Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology - Psychology (2023)

Our Mission

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Central Florida educates graduate students “to generate and integrate scientific and professional knowledge, attitudes, and skills to further psychological science, professional practice, and human welfare. Graduates are capable of functioning as a scientist and a practitioner, and may function as either or both, consistent with the highest standards in psychology” (National Conference on the Education and Training of Scientist-Practitioners for the Professional Practice of Psychology, 1990). The program is a generalist program with a strong emphasis on assessment and treatment in adults. We do not have any formal tracks within the program (e.g., child, neuropsychology). Our program is committed to the inclusion of students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds. In particular, we endeavor to help change the distribution of future professionals in Clinical Psychology to better reflect the diversity (e.g., racial, ethnic, sexual orientation) found across the United States. As a part of these goals, we infuse the latest empirical knowledge related to clinical treatment, research, and pedagogy with diverse individuals in our curriculum and clinical/research experiences. Consistent with our departmental mission, we aspire to provide high quality education to include “the dissemination of state-of-the-field theoretical and empirical information, training in the methodological, statistical, and technical skills necessary to conduct psychological research, and practice in the application of psychological knowledge to real-life problems” (National Conference on the Education and Training of Scientist-Practitioners for the Professional Practice of Psychology, 1990). Our program aspires to achieve excellence in research and clinical training and to contribute to and perpetuate science and practice in the field of Clinical Psychology through faculty and graduate student involvement in scholarly and professional activities. We are active contributors to research in Clinical Psychology. We advocate for initiatives that improve the profession of psychology and the welfare of individuals, families, and groups. We also are active members of professional organizations.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology is designed with the possibility to be completed in five years of full-time study (with summer enrollment expected), regardless of whether the student enters with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. However, as of Fall 2022, 11% of those graduating in the past ten years completed the program in five years and the mean time to completion was 6.32 years, consistent with the national average. The program includes a one-year predoctoral internship to be completed off-campus at an APA accredited internship site. There are a total of 86 semester hours of courses, practica, and research requirements as detailed in our handbook (linked below). A Master’s Thesis and a Dissertation, which represent significant contributions to the field, are both required. Successful completion of the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examination is required prior to initiation of dissertation research.

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Program Admissions

Application Deadline is December 1st

The UCF Psychology Department coordinates the admission process with the UCF Graduate Studies office. In order to enroll in graduate classes, students must have obtained a baccalaureate or higher degree in Psychology, prior to the start of the term for which the student is admitted, from a regionally accredited institution or from a recognized foreign institution. Students without a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution (or equivalent) are not admitted to graduate degree programs, graduate certificate programs, or graduate nondegree status. If the baccalaureate degree does not include a major in Psychology, students must have completed at least 18 credit hours of Psychology courses at the undergraduate level or above. These courses must include Intro/General Psychology, Research Methods/Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Personality Theory/Psychology. The following courses are strongly encouraged: Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Biological/Physiological Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.

Note for all applicants: Our program requires that History and Systems of Psychology is completed at the undergraduate level with a grade of at least a “B.” This can either be completed prior to starting our program or as an undergraduate course during our program.

The GRE will NOT be considered for admission to our program for start date in Fall 2023.

Successful applicants typically have both strengths and relative weaknesses in their applications, and it is important to view one’s application as a portfolio. The components of the application are as follow:

  1. Educational history/grades
  2. Letters of recommendation: Three letters written by people who can speak to your work ethic, range of professional interests, and what it is like to work with you.
  3. Personal essay: An essay about your research and clinical interests and faculty you may be interested in working with while enrolled in our program.
  4. Content training: Information about career and research experiences may be highlighted on the CV and personal statement and are often described in an applicant’s letters of recommendation.

At UCF, the applicant’s fit with the goals of the program are a critical component. It is very rare that an application is positively distinguished on all four of the areas described above. The program places an emphasis on having some hands-on research experience outside of a course (e.g., as a research assistant/coordinator). In your essay, you are encouraged to highlight that experience in relation to what you’d like to conduct research on if accepted to our program. Previous experience working in behavioral health settings or with individuals with mental illness is also a helpful, but not required, experience to highlight. In the past 6 years, GPAs have ranged from 3.5 to 3.75.

** (as of 9/23/22): Please see the list of faculty members at the end of this page. If you click on a given faculty member, it will state at the top of the page whether they will be considering applicants as a major advisor for the program start date of August 2023.

Apply Now Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

Note Regarding National Program Rankings:

Some applicants to doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology may consider national rankings when deciding where to apply for graduate school. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review themethodologyused by any national ranking system. For example, the approach used by the U.S. News and World Report relies simply on rankings of programs by the chairs of psychology departments and directors of clinical training (click here for their methodology). As such, their rankings rely purely on the subjective estimation of the reputation of programs by the individuals completing the survey; no specific metrics or objective data are used in the rankings (see additional critiques of these national ranking systems byMalcolm GladwellandJohn Byrne).

(Video) Program Overview | PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Only 18% of chairs and directors completed the last iteration of this reputational survey, the lowest of any health profession. As such, the rankings are not representative of the opinions of chairs and directors. The low rankings are due, in part, to the training council representing scientist practitioner and clinical scientist doctoral programs in clinical psychology, the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), passing a resolution in 1995 encouraging programsnot to participate in the survey. Given these concerns, we strongly encourage applicants – and others – toignorenational rankings when considering the quality of a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

Even with improved methodology, national rankings are likely to be of little use to applicants in identifyingtheirbest programs. Instead, applicants need to consider if a program’s goals and objectives align with their goals and objectives. A national ranking system will never be able to capture the individualized strengths and weakness of programs for unique applicants.

Please note that every clinical psychology program accredited by the American Psychological Association must post data on their program website about admissions and outcomes, including time to completion, program costs, internship placement, attrition, and licensure. CUDCP programs are also encouraged to provide information on their selectivity/yield (e.g., # of applicants, offers, matriculated students) and number of students with funding.

Mailing Address
UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

For more information on the application process, please contact:

Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell
Professor, Department of Psychology
Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program Director
Director of Clinical Training

(Video) PVAMU Clinical Psychology PhD Program


Our Program Handbookcontains a wealth of information about our program, covering topics such as:

  • The Program Overview
  • The Scientist-Practitioner Model
  • Training Emphasis
  • Program Goals
  • Curriculum Goals
  • Expectations of Doctoral Students
  • Development of Competencies
  • Practicum Training
  • Internships

Download the program handbook


The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program in the Department of Psychology received initial accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2003, for a period of five years. The program then was re-accredited in 2008 and 2013, and remains accredited.

For information about our accreditation status, you can contact the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Contact Information
Commission on Accreditation
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

(Video) Should I get a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology?

Licensing Disclosure

While licensure or certification may be available in this field of study, our program does not lead to such licensure or certification upon graduation. The professional preparation you receive in our program may still assist you in such pursuits; however, we are unable to confirm the specific licensure and certification requirements of each state, territory, or foreign entity in which professional credentialing may be possible. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its academic criteria. You are welcome to contact Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell,, with questions in this regard and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.


The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Faculty adhere to the belief that research activities are an integral part of being a Clinical Psychologist. Consistent with this belief, the majority of our graduates seek academic- and research-oriented positions after they complete our program. Even for those who take other types of positions and who work in more applied settings, however, Clinical Psychologists must be able to locate and evaluate research literature relevant to evidence-based interventions and best practice in the field of Clinical Psychology.

Training in Clinical Science Training in Clinical Practice

(Video) How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychology Research Laboratories

Faculty in Ph.d. Clinical Psychology

  • Jeffrey S. BedwellProfessorProgram DirectorDirector of Clinical TrainingClinical Psychology Ph.D. Program
  • Clint BowersProfessor
  • Jeffrey CassisiProfessor
  • Michael E. DunnAssociate Professor
  • Robert DvorakAssociate Professor
  • Lidia MesheshaAssistant Professor
  • Amie NewinsAssociate ProfessorAssociate Director of Clinical Training
  • Daniel PaulsonAssociate Professor
  • Mark D. RapportProfessor
  • Kimberly RenkProfessor
  • David RozekAssistant Professor

Associate Program Faculty

  • Kimberly KentVisiting Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Psychology Clinic
  • Jacqueline WoernerAssistant Professor
(Video) Transform the lives of young people with a PhD in Clinical Psychology

Office Support

  • Kenneth DavisGraduate Admissions Specialist


Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology - Psychology? ›

Clinical psychology Ph. D. programs train students to conduct and present psychological research. Graduates can choose from a wide range of career options, including clinical practice and patient care, teaching

Teacher education or teacher training refers to programs, policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community. › wiki › Teacher_education
, research, and medical center practice.

