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Indiana University Bloomington

Clinical science

About the Program

For an in-depth look at the Clinical Science Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, please visit their website or review the program handbook.

Accreditation Status

The Clinical Science Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University has been accredited continuously since 1948 by the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation. For further information on the program's status you may contact:

Committee on Accreditation
c/o Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation Education Directorate
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 2002-4242
(202) 336.5979

View the program's "Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data."

Breadth of training

While it is important for students to learn to focus their energies, it also is important that students be broadly trained as psychologists and social scientists. The clinical program and the psychology department at IU have established several guidelines and requirements to ensure that students receive adequate breadth of training. Our commitment to breadth in the Clinical Area is represented by the clinical curriculum requirements. This four-year sequence of core courses and electives exposes students to a variety of clinical problems, methods, and research areas. In addition to the required clinical core courses and electives, within their first three years students must complete a minor in one of seven other areas of psychology (i.e., sensory, behavioral neuroscience, developmental, social, cognitive, mathematical, or animal learning and behavior). They also must take one course in each of two other areas. All psychology students also are required to complete two statistics courses, to acquire a relevant research "tool" skill (e.g., computer proficiency), and to pass a qualifying exam in their major area at the beginning of their third year.

Throughout their four or five years of graduate training, students are actively involved in research. At the end of the first year, each student writes a summary description of his or her research activities during that year. By the end of the second year, the student has completed a major research project and has submitted a written report. In the third and subsequent years, students continue with their research involvement, culminating in the doctoral dissertation. It is not unusual for students to have several research publications to their credit by the time they receive their PhD.

Core courses

In addition to meeting the departmental requirements, described above, clinical students are required to take four clinical core courses during their first two years, plus at least four advanced elective courses or seminars relevant to their primary area of concentration during their remaining years in the program. The core courses are designed to provide a solid foundation in the content, theories, methods, and techniques of the clinical subdiscipline; they are arranged in a logical sequence and should be taken in a fixed order. Although most students choose to complete the clinical core sequence in their first year, it is possible for a student to take the courses over the first two years. The typical sequence of clinical courses, along with other requirements and electives, is illustrated in the curriculum outline that follows. The following program begins with the four clinical core courses described below. The first two normally are taken concurrently, as are the last two:

P530 - Clinical Psychology (3 credits)
An introduction to clinical psychology as an experimental-behavioral science, with an emphasis on theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues basic to clinical research and professional practice.

P624 - Principles of Psychopathology (3 credits)
Description of the phenomena of psychopathology and principles associated with their classification.

P641 - Assessment (3 credits)
Review of research and theory on methods of gathering information about individuals.

P631 - Intervention and Evaluation (3 credits)
A systematic comparison of theories of psychotherapy and behavior change. Introduction to evaluation techniques appropriate to applied settings.

Practicum Courses

During the second year interested clinical students are able to sign up for one credit of practicum and to become involved as an observer in the clinical experiences of more advanced students. Starting in the third year, students take two semesters of

P690 - Practicum in Clinical Psychology
Students select from among the various problems and treatment foci that may be offered by the faculty in a given year. Examples might be: Child and family assessment; Child and family therapy; Marital disorders; Aggressive and antisocial problems of children; Anxiety and depressive disorders in adults; Inpatient psychiatric disorders; or Community intervention. Beyond the third year, practicum courses are not required, although most students continue their practicum training by choosing additional areas of focus.


It is expected that clinical students will complete all of their academic and research requirements for the PhD degree before leaving for their predoctoral internships. In fact, individual 4th-year students may not even apply for an internship position until their written proposals for dissertation research have received formal approval from their faculty committee. The internship should be taken in a facility with an APA-approved internship program in clinical psychology.

The variety of facilities and programs in which Indiana's clinical students have accepted internships in the past is illustrated by the following list of recent placements:

  • Baylor University Medical Center
  • Brown University Medical School
  • Houston Veterans Administration Hospital
  • Indiana University Medical Center
  • Memphis Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium
  • Ohio State University Medical School
  • Syracuse Veterans Administration Hospital
  • University of Minnesota Medical School
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of Southern California Medical School
  • University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
  • Western Psychiatric Institute, Pittsburgh
  • West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Yale University Medical School, New Haven


The clinical curriculum gives students considerable freedom to tailor their graduate training to their individual interests through the selection of numerous elective courses. A number of advanced courses and seminars in clinical and other areas of psychology are offered to students in their second, third, and fourth years. Many clinical students currently take advanced courses in Child Psychopathology (Bates), Community Psychology (Heller), Social Interaction (McFall), Advanced Psychopathology (Finn), Health Psychology (Quittner), Research in Personality (Rose), Psychopharmacology (Rebec), and other topical areas. A minimum of four advanced electives is required, but students normally exceed this number. Depending on the student's area of specialization, courses in other areas within the department and also outside the department are taken. Students, for example, also choose to specialize in sub-areas, such as child-clinical, schizophrenia, behavioral medicine, or community psychology, and take additional coursework related to these interests.

Generally, the student is encouraged to view the University as a fantastic resource, and to make maximum use of the educational opportunities it provides. In consultation with the research advisor, the student develops a plan of study and scholarly development that builds on the foundation laid by departmental and clinical program requirements. It should be noted that even the clinical program's requirements may be modified if an individual student presents a cogent case for an alternative plan of study.