College of Arts & Sciences Clinical Psychology


Training Model and Goals

The program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training as originally proposed in the Boulder Conference 50 years ago, and as revalidated and refined in the proceedings from the 1990 National Conference on Scientist-Practitioner Education and Training for the Professional Practice of Psychology (Belar & Perry, 1992). 

In this model, science and practice are truly integrated rather than simply parallel processes—science informs practice and science is informed by and relevant to practice. As a scientist practitioner program, we seek to prepare psychologists who are not only able to generate new knowledge through their research and scholarly activities, but who are also able to be effective consumers of the literature and effectively integrate science and scientific thinking into their clinical practice. Furthermore, we seek to prepare psychologists who strive to adhere to high ethical and professional standards and who are sensitive to, and advocate for inclusion of, diverse perspectives in their research and clinical activities.

Theoretical Orientation

The Clinical Program offers a broad exposure to a variety of clinical and research training opportunities with children, adolescents and adults. Specific training and research emphases include:

  • Rural community psychology
  • Cross-cultural/individual differences, with a particular focus on Native American mental health
  • Disaster mental health and psychological first aid
  • Trauma
  • Ethics
  • Substance abuse
  • Health disparities

The overall theoretical orientation of the program may be described as predominantly cognitive-behavioral. However, specific theoretical orientations of individual clinical faculty include behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, developmental/systems, and psychodynamic (such as interpersonal; object relations).

Required Coursework

Students who join the program with a master's degree from another university may, upon faculty approval, be exempt from certain courses but they will be required to take Prepracticum and Clinical Assessment courses.

Students are required to be continuously enrolled in Seminar of Professional Development and Vertical Clinical Team during the academic year. Vertical Clinical Team is the mechanism for providing individual and group supervision for clinical work completed in the Psychological Services Center. Team membership includes a clinical faculty member (supervisor) and approximately nine students from across the second through fourth years of training. Students change clinical teams each year, yielding an exposure to the theoretical orientations and methods of at least three different clinical members.

Typical Sequence of Courses

Elective Coursework

Students are expected to complete a minimum of six additional credit hours of graduate-level courses and seminars in any department, including psychology. Selection should be in consultation with the student's doctoral advisory committee. Completion of the required courses for the Clinical/Disaster Psychology specialty track within the program fulfills the elective coursework requirements. Examples of electives that are available in the Psychology Department are described at the bottom of the page. 

Students must take three additional credits of stats/methods as part of doctoral program of study (consult with major advisor). A minimum of six elective credit hours of graduate level courses and seminars will be selected in any department, including psychology. These should be approved by your doctoral committee/chair prior to enrollment and will be placed on your doctoral program of study.

Thesis and Dissertation

Completion of a master's thesis and doctoral dissertation are required. Students who have earned a master's degree in a program not requiring a thesis will be required to complete a master's thesis in our program. All master's students must complete six hours of Master's Thesis Research. All doctoral students must complete a minimum of 15 hours of Doctoral Dissertation Research.

Pre-Doctoral Internship

One calendar year of Clinical Internship in a facility approved by the Clinical Program is required. Internships will be acceptable only in APA approved or APPIC member facilities. Students must have faculty approval and must have successfully proposed their dissertation prior to submitting internship application. Prior to accepting an internship offer, they must pass the preliminary exams and be admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students from the program have regularly been placed in APA accredited internships of their choice across the country.