How long does it take to get a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

Ph. D. in psychology programs take between five to seven years to complete, and often include one year-long internship. These programs sometimes admit fewer students, as they tend to offer more funding opportunities.

Is a PhD in clinical psychology worth it? ›

A Ph. D. in psychology can be very useful if you want to work with community agencies and human services organizations. If social work appeals to you, you may choose to pursue further education in this field and become licensed as a clinical social worker.

Is a PhD or PsyD better for clinical psychology? ›

If you wish to pursue a position that involves research or teaching, a PhD will better prepare you for those roles. If you know you only want to apply your psychology training in a more client-facing way, a PsyD can provide you with advanced knowledge in that area.

How hard is it to get into a PhD program for clinical psychology? ›

Since psychology is a popular major, admissions for graduate study in psychology can be highly competitive. Having strong academic qualifications—such as a higher GPA and a competitive GRE score—could be one aspect of a stronger application. Many psychology grad programs also require relevant work experience.

Can you get a PhD without a Masters? ›

Yes, it is possible to earn a PhD without a master's degree. Though the traditional path entails completing a master's program before embarking on a doctorate, some schools and programs offer options to skip the master's entirely. Actually, in select cases, it's the preferred approach.

Do I need a masters to get a PhD? ›

In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD with only a bachelor's degree, as a master's program is included as part of the doctoral program. Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master's degree before continuing to the PhD.

Is it better to get a PhD or a masters in clinical psychology? ›

Most (but not all) research jobs will require the PhD, and the better professional psychology careers will go to those with a doctoral degree.

Is it harder to get a PhD or PsyD? ›

The admissions requirements for PsyD and PhD candidates are similar. However, they are not interchangeable. It is typically much more difficult to be accepted into a PhD program than a PsyD program. The main reason is that PhD programs accept a fraction of the candidates.

Is a PsyD or PhD more respected? ›

A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy degree in a particular field of study. It represents the highest level of academic learning in an area. A PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology degree, which represents the highest level of mastery in study in the practice of Psychology.

Why get a PsyD over a PhD? ›

The PsyD degree focuses more on hands-on clinical training along with research whereas the PhD degree focuses more on the research aspect. While both prepare you for promising careers in psychology, a PsyD degree positions you well for "in-the-field" careers, such as a clinical psychologist.

Why choose PsyD over PhD? ›

Like a PhD in Psychology, the Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) prepares students to practice psychology in a wide range of clinical settings. A PsyD, however, focuses more on clinical practice and less on research. As a result, this degree requires fewer research and statistics courses and thus takes less time.

What is a clinical psychology PhD like? ›

Graduate school in clinical psychology consists of three broad activities: class work, clinical work, and research. There are classes on such topics as statistics, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and research methods. Course work is typically complete by the end of the third year of graduate school.

What is the average GPA for psychology PhD? ›

The mean of successful applicants to PhD programs in psychology, on the 4.0 scale, is 3.6 overall and 3.7 in psychology courses; for Master's programs it is 3.4 overall and 3.5 in psychology courses. The GPA should be, at minimum , typically 3.0 or higher.

Is clinical psych more competitive than med school? ›

the most competitive application process in the entire graduate education system within the United States! A smaller percentage of applicants gain admission to clinical psychology doctoral (Ph. D.) programs than to law school, medical school, or any other type of advanced graduate degree program…

How fast can you get a PhD in psychology? ›

Gaining a PhD in Psychology can take a full-time student 4-6 years to complete the program. If you go to school part-time, you can complete the program in 5-7 years.

How much does a PhD cost? ›

On average, the total cost comes out to $32,846 per year, including tuition and living expenses. Students typically take 4-8 years to finish a Ph. D. program, so a doctoral degree can cost anywhere from $131,000-$263,000 before grants and assistantships.

Can I skip a Masters and go straight into a PhD? ›

Yes, you can get a PhD without first obtaining a master's degree. A number of universities offer direct entry to PhD programs from undergraduate or bachelor degree studies. In some cases, specific schools or programs may prefer that applicants hold a master's degree.

How long is a PhD if you have a Masters? ›

It takes five to eight years to get a Ph. D. after a master's. This is the case for traditional on-campus P.h.D. programs.

Does a PhD increase salary? ›

In reality, a PhD increases salary because it opens up more career opportunities. If you want to enter the academic world and pursue a PhD, that's fantastic. You will likely be able to earn a higher salary than you would with a master's degree.

