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Graduate Psychology Courses: Goals and Objectives

Application Information

In order to apply for our program, the following items are required to complete the online application: CV, college(s) transcript, contact information for three people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you, and a personal essay.  The essay should describe your preparation for graduate training, the clinical interests you might like to pursue during your graduate training, and the aspects of the program that match your training goals and interests, including your interest in the research of specific faculty members.  Ideally, this essay will be 2-3 pages in length. You can learn about obtaining feedback on your essay at https://www.asfp.io/.

The Clinical Program does not require or expect applicants to submit GRE General or Subject test scores, and applications will be considered complete without them. However, applicants may voluntarily submit GRE scores. If submitted, GRE scores will be reviewed as a part of our holistic evaluation of each applicant’s academic background and aptitude, relevant research and clinical experiences and skills, and mentor and program fit. Relatedly, our program does not use specific cutoff scores for GRE tests or GPA when evaluating applications.

The vast majority of applicants can successfully demonstrate their readiness for graduate work without GRE scores. However, some applicants may choose to submit GRE General Test or GRE Subject Test scores to better represent their readiness for graduate work in clinical psychology. For instance:

  • GRE General Test scores may be advantageous for applicants whose undergraduate course performance may underrepresent their overall academic aptitude or specific academic competencies related to GRE Verbal or Quantitative scores.
  • Quantitative scores from the GRE General Test may be advantageous for applicants whose academic studies did not include statistical coursework or related research experiences.
  • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores may be advantageous for applicants whose academic degree is not in psychology (e.g., sociology, biology, special education).

If you have questions about your application to the program, please contact the Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Steven Lawyer (stevenlawyer@isu.edu; 208-282-2142).

Graduate Application Fee Waivers

McNair Scholars. The ISU Graduate School offers application fee waivers for McNair Scholars applying to graduate degree programs at Idaho State University. If you are a McNair Scholar, please see the ISU Graduate School information for McNair Scholars and contact the McNair Scholar office at your university before you submit your application.

Need-Based Graduate Application Fee Waivers. The ISU Psychology Department recognizes that the application fees for applying to our program can be a barrier for some applicants. As such, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of need-based application fee waivers to applicants who might not otherwise be able to afford these costs to remove this barrier to graduate admissions.

If you are in financial need and would like one of these waivers, please email the ISU Psychology Department (psych@isu.edu). In your email, please indicate that you are applying to the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and indicate that you have a financial need. Please do this before you submit your application, as application costs cannot be refunded. Using a fee waiver will not affect the review of your application.   

For Prospective Applicants/How to Apply

Objectives and Scope of the Clinical Program

The ISU Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology 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.

Excellence in Clinical Training. Our program strives to produce students who become competent clinical psychologists who recognize the reciprocal relationship between science and practice and integrate research and theory from diverse areas of psychology into their evidence-based practice. We use a scientist-practitioner clinical training model to train students in diverse range of clinical settings (e.g., inpatient, community mental health, forensic settings, counseling centers, private practice) to meet its mission to train competent clinical psychologists who can apply and adapt general conceptual and technical skills in diverse regional and professional settings.

Excellence in Psychological Science. Our program strives to produce students who can comprehend and critically evaluate psychological science and plan, execute, and disseminate research relevant to the field of psychology. Students develop rigorous knowledge of research methodology, including experimental design and analysis, that provides strong critical and integrative thinking skills as well as the fundamentals needed to be an active and informed consumer of clinical research. Doctoral level scholarship is an integral component of our training, and students are required to conduct original empirical research. Clinical students may elect to be mentored by any full-time faculty member of the Psychology Department, including members of the ISU Doctoral Program in Experimental Psychology.

Ethical Practice. Our program strives to produce students who have knowledge of and embody the ethical standards of the profession of psychology and who demonstrate appropriate professional conduct and professional interpersonal relationships. Ethical principles and practice are integrated at all levels of training and in all training settings.

Cultural Awareness and Humility. Our program strives to produce students who value cultural and individual differences and diverse value or belief systems and effectively integrate diversity into case conceptualization, assessment, and treatment delivery. Our program promotes the integration of all aspects of diversity in clinical practice. This means teaching students to match evidence-based approaches to clinical care to diverse individuals and interacting social systems, and how to tailor and/or adapt that treatment to specific cases. This also means teaching students to integrate awareness and navigation of personal biases that may influence their ability to deliver effective clinical care.

