Our Program Schedule
The Ph.D. program in clinical psychology is designed to enable students to master broad areas of knowledge and skills in psychology and clinical psychology, and to educate and train individuals who will contribute to such knowledge through research. The program consists of a general psychology core curriculum, a clinical psychology core, required research projects, a sequence of required clinical practica, a series of advanced elective courses, coursework and pratica comprising a major area of study, and an APA-accredited internship in clinical psychology.
The program is designed as a five-year intensive program of study, practice, and research. The program offers a flexible Scientist-Practitioner curriculum, that permits the advanced student to craft within limits a curriculum plan that suits their desired trajectory as a professional psychologist.
During the first year students devote most of their time to core courses in foundations of psychology; research design; statistics; clinical science (e.g., psychopathology, assessment, intervention), and professional issues/ethics. Along with didactic classroom work, students are exposed to the research interests and activities of faculty, and attend research groups as well as department conferences. During this first year the student chooses a research mentor and completes the First Year Project research requirement, which eventually becomes the basis for the student’s M.S. Thesis.
In addition to research to complete the master’s degree, the focus of the second year is the required clinical practica sequence. During these formal practica, students spend one day a week obtaining training in a variety of assessment, consultation, and intervention activities with both adults and children under the direct supervision of department faculty. Four 3-month rotations have emphasis in clinical health psychology, clinical neuropsychology, clinical child/pediatric psychology and mental health/primary care. The First Year Project is presented at the Fall Research Symposium, and the resulting Master’s thesis is usually defended during the spring semester in front of a faculty committee. The student is also encouraged to develop interest areas which serve to satisfy the major area of study requirement and electives for the doctoral degree. It is a particularly important year since the student is expected to take a more active role in structuring his/her own learning experiences, and to form a doctoral supervisory committee.
During the third year students continue with coursework, research, intensified development of the major area of study, and with the completion of the required practica. All students continue to conduct ongoing therapy under faculty supervision. Elective practica are taken as well. Opportunities exist for working with patients of various age groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In the third year, the student typically satisfies requirements for doctoral candidacy, including a faculty review, doctoral qualifying examination and successful defense of a dissertation proposal.
During the early part of the fourth year students make application for internship. Application deadlines are from early November to December with a national selection date (APPIC Match Day) in February or March. The student consults with faculty, with the doctoral committee and the Program Director so that the most appropriate applications are made, and students receive significant support in the application process. The dissertation should be completed before leaving for internship. In this year the student rounds out his/her doctoral program through further specialized practica, seminars and research involvement, while making certain that all requirements are met prior to leaving for internship.
This year is the 12-month full-time clinical internship in an APA accredited program. This internship is required of all clinical psychologists and is the capstone of professional training in the doctoral program. The doctoral degree is awarded after successful completion of all program requirements.