Clinical PhD Program
The American Psychological Association (APA) has accredited the Clinical Training Program at Kent State continuously since 1968. The program is based on a clinical-scientist model and is designed to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, and clinical practice. Students have many resources and opportunities for developing research skills that can be applied to important clinical problems. All students are involved in collaborative research projects with faculty. Students often are authors of journal articles and presentations at professional meetings. Clinical students also may participate in the department’s Applied Psychology Center. The Psychological Clinic is maintained within the department as a training facility where students receive clinical and research experience under the supervision of clinical psychology faculty. The department also works closely with clinical facilities in the area (e.g., adult and child community mental health centers, forensic facilities, health centers, and hospitals and medical centers) in providing supervised clinical placements and research venues for students. In addition to departmental practica and community training experiences, clinical students are required to complete a one-year APA-accredited clinical internship before receiving the Ph.D. Our students have been successful in obtaining high quality internships. Internship sites have been widely dispersed geographically, ranging from the Palo Alto V.A. in California to the Yale University School of Medicine. Internship sites have included medical schools, V.A. centers, community mental health clinics, and forensic institutions.
All graduate students in the clinical program are eligible to receive financial support, usually in the form of a graduate assistantship, which includes a full tuition waiver, a stipend and some health insurance benefits. Both research and teaching skills are advanced by the graduate assistantships. Through a research assignment, students are involved directly in research with faculty. In later years, students may develop teaching skills through instruction of undergraduate psychology classes.
Clinical students are expected to become active in research as soon as they enroll in the graduate program. Initial research activities involve collaboration with faculty on their ongoing research programs. By the second year, clinical students should be conducting their own research projects designed to fulfill the requirements of the Master’s degree under faculty supervision. Students are encouraged to take research course waivers, designed to fulfill some of the course requirements by conducting additional independent research projects under faculty supervision. Clinical students’ research training culminates in the design, execution and successful defense of a doctoral dissertation project.
The Clinical Training Program is eclectic, designed to expose students to a variety of approaches to assessment, intervention, and research. Training in clinical skills begins in the first year, when student participate in clinical practica designed to begin development of basic listening, communication, assessment, and conceptualization skills, It continues during the second year when students receive supervised clinical experience in the Psychological Clinic. During the third and fourth years students are involved in advanced practica in the Psychological Clinic and in part-time clinical placements in community agencies.
Including internship, the Clinical Training Program is generally completed in five to six calendar years, although some students require longer. In addition to completing general departmental requirements, clinical students have the following requirements:
- Six clinical core courses in assessment, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and professional issues.
- A course on clinical research methods.
- Six electives that best fit the student’s program of study.
- Eight semesters of clinical practica in the department’s Psychological Clinic.
- 1000 hours of supervised clinical experience in a local field placement site, such as a mental health center, forensic setting, or hospital.
- 2000 hours of supervised internship experience in an APA-accredited program.
Students may waive up to four courses with research projects.
In addition to broad clinical training, it is possible for students to receive specialized research training and clinical experience in the areas of Adult Psychopathology, Assessment, Child Clinical, Neuropsychology, and Clinical Health Psychology*. Detailed descriptions of these specializations follow this section. In completing the Psychology Information Sheet, be sure to indicate your interest in any of these areas of concentration.
STUDENT ADMISSIONS, OUTCOMES, AND OTHER DATA on the Clinical Ph.D. students are available here.
The Kent State University Department of Psychological Sciences Clinical Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Information on accreditation can be obtained by contacting the APA Committee on Accreditation. They can be contacted by phone at 202-336-5979 or by mail at the following address: Committee on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242.
* Some students desire broad training in clinical psychology and choose to not pursue an area of specialization. It is often the case that incoming graduate students have research and clinical interests that may be met effectively by our training program without pursuing an area of specialization, or they may have multiple research and clinical interests that encompass more than one are of specialization.