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General Requirements for Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

The doctoral program in clinical psychology integrates academic, research, and professional training. The program requires 90 credit hours for those entering with the bachelor’s degree and 56 credit hours for those entering with the master’s degree. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), and program requirements are structured to fulfill the Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Profession-Wide Competency areas specified by the APA accreditation guidelines.

All clinical students complete required coursework and practical training in Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Profession-Wide Competencies, a master’s thesis for those entering with the bachelor’s degree (or those students entering with a master’s degree who did not complete an approved thesis prior to entering the doctoral program), a doctoral comprehensive examination, a dissertation, and an internship.

Competence in Discipline-Specific Knowledge domains and Profession-Wide Competencies is assessed in multiple ways, including: 1) performance in the prescribed courses, 2) completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination, 3) completion of a thesis and dissertation, 4) performance in all practical training settings (courses, practicum and traineeship assignments) (competency evaluations), and 5) successful completion of an internship appropriate to the student’s training. Evaluation tools used in assessment of students are reviewed with students in the Clinical Orientation Seminar (PSY 5700) that is taught by the Director of Clinical Training during their first semester on campus.

All students complete training consistent with the specialization of clinical psychology. There is additional coursework and practical /research training that would allow interested students to complete elective major areas of study in either clinical child psychology or clinical neuropsychology. The Department also offers an elective quantitative concentration. Although not a major area of study, students can also gain exposure to clinical health psychology through a couple of elective courses and traineeship opportunities. Students work closely with the Director of Clinical Training to ensure successful completion of the requirements for the clinical psychology specialization as well as any elective areas of study they wish to complete.

Students who enter with a master’s degree and wish to determine whether their previously completed coursework can be counted as equivalent courses to the course requirements of the doctoral program should submit copies of the course syllabi to the Director of Clinical Training to be reviewed by relevant faculty. If such courses are approved as equivalent to course requirements in the doctoral training program, they will not have to be repeated.  Please note that the only courses eligible for potential waivers are those that are not core clinical requirements (i.e., courses under 5.a-5.d and 6.a-6.b below).  No core clinical requirements can be waived. This includes the required practica in the Training Clinic; even if students entering with a master’s degree have completed prior practical training, they are still required to complete four semesters of practica in the Training Clinic. However, it is possible that they can start traineeship early; see the Director of Clinical Training and Section X.L for details.

All students can also potentially waive the History and Systems requirement, if they completed a History and Systems course at the undergraduate level and received at least a B grade in the course. The course content would be reviewed by the current instructor of History and Systems to determine whether it covers enough of the substantive area to be waived.

Course Requirements

Discipline Specific Knowledge (Category 1 and 2)

  1. History and Systems of Psychology:
    • PSY 7010 History and Systems of Psychology
  2. Affective Aspects of Behavior:
    • (completed as part of additional course requirements)
  3. Biological Aspects of Behavior: (select one of the following)
    • PSY 6220 Physiological Psychology
    • PSY 7210 Neuropsychology
  4. Cognitive Aspects of Behavior:
    • PSY 6310 Cognitive Processes
  5. Developmental Aspects of Behavior:
    • PSY 6410 Developmental Psychology
  6. Social Aspects of Behavior:
    • PSY 6510 Experimental Social Psychology

Advanced Integrative Knowledge in Scientific Psychology (Category 3)

(Achieved through completion of advanced integrative evaluative tasks in PSY 6410 and through successfully completing the comprehensive exam Part 1)

Discipline-Specific Knowledge (Category 4)

  1. Research Methods:
    • PSY 6120 Advanced Research Methods
  2. Quantitative Methods: (Two courses are required.)
    • PSY 6111 Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
    • PSY 6112 Introduction to Linear Regression Analysis
  3. Psychometrics: (completed as part of additional course requirements)

