Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology - Psychology (2023)

Our Mission

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Central Florida educates graduate students “to generate and integrate scientific and professional knowledge, attitudes, and skills to further psychological science, professional practice, and human welfare. Graduates are capable of functioning as a scientist and a practitioner, and may function as either or both, consistent with the highest standards in psychology” (National Conference on the Education and Training of Scientist-Practitioners for the Professional Practice of Psychology, 1990). The program is a generalist program with a strong emphasis on assessment and treatment in adults. We do not have any formal tracks within the program (e.g., child, neuropsychology). Our program is committed to the inclusion of students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds. In particular, we endeavor to help change the distribution of future professionals in Clinical Psychology to better reflect the diversity (e.g., racial, ethnic, sexual orientation) found across the United States. As a part of these goals, we infuse the latest empirical knowledge related to clinical treatment, research, and pedagogy with diverse individuals in our curriculum and clinical/research experiences. Consistent with our departmental mission, we aspire to provide high quality education to include “the dissemination of state-of-the-field theoretical and empirical information, training in the methodological, statistical, and technical skills necessary to conduct psychological research, and practice in the application of psychological knowledge to real-life problems” (National Conference on the Education and Training of Scientist-Practitioners for the Professional Practice of Psychology, 1990). Our program aspires to achieve excellence in research and clinical training and to contribute to and perpetuate science and practice in the field of Clinical Psychology through faculty and graduate student involvement in scholarly and professional activities. We are active contributors to research in Clinical Psychology. We advocate for initiatives that improve the profession of psychology and the welfare of individuals, families, and groups. We also are active members of professional organizations.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology is designed with the possibility to be completed in five years of full-time study (with summer enrollment expected), regardless of whether the student enters with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. However, as of Fall 2022, 11% of those graduating in the past ten years completed the program in five years and the mean time to completion was 6.32 years, consistent with the national average. The program includes a one-year predoctoral internship to be completed off-campus at an APA accredited internship site. There are a total of 86 semester hours of courses, practica, and research requirements as detailed in our handbook (linked below). A Master’s Thesis and a Dissertation, which represent significant contributions to the field, are both required. Successful completion of the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examination is required prior to initiation of dissertation research.

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Program Admissions

Application Deadline is December 1st

The UCF Psychology Department coordinates the admission process with the UCF Graduate Studies office. In order to enroll in graduate classes, students must have obtained a baccalaureate or higher degree in Psychology, prior to the start of the term for which the student is admitted, from a regionally accredited institution or from a recognized foreign institution. Students without a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution (or equivalent) are not admitted to graduate degree programs, graduate certificate programs, or graduate nondegree status. If the baccalaureate degree does not include a major in Psychology, students must have completed at least 18 credit hours of Psychology courses at the undergraduate level or above. These courses must include Intro/General Psychology, Research Methods/Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Personality Theory/Psychology. The following courses are strongly encouraged: Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Biological/Physiological Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.

Note for all applicants: Our program requires that History and Systems of Psychology is completed at the undergraduate level with a grade of at least a “B.” This can either be completed prior to starting our program or as an undergraduate course during our program.

The GRE will NOT be considered for admission to our program for start date in Fall 2024.

Successful applicants typically have both strengths and relative weaknesses in their applications, and it is important to view one’s application as a portfolio. The components of the application are as follow:

  1. Educational history/grades
  2. Letters of recommendation: Three letters written by people who can speak to your work ethic, range of professional interests, and what it is like to work with you.
  3. Personal essay: An essay about your research and clinical interests and faculty you may be interested in working with while enrolled in our program.
  4. Content training: Information about career and research experiences may be highlighted on the CV and personal statement and are often described in an applicant’s letters of recommendation.

At UCF, the applicant’s fit with the goals of the program are a critical component. It is very rare that an application is positively distinguished on all four of the areas described above. The program places an emphasis on having some hands-on research experience outside of a course (e.g., as a research assistant/coordinator). In your essay, you are encouraged to highlight that experience in relation to what you’d like to conduct research on if accepted to our program. Previous experience working in behavioral health settings or with individuals with mental illness is also a helpful, but not required, experience to highlight. In the past 6 years, GPAs have ranged from 3.5 to 3.75.

