Psychology PhD (clinical)

Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals and families; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice.

There are multiple training models in Clinical Psychology (Scientist-Practitioner, Practitioner-Scholar, Clinical Science) and these models reflect the relative focus on research and clinical training. The Clinical Psychology Program at ASU adheres to the Clinical Science training model, which is the most research focused. Thus, although students in our program receive excellent clinical training, the focus is on producing Clinical Scientists who will work in setting that take full advantage of their research as well as clinical skills (e.g., Academia, Medical Centers, VA Hospitals). 

Our mission is to prepare students for professional careers in a variety of settings where they engage in research, teaching, or clinical supervision; and who make contributions to clinical science by disseminating research findings and scholarship. Within this general mission of providing high-quality, science-based training, we strive to prepare a significant number of graduates who establish careers in academia and research institutes where they have primary responsibilities for conducting research that advances clinical science and for teaching new generations of clinical scientists. 

Our graduates establish successful careers in academia, professional practice and other research settings where they use the clinical science training they pursued as graduate students. 

The PhD program in clinical psychology is:

  • based upon a clinical science model of training;
  • fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS);
  • a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science;
  • a PhD (doctoral) program only;
  • designed so that students who were admitted with a bachelor’s degree can finish the requirements in six years including a one-year, full-time internship;
  • organized to allow students to begin practicum training in the program’s second year;
  • best able to serve the educational needs of students with deep interests in empirical research; and
  • highly competitive — in the last several years we have admitted between 3 and 10 new students per year from a pool of 200 to 300 applicants.

IMPORTANT: To be considered for this PhD program, you must complete the application through ASU's online portal AND submit your material through Slideroom

1500+ hours of clinical internship
3 core areas
2 years of clinical training in the community

Degree Overview

The 84-hour program of study includes a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive, a prospectus and a dissertation. Prospective doctoral candidates should have a passion and interest in clinical psychology, have demonstrated research skills in a senior thesis, have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA and score in the upper quintile of GRE scores. 

Focus Areas

The Clinical Training Program has three areas of emphases in which students may elect to participate: health psychology, child clinical psychology, and community/prevention. A JD-PhD program in Law and Psychology is also available in which there is a Clinical Program Option.

Thus, the descriptions that follow are designed to give you an idea of the available curricular choices.

Child Clinical Area of Emphasis

The child clinical area of emphasis provides training in the etiology, assessment, treatment and prevention of childhood disorders. A major focus is on the prevention of child mental health problems among children and families under stress.Thus, most of our child clinical faculty also participate in our community-prevention area of emphasis.Table of Child Clinical Faculty

Health Psychology Area of Emphasis

Clinical students with interests centering on the interface of psychology and medicine may select Health Psychology as an area of emphasis. In our program, health psychology is broadly interpreted to encompass the theoretical, methodological, and/or procedural (treatment and prevention) contributions from contemporary psychology that bear upon the existing and emerging problems of modern medicine. Table of Health Psychology Faculty.

Community/Prevention Area of Emphasis

We define the Community/Preventive area of emphasis to include theory, research methods, and interventions that are designed to prevent the occurrence of mental health, substance use or other problems, and to promote healthy adaptation in a range of social environments. Students study theoretical issues such as the influence of stress and coping, family processes, acculturation and cross-cultural issues, neighborhood influences, and economic hardship on the development of mental health or substance abuse problems. Students also become involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of preventive interventions to promote healthy adaptation for children in a range of high-risk situations. Foci of preventive interventions include children of divorce, inner-city ethnic minority children, bereaved children, and school-based programs. Table of Community/Prevention Clinical Faculty.

How to apply

Our selection of new doctoral students is based on several factors:

  • academic excellence;
  • strong undergraduate preparation in psychology;
  • experience in conducting psychological research;
  • compatibility with research interests of our faculty;
  • evidence of strong verbal and quantitative skills; and
  • personal characteristics that are suitable for teaching and the provision of psychological services to the public.

In addition to significant research experience, successful applicants should have an undergraduate grade point average of B+ or better; strong performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); and compelling letters of recommendation. Specific information about application procedures can be found on the doctoral admissions pages.

