Program Overview and Handbook


Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program Overview

  • The University of Southern Mississippi's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation since 1979.
  • Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in academia, research, mental health care delivery, or practice in public and private settings.
  • Our traditional Boulder Model clinical training program is based on scientist-practitioner training model in which the scientific and professional components of clinical psychology are complementary and fully integrated throughout training. We prepare our students first as scientists in psychology and then as practicing clinical psychologists. We agree with the Boulder Model premise that clinicians must be capable of making contributions to the science of psychology through research and consultation as well as through practice. Therefore our program is not geared to students who are interested only in clinical training. All graduates should have an understanding of the way in which empirical findings inform the clinical work they undertake. Similarly, it is expected that students who work primarily as researchers will have an appreciation for the application of their work to clinical issues.
  • The clinical training program emphasizes evidenced-based approaches to assessment and treatment. To model the scientist-practitioner role, our faculty supervisors emphasize the importance of consulting the empirical literature when developing an assessment or treatment plan. Students are encouraged to conduct thesis, dissertation, and other research on clinically-relevant topics.
  • The program sees itself as theoretically integrative, with an emphasis on cognitive and behavioral approaches. Overall, the program aims to expose graduates to a broad spectrum of theoretical and empirical approaches to clinical research and practice.
  • We strongly subscribe to a generalist approach to training but include concentrations in adult and child clinical psychology. Regardless of concentration, all students take courses in both adult and child psychopathology, adult and child psychotherapy, and complete both adult and child practica. The primary differences between the two concentrations is in the assignment of research mentors and the sequencing of courses and practicum.
  • The program is designed as a five-year program, including four years on campus and an off-site pre-doctoral clinical internship year. A full-year internship is required of all students prior to the awarding of the Ph.D.
  • The program’s three broad goals are to train scientist-practitioners who will (a) have broad knowledge of scientific psychology and psychological research methods, (b) be capable of contributing to current knowledge in clinical psychology, and (c) provide evidence-based clinical services that are consistent with ethical and professional standards.
  • The USM Clinical Psychology doctoral program endorses the university’s central values of encouraging diversity, inclusiveness, and equal opportunities for education and employment.  These central values are articulated in USM’s Non-Discrimination Policy and by the Office of Multicultural Programs & Services.  Our program and our faculty are committed to promoting diversity within the field of clinical psychology, with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, veteran status, among others.  Diverse students (broadly defined) and students with research interests in diversity in psychological science are strongly encouraged to apply to our program.
  • Our excellent training is affordable. The combination of stipends, tuition remission, and the low cost of living in southern Mississippi makes the doctoral program in clinical psychology at USM one of the better values in higher education.


For information about our accreditation status, you can contact the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association, which can also be reached at:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979
TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123
Fax: 202-336-5978 


For the clinical psychology doctoral program handbook, click here or at the link on the upper right side of this page.