The Clinical Psychology Degree is offered in two tracks: Civilian and Military. View the Civilian Track.
The Clinical Psychology-Military Track prepares students to serve as Military Clinical Psychologists. In addition to the core curriculum for Clinical Psychology, Military Track students complete two additional courses in Military Psychology. Additionally, Military Track students are encouraged to complete at least one practicum at a military site prior to clinical practicum. Students are trained as scientist-practitioners with a focus on the biopsychosocial factors that affect well-being. Military Track students are expected to complete the program in 5 years (i.e., four years at USU and a one year clinical practicum). Given this timeline, and the expected positions that graduates will fill, more emphasis is placed on developing clinical skills relative to research skill development.
Upon entry into the program, students are matched with a primary advisor and are expected to become involved in ongoing research. In addition to completing relevant research to their degree, all students contribute to research projects that are being completed in their research advisor’s laboratory. The amount of time that students commit to other laboratory projects will vary throughout their training and will be determined by their research advisor. The assignments are based on student and faculty interests and are determined by the Director of Clinical Training, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair. Students typically work primarily with their advisor in research, but students may do research with adjunct faculty or faculty other than their primary advisor. In such cases, the advisor continues to monitor student progress in consultation with the other faculty.
Students enrolling in the Clinical Psychology-Military Track are commissioned officers in the Air Force, Army, or Navy. Applicants may currently be Active Duty enlisted or officers, or may be civilians. Students in the Clinical Psychology-Military Track are required to complete the equivalent of a minimum of four academic years of full-time graduate study at USU and complete a 12-month APA accredited clinical practicum (i.e., typically one of the military clinical practicum sites).
Military Track graduates incur a 7-year commitment to the military after clinical practicum. During this time graduates serve as military psychologists within their respective services.
The core coursework provides students with the necessary background to function effectively as a scientist-practitioner Clinical Psychologist and to pass the licensure exam required for becoming a licensed psychologist. Elective courses are offered for students to expand their knowledge and skills for their career paths.
A minimum of 36 credit hours (to include both graded and pass/fail courses) are required to graduate for a Masters. A minimum of 24 credit hours must be from graded course (there is no minimum number of hours required from required courses). A minimum of 108 hours (to include both graded and pass/fail courses) is required to graduate for a Ph.D. A minimum of 32 credit hours must be from graded courses.
Military Track students are expected to complete the program in 5 years (i.e., 4 years at USU and 1 year clinical practicum). Compared to the Civilian Track, less time is afforded to those in the Military Track for the purpose of developing more expansive and in depth clinical research skills.
CORE COURSES (25 CREDITS)
Discipline Specific Knowledge
History and Systems
MPO519 History and Systems of Psychology - 1 credits
MPO1000 Physiological Basis of Behavior - 2 credits
MPO513 Physiological Basis of Behavior - credits vary
MPO511 Psychopharmacology - 2 credits
MPO539 Cognitive Psychology 3 OR MPO514 Psychology of Learning - 2 credits
MPO532 Lifespan Development - 3 credits
MPO505 Social Affective Psychology - 3 credits
Advanced Integrative Knowledge
MPO605 Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine - 3 credits
Methods of Inquiry/Research
MPO901 Research Methods I - 3 credits
IDO502 Experimental Statistics and Design I - 3 credits
IDO502 Experimental Statistics and Design II - 1 credits
IDO520 Special Topics: Section/Psychometrics
PMO511 Introduction to Epidemiology - 3 credits
MPO999 Dissertation Research - credits vary
MPO903 Research in Medical Psychology - credits vary
Ethical and Legal Standards
MPO527 Ethics in Psychology - 2 credits
IDO704 Scientific Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research - 2 credits
Individual and Cultural Diversity
MPO536 Cultural Diversity - 2 credits
MPO546 Foundations of Psychotherapy - 2 credits
Communication/Interpersonal Skills and Supervision
MPO601 Medical Psychology Seminar & Case Conference (Years 1-4) - 1 credit
MPO404 Practicum - credits vary
MPO405 Internship - credits vary
MPO551 Clinical Assessment for Adults: Cognitive & Personality I - 4 credits
MPO552 Clinical Assessment for Adults: Cognitive & Personality II - 4 credits
MPO526 Psychopathology - 3 credits
MPO541 Brief Dynamic Therapy - 3 credits
MPO561 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I - 4 credits
1 Clinical Elective Course (see elective course listing) - credits vary
MPO1002 Public Policy 2 OR PMO526 Health Systems - 2 credits
MPO601 MPS Seminar & Clinical Teams - 1 credit
MPO301 Military Psychology - 4 credits
Serves as Teaching Assistant (after first year)
ELECTIVE COURSES (MINIMUM OF 6 CREDITS)
MPO513 Physiological Basis of Behavior - credits vary
PMO511 Introduction to Epidemiology - 3 credits
MPO502 Psychophysiology - 3 credits
MPO701 Tutorial in Medical Psychology - 3 credits
MPO803 Special Topics in Medical & Clinical Psychology - 2-3 credits
NSO506 Introduction to Neuroscience - 3 credits
MPO518 Advanced Statistics - 3 credits
PMO503 Biostatistics I - 3 credits
PMO504 Biostatistics II - 3 credits
PMO508 Biostatistics III - 3 credits
PMO512 Epidemiologic Methods - 3 credits
PMO513 Advanced Epidemiologic Methods - 3 credits
MPO303 Stress and Trauma in the Military Context - 3 credits
MPO545 Integrative Psychology - 3 credits
MPO530 Group Psychotherapy - 3 credits
MPO533 Neuropsychology - credits vary
MPO543 Foundations of Intervention: Marital and Couples Therapy - 3 credits
MPO547 Integrated Primary Care - 3 credits
MPO534 Planning, Implementing, & Evaluating Human Service Programs - 3 credits
MPO1003 Advanced Health Policy - 3 credits
After their first year of training all Military Track students are expected to serve as a teaching assistant for at least two courses/activities each academic year.
