About PhD Clinical Psychology

Details about the PhD

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The PhD in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a program member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP). The program adheres to the scientist/practitioner model of training, and requires a number of clinical and research practica in addition to an extensive course curriculum. The program accepts students based on the fit between a candidate and the program as a whole rather than on the basis of faculty lab openings. This is a four-year plus internship, full-time program with a residency requirement of two years, designed to prepare skilled psychologists who are capable of serving as clinicians, appreciative of the relationship between science and clinical practice, and capable of conducting sound research.

The scientist-practitioner orientation emphasizes academic content areas of psychology and views clinical training as growing directly out of foundations in psychological theory and research. It reflects the program’s position that a competent and effective clinician is a scientist-practitioner, well-versed not only in clinical techniques and methods, but also in the theoretical and research-based underpinnings of various approaches.

As an expression of the scientist-practitioner model, the sequence of courses in the program emphasizes a thorough preparation in theoretical psychology and methodology. The sequence becomes the matrix against which students receive applied training in clinical psychology. For example, the first year of the program exposes students to a course in the theory of measurement prior to course work in intellectual assessment. Theoretical foundations in personality and psychopathology are explored prior to behavioral and personality assessment.

Concurrent with the work in assessment, students begin study of the theory, research, and practice of psychotherapy. The second year of course work expands students’ knowledge of treatment procedures, specialized populations, and related topics. In addition, the student completes two semesters of statistics (research design and analysis) in the second year.

By the end of the third year, students are prepared to begin their dissertation research under the mentorship of the faculty.

The Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association can be contacted at:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 
American Psychological Association 
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002 
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org 
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation  


What is the final date when all application materials (online application, GREs, CV, letters of recommendation, personal statement transcripts, etc.) have to be received by FDU?
All materials must be received by December 15, 2023. If an applicant is currently enrolled in school, an unofficial transcript will be accepted. An official one must be sent at the end of the semester.

Are part-time students permitted?
No. All students in the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology are full-time students.

Is it possible to not fulfill the research practicum requirements if the student is not interested in conducting research?
No. The research practicum, like the clinical practicum, is an integral part of the program and required of all students.

How long does it take to complete the program? Students entering with a B.A. degree typically complete all requirements in 5-6 years.

Do all students receive financial aid?
Yes. All students receive a fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to students every semester for their first three years in the program unless the student registers for less than 9 credits. The fellowship is $5,000 tuition remission for each of the first three years in the Program. Some research and clinical practica have an additional stipend included, and various additional fellowships are available for students who meet certain conditions.

Is it possible to teach while a doctoral student?
Yes. Not only is it possible, but it is required that every doctoral student teach at least one course. Many teach several courses while completing doctoral requirements. Doctoral students are paid as adjunct faculty for courses taught. This is in addition to their fellowship(s) and other stipends.

What is the success with placing students in internships?
Very high: In the past 3 years, 100% of doctoral students have been successfully placed at an APA accredited internship site.

Should applicants contact individual faculty members whose interests they share to see if the faculty member will be accepting new students in the fall?
No, FDU is a generalist program and admission decisions are made by all of the faculty together. Individual faculty members do not accept specific students. However, when applying you should consider how your research interests fit with various faculty members and may reach out to them if you have questions regarding their research. Students are assigned to research labs at the beginning of the first semester. Faculty present an overview of the research done in their labs. Students rank the labs and then assignments are made based on student preferences and lab availability. Students can also volunteer in a second lab and can switch labs at the end of the academic year.

What if an applicant already has a masters degree or other graduate credits?
Students who enter our program with an MA degree or graduate credits from other universities may be able to transfer some credits towards their FDU degree. The faculty member teaching the course will review graduate transcripts and course syllabi to determine what general courses (e.g. Developmental Psychology, Psychopathology) may be waived at FDU. All clinical courses related to training (e.g. Practicum) must be taken at FDU. Given the large number of applications we receive each year, we are unable to evaluate requests for transfer/waiver credits until students have been accepted into the program. Though course waiver reduces load in certain semesters, it generally does not reduce total time required to complete the program.

Can an individual who was not a psychology major apply?
Yes, applicants from related disciplines are welcome to apply. Applicants are expected to have 18 credits of Psychology including Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, and Abnormal Psychology. Additionally, if you did not major in psychology, you should take the Advanced Psychology GRE exam and submit those scores to ETS using the institution code 4515, Fairleigh Dickinson University PSYCAS.

How many applicants are invited to interview? How many offers are made?
Depending on the strength of the applicant pool, approximately 75 applicants will be invited for virtual interviews with students and faculty (to be held over Zoom). These interviews typically occur in February and are by invitation only. If you are invited for an interview and have a serious interest in attending school at FDU, you should make every effort to attend the interview. Following interviews, a class of approximately 12 – 14 students will be admitted to the program.

Is it possible to arrange a visit and informal meeting?
Some applicants request personal interviews or campus tours prior to applying to the program. Although we would like to offer applicants this opportunity, we are typically unable to grant these requests due to the number of inquiries we receive. Instead, we recommend emailing individual faculty any questions you might have. 

What if I have more questions about the Ph.D. program?
Please contact:

Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychology (T-WH1-01)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Metropolitan Campus
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666-1914
Voice: (201) 692-2315