Curriculum

Flexible + integrated training

Our Clinical Science program includes a core set of required experiences, coupled with a flexible curriculum designed to meet your specific needs. The curriculum serves our longstanding goal of providing integrative training, in which students draw on multiple perspectives (e.g., biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, social) in their research on clinical problems. You might choose to complete a dual Ph.D. in Clinical Science and in the Program of Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. Or, you might work in more than one area of Psychology within the context of a single degree. To earn a Ph.D. in Psychology requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, a standard set by the College of Arts and Sciences and University Graduate School.

You will form an Advisory Committee, consisting of your mentor and at least two other faculty members, during your first year. The committee assists you to design an individualized training plan, while ensuring receipt of adequate breadth, depth, and quality of training.

Training model

Our training model is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. In the first two years, you will take four core courses, a semester of advanced statistics, a course on research methods and professional and ethical issues, and write at least one grant. You will also complete a first and second year research project in collaboration with your mentor, which must be in written form.

In the summer after your second year, you take qualifying exams, which assess your core competencies in clinical science. Our clinical students also take one advanced clinical seminars, at least one year of internal practicum, several additional years of practicum, a course on the teaching of psychology, an additional advanced statistics or methods course, and complete at least three courses for a minor concentration. In the fifth and sixth year, you conduct your dissertation research and complete your internship.

Minor concentration

Minors are typically individualized to meet your training needs. They are designed in consultation with, and approved by, your Advisory Committee. Recent minors include Social Neuroscience, Quantitative Modeling of Development, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Public Policy Research Impacting Child Development. Some of our students elect to complete a second Ph.D. major instead of a minor, usually either the doctoral program in Cognitive Science or Neuroscience programs.

Internships

It is expected that our Clinical Science students will complete all of their academic and research requirements for the Ph.D. degree before leaving for their predoctoral internships. You may not even apply for an internship position until your written proposals for dissertation research have received formal approval from your faculty committee.

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

  • Western Psychiatric Institute/University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Illinois Chicago Medical School
  • Brown University Clinical Psychology Consortium
  • VAs: Baltimore, Boston, Hines, Minneapolis, New Haven, and Palo Alto
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • University of Washington Medical Center
  • Indiana University Medical School
  • Charleston Consortium Internship
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital

Learn more about our Ph.D. degree in the Student Portal