Program Description
The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of four full-time pre-internship years. In addition, students must complete a one-year internship. While the Ph.D. degree can be completed within five years, typically, six to seven years is the average length of study. Students pay tuition for the first four years. There are four quarters in the academic year; all quarters are approximately eleven weeks in duration. The minimum academic load for full-time students is twelve credit units per quarter. Students are eligible to apply for internship after passage of a Preliminary Qualifying Comprehensive Exam and approval of a dissertation proposal. Once the dissertation proposal is approved, up to three additional years are allowed for the completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (i.e., completion of the dissertation and its defense, and the internship year).  This clinical program enjoys full accreditation status by the American Psychological Association.  Questions 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:
or you can email Jacqueline Remondet Wall, PhD Associate Executive Director

Link to the most recent departmental Policy and Procedures Manual

Links to other important documents:

-RFUMS Student Handbook
-CHP Academic Catalog
-CHP 2015 Student Handbook
-CHP Clinical Psychology Financial Aid Information

Year 1
A sequence of required courses is taken during the first year. Clinical practica also begin during the first year. It is anticipated that students will begin active participation in a research program with their advisor. The fourth quarter (Summer) is typically devoted to research and applied courses designed to prepare students for second year practica.

Year 2

A series of required general courses and track courses are offered during the second year. Students may begin to take electives as part of their schedule. Continuation of clinical practica and research participation occur during this year. Completion of a thesis, along with satisfactory course grades, qualifies the student for the M.S. degree.  Students are required to submit their Master's thesis for publication in a peer-reviewed journal as part of their specialty track requirements. 

Comprehensive Examinations

The research methods comprehensive examination is taken in June of the second year.  The clinical comprehensive examination is taken in January of the third year.

Year 3 and Year 4

Required courses, electives, clinical practicum and research activities continue during these years. Upon satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examinations, students may develop their dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal must be approved by August 31st, if the student is to be eligible to apply for internship the following year.

Additional didactic activities in which students may participate include: Department sponsored colloquia; Neuroimaging Seminars; a Visiting Speaker Series and individual case conferences sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry; training conferences, special lectures and grand rounds sponsored by basic science and/or clinical departments, as well as the Psychology/Psychiatry Service of the Lovell Federal Health Care Center).


Students are required to complete a one-year, full-time, clinical internship, after having completed formal course work and a dissertation proposal. The internship is completed at a site chosen to meet students individual career goals. During internship, students function under supervision as clinical psychologists. The internship facility must comply with the American Psychological Association accreditation standards and must be approved by the Department of Psychology. Our students are typically accepted into APA- approved, high quality internship programs all across the country.