Coursework

The course sequence is graduated in complexity to promote integration of didactically-obtained knowledge, psychological theory, research methods, and practical clinical skills. It also permits maximum flexibility for students to pursue specialized areas of interest within the constraints of (a) fulfilling APA “distribution” requirements (i.e., coverage in history and systems of psychology, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social-ethnic-cultural bases of behavior, individual differences, and ethics), (b) ensuring that every student obtains enough clinical experiences to be competitive for internships (our students obtain, on average, around 1,000 hours), and (c) providing exposure to multiple aspects of diversity. The curriculum anticipates the possibility that students will be required to commit to a one year internship and a one year post-doctoral fellowship following completion of their dissertations. The course sequence permits students to accrue knowledge of and experience with specialized neuropsychological assessments, empirically validated methods of psychotherapy, as well as supervised experience as supervisors of less advanced students. An overview of our typical course sequence is provided below.

During their first year, students take two courses in statistics, and courses in developmental psychopathology, adult psychopathology, and personality theory and empirically validated methods of psychotherapy. These didactic courses are complemented by a yearlong sequence that provides supervised experience in clinical interviewing, intellectual assessment (emphasized in the first semester) and personality assessment (emphasized during the second semester). As soon as initial skills are mastered, students administer, score and interpret intellectual and personality tests on varied populations of children and adults in the Psychological Services Clinic. In addition, first-year students are assigned to vertical psychotherapy teams in which they observe the psychotherapeutic activities of more advanced students and begin conducting interviews and assessments as they demonstrate the competencies to do so.

During the second year, students take “Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology,” covering relationships among law, ethics, and psychological practice. They also take Research Methods and Test Construction and they may elect to take “Methods of Child and Family Psychotherapy.” Didactic psychotherapy courses in both the first and second year include demonstrations and practical experiences, which complement exposure to relevant theoretical and empirical underpinnings. Our students also complete distribution requirements in non- clinical areas, such as social, cognitive, or physiological bases of behavior. Completion of “Foundations of Neuropsychology,” for example, fulfills an APA requirement in “physiological bases of behavior,” and provides a foundation for a more specialized course in neuropsychological assessment and a companion practicum course in neuropsychological assessment that students often take in the fourth semester. The department also offers a specialized Health Psychology Certificate and students interested in obtaining the certificate can take “Clinical Health Psychology.”

Additionally, during the second year, psychotherapeutic skills are taught and sharpened through participation in one of two practica — Adult Psychotherapy, or Child and Family Psychotherapy. Both practica run throughout the year under the administrative umbrella of  the Psychological Services Clinic. Each practicum is organized as a vertical clinical team, which is composed of students from the first, second, and third years of training as well as fourth- or fifth-year student supervisors. The vertical clinical team is supervised by core clinical faculty (or carefully selected and experienced area psychologists who serve as adjunct faculty), with the assistance of advanced graduate students who themselves receive didactic and practical training in clinical supervision. Second-and third-year students on vertical clinical teams treat clients coming to the Psychological Services Clinic. In these practica, students are challenged to apply what they have learned from their didactic courses in developing efficacious interventions. Students are also expected to have an approved masters proposal by the end of their second year. Students also must pass a comprehensive general examination that qualifies them officially for doctoral study. This examination now takes the form of a review paper that is completed during the summer following the second year.

During the third year, students are expected to complete The Psychology of Ethnic Minorities, which examines processes of prejudice, discrimination, identity development, and majority privilege as well as the mental health needs of underserved populations. Another year-long practicum in Adult or Child/Family Psychotherapy is required of third year students. The Adult Psychotherapy Practicum is required of all students while the Child and Family Psychotherapy Practicum is optional. Thus, students will complete either two years of Adult Practica or one year of Adult and one year of Child/Family Practicum. The Program also offers specialized training in neuropsychology. The structure and content of the clinical neuropsychology concentration is shaped by the “Houston guidelines” and requires coursework and practica in addition to the general program requirements.

During the fourth or fifth year, students may enroll in either a Clerkship in Clinical Psychology or a two-course sequence, Didactics of Supervision and Consultation, and Practicum in Clinical Supervision. Clerkships are mini-internships, where students work as psychological assessors and psychotherapists in local hospitals, clinics, schools, and social service agencies for about 16 hours a week. Supervision of students’ activities on clerkship is shared by agency-affiliated psychologists and core clinical faculty. All students must complete at least one clerkship.

