Guidelines for Student Petitions

Our pluralistic program encourages and promotes individualization.  Because of that, there are many circumstances under which students might wish to petition the clinical faculty—for example, to allow course credit for work completed in a previous graduate program, or to request permission to meet a program requirement in a non-typical way.  The following provides some guidelines on submitting petitions to the clinical faculty:

  1. Petitions should be submitted in writing.
  2. Given that the clinical program committee does not meet during summer months, petitions should be submitted during the academic year.
  3. After discussing the request with their advisors and enlisting their support, students should submit to their advisors a written explanation and rationale, including back-up documentation if needed (e.g., syllabi for courses completed at another university).
  4. Advisors will write up a summary and statement of their endorsement of the petition, which will be distributed to the members of the clinical program in a faculty-only meeting.  Back-up documentation will be made available for faculty members’ review at that meeting but individual copies need not be distributed.
  5. After discussion, faculty members will vote on the petition and the DCT will inform students in writing as to the results of the vote, with copies of this letter to be distributed to the student, the advisor, and the student’s academic file.

A Note for Students Entering with Master’s Degrees:  One of the most common reasons for petitions involves students entering our program with Master’s degrees who want to request credit for courses taken elsewhere.  The Miami UniversityGraduate Student Handbook  provides guidelines about this that you are encouraged to consult.  Generally, students can expect to receive credit for no more than one year’s worth of prior coursework and only for courses that are equivalent to our own, as determined by an appropriate instructor’s review of the syllabus.  Further, because clinical training is so integral to the program, students can expect to be required to take a minimum of two clinical practica here at Miami regardless of the amount of previous clinical work they might have completed elsewhere.

A Further Note of Caution:  Even if faculty in our program are willing to approve a student’s petition to gain credit for program requirements in a non-standard way, do be aware that state licensing boards may be quite rigid about demanding that your APA requirements be fulfilled in the manner that appears explicitly on your transcript.  Some will allow you to submit explanatory documents and proofs that show how you have met those requirements in an alternative format, especially if they are backed up by a letter from the DCT.  However, some of our graduates have had the experience of being told, for instance, that a 3-credit graduate course in multiculturalism or affective and social bases of behavior is the only way to fulfill that requirement in the eyes of the state’s licensing board.  So do consider the relative benefits of taking courses that fulfill APA requirements here while you are in the graduate program—even if you feel you have done the equivalent through other means—versus scrambling to find a way to do so when you are already in another state ready to start your first job post-internship.

Student Petition

DATE:             April 22, 2010

TO:                  Margaret O’Dougherty Wright, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Training, Clinical Faculty

FROM:             Student:   _____________

Advisor:  _____________

Due to overlap with previous graduate courses previously taken at ______ University, I would like to petition to receive credit for the following Miami University courses.  [Please note: unlike Miami, which assigns one credit for each hour spent weekly in class, Blustery classes (which generally met for eleven three-hour sessions, see descriptions below) are uniformly assigned one credit hour.  In other words, one BU credit = 3 MU credits in terms of class time and course requirements.]

Previously Taken Course Title Dates Grade Course Credits Requested
Intimate Relations (example) 1/06-3/06 A Advanced Seminar in Clinical Psychology (PSY 740) (3 credits)

Course Description

Course consisted of 11 three-hour classes focused on couples therapy as well as three one-hour discussions exploring the clinical implications of the course material in greater depth.

Topics discussed for a minimum of one 3 hr class included: the couple as a system; therapeutic relationships in couples therapy; working with pre-marital couples; the relational lives of gay men & lesbians; infidelity; mental disorders and couples; gender issues in couples and family therapy; working with conflictual couples; working through a separation; and helping a couple divorce.  Grade was based on papers that explored active couples cases in considerable theoretical detail, including case conceptualization, treatment plan, and the rationale for the pursued course of treatment and interventions.

Previously Taken Course Title Dates Grade Course Credits Requested
Methods of Systems Therapy 1/05-3/05 A 1 Intervention (PSY 645) (1 credit)