Standard Article

Schools of Professional Psychology

  1. Jean Lau Chin

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0828

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Chin, J. L. 2010. Schools of Professional Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. Adelphi University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Schools of professional psychology have as their primary purpose to educate and train psychologists for clinical practice that is informed by the science of psychology. The professional psychology movement began in the 1970s as a response to the gap in clinical psychology training in which the study of psychology as a science was often disconnected from the practice of psychology. The Vail Conference of 1973 defined this practitioner–scholar focus on professional psychology training. In addition to the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD), the Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD), with its emphasis on practice, had also achieved credibility by this time, making it possible to expand clinical training of psychologists beyond research universities. In addition, Adelphi University had shown that it was possible for such programs to develop in a university setting, and the California School of Professional Psychology had shown that these programs could develop as free-standing entities. Following the Vail Conference, many professional schools either were founded or were in the process of being founded (Peterson, Peterson, Abrams, & Stricker, 1997).


  • clinical training;
  • education;
  • professional schools