Thank you for your interest in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Washington State University (WSU). WSU is located in Pullman, a rural community in southeastern Washington, 8 miles west of the Moscow, ID (University of Idaho), 80 miles south of Spokane, WA, and 290 miles southeast of Seattle, WA. There are approximately 17, 000 undergraduate students and 2, 000 graduate students at the Pullman campus. In addition to the main campus in Pullman, the Department of Psychology also has clinical faculty at three regional campuses located in Spokane, Tri-Cities (Richland, WA—approximately 150 miles southwest), and Vancouver, WA (approximately 360 miles southwest). The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program is located on the WSU-Pullman campus.
The doctoral program in clinical psychology has been continually accredited since 1956 by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation.
PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY AND MISSION
The Clinical Psychology Program at Washington State University is based on the scientist-practitioner model of training. The Program is designed to integrate theory, research, and clinical practice in the training of students. Students are involved in research activities each semester in the Program and clinical practica beginning in the second year until the start of the 12-month internship. The goals of the program are to produce graduates who (a) have a broad knowledge of scientific psychology; (b) can provide evidence-based clinical services that are consistent with ethical and professional standards, including knowledge of and sensitivity to issues of diversity; and (c) are capable of contributing to current knowledge in clinical psychology. Given that our graduates can potentially make contributions to clinical psychology in academic, research, medical, clinical, or community settings dependent on their interests and goals, the Program provides broad, general clinical training during the four to five years that students are at the University. Our program requires full-time commitment in pursuit of a Ph.D. and, therefore, we do not have a terminal Master’s degree program. Instead, Master’s degrees are awarded during work toward the Ph.D.
The program offers both adult- and child-focused training with opportunities in Neuropsychology, Clinical Health Psychology, and Psychopathology. The program is successful in placing students in top internships nationwide. Clinical Program graduates are employed in a variety of professional settings including university and medical center faculty positions and independent practice.
The Clinical Program operates on the proposition that research training is an integral part of the education of clinical psychologists. Although the program admits only persons who expect to receive a Ph.D., each student who enters at the bachelor’s degree level is expected to complete an empirical master’s project while in progress toward the doctoral dissertation. In addition to the master’s project and dissertation, clinical students are expected to be involved in research activity under the direction of a faculty member during each semester in residence. Most clinical students present their research at scientific meetings as well as publish their research. These research endeavors are an important part of graduate training and professional development.
Assessment and psychotherapy with clients begins in the fall semester of the second year of graduate training and continues through the completion of the clinical internship. To provide broad clinical training for students, the Department of Psychology offers a variety of clinical experiences. The Psychology Clinic in the Department of Psychology is staffed by faculty and clinical graduate students and provides assessment, diagnostic, and psychotherapy services on a sliding scale to the University and surrounding communities. The University Counseling Services is staffed by clinical and counseling psychology graduate students and faculty psychologists, and provides ongoing counseling and emergency services to students. The University Health and Wellness Services provide assistance to students through the Behavior Medicine Service, which is staffed by clinical graduate students, physicians, and a psychiatrist. Additional clinical externship opportunities are available to more advanced graduate students (e.g., Pullman Regional Hospital, Benewah Medical Center, Spokane WA).
The Clinical Psychology Graduate Program enrolls 6 to 8 students each year from approximately 180 applications. In choosing students for admission, we look for individuals whose interests match our training objectives and whose research interests match those of our faculty. The Clinical Psychology Graduate Program utilizes a mentorship model in the selection and training of students. The degree of fit between the applicant’s research interests and the research interests of their potential faculty mentor is an important consideration in admissions. Therefore it is to your advantage to articulate clearly how your research interests coincide with the research interests of your potential mentor. The Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data Section provides more specific information on the characteristics of students admitted to the program and their progress through the program.