to the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego (SDSU/UCSD) Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Clinical Psychology.

Our goal is to provide outstanding education and training to scientifically oriented research professionals, who will subsequently make significant contributions to the field of clinical psychology in their areas of specialization. The scientist-practitioner (“Boulder”) model on which this program is based requires students to receive ongoing supervised clinical and research experience. Students are actively involved in clinical research activities throughout their stay in the program. We regard the development of research skills and attitudes as a basic feature in the training of clinical psychologists who, from all indications, will have duties encompassing teaching, research, diagnosis, treatment, consultation, and program evaluation and design; they will need to apply research skills and knowledge to varied content areas and settings. Our graduate program is designed to enable students to be on the forefront of developments and applications in psychology. The ideal clinical psychologist should be able to assess clinical procedures and literature from a scientist’s perspective, to use relevant empirical findings and principles in clinical procedures, and, ultimately, to integrate these processes into a sound personal and professional framework. The basic five-year program includes an initial two-year core curriculum of formal instruction, followed by additional experience/instruction in the student’s chosen major area of study. Completion of the core ensures that all students have a common background in:

  1. Empirical psychology (e.g. biological, social, cognitive-affective and individual bases of behavior)
  2. Conceptualizations of psychopathology
  3. Theory and techniques of psychological assessment
  4. Therapeutic interventions and therapeutic skills
  5. Statistics and experimental design

Clinical activities, integrated with more formal instruction at all levels, increase in the later years of the program as students acquire greater clinical proficiency. Major area of study training after the second year occurs in seminars and tutorials, as well as extensive research and clinical experience under faculty supervision. The clinical internship typically occurs in the fifth year, at an American Psychological Association/Canadian Psychological Association (APA/CPA) accredited facility. The curriculum is based on a twelve month academic year. Whenever possible, clinical practica and therapeutic activities are coordinated with the student’s progression through courses and research activities. Summers are utilized to offer more concentrated research and clinical training. The JDP is a member in good standing of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS), the Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training Programs (CCHPTP), and the Association of Psychology Training Clinics (APTC). All of these organizations have as their primary goal quality education and training at the doctoral level, and the JDP membership in these organizations helps ensure that we stay abreast of changes and developments in the field. The JDP began in 1985, was first accredited by APA1 in 1990, and has been reaccredited consistently since then. We emphasize appreciation of and respect for human diversity, broadly defined. A number of training conferences and programs funded by federal agencies also emphasize preparing professionals to work with the underserved, including children, adolescents, adults and elderly in rural and inner city areas, in prisons or other institutions, and the chronically mentally ill, particularly through cooperation with public agencies. The JDP incorporates preparing students to work with these populations in all aspects of training. APA guidelines and the JDP stress awareness of ethical concerns, professional relationships and requirements for state licensing. The program covers each of these areas. Recently, rankings calculated by the National Research Council (NRC) place the JDP among the top five psychology programs in the country, regardless of whether they are clinical or non-clinical in nature. Similar rankings have been reported by Academic Analytics in 2010 and by Stewart, Roberts, & Roy (2007).

1Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; Phone (202) 336-5979; E-mail apaaccred@apa.org