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

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

Choose all from:
PSYC 5332 <PSY 532> Advanced Social Psychology
PSYC 5360 <PSY 560> Advanced Physiological Psychology
PSYC 7377 <PSY 777> Emotions
PSYC 5387 <PSY 587> Advanced Statistics
PSYC 5388 <PSY 588> Introduction to Experimental Design
PSYC 5392 <PSY 592> History and Systems of Psychology
PSYC 5397 <PSY 597> Advanced Developmental Psychology
PSYC 7360 <PSY 760> Multicultural Psychology
PSYC 7387 <PSY 787> Multivariate Statistics in Psychology
PSYC 5330 <PSY 530> Psychopathology
PSYC 5333 <PSY 533> Theory and Research in Psychotherapy I
PSYC 5394 <PSY 594> Psychometrics
PSYC 5395 <PSY 595> Assessment of Intelligence and Achievement
PSYC 5396 <PSY 596> Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology
PSYC 7330 <PSY 730> Clinical Psychology Proseminar
PSYC 7336 <PSY 736> Mental Health Law
PSYC 7339 <PSY 739> Developmental Psychopathology
PSYC 7362 <PSY 762> Ethics in Clinical Practice
PSYC 7370 <PSY 770> Empirically Supported Treatments
PSYC 8360 <PSY 860> Forensic Assessment I
Restricted Electives
Choose two from:
PSYC 5385 <PSY 585> Advanced Health Psychology
PSYC 5396 <PSY 596>Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology
PSYC 6394 <PSY 694> Practicum in Psychometrics
PSYC 7333 <PSY 733> Law and Social Psychology

PSYC 7374 <PSY 774> Human Neuropsychology
PSYC 8361 <PSY 861> Forensic Assessment II
3 Practica Choose all from:
PSYC 8381 <PSY 881> Introduction to Doctoral Practicum
PSYC 8382 <PSY 882> Doctoral Clinical Practicum I
PSYC 8383 <PSY 883> Doctoral Clinical Practicum II1
4 Internship Choose all from:
PSYC 8110 <PSY 890> Internship I
PSYC 8111 <PSY 891> Internship II
PSYC 8112 <PSY 892> Internship III
5 Thesis Choose all from:
PSYC 6098 <PSY 698> Thesis I
PSYC 6099 <PSY 699> Thesis II2
6 Dissertation Choose all from:
PSYC 8096 <PSY 896> Dissertation
PSYC 8097 <PSY 897> Dissertation
PSYC 8098 <PSY 898> Dissertation
PSYC 8099 <PSY 899> Dissertation3
1 PSYC 8383 <PSY 883> Doctoral Clinical Practicum II must be taken for a minimum of nine hours.
2 Once enrolled in PSYC 6099 <PSY 699> Thesis II, students must enroll in this course in every semester until the thesis route sheet is received by the Office of the Registrar.
3 Once enrolled in PSYC 8099 <PSY 899> Dissertation, students must enroll in this course in ever semester until the dissertation route sheet is received by the Office of the Registrar.



Psychology (PSYC)

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