** (as of 9/23/22): Please see the list of faculty members at the end of this page. If you click on a given faculty member, it will state at the top of the page whether they will be considering applicants as a major advisor for the program start date of August 2023.

Apply Now Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

Note Regarding National Program Rankings:

Some applicants to doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology may consider national rankings when deciding where to apply for graduate school. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review themethodologyused by any national ranking system. For example, the approach used by the U.S. News and World Report relies simply on rankings of programs by the chairs of psychology departments and directors of clinical training (click here for their methodology). As such, their rankings rely purely on the subjective estimation of the reputation of programs by the individuals completing the survey; no specific metrics or objective data are used in the rankings (see additional critiques of these national ranking systems byMalcolm GladwellandJohn Byrne).

(Video) Program Overview | PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Only 18% of chairs and directors completed the last iteration of this reputational survey, the lowest of any health profession. As such, the rankings are not representative of the opinions of chairs and directors. The low rankings are due, in part, to the training council representing scientist practitioner and clinical scientist doctoral programs in clinical psychology, the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), passing a resolution in 1995 encouraging programsnot to participate in the survey. Given these concerns, we strongly encourage applicants – and others – toignorenational rankings when considering the quality of a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

Even with improved methodology, national rankings are likely to be of little use to applicants in identifyingtheirbest programs. Instead, applicants need to consider if a program’s goals and objectives align with their goals and objectives. A national ranking system will never be able to capture the individualized strengths and weakness of programs for unique applicants.

Please note that every clinical psychology program accredited by the American Psychological Association must post data on their program website about admissions and outcomes, including time to completion, program costs, internship placement, attrition, and licensure. CUDCP programs are also encouraged to provide information on their selectivity/yield (e.g., # of applicants, offers, matriculated students) and number of students with funding.

Mailing Address
UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

For more information on the application process, please contact:

Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell
Professor, Department of Psychology
Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program Director
Director of Clinical Training

(Video) PVAMU Clinical Psychology PhD Program


Our Program Handbookcontains a wealth of information about our program, covering topics such as:

  • The Program Overview
  • The Scientist-Practitioner Model
  • Training Emphasis
  • Program Goals
  • Curriculum Goals
  • Expectations of Doctoral Students
  • Development of Competencies
  • Practicum Training
  • Internships

Download the program handbook


The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program in the Department of Psychology received initial accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2003, for a period of five years. The program then was re-accredited in 2008 and 2013, and remains accredited.

For information about our accreditation status, you can contact the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Contact Information
Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979
TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123
Fax: 202-336-5978

(Video) Should I get a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology?

Licensing Disclosure

While licensure or certification may be available in this field of study, our program does not lead to such licensure or certification upon graduation. The professional preparation you receive in our program may still assist you in such pursuits; however, we are unable to confirm the specific licensure and certification requirements of each state, territory, or foreign entity in which professional credentialing may be possible. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its academic criteria. You are welcome to contact Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell,, with questions in this regard and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.


The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Faculty adhere to the belief that research activities are an integral part of being a Clinical Psychologist. Consistent with this belief, the majority of our graduates seek academic- and research-oriented positions after they complete our program. Even for those who take other types of positions and who work in more applied settings, however, Clinical Psychologists must be able to locate and evaluate research literature relevant to evidence-based interventions and best practice in the field of Clinical Psychology.

Training in Clinical Science Training in Clinical Practice

(Video) How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychology Research Laboratories

Faculty in Ph.d. Clinical Psychology

  • Jeffrey S. BedwellProfessorProgram DirectorDirector of Clinical TrainingClinical Psychology Ph.D. Program
  • Clint BowersProfessor
  • Jeffrey CassisiProfessor
  • Michael E. DunnAssociate Professor
  • Robert DvorakAssociate Professor
  • Lidia MesheshaAssistant Professor
  • Amie NewinsAssociate ProfessorAssociate Director of Clinical Training
  • Daniel PaulsonAssociate Professor
  • Mark D. RapportProfessor
  • Kimberly RenkProfessor
  • David RozekAssistant Professor

Associate Program Faculty

  • Kimberly KentVisiting Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Psychology Clinic
  • Jacqueline WoernerAssistant Professor
(Video) Transform the lives of young people with a PhD in Clinical Psychology

Office Support

  • Kenneth DavisGraduate Admissions Specialist


Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology - Psychology? ›

A Ph. D. in psychology can be very useful if you want to work with community agencies and human services organizations. If social work appeals to you, you may choose to pursue further education in this field and become licensed as a clinical social worker.

