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Combined Clinical/Counseling/School PhD Program


The Combined Program is designed so that students are typically involved in coursework, research, and applied practice throughout their time on campus. 

Coursework in the Program

Coursework in the Combined Program is designed so that students acquire knowledge and demonstrate competency in a number of areas: foundational psychology, professional psychology (theory, practice, and assessment), human development, research methods, and the active integration of science and practice.  See the Graduate Student Handbook for a sample schedule of coursework. 

Students admitted with a BA/BS degree will earn a Master's of Science in Psychology en route to earning their PhD.  Students admitted with a MA/MS degree may have some previous coursework transferred or waived on a case-by-case basis.

MS in PsychologyCombined student presenting research at a conference

  • Introduction to the Combined Doctoral Program
  • Evidence-Based Practice I: Children and Adolescents
  • Evidence-Based Practice II: Adults
  • Diversity Issus in Treatment and Assessment
  • Intellectual Assessment
  • Objective Assessment of Personality and Affect
  • Introduction to Theories of Intervention in Psychology
  • Introduction to Educational and Psychological Research
  • Research Design and Analysis I
  • Lifespan Psychopathology
  • Thesis

PhD in Psychology

  • History and Systems
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognition and Instruction
  • Advanced Developmental Psychology
  • Professional Ethics and Standards
  • Either Biological Basis of Behavior or Fundamentals of Neuroscience I
  • Supervision and Consultation in Applied Psychology
  • Research Design and Analysis II
  • One additional research course of student's choice
  • Dissertation
  • Internship

A Sampling of Electives

Students work closely with their chairs in choosing electives that help them achieve their professional goals.

  • Introduction to Program Evaluation
  • Group Counseling
  • Psychoeducational Assessment
  • Health Psychology
  • Rural Psychology
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Theory and Practice in Sports Psychology
  • University Teaching Apprenticeship
  • Practicum in Psychology
  • Neuropsychology: Principles and Assessment
  • Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy

Research in the ProgramCombined student presenting research at a conference

Students complete a thesis and dissertation while on campus (students entering with a master's degree who completed a thesis previously may meet the thesis requirement with approval by the Combined Program faculty).

Students engage in research activities throughout their training, and present their research in regional, national, and international conferences. Travel awards are available for students who present their research at a conference. In addition, students submit their work for publication; many students leave the program with a number of first-authored publications. 

Applied Training in the Program

Students are required to complete three years of applied training while on campus.  One of these years must be conducted in a setting primarily serving children. Please review the Applied Training Opportunities page for more details.

The final year of the Combined Program is a one-year APA-approved internship. Students apply nationally for internships during the fall of their last year on campus. To be eligible for internship students must have completed the majority of their course work, completed the comprehensive exams, demonstrated competency in assessment and intervention, and successfully defended their dissertation proposal.

Comprehensive Exams

In lieu of traditional written/oral comprehensive exams, three professional tasks have been identified that are directly relevant to students' chosen specialization and are more closely tied to the professional responsibilities in which students will engage upon graduation:

  1. Presentation of a theoretical, research, or scholarly review paper (first author) at a national or regional conference
  2. Composition and submission of a first-authored journal manuscript
  3. Written and oral presentation of a clinical case

In addition to providing students invaluable experience engaging in these tasks, the products of these comprehensive exams are immediately useful for students.  Research presentations and publications are added to students' CVs, and students often use portions of their case presentations for their internship application. 

Student Meetings and Colloquia

Collegiality is important to the Combined Program as well as the Department of Psychology.  Therefore, the department has designated Tuesday mornings as time for faculty and students to come together in a variety of events to stay engaged and facilitate communication between faculty and students.

Combined Program students attend monthly student-led meetings to receive important program information, provide feedback to faculty, express concerns, and receive support from one another.  In addition, students often share specialty knowledge with one another and bring in local professionals to provide trainings.  Each year two student representatives are elected by the students to serve as a liaison between students and faculty.  These representatives lead the student meetings and attend program and departmental meetings.

Departmental colloquia also occur on Tuesday mornings and offer faculty and students an opportunity to learn about research in multiple areas of psychology.  Each academic year, a number of visiting scholars present on their research which is followed by an active discussion with student questions.  Colloquia are followed by light refreshments and a chance to talk to presenters in a casual setting.  

students at Arches National Park
Second year student cohort with their partners at Arches National Park in southern Utah