Immaculata University received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Higher Education in 1991 to offer the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology. Classes have entered annually since 1991.
At the time of the original program design in 1989, changes in the Pennsylvania Psychology Licensing Law had already begun a phasing out of master's-level clinicians from psychology licensure opportunities. As such, there was a well-defined need for a doctoral program that addressed the interests of master's level clinicians who would be ineligible for a psychology license beginning in 1995 without a doctorate.
Beyond that consideration, there was a calling for a doctoral program that was attentive to the educational objectives of students who aspired toward a doctorate, but whose lifestyles did not permit regular full-time study in a traditional day program. The Psy.D. program at Immaculata University was developed to provide a traditional and rigorous academic curriculum for students who had a master's degree in either psychology or a related field, but who could not attend classes in the day, and who aspired to present themselves to the public as a psychologist.