Is a PhD in clinical psychology worth it? ›

A Ph. D. in psychology can be very useful if you want to work with community agencies and human services organizations. If social work appeals to you, you may choose to pursue further education in this field and become licensed as a clinical social worker.

What is a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

Clinical psychology Ph. D. programs train students to conduct and present psychological research. Graduates can choose from a wide range of career options, including clinical practice and patient care, teaching, research, and medical center practice.

What is the difference between a PhD in psychology and a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

A PsyD is a doctorate in professional psychology whereas a PhD in Clinical Psychology is a doctorate degree in philosophy with a specialization in clinical psychology.

Is a PhD or PsyD better for clinical psychology? ›

If you wish to pursue a position that involves research or teaching, a PhD will better prepare you for those roles. If you know you only want to apply your psychology training in a more client-facing way, a PsyD can provide you with advanced knowledge in that area.

Is it better to get a PhD or a masters in clinical psychology? ›

Most (but not all) research jobs will require the PhD, and the better professional psychology careers will go to those with a doctoral degree.

Is getting a PhD in clinical psychology hard? ›

Admission to PhD programs in clinical psychology is very competitive. Ratios of 300 applicants to 8 positions are common (though perhaps 10-15 people would have to be accepted to fill the 8 slots; some who are accepted decide to go elsewhere, or enter a different kind of graduate or professional program ).

Do I need a masters to get a PhD? ›

In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD with only a bachelor's degree, as a master's program is included as part of the doctoral program. Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master's degree before continuing to the PhD.

Is a PsyD higher than a PhD? ›

Like a PhD in Psychology, the Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) prepares students to practice psychology in a wide range of clinical settings. A PsyD, however, focuses more on clinical practice and less on research. As a result, this degree requires fewer research and statistics courses and thus takes less time.

Can you get a PhD without a masters in psychology? ›

Some general psychology PhD programs accept students without a master's, but you'll need at least a bachelor's degree for admission. Programs that don't require a master's are often called dual or joint-degree programs.

How do I get a PsyD in Canada? ›

Applicants to the UPEI Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program are required to have an Honours Bachelor's degree in Psychology including an honours thesis, or an equivalent. Applicants are encouraged to present a record of undergraduate course selection reflecting breadth of study across the core areas of psychology.

Why do I want a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

There are a number of legitimate reasons to pursue graduate work in clinical psychology. Some people want to become practicing psychologists, to engage in psychotherapy and psychological testing. Others are interested in studying psychopathology or how psychotherapy works.

Is a PhD harder than a PsyD? ›

It is typically much more difficult to be accepted into a PhD program than a PsyD program. The main reason is that PhD programs accept a fraction of the candidates. Actual admissions requirements vary by school. However, many of the requirements are universal across all institutions.

Why get a PsyD over a PhD? ›

The PsyD degree focuses more on hands-on clinical training along with research whereas the PhD degree focuses more on the research aspect. While both prepare you for promising careers in psychology, a PsyD degree positions you well for "in-the-field" careers, such as a clinical psychologist.

Why are PsyD programs so expensive? ›

PsyD programs (like Argosy, Alliant, etc.) are very expensive because they are only offered by private "professional schools" (not traditional universities). These programs are less competitive than Ph.

Is clinical psychology harder to get into than medical school? ›

the most competitive application process in the entire graduate education system within the United States! A smaller percentage of applicants gain admission to clinical psychology doctoral (Ph. D.) programs than to law school, medical school, or any other type of advanced graduate degree program…

Should I get a masters in psychology before PhD? ›

Many top university PhD programs require students to have a master's degree in psychology under their belt as a pre-requisite. However not all PhD programs have that requirement. Some programs offer students a terminal master's degree in the process of a PhD.

What do you call someone with a masters in psychology? ›

Some states allow people with master's degrees in psychology to use the term “psychologist.” Graduate training focuses on all aspects of human behavior, with an emphasis on research and scientific methods.

Is 37 too old to do a PhD? ›

To answer your question straight away: Yes, you can! Since there is no age limit for PhD admission, it's never too late to advance your professional career or your personal fulfillment with an online PhD degree.

