Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Program Description | Admission | Degree Requirements Courses

Program Description

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. This program is NOT based on a mentor-model, and students entering the program are free to work with a variety of faculty on research and clinical projects. 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 encounter 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
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) showing all college level work completed
  4. Program application with the fee
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Essay
  7. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  8. Applicant publications (if applicable)
  9. Official GRE scores
  10. TOEFL score (if applicable)

The application deadline is December 1.

The typical academic profile of students admitted to the program includes an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 and a GRE score (Verbal and Quantitative combined) of 1200. However, promising students from all backgrounds who will enhance the program and, later, professional psychology are sought. 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
E-mail: clinpsy@shsu.edu


Degree Requirements

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 beyond the master’s degree designed in consultation with the Director of Clinical Training that will provide the student with in-depth knowledge in the areas of research and statistics, the broad bases of psychology, and clinical psychology. 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

PSYC 8383 Doctoral Practicum II must be taken for a minimu of nine hours.
Once enrolled in PSYC 6099 Thesis II, students must enroll in this course every semester until the thesis route sheet is received by the Office of the Registrar.
Once enrolled in PSYC 8099 Dissertation, students must enroll in this course every semester until the dissertation route sheet is received by the Office of the Registrar.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Course Name Hours
Specified Courses (18 credit hours)
Choose all from:
PSYC 5332 Advanced Social Psychology 3
PSYC 5360 Advanced Physiological Psychology 3
PSYC 7377 Emotions 3
PSYC 5387 Advanced Statistics 3
PSYC 5388 Introduction to Experimental Design 3
PSYC 5392 History and Systems of Psychology 3
PSYC 5397 Advanced Developmental Psychology 3
PSYC 7360 Multicultural Psychology 3
PSYC 7387 Multivariate Statistics in Psychology 3
PSYC 5330 Psychopathology 3
PSYC 5333 Theory and Research in Psychotherapy I 3
PSYC 5394 Psychometrics 3
PSYC 5395 Assessment of Intelligence and Achivement 3
PSYC 5396 Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology 3
PSYC 7330 Clinical Psychology Proseminar 3
PSYC 7336 Mental Health Law 3
PSYC 7339 Developmental Psychopathology 3
PSYC 7362 Ethics in Clinical Practice 3
PSYC 7370 Empirically Supported Treatments 3
PSYC 8360 Forensic Assessment I 3
Restricted Electives (6 credit hours)
Choose two from:
PSYC 5385 Advanced Health Psychology 3
PSYC 5396 Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology 3
PSYC 6394 Practicum in Psychometrics 3
PSYC 7333 Law and Social Psychology 3
PSYC 7374 Human Neuropsychology 3
PSYC 7392 Special Topics 3
PSYC 8361 Forensic Assessment II 3
Practica (21 credit hours)
Choose all from:
PSYC 8381 Introduction to Doctoral Practicum 21
PSYC 8382 Doctoral Clinical Practicum I
PSYC 8383 Doctoral Clinical Practicum II1
Internship (3 credit hours)
Choose all from:
PSYC 8110 Internship I 1
PSYC 8111 Internship II 1
PSYC 8112 Internship III 1
Thesis (6 credit hours)
Choose all from:
PSYC 6098 Thesis I 3
PSYC 6099 Thesis II2 3
Dissertation (12 credit hours)
Choose all from:
PSYC 8096 Dissertation 3
PSYC 8097 Dissertation 3
PSYC 8098 Dissertation 3
PSYC 8099 Dissertation3 3
Total  108


Psychology (PSYC)

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