General Requirements

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology requires four years of full-time course work and practicum experience in addition to successful completion of a Master's Thesis, comprehensive examination, clinical internship, and dissertation (PSY 950, Doctoral Research).

The program is designed to provide a logical progression of course work over four years of study. The first two years are directed at imparting the basic principles and skills in assessment, statistics, foundations, and psychotherapy. In addition, there are courses in research methodology that are structured in such a way as to enable the student to generate a dissertation proposal during the third year. An approved proposal is required prior to submission of internship applications. The student's progress toward completion of the dissertation requirement will be evaluated each semester; failure to make satisfactory progress may result in termination from the program.

Students begin their clinical practicum training in their first year of study at our training clinic, the St. John's University Center for Psychological Services. They continue receiving supervised clinical practicum training at the training clinic in the skills relating to diagnostic interviewing, psychological assessment, and psychological intervention through the course of their four years of study. During the third and fourth years of study, students also complete clinical externships in clinical facilities in the metropolitan New York area.

The fifth year of study is usually devoted to a full-time clinical internship which has been approved by the department. Instead of embarking on an internship during the fifth year, students may elect to work toward completing their dissertation research and defer their internships for a year. Clinical child track students must complete an approved internship that provides substantial exposure to working clinically with children and families.

Courses are divided into five areas of specialization:

  • Foundations
  • Statistics and Research Methodology
  • Social Behavior, Development and Abnormal Behavior
  • Assessment
  • Intervention Techniques and Professional Issues

These areas are progressively developed over the five levels of the program. The following is a breakdown, by area of specialization, of the required courses in the program.


These offerings are designed to transmit a basic fund of knowledge relating to the history and science of the discipline.

617 Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior
648 Physiological Psychology
650 History and Systems of Psychology

Statistics and Research Methodology

These courses provide instruction in research and methodology with the aim of understanding basic research, designing investigation procedures and applying research to help solve personal and social problems. In addition to master’s and doctoral dissertation research, the following courses are required:

608 Foundations of Data Analysis
609 Research Methods in Clinical Psychology
614 Multiple Regression/Correlation
619 Advanced Techniques for the Analysis of Behavioral Data
759 Psychometrics
908 Master's Research
950 Doctoral Research

Social Behavior, Development and Abnormal Behavior

722 Social Basis of Behavior
624 Advanced Developmental Psychology
726 Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I
727 Psychopathology Across the Lifespan II


Evaluation of people using the skills of observation, interviewing and psychological testing; the theory, development, reliability, validity, appropriate usage, administration, scoring, interpretation and reporting of the results of the assessment techniques.

635 Objective Personality Tests  or 835 Neuropsychological Assessment
660 Assessment I: Intelligence Testing
663 Assessment II: Personality Assessment
668 Assessment Laboratory I
670 Assessment Laboratory II

Intervention and Professional Issues

Theory, research, techniques, and supervised experience in various methods of intervention.

627 Cultural Diversity in Psychological Services
658 Professional and Ethical Issues
701 Clinic Practicum I
702 Clinic Practicum II
705 Clinic Practicum III
706 Clinic Practicum IV
741 Assessment and Intervention Practicum I, III
742 Assessment and Intervention Practicum II, IV
756 Evidence-based Interventions I
757 Evidence-based Interventions II

Major Areas of Study

In addition to general clinical psychology training, students develop a major area of study as part of their program of studies.

We offer two major areas of study: