For admission consideration, students must have completed at least a bachelor’s degree and must submit a complete application package (see requirements below). Students that enter our program with only a bachelor’s degree will complete the requirements for the M.A. degree, including a thesis, during their first two to three years of study. Students entering with a master’s degree may have a limited number of general courses waived after review of course syllabi and approval of the faculty. Similarly, students who have completed an empirical master’s thesis may have this requirement waived after review and approval by the faculty. The doctoral program admission procedures are consistent with the Council of University Directors Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) Guidelines.
The deadline for receipt of admission applications for the following fall semester is December 1st. We encourage you to begin your application at least two weeks before the deadline to ensure there is enough time for the electronic transmittal and processing of documents (e.g., transcripts, letters of recommendation). This is particularly important, as we will only review completed applications. The fall semester is the only semester in which new students are accepted into the program.
- Graduate application
- Application fee
- Transcripts from all degree-granting universities (unofficial transcripts are acceptable for initial review; applicants are welcome to submit transcripts from additional institutions for review by the program)
- Program application with the fee
- A minimum of two letters of recommendation (three are preferred)
- You will supply the name and contact information, including an email address, for your letter writers and our application system will contact them and provide instructions for electronic submission of your letters of recommendation.
- Personal statement/essay
- Please provide a two-page essay explaining your interests in clinical psychology as well as your interests in our particular program.
- Be sure to describe your research, clinical or other relevant experiences that have shaped and/or prepared you for doctoral study in clinical psychology.
- Current resume or curriculum vitae
- TOEFL score (if applicable; for information, please visit the Office of International Programs website)
- PLEASE NOTE: GRE scores are not required and will not be considered in admission decisions during the AY 2020-2021 admissions cycle. We request applicants omit any information relating to GRE general or subject test scores from their application materials (e.g., personal statements, letters of recommendations).
The Doctoral Program seeks promising students from all backgrounds in the service of creating a diverse intellectual community. The Greater Houston area is one of the most diverse in the country; consequently, students with foreign language skills can contribute uniquely to the research and practice in the Program. New students may join the program with either a baccalaureate or a master’s degree.
Review Process and Invitation to Interview
Shortly after the December 1 deadline, the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program faculty meet to review the applicants. We consider academic accomplishment and potential as well as applicants’ fit with our program (as reflected by the personal essay and letters of recommendation). With our mentor model, we also place great weight on applicants’ fit with the research of the faculty members they identify as preferred mentors on the program application. Please review the faculty section of the program website to see faculty interests and determine which faculty members are accepting applications for potential students. We will invite the most promising applicants to participate in video teleconference interviews in February or March.
The entire program faculty participate in the interview process. During their interviews, we will ask candidates to discuss their interests in clinical psychology as well as their interests in our program. We will also ask students to discuss their research and clinical experience and invite them to discuss any other aspects of their academic and professional background that are related to doctoral studies in clinical psychology.
Following the interview, the faculty meet to decide on a final sorting of candidates. Students are either accepted, rejected, or placed on a wait list. Official letters are then sent to the applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are you looking for in applicants?
- Overall, we seek intelligent, hard-working students who will become able, successful colleagues.
- We consider grade-point average in evaluating an applicant’s potential for success in meeting academic requirements.
- Personal essays and letters of recommendation help us identify applicants whose interests and experiences fit with what we have to offer.
- Please see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data on our main page
2. Is the program APA-accredited?
- Our program has been continuously accredited since 2006.
- We were accredited for 10 years in May 2019.
3. Can I apply to the program with a Bachelors' degree?
- Students who begin the doctoral program with only a Bachelor’s degree will complete the requirements for a Master’s degree during their first two to three years of study.
4. What if I already have a Master's degree or other graduate credits?
- We review graduate transcripts and course syllabi to determine which general courses (e.g., Social Psychology, Physiological Psychology) may be waived at SHSU, up to a maximum of 15 credits.
- All of the clinical courses (e.g., Practicum, Psychopathology) that are key components of our training 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.
5. What if my Masters is not in clinical psychology?
- Students with degrees in other fields of study are welcome to apply.
- 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.
- 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 (e.g., working for a psychologist), a letter from your employer may be helpful.
- 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 or 8 students.
8. How do I know which faculty members are accepting students?
- Please review the material on the “Meet Our Faculty” link on the program website, where faculty members indicate if they are accepting applications for the next application cycle.
- You will see a brief a description of each faculty member’s research interests and a link to his/her/their most recent Curriculum Vita.
9. If I am admitted to the program, will I receive funding?
- Thus far, all of our students have been funded throughout their graduate training.
- In addition, the SHSU Office of Graduate Studies offers conference travel funding on a competitive basis.
- For details on funding, please the Funding link on our website.
10. Will I be subject to a background check?
- Yes. All students in our program undergo a background check in connection with their employment with the university (e.g., as a research assistant, teaching assistant).
- Many of our practicum sites and many (if not all) internships conduct background checks.
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 7 years, which includes a one-year predoctoral internship.
13. What does predoctoral internship entail?
- A year of full-time clinical work is undertaken during your final year of training.
- Acceptance into predoctoral internships is very competitive, but our students fare very well.
- Our match rates can be found on the Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data page.
- Sites where our students have matched can be found on the Internship page
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 and you will 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 are in Huntsville, take a tour of our lovely campus; you will be impressed.
- 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.