JDP Co-Directors, Vanessa Malcarne and Lauren Brookman-Frazeeto the San Diego State University/University of California San Diego (SDSU/UC San Diego) 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 SDSU/UC San Diego JDP brings together the rich scholarly resources and offerings of a Department of Psychology located in a College of Sciences (SDSU) and a Department of Psychiatry located in a School of Medicine (UC San Diego).  We are a clinical science program that emphasizes the integration of research and practice in training, activities, and 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 will have duties encompassing teaching, research, diagnosis, treatment, consultation, and program evaluation and design, and who will need to apply research skills and knowledge to varied content areas and settings. Our doctoral program is designed to enable students to be on the forefront of developments and applications in clinical psychology. 

The basic program is designed to be completed in either five or six years, including an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited internship.  The 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 (biological, cognitive, affective, developmental, and social bases of behavior)
  2. Conceptualizations of psychopathology
  3. Theory and techniques of psychological assessment
  4. Therapeutic interventions and therapeutic skills
  5. Experimental design and statistics

Clinical activities, integrated with more formal instruction at all levels, begin in the second year in the program and increase in the later years as students acquire greater clinical proficiency through completing practicum placements in approximately 30 training sites, all of which are supervised by JDP faculty. The JDP has three major areas of study:  Behavioral Medicine, Experimental Psychopathology, and Neuropsychology.  Major area of study training after the second year occurs in seminars and tutorials, as well as through extensive research and clinical experience under faculty supervision. The clinical internship typically occurs in the fifth or sixth year, at an APA-accredited internship. 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 began in 1985, was first accredited by APA1 in 1990, and has been reaccredited consistently since then. Both SDSU and UC San Diego are currently regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission, and have been accredited since 1949 and 1964, respectively. In addition, the School of Medicine at UC San Diego is currently accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

We have a large faculty representing research and clinical expertise in virtually every topic relevant to clinical psychology. We emphasize appreciation of and respect for human diversity, broadly defined, and our program offers extensive opportunities to become involved in research and clinical activities that focus on diverse, underserved populations. 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).

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’s membership in these organizations helps ensure that we stay abreast of changes and developments in the field. 

1Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation