The deadline for receipt of application materials is December 15 of each year. Admissions decisions are made in February with each new incoming class beginning the program in August.

Applying to the Program

The clinical program seeks mature, committed and responsible individuals of diverse personal, cultural, ethnic and geographical backgrounds who are interested in both psychological research and clinical practice.

Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university or its equivalent in another country. An applicant who applies while still an undergraduate can be accepted only on condition that that bachelor's degree will be received in time for fall enrollment.

We do not require that applicants have a bachelor's degree in psychology. However, we do require that the applicant has at least 18 semester hours of psychology coursework (or its equivalent). Courses that are strongly recommended include Statistics, Research Methods, History and Systems, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Physiological Psychology.

Students admitted to the clinical program will be formally admitted to the doctoral program but will be expected to complete a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Psychology enroute to completion of the Ph.D. We do not offer a terminal master's degree in clinical psychology.

Applicants who have completed, or are in the process of completing, a master's degree in psychology (with an empirical thesis) prior to enrollment in our program, may not be required to complete a second master's degree. This is not an option for students completing master’s degrees in other disciplines. For more information, please contact the Program Director or refer to the Clinical Program Graduate Handbook.

Required Application Materials

  • Graduate School Application. Include all materials required that are listed on application.
  • Clinical Program Supplemental Application. Please respond to each of the questions. Do not simply attach a personal statement that has been prepared for another application or for other purposes.
  • Research Mentoring Preference Form. The clinical program follows a research mentor model of training in which each graduate student works closely with a clinical faculty member who serves as the student’s research mentor and advisor. In order to match the clinical research interests of each prospective graduate student with those of a faculty member, applicants are invited to review the research activities/interests of the clinical faculty below. Once you have reviewed this information, please identify up to four clinical faculty whose research program matches your interests.
  •  
    • Elizabeth Boyd, Ph.D.
    • Jae Puckett, Ph.D.
    • Jeannie Caraway, Ph.D.
    • Gerard Jacobs, Ph.D.*
    • Raluca (Gaher) Simons, Ph.D.
    • Randal Quevillon, Ph.D.
    • Sara Lowmaster, Ph.D
    • Jeffrey Simons, Ph.D.*

*Not accepting new research students at this time.

  • Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Aptitude Test. To ensure that the official scores are received by December 15, applicants should take the General GRE no later than early November of the year you apply. GRE scores will not be accepted if they are over five years old. On test retakes, the admissions committee will consider the higher scores.

Please have official scores sent to:
University of South Dakota (Code 6881)
Department of Psychology (Code 2001)

You may send an unofficial copy with your application packet for informational purposes, but only official score reports mailed from ETS will be accepted for final admission consideration. For information concerning the GRE, contact the Educational Testing Service or the testing center of the school you are attending.

NOTE. The Subject GRE (Psychology) is not required but is strongly recommended for applicants without an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology.

  • Vita/Resumé. Applicants are encouraged to provide a CV/resumé that describes relevant educational, research, and work/volunteer experiences. Service activities and honors/awards should also be included.

For additional information regarding the admissions process, please see our page on Application Review, Interviews and Admissions Offers.