How long is a PhD in clinical psychology in Canada? ›

Overall, it takes approximately five to eight years after receiving a bachelor's degree to obtain a Ph. D. in psychology. A master's degree usually takes two to three years to complete, followed by an additional four to six years for a doctoral (Ph.

Is 45 too old to do a PhD? ›

Some of these people were even in their twenties, worried that working for two years after their undergraduate degree had inexorably barred them from the halls of academia. Others were past middle age, looking for a career change. In either case, the answer is ultimately no, it's not too late to get a PhD.

Is it worth it to be a psychologist in Canada? ›

For the past 15 years, the industry's unemployment rate has always been low at only 4-6% and psychology has always been in the top 100 best occupations in Canada. Therefore, students who study psychology in Canada can completely be assured.

What is the acceptance rate for clinical psychology PhD? ›

At the doctoral level, clinical psychology showed the highest number of programs, applications, and acceptances, but with an overall acceptance rate of 13%.

How much does a PhD cost? ›

On average, the total cost comes out to $32,846 per year, including tuition and living expenses. Students typically take 4-8 years to finish a Ph. D. program, so a doctoral degree can cost anywhere from $131,000-$263,000 before grants and assistantships.

Can I skip Masters and do PhD? ›

Can You Get a PhD Without a Masters? Yes, you can get a PhD without first obtaining a master's degree. A number of universities offer direct entry to PhD programs from undergraduate or bachelor degree studies. In some cases, specific schools or programs may prefer that applicants hold a master's degree.

Does a PhD increase salary? ›

In reality, a PhD increases salary because it opens up more career opportunities. If you want to enter the academic world and pursue a PhD, that's fantastic. You will likely be able to earn a higher salary than you would with a master's degree.

Is a PhD more prestigious than a PsyD? ›

Both are usually highly respected. A PhD is typically viewed as a research-oriented degree. A PsyD is typically viewed as an appropriate degree for someone with clinical aspirations.

Can you get a PhD without a masters in clinical psychology? ›

In many cases, you do not need to hold a master's for admission to a Ph. D. program in psychology. Many programs accept candidates who hold a bachelor's in the field.

Is clinical psych more competitive than med school? ›

the most competitive application process in the entire graduate education system within the United States! A smaller percentage of applicants gain admission to clinical psychology doctoral (Ph. D.) programs than to law school, medical school, or any other type of advanced graduate degree program…

What is the hardest doctorate degree? ›

1. Boarded Medical Doctor: After spending about eight years to earn your first degree, you are faced with between three and six years of residency. This is the most competitive field in education which means you must have passed through a very rigorous process to earn this certificate.

Which country is best for PhD in psychology? ›

Some of the best countries to study Psychology abroad are the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Psychology). The USA is one of the best countries to study Psychology abroad.

Can you be a professor with a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

It is possible to be both a professor (doing research and teaching) and a clinical psychologist. Most psychology departments would require a PhD in Clinical Psychology.In order to practice psychotherapy in any state, a person must be licensed or certified in that state.

Is a PsyD harder than a PhD? ›

Generally, PhD programs may be more difficult to get into and the program usually lasts between 5 and 8 years. PsyD programs, while still competitive, have a relatively higher acceptance rate and take 1-2 years fewer to complete.

What do you call someone with a PsyD? ›

Is someone with a PsyD a doctor? Yes, as a doctorate-holder, a person who has earned a PsyD could definitely refer to themselves as “Dr.,” though it's good to note that PsyDs are not medical doctors and in most states cannot prescribe medication or conduct medical treatments.

Is a PsyD in psychology worth it? ›

If your goal is to use principles of psychological theory to impact individuals or groups in clinical settings, a PsyD may be the best degree for you. A PsyD program emphasizes the application of proven knowledge and therapies to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals, families, and groups.


1. Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Presentation of Candidates - SGS Commencement
(Chestnut Hill College)
2. Do I need a Master's Degree to get a doctorate in Clinical Psychology?
(Kristen Casey, Psy.D)
3. Clinical Psychology Programs at The Chicago School
(The Chicago School )
4. Getting into a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program--Advice from a Professor
(Dr. Rheeda Walker)
5. So You Want a PhD in Clinical Psychology?
6. My complicated path to a PhD | Clinical Psychology
(JoJo Douglas)


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