CLINICAL PRACTICUM (CREDITS VARY)
MPO404 Practicum - (credits vary)
The clinical practicum training experiences are designed to provide systematic, progressively intensive training in the application of psychological principles, techniques, and skills to human problems. Practicum sites are located at USU-affiliated teaching hospitals, Veterans Affairs hospitals, and other community clinical centers throughout the National Capital Area. Training at these sites will focus on the development of assessment, intervention, and organization consultation skills for a wide range of problems. Students are expected to discuss the selection of practicum sites with their Clinical Training Advisor prior to application. Most practicum sites require an application and an on-site interview with the students. These practicum sites are often considering students from other clinical programs in the National Capital Area, thus students are encouraged to apply to multiple practicum sites.
Below are the number of hours students in each track should expect to earn each year and summer to accrue a sufficient number of clinical hours for clinical practicum. These expectations may be modified based on special circumstances and on progress toward completing research milestones. In addition to these hours, students should expect to complete at least 10 integrated assessment reports during their various practica.
Expected Number of Face-to-Face Assessment and Intervention Hours:
FIRST YEAR PAPER
The First Year Paper is a requirement for Clinical Psychology-Military Track students only. The topic and the structure of the first year paper are developed in collaboration with the student’s research advisor. There is no standard format for the first year paper. It is expected that students will complete the first year paper by the end of August of their first year. The student’s research advisor is the only reviewer of the first year paper. The student’s research advisor will send a memo to the Director of Graduate Studies upon satisfactory completion of this requirement.
MASTER’S THESIS (OPTIONAL)
The Master’s Thesis is not required of Clinical Psychology Program-Military Track students, although they may complete a Master’s Thesis.
The topic, design, and format of the Master’s thesis are determined in collaboration between the student and research advisor. The student’s research advisor chairs the Master’s thesis committee. In addition to the chair, the committee includes two other faculty members, with at least one of these faculty members having a primary or secondary appointment in the Medical and Clinical Psychology Department. Although the third committee member is typically an MPS faculty member, the student may include faculty from other departments or from outside of the University with the approval of the faculty advisor and other MPS committee member. Committee members independently read the thesis and determine whether the student passes.
SECOND YEAR PAPER
The topic and the structure of the second year paper are developed in collaboration with the student’s research advisor. Usually the second year paper is a complete draft, but not necessarily the final draft, of the Master’s thesis. The second year paper can also be a separate project from the Master’s thesis. It is expected that students will complete the second year paper by the end of August of their second year. The student’s research advisor is the only reviewer of the second year paper. The student’s research advisor will send a memo to the Director of Graduate Studies upon satisfactory completion of this requirement.
QUALIFYING EXAMINATIONS & ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY
A written examination is administered at the end of the second year. This examination is oriented toward developing students’ ability to integrate specific areas of psychology. This exam must be passed before students are advanced to candidacy and apply for the Ph.D. degree.
The qualifying exam has been composed of four “2-hour blocks” over two contiguous days. One question is administered at the outset of each “2-hour block.” In addition, there is an approximately 15 page paper that requires integration of two disciplinary specific areas of psychology. There are 5 questions on the qualifying exam (4 questions; 1 paper). Each question is scored by 2 individuals, the "question writer" and a second "grader." Each grader scores using a 1-5 scale where: 1 = worst possible score, 3 = just passed, 5 = best possible score. A mean score is taken of the two scores.
A “pass” is defined as a mean score on a question which is greater than or equal to 3.
A “fail” is defined as a mean score on a question which is less than 3.
