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Clinical Psychology - PhD Program

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About Clinical Psychology - PhD

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

I.  Introduction
  • This policy has been established to ensure an acceptable time frame for completion of the academic program and the minimally accepted quality of performance. This policy also ensures that the Student Financial Aid requirements set forth by federal regulations are met.

II.  Scope

  • This policy applies to all Clinical Psychology PhD Students enrolled at Ponce School of Medicine.

III.  General Requirements

A. Time Frame for completion of the Academic Program

  • A Clinical Psychology PhD Student will be allowed a maximum time frame of three years of enrollment beyond the standard required for the completion of the program (five years). Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the purpose of this measure.

    The total years for completion of a degree include those graduate courses accredited on admission to our program.

Program Standard Maximum
Clinical Psychology PhD  5 years 8 years

Definition of a full time:
Students with an academic load of 6credits or more per semester will be considered full time doctoral students. Students registered in doctoral dissertation are also considered full time students.

Definition of half time: Students with an academic load of 3 to 5 credits per semester will be considered half time students.

Definition of less than half time: Students with an academic load of less than 3 credits per semester will be considered less than half time or part-time students.


B. Completion of Program Requirements

1. Course Requirement
Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a total of 83 credits.

2. Performance Requirement
A student must complete each academic year with a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Any student failing to meet this standard of performance will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee.

3. Comprehensive Examination Requirement
A Comprehensive Examination must be taken upon completion of the second academic year. A passing score in the exam is a requirement for candidacy to the Doctoral Degree.

4. Clinical Practice Examination (CPX)
Approval of the Clinical Practice Examination is required upon completion of the last academic year before the Clinical Internship.

5. Dissertation Proposal
Approval of Dissertation Proposal by the dissertation Committee is required before submitting the application for internship.

6. Doctoral Dissertation Requirement
A Doctoral Dissertation with oral defense is required for graduation.

7. Professional Behavior Requirement
The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce School of Medicine, the corresponding accreditation agencies, and the Clinical Practice Manual of the Ph.D. Program.

IV. Grade Requirement
In order to graduate, the student should complete all requirements and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Satisfactory Academic Progress is required for financial aid eligibility and will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

  • A grade of "C" in any of the Clinical Courses (as identified in the program’s catalog) is not allowed. Any “C ” grade in the Clinical Courses must be repeated.

  • No more than two courses can be repeated in the entire program.

  • Repeated courses with "C" grades will remain on record, but the new grade will be used to compute the grade point average.

  • A grade of “F” in any course will result in referral to the Students Promotion Committee and considered for dismissal based on overall academic performance.

  • Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP”(Not Pass) are applicable to dissertation. When the dissertation activity requires more than one semester for its completion, the student receives a notation of “In Progress” (IP) for each semester and until the dissertation is completed.

  • Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP”(Not Passed) are applicable to Practica and Internship. A grade of “NP” requires repetition. In case of a second “NP” grade in the same practicum or internship, the student will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee with a recommendation for dismissal.

  • An “I” (Incomplete) grade will only be allowed under very special circumstances as determined by the professor. The student must remove the “I” (Incomplete) by the following semester.

V. Academic Probation and Financial Aid Eligibility

A student failing to meet the grade requirements will be placed on academic probation for one semester, but will be eligible for financial aid. At the end of the semester, if the student has not regained SAP, he/she loses financial aid for the following semester

If the student is dismissed, but the dismissal decision is reserved by the due process, the student loses financial aid until SAP is reestablished.

VI. Appeal Process for Academic Probation

Students notified that they are to be dismissed from the Ph.D. program, have the right to appeal the case in writing to the President and Dean within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The Appeal or Due Process for Dismissal approved by the Academic Senate presented below must be followed.

The President and Dean will evaluate the appeal and the student's academic record. Rejection of the appeal by the President and Dean is final. If the President / Dean has a reasonable doubt about the student's capacity or academic record, he/she can appoint a three member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence.

The Ad-Hoc Committee will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the case will be heard. The Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit the report.

The President and Dean will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation, and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours. Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. All decisions made by the President and Dean are final.

The same process described above will be followed in cases of unacceptable professional behavior. The corresponding Associate Dean or the Department Chairperson will refer the case to the Promotions Committee. If the recommendation of the Promotion Committee is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above will be activated.

VII. Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. It is the student's responsibility to request reinstatement of financial aid.

VIII. Enforcement

The Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall have primary responsibility for overseeing this policy and will provide all students upon admission to Ponce School of Medicine, a copy of this document.

The President and Dean, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, as well as the Registrar and Financial Aid Director will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policies set forth.


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