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.


This policy applies to all Clinical Psychology (Psy.D) Doctoral Students enrolled at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU).

General Requirements

Time Frame for completion of the Academic Program

A Clinical Psychology Doctoral 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.




Clinical Psychology Doctorate

5 years

8 years

Definition of a full time:  Students with an academic load of 6 credits 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.

Completion of Program Requirements

Course Requirement

Students must complete all courses within the established time frame.  The Program requires a total of 86 credits.

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.

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.

Clinical Practice Examination (CPX)

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

Doctoral Dissertation Requirement

A Doctoral Dissertation with oral defense is required for graduation.

Professional Behavior Requirement

The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University, the corresponding accreditation agencies and the Clinical Practice Manual of the PsyD. Program.

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 Pass) are applicable to Practice 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 or an administrative “F” will replace it.

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.

Appeal Process for Academic Probation

Students who are notified by the Program’s Academic Dean a decision of the Students Promotion Committee that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year or to be dismissed from the program, have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.

The student will appeal in writing to the Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request.  The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision.  After the meeting, the SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Program’s Academic Dean, who will notify the decision to the student. 

If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (SBBS). The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification.  The SBBS’ Dean will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The SBBS’ Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.

If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the appeal will be evaluated. After the meeting, the Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the SBBS’Dean. The 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. The decision made by the Dean of the SBBS is final.

The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The SBBS’ Academic Dean, the SBBS’ or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.

In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the SBBS’s Dean sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affair. Any additional appeal should be submitted to the PHSU President.

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.


The Office of Student Affairs shall have primary responsibility for overseeing this policy and will provide all students upon admission to Ponce Health Sciences University, a copy of this document.

The President, the VP for Academic Affairs and the VP 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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