The purpose of this document is to outline and describe the philosophy and structure of Harvard University’s Clinical Psychology Program and to provide students with information about the courses, research, and clinical training required to earn a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology.
The Department of Psychology provides a Graduate Student Handbook that describes the requirements, structure, student funding, and resources for the Department in general (see http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/psych/gradoff/handbook.html). The current document supplements that Handbook for students in our Clinical Psychology Program.
Richard J. McNally, Ph.D.
John R. Weisz, Ph.D.
Matthew K. Nock, Ph.D.
Joshua W. Buckholtz, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Training: Richard J. McNally, Ph.D.
Academic Director of the Clinical Program: Jill M. Hooley, D.Phil.
Department Chair: Mahzarin Banaji, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies: Jesse Snedeker, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology – General Organization
The Department provides Ph.D. training in the following areas: (1) Clinical Psychology, (2) Experimental Psychopathology, (3) Cognition, Brain, and Behavior, (4) Developmental Psychology, and (5) Social Psychology. The faculty for the Clinical Psychology program is the same as for the Experimental Psychopathology program.
Clinical Psychology Training Model and Program
The Clinical Psychology program adheres to a clinical science model of training, and is a member of the Academy of Clinical Psychological Science. We are committed to training clinical psychologists whose research advances scientific knowledge of psychopathology and its treatment, and who are capable of applying evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention. The main emphasis of the program is research, especially on severe psychopathology. The program includes research, course work, and clinical practica, and a clinical internship. The curriculum meets requirements for licensure in Massachusetts, accreditation requirements of the American Psychological Association (APA), and accreditation requirements of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). Students typically complete assessment and treatment practica during their second and third years in the program, and they must fulfill all departmental requirements prior to beginning their one-year internship.
The program can be completed in five years (including the internship year), and at least two of these years must be in residence in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. However, students often take five to six years to complete their course work and dissertation and an additional year to complete their clinical internship. Therefore, students take between five and seven years to complete the entire program.
Our Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. [Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242 Tel.: (202) 336-5500], and by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) [Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System. 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1218 Tel.: (301) 455-8046].
The Director of Clinical Training (DCT) is Professor Richard J. McNally. As DCT, Professor McNally is the person students should contact with any questions about the activities, requirements, and responsibilities relating to the Clinical Psychology Program.
Curricular Requirements for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Required courses and training experiences fulfill requirements for clinical psychology licensure in Massachusetts and APA criteria for accreditation of clinical psychology programs. Students in the clinical psychology program are required to take all of the following courses:
Psych 2010 [Proseminar] Contemporary Topics in Psychological Research
Psych 3200 Research Seminar in Clinical Science (years 1-3)
Psych 2445 Psychological Treatment Research
STATISTICS AND PSYCHOMETRICS
Psych 1950 Intermediate Statistical Analysis in Psychology
Psych 1952 Multivariate Analysis in Psychology
Psych 3800 Psychometric Theory
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Psych 1952 Multivariate Analysis in Psychology (meets Department statistics requirement also, as above)
Students must take at least one course in each of the following areas. (Note: Affective and Social Neuroscience can fulfill the requirement for either Biological Bases of Behavior or Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior, but not both.)
Psych 2400 Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders
SOCIAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR
Psych 2500 Proseminar in Social Psychology
Additional Training Requirements
In accordance with APA guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs, clinical students also receive training in consultation and supervision informally within the context of clinical practica in psychological assessment and treatment (e.g., Psych 3050 Clinical Practicum), and formally in Psych 2445 (Psychological Treatment Research) and Psych 3900 (Professional Ethics). Such training begins in the second semester of the first year and typically continues throughout the student’s course of study in the program. Students receive broad and general training in cutting-edge developmental psychology during the first-year seminar (Psych 2010, Contemporary Topics in Psychological Research). Students also attend the twice-monthly Clinical Science “brown bag” speaker series. Finally, students complete a year-long clinical internship.
Students are responsible for ensuring that they take courses in all the relevant and required areas listed above. Students wishing to substitute one required course for another should seek advice from their advisor and from the Director of Clinical Training prior to registering. During the first two years, students are advised to complete as many curricular and academic requirements as possible. Many requirements can be completed before the deadlines stated below.
See page 10 for additional information about Practical Clinical Training.
Goals, Objectives, and Expected Competencies
The philosophy and training model of the program is the clinical scientist model.
Objectives for Goal #1: The student will successfully complete the second-year research project and the doctoral dissertation. The student will publish original scholarly work in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in edited books. The student will present research at scientific conferences. The student will secure funding for research.
Competencies Expected for these Objectives: The relevant competencies are the ability to design, conduct, and write up one’s original research.
How Outcomes are Measured and Minimum Levels for Achievement (MLA) for these Objectives/Competencies: The MLA for competency in designing, conducting, and writing up one’s original research is successful completion of both the written evaluation of the doctoral dissertation and the oral defense of the dissertation as evinced by all four members of the dissertation committee voting to “pass” the student’s written doctoral dissertation and the student’s oral defense of the dissertation. Measurable outcomes relevant to the objectives for this goal include the number of published peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, conference presentations, external grants secured, and internal grants/fellowships earned.
Goal #2: To train competent clinical practitioners Objectives for Goal #2: The objectives comprise: 1) acquisition of basic clinical skills, 2) ability to diagnose mental disorders, 3) ability to conduct and interpret standardized psychological tests, and 4) acquisition of psychotherapeutic knowledge and expertise.
Competencies Expected for these Objectives: 1) Exhibiting basic clinical skills essential for practice and for learning from supervision; 2) diagnostic expertise; 3) testing expertise; and 4) psychotherapeutic expertise.
How Outcomes are Measured and Minimum Levels for Achievement for these Objectives/Competencies: The MLA for competency #1 is a score at least a 2 (Adequate) on the 1 through 4-point Clinical Skills Evaluation Form for each of 18 criteria (Appendix C, pp. 30-31). The MLA for competency #2 is a grade of B+ in Psych 2460 (Diagnostic Interviewing). The MLA for competency #3 is a grade of SAT in Psych 3250 (Psychological Testing). The MLA for competency #4 is a grade of B+ in Psych 2420 (Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Psychological Disorders).
Goal #3: To train scholars knowledgeable in psychopathology and clinical science:
Objectives for Goal #3: To master the current literature in psychopathology and clinical science.
Competencies Expected for these Objectives: Students will be capable of understanding the literature in psychopathology and clinical science, and to evaluate theoretical, empirical, and clinical claims critically.
How Outcomes are Measured and Minimum Levels for Achievement for these Objectives/Competencies: The MLA for the competencies for this goal is a grade of B+ in Psych 2040 (Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology), Psych 2445 (Psychological Treatment Research), and Psych 2420 (Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Psychological Disorders), and passing the Generals Exam at the Ph.D. level by achieving a score of “Pass Minus” on each question of the exam.
Time-Line of Specific Departmental Requirements for the
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Required Courses (B+ or above):
Psych 2010, Contemporary Topics in Psychological Research (Proseminar); this is a survey of the several areas of study covered by the department, team-taught by all members of the faculty.
Psych 1950, Intermediate Statistical Analysis in Psychology
First-year research project.
Students in the first year are required to select a faculty mentor who will help the student develop a research project (either part of ongoing faculty research or research initiated by the student and approved by the mentor). A proposal of the project is submitted in late fall for approval by the Committee on Higher Degrees (CHD). A scholarly report is required and will be evaluated by the mentor and completed by May of the first year.