APA/CPA-approval is sufficient to ensure that the doctoral program is acceptable. A difficulty may occur in the rare instance when the doctoral transcript seems to indicate that the scientific foundation coursework was not taken or if the transcript shows substantially less than three years of full-time graduate study. In either instance, such an applicant or the institution would be asked to provide further documentation.
All transcripts from doctoral programs including APA accredited, CPA accredited, and ASPPB/NR Designated programs are reviewed to ensure that the following core scientific foundations in psychology have been included in the program completed. If the Committee cannot identify these foundational areas after reviewing the doctoral transcript(s), then additional information will be requested from the program director or from the applicant. If instead of a course, an applicant took a separate examination in one of the areas and that competency exam is reflected on the transcript (e.g., psychometric theory, cognitive-affective basis of behavior) that can be acceptable. General comprehensive exams and audited courses do not substitute however for these foundational areas.
- scientific and professional ethics and standards;
- research design and methodology;
- psychometric theory;
- biological bases of behavior (e.g., physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, and psychopharmacology);
- cognitive-affective bases of behavior (e.g., learning, thinking, motivation, and emotion);
- social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology, group processes, organizational and systems theory); and
- individual differences (e.g., personality theory, human development, and abnormal psychology).