The purpose of the masters externship in clinical psychology is for the student to further develop clinical skills in a supervised setting. The externship allows students to gain practical experience in a mental health setting within the community. The emphasis is to provide opportunities for students to practice the skills and techniques acquired in their classes under the supervision of an experienced mental health worker or clinician. The Externships in Clinical Psychology (PY702 and PY703) involve training and experience in clinical skills, including psychological assessment. The student is required to translate classroom and book learned material and skills to a practical setting, thereby gaining additional competencies, confidence, and experience.
The format for each graduate student's externship results from an individualized assessment of his/her career and educational goals. As a result of this individualization, each externship may vary in scope and experience based on the student's needs. Externships are arranged through collaboration between the student, the director of masters field education, and the site supervisor. Two clinical externships are required for the M.S. clinical degree, practitioner track. M.S. practitioner track students may complete a third externship as an elective toward their degree requirements. For more information on the program, please contact:
Katie J. Loomis, Psy.D.
Interim Director, Masters Field Education
Assistant, Field Educaton
Off-Campus Externship Component
The off-campus externship requires a minimum of 150 hours (this translates to approximately 10-12 hours per week) at the supervision site. Since each agency and student contract has different schedules, it is strongly suggested that students plan out their schedules in order that they can complete their 150 hours on time even in the case of extenuating factors (e.g., school closings due to inclement weather, etc). Students who are completing a clinical externship are required to be involved in psychological testing functions (including test administration and observation, scoring and report writing) for at least one-half of their externship hours, or a minimum of 75 hours for each externship. It is expected that at least half of these hours (32.5 hours) are spent in testing activities and will involve direct test administrations, or observation of test administration, with clients at the site. All 150 hours must be completed by the end of the semester. The Loyola Liability Insurance is provided only during the semester in which you are registered for the externship experience. Hours cannot "carry over" to the next semester. Clinical Externship I (PY702) and Clinical Externship II (PY703) are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Note: Students can also create their own clinical externship opportunity. The director of masters field education must make a site visit and approve the externship supervision before students can begin. Therefore, contact the director at least two months prior to the start of the new semester to obtain approval.
On-Campus Externship Component
All clinical students are required to participate in an on-campus supervision group led by third-year Psy.D. students. The group (class) meets on six evenings during the semester. These meetings are mandatory and part of the externship learning experience. Students are required to attend every scheduled supervision group meeting until the externship is completed. In addition to the six externship meetings, there is required reading textbook assignments and paperwork due at specific times during the semester. The director of masters field education will review all on-campus requirements on the first scheduled externship meeting of the semester.
See a sample clinical externship syllabus.
Clinical students must complete 18 credits and the following prerequisite courses within their program prior to the externship:
- PY601: Psychodiagnostics I
- PY602: Psychodiagnostics II
- PY720: Practicum in Testing
See the externship checklist.