Skip to main content

Combined Clinical/Counseling/School PhD Program


Program Model And Philosophy

The Combined Program at USU adheres to a scientist-practitioner model of training, integrating and blending the practice and science of psychology at the doctoral level. Based on this philosophy of training, professional psychologists are encouraged to:

  • conduct research on issues relevant to the field of psychology
  • ensure that professional practice is based on a strong empirical foundation, and
  • examine their practices by conducting ongoing research and evaluation.

(Baker & Benjamin, 2000; Belar, 2002)

Blend Of Science And Practice

During doctoral training, students are required to engage in both the science and practice of psychology. More importantly, however, the program is focused on the development of critical thinking skills and the value of science and practice as mutually interdependent endeavors. The blend of science and practice is an ever-present underlying theme that guides our program model and permeates our program planning. The program is organized to emphasize general preparation in:

  • the scientific bases of psychology
  • theory and methods of the professional practice of psychology
  • sensitivity to the unique needs of minority populations and individual differences (including, but not limited to those indigenous to the Rocky Mountain region i.e., American Indian, Latino).
  • and the internalization of professional ethics and the value of life-long learning.

Purpose Of Core Courses

Throughout the program, students are expected to gain essential skills in each of the three areas of the combined program (counseling, clinical, and school psychology). All doctoral students are expected to take core courses that provide:

  • awareness, knowledge, and skills common to counseling, clinical, and school psychology; and
  • awareness and knowledge unique to counseling, clinical, and school psychology.

Specialized Training Available

Beyond entry-level awareness, knowledge, and skill base taught in the common core courses, students receive the opportunity for specialized training in the following areas:

  • school/child clinical
  • health psychology and neuropsychology, and
  • rural and ethnic minority psychology.

Training in these emphasis areas consists of elective courses in a given area (e.g. child clinical, health psychology, rural psychology), clinical work in settings related to these areas, and specialized research opportunities.

Completion of the Combined Program qualifies graduates for a variety of clinical, counseling, or school psychology positions in universities, private clinics, mental health centers, university counseling centers, community clinics, or public schools. Graduates of this PhD program meet requirements to sit for the psychology licensure examination in Utah and most other states.