Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology: Pre-Doctoral

The MA in Clinical Psychology: Pre-Doctoral degree offers students the opportunity of earning their Masters degree on their way to earning the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  Please, note that this option is only available to students who have been admitted to Sam Houston State University as doctoral students.  As with the Ph.D. program, the demands of the MA: Pre-Doctoral degree’s training requirements are not amenable to part-time or weekend course schedules.

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.

Students applying to this program must be admitted to Sam Houston State University as doctoral students. Doctoral students admitted to the university who have not received a Masters degree at another institution obtain the MA in Clinical Psychology: Pre-Doctoral on their way to obtaining the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 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 2024-2025 admissions cycle.

The application deadline is December 1, 2023.

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.

As for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the following guidelines are offered to demonstrate the nature of the training.

  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 inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills. This course of study is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for entry-level practice and 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.

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology: Pre-Doctoral
Specified Courses
PSYC 5330Psychopathology3
PSYC 5333Theory and Research In Psychotherapy I3
PSYC 5387Advanced Statistics3
PSYC 5388Experimental Design3
PSYC 5394Psychometrics3
PSYC 5395Assessment of Intelligence and Achievement3
PSYC 5396Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology3
PSYC 6098Thesis I3
PSYC 6099Thesis II 13
Pre-Doctoral Track
PSYC 5360Advanced Physiological Psychology3
or PSYC 7370 Empirically Supported Treatments
PSYC 7330Clinical Psychology Proseminar3
PSYC 7377Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior3
or PSYC 7378 Social and Developmental Bases of Behavior
PSYC 7387Multivariate Statistics in Psychology3
PSYC 8360Forensic Assessment I3
PSYC 8361Forensic Assessment II3
PSYC 8381Beginning Doctoral Practicum3
PSYC 8382Doctoral Clinical Practicum I6
PSYC 8383Doctoral Clinical Practicum II3
Total Hours57

Once enrolled in PSYC 6099, students must enroll in this course in every semester until Thesis is completed.

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.

Following the completion of the MA in Clinical Psychology: Pre-Doctoral, the student will proceed with the degree requirements for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Completing the doctoral degree will meet the educational requirements 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.