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PhD in Clinical Psychology

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Graduate students gain vital clinical experience at Drexel's Psychological Services Center

The Drexel University doctoral (PhD) program in Clinical Psychology prepares advanced students in the scientist-practitioner model, emphasizing clinical research and the application of scientific principles while placing equal significance on the integration of psychological science and practice. Our rigorous program —fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)— expertly qualifies and equips graduates for entry-level practice as clinical psychologists. Doctoral students receive clinical training in cognitive-behavioral approaches to assessment and intervention, as well as a solid foundation in the science and practice of clinical psychology. The PhD in Clinical Psychology program offers students the option to elect one of four concentrations: Clinical Child Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology, Forensic Psychology and Health Psychology.

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Program Format



Drexel's doctoral (PhD) program in Clinical Psychology is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. Please direct any questions about the program’s accredited status to:

American Psychological Association
Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
202.336.5979 |

Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

Program Format

The Clinical Psychology doctoral (PhD) program admits full-time students only and coursework is required in years one through four of the degree program. It is designed to be completed in five years, although students who enter with a master’s degree may be able to complete all requirements within four years. Students are required to work in 12-month practicum placements in years two through three; optional in year four. A pre-doctoral internship is typically conducted in year five. Students earn a Master of Science (MS) degree upon completion of two years of coursework and their master's thesis. The program begins annually in the fall; classes are scheduled for the fall, winter and spring terms only.

Major Areas of Study

In addition to general clinical training, with an emphasis on cognitive-behavioral approaches to assessment and intervention, the Drexel doctorate program in Clinical Psychology offers students the option to elect one of four major areas of study. While training in the major area of study is not all that is necessary for individuals to specialize in one of these areas, it does prepare students to continue further training that will eventually facilitate professional specialization.

Clinical-Child Psychology

The clinical child psychology major area of study is designed for students who have strong clinical and/or research interests in working with children and adolescents. Students in this major area of study will complete the required courses taken by all clinical psychology students and will also enroll in child-related elective courses designed to help them develop a greater degree of expertise in working with child and adolescent populations. It is expected that students completing this specialization will develop an appreciation of the research literature in the clinical child area and will possess specialty skills that enable them to function as competent practitioners in the child/adolescent area upon graduation.


Clinical Neuropsychology

The clinical neuropsychology area of study includes courses, research, and clinical experiences designed to train the students for professional practice in neuropsychology. Clinical neuropsychology involves the application of psychological assessment and intervention to the problems encountered by people with brain injury or illness. The knowledge of brain-behavior functioning and the incorporation of neuropsychological conceptualizations with traditional clinical conceptualizations of functioning are aimed at providing the student with a wider perspective regarding the range of human functioning and disability. The student is able to pursue specific interests in geriatrics, pediatrics, traumatic brain injury, and rehabilitation.


Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology involves the application of assessment and intervention techniques to informing legal decision-makers and attorneys on questions in criminal, civil, and family law. The goal of the forensic psychology area of study is to provide students with advanced training in relevant law, behavioral science research, and assessment and intervention approaches with a particular focus on juvenile and criminal issues.


Health Psychology

Health psychology adopts a broad-based, bio-psycho-social perspective in order to: (1) better understand the interplay among behavioral, emotional, cognitive, social, and biological factors regarding health, wellness, and physical disease; (2) promote and maintain wellness and positive physical health; (3) prevent, treat, and rehabilitate illness and disability, and (4) improve the health care delivery system. The health psychology area of study aims to provide students with specialty training in order to prepare them for academic, clinical, and/or administrative positions where the primary focus is on medical and physical health problems.


Faculty Accepting Students: 2024-2025

Consistent with our scientist-practitioner philosophy of training, our department and core adjunct faculty serve as dedicated mentors to our graduate students. Students work under the mentorship of one or two faculty members who serve as the incoming student’s advisors. For students who are admitted to work under two faculty members, one faculty member is established as the student’s major advisor, and the other as the student’s minor advisor.

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All Program Faculty

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is actively engaged in vibrant research initiatives to advance the science and practice of psychology. Faculty publish widely in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals; are featured experts in national and international media; and are the recipients of major research awards from prestigious grantors including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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The Doctoral Dissertation in Clinical Psychology

The Drexel PhD program in clinical psychology first requires independent scholarly work in the form of a master’s thesis where students prepare and present a proposal and final defense of their thesis to a committee. Once this requirement is satisfied, students progress to independent scholarly work in the form of a doctoral dissertation, where they prepare and present a proposal and final defense to a dissertation committee.

All dissertations must be based on original research , and must clearly demonstrate the candidate's ability to work at the frontiers of the field. A variety of resources are available to all graduate students when conducting research during their training at Drexel University. One important feature of the Clinical Psychology program is that it was established with very close relationships to many supporting hospitals and facilities. There is considerable integration of research capabilities and agendas.

All doctoral dissertation examinations and committee appointments are monitored by the Office of Graduate Studies which approves the committees and the examinations.

Drexel Library: Theses, Dissertations, and Projects

Recent Dissertations

We proudly invite prospective student to review recent dissertations authored by our PhD in Clinical Psychology degree recipients.