Is it possible to get a PhD Online? ›

There are plenty of reputable, regionally accredited institutions taking their doctorates online. They are an easy way to earn a doctorate. While the program may require less face-time or physical presence on a campus, accredited programs are by no means a shortcut to earn your degree.

What do you call someone with a masters in psychology? ›

Some states allow people with master's degrees in psychology to use the term “psychologist.” Graduate training focuses on all aspects of human behavior, with an emphasis on research and scientific methods.

Is Masters in clinical psychology worth it? ›

Conclusion. A career in psychology can be highly rewarding and respectable. MA in Clinical Psychology is a comprehensive program that can lead to a PhD in Psychology. This qualification can further broaden your career opportunities by giving you an added advantage over your competitors in the job market.

Should I get a masters in psychology before PhD? ›

Make Sure You Want a PhD

Graduate school, peer-reviewed research and teaching classes are very different experiences than your undergraduate studies. Earning a master's degree in psychology first lets you test the waters and make sure you want to commit yourself to academia.

What is the hardest doctorate degree? ›

1. Boarded Medical Doctor: After spending about eight years to earn your first degree, you are faced with between three and six years of residency. This is the most competitive field in education which means you must have passed through a very rigorous process to earn this certificate.

How long does a PsyD take? ›

4 years of course work (4-5 courses per semester) and clinical experience (20 hours per week) 5th year in a full-time clinical internship. Written and oral comprehensive examinations. Dissertation.

Is a PsyD in psychology worth it? ›

If your goal is to use principles of psychological theory to impact individuals or groups in clinical settings, a PsyD may be the best degree for you. A PsyD program emphasizes the application of proven knowledge and therapies to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals, families, and groups.

Do you have to write a dissertation for a PsyD? ›

PsyD programs generally don't expect as much research. Most programs do require a dissertation or other significant research project. However, the student is less likely to find themselves heavily involved in research during the early stages of the program.

Is there anything better than a doctorate degree? ›

Doctorate degrees are the highest level of education you can achieve in many countries. However, there are some countries that have qualifications considered higher than a PhD such as professional degrees, habilitation degrees, doctor of science and doctor of technology.

Which country is best for PhD in psychology? ›

Some of the best countries to study Psychology abroad are the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Psychology). The USA is one of the best countries to study Psychology abroad.

What do you call someone with a PsyD? ›

Is someone with a PsyD a doctor? Yes, as a doctorate-holder, a person who has earned a PsyD could definitely refer to themselves as “Dr.,” though it's good to note that PsyDs are not medical doctors and in most states cannot prescribe medication or conduct medical treatments.

Why do I want a PHD in clinical psychology? ›

There are a number of legitimate reasons to pursue graduate work in clinical psychology. Some people want to become practicing psychologists, to engage in psychotherapy and psychological testing. Others are interested in studying psychopathology or how psychotherapy works.

Is postdoc necessary for PsyD? ›

For example, if you want to become a board-certified specialist in a particular area of psychology, a postdoc is almost always necessary, experts say. There are 14 areas in which you can become certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Each requires a formal postdoc as part of the training.

Is it hard to get a PsyD? ›

PsyD programs often accommodate a higher number of students, sometimes as many as 100, though this varies widely by school. With more spots available per program, this makes for an average acceptance rate of about 40%. It's important to note, however, that this doesn't mean a PsyD degree is easier to get.

What is a PhD psychologist more likely to do in comparison to a PsyD? ›

In terms of psychology, people holding a PhD are more likely to have careers teaching psychology or working with other researchers to develop experimental trials and studies looking at mental health issues and treatment. People who have a PsyD are more likely to become mental health clinicians.

Do clinical psychologists need a PhD EDD or PsyD in order to practice? ›

To become a clinical psychologist, you'll need a doctoral-level degree, either a PhD or a PsyD. Most clinical psychologist doctoral programs will require five to seven years of study to complete beyond the bachelor's and master's degrees.

What is the difference between a clinical psychology PhD and MD? ›

But here's the most essential difference between the two degrees: PhDs advance knowledge, whereas MDs merely apply existing knowledge. Unlike the MD who does not need to produce any original research, the person earning a PhD must produce original research and write it up in a thesis or dissertation.

