The SMU Department of Psychology consists of nationally and internationally recognized faculty members with active research programs in a variety of areas: mood disorders, family violence, obesity and eating disorders, psychophysiology of respiratory disease, couples therapy, stress and memory function, parenting, health behaviors and chronic pain.
Applying for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology?
Top 10 reasons to choose SMU!
1. An Outstanding Faculty
The Psychology Faculty at SMU consists of 14 scientists
with a broad array of research interests. Our faculty members have an excellent record of obtaining grant support for their research and publish in the top journals in their fields. There are extensive research collaborations within the department as well as with faculty in other departments at SMU and at other universities throughout the world. Faculty members have received numerous awards for their research and teaching.
2. Competitive Funding
Graduate students in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at SMU receive four years of funding as Teaching Assistants. The funding package includes tuition and fees as well as a yearly stipend ($17,000 for the entering class of 2014-2015) that increases regularly to match changes in cost-of-living increases. Students are also encouraged to apply for external funding for their research and assist faculty in preparing grant applications, many of which result in graduate student funding. For students who remain in residence for a 5th year of study, funding is available through teaching opportunities as well as external funding.
3. Efficient Time to Degree Completion
A Ph.D. in clinical psychology requires extensive training in research and clinical practice, as well as coursework. Students must complete a master’s thesis and dissertation, present their research in professional outlets, and engage in at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice while in residence at SMU. A final capstone of training is the pre-doctoral clinical internship
, a year-long external training experience akin to a medical residency.
The average doctoral student completes the Ph.D. in 6 years (5 years in residence at SMU followed by the 1-year internship). However, a number of students complete the degree in 5 years (4 years in residence plus the 1-year internship).
4. Diverse Patient and Research Population
Over 6.5 million people live in the 10 cities that comprise the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex. DFW is the largest metropolitan area in Texas and the fourth largest in the nation. The metroplex is quite diverse; with a racial makeup that is 69% White, 14% African-American, and 22% Hispanic/Latino (may be of any race). The city of Dallas itself is even more diverse, with a racial makeup of 50% White, 25% African American, and 42% Hispanic/Latino. Over 90 languages are spoken in the area and there are large immigrant populations from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. There is also extensive socioeconomic diversity, ranging from poverty to wealth, and diversity in family types (e.g. single and dual parent, opposite-sex and same-sex). Thus, students are able to conduct research and obtain clinical experiences with individuals, couples, and families from a great variety of population groups.
5. Focus on Evidence-Based Practice
The doctoral program in clinical psychology at SMU follows a scientist-practitioner model of training. The mission is to train clinical psychologists whose professional activities, in both research and practice, are based on scientific knowledge and methods. The program integrates rigorous research training with evidence-based clinical training. Thus, our program emphasizes the development of conceptual and research skills as well as scientifically-based clinical practice. The overarching goal is to train graduates to use empirical methods to advance psychological knowledge and to approach clinical activities in a manner consistent with scientific evidence.
6. Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in Dallas is much lower than most other metropolitan areas. Average rent for a 1-2 bedroom apartment in Dallas ranged from $756-$969 in 2013. In contrast, average rent in Chicago ranged from $1500-$1800 and in Los Angeles ranged from $1600-$2000.
7. Grants to Present Research
Students are strongly encouraged to present their research in professional outlets, such as peer-reviewed journals and national conferences. All students who present research at a professional conference are eligible for funding to support their travel to the conference.
8. Specialized Training
In addition to our general training in clinical psychology, which includes knowledge of diagnosis and psychopathology, interventions and assessment, and research methods, students may choose to receive additional specialized training in either family/child psychology or health psychology/behavioral medicine
. Specialized training includes advanced classes in the relevant area, participation in monthly seminars with other students and faculty in that area, and focused research experiences.
9. Central Location
SMU is centrally located, approximately 5 miles north of downtown Dallas.
There is easy access to freeways from the campus, making it convenient for students to travel to research and clinical practice locations and for research participants to travel to SMU.
10 State-of-the-Art Facilities
The Psychology Department is housed in a modern building overlooking the beautiful, tree-lined campus and the new George W. Bush Presidential Institute
. Our state-of-the-art research facilities allow students and faculty advisors to utilize advanced research methods and the building is easily accessible by car, bus, and light rail for participants.
Congratulations on a Successful Internship Match in 2013!
One hundred percent of SMU clinical psychology doctoral students who applied for a pre-doctoral clinical internship matched at an American Psychological Association accredited site, compared to a 76% match rate nationwide. Completion of a pre-doctoral internship is a requirement for obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Our excellent students worked extremely hard to prepare themselves for internship and were successful in achieving this important goal. We are very proud of Kathryn Croft, Lindsey DeBoer, Grant Holland, Kristin Julian, Noelle Smith, Ana Trueba, and Paul Williamson. Please join us in congratulating them and wishing them the best as they complete their doctoral training.