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The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

The Clinical Ph.D. Concentration entails eighty nine credits of required and elective graduate courses, successful completion of the comprehensive exams, the completion of a one-year pre-doctoral internship, and the successful defense of a dissertation. Only full-time students are accepted into the program.


Pre-Doctoral Internship

Students are required to complete a one-year pre-doctoral internship as part of the requirement for the Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Applications for internships are typically submitted during the fourth year of Ph.D. studies, with the internships commencing in the following summer. Although some internships are available locally, most students travel elsewhere for their internships.


Comprehensive: Students are required to take this exam following their third year of graduate studies. The exam is completed during the week preceding the fall semester. An examination will also be offered during the spring semester for students needing to retake failed portions of the fall exam.

Dissertation Defense

After completing coursework, students are required to write a dissertation and successfully defend it. During this time they must be registered every fall/spring semester until graduation. Registration for six dissertation credits (one credit per semester) is required. Students who complete the six credits which are allotted for work on their dissertation (Psych 701) are then required to register for continuous registration (zero credits) until all work has been completed and defended. Registration for dissertation credits and/or continuous registration are considered full-time enrollment and students are eligible for loans.


First, second, third, and fourth year doctoral students are offered assistantships that include a nine-month stipend and a waiver of tuition. These positions require 15 hours of work per week as a teaching and/or research assistant.

Credit Requirements

A minimum of 83 credits (excluding six credits for the dissertation) is required.  There is a residence requirement, which is fulfilled while completing the coursework.  These 83 credits must include the following (all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated):

513        Intro. To Qualitative Research
526        Phenomenology of Human Development
535        History of Psychology
537        Psychology as a Human Science
543        Approaches to Psychopathology 
545        Intro. To Psychotherapy
551        Social Psychology    
560        Physiological Psychology 
571        Intro. To Assessment     
612        Advanced Qualitative Research
617        Research Practica--take 4 at 1 credit each
620        Philosophical Psychology:  
623        Ethics & Standards  
624        Experimental Research Methods 
637        Emotion, Cognition, and Motivation  
640        Clinical Formulation 
663        Advanced Clinical Theory and Practice
665        Seminar in Consultation and Supervision
671        Advanced Assessment 
674        Psychology & Cultural Diversity                                                

Also required:

  • 1 credit Clinic Practicum (650) – for each semester that student is seeing clients at the Clinic for a total of 7 credits,
  • 0 credit Psychology Colloquium (652)--attendance is required for 1st and 2nd year students,
  • 0 credit "Distinguished Speakers Workshop, " (weekend mini cours held once a year)--attendance at two is required.

With the exception of the "Distinguished Speakers Workshop" all "0" credit requirements are recorded on the academic transcript and must be met in order to graduate.

Certificate Programs:  Students may take a certificate program but the credits will be IN ADDITION to the 83 required Psychology credits needed to graduate.  Cross listed courses that fulfill Psychology requirements will count toward the 83 required Psychology credits.

*The student earns an M.A. in Psychology upon completion of 30 credits in the Ph.D. program.   The student’s progress is reviewed at this point and if satisfactory the student continues on with Ph.D. coursework.  If the student’s progress is not sufficient the student graduates with an M.A. degree.
Students should also be aware of the following:

To fulfill Pennsylvania Psychologist Licensure Requirements:  “Twenty semester hours of psychology courses must be from the following fifteen areas, with at least one course from each of five different areas:  experimental psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, psychological tests and measurements, social psychology, statistics, history and systems, experimental design, personality theory, psychology of learning, physiological psychology, abnormal psychology, comparative psychology, motivation, and perception.” 

In preparation for eventual licensure as a psychologist, students are urged to keep copies of all course syllabi throughout their graduate training.