What is the difference between clinical and counseling psychology PhD? ›

To paint a key difference between clinical and counseling psychology, the clinical branch focuses on psychopathology — the study of mental disorders. On the flipside, counseling psychologists help patients or clients address emotional, social, and physical stressors in their lives.

Is 50 too old to get a PhD in psychology? ›

PhD programs do not have age caps for eligibility (nor do master's programs), and most universities welcome qualified applicants of all ages who will benefit from the program's academic training mission.

What GPA does Harvard accept PhD? ›

Achieve a minimum grade-point average of B (3.0)

What is the acceptance rate for clinical psychology PhD? ›

At the doctoral level, clinical psychology showed the highest number of programs, applications, and acceptances, but with an overall acceptance rate of 13%.

What degree do most clinical psychologists have? ›

In most states, the independent practice of psychology requires a doctoral degree and a state license. Most doctoral degrees take five to seven years to complete. Some institutions require their students to complete their doctoral studies within 10 years of admission to the institution.

Which state is best for clinical psychology? ›

California. California is considered to be the best state for education in psychology.

How much can you make a year with a PhD in psychology? ›

The average Psychologist - Ph. D. salary in California is $123,553 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $112,324 and $137,310.

What is the fastest PhD in psychology? ›

One of Alliant's vastly known online doctoral programs is the accelerated Doctor of Psychology in Educational Psychology. Having only two years of average completion time, this PsyD is one, if not the shortest doctoral program online. This program has an 8-week calendar with 11 terms and 4 phases.

How long does it take to get PhD after Masters? ›

It takes five to eight years to get a Ph. D. after a master's. This is the case for traditional on-campus P.h.D. programs.

How long is a masters in clinical psychology? ›

Master's in Clinical Psychology Timeline

Earning a master's degree in clinical psychology typically takes six years of full-time study, including four years of undergraduate and two years of graduate studies.

What is the difference between PhD in psychology and clinical psychology? ›

A PsyD is a doctorate in professional psychology whereas a PhD in Clinical Psychology is a doctorate degree in philosophy with a specialization in clinical psychology.

What is the salary difference between a masters degree and a PhD? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , people with a master's degree earn an average weekly salary of $1,497. Those with a Ph. D. earn an average weekly salary of $1,883.

Is a PhD faster if you have a masters? ›

Time commitment-Many American PhD programs do not offer significant coursework reduction for students who already have Master's degrees. This means that they will have to do a five to seven year PhD on top of their one to three year Master's.

Can you finish a PhD faster if you have a masters? ›

yes, but does people with masters degree complete their PhD's sooner.. Yes, you will probably complete the PhD a bit sooner. You'll have more research experience, and if continuing your research on the same or similar project, you'll already have experience in the field.

Is Masters in Clinical Psychology worth it? ›

Conclusion. A career in psychology can be highly rewarding and respectable. MA in Clinical Psychology is a comprehensive program that can lead to a PhD in Psychology. This qualification can further broaden your career opportunities by giving you an added advantage over your competitors in the job market.

What is the difference between a masters in psychology and clinical psychology? ›

An important difference between master's degrees in clinical psych and other psychology degrees is the emphasis on practice-based work in a clinical setting instead of a larger focus on conducting research.

What is the difference between Masters and PhD in clinical psychology? ›

A master's in psychology typically takes 2-3 years and provides foundational knowledge and skills for various psychology-related careers. A PhD in psychology, taking 4-7 years, emphasizes research and advanced expertise, preparing graduates for academic, research, or specialized clinical positions.

Is a PhD more prestigious than a PsyD? ›

Both are usually highly respected. A PhD is typically viewed as a research-oriented degree. A PsyD is typically viewed as an appropriate degree for someone with clinical aspirations.

Why do I want a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

There are a number of legitimate reasons to pursue graduate work in clinical psychology. Some people want to become practicing psychologists, to engage in psychotherapy and psychological testing. Others are interested in studying psychopathology or how psychotherapy works.


1. Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Presentation of Candidates - SGS Commencement
(Chestnut Hill College)
2. Do I need a Master's Degree to get a doctorate in Clinical Psychology?
(Kristen Casey, Psy.D)
3. Clinical Psychology Programs at The Chicago School
(The Chicago School )
4. Getting into a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program--Advice from a Professor
(Dr. Rheeda Walker)
5. So You Want a PhD in Clinical Psychology?
6. Counseling Vs. Clinical Psychologists | Main Similarities and Differences
(Phil's Guide to Psy.D.)


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