Didactics of Supervision and Consultation introduces advanced students to theories and empirical findings relevant to providing clinical supervision and expert consultation. Students who serve as supervisors on vertical clinical teams enroll in this course as well as a year-long Practicum in Clinical Supervision . In this practicum, students’ work as beginning supervisors of less advanced students is guided and evaluated by core faculty. All of our students take clerkships and 4 to 5 annually also take the supervision sequence. Students who do not complete the year-long supervision course are required to complete a 6 session seminar entitled Seminar in Clinical Supervision. This is offered in the context of the Clinical Seminar series which students are required to attend through the first three years of the program.

The final clinical requirement for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is completion of a yearlong block internship. Our students routinely apply to internship sites around the country. While competition for internship slots is strong, our students have compiled a highly successful track record in attaining their preferred internships.

Typical Curriculum

 1st Year

Fall

   

Spring

GRAD 5950

MA Research

3cr

GRAD 5950

 MA Research

3cr

STAT 3115Q

Analysis of Experiments

3cr

STAT 5105

Quantitative Methods

3cr

PSYC 5301

Practicum in Interviewing

3cr

PSYC 5304

Pract in Personality Assessment

3cr

PSYC 5305

Psychodynamics

3cr

PSYC 5303

Developmental Psychopathology

3cr

PSYC 5302

Adult Psychopathology

3cr

PSYC 5307

Empirically Validated Methods

3cr

PSYC 6301/6302 [V-Team]

Practicum in Adult/Child Psychotherapy (observe only)

1cr

PSYC 6301/6302 [V-Team]

Practicum in Adult/Child Psychotherapy (observe only)

1cr

PSYC 5399

Clinical Psych Research Group

1cr

PSYC 5399

Clinical Psych Research Group

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

2nd Year

Fall

Spring

GRAD 5950

3cr

GRAD 6950

Doctoral Dissertation Research

3cr

PSYC 5332

Research Design & Test Construction

3cr

PSYC 5309

Methods of Child Psychotherapy

3cr

PSYC 5306

Prof. Issues in Clinical Psych

3cr

PSYC 5141**

Neuropsych Assessment or breadth

3cr

Breadth (e.g. PSYC 5140)

Foundations of Neuropsychology

PSYC 5120 or Breadth

Health Psychology or Dept/APA Breadth Requirement

PSYC 6301/6302*

Practicum in Adult or Child Psychotherapy

3cr

PSYC 6301/6302*

Practicum in Adult or Child Psychotherapy

3cr

PSYC 5399

Clinical Psych Research Group

1cr

PSYC 5399

Clinical Psych Research Group

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

3rd Year  Fall     Spring

RAD 6950

Doctoral Dissertation Research

3cr

GRAD 6950

Doctoral Dissertation Research

3cr

PSYC 5310

Psychology of Ethnic Minorities

3cr

PSYC 5170

History of Psychology

3cr

PSYC 6301/6302*

Practicum in Adult or Child Psychotherapy

3cr

PSYC 6301/6302*

Practicum in Adult or Child Psychotherapy

3cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

Breadth

Dept/APA Breadth Requirement

Breadth

Dept/APA Breadth Requirement

AND/OR

AND/OR

PSYC 6141

Practicum in Neuropsych Assessment

3cr

PSYC 6141

Pract in Neuropsych Assessment

 4th & 5th Years 

 

GRAD 6950***

Doctoral Dissertation Research

3cr

GRAD 6950***

Doctoral Dissertation Research

3cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

PSYC 5300

Research Seminar in Clinical Psych

1cr

Breadth

Dept/APA Breadth Requirement

3cr

Breadth

Dept/APA Breadth Requirement

 PLUS

 

PSYC 6300^

Clerkship in Clinical Methodology

PSYC 6300^

Clerkship in Clinical Methodology

AND/OR 

 

PSYC 6303^

Didactics of Supervision & Consult.

3cr

 AND

 

PSYC 6304

Practicum in Clinical Supervision

3cr

PSYC 6304

Practicum in Clinical Supervision

3cr

 6th Year

 

PSYC 6310^

Internship in Clinical Psychology

0cr

PSYC 6310^

Internship in Clinical Psychology

0cr

GRAD 6930****

Full-time Doctoral Studies

3cr

GRAD 6930****

Full-time Doctoral Studies

3cr

* PSYC 6301/6302 Whichever course students take in the Fall, they will also take in the Spring semester (i.e. a full year of either PSYC 6301 or 6302)

**Foundations of Neuropsychology is a pre-requisite for Neuropsychological Assessment
***A total of 15 credits of GRAD 6950 are required. It is recommended that students only take 15 credits unless they need the credits to meet full-time status requirements for a Graduate Assistantship or federal financial assistance/deferments. Students who take too many overall credits during the course of their program may lose their eligibility for federal financial assistance.
****GRAD 6930 is not required during the internship year unless the student needs to maintain full-time status.
^Masters will be required for Internship, Graduate Teaching, Clerkship, and Supervision unless Advisor exception is granted.