Clinical Psychology PhD

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology


Welcome to the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Clinical Psychology Program was founded in 1947-1948. It was APA-accredited in the first group of programs that were reviewed for accreditation in 1948 and that status has been uninterrupted. Our most recent site visit from the APA occurred in 2015, and we have been accredited until 2021.

Our program operates according to a scientist-practitioner model. We are, thus, dedicated to training students to generate empirically-based knowledge in clinical psychology and to perform clinical work that is constantly informed by traditional and emerging scholarship in the field. We expect our students to learn to expertly produce, analyze, and discuss scientific material. We also expect our students to become proficient at providing clinical services to a diverse population. And, most importantly, we expect our students to learn to integrate these two goals. As our mission statement in the TC catalog notes, “The driving goal of our Clinical Psychology Program is to provide rigorous training in both contemporary clinical science and clinical assessment and intervention.”

A good deal of the training, especially that related to research, occurs through intensive participation in a research lab directed by a specific faculty mentor. It is this context, through this lab, that students develop their scientific skills and begin presenting their work at professional conferences and publishing in professional journals. Each student, of course, is also part of a cohort of doctoral students with whom they learn, collaborate, and socialize.

In recent years, graduates of our doctoral program have gained employment in tenure-track academic positions, as research scientists in medical schools, and as clinical researchers in a broad range of treatment settings. In addition, many of our graduates practice independently as well as in community settings for under-served populations.

The list of faculty reviewing and potentially accepting applicants for each cycle is listed on the application itself. Please check the application itself or email your Admission Liaison, Ashley Blasland, at ab3987@tc.columbia.edu for clarification.

Lena Verdeli, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Training

A student is engaged in conversation with one her peers at a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Points/Credits: 95
  • Entry Terms: Fall Only

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): December 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): December 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test

Course Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Program requires the following:

  1. The completion of 95 points of academic credit during three to four years of residence at the College.
  2. A full-time, twelve-month clinical internship during the fourth or fifth year of study.
  3. An original piece of empirical research, which also serves as a qualifying paper, to be completed during the second year of study.
  4. A passing grade on the certification examination (on Research Methods) during the third year of study.
  5. A Clinical case presentation as well as a research presentation, during the third year, each demonstrating the student’s ability to integrate theory, research, and practice.
  6. A doctoral dissertation, which must be completed no later than the seventh year after matriculation.

First Year

During the first year of study, in addition to participating in a research lab, doctoral students typically take the following didactic courses: Ethical and professional issues in clinical psychology (CCPX 5030); Psychological measurement (HUDM 5059); courses on statistics and modeling; Research methods in social psychology (ORLJ 5040); Child psychopathology (CCPX 5034); Adult psychopathology (CCPX 5032); History and systems of psychology (CCPX 6020); and Dynamic psychotherapies (CCPX 5037). Students also take two semesters of psychological testing and diagnostic assessment (CCPX 5330, CCPX 5333) and a course in clinical interviewing (CCPX 5539).

Second Year

During their second year, students’ didactic courses include Brain and behavior (BBS 5068, 5069); Cognition, emotion, and culture (CCPX 5020); Psychotherapy with children (CCPX 5531); Cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal therapies (CCPX 5038); Clinical work with diverse populations (CCPX 5036); and Seminar on life course development (HUDK 6520). In addition, students sign up for a full year of research practicum with a faculty member (culminating in an empirical second-year project), a full-year adult psychodynamic psychotherapy practicum (CCPX 6335), and an additional elective full-year clinical rotation (e.g., on child and adolescent psychotherapy; on neuropsychological assessment).

Third Year

Third-year didactic courses include Group dynamics: A systems perspective (ORL 5362); and Dissertation seminar (CCPX 7500). There is also a full-year advanced psychodynamic clinical practicum (CCPX 6336) and a one-semester supervision and consultation practicum (CCPX 6333). Most students also elect a full-year family therapy practicum (CCPJ 6363).

Fourth and Fifth Year

Fourth year is typically focused on clinical externship (CCPX 5230) and extensive work on the dissertation. A full-year fourth year psychotherapy practicum (CCPX 6338) is recommended, though not required. Year five is usually spent on a full-year clinical internship (CCPX 6430).

The program allows only 12 points of graduate work from another institution to be transferred. No transfer credits are awarded for practica, workshops, or independent study.

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