You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Psychology Clinical PhD Admissions & Requirements

Admissions at a Glance


Priority admission: December 1
Admission semesters
Fall only
Required materials
Application form and fee
3 letters of recommendation
GRE scores (Optional for Fall 2022 applicants)
Statement of purpose: Explain how your research interests are relevant to the research conducted by the department's faculty.

Request Info  How to Apply


We typically receive between 250 and 300 applications in an admission cycle. We invite 30-40 applicants to interview with us in February: please note that during that this application season (for students entering fall 2021) interviews will be held virtually. The first admission offers are typically extended in late February or early March.


In recent years, the department has been able to fund all five members of the incoming class. This funding includes tuition remission and a stipend, renewable for four years, contingent upon maintaining good academic standing.

Clinical Psychology (PhD)

Offered by the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, the Clinical Psychology (PhD) program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation (COA) and has been accredited since 1972. COA is part of the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation (OPCA).

OPCA contact information is as follows:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242 Phone: 202-336-5979 TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123 Fax: 202-336-5978 Email: apaaccred@apa.org

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must submit a completed graduate application form, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General examination (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic) and Advanced Psychology test, three letters of recommendation, and copies of all college transcripts. The GRE Advanced Psychology test is recommended but not required. Those applicants to the Clinical Psychology program judged to be among the top applicants are invited for an interview, and the final selection is based on all information, including the interview. Students are admitted for full-time study only.

Degree Requirements

  • 72 credit hours of approved graduate work
    • Students who have been admitted to the doctoral program in psychology but do not have an MA in psychology that has been accepted by the department must complete the degree requirements for the Psychology (MA) (thesis option; thesis seminar not required) before they can be awarded the doctorate
  • One tool of research is required but does not result in course credit toward the degree. The tool requirement is defined as the dissemination of a research tool. Please see the Department of Psychology for further information
  • Two comprehensive examinations, which involve students in the kinds of activities they will later engage in as professional psychologists. The written comprehensive is an examination on supervision and consultation. The oral comprehensive is a specialty examination, which involves a clinical presentation
  • Dissertation: A written proposal for the dissertation must be submitted and signed by the student's dissertation committee before the student can apply for internship. The dissertation, when completed, must be accepted by the dissertation committee, the department chair, and the university
  • As part of the doctoral requirements, clinical students serve a one-year externship and a one-year internship in an appropriate setting outside the university

Course Requirements

Required (48 credit hours)

Note: 3 credit hours of   assessment coursework approved by the director of clinical training may be used as substitute for PSYC-618 Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment (3).

Practicum Sequence (6 credit hours)

Complete one of the following practicum sequences:

Biological Bases of Behavior (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours from the following:

Statistics (6 credit hours)

Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

Electives (7 credit hours)

  • 7 credit hours of approved electives

Internship (0 credit hours)

Complete the following while away on internship (in addition to PSYC-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)):