Psy.D. Program Aims and Objectives

The Wright Institute maintains rigorous academic standards consistent with the Clinical (PsyD) Program mission:

To educate and train clinical psychologists to practice at the highest level of professional competence. In the tradition of the Wright Institute's founder, Nevitt Sanford, the Clinical program is committed to educating "clinicians to society" - professionals who serve the public who address community and societal needs, and who function effectively in a diverse society.

To graduate, students are expected to demonstrate strong writing skills and proficiency in performing sophisticated interpretation and skillful reporting of assessments and other clinical documentation (e.g., treatment plans, case conceptualizations, patient histories, etc.) Students also must attain passing scores on multiple-choice, essay, oral, and other exams. The Wright Institute expects students to comport themselves professionally, ethically, and legally. Students in our program must be able to exercise self-awareness and responsibility for making sound judgments. They must respect and strive to advance diversity. They must also demonstrate openness to receiving constructive feedback about areas for improvement. In turn, it is the right of each student to be treated with courtesy and respect.

The Wright Institute's doctoral program in clinical psychology is based on the practitioner-scholar model and the integration of science and practice. The program has three aims and thirteen student learning objectives.


Provide students with a broad and general foundation in the science of clinical psychology.

Objective 1

Students will learn the current body of knowledge in biological, cognitive, affective, social aspects of behavior; the history and systems of psychology, research methods, statistics, psychological measurement, human development and individual differences.

Objective 2

Students will learn to integrate science and practice.

Objective 3

Students will develop skills that facilitate life-long learning, scholarly inquiry, and professional problem-solving as clinical psychologists in the context of an evolving body of scientific and professional knowledge.


Provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for the effective biopsychosocial practice of clinical psychology.

Objective 4

Students will learn the current body of knowledge and methods of application in psychopathology, assessment and diagnosis, professional ethics, consultation, and supervision.

Objective 5

Students will learn major theoretical models of intervention, the planning, application, and effectiveness of interventions, and evaluation of the efficacy of interventions.

Objective 6

Students will demonstrate competent professional behavior and relationship skills.

Objective 7

Students will be proficient in case formulation, planning interventions, and implementing treatment.

Objective 8

Students will demonstrate self-awareness and reflective practice.

Objective 9

Students will be proficient in both written and oral communication.

Objective 10

Students will demonstrate critical thinking.


Provide students with knowledge of cultural and individual diversity, as well as skills and attitudes necessary for culturally competent practice as a clinical psychologist.

Objective 11

Students will learn about individual and group variation and understand how such diversity affects bio-psycho-social processes.

Objective 12

Students will learn to integrate knowledge about multiculturalism throughout their clinical work.

Objective 13

Students will demonstrate self-reflection about issues of diversity and privilege.