Ph.D. Requirements and Goals

Course requirements for the Ph.D. degree include:

✓ a minimum of 90 academic credits completed within the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (up to 15 credits can be transferred in from other accredited Master's Programs in Psychology at the discretion of the Program Director)

✓ 500 hours of face-to-face clinical work at The Psychological Center

✓ a year-long internship

✓ a dissertation thesis

The curriculum has broad and general courses as well as treatment-oriented and specialized courses. We offer sequences in research methods, assessment, clinical practical, theory, psychopathology, evidence-based treatments, and diversity & difference. The following is a model course of study that students may adjust depending on individual need.

Year One
Coursework Fall Semester
Statistical Methods I, Psychodiagnostics, Psychometric Methods, Psychoanalytic Theory I, Ethical & Legal Issues for Psychologists
Coursework Spring Semester
Statistical Methods II, Psychopathology II (Child), Integrative Methods is Psychotherapy, Lifespan Development, Practicum and Interviewing in Personality Appraisal I or II (Child or Adult Intake)
Additional Requirements
Weekly Supervisory Clinic Team Meetings, Research and Scholarship Group, Psychological Screenings at Front Desk, First Doctoral Exam, Clinical Residency at The Psychological Center
Year Two
Coursework Spring Semester

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate knowledge of statistical analysis, research design, and the existing empirical literature in clinical psychology, as well as the implementation of that knowledge in clinical practice and in designing and implementing independent research.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate knowledge and actions consistent with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, relevant laws and professional standards, as well as the ability to recognize ethical dilemmas and to apply ethical decision-making processes.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate understanding, knowledge and
respect for individual and cultural differences, and of how it impacts their research and clinical work.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will behave in ways that reflect the values and
attitudes of psychology.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate effective interpersonal skills, as well as appropriate and clear nonverbal, written and oral communication skills.

At the end of the Ph.D. program students will demonstrate comprehension and competency in the clinical assessment of cognitive and personality functioning.

At the end of the Ph.D. program students will demonstrate comprehension of and competency in implementing a range of psychotherapeutic interventions in a culturally-competent manner to a range of disadvantaged, diverse populations.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices and an openness to clinical supervision.

At the end of the Ph.D. program, students will demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions, and knowledge of consultation models and practices.

Student competencies in the nine substantive areas listed above are  assessed through the First Doctoral Qualifying Exam, the Research & Scholarship Project (RSP), the Second Doctoral Qualifying Exam, and the Dissertation.

The first doctoral examination is an open-book six-question written exam with each question provided by a faculty member who teaches a first-year required course. These essays are read by the DCT and scored on a pass/fail basis. The first docs occur in the summer leading into year 2 of the program for students.

Research & Scholarship Project

The Research & Scholarship Project (RSP) is an empirical study using qualitative and/or quantitative methods that culminates in a poster to be presented at Research and Scholarship Day in November of the second year and a paper due May 1st of a student’s second year. The RSP may involve the development of a research proposal and application for IRB approval of the study(if needed), and to enrich their research experiences, students are additionally encouraged to submit their RSP to either professional conferences (as a poster or paper presentation) or as a journal article. Thus, the RSP and poster presentation affords an opportunity to evaluate how well students have applied the research skills learned and developed in related coursework and in the RSG.

Second Doctoral Qualifying Exam

The Second Doctoral Qualifying Examination involves preparing a 35-40 page case analysis and presenting this paper in both written and oral formats. This assessment requires students to provide a clear and detailed case history and diagnostic conceptualization; to integrate theory and empirical research relevant to case conceptualization and treatment; and to examine diversity and ethical issues that arise in the provision of patient care.

Completion of the dissertation constitutes the final step in the academic sequence of our training Program. While the RSP must be empirical, dissertations may be empirical (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method), or theoretical. The student works closely through the proposal, data collection, analysis, and completion stages of the dissertation with a three-member committee. Completion of the dissertation is the capstone project by which we evaluate research and scholarship competencies. Students must demonstrate mastery of implementing an independent research or scholarly project, analyze the results independently, and integrate their results with the existing literature. The completed study is presented as a written document and as an oral presentation open to the community prior to graduation.

Last Updated: 02/18/2024 12:21