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Combined Clinical/Counseling PhD Program


The APA-accredited Combined Clinical/Counseling PhD program is now accepting applications!  The program was previously the Combined Clinical/Counseling/School PhD Program and has been updated to further focus our training and capitalize on faculty expertise.  This change does not impact our accreditation; the Combined Clinical/Counseling PhD Program is an APA-accredited program and is the longest continually-accredited combined PhD program.

The Combined Clinical/Counseling PhD Program at Utah State University trains health service psychologists in a combination of clinical and counseling psychology. The Combined Program faculty and graduate students actively engage in research, applied practice, teaching, and service, thus working toward meeting the departmental, college, and university mission.  

What is a Combined Program?

The two substantive areas of counseling and clinical psychology have historically reflected different philosophies and foci:

The field of clinical psychology historically emphasizes psychopathology with a focus on diagnosis and intervention, assessment, consultation, engaging in specific research, and critically evaluating research.

The field of counseling psychology historically addresses developmental life stresses as well as severe mental health and emphasizes strengths of individuals and groups, environmental and cultural influences to human functioning, and social justice issues.

Training for Work in Diverse Social Environments

The interdependence of contemporary social systems currently requires that psychologists have a broad knowledge of problem areas and client populations so that they are able to work in and interact with other professionals in diverse settings.  With the field’s emphasis on training health service psychologists, there are increasingly less useful distinctions made between the specialty areas of clinical and counseling psychology.  Both specialties overlap in core curricula, practice areas, client populations, interventions, and settings.  Understanding this reality, the Combined Clinical/Counseling PhD Program at Utah State University provides a unified approach to doctoral-level training across the two practice areas of clinical and counseling psychology. Emphasis is placed upon training psychologists who will be able to provide psychological services and conduct research in a variety of settings.

Why Come to a Combined Program?

Because health service psychologists are being called on to work across a wide variety of settings and with diverse populations, strong generalist training provides graduates with the broad skills and values required to be flexible and competent in many positions.  Experience across multiple training settings provides graduates with the interpersonal and interprofessional skills required to interact seamlessly in an increasingly multidisciplinary field.  As a result, graduates of a combined program may be afforded a wider variety of job opportunities.

Students receive training from clinical and counseling faculty, gain exposure to values and issues pertinent to both areas, and have opportunities to practice in clinical and counseling settings.  Combined Program graduates will be capable of effectively intervening in educational, emotional, and behavioral arenas with diverse clients. Graduates are employed by VA hospitals, mental health centers, universities in both faculty and research positions, college counseling centers, state hospitals, health maintenance organizations, medical centers, and private practice groups.


The Combined program has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1975 USU requested and was granted by the APA Commission on Accreditation that the Combined Clinical/Counseling program be considered a continuation of the Combined Clinical/Counseling/School program and thus the Combined Clinical/Counseling program is an APA accredited doctoral program.  Questions regarding APA accreditation and complete information on accreditation guidelines and principles are available through:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC
(202) 336-5979

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