The PhD Program
If private practice is your sole goal, this program may not be the right fit for you. We are looking for students interested in pursuing a career in academic/research clinical work. If you have little interest in teaching or research, you might want to consider other programs.
No, the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience does not offer terminal Master's Degrees. All students are admitted with the expectation that they will work toward the PhD degree. Many students fulfill the requirements for and receive a Master of Arts degree in the course of working toward the PhD.
The minimum time needed to complete the program is five years, broken down as follows:
- Year 1 — Coursework and research practicum.
- Year 2 — Coursework, research practicum, and clinical practicum.
- Year 3 — Coursework, clinical practicum, and dissertation hours.
- Year 4 — Any remaining coursework, clinical practicum, and dissertation hours.
- Year 5 — Internship
However, many students complete the program in six or seven years.
Transfer credit is evaluated on a case-by-case basis after you have been admitted to the program. To expedite this process, make sure you hang on to the syllabi from any courses you'd like to have evaluated. The program director will not approve a course based on the title alone, and it is very unlikely that the catalog description will contain enough information.
The Graduate School limits the number of transfer credits that can be applied toward a degree from CU: https://www.colorado.edu/sociology/sites/default/files/attached-files/tr...
The Clinical Psychology Program operates several clinics, which provide effective assessment for adults, children, and adolescents. In the second year of training, graduate students see clients in the Raimy Clinic, located in the Muenzinger Psychology Building.
Definitely, and we strongly encourage students to do so. The APA requires Clinical PhD students to take one course each in the cognitive-affective bases of behavior, the biological bases of behavior, and the social bases of behavior. In addition, it is possible to expand one's research experience by working with a faculty member in another area.
Clinical PhD students may concurrently complete the requirements for a PhD in Neuroscience. Detailed information about the program can be found at Neuroscience Program.
Clinical PhD students may also complete the requirements for a Certificate in Behavioral Genetics.
The Application Process
A 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is considered competitive.
GRE General Test results are one of the factors weighed by some faculty considering applicants. However, the GREs will be optional for students who have not been able to take the test because of COVID-19. If you are submitting GRE scores, they must arrive by the application deadline of December, 1, 2020, to ensure that they will be reviewed.
Information concerning an individual's previous academic performance is also weighed. Although it is necessary for a student to have a moderately high grade point average (i.e., above 3.3) to be considered, grades are not the chief determinant of acceptance to our program. We look for students whose interests come close to our training objectives and whose research interests match those of the faculty. We are also looking for students who have had supervised research experience and practical experience (perhaps at a volunteer level) relevant to clinical psychology. Admission to the program is competitive (roughly 1–4% of applicants have been admitted in recent years) so strength in all aspects is beneficial.
Update regarding the Psychology GRE (Effective September 20, 2018). Scores on the Psychology GRE are likely to represent one option to fulfill specific program requirements that are mandated by the American Psychological Association. Therefore, it is likely to be beneficial for applicants to take the Psychology GRE prior to admission into the program, and students who have not taken the Psychology GRE may be asked to take it after they are admitted (or may be able to choose that option as one way to fulfill specific program requirements).
However, the Psychology GRE is not required to apply for admission to the program, and applicants who have not taken the exam will not be penalized during the application process.
Possibly, but not necessarily. The students who might be most helped by pursuing a terminal Master's degree before applying to a PhD program are those whose undergraduate qualifications are good, but not strong enough to get into a PhD program straight out of college. In those cases, a Master's degree would demonstrate a dedication to the field and the ability to successfully complete graduate-level work. It might also provide the student with the opportunity to gain needed experience in both research and clinical work.
In addition to a competitive GPA and GRE scores, you need to demonstrate dedication to the field of psychology by going above and beyond the basic undergraduate curriculum: Write an honors thesis; work in your favorite professor's research lab; volunteer with the suicide prevention hotline or at your local community mental health center; do anything that will get you out of the classroom and allow you to put all that good information from class in to practice.
Research the faculty members you are most interested in working with as a graduate student. Look up the abstracts for the papers they've published in the last few years. Outline at least two original research projects you could do based on their work. List every reason you can think of as to why you would be the perfect person to work in their lab.
Having done all of the above, you should now be ready to write your personal statement. Show it to your advisor and ask if s/he would take you as a grad student based on what you've written. Double and triple-check the application materials to make sure you've included all necessary information in the proper format.
Well in advance of the deadline, request letters of recommendation from your volunteer supervisor, your honors thesis advisor, the professor you've been doing research with, and/or any other professors who have gotten to know you particularly well.
Yes. Students who submit a complete application for admission to graduate study in psychology will automatically be considered for all university scholarships and fellowships for which they are eligible, as well as for teaching assistantships. In addition, if students complete a financial aid application, they will be considered for other need-based monies. A number of different types of financial aid are administered by the Graduate School. These include University of Colorado fellowships, scholarships, and loans.
We provide our students with a tuition waiver and a stipend, generally funded by teaching or research assistantships, for the first four years of the program. These assistantships provide a monthly stipend, tuition waiver, and cover part of the student health insurance. The student is responsible for the remaining health insurance costs and student fees.
Yes, an interview is mandatory for acceptance into the program. The top 15-20 candidates are invited to come to Boulder for one interview weekend (typically in January or February) to meet with the faculty, staff, and students in the Clinical Program. If an invited applicant is unable to come to the Interview weekend, s/he must make arrangements to interview at another time in order to be considered for admission.
Due to the large number of requests we receive of this nature, the faculty have decided not to grant individual meetings with potential applicants.