The Program has three broad goals:
- To train competent researchers in clinical psychology;
- To train competent clinicians in the professional practice of clinical psychology;
- To prepare students for careers in academic clinical psychology, particularly in health care settings.
To accomplish these goals, the Doctoral Program provides broad and intensive training in the clinical practice and science of psychology, along with the specific training needed to be competitive for careers as clinical psychologists conducting research and/or clinical work in academic medical centers or other health care settings. As students progress through the program, they are expected to take on greater responsibilities and to be more autonomous, independent, and productive.
Students typically complete the program in five or six years. The length of time required to complete our program depends on several factors: the student’s career and personal goals, the demands of the student’s lab, the expectations of the student’s primary mentor, the student’s desired clinical training, and the complexity of the student’s research qualifying paper and dissertation. Although some labs expect that all of their students will take 6 years to complete the program, other labs have a mix of students who complete in 5 or 6 years. The description below provides general guidelines for what is expected at each of the years in the program.
The first year of training provides foundational knowledge in the science of psychology and clinical practice. Students are also active members of a research lab, receiving mentoring from the time they enter the Program.
The second and third years build upon these foundational skills through advanced coursework, clinical practica, participation in a research lab, and progress on clinical and research milestones.
By the end of the third year, students must complete two major milestones: the Research Qualifying Paper (RQP) and the Clinical Qualifying Examination (CQE):
- The RQP is an original empirical study that is modest in scope, often uses existing data within the research lab, and is conducted with substantial support from the student’s primary mentor
- The CQE is designed to demonstrate competence in fundamental clinical skills, theory, and judgment.
The fourth/fifth year is focused on completion of the final research milestone, the dissertation. The dissertation is an original empirical study that is more ambitious in scope and requires a greater level of independent functioning than the RQP. The dissertation proposal or prospectus must be defended by the end of the fourth year. For more information on TGS deadlines, please click here.
In addition to the dissertation, students in their fourth/fifth year of training are required to take an advanced practica placement that requires greater independence and higher-level assessment, case formulation, and treatment skills.
Fourth year students are also required to complete one academic quarter as a teaching assistant for instructors teaching courses to first year doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program. More information about this requirement can be found by clicking here.
The fifth/sixth year involves a full-time clinical internship at an APA-accredited site. It is strongly recommended that students have either fully defended their dissertation, or have their dissertation nearly complete by the time that they begin their clinical internship. To assist in this process, we require that students have their dissertation proposal/prospectus defended before Sept. 30th of the year that they apply to internship.
Courses are offered on the quarter system. Please click here to see the academic calendar for The Graduate School.
The following courses are routinely made available to students. Additional courses, including Special Topics, may also be made available to students. Courses are categorized as Foundational Courses, Courses in the Bases of Behavior, Required Clinical Courses, Required Research Courses, and Elective and Emphasis-Specific Courses.
- Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology (Ethics)
- Diversity in Psychological Science and Practice
- Life-Span Developmental Psychology
Courses in the Bases of Behavior:
- Behavioral Neuroscience (proposed; previously Brain and Behavior: Introduction to Neuropsychology)
- Cognitive Psychology
- Advanced Social Psychology
Required Clinical Courses:
- Psychological Assessment I, II, III
- Introduction to Psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Required Research Courses:
- Research Methods (Statistics) I, II, II
- Advanced Research Methodology
Elective and Emphasis-Specific Courses:
- Behavioral Neuroanatomy (Neuropsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience)
- Behavioral Neurology for Neuropsychologists (Neuropsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience)
- Brain and Behavior: Introduction to Neuropsychology
- Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (Child Emphasis)
- Child Psychological Assessment (Child Emphasis)
- Child Psychopathology (Child Emphasis)
- Cognitive and Behavioral Treatments for Depression (Psychopathology & Treatment)
- Cognitive Models of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy (Psychopathology & Treatment)
- Family Therapy (Child Emphasis)
- Forensic Psychology & Neuropsychology (Neuropsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience; Psychopathology & Treatment)
- Health Psychology (Behavioral Medicine)
- Introduction to Psychopharmacology (Psychopathology & Treatment)
- Marital and Sex Therapy (Psychopathology & Treatment)
- Mental Health Services Sequence (Policy)
- Mental Health Policy (Policy)
- Motivation for Health Behavioral Change (Behavioral Medicine)
- Neuropsychological Assessment (Neuropsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience)
- Primary Care Psychology (Behavioral Medicine)
- Psychodynamic Traditions (Psychopathology & Treatment)
Transfer Credit and Course Substitutions
In accordance with the policy of The Graduate School, course credit is not provided for courses taken at other institutions prior to admission to the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. As such, course waivers and transfer credit are not provided.
Under certain circumstances, the Director of Education and Clinical Training in consultation with the Administrative Council will allow a student to substitute a course if he or she has had suitable previous experience or course work. In such a situation, the substitute course must be of similar and preferably more advanced content to the substituted course. A maximum of nine courses may be substituted.