We also seek a balance of students who have interests in our three research emphases: child clinical, health, and community/prevention. It has been our experience that most of our students will choose one of the three specialty areas which represent domains of faculty interest as well as clinical or preventive specialties for which an employment demand now exists. However, specialization is not a program requirement. Some students might begin a particular emphasis but later decide to move in a different direction. 

2018-19 Admission Recruitment by Clinical Faculty

"As I was progressing through the clinical psychology PhD program, I realized ways I could leverage my skills and experiences to help overcome some pretty significant challenges. Collectively, psychology has hundreds of evidence-based programs that can help improve the well-being of children, adolescents, families and communities."
- Ryan Stoll, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology

Curriculum

Coursework for the doctoral clinical program is to some extent, determined by APA requirements. For more detailed information about the program's curriculum and milestones or to see a sample schedule, students should view the current Clinical Student Handbook. Once admitted, we require students to be continuously enrolled full-time, excluding summer sessions, until all degree requirements have been met.

A minimum of 84 hours is required. 

Requirements and electives

Hours

Core courses

27

Electives

9

Substantive coursework

6

Milestone courses

24

Dissertation and Research

18

Total hours required

84

Courses and electives

The coursework for each student is individualized and based upon the student's previous training, research goals and mentor. All students are required to complete 27 credit hours of core courses that cover the scientific and technical foundations of clinical psychology. Students will also choose elective courses that more closely align to their specific focus area. In order to satisfy program accreditation, students will take one course in biological bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, cognitive bases of behavior, affective bases of behavior and in human development. Additional requirements include two ATM courses are required which involve integrated science-professional training and are taught by departmental faculty in timely and specific clinical and community modalities.

Please see the breakdown below for course selection and description. 

Required Core Courses: Courses covering the scientific and technical foundations of clinical psychology, as well as clinical practica include:

  • PSY 530 Analysis of Variance (Intermediate Statistics)
  • PSY 531 Multiple Regression
  • PSY 573 Psychopathology
  • PSY 578 Developmental Psychopathology (required for child emphasis only)
  • PSY 600 Clinical Research Methods
  • PSY 574/591  Psychotherapy or Child and Family Therapy
  • PSY 780  Psychological Assessment or Assessment Advanced Treatment Methods (ATM)
  • PSY 591 Clinical Interviewing and Ethics

Electives: Various courses, seminars, and practica of the students’ choosing are included in this category and are used to satisfy additional program requirements.

 

In order to satisfy requirements for program accreditation, students are also required to take at least one course each in:

  • Biological Bases of Behavior: PSY 591 Psychopharmacology or PSY 591 Biological Bases of Behavior or PSY 591 Advanced Neurobiology of Cognition
  • Social Bases of Behavior:  PSY 550 Advanced Social Psychology: Interpersonal Processes or PSY 551 Advanced Social Psychology: Intrapersonal Processes
  • Cognitive Bases of Behavior:  PSY 535 Cognitive Processes or PSY 591 Embodied Cognition or PSY 541 Research in Cognitive Development.*
  • Affective Bases of Behavior:  PSY 591 Emotions or PSY 542 Social Emotional Development* or PSY 591 Emotional Development* or PSY 591 Emotions, Stress and Health or PSY 598 Socio-emotional Development
  • Human Development: PSY 541 Research in Cognitive Development* or PSY 542 Social Emotional Development* or PSY 591 Emotional Development* or PSY 591 Children’s Peer Relationships or PSY 591Resilience Processes in Development or PSY 598 Developmental Transitions.

*PSY 542 and PSY 591 can only be used to either fulfill the Affective Bases of behavior requirement OR to fulfill the Human Development requirement. PSY 541 can only be used to fulfill the Cognitive Bases of behavior requirement OR the Human Development requirement.

  • History and Systems: PSY 591 History of Psychology or PSY 591 Clinical Issues Seminar: History and Systems of Psychology

Other Course Requirements: Two ATM courses are required which involve integrated science-professional training and are taught by departmental faculty in timely and specific clinical and community modalities.

