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Clinical Psychology Program Overview and Requirements

Get information about Adelphi’s PhD in psychology.

The Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology is a full-time program consisting of 117 credits. The doctoral program in clinical psychology prepares students who have a primary career goal of community and clinical practice. This may be combined with an academic or research career. Required courses include:

Foundations of Psychology:

  • Biological and social bases of behavior
  • Developmental psychology
  • History and systems of psychology
  • Cognition and affect
  • Diversity and difference

Didactic and Experiential Training:

  • Assessment and intervention
  • Relationship skills and cultural competence
  • Professional conduct and ethics
  • Supervision and consultation
  • Research methods and statistics

Derner psychology students laugh with professor at Adelphi

Extensive clinical field experience accompanies the academic core where students are placed in externships and in our Psychological Services Center accompanied by intensive supervision and case conferences. Completion of a dissertation and a one-year, full-time internship is required for the degree. The clinical psychology program has been APA-accredited continuously since 1957. Students who complete the program are eligible to apply for a New York State psychology license.

Adelphi’s clinical psychology doctoral program uses the scholar-practitioner model for its philosophy of training. Accordingly, a clinical psychology program must adhere to the following general principles:

The clinical psychologist should have a core of knowledge and training common to all psychologists; the program should be of at least four years’ duration, combining academic and clinical training, including an internship; preparation should be broadly directed toward both research and professional goals rather than simply technical skills; courses should be developed in sequence and be complementary rather than overlapping; the faculty should be neither over-dominated by the academic nor simply practical; continued contact throughout the training with clinical material is necessary, with the range extending from the normal to the abnormal population; a sense of professional responsibility and obligation must be instilled; cooperative work with persons of related disciplines is encouraged and sensitivity to the social implications of the psychologists’ activities is essential; and throughout, research issues are to be emphasized. 

Thus, the program should hold fast to those principles that suggest that the psychologist will be a professional trained in a scientific tradition. These principles guide the core curricula of the doctoral program to be divided into the following major areas of instruction: foundational psychology, research design and analysis, diagnostic methods, clinical theory and practice, and professional ethics and cultural competence. Significant attention is given to the study of psychodynamics, including consideration of the empirical evidence and integration with cognitive-behavioral and humanistic theories of behavior and change.

The psychological study of children, adolescents and families is advancing, and the demand for clinical psychologists qualified to fill clinical, teaching, and research positions in this field is growing rapidly. The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology offers students the opportunity to complete a Child and Family Concentration. The aim of the concentration is to train doctoral students in the delivery of psychological services, under close supervision, to children and their families in a variety of settings including medical centers, hospitals, and community clinics.  As well, the concentration will train doctoral students to produce research that can be applied to important clinical problems that pertain to children and their families.

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For further information, please contact:

Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology
p – 516.877.4800

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