Students begin working in their mentors laboratory when they arrive on campus. Research is viewed as an integral component of the Clinical Ph.D., and is a continuous activity throughout training. Faculty research interests are grouped into 4 major areas: health psychology, geropsychology, psychopathology and mental health disparities. Students are expected to be involved in presentation and publication of their work. 80% of all students in the last 3 years have presented at conferences.
Students are required to complete a Master's Research Portfolio, which includes submissions to conferences and at least one submittable manuscript. When faculty judge that previous thesis work is comparable in scope to this requirement, students may submit that work for their portfolio.
After completion of the Master's Portfolio, students write their preliminary examination, an integrative review paper and then move on to their dissertation work. A dissertation proposal must be defended by September of the year the student is applying for internship.
Clinical skills training begins in the first semester of the first year and usually continues until students take their internship position. The Noble H. Kelly Psychological Services Center (PSC), which serves clients from both the community and the University, provides the major portion of practicum experiences. The PSC is organized around research-based training teams focused on specific areas of psychological disorder. On these teams, students learn empirically-based approaches to assessment and treatment, and integrate scientific and clinical aspects of training. Students receive both group supervision (in teams composed of a supervisor and 6-8 students at different levels of experience) and individual supervision. Students acquire assessment and interviewing skills during the first year and typically start seeing psychotherapy clients in the middle of the second year, after observing case management supervision sessions as first year team members. 11 Credit hours in the Psychological Services Center are required, representing at least 160 hours per year of direct supervised service or related activity.
Finally, funded part-time training placements in clinical settings provide additional clinical experience for advanced students.
The Ph.D. curriculum contains 2 basic sets of core courses: department cores and clinical cores. The curriculum closely follows guidelines for accreditation established and maintained by the American Psychological Association's Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation. Students take a two-course assessment sequence, a two-course intervention sequence, courses in psychopathology, personality, legal and ethical issues, and advanced seminars in diversity and specific clinical topics.
In addition to the clinical core curriculum, students take basic psychology core courses including a statistics and research methods, behavioral neuroscience, personality, developmental, cognitive, and social psychology. Students also complete research hours for master's and dissertation research. Three topical seminars are also required.
- Human Learning or Cognitive Processes
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Advanced Social Psychology
- Advanced Developmental Psychology
- Advanced Personality
- Advanced Statistics I and II
- Legal and Ethical
- Assessment I and II
- Interventions I and II
- Advanced Clinical Psychopathology
- Clinical Practicum
- History and Systems of Psychology
Topical seminars are offered to augment the curriculum and allow students more detailed exposure to areas of interest. Students are required to take 3 seminars including one on diversity. Recent seminars include: Schizophrenia, Geropsychology, Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Medicine. Students may also, with approval from their mentor and the director of clinical training, take seminars in other departments of the University.
Students entering the program with graduate courses from another program may request no more than 3 core courses be waived provided the appropriate instructors judge them to be equivalent be of equivalent content.