Program Overview

Program Mission

Doctoral Program

Through a rigorous foundation in scientific psychology as well as broad and general training in research and clinical practice, the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Sam Houston State University provides candidates with opportunities to develop attitudes, knowledge, and skills to become effective clinical psychologists as well as researchers and scholars.

Forensic Emphasis

In addition to this foundation in general clinical psychology, our Program places an emphasis on training students to become legally informed clinicians with knowledge and experience providing professional services within the justice system. Students learn methods for applying the skills of clinical psychologists to address needs and answer research questions related to the legal arena. We are particularly proud of our training in forensic psychology, which includes coursework and practical experiences.

Additional Experiences and Exposures

The Program also provides students the opportunity to obtain experience with and exposure to a wide range of clinical and research topics. Multiple faculty members conduct research in health psychology, adolescent mental health, behavioral and mindfulness interventions, neurobehavioral functioning, health disparities, and trauma. We also offer practicum training in inpatient and outpatient settings addressing a wide range of issues, including severe mental illness, neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation, psychotherapy using telehealth technology as well as more traditional clinical assessment and therapy.

Program Goals

Goal 1:

To produce graduates who have a broad knowledge of scientific psychology including its history of thought and development, research methods, and applications.

Goal 2:

To produce graduates with the skills to conduct meaningful research that adds to the current body of knowledge in psychology.

Goal 3:

To produce graduates who have the knowledge and skills to excel in the practice of clinical psychology.

Goal 4:

To produce graduates who can apply clinical psychological principles in the legal arena in both research and clinical practice.

The APA accredited Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Sam Houston State has much to offer to students interested in becoming clinical psychologists. This includes:

  • Rigorous training in psychological research and practice
  • Opportunities to conduct research related to a wide range of areas of psychology
  • Opportunity to publish and present research in diverse venues
  • Clinical training with diverse clients in a wide range of settings
  • Specialized coursework and clinical training in forensic psychology
  • A supportive faculty and student community
  • Preparation for internship and postdoctoral fellowships
  • Meaningful career opportunities upon graduation

Training in Clinical Psychology

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology applies a scientist-practitioner model to the training of the next generation of psychologists. Our curriculum—coursework, research, and practica—has been developed to ensure our Program meets the Standards of Accreditation published by the American Psychological Association. This includes classes and other training experiences that relate to the discipline-specific knowledge of psychology. These areas include:

  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Affective Bases of Behavior
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Cognitive Bases of Behavior
  • Developmental Bases of Behavior
  • Social Bases of Behavior
  • Advanced Integrative Knowledge
  • Research Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Psychometrics

Beyond this foundational knowledge, we ensure our graduates possess the critical competencies expected of all clinicians. Consistent with the field of psychology in general, science is at the core of our knowledge and we rely on the current evidence base in our training. We expect graduates of our program to be competent with respect to the following:

  • Research
  • Ethical and legal standards
  • Individual and cultural diversity
  • Professional values and attitudes
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Supervision
  • Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
  • Forensic Research and Practice