Clinical Psychology:
Degree Requirements

General requirements for the Ph.D. include:

  • Satisfactory completion of coursework
  • Appropriate computer competence
  • Passing the qualifying examination and the clinical examination
  • Completion of an approved dissertation
  • Adequate performance in practicum and internship placements.

Research Competency Qualifying Examination

The Research Competency Examination assesses the student's ability to evaluate critically the psychological research literature. Successful completion of this examination permits the student to begin formal research and internship at the beginning of his or her third year.

Clinical Competency Examination

A major milestone in the Program is the Clinical Competency Examination, which occurs at the end of the third year of the Program. This examination is designed to assess minimal competency of the student in the professional practice of psychology. The examination focuses on:

  • Assessment
  • Treatment planning and intervention
  • Professional issues, sensitivity to diversity, and ethics

Two faculty members evaluate each student in a standardized half-day oral exam.

The student is given written clinical case material, including a brief history and assessment data from intellectual, personality, and neuropsychological testing. The student is expected to state relevant factors in the case, describe how to arrive at a differential diagnosis, integrate, interpret and discuss assessment data, describe factors relevant to intervention, plan intervention strategies, and answer specific questions relating to professional issues, ethics, and cultural diversity.

Doctoral Dissertation

After a student is acceptance into candidacy and successful completes the Clinical Examination, the Dean appoints an ad hoc doctoral committee upon recommendation by the Program Director. This committee conducts a preliminary proposal examination, supervises the dissertation, and carries out the final oral examination in which the student defends his or her work.