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Clinical Psychology Ph.D.

Major Areas of Study Available to Students

Contact the Director of Clinical Training

Julie Suhr
250 Porter Hall
Department of Psychology
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Program Overview

The doctoral training program in Clinical Psychology trains students intensively in both clinical skills and research. The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1970. Ohio University does not offer the master's degree in clinical psychology as a terminal degree, but only as a step toward the Ph.D. degree.

The program requirements for all students include coursework, clinical practica, independent research, and an internship. Students complete a wide range of courses and practical training experiences consistent with accreditation requirements of the American Psychological Association for the specialty of clinical psychology with an adult focus. While all students complete intensive, broad-based clinical and research training consistent with this specialty, students can also elect to complete coursework and clinical and research training for a major area of study in clinical child psychology. Descriptions of training available in this elective major area of study is available in the links above. In addition, the department offers both clinical and experimental graduate students the opportunity to complete an elective concentration to quantitative methods.

Independent research and collaborative research projects with faculty members are encouraged. A master's thesis and doctoral dissertation are required; each of these projects is to be substantive and based upon empirical data. The vast majority of our students present their research at professional conferences, and many publish articles in professional journals. A faculty with diverse research interests and clinical expertise, an interface with the experimental psychology program, and the availability of many research collaborators enhance research training opportunities. Faculty in the clinical section conduct research in the following areas: clinical child, clinical health, clinical neuropsychology, interpersonal processes, eating disorders, ADHD, emotion regulation, school mental health, substance abuse, and trauma and violence.

Clinical training occurs in the Ohio University Psychology and Social Work Clinic and at various clinical traineeship sites near the university. See Current Clinical Traineeship Sites. In addition, a one-year clinical internship at an APA-approved facility is required prior to graduation. The internship usually is served during the terminal year of the program. See Recent Internship Placements.

The program's administrative policies and procedures are documented in the Clinical Graduate Student Manual for graduate students. For additional information on student selection and admissions, student administrative and financial assistance, minimal levels of acceptable achievement and university deadlines for degree completion, and student due process and grievance policies, see the Ohio University Graduate Catalog.

Although the program can be completed in five years, especially for students who elect to complete one or more of the elective major areas of study and/or seek academic careers, the program may take longer to complete. See Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Ohio University is accredited by the American Psychological Association. For information regarding the accreditation status, contact The Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4242 # (202) 336-5979.

Career & Research Opportunities

Recent graduates of the program work in careers that include varying degrees of research and practice. Employment settings include medical centers, colleges and universities, independent practice, state and county hospitals, medical schools, school districts, university counseling centers, correctional facilities, and business and industry. Graduates are prepared, with additional postdoctoral experience, for the psychology licensing requirements of all states in the United States.

Consumer Information Disclosure

The practice of psychology is regulated at the state level. State licensing authorities, commonly referred to as “State Boards,” determine the specific educational and training requirements for licensure in their state. The U.S. Department of Education requires that all programs that prepare students for possibly attaining a license must disclose if their program is sufficient to meet license requirements in all states. Of note, many states require post-doctoral training/clinical hours as well as examinations completed after the doctoral degree and thus beyond doctoral educational and training requirements. As such, a Ph.D. degree from our program is not sufficient, in and of itself, to meet licensure requirements in most states. However, our disclosure below will indicate whether our program meets the educational licensure requirements in all states.   

If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in the state for which you are seeking licensure or certification to obtain information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning an academic program. Given that state requirements for licensure or certification vary and may change over time it is also strongly recommended that you review licensing or certification requirements as you get closer to seeking licensure or certification. You are encouraged to review the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards’  (ASPPB) online tool, PsyBook (, which summarizes requirements for most states and territories. You are also encouraged to confirm state licensing requirements directly with the state for which you are interested in seeking licensure or certification. 

Based on information provided by ASPPB, we have determined that we currently meet educational requirements in all states and D.C. except California (we do not offer a course in alcoholism/chemical dependency detection and intervention; in addition, students should check carefully on gaining pre-licensure experiences via our practica/externships or on internship to meet minimal contact hours on other special topics required by California) and New Jersey (we do not offer enough credits in personality theory). For states in which our program’s educational offerings do not meet a specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification, students may be required to obtain alternate, different, or more courses, or more experiential or clinical hours required. These findings are accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of Aug. 1, 2021.

Program Mission

Ohio University's program seeks to graduate students who are adept at providing both clinical services and conducting scientific research, as well as integrating science with clinical practice. We seek to prepare students to become competent professionals in health service psychology, within the specialty area of clinical psychology.

Program Learning Objectives

Discipline-Specific Knowledge Base: Educate students about the content issues
that presently define the knowledge base in health service psychology, within the specific specialty area of clinical psychology.

Research and Quantitative Methods in Psychology: Train students in the use of scientific methodology applied to the study of human behavior.

Profession-Wide Competencies: Facilitate the development of foundational and functional competencies associated with clinical practice.

Diversity in Clinical Psychology and Practice: Educate students on the role of Individual and cultural diversity as it relates to both the science and practice of clinical psychology.

Integration of Science and Practice: Promote the integration of science and practice in professional activity, which will continue to develop during the internship year and preparation for licensure.