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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology



Our mission is help advance the field of clinical psychology—both by the research we do and the students we train. This mission is reflected in five emphases that make our program unique.

  1. Clinical science—We believe that the practice of clinical psychology requires a stronger scientific/research foundation. We ascribe to a clinical science model, and belong to the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, a coalition of doctoral training programs that share a common goal of producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding and amelioration of human problems.
  2. Clinical child psychology—Children and families have been underserved populations. As clinical scientists, we believe the field needs a stronger knowledge base regarding developmental psychopathology. It also needs to develop and implement more effective assessment and intervention techniques for children and families from diverse backgrounds.

    Accredited by the APA in clinical psychology, our clinical child program is one of the few programs that primarily focuses on providing training in clinical child psychology and one of the very few that approaches clinical child psychology from a clinical science model. Almost all of our clinical faculty, rather than just one or two, have special interests in children and families.
  3. The social system—Children and adolescents are viewed as members of a number of important social systems (e.g., family, school and community). As clinical scientists, we research such systems, and students learn to work with married couples, parents, and the family and community systems relevant to children (e.g., schools). Students also receive training in adult psychopathology and adult psychotherapy, and have opportunities to do clinical work with adult clients.
  4. Developmental cognitive neuroscience—Our program is one of the very few programs in the world that offers graduate training in clinical child neuropsychology. All students in our program receive at least a year of such training.

    Many clinical students are also part of the developmental cognitive neuroscience program in which they receive much more extensive training in clinical child neuropsychology and can pursue careers in this specialty.
  5. An emerging emphasis on diversity, community-based programs and social change—All students are trained to be sensitive to individual differences and cultural diversity in approaching research and clinical issues.

Both research and clinical opportunities exist for working with diverse populations. We are also exploring ways in which our research and clinical work can have a broader impact on different groups of people and social systems.

Degree flexibility

We aspire to have all our faculty, students and graduates help advance the field of clinical child psychology.

Our program, however, is highly flexible and has a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities, providing students opportunities to develop specializations of their choice.

Our graduates work in a diverse array of professional careers, including clinical science research careers in universities, institutes, and medical schools. They also pursue careers in college-level teaching, scientifically based clinical practice, public service and public policy.

We want our graduates to be leaders in whatever career choice they make. If you are interested in becoming a private practitioner, this is not the appropriate training program for you.

Program standards

Regardless of the specific nature of their career, our faculty, students and graduates are expected to meet the following standards:

  • We are current in our knowledge of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of clinical science, research and practice.
  • We can competently conduct and evaluate clinical science research.
  • We are competent in carrying out science-based clinical work.
  • We are able to communicate and disseminate our knowledge to others.
  • We approach our work with knowledge of and sensitivity to developmental issues, individual differences and cultural diversity.
  • We are ethical and professional in our relationships with clients and colleagues.
  • We aspire to help advance the field of clinical psychology.