The clinical training program at ISU has been accredited by the APA Commission on Accreditation since 2001. We continue to work with the APA to ensure that the program 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 apaaccred@apa.org.

Applicant Qualifications

Students are required to have a BA/BS in psychology or the equivalent and an undergraduate GPA at or above 3.0 for the last two undergraduate years. Students with a strong undergraduate psychology major, research experience, and applied or clinical experience are encouraged to apply. Students with a Master’s degree in Psychology are also encouraged to apply. General GRE test scores are not required for admissions in Fall 2023, but may be submitted as optional information.

What Does Our Program Look for in an Applicant?

ISU’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, like others like it around the country, tends to be very competitive. Our program is a member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) and interested applicants should consider reviewing CUDCP’s review of undergraduate competencies that make for successful applicants to programs like ours.

There are no absolute requirements for admission to our program and we admit applicants with a diverse range of interests, experiences, and backgrounds. However, competitive applicants to ISU’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology program tend to have:

  • Undergraduate and/or graduate GPAs of 3.75 or higher; 
  • Research products that demonstrate meaningful research experiences.  Students in our program often have one or more research articles under review (and/or published) and/or several research presentations at regional, national, and/or international professional conferences;
  • One or more years of research lab experience relevant to scientific psychology;
  • One or more years of employment and/or volunteer service relevant to clinical-community psychology; 
  • Clearly identified potential research advisor(s) with a clear and well-articulated rationale;
  • Interaction with diagnostic, developmental, and/or cultural groups relevant to lab foci;
  • A compelling description of program fit, with clear, supportive details (e.g., shared goals, philosophy, values); and
  • Strong letters of recommendation that make it clear that the student is likely to be successful in a program like ours.

If you are interested in our program and want to learn more, please reach out to the Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Steve Lawyer (stevenlawyer@isu.edu).

All applications to the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology are completed online through the Idaho State University Graduate School. Updated clinical application materials are available online by October 1st each year.  All application materials must be received before the November 15th deadline. Student applications with missing and/or late required materials shall not be considered for admission.

Interviews will be scheduled on a Saturday in early February. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and economic impacts, applicant interviews will be conducted via Zoom rather than in-person to increase safety and access for all applicants. Students invited for an interview by the Clinical Admissions Committee will be notified of dates and times.

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. Our program values and promotes diversity in principle and practice across all aspects of training. Therefore, we encourage applicants from diverse demographic (e.g., socioeconomic, ethnic, sexual identity) and experiential backgrounds to apply to our program. Given our program’s historical mission to provide Idahoans with quality clinical and academic training, we also encourage Idaho residents to apply to our program. However, Idaho residency does not compensate for deficits in qualifications and is only considered when comparing individuals of equivalent ability.

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.

For a detailed description of the Clinical Training program, please click on the link below. 

ISU Psychology Dept Policies and Program Handbooks 2023-2024

Program Disclosures

Does the program or institution require students, trainees, and/or staff (faculty) to comply with specific policies or practices related to the institution’s affiliation or purpose? Such policies or practices may include, but are not limited to, admissions, hiring, retention policies, and/or requirements for completion that express mission and values?  ____Yes __X__No

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data


Past Applicant/Student Statistics for the Ph.D. Program

  2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Number of Complete Applications 100 87 162 76 84
Number of Admission Offers 14 11 11 9 7
Number of Enrolled 6 5 5 5 5
Number of New Students Funded 6 5 5 5 5
Undergraduate GPA 3.90 3.80 3.77 3.84 3.89

Time to Completion for all students entering the program

Outcome Year in which Degrees were Conferred
2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 Total
Total number of students with doctoral degree conferred on transcript 3 5 6 6 6 4 4 6 5 7 52
Mean number of years to complete the program 5.1 4.9 5 5.7 5.1 5 5.4 5.9 5.2 5.3 5.3
Median number of years to complete the program 5 5 4.9 5.2 5 4.9 5.4 5.9 4.9 4.9 5
Time to Degree Ranges N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students in less than 5 years


0 0 0 3 50 3 50 1 17 3 75 2 50 2 33 3 60 5 71 22 42
Students in 5 years 3 100 5 100 1 17 1 17 3 50 1 25 2 50 3 50 2 40 2 29 23 44
Students in 6 years 0 0 0 0 2 33 2 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 8
Students in 7 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 33 0 0 0 0 1 17 0 0 0 0 3 6
Students in more than 7 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The Clinical Training Program welcomes applicants who have completed the MS or MA degree at other accredited institutions. Please refer to the 2023-2024 Graduate Catalog. 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 masters thesis, often reduce the time to completion by as much as one year.

