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Clinical Psychology Ph.D. - Frequently Asked Questions

Most Common Questions

  • No, you do not need to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be admitted into our program at BYU. Our program values diversity and we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds. Agreeing to the University Honor Code and receiving an annual Ecclesiastical Endorsement are required for admission.

  • Utah has world-class outdoor activities. You can look into some of them here. In addition, Provo is consistently named one of the best places to live:

    Provo City has a website with events and community resources: Provo City. You are also welcome to ask current graduate students how their experiences have been. If you need help getting in touch with someone who can answer your questions, just ask! Our phone number is (801)-422-4287, and our Graduate Student Directory can be found under the Graduate tab on our Department website.

  • The Psychology Department offers a Psychology Ph.D. and a Clinical Psychology PhD, with an M.S. embedded within the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. is the only degree offered by our department that provides both clinical (psychotherapy, psychological assessment, etc.) and research training. The Psychology Ph.D. (non-clinical) prepares you to work in academic and research settings (For more information about the Psychology Ph.D. program, click here).

  • Our clinical program has been continuously accredited by APA since 1971 (Commission on Accreditation). Our most recent re-accreditation process resulted in accreditation for another 10 years, the longest period of time allowed.

Questions about the Admissions Process

  • Applications are due December 1st of each year (Or the Monday after December 1st if it falls on a weekend).

  • Interviews will be conducted virtually in January. You will not need to visit campus to be considered for admission.

  • Applicants who are invited to participate in our virtual interviews will also be invited to visit campus for an optional in-person "second look" visit. This visit is not required and will not be considered when making offers of admission.

  • The GRE is optional, scores will be considered if submitted.

  • The GRE Psychology Subject Test is not required.

  • The Educational Testing Services (ETS) administers the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and before you take the test you may indicate that you want your scores to go to BYU by using the code R-4019. If you have already taken the GRE then please see the ETS website for information on ordering additional score reports.

  • No. While most of our applicants receive undergraduate degrees in psychology, an undergrad degree in another discipline is also okay. For example, an applicant interested in the neuropsychology Major Area of Study for the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. might have a major in neuroscience. Regardless of your prior educational focus, we still prefer that you have completed all prerequisites by the time you enroll.

  • Close to a 4.0 is ideal, above a 3.5 is good, and above a 3.0 might be acceptable. It all depends on the other aspects of your application.

  • Although not required, it is quite difficult to get into a graduate program in psychology (here at BYU or anywhere else) without prior research experience in psychology or a related field (e.g., neuroscience, sociology, education, human development, and family studies, etc.).

  • No. However, a clear record of research productivity (which may be demonstrated by papers or presentations) will improve your odds of receiving admission.

  • We cannot review your application before you submit a completed application online, including an Ecclesiastical Endorsement. However, you may want to talk about your research interests with a faculty member who does research that interests you. This helps you make sure you understand the type of research you might end up doing.

  • If you are applying to both the Psychology Ph.D. and the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs, you will need to submit two separate applications.

  • The number of students admitted each year depends on the number of faculty members who are accepting graduate students, the quality of the applications received, and available space and funding. Generally, we accept about 8 students per year in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program.

  • At present we do not offer a terminal master's degree. However, a master's degree is embedded within the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. which allows students to apply for internships that require a master's degree.

  • All instructions related to the application are provided through Graduate Studies.

  • A statement of intent (or personal statement) is an essay describing such things as: why you are interested in pursuing a degree in clinical psychology, the research and professional interests you want to develop at BYU, how your background qualifies you to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and the reasons you are a good fit for our program. Exactly what you say is up to you. It is expected that applicants will designate a faculty member or two with whom they would like to do research. Some applicants provide context for how the department admissions committee should view other elements of the application (such as GPA, GRE scores, or a gap in work/school history). Without being too informal, you can also use the statement to let the admissions committee get to know you a little better.

  • First, you can confirm that Graduate Studies has received your materials. If they have, then the Clinical Psychology Admissions Committee will be able to review your application packet a few days after it is complete. If there is some reason for doubt, then you may call the Clinical Psychology Secretary (801)-422-4050 during normal business hours to verify.

  • We hold interviews for program finalists in January. Offers of acceptance are made by April 15th, in compliance with APA guidelines, though most often students hear within a week or two of the interviews. If you are not accepted, then you may want to improve your application (e.g., gain additional research experience) and re-apply the next year. It may also be wise to apply to several additional programs and institutions.

  • We welcome questions that may remain after you have read through the Psychology Department webpages and the Graduate Studies webpages: Clinical Psychology (801)-422-4050 or If you would like to explore our programs more thoroughly, you could refer to the Graduate Student Handbook which applies to the Clinical Psychology PhD. The Clinical Practicum Handbook provides further information about clinical training in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. Both of these handbooks are geared toward current students.

Questions about the program itself

  • The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program adheres to the scientist-practitioner training philosophy, preparing students for careers that integrate research and practice. Students are prepared to pursue careers at universities, community agencies, hospitals, private practices, VA medical centers, and so forth.

