Clinical Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy
The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, leading to the Ph.D. degree, consists of four years of full-time course work and related practicum experience, followed by a one-year clinical internship (or equivalent) in an approved setting and completion of a doctoral dissertation. The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Anchored in the scientist-practitioner model, the program provides students with substantial grounding in the scientific bases of psychology and exposure to the methods, theories and empirical findings of the discipline. Through the scientist-practitioner model of training, students acquire research and clinical competencies as well as sensitivity to the ethical standards of the profession through a balanced curriculum that integrates theory and practice in a structured program of study.
The Clinical Psychology program offers students the opportunity to follow either a general course of study (General track) or to combine general studies in clinical psychology with advanced subspecialty training in clinical child psychology (Clinical Child track). Applicants to the program are instructed to indicate which track of study they wish to pursue. A listing of program requirements for each track is accessible in Courses section below.
The curriculum involves a logical progression of coursework and related practicum experience. The first two years of study impart basic skills and grounding in such areas of study as psychological assessment, statistics, research methods, foundations of psychology, therapeutic approaches and psychopathology. Training in research methodology and supervised research experience prepare students to conduct research and acquire skills needed to develop a dissertation proposal during the third year of study. A complete listing of required courses and electives is contained in the Graduate Bulletin.
Clinical practicum training begins in the first year with supervised practica held at the St. John’s University Center for Psychological Services, which is a community-based psychological services center that serves as the primary training site for clinical psychology students. At upper levels, students combine on-site clinical training with externship practica in community facilities and receive supervision from both field supervisors and clinical
Students have been placed in clinical externships in many of the major clinical facilities in the metropolitan New York area, including Long Island Jewish/Hillside Medical Center, Queens Hospital Center, Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, New York University Medical Center, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Kings County Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center and Nassau University Medical Center.
Ethical and professional issues involved in professional practice are emphasized in course work and practica. An appreciation of the importance of cultural diversity in psychology is developed through course work and in clinical practica that provide direct training in working with multicultural populations.
Students are encouraged to begin research during the first year of study through development of a master’s thesis project. They are expected to progress to the dissertation stage during the third year of study and to continue to make satisfactory progress each semester toward completing their dissertation requirements. Students must also complete a full-time, year-long internship, or the equivalent, in an approved setting.Back to top
Admission to the program is highly competitive. A candidate for admission must:
- Possess a baccalaureate degree
- Submit transcripts of undergraduate and all prior graduate work
- Have completed a minimum of 24 credits in undergraduate psychology, including courses in Introductory Psychology, Statistics and Experimental Psychology or Research Methods
- Submit scores from the GRE General Test and, for non-psychology majors, the GRE Subject (Psychology) Test. The GRE Subject (Psychology) Test is optional for candidates who either majored in psychology or completed a Master’s degree in Psychology
- Submit three to five letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an individual who addresses the applicant’s research potential
- Submit two papers from psychology courses or other relevant work samples — including a laboratory or research paper and a term paper
- Provide a clear, written statement of professional goals
- By appropriate record of achievement as well as one or more interviews, satisfy the department that his or her preparation indicates a high potential for successful advanced study in psychology Student attrition, due to personal or academic reasons, has been about 10 percent or less in recent years. The program encourages applications from minority students and students with disabilities. St. John’s campus and facilities are accessible to students with disabilities.
Students currently matriculated for a master’s degree at St. John’s who are interested in applying to the doctoral program must follow the procedure for new applicants. Applications for fall admission are due by January 15. There is no spring admission. Additional information regarding application procedures and program requirements is contained in the Graduate Bulletin online at the University Web site.
Costs for tuition and fees are listed in the Graduate Bulletin. Academic and financial advisement is available in the department and through the Office of Student Financial Services. The University Counseling Center is available to provide personal counseling services to all students in the University.