Clinical Ph.D. Curriculum

In addition to general department requirements for the Ph.D., the breadth requirements outlined by the American Psychological Association in 1979 (social bases of behavior, biological bases of behavior, cognitive/affective bases of behavior), and required courses in history of psychology, developmental psychology and multicultural issues in clinical psychology, the following sequence of courses and clinical training is required for students majoring in clinical psychology.

Year 1:
Foundations of the Scientist Practitioner

During Year 1, students will establish the foundations of research methodology, assessment, and psychopathology. Through the design of the first year experience, students will learn to integrate the three. Likewise, the completion of Year 1 will have prepared students adequately for completing their thesis, and will have them well trained for conducting other research throughout their career at UWM. Students will also be introduced to the three scientifically validated interventions, in which they can specialize.

Fall Semester

  • Psych 510: Statistics
  • Psych 831 - Assessment I
  • Psych 912: Developmental Psychopathology
  • Psych 802: Clinical Practicum (Interviewing, Report Writing, and Assessment Administration Skills)
  • Vertical Team

Spring Semester

  • Psych 610: Experimental Design
  • Psych 710: Clinical Research Methods
  • Psych 734: Intro. to Scientifically Validated Treatments
  • Psych 802: Clinical Practicum (Interviewing, Report Writing, and Assessment Administration Skills)
  • Vertical Team

Practical Training During Year 1
Students learn basic interviewing and test administration skills in the first year practicum. They also participate in a "vertical team." Vertical teams are the method by which we do our "hands on" therapy training. Each vertical team consists of a first year student, a second year student, two third year students, and a supervising Psychologist. Each student has a defined role on the team. Third year students serve as therapists, second year students conduct psychological assessments, and first year students are asked to observe therapy sessions and learn the empirical basis for intervention with the different cases seen on the team. Each team meets weekly to discuss cases with the supervisor.

Program of Excellence Training in Year 1
In year 1 of the program, all students take Clinical Research Methods (PSY 710) which introduces them to methods relevant to research in Clinical Psychology, including a module about grant-writing and how grants are reviewed.


Year 2:
Foundations of Clinical Practice

The proposed curriculum for year two continues to build the clinical foundations for students to become scientist practitioners.  Students will learn about professional ethics, continue to learn about assessment, will continue their therapy training, and will start to broaden their knowledge of the empirical basis of clinical psychology through taking core courses. During Year 2, students will utilize the research training obtained during Year 1 by completing a master's thesis.

Fall Semester

  • Psych 821: Practicum in Assessment I
  • Psych 712 - Professional Ethics and Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Psych 741: Foundations of Psychotherapy
  • Psych 790: Master's Research
  • Vertical Team

Spring Semester

  • Psych 832: Assessment II
  • Psych 742: Empirically Supported Interventions
  • Psych 845: Practicum in ESI
  • Additional Course
  • Psych 790: Master's Research
  • Vertical Team

Summer

Thesis should be defended by end of the summer.

Practical Training During Year 2
During the second year, students are taught to administer and interpret psychological tests both in the assessment practicum and vertical team contexts. In addition, they may begin to acquire hands on experience in implementing empirically supported interventions. Also, they continue to participate in a vertical team.

Program of Excellence Training in Year 2
During Year 2, students are introduced to a number of empirically supported interventions, and select one of the three areas/treatment as a specific competency area. Students take a knowledge competency assessment related to that area during their second year. They are also assigned to a treatment team focusing on a specific empirically supported intervention approach for at least one semester.


Year 3:
Integration of Science and Practice

The curriculum for this year continues to help students fully implement their scientist practitioner training by implementing their scientist training in a clinical setting.

Fall Semester

  • Psych 842: Practicum in Therapy
  • Additional Course(s)
  • Vertical Team

Spring Semester

  • Psych 842: Practicum in Therapy
  • Additional Course(s)
  • Vertical Teams

Summer

Students can fulfill the preliminary exam requirement by passing the traditional written exam or by producing a written clinical product that integrates research and practice. This clinical product must be approved by the student's dissertation committee. Examples of written clinical products could include treatment manuals, a critical literature review or meta-analysis, or a detailed case studies involving single subject research design.

Practical Training During Year 3
Third year students on the vertical teams are responsible for seeing clients in the Department's Psychology Training Clinic. Third year students participate in two different vertical teams concurrently, and have 2-3 cases per team. Students sit on two vertical teams so they are exposed to different supervision styles and theoretical orientations.

Program of Excellence Training in Year 3
In Year 3, one of the two vertical teams to which the student is assigned functions as a generalist team; dedicated to seeing a broad range of clients. The second team is the Program of Excellence team that focuses on the disorder/treatment in which the student has chosen to receive additional training. During this Program of Excellence training, students are taught to competently administer manualized interventions for the disorder/treatment they have selected, while treating patients with these disorders. Also during this year, students are taught how to integrate research training into clinical practice and will be taught how clinical practice can be used to inform research ideas.


Year 4:
Community Placement

The curriculum for year four requires the students to take their scientist practitioner training to the community. In addition, students will complete their core courses and elective courses in addition to proposing their dissertations.

Fall Semester

  • Psych 811: Community Placement
  • Additional Course(s)
  • Psych 990: Doctoral Research

Spring Semester

  • Psych 811: Community Placement
  • Additional Course(s)
  • Dissertation Research

Summer

  • Dissertation Research
  • Optional: Psych 811 or Psych 842

Practical Training During Year 4
In the fourth year, students spend 12-16 hours per week working in one of many community agencies under the supervision of adjunct faculty.

Community agencies that have been involved in the department's training program include the...

  • Children's Hospital of Wisconsin,
  • Family Services of Milwaukee,
  • Medical College of Wisconsin,
  • Bureau of Community Corrections,
  • Roger's Memorial Hospital
  • UWM Counseling Center
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and
  • Waukesha County Mental Health Center.

Year 5:
Dissertation Research

The curriculum for year five allows the student to spend time applying for internship and completing their dissertation. Students should leave for internship with their dissertation completed.

Fall Semester

  • Psych 811: Community Placement (optional)
  • Apply for Internship
  • Psych 990: Doctoral Research

Spring Semester

  • Psych 811: Community Placement (optional)
  • Internship Interviews
  • Psych 990: Doctoral Research
  • Defend Dissertation

Practical Training During Year 5
The program does not require any specific practical experience during the fifth year, but students will often want to round out their experiences with additional work, and often get involved in learning how to provide supervision to more junior students. This supervised supervision experience is a valuable experience to those students choosing to participate.


Year 6:
Internship

An extramural, APA-approved one-year, full-time (2,000 hour) internship is required for the clinical psychology program.