Clinical Psychology Concentration

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-PHD-PSYC-CLN

The PhD in Psychology provides knowledge of the basic content areas in psychology and practical experience in applying this knowledge to solve human problems in relationships, work, and education. Core course requirements cover subject matter identified by the profession as essential to doctoral training. This includes biological, social, cognitive, and individual bases of behavior, as well as the history of psychology. The program offers the following concentrations: applied developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors/applied cognition, and industrial/organizational psychology.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 79

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

In addition to satisfying the requirements for all doctoral degrees, students must successfully complete 79 credits of required coursework.

Concentration in Clinical Psychology (CLN)


The clinical psychology concentration is committed to the clinical science model. Our goal is to train clinical psychologists who are capable of integrating research and applied clinical activities. The program is unique in approaching clinical psychology from social psychological and contextual perspectives. A social psychological approach uses theory and research from social psychology to understand emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal functioning. A contextual perspective stresses the impact of social and cultural factors on the individual and vice versa. Most of the faculty members employ cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal approaches to research and clinical practice, but students also receive exposure to humanistic, existential, and psychodynamic perspectives.

Students pursuing this concentration must complete 79 graduate credits comprised of doctoral coursework and at least 12 credits of dissertation research. The number of credits required may be reduced for a prior master's degree as described above.

Doctoral Coursework

Biological Bases of Behavior

Select one course from the following: 3
Mammalian Neurobiology  
Biological Bases of Human Behavior  
Total Credits 3

Developmental Bases of Behavior

PSYC 704 Life-Span Development 3
Total Credits 3

Design and Data Analysis Emphasis

Select one of the following three emphases (A, B, or C):
Basic Emphasis A
PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
PSYC 644 Methods for Social Research 3
Total Credits 11
Enhanced Quantitative Emphasis B
PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
PSYC 644 Methods for Social Research 3
Select one additional approved quantitative course, such as those in the list shown under Quantitative Emphasis C 3
Total Credits 14
Quantitative Emphasis C
PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
PSYC 644 Methods for Social Research 3
Select two additional approved quantitative courses, such as: 6
Psychometric Methods  
Longitudinal Data Analysis  
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology  
Advanced Topics in Statistical Analysis (varies by semester but includes Bayesian methods)  
Special Topics in Psychology (Credits: 3 that include Meta-analysis/SEM)  
Structural Equation Modeling and Meta-Analysis  
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research  
Total Credits 17

Required Courses

PSYC 810 Psychological Assessment I 4
PSYC 811 Psychological Assessment II 4
PSYC 813 Supervision, Consultation, and Interprofessional Skills 3
PSYC 822 Scientific Foundations of Clinical Psychology I 3
PSYC 861 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Youth 1 6
PSYC 862 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults 1 6
PSYC 864 Foundations of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy 3
PSYC 881 Practicum in Clinical Psychology 2 6
PSYC 883 Ethical and Professional Issues in Clinical Practice 3
PSYC 855 Social, Cognitive, and Affective Foundations of Behavior 3
PSYC 856 Diversity, History and Clinical Psychology 3
PSYC 890 Seminar in Professional Psychology 1
PSYC 792 Psychology Practicum 2
Total Credits 47

Students take 3 credits in fall and 3 credits in spring of the second year.


Students take 3 credits in fall and 3 credits in spring of the third year.


The choice of quantitative emphasis affects the number of credits available for electives. Those who choose Emphasis A take 3 credit hours of electives; students choosing Emphasis B or Emphasis C take 0 hours of electives. PSYC 850 Teaching Practicum in Psychology is recommended for anyone considering academia.

Select 0-3 electives with the approval of the advisor. 0-3
Total Credits 0-3

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all core courses required by the program. Students must also successfully complete and pass written and oral comprehensive exams.

Dissertation Research

The dissertation requirement is designed to demonstrate the student's ability to apply psychological principles to research problems. Once enrolled in PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and 3 credits of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation. They must apply a minimum of 12 dissertation credits (PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of these courses.

Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation  
Total Credits 12


Students complete a full-time, 12-month clinical psychology internship at a site accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Externship (optional, but recommended)

Students complete a part-time clinical psychology externship in the fourth and/or fifth year of the program.

Licensure Disclosure

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool ( for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.