Clinical Training Model

The training model

The Clinical Psychology program follows a scientist-practitioner training model. The APA accredited1 Doctoral Program at CMU differs from models that prepare students for either academic or clinical positions: the program places an equal emphasis on the development of clinical practice and clinical research skills. Integration of theory, research, and practice is considered essential.

​The Clinical Psychology Program considers the following areas as essential for contemporary Clinical Psychologists:

Aim #1: To produce graduates with an understanding for the breadth of psychology.

Aim #2: To produce graduates with a depth of understanding and skill in the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the clinical practice of clinical psychology including both assessment and intervention.

Aim #3: To produce graduates qualified to engage in a range of activities related to health service psychology including intervention, assessment, research, supervision, and teaching.

Aim #4: To produce graduates with a depth of understanding and skills in psychological research.

Aim #5: To produce graduates who conduct themselves according to: a) maintaining an attitude toward lifelong learning; b) knowledge and respect for individual and cultural diversity; and c) professional and ethical standards of the field.

The program trains students in each of these areas through the use of didactic instruction, experiential learning, and the clinical faculty mentoring of each student. A systematic evaluation of each student’s functioning in academic, clinical, and research areas, as well as the completion of specific milestone events, ensures student competence in each of these areas.​

1 Committee on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 800-374-2721; 202-336-5500. TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123

2 American Psychological Association. (2002) Ethical Principles of Psychologists. (Available from Author, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 800-374-2721; 202-336-5500. TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123)

Clinical Psychology curriculum

I.  Foundation courses

Basic course work is completed in the areas listed below.  These courses provide a broad-based foundation for integrating psychology theory and research. 

1. Biological Bases

  • PSY 687 (3) Physiological Foundations

2. Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior

  • PSY 589 (3) Cognitive Psychology  OR
  • PSY 680 (3) Learning

3. Social Bases of Behavior

  • PSY 630 (3) Advanced Social Psychology

4. Individual Differences

  • PSY 624 (3) Advanced Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 751 (3) Psychopathology

5. History and Systems

  • PSY 609 (3) History and Systems of Psychology

6. Research Design

  • PSY 642 Clinical Research Methods

AND two of the following

  • PSY 611 (3) Research Design
  • PSY 612 (3) Applied Multiple Regression and Correlation
  • PSY 613 (3) Multivariate and Correlation Methods

7.  Applied Components

  • PSY 798 (6) Thesis
  • PSY 898 (6) Doctoral Dissertation Design
  • PSY 899 (6) Doctoral Dissertation Implementation

II.   Assessment and intervention

Coursework in this area provides a foundation for integrating theory, research, and practice related to the assessment and intervention.

1.  Measurement

  • PSY 510 (3) Principles of Psychological Measurement

2.  Assessment Methods

  • PSY 641 (3) Objective Personality Assessment
  • PSY 657 (3) Assessment I: Adult
  • PSY 658 (3) Assessment II:  Child and Adolescent
  • PSY 661 (3) Neuropsychological Assessment

3.  Intervention

  • PSY 653 (3) Intervention I: Adult
  • PSY 660 (3) Intervention II: Child and Adolescent
  • PSY 785 (3) Seminar: Cognitive-Behavior Theory
  • PSY 850 (3) Ethnic and Minority Issues in Therapy  

4.  Applied Components

  • PSY 790 & 791 (6) Practicum IA and IB
  • PSY 890 & 891 (6) Practicum IIA and IIB
  • PSY 892 & 893 (6) Practicum IIIA and IIIB
  • PSY 990 (1) Internship A
  • PSY 991 (1) Internship B

Sequence of courses​​

The sequencing of courses was developed (1) to provide early exposure to clinical coursework that is required prior to beginning practicum training during the fall semester of their second year, (2) to provide early exposure to courses that form the foundation of the discipline, and (3) to provide additional time during the fourth year of study for meeting dissertation requirements and completing pre-doctoral internship applications.

Open Clinical Psychology Sequence of Courses (pdf)

Program competencies


  • Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., critical literature reviews, dissertation, efficacy studies, clinical case studies, theoretical papers, program evaluation projects, program development projects) that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base.
  • Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
  • Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.

Ethical and legal standards

  • Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:
    • the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
    • Relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and
    • Relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  • Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
  • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Individual and cultural diversity

  • An understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
  • Knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
  • The ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
  • Demonstrate the requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work. 

Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors

  • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  • Engage in self-reflection regarding one's personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
  • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
  • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.


  • Demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal and cultural).
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.
  • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
  • Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
  • Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences. 


  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
  • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
  • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
  • Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
  • Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices. 
  • Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
  • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of consultation models and practices.