Learning Goals and Objectives

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program trains psychologists to use scientific methods and evidence to inform the assessment, understanding, treatment and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition or health. 


The Clinical Psychology PhD Program follows a clinical science model, as defined by the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Our educational philosophy embodies a strong commitment to empirical approaches to evaluating the validity and utility of testable hypotheses and to advancing knowledge by this method. Clinical science is defined as "a psychological science directed at the promotion of adaptive functioning; at the assessment, understanding, amelioration and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition or health; and at the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence." We expect our students to contribute to the science of clinical psychology, and to learn to infuse their clinical work with empirical findings and theoretical concepts. Finally, through training, we expect students to gain an understanding of professional issues, including ethical, legal and quality assurance principles. 

The program’s training model is sequential, cumulative, increasingly complex as students advance, and designed to prepare students for further training, including the life-long education required to be a successful clinical scientist. The education and training objectives derived from our model are addressed through an interrelated program of academic course work, research experiences and clinical practica. Students are involved in clinical research continuously from the time of their arrival at the program. Program unity is achieved through core experiences required of all clinical students. Diversity is also encouraged and available through specialty training, electives, and diverse clinical and research activities. Students also participate in other less structured activities, including colloquia, community projects, professional association activities, paper presentations, interdisciplinary campus events, departmental governance, and peer advising. Thus, our students not only complete a rigorous academic program but also become members of the psychological community interacting with faculty, staff, other professionals and each other on a scholarly level. 

Specific Goals and Objectives for PhD Students in Clinical Psychology