Program Costs

Description 2023-2024 1st-year
Cohort Cost
Tuition for full-time students (in-state) $11,268.00
Tuition for full-time students (out-of-state) $30,152.00
Tuition per credit hour for part-time students (if applicable enter amount; if not applicable enter "NA") $480.87
University/institution fees or costs  $1,181.88
Additional estimated fees or costs to students (e.g. books, travel, etc.) *$1,000.00

* Student Health Insurance unless waived through parent's insurance

Internship Placement-Table 1

Outcome  Year Applied for Internship
2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022


N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who obtained APA/CPA-accredited internships 5 100 7 100 3 100 7 100 3 100 3 100 5 100 6 100 5 100 8 100
Students who obtained APPIC member internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 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 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 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained any internship 5 100 7 100 3 100 7 100 3 100 3 100 5 100 6 100 5 100 8 100
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 5 100 7 100 3 100 7 100 3 100 3 100 5 100 6 100 5 100 8 100

Internship Placement-Table 2

 Outcome Year Applied for Internship
2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 5 100 7 100 3 100 7 100 3 100 3 100 5 100 6 100 5 100 8 100
Students who obtained paid internships 5 100 7 100 3 100 7 100 3 100 3 100 5 100 6 100 5 100 8 100
Students who obtained half-time internships* (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Variable Year of First Enrollment
2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students for whom this is the year of first enrollment (i.e. new students) 6 - 7 - 6 - 6 - 6 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 5 - 5 -
Students whose doctoral degrees were conferred on their transcripts 6 100 6 86 5 83 4 67 5 83 5 71 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students still enrolled in program 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 14 6 100 5 100 5 100 5 100
Students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of doctoral degree 0 0 1 14 1 17 2 33 1 17 1 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Outcome 2013-2023
The total number of program graduates (doctoral degrees conferred on transcript) between 2 and 10 years ago 45
The number of these graduates (between 2 and 10 years ago) who became licensed psychologists in the past 10 years 42
Licensure percentage 93%

Financial Support

Our students are funded by a collection of Graduate Assistantships (for teaching or research), clinical externships, and several funding sources in the Department of Psychology (adjunct teaching and Career Path Internships). All students receive non-resident tuition waivers through one of several mechanisms, such as the Western Regional Graduate Program or from ISU.

Graduate Assistantships require up to 20 hours per week and typically pay a generous stipend along with a tuition waiver. Graduate Teaching Assistants assist instructors for graduate and undergraduate courses, performing such duties as grading exams, giving presentations, holding office hours, directing review sessions, proctoring tests, etc. Senior GTAs may serve as course instructors. Two GTA positions are assigned to the Psychology Clinic, where students perform evaluations, participate in quality assurance, and assist in managing clinic operations. Graduate Research Assistants work for researchers who manage externally-funded research grants.

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 in community settings under supervision. Compensation rates vary but are typically $14-$20 per hour. These positions come with a non-residential tuition waiver but the resident tuition remains an obligation of the student.

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. Individual student funding varies across their time in the program, but students typically receive funding of some kind while they are in the program. Funded students are expected to not seek or accept employment elsewhere.

Do you qualify for in-state tuition at ISU?

The Clinical Psychology Program is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). We are happy to be recognized as one of only two Clinical Psychology programs classified as WRGP programs.

What is WRGP?

The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) is an agreement among WICHE 16 member states and territories, through which participating Western public universities allow WICHE-region students to attend select out-of-state graduate certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs – and pay up to 150 percent of resident tuition.