Each candidate has a mean score on each of the 5 questions. They also have an overall mean score for the exam (overall score = mean of the 5 mean scores). Outcomes are treated as follows:
ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY
The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:
- Completion of required formal coursework
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
- Completion teaching assistant assignments
- Completion of Master’s Thesis (if revalant)
- Successful completion of the Qualifying Examination
- The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
OBJECTIVE STRUCTURED CLINICAL EXAM
The Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) is a one-day examination at the end of the third year required for all students in the Clinical Program.
The OSCE serves multiple purposes. It allows faculty to assess whether clinical skillsets expected for clinical practicum are being adequately developed. It also allows feedback about their relative strengths and weaknesses and areas to continue to develop prior to going to clinical practicum.
Students will rotate through clinical encounters with standardized patients at the Sim Center. These standardized clinical encounters are used to evaluate assessment, clinical, ethical, and professional skills. Students will be asked to interpret assessment data, interview and provide treatment, and demonstrate the ability to assess and manage crisis situations. It is expected that the OSCE will take place over two days. The exact procedures for the OSCE are still in development.
Students will be rated by faculty and the standardized patient on components of the skills being evaluated.
Specific instructions regarding the format of the OSCE are provided at least three months before the exam to assist students with their preparation.
DISSERTATION (15 CREDIT MINIMUM)
MPO999 Doctoral Dissertation - credits vary
Students in the Clinical Psychology Program-Military Track will complete the Format A (Standard Dissertation Format), unless granted permission by their advisor to complete the Format B (Alternate Dissertation Format). Military Track students may request permission to complete their doctoral dissertation following Format B, however, given time limits and their career path, they are not expected to pursue this option.
FORMAT A (STANDARD DISSERTATION FORMAT)
The Dissertation Proposal is completed before study to obtain committee’s input and approval) and includes 3 chapters: Introduction, Methods, and Proposed Analyses and Expected Results
The Dissertation Defense is conducted after completion of the study and consists of the following parts: Abstract, Introduction (Chapter 1), Methods (Chapter 2), Results, Discussion (Chapter 3).
FORMAT B (ALTERNATE DISSERTATION FORMAT)
The purpose of following the Format B is to promote skills and experience in publishing professional manuscripts and in conducting programmatic research. Format B more closely matches the current practices in scientific publication. Students are expected to engage in careful discussion with their graduate mentors and thesis advisors before choosing their doctoral dissertation format. Based on the student’s programmatic work to date, their experience and interest in publishing their professional work, and their career goals, this format may be recommended over the Standard dissertation format.
The Dissertation Proposal is completed before study to obtain committee’s input and approval) and includes 3 chapters: Introduction (Chapter 1), Three Proposed Studies including Methods and Proposed Analyses and Expected Results (Chapters 2-4).
The Dissertation Defense is conducted after completion of the study and consists of the following parts: Abstract, Introduction (Chapter 1), Three Completed Studies including Methods and Results (Chapters 2-4), Discussion (Chapter 5). At least one of the manuscripts must be published or in press in a peer-reviewed journal.
Students receive a brief evaluation at the end of each semester. First year students also receive feedback at the midpoint of fall semester.
Each year the student evaluation committee meets to evaluate the progress of each student in the department. The purpose of this evaluation process is to provide you with annual feedback regarding strengths that have been observed as well as areas where improvements can be made. This information is designed to provide useful input on your progress, to provide an assessment of your progress in a number of competencies (e.g., whether you exceeded expectations, met expectations, or did not meet expectations), and to help in your professional development.
The areas considered include classroom performance, research, professional competencies, and clinical competencies (clinical students). Foundational and functional competencies involve the following domains: Professionalism, Relational, Science, Application, Education, and Systems.
Applicants must be a United States citizen.
- A complete employment history
Additional Application Requirements
Deadline for full consideration of applications for the Fall Quarter is December 1st. Receipt of applications by this deadline will allow prospective students to be considered for financial support.
TUITION AND FEES
Tuition and fees are waived for students. Military Track graduates incur a 7-year commitment to the military after clinical practicum. During this time graduates serve as military psychologists within their respective services.
DOCTORAL STUDENT RESEARCH FUNDS
USU maintains a special fund to finance doctoral student research. This resource is designed to provide funds to graduate students in addition to those provided by their major advisor. Funds are available to graduate students who have completed two years of graduate study at USU or who have been advanced to candidacy and are devoting a majority of their time to their dissertation research. Graduate research funds are currently available for two academic years. Funding beyond two years is evaluated on a case by case basis and must be approved by the Graduate Education Committee. In recent years, the maximum amount of funds available each year to eligible graduate students has varied between $1,500 and $2,500.
Forms to apply for USU graduate research funding are available from the GEO and will be sent to those students eligible in the Fall of each year. These applications are relatively short if the funding requested is part of an already accepted University protocol by a major professor. If the research funding represents an entirely new protocol, the normal USU research review procedures must be followed. Information on which course of action is appropriate is available in the GEO. These protocols are administered by the Office of Research Administration at USU. You, your advisor, and your Program Director will receive notification when the funding is approved.