Clinical Psychology Program Overview

Our program conforms to the membership criteria for the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, the accreditation criteria of the American Psychological Association as well as the prerequisites for licensing in New York. Because of the varied requirements for licensing among many state licensing boards across the country, we do not guarantee that you will automatically meet the requirements for licensing in all states without additional coursework or credits available through other venues.

We do not have any specialized "tracks" within the program. However, students are likely to specialize within a number of different areas such as neuropsychology, addictions, adult disorders (e.g., trauma, anxiety, depression, personality disorder, etc.), marital/relationship problems and child clinical. These areas of concentration are defined by each student on a personal basis, reflecting one's mentor's interests, elective courses taken, practicum rotations, research focus, etc..

The program is a doctoral program, and students are admitted only for the pursuit of a doctoral degree. Typical of many programs, students complete the requirements for a master of science (MS) degree in the process of obtaining a PhD. We do not have a terminal MS program, and the MS is awarded in "general" psychology (not "clinical"). While all students are on the PhD track from the time of their enrollment, students are formally admitted to the PhD program only after successfully completing the requirements for the MS and the comprehensive examinations.

Core curriculum

The core curriculum for the master's degree consists of courses in basic experimental psychology, physiological psychology, statistics, psychopathology, ethics and other professional issues. A two-semester sequence of courses on assessment is offered in the first year, and a variety of additional courses on principles of psychological intervention in the second year.

On completion of this core, there is considerable flexibility with various electives both from general psychology and from more specialized clinical topics, based on available seminars and courses across the three graduate areas of the department. A course in the teaching of psychology is available for students who wish to obtain teaching experience as an instructor of record by actually teaching a course to undergraduates.

The basic program of formal academic work and required practica can be completed in four years. Some students come into the program with a master's degree already completed. If this degree involved a research project that is approved by our faculty, it is not necessary to repeat the MS. However, because the course sequence must be taken as outlined, generally only a few course credits will transfer and students will still require about four years to complete their PhD. Many students take five years (not including the internship year), and this is not discouraged as long as the student is productive in research and acquiring advanced clinical competencies. After four years, and generally after all data for the dissertation research have been gathered, students begin their full-time, pre-doctoral internship. Although not required, nearly all students select an APA-accredited internship. Students from our program generally attend some of the best-known internship training programs in the country.

For a complete description of the program requirements and course listings, go to the BU Graduate Clinical Psychology Training Guide. (pdf, 241kb)


Last Updated: 6/27/14