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Clinical Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum seeks to prepare students in a number of ways.

  • Students complete a range of core courses in the department and the clinical science concentration. In addition, students pursue elective courses in their area of emphasis both within the department and outside the department.
  • The department's breadth courses focus on the breadth of scientific psychology from biological, cognitive-affective, social, and developmental bases, and the courses attend to historical issues, and individual and cultural differences.
  • The department's core courses focus on research methodology and techniques of data analysis.
  • Clinical core courses and the practicum sequence focus on the theories and models of dysfunctional behavior, and evidence-based practice of assessment, intervention, evaluation, professional standards and ethics, supervision, consultation, and issues of individual and cultural differences. 

Core Requirement (quantitative research methods): See https://dev.psyc.vt.edu/graduate/#curriculum

Depth Requirement, Clinical “Area of Emphasis”: All students complete three courses in a student’s area of emphasis. The courses can be within or outside the department and are tailored by the student and advisor to meet a student's interests and career goals.

Breadth Requirement: The Department curriculum requires graduate-level courses outside of the student's Depth/Clinical Area of Emphasis, and allows for additional required courses that are designed to educate students in domains of study that complement their research interests and expand students' general knowledge of the field at large. For clinical science PhD students, this requirement is met by completing four courses – at least one course within each of these four domains: Biobases, Cognitive-Affective, Social, and Developmental. This breadth curriculum is consistent with guidelines from the American Psychological Association for breadth of scientific knowledge and development. Often this requirement can be met by completing a basic 5000-level course in one of these areas, such as the “Biobases” and “Developmental” courses. However, other courses at the 5000- and 6000-level can be completed to meet a requirement in a domain. For example, a course in cognitive development can meet a requirement for a course in the developmental domain. However, one course can only meet a requirement for one domain. Specific courses should be decided by the student and her/his advisor. Preferably, the specific course should be consistent with the student's overall interests and career plans. In addition, currently the history and systems of psychology and the study of diversity are infused throughout the program's and department's courses.

    Biological (one of these)
    PSYC 5294 - Psychophysiology
    PSYC 5404 - Biological Bases of Behavior
    PSYC 6254 - Advanced Topics in Clinical Psychology: Neuropsychology

    Cognitive-Affective (one of these)
    PSYC 5274 - Personality Processes
    PSYC 5344- Cognitive Psychology
    PSYC 5544 - Cognitive Development

    Social (one of these)
    PSYC 5314 - Psych Perspectives in Social Psychology
    PSYC 5554 - Social Development

    Developmental (one of these)
    PSYC 5544 - Cognitive Development
    PSYC 5554 - Social Development

    PSYC 5274 - Personality Processes

    PSYC 6944 - Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology

Additional Coursework Requirements:

    Core Clinical Courses: All four of the following are required
    PSYC 5284 - Psychopathology
    PSYC 6254 - Advanced Topics in Psychology: Psychological Assessment
    PSYC 6264 - Child Psychopathology
    PSYC 6254 - Advanced Topics in Clinical Psychology: Ethics

Practicum Sequence: All students complete a four-year sequence including an externship