Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (M.S.-Ph.D.)
Objectives and Scope of the Clinical Program
The Clinical Training Program (CTP) was constructed in the late 1980s and approved by the State Board of Education in 1991 for the express purpose of educating empirically-oriented, generalist practitioners of clinical psychology. The Scientist-Practitioner clinical training model was subsequently adopted to meet this purpose. Our mission is to train competent clinical psychologists who can apply and adapt general conceptual and technical skills in diverse regional and professional settings. Such a clinician must have strong methodological and critical thinking skills and a broad background in the science of human behavior, psychopathology, empirically supported methods of assessment and treatment, cultural diversity, and interdisciplinary processes. Course work, research, practica, and professional experiences are interwoven to attempt to achieve these objectives. Emphasis is placed on those therapeutic approaches that are well-delineated, researched, and empirically supported to help clients make progress with specific goals. Learning how to match empirically-supported treatments to diverse individuals and interacting social systems, and how to tailor/adjust that treatment to specific cases, become primary goals of students participating in our program.
It is the clinical program's philosophy that good generalist clinical practitioners approach clinical work from an empirical framework that includes forming hypotheses, adequately testing them via interventions, and assessing the intervention's impact on client behavior. In addition, an effective clinical practitioner's work is informed and guided by relevant empirical research. Knowledge of research methodology, including experimental design and analysis, provides the clinician with both strong critical and integrative thinking skills as well as the fundamentals needed to be an active and informed consumer of clinical research. Scientific skepticism greatly enhances the clinician's ability to select, evaluate, and adjust clinical assessment and intervention strategies. Consequently, doctoral level scholarship is an integral component of the clinical training program, and students are required to conduct original, empirical research. Our program offers students the flexibility to choose either a specialized line of research mentored by one faculty member, or exposure to a variety of research areas mentored by multiple faculty members. Clinical students may elect to be mentored by any full-time faculty member of the Psychology Department, including members of the associated experimental program.
The clinical training program at ISU has been accredited by the APA Commission on Accreditation since 2001. We will continue to work with the APA to ensure that the CTP evolves consistently with national, professional criteria. For information regarding program accreditation status, contact the American Psychological Association's Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242, by phone 202-336-5500, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are required to have a B.A./B.S. in psychology or the equivalent and an undergraduate GPA at or above 3.0 for the last two undergraduate years. Applicants must submit scores from the GRE Aptitude Test to be considered for admission. GRE scores at the 50th percentile or higher on two of the three aptitude tests (i.e., verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) are preferred, although scores above the 50th percentile are not required. Students with a strong undergraduate psychology major, research experience, and applied or clinical experience are encouraged to apply. Students with a Masters degree in Psychology are also encouraged to apply. The Advanced Subject Test in Psychology is NOT required. However, an applicant who would like to supplement their undergraduate credentials in psychology may do so by submitting the GRE Advanced Subject Test in Psychology.
Updated clinical application materials are available online by September 15th each year. For these materials, go to the link above "For Prospective Applicants/How to Apply", or the URL www.isu.edu/psych/apply.shtml. All application materials must be received before the December 1st deadline. Interviews are a required component of the clinical admissions process. On-campus interviews are scheduled on a Saturday in late February or early March. Students invited for an interview by the Clinical Admissions Committee will be notified of dates/times. It is recommended that you participate in the on-campus interview. We recognize, however, that for a variety of good reasons, a qualified applicant may not be able to attend the on-campus interview. Phone interviews will be scheduled as needed. Once admitted, students are expected to maintain “full-time” status (i.e., 9 to 12 credits during fall and spring semesters; at least 1 credit each summer); all clinical students must matriculate during the fall semester. For more information about the application process, contact the department secretary at 208-282-2462 or by email to Lisa Coleman.
All qualified applicants will be given equal consideration. Ethnic minorities and residents of the State of Idaho are encouraged to apply. Idaho residency does not compensate for deficits in qualifications and is only considered when comparing individuals of equivalent ability.
Be informed that doctoral training in clinical psychology requires a full-time clinical internship and usually assigns community practicum placements in regional mental health agencies. Many of these institutions require a legal background check to insure all employees meet current standards. In addition, licensure boards usually require applicants to report on their legal background. In addition, many hospital settings require documentation of vaccinations and /or proof of immunity to common communicable diseases.
Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data
Past Applicant/Student Statistics for the Ph.D. Program
|Number of Complete Applications||64||61||60||93||78|
|Number of Admission Offers||10||10||9||8||9|
|Number of Enrolled||6||5||6||6||7|
|Number of New Students Funded||6||5||6||6||7|
|GRE Scores and Undergraduate GPA of Students Offered Admission|
*GRE changed standard scores in 2012; percentiles reported in table for 2012 and 2014
**GRE Advanced Psychology test no longer required
Time to Completion for all students entering the program
|Outcome||Year in which Degrees were Conferred|
|Total number of students with doctoral degree conferred on transcript||4||5||8||3||9||5||3||37|
|Mean number of years to complete the program||5.7||5.9||5.9||4.8||5.5||5.3||5.1||5.5|
|Median number of years to complete the program||5.7||6||5.9||5||5.3||5||5||5.3|
|Time to Degree Ranges||N||%||N||%||N||%||N||%||N||%||N||%||N||%||N||%|
|Students in less than 5 years||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||33||1||11||0||0||0||0||2||5|
|Students in 5 years||2||50||2||40||4||50||2||67||3||33||4||80||3||100||22||59|
|Students in 6 years||2||50||2||40||2||25||0||0||3||33||1||20||0||0||10||27|
|Students in 7 years||0||0||0||0||2||25||0||0||2||22||0||0||0||0||2||5|
|Students in more than 7 years||0||0||1||20||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3|
The Clinical Training Program welcomes applicants who have completed the MS or MA degree at other accredited institutions. See pages 12 and 13 of the ISU Graduate Catalog (www.isu.edu/academic-info/graduate/2014-2015_ISU_GR_catalog.pdf). Departments are allowed to accept credits by transfer in total or part toward the completion of the doctoral degree in clinical psychology at ISU. Departmental subject matter experts review a newly matriculated student's transcripts and course syllabi, as well as interview the student to determine equivalencies. Transfer credits, which can include the student's maters thesis, often reduce the time to completion by as much as one year. In the data provided above in Table 1, 5 of 37 graduates entered with a conferred masters degree. The average time to completion for these 5 students was 5.1 years (median = 5.0 years; Range = 4.0 to 6.0 years).
|Description||2014-2015 1st- year Cohort Cost|
|Tuition for full-time students (in-state)||$7,734|
|Tuition for full-time students (out-of-state)||$20,494|
|Tuition per credit hour for part-time students (if applicable)||$387|
|University/institution fees or costs||$2502A|
|Additional estimated fees or costs to students (e.g. books, travel, etc.)||$115B book costs|
|A Student Health Insurance unless waived through parent's insurance|
|B $50/practicum credit + $5/semester liability|
Current university tuition and fees are available at Cost of Attendance. Students enrolled in the ISU Psychology Clinic Practicum (PSYC 7725) are required to pay a course fee of $50 per semester. All students registered for courses in the clinical doctorate are assessed $5 per semester for a professional and general liability insurance policy purchased by ISU for students in professional programs.