  • We hope so! We have social events, seminars, and internal conferences to encourage graduate students to get to know other graduate students. In addition, the faculty wants you to feel welcome and comfortable in the department and at the university. Graduate students will work as research assistants with faculty mentors and will have several faculty members get to know their research. As part of a research lab, they will also work closely with other graduate students who are also being mentored by their research adviser. We hope you take advantage of these opportunities to develop long-lasting relationships that will serve you in your future careers.

  • Students in the Clinical Psychology program are housed in the Comprehensive Clinic, a unique interdisciplinary training and research facility that provides the university and the broader community with mental health services offered by graduate students in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, and Communication Disorders.

    The clinical program provides each student with a study carrel in the research lab of the mentor, located in either the Comprehensive Clinic or the Annex. Your faculty mentor(s) may also provide you with other resources such as technology and funding. A number of faculty conduct research using BYU's Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Facility.

    Students have access to all of the resources at the Harold B. Lee Library, which includes online databases and interlibrary loan services. The university and college also provide extensive access to computers and software.

  • Graduate students are strongly encouraged to present their work often. Some internal presentations are a required part of the program. Other conferences may be local, regional, or national. Clinical Psychology funding, along with Psychology Department funds, grants through the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences, and Graduate Student Society awards allow students to present their research at conferences. Graduate students are also encouraged to apply for external funding opportunities after consulting with their mentors.

  • While there is no housing designated for graduate students only, the BYU Housing Office does provide resources for locating suitable housing. To find out more about on-campus housing, please click here. To learn about BYU-approved off-campus housing, please click here. Note that graduate students are not required to live in BYU-approved housing. Some prefer to live close to campus, but others prefer to live as far away as Salt Lake City (45mi or 70km).

  • The Clinical Psychology program offers optional Major Areas of Study in neuropsychology; child, adolescent, and family psychology; and clinical health psychology. Many faculty are members of (and willing to supervise) graduate student work in more than one area. Not all students choose to complete a Major Area of Study.

  • Clinical practica are a part of the Clinical Psychology program: Paid clinical externships in the community are provided during the third and fourth years of the clinical program, and an APA-accredited full-time internship is required during the fifth year. In addition, students participate in unpaid clerkships in order to add breadth to their training.

  • You certainly can get teaching experience if you wish to do so. Some students serve as teaching assistants. In addition, students who have completed the department teaching course may serve as the instructor of record for undergraduate courses, depending on department needs. These are paid opportunities.

  • You can find out more about faculty research interests by going to the Faculty Directory here and clicking on a faculty member's name. That should take you to a page with their research interests, recent publications, and other pertinent information. You can also click here to go directly to a web page that groups faculty by their research-area emphasis. Please note that under each faculty name, the primary research emphasis is listed first. Once you have identified a few faculty members whose research interests match your own, you may contact them directly to see if they have openings. Just be aware that no guarantees for admission can be made based on this contact.

  • One of your first priorities in selecting a graduate program is to find a mentor with whom you can work collaboratively. Some faculty members are willing to consider research that is similar to the research that they usually do. However, a faculty member cannot mentor you in acquiring mastery of a body of research that they are not familiar with. Sometimes two mentors work together, but you must work this out with the potential mentors. You should seek mentors who are able to prepare you for the work you plan to engage in.

  • No. The Psychology Department does not offer the PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) degree.

  • The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program takes five years to complete, including an APA-accredited full-year internship during the fifth year. We work very hard to keep you on track and make sure it only takes longer in extenuating circumstances. It is not possible to finish our program any faster. Doing so will not allow you the necessary experience you need for successful employment.


    Yes. During the first 4 years, all students receive scholarships for at least 1/2 the LDS tuition amount. During the past academic year, proceeds from endowments allowed us to cover the full cost of tuition for all students during Fall and Winter Semesters. We anticipate providing the same level of tuition support in future years contingent on endowment yields.

    Stipends for living expenses are paid through a variety of sources. A research/teaching assistantship provides a stipend during the first two years in the program. In the third and fourth years, students participate in paid community practica. Students may be paid to teach classes if they elect to do so. Additionally, there are a limited number of competitive fellowships and grants that may be available through Graduate Studies and the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.

Questions about Special Circumstances

  • Graduate study in clinical psychology is a full-time endeavor, and thus it is difficult to succeed if you have outside employment. Clinical Psychology Ph.D. students are not permitted to be employed outside the program.

  • While a master's degree may provide you with a solid foundation for your doctoral studies, it does not necessarily increase your odds of admission or decrease the number of years you will be in our doctoral program. Occasionally general core courses may be waived if it is determined that the prior courses are equivalent to the BYU offerings.

  • Yes, see here.

  • Please click here for information.

  • No. The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program requires a full-time commitment that involves coursework, a significant amount of research, and clinical work within the Comprehensive Clinic and the community. To spend less than your full time would require you to forego opportunities while in graduate school that are often vital to a successful career.

  • No. If you are ready to apply before the next application cycle, then please spend time preparing for graduate school as you wait for the next application cycle. This might involve gaining additional research experience.

  • The application fee pays for staff and resources involved in processing your application. We are not able to waive this fee. There may be a program at your undergraduate institution that assists students with application fees.

  • No. We have a responsibility to dedicate our available time and resources to our current graduate students. Thus, university policy does not permit it.