Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

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 and incorporate new findings 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. We train all students to be legally informed clinicians, who can explain psychological phenomena to courts or administrative agencies, intervene with individuals and families at various junctures in the social system, and provide assessment and 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 for coursework from additional institutions, though this is not necessary.
  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. 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.

Note: GRE scores are not needed and will not be reviewed for the Academic Year 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

The application deadline is December 1, 2021.

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. Doctoral students must earn a grade of B or above in all classes. Please consult the Program Handbook for a more detailed description of policies regarding academic standards.
  4. Passing a written comprehensive examination.
  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 Doctoral Program Faculty.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Specified Courses
PSYC 5330Psychopathology3
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 7330Clinical Psychology Proseminar3
PSYC 7336Mental Health Law3
PSYC 7339Developmental Psychopathology3
PSYC 7360Multicultural Psychology3
PSYC 7362Ethics in Clinical Practice3
PSYC 7370Empirically Supported Treatmnt3
PSYC 7377Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior3
PSYC 7378Social and Developmental Bases of Behavior3
PSYC 7387Multivariate Statistics - Psy3
PSYC 8360Forensic Assessment I3
PSYC 8361Forensic Assessment II3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Advanced Health Psychology
Assmt-Personlty& Psychoptholgy
Practicum in Psychometrics
Law and Social Psychology
Human Neuropsychology
Latent Variable Modeling
Topics in Clinical Psychology
PSYC 8381Beginning Doctoral Practicum3
PSYC 8382Doctoral Clinical Practicum I9
PSYC 8383Doctoral Clinical Practicum II 19-36
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 Hours108-135

 Note: Doctoral students must earn a grade of B or above in all classes.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Graduates will meet the educational requirements for licensure as psychologist in Texas.
  • As licensed psychologists or while working under supervision, graduates will be able to provide comprehensive, multi-method psychological evaluations to answer a wide range of referral questions as licensed psychologists.
  • As licensed psychologists or while working under the supervision, graduates will be able to provide psychotherapy services to diverse clients using empirically-supported treatment techniques.
  • Graduates will be competent to conduct psychological research, including developing research questions, designing empirical research, and using quantitative methods.