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Sherri Gilliland, Graduate Records



Department of Psychology 
125 Moore Building 
The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park, PA 16802-3106

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Clinical Psychology Program: Overview

The APA accredited Clinical Psychology program is designed to provide the graduate student with experience in applied clinical settings and research training in psychopathology, therapy, & assessment.

The APA accredited1 Clinical Psychology program is designed to provide the graduate student with experience in applied clinical settings and research training in psychopathology, therapy, and assessment. In addition to other regular course work, students are expected to engage in both practice and research throughout their graduate training. Students generally complete course work during their first three to four years, and complete their dissertation in the fifth year. Most students complete their predoctoral internship in the sixth or seventh year. The Clinical program is designed to fit the APA criteria for graduate training in psychology and to allow the student to be qualified for licensure in most states. The program, formulated with one's major professor, includes introduction to clinical psychology, personality, research design, psychopathology, psychotherapy, clinical assessment, two statistics courses, one course in biological bases of behavior, one course in cognitive-affective bases of behavior, one course in social bases of behavior, a course sequence that covers developmental lifespan psychology, and continuing assignment to practica in the departmental Psychological Clinic. Several other clinical courses and seminars, focused on the interest areas of the faculty, are offered regularly.

Adult Clinical.  The adult clinical track has a clinical science focus with areas of research specialization in psychotherapy outcome, personality disorders, multicultural factors in psychopathology, clinical neuropsychology, anxiety disorders and PTSD, and addiction. Students gain intensive research experience usually in close collaboration with one faculty mentor, and typically have several publications upon program completion. Students also gain clinical experiences in cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic therapies, clinical neuropsychology, diagnostic assessment, and crisis management. 

Child Clinical.  The child clinical track also has a clinical science focus. It lies at the interface of developmental and clinical psychology, and emphasizes intervention and research with individuals ranging in age from infancy to young adulthood. Students in this track obtain specialized training in: (1) research in developmental psychopathology, including understanding the effects of biological, cognitive, social, emotional, family and community contexts on typical and atypical development, and research on translating knowledge to interventions to foster early school age mental health and coping with the stresses families and children face; and (2) mental health services to children and families, including evidence-based intervention, school-based consultation and comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. Specific areas of expertise in the child track faculty include infant and toddler emotional development, neuropsychology of disruptive behavior disorders, child abuse, anxiety and mood disorders, and prevention programs. In addition to the general clinical requirements, the child track specialization includes core courses in Child Psychopathology, Clinical Child Intervention, and Clinical Child Assessment. Students can also choose to complete either a minor in Developmental Psychology or the Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN).

Additional information about the program may be found in a separate brochure on Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology Program Manual of Procedures and Requirements

Applicant Data (pdf format)

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (pdf format)


1Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 
American Psychological Association 
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002 
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:   

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