Core required courses include study in the broad discipline of psychology, research and design, statistics, and courses in core clinical psychology including psychopathology, assessment and intervention. Selection of a certain number of elective courses is also required to satisfy breadth requirements (e.g., child and family therapy, pediatric psychology, health psychology/behavioral medicine, neuropsychological assessment, advanced psychotherapy, among others).
Research training is initially provided via a project that must be completed and presented by the middle of the fourth semester of matriculation. During the first semester, the student aligns with research mentor from among the core program faculty and develops a project that can be substantially completed within the year. This is then developed into a master’s thesis which is defended before a department committee in the Spring semester of the 2nd year. The student is required to continue to engage in research throughout the program. The doctoral supervisory committee is constituted no later than the end of the second year.
Core clinical practica are conducted under the supervision of program faculty. During core practica, students receive supervised assessment, consultation and intervention training with both children and adults having a wide variety of concerns ranging from problems of significant psychopathology to marital and family problems, and problems in coping with medical illnesses. After completion of the core practica, students are required to continue to obtain supervised intervention training throughout their tenure in the program, and may elect a number of available advanced practicum placements.
Admission to doctoral candidacy requires the approval of the student’s supervisory committee, the department chair, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Approval must be based on the (1) academic record of the student, (2) the supervisory committee opinion of the student’s overall potential for doctoral work, (3) an approved dissertation topic, and, (4) completion of the written and oral portions of the qualifying exam. The qualifying examination is conducted by the student’s doctoral supervisory committee.
The dissertation is an independent and original research project which is conducted by the student with the approval and ongoing consultation of the doctoral committee. The dissertation must make an original contribution to existing psychological knowledge. The student formulates a question and a method for studying the question in collaboration with the committee. A formal proposal is then submitted to the committee along with appropriate IRB clearances. After approval, the study is conducted, the data are analyzed, and the student submits a formal written dissertation to the committee and to the Graduate School for editing. The dissertation is then defended before the committee and other interested persons. The approved dissertation is then submitted to the Graduate School for acceptance prior to the deadline for graduation. The Department strongly encourages students to submit their dissertation research for publication.
A final program requirement is the satisfactory completion of an APA-accredited internship in clinical psychology. The Department continually updates information on available internship training centers from the sites themselves and from information furnished by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Students consult this information and discuss their internship choices with faculty, their committee, and the Program Director prior to making formal application.
In addition to general clinical psychology training, students develop a major area of study as part of their program of studies. Given faculty specialty areas and program resources, there are currently four formal areas of concentration available in the department: Clinical Child/Pediatric Psychology, Clinical Health PsychologyNeuropsychology, and Clinical Neuroscience
The doctoral program is committed to providing accurate information regarding the programs, its expectations, and its outcomes, consistent with Implementing Regulation C-20 related to the Guidelines and Principles of accreditation, Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.