  • PSY 780  All topics listed as ATMs in Psychology.  The Assessment ATM also meets the requirement for Psychological Assessment
  • PSY 501  Supervised Teaching (can count for 1 of 2 ATMs)
  • PSY 592 - Master's Research (6 credit hours)
    Independent study in which a student, under the supervision of a faculty member, conducts research that is expected to lead to a specific project such as a thesis or dissertation, report, or publication. Assignments might include data collection, experimental work, data analysis, or preparation of a manuscript
  • PSY 599 - Master's Thesis (6 credit hours)
    Supervised research focused on preparation of thesis, including literature review, research, data collection and analysis, and writing.
  • PSY 792 Dissertation Research (6 credit hours)
    Independent study in which a student, under the supervision of a faculty member, conducts research that is expected to lead to a specific project such as a dissertation, report, or publication. Assignments might include data collection, experimental work, data analysis, or preparation of a manuscript.
  • PSY 799 Dissertation (12 Credit Hours)
    Supervised research focused on preparation of dissertation, including literature review, research, data collection and analysis, and writing.

Listed below is a sample schedule. Note that, although we outline a five-year sequence in which the degree can be completed, most students finish the degree in six years including internship.

 

 YEAR ONE

 Fall (12 credits)

 + Analysis of Variance

+ Psychotherapy (if offered)

+ History and Systems (if no Psychotherapy)

+ Psychopathology

+ Research (3)

 

Spring (12 credits)

 + Multiple Regression

+ Clinical Interviewing and Ethics

+ Clinical Research Methods

+ Research (3)

 

YEAR TWO

 Fall (12 credits)

 + MA Thesis (3)

+ Clinical Practicum I

+ Multivariate Statistics

+ Assessment ATM or Psychological Assessment

 

 

Spring (12 credits)

+ MA Thesis (3)

+ Clinical Practicum II

+ Psychotherapy (if not offered in Year 1)

+ History & Systems (if Psychotherapy in Year 1)

+ Elective (Biological Bases of Behavior)

YEAR THREE

Fall (12 credits)

+ Elective (Cognitive Bases of Behavior)

+ Elective (Affective Bases of Behavior)

+ Research (3)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

(1/4 time clinical placement)

 

Spring (12 credits)

+ Elective (Human Development)

+ ATM

+ Research (3)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

(1/4 time clinical placement)

YEAR FOUR

Fall (9 credits)

+ Elective (Social Bases of Behavior)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

+ Elective

(1/4 time clinical placement)

 

Spring (9 credits)

+ ATM

+ Dissertation Research (3)

+ Elective

(1/4 time clinical placement)

YEAR FIVE

 Fall (1 credit)

 + Internship

 

Spring (1 credit)

 + Internship

SAMPLE SCHEDULE:  CHILD CLINICAL EMPHASIS

Listed below is a sample schedule for students who chose a child clinical emphasis. Note that, although we outline a five-year sequence in which the degree can be completed, most students finish the degree in six years including internship.

 

YEAR ONE

 Fall (12 credits)

 + Analysis of Variance

+ Developmental Psychopathology

+ Psychopathology

+ Research (3)

 

Spring (12 credits)

+ Multiple Regression

+ Clinical Interviewing and Ethics

+ Clinical Research Methods

+ Child and Family Therapy (if offered)

+ Research (3) if C&F Therapy not offered

YEAR TWO

 Fall (12 credits)

+ MA Thesis (3)

+ Clinical Practicum I

+ Multivariate Statistics

+ Assessment ATM or Psychological Assessment

 

 

Spring (12 credits)

+ MA Thesis (3)

+ Clinical Practicum II

+ Child and Family Therapy (if not offered Year 1)

+ Research (3) (if C&F Therapy in Year 1)

+ Elective (History and Systems)

YEAR THREE

Fall (12 credits)

+ Elective (Biological Bases of Behavior)

+ Elective (Affective Bases of Behavior)

+ Research (3)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

(1/4 time clinical placement)

 

Spring (12 credits)

+ Elective (Human Development)

+ ATM

+ Research (3)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

(1/4 time clinical placement)

YEAR FOUR

Fall (9 credits)

+ Elective (Social Bases of Behavior)

+ Elective (Cognitive Bases of Behavior)

+ Dissertation Research (3)

(1/4 time clinical placement)

 

 Spring (9 credits)

+ ATM

+ Dissertation Research (3)

+ Elective

(1/4 time clinical placement)

YEAR FIVE

 Fall (1 credit)

 + Internship

 

 Spring (1 credit)

 + Internship

Clinical Psychology Research Laboratories

BARCA Lab (Corbin)
Luthar Lab (Luthar)
Star Gate Lab (Karoly)

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