Clinical Health Psychology

The mission of the Clinical Health program is to offer broad training in the science and practice of clinical psychology. 

In addition, the program provides students with specialized knowledge and skills in clinical health psychology.  Because one of the primary goals of the program is to prepare students for the professional practice of clinical psychology, we are seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation (CoA) of the American Psychological Association (APA) as a clinical program.  Currently, the program faculty members are in the process of preparing the self-study document to submit to the CoA.

The Clinical Health Psychology program adheres to a scientist-practitioner or Boulder training model (1949).  A graduate of this program is “uniquely educated and trained to generate and integrate scientific and professional knowledge, attitudes, and skills so as to further psychological science, the professional practice of psychology, and human welfare (Behar & Perry, 1992, p. 72).”  In addition to generalized training in Clinical Psychology, the track focuses on understanding how biological, psychological, and social factors influence health and illness, thus, utilizing a biopsychosocial orientation.  The emphasis on health expands the students’ knowledge of clinical psychology by understanding the psychological and physiological antecedents of health and illness, including mental health.  Housed at a Historically Black University, the program is uniquely able to attract African American and minority students, who upon graduating can serve the needs of minority communities as practitioners, and as faculty role models who will be able to attract and mentor more minority students in the field.  Graduates of the program will be able to function as clinical psychologists in a myriad of practitioner, research, teaching roles in health and academic settings.

The program is designed as a five-year, full-time post-baccalaureate program, with admission in the fall semester.  This includes four years on campus, with a one-year off-site pre-doctoral internship.  Students entering with a bachelor’s degree are required to spend a minimum of four years on campus.  Students entering with a master’s degree may complete the on-campus part of the program in three years, contingent upon the transfer of credits for prior coursework and thesis research.  A maximum of 30% of non-research credit hours in the program may be earned at a different regionally accredited institution.  Prior coursework and theses must be submitted for review subsequent to admission to the program.

Completion of the Ph.D. in Health Psychology Clinical Health area of study requires 96 credit hours.  This includes 51 credit hours of core courses (including thesis and dissertation credits), 42 credit hours in clinical health psychology (including 12 credits of clinical practica), and 3 credit hours of electives.

Clinical Health Curriculum

Clinical Health Area of Study

The Clinical Health area of study compliments the department’s current Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology.  This area of study focuses on understanding how biological, behavioral, and social factors influence health and illness.  Graduates of the program are expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Demonstrate understanding in the breadth of psychology, its history of thought and development, its research methods, and its applications according to the American Psychological Association’s program accreditation requirements.  (Students will be exposed to courses in the following areas:  biological, cognitive and affective, and social aspects of behavior; history and systems of psychology; psychological measurement; research methodology; and techniques of data analysis.)
  • Demonstrate knowledge in clinical and health psychology in the following areas:  individual differences in behavior; human development; dysfunctional behavior or psychopathology; and professional standards and ethics.
  • Complete psychological assessments to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical illness and psychological disorders.
  • Develop psychotherapeutic interventions to cope with physical and mental illness and to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Identify meaningful research questions in clinical health psychology, design research studies incorporating a biopsychosocial model to address those research questions, and implement research to advance the field of psychology in the area of health and illness.
  • Provide clinical services in medical, community, and other health settings.
  • PSYC530: Ethics and Professional Standards of Practice (3)
  • PSYC533: Introduction to Neuroscience (3)
  • PSYC581: Statistical Methods in Health Psychology I (3)
  • PSYC582: Statistical Methods in Health Psychology II (3)
  • PSYC603: Health Psychology (3)
  • PSYC609: History and Systems (3)
  • PSYC612: Research Methods in Clinical and Health Psychology (3)
  • PSYC701: Health Psychology: Psychotherapy Methods and Interventions (3)
  • PSYC599: Research & Thesis (6)
  • PSYC899: Doctoral Dissertation (12)
  • PSYC508: Psychotherapy I: Theories of Psychology (3)
  • PSYC517: Advanced Psychopathology (3)
  • PSYC519: Psychotherapy II: Techniques in Psychology (3)
  • PSYC520: Psychological Assessment I: Intelligence and Achievement Testing (3)
  • PSYC522: Psychological Assessment I: Lab (3)
  • PSYC521: Psychological Assessment II: Personality and Projective Testing (3)
  • PSYC702: Neuropsychological Assessment (3)
  • PSYC704: Clinical Psychopharmacology (3)
  • PSYC706: Professional Issues in Behavioral Medicine Consultation (3)
  • PSYC513: Educational Psychology (3)
  • PSYC515: Learning Theory (3)
  • PSYC514: Experimental Social Psychology (3)
  • PSYC715: Social and Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness (3)
  • PSYC620: Clinical Practicum I (1)
  • PSYC621: Clinical Practicum II (2)
  • PSYC720: Health Psychology Practicum (3)
  • PSYC721: Advanced Clinical Practicum (3-6)
  • Pre-doctoral Internship (No credit) 
Core for both areas of study (42 hrs)
  • Clinical Core Requirements (45 hrs)
  • Cognitive aspects of behavior – Choose one (3 hrs)
  • Social aspects of behavior – Choose one (3 hrs)
  • Clinical Practicum (12hrs)
  • Electives (9hrs)

Total: 96 hours