Program Overview in Clinical Psychology

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arizona follows a clinical science training model. Our program prepares students not only to practice clinical psychology but to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field. In May, 2010, the Clinical Psychology Program received accreditation from the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), an organization designed to accredit high-caliber clinical science doctoral programs. PCSAS was created in 2008 to promote superior science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, to increase the quality and quantity of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and to enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care. The University of Arizona Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology was among the first three universities accredited by PCSAS. More information about PCSAS, including its goals and history, can be found at the following website: www.pcsas.org. In accord with the policies of our PCSAS accreditation, we provide the public with reliable and current information on the performance and achievements of our students, graduates, and faculty. This information can be found with our Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.

Our clinical program has a long and distinguished history, and it has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1962. For information regarding the program's accreditation status you may contact The Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4242. Phone # (202) 336-5979.

The University of Arizona's doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is a charter member of The Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, which is a coalition of doctoral training programs that share a common goal of producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems. Membership in the Academy is granted only after a thorough peer review process. Its membership in the Academy indicates that our program is committed to excellence in scientific training, and to using clinical science as the foundation for designing, implementing, and evaluating assessment and intervention procedures.

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is also a member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), and like other CUDCP programs has adopted CUDCP’s "Fuller Disclosure" policy by providing studentd data on program applicants and students.

Resources that help us to achieve our goals include competent and available faculty, talented and motivated students, and a variety of research and clinical and training opportunities both inside and outside the department and the university.

The program's core and affiliated faculty maintain vigorous research programs that are visible and well-funded. Much of this work is interdisciplinary, as our faculty engage in more than the usual number of collaborative projects with scholars in other departments, colleges, and universities. In addition to their individual and collaborative research, members of the clinical faculty are involved in national, state, and local activities and organizations concerned with advancing psychological knowledge and promoting both the profession's and the public's welfare. Core faculty have played key leadership roles in national organizations (e.g., the Academy for Clinical Psychological Sciences; the Council of University-based Clinical psychology Programs, the Commission on Accreditation) and served on many editorial boards, grant review groups, task forces, and committees (including the state licensing board).

Our most crucial key resource is the highly selective group of graduate students who enter and successfully complete the program. We typically admit only 6-8 new students each year from a pool of over two hundred applicants, with admissions tailored to fitting students' research interests with available faculty mentors. Entering students are academically talented (e.g., see data for GPA and GRE scores) and demonstrate strong aptitudes and interests in clinical research. They are also a diverse group, with 26% representing ethnic minority groups and with each cohort including one or more international students. The department guarantees students financial support for at least five years.

The program offers external research and clinical training opportunities through affiliations with various departments in the College of Medicine and the University Medical Center (e.g., Community and Family Medicine, University Physicians, Neurology, Cardiology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry); the Division of Family Studies and Human Development in the College of Agriculture; the Veterans Administration Medical Center; the Arizona State Prison Complex; and with a variety of other local agencies and community mental health centers. Although most of these sites tend to emphasize either research or practice, several offer both, along with unique opportunities to apply clinical science to diverse problems and populations in community settings.

The most basic indication of the program achieving its education and training goals is that students do very well in their course work and comprehensive examinations, and they demonstrate high levels of proficiency (as rated by supervisors) in their clinical practica. Beyond this, the fact that students are productive in research, not only while they are in the program but also after they graduate, testifies to goal attainment in the clinical science arena. The research and scholarly productivity of the 40 graduates of our program in the last 7 years clearly match our training goals. Since graduating our program, this group has authored or co-authored 160 (peer-reviewed) empirical journal articles and, altogether, 201 total articles, chapters, or books. On average, our graduates have published 1.01 (SD = 1.35) empirical papers per year since graduation, and these same people report making 1.88 (SD = 3.34) conference presentations per year. Excluding current post-doctoral trainees (n = 9), who are not typically eligible for these awards, 36% of respondents reported having received a federal research grant since graduating. In terms of research activities more broadly, within the past two years, 62% of our graduates reported having engaged in at least one of the following four activities: (1) participating in a research collaboration that involved non-clinical psychologists (e.g., work with a developmental psychologist); (2) participating in a research collaboration that involved a discipline outside of psychology (e.g., with a physician scientist or sociologist); (3) collaborating on research with faculty members at multiple universities; and/or, (4) co-authoring a paper or chapter with a graduate student.

In the last 7 years, the average number of years to graduation (including internship) was 6.77 years (SD = 1.35) and the median was 7 years. This average is similar to that of our peer programs that are members of the Council of University-based Clinical Programs (CUDCP) and the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS). The work settings of our graduates vary, but the modal setting is a University-based Medical School, followed closely by positions at VA Medical Centers and at 4-year (primarily teaching) colleges. Within these settings, our graduates report spending 34% of their time engaged in research-related activities, 23% of their time in direct clinical service (intervention or assessment), 15% of their time teaching, 8% of their time in administration, 7% of their time conducting clinical supervision, and 5% of their time in professional service activities. Among the graduates who are not currently post-doctoral trainees, 71% are licensed psychologists.

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