Students Learn to Treat "the Whole Person" at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has a rich history that dates back to the late nineteenth century when Dr. Andrew Still founded the first school of osteopathic medicine with a philosophy that took a "whole person" approach to medicine. Today there are 34 schools in the country that teach osteopathic medicine, and PCOM is a unique institution in Pennsylvania. By focusing on preventive health care, and by treating the entire person rather than just the symptoms, osteopathic doctors help patients live healthy productive lives.
Students of osteopathic medicine receive extra training in manipulating the musculoskeletal system, giving them a better understanding of how an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another. Just as the parts of the body are connected to one another, PCOM fosters interpersonal connections among members of the student community. All of this is done in a multi-accredited environment conducive to academic achievement.
All of the college's academic programs are rooted in the osteopathic philosophy that innate connections exist among mind, body, and spirit. There is a great sense of community at PCOM, and students find an enthusiastic, accessible faculty where teaching comes first. They also encounter a bright, eager, and diverse student body with a strong dedication to serving others.
PCOM's Psychology Programs are Rooted in a Cognitive Behavioral Theoretical Orientation and the Practitioner-Scholar Model
The mission of the Psychology Department at PCOM is to prepare highly-skilled, compassionate psychologists and master's level psychological specialists to provide empirically-based, active, focused, and collaborative assessments and treatments with sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity, and the underserved. Grounded in the cognitive-behavioral tradition, the graduate programs in psychology are designed to train practitioner-scholars to: offer assessment, intervention, consultation, management, and leadership as local clinical scientists, and engage in scholarly activities, advocacy, and life-long learning in the field of psychology. In addition, the department trains leadership and change practitioners in multiple sectors including the areas of public health, not-for-profit and profit sectors. The PCOM Department of Psychology offers graduate programs at several levels to suit a variety of professional needs and interests.
The Psychology Department at PCOM features experienced faculty who are devoted to fostering the personal and professional growth of their students. Faculty members in the department have been trained and mentored by some of the foremost authorities in cognitive-behavioral therapy, including Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, Joseph Wolpe, Arthur Freeman, and Arnold Lazarus.
Students in the psychology department are trained in the practitioner-scholar model and learn how to apply best practices and empirical approaches in many settings. The combination of the cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation with empirically supported approaches ensures that PCOM psychology students have numerous methods by which to deliver clinical services.
Student progress is the focus of the psychology department, so the curriculum is focused on assuring student competency through extensive outcome assessment tests. The state of the art "smart classrooms" and patient training programs allow the tracking of clinical skills development, ensuring that all students finish the program with the tools necessary for success.
PCOM Offers Numerous Psychology Degrees with a Broad Array of Concentrations and Specialties
Students at PCOM can receive a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in clinical psychology, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association, or in school psychology. PCOM also offers an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree in school psychology, in which graduates meet the requirements for certification as a school psychologist in Pennsylvania and other states and are eligible to apply for National School Psychologist Certification. Students interested in earning a Master of Science degree may major in school psychology, mental health counseling, counseling and clinical health psychology, organizational development and leadership, aging and long term care administration, public health management and administration, or non profit leadership and population health management. PCOM's Master of Science in School Psychology course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
The Ph.D. in Educational Psychology provides advanced training for school psychologists, educators, social workers, and other individuals with master’s degrees who are seeking additional skills and expanded career opportunities.
Those who possess a doctorate in clinical psychology who wish to render ethical comprehensive services in medical settings and to medical patients may work toward Post-Doctoral Certificates in clinical health psychology and in clinical neuropsychology. Students who have completed a master's degree in psychology or a related field may also receive a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies by completing graduate-level psychology, counseling, applied behavior analysis, organizational development and leadership, non profit leadership, or public health management administration courses to meet credentialing requirements or simply to augment their training.
Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field can receive a Certificate of Graduate study in: aging long-term care and administration, applied behavior analysis, organizational development and leadership, non profit leadership and population health management, or public health management administration.
Internships at a Variety of Hospitals, Schools, Mental Health Facilities and Other Treatment Facilities Give PCOM Students Hands-On Experience in Intensive, Supervised Settings
Practica are fieldwork experiences completed by master's level and doctoral students at a PCOM-approved clinical training site. The minimum weekly hour requirements vary from program to program. Practicum sites are committed to excellence in the training of professionals, and provide extensive supervision and formative clinical experiences. They offer a wide range of training, including the use of empirically supported interventions, brief treatment models, cognitive behavioral therapy, and treatment of psychological/medical conditions. Students engage in evaluation, psychological testing (Ed.S. and Psy.D. only), psychotherapy, and professional clinical work. Practica include seminars taught by faculty that provide a place for students to discuss their experiences and help them integrate coursework with on-site training. Students participate in practica at the Psychology Department's Center for Brief Therapy, a multi-faceted clinical training center, as well as sites including community agencies, hospitals, university counseling centers, prisons, schools, and specialized treatment centers. The Department has a broad network of practica sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Clinical Psy.D. students apply for internships through the APPIC matching program.
Students at PCOM Enjoy Philadelphia, from Its Cultural Events to the Various, Thriving Social Scenes
PCOM students know that there is more to life than simply spending their time studying. Most students are involved in a variety of on-campus organizations. PCOM offers a number of student clubs, many of which are actively involved with community service. Students can join a number of national medical organizations, and they frequently provide health services at fairs and by volunteering in the community. Students also join research clubs, professional organizations, and even general-interest groups like the choir.
Athletics are very popular at PCOM, with most of the athletic activities on campus focusing around the Activities Center, which offers a fitness studio, weight room, racquetball courts, NBA-size basketball court, and more. Students can join organized sports teams to compete in everything from rugby to table tennis, from deck hockey, to Ultimate Frisbee. The Activity Center also offers numerous recreational activities and events, giving students a hub on campus where they can get to know other members of the community.
With the school located right in Philadelphia, there are many exciting opportunities available to students at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Whether they take advantage of cultural destinations like galleries and museums, or simply enjoy the shopping and food in Philadelphia's various thriving social scenes, students are rarely far from the best that Philadelphia has to offer. Whether students choose to live in Center City or its nearby suburbs, housing that is either within walking distance of campus or close to public transportation is plentiful.
Degrees & Awards
Entrance Exam GRE or MAT
Comp Exam Required for some
Thesis Required for some
Entrance Exam PRAXIS II (for Psy D in school psychology)
Comp Exam Required
|Master's Degree Exam||GRE or MAT|
|Master's Degree Requirements||Minimum GPA of 3.0; bachelor's degree from regionally-accredited college or university|
|Doctoral Degree Exam||PRAXIS II (for Psy D in school psychology)|
|Doctoral Degree Requirements||Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0|
|TOEFL: Required||TOEFL IBT score: 79|
Tuition & Fees
|Financial award applicants must submit:||FAFSA|
|Application deadlines for financial awards||March 15|
|Types of financial support available||
Scholarship and/or loans
|Black or African American||18.28%|
|White or Caucasian||27%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0.82%|
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||Not Reported|
|Two or more races||4.52%|
|Focus of faculty research:||Adult and childhood anxiety and ADHD; coping with chronic illness; primary care psychology/integrated health care; applied behavior analysis; psychological, educational, and neuropsychological assessment|
|Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:||533,489|