Course of Study

PH.D. IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Course of Study


The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology ordinarily requires a minimum of five years of full-time academic study, three of which are spent in residence. The basic program requirements are:

1. The completion of 90 credits of graduate study.
2. The development, completion and presentation of an independent research project, The Second Year Research Project, which is initiated in the first year of training and completed no later than the beginning of the third year.
3. Successful completion of three years of training at a clinical practicum site. During the first year students are in a carefully selected number of external clinical placements for eight to twelve hours a week. All students in the second year of the program are trained in the Psychological Services Center under the supervision of the doctoral faculty for twelve hours per week. During the third year students are trained in a range of clinical external sites depending upon their area of interest for sixteen to twenty hours per week. All clinical placements are accompanied by an on-campus clinical practicum course where students are supervised by a member of the doctoral faculty.
4. Completion of the Clinical Qualifying Examination. The exam is designed to assess the student’s mastery of the empirical and theoretical literature, and his/her ability to relate this literature to the treatment and assessment of a single clinical case treated by the doctoral student. Completion of the examination paper for the oral examination takes place no later than the beginning of December of the third year of training. The oral examination ordinarily takes place within two months.
5. Successful completion of a full-time, twelve-month clinical internship at an A.P.A. accredited institution (hospital, community mental health center, etc.) usually during the fifth year.
6. A doctoral dissertation, which must be completed no later than the eighth year after entering the program.

Course of Study:

During the first year students are introduced to the basic theories, findings and empirical methods of psychology. These academic courses provide the necessary conceptual foundation for students as they begin the development and design of their independent research projects. Students are required to develop and submit the research proposal for the Second Year Research Project by the end of the second semester. In addition, students are introduced to the fundamentals of psychopathology from a psychodynamic perspective, psychological assessment, clinical interviewing and psychotherapy interventions techniques from both cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives. All students do a carefully supervised practicum placement in a clinical setting for eight to twelve hours that is accompanied by a practicum class. Students begin to develop their research skills by working closely with advisors in faculty research labs. The collaborative work that develops in the research labs continues throughout the student’s three years in residence.

The second year exposes students to more intensive work in the clinical area: students continue the Psychological Assessment sequence, are introduced to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and participate in the two-and-a-half day a week practicum at the Psychological Services Center for twelve hours a week. Students also take more advanced courses in research design and the general experimental areas in psychology. The collection and analysis of data for the Second Year Research Project are conducted during this year.

In the third year, students take the advanced course in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and other clinically relevant electives, as well as more coursework in the general-experimental area of psychology. They also participate in the sixteen to twenty hour a week closely supervised third year practicum at a regional mental health facility. In addition, doctoral candidates are strongly encouraged to formulate and develop a dissertation topic proposal by the end of the third year. The academic requirement of 90 graduate credits is generally completed by end of this year.

Students spend the fourth year of study working on their dissertations, and complete their clinical internship in the fifth year. Many students may elect to do advanced practicum work in specialized clinical areas or research during the fourth year of study.

SEQUENCE OF COURSES

FIRST YEAR

Required courses and typical schedule:
1. Psychopathology I & II (Year-long sequence)
2. Introduction to Clinical Practice I & II (Year-long sequence)
3. Professional Ethics (Fall semester)
4. Tests and Measurements (Fall semester)
5. Intervention Techniques (Fall Semester)

6. Data Management (Fall semester)
7. Research Design (Spring semester)
8. Psychological Assessment I (Spring semester)
9. Statistics I (Spring semester)

SECOND YEAR

Required courses and typical schedule:
1. Clinical Practicum III & IV (Year-long sequence)
2. Dynamic Psychotherapy I (Fall semester)
3. Clinical Neuropsychology (Fall semester)
4. Psychological Assessment II (Fall semester)
5. Research Design II or Psychotherapy Research (Fall semester)

6. Contemporary Theories (Spring semester)
7. Cross-Cultural Issues in Psychology (Spring semester)

8. Developmental Psychology (Spring semester)

9. Elective: Principles of Cognitive Therapy and DBT (Spring semester)

10. Elective: Neuropsychological Assessment (Spring semester alternate years)

11. Elective: Psychopharmacology (Spring semester alternate years)

THIRD YEAR

Required courses and typical schedule:
1. Clinical Practicum V and VI (Year-long sequence)
2. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy II (Fall semester)

3. Statistics II (Fall semester)

4. Social Psychology (Spring semester)

5. Cognitive Affective Issues (Spring semester)

6. Elective: Childhood Psychopathology (Fall semester)

7. Elective: Psychotherapy of Children (Spring semester)

8. Elective: Neuropsychological Assessment (Spring semester alternate years)

9. Elective: Psychopharmacology (Spring semester alternate years)

10. Elective: Individual Research (Fall and/or Spring semester)

Some electives are offered every year while others are offered every other year as curriculum needs dictate.

FOURTH YEAR

Required course and typical schedule:

  1. Dissertation Series (PSY 850 to 858) or Dissertation Topics Seminar (Fall and Spring semesters)

FIFTH-SIXTH YEAR

Required course and typical schedule:

  1. Dissertation Series (PSY 850 to 858), until dissertation is completed.
  2. Clinical Internship