Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology program espouses a blend of the clinical-scientist model and the scientist-practitioner model, integrating the full range of research, teaching, and applied skills in training doctoral students. We view research and applied skills as interwoven rather than as two discrete sets of skills. As a result, our graduates acquire the foundation for pursuing a clinical scientist career in an academic or research setting, as well as a scientist-practitioner career in a medical or other training institution, or serving in an administrative role in a service delivery agency.

In this program, students are involved in faculty-led research teams beginning in their first year. This affords them the opportunity to collaborate with team members in developing research questions, designing empirical studies, collecting and analyzing data, writing manuscripts, and presenting scientific papers at national and regional conferences. The Clinical program emphasizes student involvement in collaborative research beyond their thesis research, providing a broad foundation in research methodology prior to formulating their dissertation research. We expect our students to have several scholarly publications and presentations at scientific meetings prior to graduation. To support their development as clinical scientists, students complete courses in research methodology, scientific domains of psychological inquiry, and core clinical courses in psychopathology, assessment, psychosocial interventions, and a diversity-focused course. Furthermore, topics of multiculturalism and diversity, as well as other profession wide competencies are infused throughout the program from coursework to colloquia and research team experiences.

Students begin to acquire clinical skills in assessment and intervention in their second year. All students serve as therapists, serving children, adolescents, and adults from the community (as individuals, couples, or families) under close faculty supervision. Advanced students may specialize in certain types of cases (e.g., eating disorders, chronic pain, substance abuse, attention-deficit disorders, or relationship problems), provide peer supervision, gain exposure to a range of therapeutic approaches (e.g., CBT, DBT, ACT, among others), and may also involve themselves in one of the ongoing specialty training/research programs at the clinic, gaining intensive experience with a particular problem while participating in the design, conduct, and evaluation of a research project. The final year of the program is a clinical internship in which students typically match to a program at a different institution or clinic, where they have a more immersive clinical experience and the opportunity to learn new approaches to clinical work and research.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program