2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, PhD

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Overview of the PhD in Psychology

General Requirements

Course Work

Students typically take four courses each semester for the first two years, including one semester of History, Theory and Method: Research Design (PSYC 301), and two consecutive semesters of Statistical Methods (PSYC 302). In subsequent semesters in residence, students take two or three content courses and research or reading courses. A minimum of 16 one-semester courses is required for the Ph.D., depending on the program of study.

Independent Research Project

Each student must be actively involved in research from the beginning of their graduate training. At the end of their first year, students will present their work-in-progress in poster format at an annual Graduate Research Conference. At the end of their second year, they will present this work at the Conference as an oral presentation. The project will be deemed complete when it is written up in the format of a journal article. Students wishing to obtain a formal M.A. should consult the university website for M.A. requirements.


Students demonstrate qualification to begin dissertation work by completing a portfolio of elements totaling 6 points during the first three years. Examples of elements include conference posters, papers, journal submissions, and grant proposals.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The student demonstrates the ability to conduct research by the presentation of an acceptable dissertation. A dissertation committee of three faculty members is formed to supervise all phases of the research. A dissertation proposal is first written and defended at a meeting with the dissertation committee. Once the dissertation is completed and approved by the committee, it is presented publicly to the psychology faculty, graduate students, and appropriate guests, and is open to questions from the faculty. The format of this oral examination is that of a professional presentation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate the ability to address questions on their work and on related matters. This oral includes at least the committee and two additional faculty member readers.

Additional information on the Psychology Department doctoral programs can be found on the department website: https://www.clarku.edu/departments/psychology/phd-programs/.

Graduate Studies in Clinical Psychology

The mission of the Clark University Clinical Psychology Program is to train scientist-practitioners as socially engaged clinical scholars. In keeping with the motto of Clark University to “Challenge Convention and Change Our World,” the Clinical Program aims to train scholars who will use their work to improve the lives of the people in our communities. Thus, the Clark University Clinical Psychology Program adheres to the Scientist-Practitioner model in which our students are trained to be skilled scientists and clinicians who can integrate the science of psychology with its professional practice.

To achieve our goals, we provide training in research methods, clinical practice, and their integration. This training is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity, and occurs through a variety of integrated and coherent educational experiences in the classroom, laboratory, and practicum settings. In order to produce competent clinicians, the Clinical Program provides training in the basic principles and processes of psychological assessment, evidence-based psychotherapy, and an array of general professional skills. This training occurs in coursework and clinical practica, and is provided by both core clinical faculty and affiliated faculty.

Our program involves four years of coursework and practicum experiences. During their first three years in the program, students receive close supervision and broad-based training from core clinical faculty in adult and child assessment (Years 01 and 02), individual therapy (Year 02), and couples therapy (Year 03). In addition, during their second through fifth years, students participate in off-site clinical practica and externships where they receive more focused training in particular areas of interest. Most often, students apply for internship during the fall of the fifth year. The fifth year is also typically used to work on and potentially defend the dissertation before going on internship. The final stage of the student’s clinical training is the completion of an APA-approved clinical internship, which usually takes place in the 6th year.

While our training model is relatively simple, there are a number of rules and requirements developed to ensure that (1) students receive top-quality training; (2) training conforms to the guidelines of the department, university, and American Psychological Association (APA); and (3) students satisfactorily complete coursework and required experiences in a timely fashion.

The clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). For more information, contact the APA Committee on Accreditation at 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 2002-4242 or 202.336.5979. For further information, contact the Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Kathleen Palm Reed.

Graduate Studies in Developmental Psychology

A pioneer in the study of human development, Clark’s Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology focuses on the development of psychological processes in societal and cultural contexts. With faculty expertise across the lifespan, faculty unite in studying the links between intra-individual and inter-individual change over time. How do interactions between individuals, ecological contexts, and cultural patterning result in new ways of being in the world? Currently faculty examine areas such as bilingualism, pretend play, racial experiences, narrative, and malleable factors influencing learning and subsequent academic achievement in schooling and college populations. For additional information about study in developmental psychology, please contact the Developmental program head, Nancy Budwig.

Graduate Studies in Social Psychology

This program focuses on basic social psychological processes that underlie pressing social and political issues–locally, nationally, and globally. At Clark, this includes primarily the study of societal conflict and resistance, violence and power, ideologies and systems of oppression, intergroup relations, health disparities, and social change, including political action and intervention. More generally, we examine the interaction of individual differences and social structures in producing and reflecting social and political attitudes, behavior, and health. We pay particular attention to how human experience–thought, behavior, feelings–is shaped by history and intersectionality, and how social structure reinforces power relations. Students and faculty in the program use a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including lab and field experiments, surveys, interviews, participatory action research, Q methodology, focus groups, and archival research. The program encourages contextualized and interdisciplinary research, novel theoretical work, the use of multiple methods, and work with diverse community samples in different parts of the world.

For further information, contact Dr. Andrew Stewart, head of the Social Psychology program.

Psychology Faculty

Program Faculty

Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Nancy Budwig, Ph.D.
Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D.
Brett Coleman, Ph.D.
James Córdova, Ph.D.
Alena Esposito, Ph.D.
Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.
Wendy S. Grolnick, Ph.D.
Amy Heberle, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.

Clinical Faculty

Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D.- Director of Clinical Training
Amy Heberle, Ph.D.- Associate Director of Clinical Training
Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D.
James Cordova, Ph.D.
Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.
Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D.

Developmental Faculty

Nancy Budwig, Ph.D. - Head of Developmental Program
Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Alena Esposito, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.

Social Faculty

Andrew Stewart, Ph.D. - Head of Social Program
Brett Coleman, Ph.D.
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.

Visiting Faculty

Justin Laplante, Ph.D.

Research Faculty

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Rachel Joffe Falmagne, Ph.D.
Lene Arnett Jensen, Ph.D.
Elena Zaretsky, Ph.D.

Professors Emeritus

Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Rachel Joffe Falmagne, Ph.D.
David Stevens, Ph.D.
Nicholas Thompson, Ph.D.
Jaan Valsiner, Ph.D.
Marianne Wiser, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Ashley Hart, Ph.D
Christina Hatgis, Ph.D.
Phoebe Moore, Ph.D.

Psychology Graduate Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

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