Since public-university nonresident tuition rates are typically much higher than resident rates – sometimes by 300 percent or more–WRGP increases affordable higher education options for students, and minimizes student loan debt.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Reside in a WRGP eligible state  for at least 9 consecutive months prior to the beginning of the first academic term of WRGP acceptance.
  2. Proof of a permanent address in the WRGP state.
  3. Payment of state income tax on wages earned in the WRGP state.
  4. Proof of the following in the WRGP state:
    • Vehicle registration
    • Driver’s license
    • Voter registration

Qualifying States

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States (CNMI, Guam, RMI, FSM, and Republic of Palau), South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming


Coursework and internship. The current curriculum requires four years on campus of full-time student course work, research, and practica/professional training (usually less if the student comes in with a psychology MS/MA degree). 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. The internship application process is nationally competitive and positions are awarded by the internship agency, not by Idaho State University. Idaho State University cannot guarantee that matriculated clinical students will gain access to internships in a timely fashion, but our program has a strong history of placing students in high-quality internship positions. In the last decade, 100% of our internship applicants matches to an APA-approved APPIC internship site and most of our students get one of their top three internship sites.

Research Training. 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 Training. Our students receive excellent clinical training and education in psychopathology, assessment, and intervention, all of which integrate critical content regarding diversity and inclusion. Students also receive training in interdisciplinary assessment and treatment as well as supervision and consultation. Our curriculum is designed for generalist training but student selection of practica during the third and fourth years, dissertation topic, and internship site all implicitly demand some narrowing of interest. It is our policy that all students are expected to develop competencies to serve a diverse clientele.

Year 1

Statistics and Design I (6627) Statistics and Design II (6632) Psy Clin Prac (4425)
Psychodiagnostics I (6620) Psychodiagnostics II (6621)  
MS Core Ethical and Prof Issues (5512)  
Clinical Psychology (7701) MS Core  
Thesis (6650) Thesis (6650)  

Year 2

Adult Psychopath/Tx I (6645) Adult Psychopath/Tx II (6646) Psy Clin Prac (4425)
Psycho-ed Eval (7727) Child Psychopath/Tx I (6649)  
Multivar Stats/Res Des (6637) MS Core  
MS Core Thesis (6650)  
Thesis (6650) Psych Clin Prac (4425)  
Psych Clin Prac (4425)  Psycho-ed Eval (7727)  

Year 3

Child Psychopath/Tx II (6659) Advanced Ethics Seminar (7703) Comm Prac OR
Superv & Consult (7704) Dissertation (8850) Externship 
Psychotropic Medication (7702) Comm Prac/Externship  
Dissertation (8850) Cult Divers & Ind Diff (6634)  
Comm Prac/Externship     

Year 4

Dissertation (8850) Dissertation (8850) Comm Prac OR
Comm Prac OR Comm Prac OR Externship 
Externship Externship  

Year 5

Internship Internship Internship

Students propose, direct, and defend a master's thesis during the second year. Eligible students take the Qualifying Exam for doctoral candidacy in their third year. Students can choose between a research qualifying exam paper or a clinical comprehensive exam in which they demonstrate their ability to integrate core psychology content. Students typically propose a dissertation during the third year and collect dissertation data during the fourth year.

Summer semester is an important component of our program. Many students enroll in summer practicum offerings, complete research projects, or prepare for the Qualifying Exam. In addition, externship contracts require professional activities through late July.

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 during their time at ISU. Students rotate across several practicum teams in the ISU Psychology Clinic to ensure our objective of generalist clinical training. Each team is supervised by a full-time program faculty member. All clinical faculty are licensed psychologists or finishing post-doctoral requirements for licensure. ISU Psychology Clinic practicum offerings rotate during the year, but students can receive rigorously-supervised experience working with general adult psychopathology, anxiety and trauma, autism spectrum disorders, and externalizing disorders in children.

Students also receive training in a variety to community practicum and externship training sites, which include community mental health centers, private practice, medical centers, ISU Counseling and Testing Services, forensic practice, and a state hospital. 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 regularly scheduled clinical program meetings ("Lunch & Learn") round out the student’s structured professional training.

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.


Students receive ongoing feedback about their program progress in the form of course grades, clinical training evaluations, evaluation of performance in funded positions (e.g., Graduate Assistant roles), and annual formal written feedback to each student from the Clinical Training Committee. 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 on ISU’s upper campus. All graduate students get office space either in the Department of Psychology or in relevant locations on ISU’s campus. 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 recording 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.