“A flexible curriculum designed to meet each student’s specific needs.”

Indiana’s Clinical Science Program includes a core set of experiences required of all students, coupled with a flexible curriculum designed to meet each student’s specific needs. The flexible curriculum serves our longstanding goal of providing integrative training, in which students draw on multiple perspectives (e.g., biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, social) in their research on clinical problems. In some cases, students complete a dual Ph.D. in Clinical Science and in the Program of Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. In many other cases, students do work in more than one area of Psychology within the context of a single degree.  To earn a Ph.D. in Psychology requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, a standard set by the College and University Graduate School.


Students form an Advisory Committee, consisting of the student’s mentor and at least two other faculty members, during their first year.  The committee assists the student to design an individualized training plan, while insuring receipt of adequate breadth, depth, and quality of training.


Our training model is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. In their first two years all graduate students in the department take four core courses, a semester of advanced statistics, a course on research methods and professional and ethical issues, and they write at least one grant. They also complete a First and Second Year research project in collaboration with their mentor, which must be accepted in written form.  In the summer after their second year students take qualifying exams, which assess their core competencies in clinical science. Clinical students also take one advanced clinical seminars, at least one year of internal practicum, several additional years of practicum, a course on the teaching of psychology, an additional advanced statistics or methods course, and complete at least three courses for a minor concentration. In the fifth and sixth year students conduct their dissertation research and complete their internship.


Core courses

The four Clinical core courses include:

·       Introduction to Clinical Science, which covers contemporary and classic papers on the epistemological, conceptual, empirical, and methodological foundations of clinical science, as well as professional and ethical issues;

·       Assessment, which covers measurement theories, methods, and issues as they relate to research and practice;

·       Principles of Psychopathology, which covers descriptive, theoretical, and experimental approaches to investigating, classifying, predicting, and explaining psychopathology; and

·       Intervention & Evaluation, which critically examines theories and methods of intervention, covers approaches to evaluating interventions, and introduces issues of implementation and dissemination.

Elective Clinical Seminars

The clinical curriculum gives students considerable freedom to tailor their graduate training to their individual interests through the selection of numerous elective courses. A number of advanced courses and seminars in clinical and other areas of psychology are offered to students in their second, third, and fourth years. Many clinical students currently take advanced courses in Developmental Psychopathology (D’Onofrio), Behavioral Models & Substance Abuse (Finn), Cognitive Neuropsychopathology (O’Donnell), Evidence-Based Clinical Supervision (Lewis), Sexual Lives and Disorders (Heiman), and other topical areas. At least one advanced clinical elective is required, but students normally exceed this number. Depending on the student’s area of specialization, courses in other areas within the department and also outside the department are taken.

Minor Concentration

Minors are typically individualized to meet the training needs of each student; they are designed in consultation with, and approved by, the student’s Advisory Committee. For instance, recent minors include Social Neuroscience, Quantitative Modeling of Development, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Public Policy Research Impacting Child Development. Some students elect to complete a second Ph.D. major instead of a minor, usually either the doctoral program in Cognitive Science or Neuroscience programs.

Practicum Courses

Students work closely with their Advisory Committee and the Practicum Committee (a group of faculty responsible for determining practicum placements) to identify their plan for integrating their research and clinical training. Beginning in their second year (occasionally earlier), students start with at least one year in one of our carefully designed in-house practicum. Current in-house practica include: The Parent-Child Clinic (focused on helping families with children who demonstrate oppositional problems)  and the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Research and Training Clinic (focused on treating adults with depression and anxiety).

As students’ progress in their training in these in-house practicum they usually take on a role of peer supervisor, with on-going didactic training and supervision in how to conduct supervision. Recently, an evidence-based clinical supervision (EBCS) seminar was developed to supplement the peer supervision experience. IU’s EBCS seminar appears to be one of the only available among APCS programs. Once students have successfully completed one year of in-house practicum training they may choose to continue the in-house practicum or they may take external practicum that are more closely related to their research or clinical interests. Students have access to a variety of other practicum settings beyond the in-house practicum, including inpatient, day hospital, and outpatient experiences.


It is expected that clinical students will complete all of their academic and research requirements for the PhD degree before leaving for their predoctoral internships. In fact, students may not even apply for an internship position until their written proposals for dissertation research have received formal approval from their faculty committee.

The variety of facilities and programs in which Indiana’s clinical students have accepted internships in the past is illustrated by the following list of recent placements:

  • —  Western Psychiatric Institute/University of Pittsburgh
  • —  University of Illinois Chicago Medical School
  • —  Brown University Clinical Psychology Consortium
  • —  VA’s: Baltimore, Boston, Hines, Minneapolis, New Haven, and Palo Alto
  • —  Medical College of Georgia
  • —  University of Washington Medical Center
  • —  Indiana University Medical School
  • —  Charleston Consortium Internship
  • —  Lurie Children’s Hospital