June 24, 2024

SMITHFIELD, RI: Bryant University is introducing a Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) degree, marking the University’s first doctoral program. Applications for the new Psy.D. program open on September 5, 2024, for the first cohort beginning in Fall of 2025. 

The new doctoral program is part of Bryant University’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences’ commitment to improving healthcare delivery and outcomes, particularly to underserved populations, in Rhode Island, New England, and across the United States.   

“We are in the midst of a severe behavioral health crisis, with access to care being a major issue,” says Joseph Trunzo, Ph.D., Associate Director of Bryant’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences and clinical psychologist. “The School of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Bryant University is proud to launch this program, training clinicians of the highest quality to help serve the public and alleviate suffering across all populations and settings.” 

“Bryant University’s new Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree demonstrates our growing leadership in the healthcare space,” says Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Our strong doctoral program will increase access to mental healthcare for Rhode Islanders by bringing qualified clinicians into the communities where they are most needed.”  

“Bryant University listens and responds to the needs of our community with high quality, high impact programs,” says Bryant University Provost Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D. “There is an urgent need for qualified clinicians in the mental health field and this new Psy.D. program is key to bolstering the number of clinical psychologists in Rhode Island and across the U.S.”  

More qualified mental health clinicians needed locally and nationally 

The COVID pandemic accelerated a growing mental health crisis across the U.S. There is a growing shortage of qualified, licensed clinical practitioners nationwide and, more specifically, in Rhode Island.  

National Alliance of Mental Illness reports 178,000 adults in RI have a diagnosed mental health condition and 41.5% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Along with this growing need across the state, there is a mental healthcare desert in Washington and Newport counties, leaving one quarter of a million people without access to care in their own communities. Rising costs are also a factor, with one third of Rhode Islanders who need mental health care unable to access treatment due to cost. 

Preparing for clinical careers 

The new Psy.D. degree is built upon the impressive undergraduate psychology program growing at Bryant University’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, which also offers graduate programs in Physician Assistant Studies and Healthcare Informatics. Psy.D. students will learn from acclaimed faculty who are leaders in the field and gain valuable experience through a wide range of clinical placements.    

Bryant’s Psy.D. curriculum adheres to the scholar-practitioner model of training, which emphasizes clinical practice backed by scientific research. Psy.D. students will receive a well-rounded education in psychological science and the practice of clinical psychology. Bryant is a leading university in experiential education and Psy.D. students can expect critical hands-on experience treating patients in clinical settings through practicum placements and a doctoral internship.  

Psy.D. students can opt to specialize in one of two concentrations: Child and Adolescent Psychology and Health Psychology. Both concentrations have a shortage of qualified specialists to provide care to these growing populations. 

What will students gain in this program? 

In addition to the crucial clinical focus, a Doctoral Research Project is a core part of Bryant’s Psy.D. curriculum. This research will add to the robust work published and presented by the professors in the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences. 

The Psy.D. will also provide exceptional opportunities for Bryant’s undergraduate psychology majors to engage and interact with graduate students doing advanced clinical training and research.  

Accreditation 

Bryant University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is subject to approval from NECHE.  

The American Psychological Association does not allow for application for accreditation until the program has matriculated its second cohort, and it is a multiyear process. The curriculum and the educational experience have been designed and built according to APA accreditation standards. As such, APA accreditation will be pursued at the earliest possible time.    

For more information on Bryant’s new Doctor of Clinical Psychology program, visit Bryant.edu/Psyd 

About Bryant University  

For over 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education with top 1% outcomes that anticipate the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The university delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, liberal arts, and health and behavioral sciences.   

Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron’s. Bryant.edu 

The Vision 2030 strategic plan sets an exciting trajectory for Bryant University. Priorities include an ecosystem of academic excellence, vibrant student life, community and belonging, and championing access and economic mobility. Vision2030.Bryant.edu 

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