Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are you looking for in applicants?

    We seek intelligent, hard-working students who will become able, successful colleagues.

    • Your grade point average and your score on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are not perfect measures, but they do help us predict how you will do in our courses. We also recommend, but do not require, that you provide us your score on the Advanced Psychology Test of the GRE.
    • Your personal essay and letters of recommendation help us determine whether there is a good fit between your interests and experience and what we have to offer.
  2. Is the program APA-accredited?

    Yes.  Our accreditation by APA was renewed for seven years, the longest possible span of time—until 2018.

  3. Can I apply to the program with a Bachelors' degree?

    Yes. In that case, you'll complete a Masters degree during your first two years in the program.

  4. What if I already have a Masters' degree or other graduate credits?

    • Some students enter our program with graduate credits from other universities. We review graduate transcripts and course syllabi to determine what general courses (e.g., Social Psychology, Physiological Psychology) may be waived at SHSU.  However, all of the clinical courses that are key components of our training (e.g., Practicum, Psychopathology) must be taken here. If a student has completed an empirical Master’s thesis elsewhere, we will review it to determine its suitability as a replacement for a thesis done here.
    • Given the large number of applications we receive each year, we are unable to review coursework or theses until a student is accepted into our program. Please do not request such reviews until we’re sure that you’ll be joining us.
  5. What if my Masters is not in clinical psychology?

    Students with degrees in other fields of study are welcome to apply. However, all students will ultimately need to complete all of the work we require for a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology as a prerequisite for our doctoral courses and in order to be eligible for licensure after graduation.

  6. Because I have been out of school for a number of years it will be difficult to get letters of recommendation from my professors. May I get letters from my boss or other people who know me well?

    We seek letters of recommendation that can tell us about your academic skills and your ability to succeed in a doctoral program.

    • Generally, the most helpful letters come from faculty members who know you well, and for that reason, we strongly recommend that at least two of your letters come from university faculty.
    • If you are working in a setting that is relevant to the program (for instance, working for a psychologist), a letter from your employer may be helpful.
    • However, letters from friends or relatives are of little use and should be avoided.
  7. How many students do you plan to accept?

    We want each entering class to consist of 7-9 students.

  8. How do I know which faculty members are accepting students? 

    Please review the material on the “Faculty” link on the program website.  Here you will see a brief a description of each faculty member’s research interests and, in most cases, a link to their most recent Curriculum Vita.  Also, each faculty member indicates whether she or he is accepting applications for the next application cycle.

  9. Will I be subject to a criminal background check?

    All students are subject to criminal background checks before being assigned a practicum. This is becoming common practice in the field and is intended to protect the public.

  10. If I am admitted to the program, will I receive funding?

    Thus far, all of our students have been funded throughout their graduate training.  For details on funding, please click here.

  11. Can I attend the program part-time?

    No.  Year-round, full-time enrollment is required.

  12. How long will it take me to complete the program?

    5 to 6 years, which includes a year-long pre-doctoral internship.

  13. What does pre-doctoral internship entail?

    • A year-long internship of full-time clinical work is undertaken during your final year of training.
    • Acceptance into pre-doctoral internships is very competitive, but our students fare very well. Please click here for student statistics on internship.
    • It is likely that you will relocate to another part of the country for your internship.
  14. If I receive a PhD in Clinical Psychology from SHSU, what kind of employment can I expect to obtain?

    A wide variety of options will be open to you.    You’ll find that our graduates do very well.

  15. Will this program train me to become an FBI profiler?


  16. Does the program offer degrees through distance learning?


  17. I will be in Huntsville soon. Can I make an appointment to interview?

    If you’re in Huntsville, take a tour of our lovely campus; you’ll be impressed.  But we discourage requests for interviews for several reasons:

    • We receive a very large number of applications each year and can only interview the most promising applicants
    • Our strongest applicants will be invited to an Interview Weekend during which they can meet all of our faculty and students, and tour our facilities.


We’re happy to answer your questions about the program or your application by phone or e-mail; please call or write us:

Breanna Barnes
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program
Psychological Services Center
(936) 294-1210
1-866-BEARKAT ask for extension 1210