Internship Placement-Table 1
|Outcome||Year Applied for Internship|
|Students who obtained APA/CPA accredited internships||4||80||5||83||6||67||5||83||4||80||4||80||6||100|
|Students who obtained APPIC member internships that were not APA/CPA accredited (if applicable)||1||20||0||0||2||22||1||17||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Students who obtained other membership organization internships (e.g. CAPIC) that were not APA/CPA accredited (if applicable)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Students who obtained internships conforming to CDSPP guidelines that were not APA/CPA accredited (if applicable)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Students who obtained other internships that were not APA/CPA accredited (if applicable)||0||0||1||17||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||20||0||0|
|Students who obtained any internship||5||100||6||100||8||89||6||100||4||80||5||100||6||100|
|Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application proccess||5||6||9||6||5||5||6|
Internship Placement-Table 2
|Outcome||Year Applied for Internship|
|Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process||5||-||6||-||9||-||6||-||5||-||5||-||6||-|
|Students who obtained paid internships||5||100||6||100||8||89||6||100||4||80||4||80||6||100|
|Students who obtained half-time internships (if applicable)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Variable||Year of First Enrollment|
|Students for whom this is the year of first enrollment (i.e. new students)||6||-||5||-||6||-||6||-||5||-||6||-||6||-|
|Students whose doctoral degrees were conferred on their transcripts||6||100||4||80||2||33||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Students still enrolled in the program||0||0||0||0||4||67||4||67||4||80||6||100||6||100|
|Students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of doctoral degree||0||0||1||20||0||0||2||33||1||20||0||0||0||0|
|Outcome||2004 to 2012|
|The total number of program graduates (doctoral degrees conferred on transcript) between 2 and 10 years ago||48|
|The number of these graduates (between 2 and 10 years ago) who became licensed psychologists in the past 10 years||44|
It is our express goal to provide some financial support for every student admitted into the CTP. Currently, seven General Teaching Assistantships (GTA's), two Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA's), four Service Learning Positions, and seven Clinical Externships are available. Teaching and Research Assistantships require up to 20 hours per week; clinical positions are contracted up to 15 hours per week. The GTA's work as assistants to instructors at both the graduate and undergraduate level, performing such duties as grading exams, giving presentations, holding office hours, directing review sessions, proctoring tests, etc. Senior GTA's may serve as course instructors. Two of the seven GTA positions are assigned the Psychology Clinic, where students perform evaluations, participate in quality assurance, and assist in managing clinic operations. The GRA's work for Maria Wong, Ph.D., on her RO1 Grant. The GTA's and GRA's currently earn $13,034 plus tuition and health insurance. Service Learning Positions, which consist of direct care and eligibility assessments earn $8 to $10 per hour. Clinical Externships are typically reserved for third and fourth year clinical students with a completed MS degree. Externships provide opportunities in local agencies to practice professional skills under supervision. Hourly compensation ranges from $15 to $20 per hour. All Service Learning positions and Externships carry a non-residential tuition waiver. The resident tuition and health insurance remain an obligation of the student. Current externships and service positions operate out of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, four private mental health agencies, a center for disability evaluations, and two acute care psychiatric facilities. Departmental funding is available on an annual, competitive basis. Given the competitive nature of awards, a first year stipend does not guarantee departmental funding during all four on-campus years. Funded students are not expected to seek or accept employment elsewhere.
The Clinical Psychology Program is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education's (WICHE) Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). Successful applicants who are residents of 15 western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) will qualify for resident tuition status starting their first year in the program. We are happy to be recognized as one of only two Clinical Psychology programs classified as WRGP programs.
The current curriculum requires four years on campus of full time student course work, research, and practica/professional training. The fifth year is a clinical internship at a member site of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) or an equivalent experience approved by the Clinical Training Committee. Internship positions are awarded by the internship agency, not by Idaho State University. Thus, Idaho State University cannot guarantee that matriculated clinical students will gain access to internships in a timely fashion. Our students have been competitive and successful at attaining internship positions. To date, 93% (68 of 73) of our APPIC applicants have been placed in APPIC internship sites during their first application year via Phase I or II of the national match.
The doctoral training program in Clinical Psychology offers thorough training in the science of human behavior. Students without course experience in core undergraduate areas (physiology, learning, social, developmental, cognition, personality, and history) may be required to address deficiencies with appropriate coursework. All clinical students earn the Master of Science degree in Psychology. Completion of graduate course work in all core areas of human function (biological, cognitive-affective, social, developmental, individual differences, and history/systems) is required, along with basic methodological and statistics course work, clinical course work, a thesis, and a dissertation.
Clinical experiences are a component of every semester. Education in psychopathology, assessment, and intervention is embedded within all required clinical course work and practica. To facilitate our goal of generalist training, students complete a three-course sequence in measurement and evaluation, as well as interdisciplinary assessment and staffing procedures. There is little doubt that students will eventually specialize to some degree. One's selection of practica during the third and fourth years, dissertation topic, and internship site all implicitly demand some narrowing of interest. Nevertheless, all students completing the CTP at ISU will have a systematic exposure to core areas of professional practice. It is a policy of the CTP that all students are expected to develop competencies to serve a diverse clientele.
