: Springfield, Missouri

The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology or PsyD program is designed to educate and train future clinical psychologists. The degree program requires completion of 126 credit hours of classroom and clinical experience, completion of a doctoral project and a pre-doctoral internship experience. Students may choose between a number of core concentrations including Child and Adolescent Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Primary Care Psychology.
Students in the PsyD program who do not enter with a master's degree earn their Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (MACL) en route to the doctorate.

Requirements for the PsyD Program

Before completion and submission of the application, please read the following requirements thoroughly.

  • Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and must have earned an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale. For prior graduate work, the applicant must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • By the time of matriculation, applicants must have earned the equivalent of 18 semester hours in psychology, with a grade of "B” or better in each course. Prerequisite courses for matriculation include Abnormal Psychology, one developmental psychology course, and one biological science course (e.g. Human Physiology, Biology, Human Anatomy, Biological Psychology or Physiological Psychology). A prior course in statistics is highly recommended but not required.
  • For the academic year beginning Fall 2013, applicants must possess a combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score of at least 302 and an Analytic Writing score of at least 4.0. In evaluating candidates for the PsyD emphasis is placed on academic record, professional accomplishments and achievements, publications, and awards.
  • Also of interest are the special strengths, talents, and personal attributes of the candidate, as well as community service, volunteer and extracurricular activities that enhance the diversity or contribute to the enrichment of the clinical psychology community.
  • A candidate’s overall fitness to complete a rigorous program of education and training to become a professional psychologist weighs heavily in the evaluation process. Personal maturity, interpersonal communication skills and self-motivation are a few of the qualitative indicators that are closely examined. A candid assessment of the intellectual abilities, character and special talents of the applicant is derived primarily from qualitative information provided in the personal essay, letters of recommendation and personal interview.
  • Because those accepted into the program will render services to the public, Forest requires a successful personal background check be performed on every applicant. Materials to complete the background check must be received from the Office of Admissions.
The application packet consists of a completed application form and a non-refundable application fee of $50, in addition to the following:
  1. Three Professional Recommendations
    College professors, supervisors, or others who have known the candidate for one year or longer and who have evaluated the candidate's personal, professional, and academic qualifications should be contacted to complete the Professional Recommendation Form. At least three professional recommendations are required.
  2. Personal Essays
    Through the personal essays much is learned about the candidate, including his/her interests, goals, character and if he/she is a good fit for the programs at Forest. Each short essay below should be no more than 3 pages, double spaced in Arial 12 pt. font. Please include any additional information you think the Admission Committee should know to assist in making their decision regarding your application.
    1. How did you become interested in mental health? Excluding the desire to help others or contribute to society, what personal motives underlie your interest in psychology? (This question is about your own motivation and requires a degree of self-disclosure. Please use your resume instead of this essay to describe your credentials and professional experience.)
    2. As a mental health professional, you are likely to study and work with people from many different backgrounds. Please tell us some of the challenges you see in doing this, and what you would contribute in your interactions. How have you worked with people different from you in the past? Are there groups of people with whom you could not work?
    3. Graduate school can be stressful with difficult decisions and compromises to be made. How will you meet the obligations and challenges that can present themselves in graduate school? Give us an example of your perseverance and describe the support systems that will help you through the program.
    4. How are you academically and professionally prepared for a training program that integrates the science and practice of psychology?
  3. Writing Sample
    Please submit a sample of your previous scholarly writing. This sample should be 5 pages and demonstrate APA style. If you have not used APA style in the past, please provide a research-based writing sample with sources cited. Please let us know what "style” guidelines were used in the creation of the paper. (Do not submit more than 5 pages. We wish to see the start of the paper, middle and end with sources appropriately cited.)
  4. Current Resume/Vitae
    List other activities since high school, including military service, that are relevant to professional goals.
  5. Official Transcripts
    Official transcript of all graduate and undergraduate work are required, including part-time and summer sessions, and should be mailed directly from all institutions attended since secondary school. If college credits were earned while in secondary school, an official transcript is required of the college/university from which those credits were received.
    Students making application to the program are required to complete and submit their scores for the Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical sections of the GRE. International applicants, who do not hold a United States undergraduate degree and whose native language is not English, are required to submit their TOEFL scores. Forest's code number for forwarding GRE and TOEFL results is 8525. For information about GRE test dates and requests for scores, write to the Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000. The phone number is (609) 771-7670 ; the web site is

Final Steps in the Admission Process for PsyD Applicants

  • Notification of Interview
    As a final step in the application process, selected candidates are invited to participate in an on-site interview with program faculty during one of the scheduled interview days. The interview process is intended to provide both the candidate and the Admissions Committee an opportunity to learn more about each other. Following the personal interview, the Admissions Committee will conduct the final review of application materials and make a recommendation to the program dean.
  • Notification of Acceptance
    Candidates are selected for admission to the program on the basis of demonstrated intellectual capacity for the study of psychology and evidence of the character and personal integrity expected of a person who serves the public as a clinical psychologist. The Admissions Committee usually notifies candidates of their acceptance status within two weeks following the personal interview process. In accordance with the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology Guidelines for Financial Offers (COGDOP), the Office of Admissions will notify candidates of their acceptance status by April 1, subsequent to the personal interview process. Candidates then have until April 15 to either submit their letter of intent to enroll in the program along with the non-refundable enrollment deposit, or to decline the offer of acceptance. Students are under no obligation to respond to offers prior to April 15.
Acceptance into one of Forest's programs does not guarantee acceptance into another program. Current students wishing to pursue an additional degree or certificate program at Forest must make application for such programs through the Admissions Office.

Applications for admission are available from the Admissions Office and on-line, and should be submitted either in person, by mail, by FAX, or electronically through the Forest web site. Because those accepted into the program will render services to the public, Forest routinely performs a personal background check on all incoming students, following written consent.