College of Arts & Sciences Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology Admissions

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.

All of the required materials for applying to the clinical psychology program are currently available online. Please follow the links below for more information about the application and admissions process.

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 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. We do require, however, that the applicant has at least 18 semester hours of psychology coursework (or its equivalent), including courses in Experimental Psychology, Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Cultural Psychology, and History and Systems. (These specific courses are not required but are strongly recommended--especially Statistics!)

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 en route to completion of the Ph.D. The Psychology Department does not offer a terminal master's degree.

Applicants who have completed a master's degree in psychology (or a closely related field) prior to admission to the USD clinical program may be exempted from completing another master's degree in our program. However, exemption from our required courses will be made on a case-by-case basis, following a review of course syllabi and approval by the clinical program faculty.

Post-master's students whose M.A. or M.S. programs do not include an empirical thesis (or whose empirical theses are not judged comparable to those completed in our program) will be required to complete a second master's degree (with thesis) en route to the Ph.D. in our program. In these cases, only nine hours of previous graduate work will be applied to the USD clinical psychology master's degree. For additional information, please refer to the Clinical Program Graduate Handbook

Required Application Materials

  • Graduate School Application. Include all materials required that are listed on application.  A completed application will include three letters of recommendation.
  • 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 Psychology Program at USD follows a clinical research apprenticeship model for admissions. Each incoming graduate student will work closely with a clinical faculty member who will serve as research mentor and advisor to the graduate student. In order to match the clinical research interests of each 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.* 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. Barbara Yutrzenka, Ph.D.*

*Not accepting new research students at this time, but is available to serve on academic committees (e.g., master's theses, doctoral dissertations) as well as to work with students on other research, clinical, or service clinical activities.

  • 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 November and the GRE Subject test no later than November prior to the application deadline. GRE scores will not be accepted if over five years old. On test retakes, the admissions committee will consider the higher scores. Please have official scores sent to the 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.  
    • Effective immediately, the program no longer requires the Subject GRE (Psychology). It is now optional; however, it is strongly recommended for applicants without either an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology.
  • Vita/Resumé. Applicants are encouraged to provide a 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.

ContactUs  For questions about the application process
Barbara A. Yutrzenka, Professor
(605) 677-5353