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PhD in Psychology Programs in Portland, Oregon

Doctoral courses in psychology prepare graduate students for careers in clinical psychology or research. Several universities in the Portland, OR area offer comprehensive programs in both clinical and non-clinical psychology.

Portland State University

Portland State University offers a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology. This program takes up to three years to complete and focuses on the psychology of daily life, across the intersectional cultures and settings people are a part of or encounter every day. The applied psychology degree is better for students pursuing a clinical career.

Oregon Health & Science University

Oregon Health & Science University offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a postdoctoral residency program for students who successfully obtain their Ph.D. Both programs are housed within an academic medical center, providing students access to practical learning opportunities. The Ph.D. program takes about five years to complete, including three years of classroom instruction, one year earning clinical practicum hours and completing a dissertation and a final year as a clinical intern. The residency program is one year.

Pacific University - Portland

Pacific University - Portland offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. The Ph.D. program features a generalist education across concentrations, while the PsyD program is better for students seeking an education in a specific area of psychology. Both programs feature a focus on cultural sensitivity and take up to three years to complete, depending on the student's chosen concentration.

School Name Programs Offered Tuition
Portland State University *Ph.D. in Psychology

*PhD in Applied Psychology
$11,178 in-state, and $17,010 out-of-state**
Oregon Health & Science University * Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

*Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program
Tuition is covered by the university, and a yearly stipend of $30,480 is provided to all matriculated students in the program.

Postdoctoral residents are paid a negotiated salary; there is no tuition*.
Pacific University - Portland *Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

*PsyD in Clinical Psychology
$31,297 in-state and out-of-state**

Sources: *University websites; **NCES College Navigator

Degree Information for Ph.D.s in Psychology

Ph.D.s in psychology are suitable for students who wish to treat patients in a clinical setting or pursue a career in research or academia. Basic requirements include a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Many graduates with this degree specialize in a specific area of psychology, but coursework for most specialties includes theory and practice, ethics, human development, how to diagnose patients, and research methodology.

Advanced Knowledge/Foundations of Psychology

A course in the foundations of psychology at the doctoral level will include an integrative approach to examining how internal and external factors--such as biology, behavior, socialization, and culture--affect human development from birth to adulthood. Courses may also include topics like abnormal psychology. Students should come away from these courses with an understanding of how to analyze an individual's psychology using a holistic approach.

Ethical and Legal Principles

Courses in ethics and legal principles in psychology would include discussions on how to conduct psychological research and treat patients professionally and within legal parameters. Moral principles, such as the application of cultural and political issues, may also receive heavy focus. These courses are designed to imbue students with a sense of ethical responsibility and knowledge of legal topics surrounding their future profession.

Clinical Assessment and Diagnoses

Courses focused on clinical assessment and diagnoses are often divided into two parts: child and adult assessments. Both courses focus on the psychological functions of the age group being examined, and how to administer psychological tests and analyze them based on the assessment results, along with environmental factors and cognition. Students completing these courses should understand how to accurately assess patients, analyze their findings, and provide a diagnosis.

Psychological Interventions and Psychopharmacology

Classes in psychological interventions and psychopharmacology are heavily related to those focused on clinical assessment and diagnoses. In these courses, students learn how to treat children and adults with psychological diagnoses, both with therapeutic interventions and with medication. Students learn which interventions and practices should be applied to specific situations, and when and how to prescribe medication to support those interventions.

Research Methods and Design

A course focused on research methods and design will discuss methods of planning and completing experiments, analyzing the results, and how to accurately and thoroughly record the process. Issues around the validity of research are also discussed. Students completing this course will understand how to carry experiments from inception to publication of the results.

Ph.D. programs in psychology are designed to help students and professionals reach the highest levels of the industry. Most take around three years to complete and some add on residency experiences.