The Psychology Department offers a Psychology PhD in Clinical Psychology, educating students in both the science and the practice of clinical psychology.
The Clinical Psychology track in the Psychology PhD Program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model of training as promulgated by the American Psychological Association (APA). The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
The advent of managed care has resulted in significant changes in the mental health care delivery system and the role of clinical psychologists in that system. Psychologists are utilized less for the direct delivery of psychological services and increasingly for performing professional duties such as administration, development of programmatic treatments, program evaluation, supervision, and research. Thus, there is a need for training to reflect the professional roles of the Clinical Psychologist in the twenty-first century. The Clinical Psychology doctorate is designed to respond to these changing roles.
Consistent with the mission of a major metropolitan university, the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at UCF takes advantage of, and builds upon, a multitude of community partnerships. One specific example of programmatic efforts to develop partnerships with community agencies is our extensive partnership with public and private health service delivery resources in the Central Florida area who participate as externship training sites.
The Clinical Psychology track in the Psychology PhD Program is designed to be a full-time program, with some summer enrollment expected. There are a total of 84 semester hours of courses, practica, and research requirements.
Total Credit Hours Required: 84 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree. 54 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master’s Degree.
In addition to the 84 semester hours, graduate students engage in a variety of clinical training experiences that occur in health and mental health facilities throughout greater Orlando. Courses are presented in sequential fashion and students entering with a Bachelor’s degree must earn a Master’s degree in route to the PhD. Students who enter with a Master’s degree must complete at least 54 semester hours at UCF. A Dissertation that represents a significant scientific contribution to the discipline is required. Successful completion of the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examination is required to be admitted into candidacy and prior to initiation of Dissertation research.
Required Courses—69 Credit Hours (Plus 15 Dissertation Credit Hours Listed Below)
Psychology Foundation Courses—12 Credit Hours
Research Courses—18 Credit Hours
Clinical Courses—33 Credit Hours
Elective—6 Credit Hours
- Any graduate-level course as approved by the program director
Dissertation—15 Credit Hours
- PSY 7980 - Doctoral Dissertation 15 Credit Hours
Quality/Comprehensive Doctoral Examinations
Domain A: Research
- Theoretical or Review Article, or
- Empirical Article
Domain B: Clinical Practice/Consultation
- Comprehensive Case Presentation, or
- Program Development (Rx/Prevention)
Purpose—The purpose of the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examination is to develop and assess the competency of professional behaviors in doctoral-level graduate students in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program that are consistent with the program’s professional training goals. These goals include but are not limited to the development and demonstration of skills and abilities that enable graduating students to (a) conduct and publish independent empirical research; and (b) be expertly trained, empirically oriented clinicians capable of designing, implementing and assessing programs concerned with health service and mental health delivery broadly defined.
Requirements, Rationale, and Objectives—Successful completion of Qualifying and Comprehensive Examination requirements reflects the program’s desire to ensure overall breadth of training in the field of Clinical Psychology that is complemented by individually tailored professional training experiences and competencies consistent with a student’s professional career goals. The two professional domains outlined above are consistent with this intent. All graduate students are expected to discuss possible selections with their major professor/faculty adviser prior to formalizing their choices. Choices made are expected to reflect individual professional training goals and the desire for additional knowledge and expertise in a selected area. All competency domains contain two options, and graduate students are free to select either option (see options “a” and “b” under each domain in above matrix) in consultation with their faculty adviser.
Admission to Candidacy
The following are required to be admitted to Candidacy and enroll in Dissertation hours:
- Completion of most course work, except for Dissertation hours.
- Successful completion of the Candidacy Examination.
- The Dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
- Submittal of an approved program of study.
The American Psychological Association requires that graduate students be evaluated at least annually and provide written feedback to graduate students. Because Clinical Psychology involves the provision of mental health services to the public, special care must be taken to ensure that graduate students possess the requisite interpersonal sensitivity and skill. As a result, evaluation procedures within this track will focus not only on academic performance but also on: clinical proficiency; ethical and professional conduct; response to supervision; interpersonal behavior; and interpersonal functioning. The Clinical Psychology committee reserves the right to drop from the program graduate students who continue to exhibit serious difficulties in these behavioral domains and do not respond to feedback and efforts at remediation.
Master of Science in Clinical Psychology
Graduate students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program earn a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology in route to their doctorate unless they are admitted with an acceptable Master’s degree. This is a nonterminal Master’s degree available only to students in the Clinical Psychology PhD program.
As befits the nature of graduate training and the pursuit of a doctoral degree, graduate students in Clinical Psychology are expected to engage in independent learning throughout their graduate career. The completion of the Master’s Thesis and the doctoral Dissertation are two examples of independent learning in which all graduate students participate. In addition, depending upon their career goals, other experiences, such as directed readings or additional research projects, may be undertaken by graduate students.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
Applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology or a Bachelor’s degree and completion of undergraduate or graduate courses in statistics/research methods and six additional upper division courses in core content areas of Psychology (i.e., personality theory, abnormal psychology, learning, physiological psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology). Applicants who enter with a Master’s degree may be eligible to waive or transfer up to 30 credit hours for credits earned from a completed Master’s degree from an accredited institution (as long as this number does not exceed 50% of the program’s requirements). In these cases, each applicant’s situation will be reviewed individually based on program standards and requirements.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- Official, competitive GRE scores taken within the last five years (use UCF Institution Code: 5233)
- Evidence of successful completion of undergraduate course work in statistics and general areas of Psychology.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- Three letters of recommendation, with at least two furnished by college or university professors who are acquainted with the applicant.
- A clear statement concerning the type of research you wish to pursue as a graduate student, and the Clinical Faculty member you believe would be best suited to serve as your major professor and mentor.
Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.
Due to the competitive nature of the application process, strong candidates are likely to meet criteria that are more stringent than those listed here. Strong candidates are also likely to have both research and clinical experience. A department admissions committee reviews the applicants’ credentials and may invite a group of candidates for an interview. Final selection is based on both submitted credentials and the interview.
In 2016, the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology received 126 applications for admission, but only six students entered the Ph.D. program. Accepted students had, on average, between 1.5 and 2 years prior research experience and were well matched with the Clinical Faculty’s research and training interests.
Previous graduate work will be considered on a case-by-case basis (including acceptance of a previously completed Master’s Thesis). Graduate students may be eligible to waive up to 30 credits earned from a completed Master’s degree from an accredited institution. Each graduate student’s situation is considered individually by the Clinical Faculty. Graduate students should submit a request to the Director of Clinical Training and provide a course catalog description, course syllabus, and other relevant information to enable the Clinical Faculty to make a determination of equivalence with a course in the PhD curriculum. The waived hours must come from graduate-level course work (e.g., numbered 5000 and above in the Florida SUS approach). No courses with grades less than “B” will be considered for waiver. Graduate students who did not complete an empirical Master’s Thesis as part of their required training at another accredited institution must complete an empirical Master’s Thesis prior to forming a Dissertation committee. Graduate students who completed an empirical Master’s Thesis at their former accredited institution may submit the Master’s Thesis to the Director of Clinical Training, who will assign a Clinical Faculty committee to review the Master’s Thesis and determine whether it meets the PhD program’s standards for excellence. Graduate students must propose and successfully defend an approved Master’s Thesis under the direction of Clinical Faculty if the Master’s Thesis that they completed at a previous institution fails to meet the PhD program’s standards.
|Clinical Psychology PhD
|*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.