Components of the Program

New Student Orientation (NSO)

NSO consists of a month-long online introduction to the Fielding doctoral program and expectations for doctoral level scholarship, during the summer before fall term.  Students who complete the introduction successfully advance to the week-long residential orientation to assess your readiness for doctoral study and complete your first courses.

Curriculum Coursework

The academic, research, and clinical courses build the foundations of the program. Coursework is completed through a combination of online, virtual, and in-person activities. To learn more about the curriculum, please browse through our academic catalog.

You may also want to view a model curriculum sequence.

Clinical Practicum

In clinical practicum you apply what you are learning about assessment and psychotherapy to develop competencies needed for evidence-based practice of health-service psychology. Clinical practicum involves intensive training, about 16-hours per week, and formal supervision by one or more licensed doctoral level clinical psychologists. Training sites are usually in your local community and provide training to two or more doctoral students.  Here is a listing of current clinical practicum placements. Our Director of Practicum Training also assists students in locating placements not on the current list. You complete a minimum of 1520 hours of clinical practicum throughout the second and third year of the program.

Clinical Doctoral Internship

The clinical doctoral internship is a full-time, year-long planned, integrated sequence of closely supervised clinical and educational experiences that prepare you to perform responsibly as an entry-level clinical psychologist. The program expects all students to complete an accredited internship and to apply through the Association of Postdoctoral Psychology and Internship Centers (APPIC) Match. Application for the clinical doctoral internship is highly competitive. Students are expected to apply to a large number of geographically diverse sites in order to optimize the chances of matching, and may need to relocate temporarily to complete the internship. You may use the APPIC’s internship search directory tool, or go to to see what may be available in your area.

In-Person Attendance

In addition to the residential portion of the NSO, the Clinical Practicum and the Internship, there are 2 types of in-person residency requirements:

Over the course of the program, you will need to accumulate at least 600-hours of in-person, face-to-face time, including the in-person NSO, National Sessions, and Professional Development Seminars. This amounts to up to 2 National Sessions per year and 5 Professional Development Seminars each year. National Sessions are offered once per term (typically July, November, and January), and Professional Development Seminars are offered once per month in your region, so students have flexibility to choose when to attend as long as they meet the 600-hour minimum. In-person attendance is mandatory with no exceptions, as this is required by the APA.

Research Training and Dissertation

In research practicum you apply knowledge from coursework in quantitative and qualitative methodology. This sequence prepares you to make scholarly contributions to the discipline, culminating in the dissertation research project. As part of Fielding’s mission, we encourage students to select a dissertation topic that interests them and enhances social and ecological justice.