Profession-Wide Competencies

  1. Research
    • PSY 7940 Research (a research prospectus must be approved by students' mentors by the second Monday in April of the first year)
    • PSY 6950 Thesis (complete an empirically-based thesis)
    • PSY 8950 Dissertation (complete an empirically-based dissertation)
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
  • PSY 6750 Issues in Professional Psychology
  • PSY 7920 Practicum
  • PSY 7925 Advanced Practicum
  • PSY 7910 Fieldwork
  1. Individual and Cultural Diversity
    • PSY 6760 Diversity Issues in Research and Clinical Practice
    • PSY 7920 Practicum
    • PSY 7925 Advanced Practicum
    • PSY 7910 Fieldwork
  2. Professional Values and Attitudes: (interwoven through curriculum and observed in 7920, 7925 and 7910)
  3. Communication and Interpersonal Skills: (interwoven through curriculum and observed in 7920, 7925 and 7910)
  4. Assessment and Psychopathology
    • PSY 6710 Clinical Psychopathology
    • PSY 6730 Fundamentals of Clinical Assessment plus: One additional course (PSY 7730 Adult Assessment or PSY 7732 Child and Adolescent Assessment)
    • PSY 7920, 7925  and 7910
  5. Intervention
    • PSY 6740 Fundamentals of Psychotherapy plus: One additional course from the following: PSY 7740 Adult Psychotherapy, PSY 7742 Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, PSY 7750, Interventions in Health Psychology, or advanced seminars in therapy as approved by the Clinical Section)
    • Complete 4 semesters (3 credits per semester) of PSY 7920 Clinical Practicum
    • PSY 7925  and 7910
  6. Supervision/Consultation/Interdisciplinary Skills
    • PSY 8920 Supervision
    • PSY 7925 Advanced practicum
    • PSY 7910 Fieldwork

Additional Requirements

  1. Attendance at Departmental Colloquia:  It is expected that all first and second year students will attend departmental colloquia colloquia when the speaker is external to the department. Our department brings in nationally recognized scholars throughout the year, and unless students are excused by the DCT, it is expected that they will be at all of the presentations. Since the colloquia are typically at 12:55 to 1:50 p.m. on Fridays, students should not schedule other responsibilities during this time. Attendance at colloquia will be included as a point of discussion in students’ annual evaluations. Further, while it is recognized that students in their third year and beyond are away from campus more often than beginning level students, they are also encouraged to regularly attend colloquia.
  2. Second year and above students are also expected to, at least once a year, either 1) author/coauthor a peer reviewed journal article/book chapter, OR 2) present their research at either a local, regional, state, or national conference. This will also be included as a point of discussion in students’ annual evaluations.
  3. PSY 7960 Teaching Seminar is required for all students prior to being assigned a course to teach. During the first semester that students are teaching, they are also assigned to PSY 7926 Teaching Practicum. Students are encouraged to complete 7960 as early as they can in the program.
  4. In the summer between first and second year, students will sign up for Fieldwork (7910) with the Director of Clinical Training and will shadow second-year, third-year, and traineeship students placed in the Training Clinic. They will engage in a series of shadowing activities that will include watching therapy videos, joining student clinicians and their supervisors to discuss the cases they observed, and working with the student clinicians they observed to see how record keeping is done in the clinic. They will also engage in other shadowing opportunities as available in any given summer. The purpose of this 1 credit course is to help them transition into their first practicum placement in the fall semester of their second year.

Traineeship. Students complete at least two traineeships during their time in the program, typically beginning after their first year of practicum in the Training Clinic. These are typically two different placements, each for around 12 months. Students register for 7925 if the traineeship happens to be within our Training Clinic, and for 7910 if the placement is external, which is most of the placements. The process for applying for traineeships can be found in Section X.L of this manual.

Scholarly Discipline Requirement

One of the university-wide requirements for Ph.D. programs is the completion of a scholarly discipline (scholarly tool). Completion of the Discipline-Specific Knowledge areas listed above fulfills the university’s scholarly discipline requirement.