Clinical Science

The Clinical Psychology Program adheres to a clinical science model of training, and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.  We are committed to training clinical psychologists whose research advances scientific knowledge of psychopathology and its treatment, and who are capable of applying evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention. The main emphasis of the program is research, especially on severe psychopathology. The program includes research, course work, and clinical practica, and usually takes five years to complete. Students typically complete assessment and treatment practica during their second and third years in the program, and they must fulfill all departmental requirements prior to beginning their one-year internship. The curriculum meets requirements for licensure in Massachusetts, and is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) and by the American Psychological Association (APA).  PCSAS accredited the program on May 24, 2012 for a 10-year term. APA most recently accredited the program on April 28, 2015 for a seven-year term.


Required courses and training experiences fulfill requirements for clinical psychology licensure in Massachusetts as well as meet APA criteria for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs.  In addition to these courses, further training experiences are required in accordance with the American Psychological Association’s guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs (e.g., clinical practica [e.g., PSY 3050 Clinical Practicum, PSY 3080 Practicum in Neuropsychological Assessment]; clinical internship).

Students in the clinical psychology program are required to take the following courses:

  • PSY 1950, Intermediate Statistical Analysis in Psychology
  • PSY 1952, Multivariate Analysis in Psychology
  • PSY 2070, Psychometric Theory and Method Using R
  • PSY 2040, Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology
  • PSY 2050, History of Psychology
  • PSY 2430, Cultural and Individual Diversity
  • PSY 3250, Psychological Testing
  • PSY 2460, Diagnostic Interviewing
  • PSY 2420, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Psychological Disorders
  • PSY 2445, Psychological Treatment Research
  • PSY 3900, Professional Ethics

At least one course in each of the following areas:

Social Bases of Behavior

  • PSY 2500 Proseminar in Social Psychology
  • PSY 3515 Graduate Seminar in Social Psychology

Cognitive-Affective Basis of Behavior

  • PSY 2400 Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders

Biological Bases of Behavior 

  • PSY 1202 Modern Neuroanatomy
  • PSY 1355 The Adolescent Brain
  • PSY 1702 The Emotional Mind

In accordance with American Psychological Association guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs, clinical students also receive consultation and supervision within the context of clinical practica in psychological assessment and treatment beginning in their second semester of their first year and running through their third year (PSY 3050, 6 semesters total). They receive further exposure to additional topics (e.g., human development) in the Developmental Psychopathology seminar and in the twice-monthly clinical psychology “brown bag” speaker series. Finally, students complete a year-long clinical internship.

Students are responsible for making sure that they take courses in all the relevant and required areas listed above. Students wishing to substitute one required course for another should seek advice from their advisor and from the director of clinical training prior to registering. During the first year, students are advised to get in as many requirements as possible. Many requirements can be completed before the deadlines stated below.

First-year project: Under the guidance of a faculty member who serves as a mentor, students participate in a research project and write a formal report on their research progress. Due by May of first year.

Second-year project: Original research project leading to a written report in the style of an APA journal article. A ten-minute oral presentation is also required. Due by May of second year.

General exam: A six-hour exam covering the literature of the field. To be taken in September before the start of the third year.

Thesis prospectus: A written description of the research proposed must be approved by a prospectus committee appointed by the CHD. Due at the beginning of the fourth year.

Thesis and oral defense: Ordinarily this would be completed by the end of the fourth year.

Clinical internship: Ordinarily this would occur in the fifth year. Students must have completed their thesis research prior to going on internship.




clinical_psychology_handbook_march_4_2022.pdf552 KB