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Financial Aid for Clinical Psychology

The department provides financial aid to almost all its students for five years. Aid may come in the form of a scholarship that pays tuition or a stipend to help offset living expenses. Most students receive both. Financial aid is awarded on merit and holders of these awards are expected to carry out their responsibilities appropriately. If, in the judgment of the Clinical Section, a student is not meeting their responsibilities or is otherwise not showing merit, financial aid can be suspended temporarily or terminated permanently.

Students who receive a stipend are expected to spend about 15 hours per week in service to the department. First-year and second-year students normally assist a faculty member with classroom work. Third- and fourth-year students normally teach a course or assist faculty members as research associates. Students funded through research grants may work more than 15 hours and may have slightly different stipends than other students, dependent on the grant award.

Offers of financial aid are, of course, contingent on the availability of funds, but funding has been relatively stable for a number of years. The department’s priorities for awarding funding are the first- through fifth-year students; thus students who take an extra year (or more) are unlikely to receive either tuition waiver or a stipend.

GA, TA, and RA Appointments

Students who are awarded a stipend are assigned the responsibilities of a Graduate Associate (GA), Teaching Associate (TA), or Research Associate (RA). GAs are assigned to a faculty member, normally in the Clinical Section, and assist that faculty member 15 hours per week with classroom work, research, or administrative activities. The GA assignment lasts through the week of final examinations. The Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies makes GA assignments, generally a week or two before a new semester begins. Nearly all first-year students are appointed as GAs.

TAs normally teach lower-level undergraduate courses. In the spring semester each year, a two-credit-hour teaching seminar is offered to prepare students to teach the general psychology course. The seminar is a nuts-and-bolts course on how to prepare lectures, how to make up examinations, how to develop rapport with a class, etc. During the first teaching assignment, students are also registered in a teaching practicum, to provide them with further training and support as they being their teaching responsibilities. In the third and/or fourth years, students may teach a course. TAs thus move into their responsibilities in a gradual fashion, and overall students find the teaching experience to be a good one. In the third and fourth years, students likely serve in a clinical traineeship (see Traineeship Appointments) at the same time that they have a GA or TA appointment within the department.

Major Medical Insurance Plan

The university provides a major medical insurance plan that protects students against major medical and surgical expenses. The insurance plan is mandatory for every graduate student who is registered for at least seven credit hours unless the student submits evidence of coverage by a comparable private insurance plan.

The insurance plan covers the period of Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. Students must be registered for at least seven hours during the semester in which the insurance is initiated. Students are covered for the remaining period through Aug. 31 regardless of the number of hours for which they are registered in subsequent semesters. For further information about the insurance plan, students should contact the business office of the Student Health Service in Hudson Health Center.

Certain students are eligible to receive insurance with lower enrollment than seven hours. Students who are on internship, are working solely on a thesis, are working solely on a dissertation, or have a J1 visa are eligible for insurance if they register for one credit hour in two or more consecutive semesters. For further information, students should see the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies.