The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

The Clinical Ph.D. Program entails eighty nine course credits, 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:

513 Intro. To Qualitative and Interpretive Research 3
526 Phenomenology of Human Development 3
535 History of Psychology 3
537 Psychology as a Human Science 3
543 Approaches to Psychopathology 3
545 Intro. To Psychotherapy 3
551 Social Psychology 3
560 Physiological Psychology 3
571 Intro. To Assessment 3
612 Advance Qualitative Research 3
617 Research Practica--take 3 at 1 credit each 3
620 Philosophical Psychology: 3
623 Ethics & Standards 3
624 Experimental Research Methods 3
637 Emotion, Cognition, and Motivation 3
640 Clinical Formulation 3
663 Advanced Clinical Theory and Practice 3
665 Seminar in Consultation and Supervision 3
671 Advanced Assessment 3
674 Psychology & Cultural Diversity 3

Also required:

• 1 credit Clinical Practicum (650) - for each semester that student is seeing clients at the Clinic for a total of 6 credits
• 0 credit Psychology Colloquium (652) - attendance is required for 1st and 2nd year students,
• 1 credit of Supervised Teaching of Psychology I (510)
• 1 credit of Supervised Teaching of Psychology II (610)
• 0 credit "Distinguished Speakers Workshop," (weekend mini course held once a year)-attendance at two is required.

With the exception of "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.