Research Experience

The clinical faculty strongly believe that research activities must be a major and integral part of the education of a clinical psychologist. Students will be trained to work in:

  • research settings
  • academics
  • clinical settings

Clinicians must possess the skills to evaluate research literature in order to remain at the cutting edge of knowledge in service delivery. Those who work in academic and medical settings contribute to the knowledge base of psychology by conducting meaningful research.

Consequently, research experiences begin during the fall semester of the first year and involved a short thesis prospectus approved by the training committee, a thesis proposal presented to and approved by a faculty committee, implementation of the project, and final thesis defended to the faculty committee.

Our goal is to see students complete the thesis research process within the first two years of joining the program.

Students joining the program who already have a master's degree that involved completion of an empirical thesis will have their thesis reviewed by the clinical faculty. If deemed acceptable, these students will not be required to earn an additional master's degree. If so, in the first year, they will register for research hours and will engage in a structured research experience in their major professor's lab, typically conducting a first-year research project.

Our goal for incoming students is to help them gain introductory research skills, to include them in programmatic faculty research efforts, and to provide them an opportunity to apply the research skills that they are acquiring through their academic courses in research methods and statistics.

Once the thesis is completed, students conduct a doctoral dissertation project, which also involves a formal proposal and defense meeting with a faculty committee.

In addition to the thesis and dissertation, most faculty mentors have the clear expectation that students should be involved with several additional research projects during their graduate studies, which will be presented at state, regional, or national conventions and could lead to authorship of a publication in a major journal.