Feb 29, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in clinical psychology is a 70-credit hour program designed to prepare a student for a professional career in research, teaching and/or the clinical applications of empirically supported psychological methods. The four major requirements for the Ph.D. degree consist of departmental research requirements, coursework, practica and a formal clinical internship.

This program meets Texas licensure requirements. It has not yet been determined if the program meets licensing requirements in other states.

Degree Requirements

Research Requirements and Qualifications for Candidacy

Students are expected to conduct research throughout their enrollment in the clinical psychology doctoral program. To facilitate their involvement and training in research, the program will include several research benchmarks that students must complete prior to graduation. Research benchmarks must be completed in accordance with the Dedman College graduate catalog. A brief description of the research benchmarks follows. For specific details, students are referred to in the Psychology Department’s Graduate Student Handbook.

First-Year Research

First-year students work on research projects with their faculty adviser. This research experience is intended to provide students with exposure to a research area and help shape the skills necessary to develop hypotheses, analyze data and communicate the results.


First Research Benchmark

Students are expected to complete a student-directed empirical research project that will constitute their thesis. Students present an oral defense of their thesis proposal (prior to initiating thesis research) to a committee consisting of three faculty members. The thesis proposal is expected to occur prior to July 31 of the second year. An M.A. degree will be awarded en route for doctoral candidates who successfully complete their thesis requirement.

Presentation of Research at a Professional Conference and Publication of Research in a Professional Journal

Second Research Benchmark

All graduate students are required to publish at least two manuscripts in peer-reviewed outlets, at any level of authorship, prior to graduation. Although two publications are required to meet this benchmark, graduate students should be active in presentation of research throughout their graduate career (e.g., at least one conference presentation or publication per year after the first year).

Review Article

Third Research Benchmark

To demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their research area and to demonstrate their capability to interpret and synthesize theories and data in this area, students write a review article on a topic related to their area of research.


Fourth Research Benchmark

The dissertation is an original empirical research project with the potential to contribute to the knowledge base in a specific area of clinical psychology. Before a student can begin the dissertation, the student must be advanced to candidacy (described below). Students must formally propose the project to the dissertation committee. Successful completion of the dissertation will be determined by an oral defense in front of the student’s dissertation committee consisting of four faculty members (one from outside the department).

It is expected that students will propose their dissertation by September 30 of the year they intend to apply for internship.

Candidacy Requirements

Candidacy requirements consist of completion of the first three research benchmarks and the core clinical courses (there is no additional written test); candidacy is typically completed by the end of their third year in the program. Advancement to candidacy is necessary for students to initiate dissertation research and to apply for an internship. Students are required to propose their dissertation by September 30 of the year they apply for internship (typically in the fall of the fifth year of study).

Grade Point Average

To be in good standing in the Ph.D. program, students are expected to obtain a grade of B or better in each course. A course with a grade of C must be retaken. Two or more courses with a grade of C may result in dismissal.

Periodic Performance Reviews

Student performance will be reviewed twice in the first year and annually thereafter, assessing performance in research, clinical skills, and assigned duties.

Clinical Practica (0 Credit Hours)

Students will participate in practicum training beginning in their second year. Purposes of clinical practica are to:

  • Provide students training, supervision, and experience in the use of empirically supported methods of assessment and intervention.
  • Offer students training, supervision, and experiences in working with a diverse sample of clients.
  • Expose students to nonacademic sites in which psychological research is conducted.

The following practica are required:

Psychology Clinic (0-3 Credit Hours)

While not required, students may also enroll in the following clinic:

Internship (0 Credit Hours)

Students participate in the following two required internships:

Elective Coursework

Elective courses (up to 12 credit hours) can be taken from Psychology Department courses at the 6000-level and above . Elective courses are offered less frequently, and are optional. Courses from other departments or schools can also be taken with approval of the director of graduate studies.

The following is a list of available elective courses offered by the Psychology Department:

Total: 70 Credit Hours

Quantitative Methods Minor (12 Credit Hours)

12 credit hours in additional coursework in advanced statistical methods are available as an elective minor, with courses in SEM, HSLM, IRT, and other advanced methods within and outside the department.

Four courses from the following: