PhD in Clinical Psychology
This page contains only a brief overview of the Clinical Psychology Program. For more information, see the following helpful links:
The Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Brigham Young University is a well-established, nationally visible program. We are committed to excellence and have a training model and the resources necessary for us to reach our goal. Our program has enjoyed continuous accreditation1 by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1971. We are confident that our program’s emerging national reputation will continue to grow in prestige, thanks to quality resources and a commitment to excellence.
The clinical training program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model. The program is, by design, eclectic in orientation and broad in scope. From cognitive-behavioral or humanistic perspectives to object relations and family systems, students are exposed to a diversity of clinical approaches and populations. Training focuses on academic and research competence and gives students both the theoretical and the practical experience necessary to develop strong clinical skills.
Candidates with various backgrounds who have strong academic and clinical promise are recruited. Adhering to the scientist-practitioner training philosophy, our goal is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to be excellent generalist clinical psychologists, equipped to pursue academic, research, or clinical careers. Although many of our graduates pursue professional careers, academic and research competencies are also central to the goals of the program. Beyond a general "core" education and clinical training, students may gain added experience in therapy, assessment, forensics, health psychology and a variety of other options, or they may elect optional Emphasis Areas in: (1) Child, Adolescent, Family, (2) Clinical Neuropsychology, (3) Clinical Research, or (4) Clinical Health.
The program is ordinarily completed in five years, including a one-year full-time internship completed in an accredited agency away from the university. Although many APA programs currently prefer students to apply only after completing the Bachelor's degree level, we welcome students with either Bachelor's or Master's degrees. The clinical psychology program at Brigham Young University has an excellent reputation, both for the clinical skills of our students and solid grounding in theory and research. Our students seeking internships are frequently accepted in some of the outstanding training sites of the nation. Recent students have completed internships at Baylor University Medical School, Duke University Medical School, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, University of Minnesota Medical School, the Yale School of Medicine, and several hospitals in the Harvard Medical School Consortium.
We have recently undergone an extensive self-study and realignment to streamline the curriculum. Students take didactic courses primarily on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Thursday mornings are generally reserved for practicum supervision and case conference. This leaves Tuesdays, Thursday afternoons, and Fridays open for clinical clerkships, externships, supervision, study, and research. Coursework and training include psychodiagnostics, personality dynamics, psychopathology, and individual, family, and group therapy. Clinical skill training begins in the first semester with a course in interviewing and microskills. In the second semester students begin working directly with clients, providing psychotherapy and conducting psychological assessments appropriate to their training level. In the second and third years, students have opportunities for clerkship experiences in the state prison, the state mental hospital, a community mental health setting. Clerkships and externships (paid clinical training experiences) are offered in over twenty clinics and hospitals in the area, which provide exposure to a varied clientele under the supervision of more than twenty professional adjuncts to our Faculty. The fourth year is primarily devoted to completing the dissertation; thus, we expect our students to have completed all their academic requirements prior to leaving for internship. In keeping with the scientist-practitioner model, our students undergo rigorous training in statistics, research design, and methodology, primarily in their second and third years. They may involve themselves in faculty-directed research or choose topics related to their own interests in anticipation of conducting their dissertation research.
The University is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(LDS) and is the largest private, church-related university in the country. As a religion-sponsored institution, issues of values and faith commitments are considered as integral parts of both treatment philosophies and personal ecologies. Whereas a number of our students each year are LDS, students of other faiths are welcome and considered without bias. Similarly, while the faculty are mainly LDS, there are several professors in psychology who are of other faiths. Many of the major denominations are represented on campus and in the community, and those of other faiths are an important part of the diversity that we welcome.
The University expects that all students, regardless of religion, will maintain the behavioral standards of the school, including the Honor Code. These include high standards of honesty, integrity, chastity, morality, and dress and grooming, in addition to abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse. The Honor Code Statement is found at the Honor Code Office website.
Information on accreditation can be obtained from the Commission on Accreditation, 202-336-5979, or Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242, or at www.apa.org/ed/accreditation