Accredited by the American Psychological Association, the clinical psychology Ph.D. program follows a scientist-practitioner model. Students are trained as applied researchers and scientists, developing skills in research and practical methods used to advance knowledge of the causes, prevention, and treatment of emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems within diverse urban communities. We embrace a community psychology orientation that emphasizes multiple influences on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, and values engaging communities in all aspects of the work that we do. Our training is grounded in developmental and social-ecological perspectives that attend to the intersection of multiple forms of diversity and recognize the impacts of systemic oppression on individuals and communities. We aspire to train behavioral scientists who are able to identify, implement, and evaluate strategies to promote equity and social justice and to reduce health and mental health disparities in a variety of settings. Faculty subscribe to a range of theoretical orientations, including cognitive-behavioral, family systems, social-ecological, and community frameworks. These perspectives enable students to develop a broad base of knowledge and the opportunity to specialize in particular areas of research and evidence-based application.
"Through class discussion, research and clinical experiences, I learned that the symptom is never bigger than the story. This has been a cornerstone of my work as a clinician."
Application Requirements and Process
- As part of our efforts to reduce barriers to applicants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clinical program will not require GRE scores in the admissions process for Fall 2021. We will consider all applications, regardless of the absence or presence of GRE scores. Although the Clinical program will not require you to report GRE scores for consideration this year, certain university-level scholarships *do* require GRE scores when selecting admitted students. Therefore, some applicants may decide to submit the GREs at the time of the application process. Please note that because the timing varies for these scholarships, sending the GRE scores late may result in the admitted student being ineligible at that time.
- We will extend invitations for admissions interviews in early January 2021. We will conduct virtual interviews on January 22 and 29, 2021.
Department application and admissions procedures are in accordance with the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training guidelines for doctoral clinical psychology programs.
The clinical program follows a mentorship model. Qualified applicants are chosen based on how their interests fit with the overall goals of the program and with the research interests of specific faculty members.
When applying, students must rank up to two faculty members whose research interests best match their current research interests (1 = first choice, 2 = second choice) on the Faculty Preference Form (pdf).
Applicants should review eligible core faculty and bios and indicate their ranking on the online application for the PhD program in clinical psychology.
Interviews run for half a day, involving meetings with the director of clinical training, clinical faculty and graduate students. For students applying for the fall semester 2021, two virtual interview dates will be held on January 22 and 29, 2021.
American Psychological Association Accreditation
The clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and recognized by the Society for Community Research and Action as a doctoral clinical-community training program.
Further information on the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences’ accreditation status and the accreditation process may be obtained from the American Psychological Association:
American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
To build real-world clinical experience, students in the PhD program complete a minimum of two assessment practica and two therapy practica in the Meltzer Psychological and Community-Based Services Center.
Additionally, students complete two externship placements in community settings. Clinical practice is supervised by licensed faculty members and clinicians at field placements.
Finally, as part of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology, students are also required to complete a one-year Psychology Internship Training Program. In almost all cases this will be an APA- approved pre-doctoral internship program.
Our Clinical Psychology program trains graduates who are successfully licensed in many states. No graduate from our program has been turned down for licensure due to insufficiencies in our program’s education and training. However, the practice of psychology (licensure) is regulated at the state level. State licensing authorities, commonly referred to as “State Boards,” determine the specific educational and training requirements for licensure in their State. Licensure requires more training than our degree’s educational requirements and may vary by state. Most states have post-doctoral clinical supervision requirements, and some states have specific training requirements that may not be automatically covered in GWU’s program. For a general description of the licensing processes in clinical psychology and a state by state listing of our recent understanding of educational requirements and how GWU’s program aligns with the requirements of each state, please review our Consumer Disclosure Information report (PDF).
The program develops students into well-rounded, confident professionals in several roles:
- Researchers and applied scientists
- Interventionists who use methods and substantive findings to inform assessment, prevention, and treatment
- Professionals who consider applied problems from a lifespan developmental perspective and from multiple levels within human social ecology
- Clinical psychologists equipped with the specialized skills necessary for implementing promotion, prevention, and treatment programs for diverse clients
Clinical Psychology News
Supported by a National Institutes of Health grant, clinical psychology PhD candidate Sammy Dhaliwal set out to test how sleep deprivation contributes to depression in pregnant and postpartum women. The large research team she assembled included GW medical students, researchers from Children’s National Medical Center and Apple and Deloitte consultants. “Depression during pregnancy or postpartum affects not just the mom but the baby, too. It has the potential to change the trajectory of a child's life,” said Dhaliwal.
The following requirements must be fulfilled:
The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.
The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Program.
72 credits, including 54 credits in required courses, 6 credits in elective courses, and 12 credits in dissertation. Students also take five zero-credit courses and successfully complete a comprehensive examination.
In addition, students are required to obtain clinical training, including a minimum of two assessment practica and two therapy practica in the Meltzer Center’s Psychological and Community-Based Services, and to complete a one-year Psychology Internship Training Program. In almost all cases this will be an APA- approved predoctoral internship program.
|DNSC 6274||Statistical Modeling and Analysis|
|DNSC 6275||Advanced Statistical Modeling and Analysis|
|DNSC 6276||Exploratory and Multivariate Data Analysis|
|PSYC 8202||Psychological Research Methods and Procedures|
|PSYC 8210||Developmental Theories and Issues|
|PSYC 8250||Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience|
|PSYC 8253||Social Cognition|
|PSYC 8207||Psychological Assessment I|
|PSYC 8208||Psychological Assessment II|
|PSYC 8211||Community Psychology I|
|PSYC 8212||Community Psychology II|
|PSYC 8218||Evidence-Based Interventions|
|PSYC 8220||Ethics and Professional Issues|
|PSYC 8236||Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Psychology|
|PSYC 8237||The Practice of General Psychology I|
|PSYC 8238||The Practice of General Psychology II|
|PSYC 8239||Lifespan Developmental Psychopathology I|
|PSYC 8240||Lifespan Developmental Psychopathology II|
|Required zero-credit courses|
|PSYC 8280||Theories and Practice of Clinical Supervision|
|PSYC 8283||First Year Seminar I: Motivational Interviewing|
|PSYC 8284||First Year Seminar II: Introduction to Therapy|
|PSYC 8285||History and Systems of Psychology|
|PSYC 8286||Clinical Psychology Externship|
|6 credits in elective courses outside of the clinical program.|
|PSYC 8998||Advanced Reading and Research|
|PSYC 8999||Dissertation Research|