PCSAS has two pathways to accreditation: (1) one pathway for existing clinical psychology programs interested in seeking PCSAS accreditation, and (2) one pathway for programs that are in the process of being established and interested in seeking PCSAS accreditation. Regardless of the path, interested programs must satisfy the following minimal requirements in order to be judged eligible to apply for PCSAS accreditation:
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to doctoral training programs that grant Ph.D. degrees in psychology with a core focus on the specialty of psychological clinical science. Programs must be housed in departments of psychology (or their equivalent) within accredited, nonprofit, research universities in the U.S. or Canada.
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to programs that subscribe to an empirical epistemology and a scientific model (i.e., an educational and clinical training model in which the advancement of knowledge and its application to problems are driven by research evidence, and in which research and application are integrated and reciprocally informing).
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to Ph.D. programs with a primary mission of providing all students with high-quality, science-centered education and clinical training that arms them with the knowledge and skills required for successful careers as clinical scientists, broadly defined.
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to programs within the intellectual and educational domain of clinical psychology. This may include hybrid varieties, such as health-psychology, clinical-neuroscience, clinical-behavioral genetics, etc. However, to be acceptable the hybrid model must involve the integration of clinical psychology (i.e., a focus on psychological knowledge and methods to research and clinical application relevant to mental and behavioral health problems) with one or more complementary scientific perspectives for the purpose of gaining added leverage on specific target problems. In all cases, clinical psychology must be the core component of the model.
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to programs with the primary goal of producing graduates who are competent and successful at (a) conducting research relevant to the assessment, prevention, treatment, and understanding of health and mental health disorders; and (b) using scientific methods and evidence to design, develop, select, evaluate, implement, deliver, supervise, and disseminate evidence-based clinical assessments, interventions, and prevention strategies.
- PCSAS accreditation is limited to programs that demonstrate a commitment to the integration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice throughout the program.