Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program now APA accredited, on contingency

The Rowan University clinical psychology Ph.D. program was awarded American Psychological Association (APA)-accreditation on contingency for the full three years on April 27, 2018. This is the first accredited Ph.D. program in the College of Science & Mathematics. Rowan is one of six schools in New Jersey with a clinical psychology Ph.D. program and the only institution in New Jersey with two medical schools and a clinical psychology Ph.D. program.

On May 30, 2018, the program submitted its first of two accreditation applications, which was the APA accreditation on contingency application. This application entailed a 48-section online self-study document, an APA administrative preliminary review, a two-day APA site visit, and an APA Commission review of the prior areas. This process can take as little as one year or over 16 months. Rowan is one of a few programs to receive its status after just one year. The program submits its second APA accreditation application when it graduates a student from the 2016 cohort. 

This accreditation puts Rowan’s program on par with other programs around the country and recently accepted its fourth cohort, which is seven students. In the fall, the first cohort (2016) enters their final year of training and will be applying for their APA accredited internships. APA accreditation for graduate programs and internships typically ensures higher licensing scores and smoother processes to practice as a licensed clinical psychologist. In 2017, a new policy was instituted by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).  The policy states that only students in APA accredited clinical and school or counseling doctoral programs could apply to APPIC designated APA accredited internships. Rowan’s students are now eligible for these competitive opportunities.

The program began in the fall of 2016 with its inaugural class of five graduate students under the leadership of Dr. Georita M. Frierson, program director and Dr. MaryLou Kerwin, department head. New clinical psychology Ph.D. programs cannot become accredited until they have two student cohorts and the first cohort has gone through its second year of practicum training. The first cohort is now in its third year and the program successfully recruited students into its 2017 and 2018 cohorts, meeting the APA accreditation eligibility requirement.