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Doctor of Psychology in Applied Psychology

The mission of the program is to train competent doctoral-level practitioner/scholars who have core foundations in interpersonal and scientific skills and mastery of clinical practice and evidence-based interventions, and who can apply their knowledge and skills within a range of settings, including rural and underserved populations.

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Applied Psychology focuses on evidence-based practice, and training supervisors, using a cognitive-behavioral orientation. The Psy.D. is an applied practice degree in the behavioral (or mental) health field. The program follows a practitioner/scholar model of training (also known as the Vail model), promoting application of the foundational knowledge of the science of psychology to clinical practice and the development of interpersonal and scientific skills for use in implementing and evaluating practice.

Upon completion of the internship, graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as psychologists. The program will require two capstone experiences—a dissertation and a pre-doctoral internship. The dissertation serves to document the student’s mastery of scientific skills while the pre-doctoral internship serves to document the student’s ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills in community settings and evaluate practices.

Psychologists trained within this practitioner/scholar model program will be qualified to establish careers in the private and public sectors, including clinics, hospitals, community agencies and schools. They may also teach in colleges and universities and provide supervision to master’s level practitioners.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • Provide training in empirically supported practices for the direct and indirect delivery of behavioral health services in the areas of clinical and school psychology.
  • Meet the demand for doctoral level practitioners in the western region of Kentucky, especially in underserved areas.
  • Support the WKU service region through research, outreach, and collaboration for economic development, as well as service to the profession and building the capacity of inhabitants of the region.
  • Support the mission of the Psychology Department and the university along with the strategic agenda of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Students who complete the program will be able to:

  1. Function as competent behavioral health practitioners, skilled in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based practices, particularly for rural and other under-served populations, in their chosen area of concentration.
  2. Provide ethical, competent, and professional supervision of psychological practice in their communities of practice.
  3. Contribute to the practice and scholarship of psychology consistent with the practitioner/scholar model with the capacity to review the scholarly literature, effectively integrate it with practice considerations, and evaluate outcomes.

Can I maintain my current employment and complete this doctoral program?

This program will use alternative methods of delivery. Classes will be offered in the evening and on weekends. For didactic courses the program will take advantage of existing interactive television and Internet tools to offer modes of instruction that help students continue in their work settings. The faculty are versed in technology tools ranging from software used for assessment scoring to presentation software and will naturally use what is appropriate to the particular course. Practica and internship instruction will take place in many locations, supervisor availability permitting. Greater diversity in settings is an advantage for students in this program. As available and with sufficient security for patient privacy, case supervision may also be conducted using videoconferencing via the Internet or interactive television.


Doctor of Psychology Documents
Psy.D. Handbook For Students

Psy.D. Common Policies and Information

Doctor of Psychology Program Director

Dr. Tim Thornberry
Dr. Tim Thornberry
- Assistant Professor, Director Psy. D



Gary A. Ransdell Hall, Office 3012

1906 College Heights Blvd. #11030,
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030

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 Last Modified 1/21/21