All courses listed below are three credits unless otherwise specified in parentheses. Our curriculum is constantly under review and subject to revision. MS Core courses refer to course work in the domains of biological, cognitive-affective, social, developmental/individual differences. A prototypical sequence of course requirements is outlined below. Research credits vary, but must sum to at least 6 for thesis and 12 for dissertation. Summer semester always entails at least 1 credit, usually practicum, externship, or internship placements.
Statistics and Design I
MS Core (e.g., Cognitive)
Clinical Psychology (2)
Adult Psychopathology and Treatment I
MS Core (e.g., Social)
Psycho-ed Evaluation (1)
Psychotropic Meds (2)
Psycho-ed Evaluation (1)
Advanced Ethics Seminar (1)
Statistics and Design II
MS Core (e.g., Developmental)
Psycho-ed Evaluation (1)
Child Psychopathology and Treatment
MS Core (e.g., Physiological)
Psycho-ed Evaluation (1)
Multivariate Statistics & Research Design
Adult Psychopathology & Treatment II
Psycho-ed Evaluation (1)
History & Systems
Interdisciplinary Evaluation Team (1)
Students propose, direct, and defend a master's thesis during the second year. In August of the beginning of the third year eligible students take the Qualifying Exam for doctoral candidacy. The exam samples integrative writing skills and oral communication skills regarding foundational areas of psychology (i.e., the MS Core) or an individualized research domain. Students are expected to propose a dissertation during the third year and collect dissertation data during the fourth year. The dissertation defense may be completed during the fourth or fifth year.
Summer semester is an important component of the CTP at ISU. Many students enroll in summer practicum offerings, complete research projects, or prepare for the Qualifying Exam. In addition, service learning position and externship contracts require professional activities through late July. Given the Graduate School's continuing registration requirement, once a student initiates thesis or dissertation research, at least one (1) academic credit is required each semester, including the summer semester, and until degree completion. Students on internship are recognized as full-time students by the ISU Registrar and enroll in 1-credit of internship (PSYC 7749) each semester for three consecutive semesters commencing with fall semester of the internship year.
Students participate in many professional activities throughout the four years at ISU. Students rotate across at least four different practicum teams in the ISU Psychology Clinic to ensure our objective of generalist clinical training. Each team is supervised by a full time faculty member of the CTP. All clinical faculty are licensed psychologists or finishing post-doctoral requirements for licensure. Current practicum offerings include child therapies for externalizing disorders, neuropsychological assessments, psycho-educational assessments, general adult psychopathology, anxiety and trauma, and couples/family therapy. During the fall semester of the first year students practice interviewing skills and observe clinic team evaluations, group supervision, and treatment routines. During spring semester of the first year students perform psycho-educational evaluations. Second and third year students assume increasing professional roles as clinicians. Fourth year students may gain supervisory experience. During the third or fourth years students usually obtain practicum positions in various community settings, supervised by licensed psychologists engaged in full time professional practice. Students also gain experience in working with professionals from other disciplines by completing one semester on the ISU Interdisciplinary Evaluation Team. Clinical and departmental colloquia, the annual clinical workshop, and weekly clinical program meetings ("Brown Bags") round out the students' structured professional training.
The Clinical Training Committee reviews all assessment information on a semester basis and provides formal written feedback to each student. We take professional training very seriously and are committed to high quality supervision. Students typically receive group and individual supervision, often in addition to live supervision of therapy sessions. We require and expect all students to adhere to the American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
The Psychology Department is located on the fourth floor of Garrison House. The department provides office space for all graduate students. The Idaho State University Psychology Clinic, on the fifth floor, provides individual therapy rooms, a child/family room, testing rooms, and a group therapy room, all equipped with observation, sound, and videotape capabilities. To go to the Psychology Clinic webpages, please click the link in the menu at the top of this page. Research labs are assigned to all full-time faculty members of the Psychology Department.
A local network of mental health agencies and other organizations provide external practicum sites and funding sources for clinical graduate students. There are adequate facilities available to meet the needs of experimental laboratory courses and independent research projects. Additional facilities include a university-managed animal colony, the university library, a university computer center located near the department, and computer labs in both the department and the clinic for graduate student use.
For a detailed description of the Clinical Training program, see the current Clinical Student Handbook.