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This is the official web site of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). PCSAS is an independent, non-profit body incorporated in December 2007 to provide rigorous, objective, and empirically based accreditation of Ph.D. programs in psychological clinical science (the terms psychological clinical science and scientific clinical psychology are used interchangeably). PCSAS was created to promote superior science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, to increase the quality and quantity of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and to enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care. 

PCSAS's first year, 2008, was devoted primarily to start-up activities: (a) establishing the essential infrastructure for inviting, accepting, and processing accreditation applications from eligible doctoral programs; (b) establishing positive working relationships with relevant entities; (c) building a solid fiscal foundation for effective and sustained operation; and (d) articulating the distinct mission, goals, principles, policies, procedures, and criteria that define PCSAS accreditation and make it unique.

PCSAS started accepting applications for accreditation on June 1, 2009.  Applications typically are reviewed twice a year.  The first round of reviews was held November 12, 2009.  Subsequent reviews were held May 26, 2010; December 4, 2010; May 25, 2011; December 10, 2011; May 23, 2012; December 15, 2012; May 21, 2013; and May 20, 2014.  To date, PCSAS has accredited 24 programs, with other programs in the process of preparing applications (see Accredited Programs).  The next Review Committee meeting will be held in December 2014. The deadline for submission of completed applications to be reviewed at the December meeting is September 1, 2014.   

PCSAS has been awarded Recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  On May 2-3, 2011, the CHEA Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the eligibility application submitted by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).  The Board determined that PCSAS was eligible to undertake a recognition review.  PCSAS subsequently completed a self-evaluation and provided CHEA with evidence that it meets the CHEA recognition standards.  CHEA requires an observation visit to a decision-making meeting of the accrediting organization to observe decision-making activities as these relate to CHEA eligibility and recognition standards.  A CHEA observer attended the PCSAS Review Committee meeting on December 10, 2011.  In March of 2012, the CHEA Committee on Recognition reviewed PCSAS's self-evaluation and application for recognition, along with the report of the observation visit and any third-party comments.  Two PCSAS representatives appeared before the committee to answer questions.  The committee recommended to the CHEA Board of Directors that a decision on the application be deferred until the committee's next meeting, on June 11-12.  The CHEA Board of Directors accepted the committee's recommendation at its May meeting.  The Committee on Recognition met in June and voted to recommend to the Board that PCSAS be granted recognition status.  This recommendation was forwarded to the Board for final action.  At its meeting on September 24-25, 2012, the CHEA Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the recognition application submitted by PCSAS.  The Board accepted the committee's recommendation and granted recognition to PCSAS.

For more detailed information, please read the PCSAS Purpose, Organization, Policies, and Procedures Manual -- June 2013 (POPP Manual), which can be accessed via the link listed at the top of the "Relevant Publications & Links" page of this website.  We hope you find this web site informative and useful.  Always eager to improve, we invite your  comments and feedback. 

In Memoriam:  On March 18, 2014, Varda Shoham, PhD, passed away.  Varda was a prominent clinical scientist, and one of the founders of PCSAS, hosting the initial planning meeting in Tucson, AZ, and holding the first steering committee meeting at her home.  She was a tireless, positive, energetic, and effective advocate for Clinical Science. She will be missed by the entire Clinical Science Community.  


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Last update: 07/2/2014