Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program seeks to train professionals with a broad knowledge of scientific psychology who will be skilled clinicians. The program’s educational philosophy is to produce scientist/practitioners who possess expertise in both research and clinical practice. The department believes that experience in applied settings produces scientists who are sensitive to pragmatic issues and who are on the cutting edge of research questions essential to practitioners in the field. Conversely, clinicians who have been trained as scientists understand emerging research results and assimilate them into their daily practice. The program uses a flexible mentor model in which students are accepted to work with a particular member of the faculty for their degree-required research, but also are encouraged to seek out research opportunities with other members of the Department faculty. All students are required to complete a dissertation and to be enrolled full-time. The demands of the program’s training are not amenable to part-time or weekend course schedules.

Additionally, the Ph.D. program includes a strong forensic emphasis, training all students to be legally informed clinicians, who can explain psychopathology to courts or administrative agencies, intervene with families at various junctures in the social system, as well as providing treatment for both victims and offenders. All students have the opportunity to participate in performing forensic evaluations for the courts. Students will complete the program with the basic preparation they need to pursue postdoctoral specialty training and legally-relevant clinical psychology research.

Clinical psychology is the psychological science that seeks to understand, assess, and treat psychological disorders and conditions. SHSU psychology students’ published research has examined test development, personality assessment, psychopathology, gender and minority issues, jury processes, and public policy, among other topics. Students’ practicum experiences have involved work with severely disturbed clients, people with brain injuries, persons with addictions, troubled adolescents, children and families, and persons in the legal system. Practicum settings have included a variety of inpatient and residential settings (neuropsychiatric, rehabilitation, and university medical center), private psychological practices, and correctional settings. In addition, the program operates its own Psychological Services Center where students provide services to a broad range of community clientele.

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in clinical psychology must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application: The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An university application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.* Applicants are welcome to submit transcripts from additional institutions for review by the program
  4. Program application with the fee
  5. A minimum of two letters of recommendation (three are preferred)
  6. Personal Statement/Essay
  7. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  8. Official GRE scores
  9. TOEFL score (if applicable)

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

The application deadline is December 1.

The Doctoral Program seeks promising students from all backgrounds in the service of creating a diverse intellectual community.  High test scores and grades do not guarantee acceptance, and students whose lower scores are offset by other exceptional qualifications may be admitted.  New students may join the program with either a baccalaureate or a master’s degree.

For application forms or further information, write or call:

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program
Department of Psychology and Philosophy
Sam Houston State University
Box 2210
Huntsville, TX 77341-2210
Telephone: (936) 294-1210

Note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

All formal requirements for completion of the Ph.D. are described in the Clinical Psychology Doctor of Philosophy Program Handbook and may vary from one student to another depending on previous academic preparation. The following guidelines are offered to demonstrate the nature of the doctoral program and should not be misconstrued as representing the formal requirements for the Ph.D.

  1. A course of study that includes training in the discipline-specific knowledge of psychology, including research and quantitative methods; history and systems of psychology; and the affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social bases of behavior. Students are also trained in the profession-wide competencies associated with clinical psychology, which include research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, and consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. This course of study is sequential. cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for further organized training.
  2.  Enrollment as a full-time student (i.e., a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester) on campus for at least four consecutive long (i.e., Fall, Spring) semesters.
  3. An average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained by the student in all courses in which he/she registers after admission into the doctoral program. Students should consult the Program Handbook for a more detailed description of policies regarding academic standards.
  4. Passing a written comprehensive examination or successfully defending a major area paper which integrates at least 3 core areas.
  5. Completion and defense of a doctoral dissertation that is the product of original scholarly research and is of such quality as to represent a meaningful contribution to knowledge in the field of psychology.
  6. Completion of a year-long pre-doctoral internship, during which the student works full-time in an applied clinical setting.
  7. Completion of the degree within 6 years from the first semester of registration as a doctoral student (i.e., following completion of requirements for the master’s degree).

Students entering with a master’s degree in psychology and who have completed similar courses as part of their degree may have courses waived at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Specified Courses
PSYC 5330Psychopathology3
PSYC 5332Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYC 5333Thry & Rsch In Psychotherapy I3
PSYC 5360Adv Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 5387Advanced Statistics3
PSYC 5388Experimental Design3
PSYC 5392History & Systems Of Psychlogy3
PSYC 5394Psychometrics3
PSYC 5395Assmt Of Intellgnc & Achievmt3
PSYC 5396Assmt-Personlty& Psychoptholgy3
PSYC 5397Adv Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 7330Clinical Psychology Proseminar3
PSYC 7336Mental Health Law3
PSYC 7339Developmental Psychopathology3
PSYC 7360Multicultural Psychology3
PSYC 7362Ethics in Clinical Practice3
PSYC 7370Empirically Supported Treatmnt3
PSYC 7377Emotions3
PSYC 7387Multivariate Statistics - Psy3
PSYC 8360Forensic Assessment I3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Advanced Health Psychology
Assmt-Personlty& Psychoptholgy
Practicum in Psychometrics
Law and Social Psychology
Human Neuropsychology
Topics in Clinical Psychology
Forensic Assessment II
Select all three of the following for a minimum of 21 credit hours:21
Beginning Doctoral Practicum
Doctoral Clinical Practicum I
Doctoral Clinical Practicum II 1
PSYC 8110Internship I1
PSYC 8111Internship II1
PSYC 8112Internship III1
PSYC 6098Thesis I3
PSYC 6099Thesis II 23
PSYC 8096Dissertation I3
PSYC 8097Dissertation II3
PSYC 8098Dissertation III3
PSYC 8099Dissertation IV 33
Total Hours108