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Course of Study

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology ordinarily requires a minimum of five years of full-time academic study, three of which are spent in residence. The basic program requirements are:

1. The completion of 90 credits of graduate study.
2. The development, completion and presentation of an independent research project, The Second Year Research Project, which is initiated in the first year of training and completed no later than the beginning of the third year.
3. Successful completion of three years of training at a clinical practicum site. During the first year students are in a carefully selected number of external clinical placements for eight to twelve hours a week. All students in the second year of the program are trained in the Psychological Services Center under the supervision of the doctoral faculty for twelve hours per week. During the third year students are trained in a range of clinical external sites depending upon their area of interest for sixteen to twenty hours per week. All clinical placements are accompanied by an on-campus clinical practicum course where students are supervised by a member of the doctoral faculty.
4. Completion of the Clinical Qualifying Examination. The exam is designed to assess the student’s mastery of the empirical and theoretical literature, and his/her ability to relate this literature to the treatment and assessment of a single clinical case treated by the doctoral student. Completion of the examination paper for the oral examination takes place no later than the beginning of February of the third year of training. The oral examination ordinarily takes place within two months.
5. Successful completion of a full-time, twelve-month clinical internship at an A.P.A. accredited institution (hospital, community mental health center, etc.) usually during the fifth year.
6. A doctoral dissertation, which must be completed no later than the eighth year after entering the program.

Course of Study:

During the first year students are introduced to the basic theories, findings and empirical methods of psychology. These academic courses provide the necessary conceptual foundation for students as they begin the development and design of their independent research projects. Students are required to develop and submit the research proposal for the Second Year Research Project in Research Design I by the end of the second semester. In addition, students are introduced to the fundamentals of psychopathology from a psychodynamic perspective, psychological assessment, clinical interviewing and psychotherapy interventions techniques from both cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives. All students do a carefully supervised practicum placement in a clinical setting for eight to twelve hours that is accompanied by a practicum class. Students begin to develop their research skills by working closely with advisors in faculty research labs. The collaborative work that develops in the research labs continues throughout the student’s three years in residence.

The second year exposes students to more intensive work in the clinical area: students continue the Psychological Assessment sequence, are introduced to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and participate in the two-and-a-half day a week practicum at the Psychological Services Center for twelve hours a week. Students also take more advanced courses in research design and the general experimental areas in psychology. The collection and analysis of data for the Second Year Research Project are conducted during this year.

In the third year, students take the advanced course in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and other clinically relevant electives, as well as more coursework in the general-experimental area of psychology. They also participate in the sixteen to twenty hour a week closely supervised third year practicum at a New York area mental health facility. In addition, doctoral candidates are strongly encouraged to formulate and develop a dissertation topic proposal by the end of the third year. The academic requirement of 90 graduate credits is generally completed by end of this year.

Students spend the fourth year of study working on their dissertations, and complete their clinical internship in the fifth year. Many students may elect to do advanced practicum work in specialized clinical areas or research during the fourth year of study.



Required courses:
1. Psychopathology I & II (Year-long sequence)
2. Statistics I & II (Year-long sequence)
3. Research Design (Spring semester)
4. Psychological Assessment I (Spring semester)
5. Tests and Measurements (Fall semester)
6. Professional Ethics (Fall semester)
7. Intervention Techniques (Fall Semester)
8. Introduction to Clinical Practice I & II (Year-long sequence)


Required courses:
1. Psychological Assessment II (Fall semester)
2. Dynamic Psychotherapy I (Fall semester)
3. Contemporary Theories (Spring semester)
4. Clinical Practicum III & IV (Year-long sequence)
5. Research Design II (Fall or Spring semester)
6. Contemporary Psychological Theories (Spring Semester)
7. Research in Psychotherapy (Fall semester)
8. Cross-Cultural Issues in Psychology (Spring semester)

Courses required for licensure as a psychologist by New York State and by the program include those listed below. These courses are usually taken during the second and third years.

1. Clinical Neuropsychology
2. Developmental Psychology
3. Social Psychology
4. Cognitive–Affective Issues in Psychology
5. Personality Theory

Other elective courses available include:
1. Neuropsychological Assessment
2. Psychology of Women
3. Individual Research I & II
4. Freudian theory (offered on occasion)


Required courses:
1. Clinical Practicum V and VI (Year-long sequence)
2. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy II (Fall semester)

Elective courses include those listed for the second year, as well as:

1. Clinical Research Methods
2. Family Therapy
3. Research and Clinical Issues and the Study of Trauma
4. Research in Schizophrenia and/or Depression
5. Child Psychopathology
6. Psychotherapy of Children
7. Psychopathology and Psychotherapy of Adolescents
8. Borderline and Narcissistic Psychopathology
9. Group Techniques
10. Integrative and Empirical Approaches to Psychotherapy
11. Psychopharmacology (1 credit)
Please note, some electives are offered every year while others are offered every other year as curriculum needs dictate.

Schematic of Doctoral Requirements by Year

1st YEAR


Academic Courses Academic Courses
Practicum course Practicum course
Practicum Placement (6-8 hours off-site) Practicum Placement (6-8 hours off-site)
SYRP Topic Proposal  
File for M.A.  

2nd YEAR


Academic Courses Academic Courses
Practicum course Practicum course
LIU Psych Services Center LIU Psych Services Center
Complete Center Termination Reports  
Case Summary- Clinical Qualifying Exam  

3rd YEAR


Academic Courses Academic Courses
Practicum course Practicum course
Externship (16 hour off-site)       Externship (16 hour off-site)
SYRP Annual Poster Presentation Clinical Qualifying Examination
Dissertation Topic Proposal approval  

4th YEAR


Dissertation Committee Work Dissertation Committee Work
Conditional Application to Internship  
First 4 Chapters of Dissertation Approved        

5th YEAR


Dissertation Committee Work or Internship Dissertation Committee Work or Internship