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Graduate Admission Application Information
The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program emphasizes the integration of research and clinical practice, and follows the Clinical Scientist training model. The program prepares clinical psychologists who are well versed in the scientific method of inquiry and skilled in the development, implementation, and dissemination of empirically supported treatments to remediate psychological problems. We aim to train clinical scientists to be (a) competent in the knowledge of both general psychology and clinical science (b) competent in conducting research on a wide variety of psychological problems across the lifespan, and (c) competent in the practice of empirically-based assessments and interventions across diverse settings. The program seeks to achieve these goals through relevant coursework, research training, and clinical experiences offered to our students through the program’s in-house training clinic, affiliated clinics and hospitals, external practica, and research programs. There is a strong expectation throughout the program for students to be active in research.
Our program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS); graduates of the program are eligible for certification and licensing examinations as clinical psychologists. See this Table for information about how the UMD Clinical Psychology Doctoral program satisfies the educational requirements of each state.
Please refer to the Program Overview Page for additional information.
In alignment with our aspirational multicultural statement and our broader commitment to diversity, the University of Maryland Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program is committed to reducing barriers that could impede diverse applicants from considering submitting an application. These actions include:
- Elimination of GRE requirement
- Funding for campus visits
- Fee waivers offered by the graduate school
- Virtual interview process (for the 2023-2024 application cycle)
Please note that this program spans 12-months. Students take courses, conduct research, and/or see clients throughout the summer in addition to the fall and spring semesters.
Clinical students are guaranteed funding (tuition remission and stipend) via a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or graduate research assistantship (GRA) for five years. Funding for clinical students spans the full 12-months of the year.
Students in the Clinical Program are encouraged to apply to internal and external funding opportunities. Minimal student stipend levels are based on cost of living, and are subject to change; however, funding (stipend and tuition remission) is guaranteed for each accepted student for five years through a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or graduate research assistantship (GRA). Clinical students receive funding for the full 12-months of the year.
All clinical students are eligible for health insurance. Depending on the source of funding, insurance is available to clinical students through the State of Maryland or the University’s Student Plan.
Faculty that are currently accepting students
The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program accepts between 2-7 applicants per year out of around 275 applicants. The size of each cohort depends on funding availability and the number of faculty accepting students. Note that faculty outside of clinical (e.g., developmental, CNS) may serve as primary mentors for clinical psychology.
The following faculty anticipate recruiting students this cycle.
How do I know if I am a good fit for the Program?
It is generally recommended that applicants gain ~2 years of post-baccalaureate research experience in a clinically relevant research topic. Additionally, knowledge about and experience in clinical work is encouraged but not required.
More information and specific details can be found in the Guides For Applying to Graduate Schools section (below) for clinical opportunities available prior to graduate school.
Unlike undergraduate programs or some other graduate programs, students do not apply to the general clinical program. Rather, students must identify a research mentor with whom they would like to work. Consequently, acceptances in this program are usually largely based on students’ research interests. When accepting students, a faculty member usually makes offers to 1-2 students.
The key to determining your fit for a specific program is the research interest match that you have with a prospective faculty member. They also must be accepting a graduate student(s) for the cycle that you are applying for. Please refer to the lab websites of faculty members to determine your research fit.
Questions to ask yourself when considering faculty/lab fit:
- What are my research interests? How do they align with this faculty member?
- What specific topics do I want to work on? What skills do I want to develop?
- What type of lab culture am I looking for?
Applicants who are accepted for admission receive funding to visit campus prior to making their decision. Once you are admitted, we encourage you to contact your primary advisor for more details.
The Graduate School at the University of Maryland offers opportunities to get your PhD application fee waived.
Research Opportunities/ Clinical Training
The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program has a variety of Research Labs and Training Opportunities.
In addition to providing intervention and assessment services at our UMD Psychology Clinic, students typically complete a 1-2 day/week clinical externship at renowned clinical training sites in the greater Washington and Baltimore area, including:
- Children’s National Hospital
- Kennedy Krieger
- Georgetown MedStar
- Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
- UMD School of Medicine
- University of Maryland Treatment Program
- Baltimore VA
- DC VA
- Alvord, Baker, and Associates
For additional details regarding clinical training, requirements, and practica, please refer to the Clinical Program Handbook.
What do students do over the course of the program?
In general, students are usually based at the University of Maryland, College Park for five years, followed by a one-year clinical internship.
In Year 1, students generally take graduate courses and work on research projects
under their mentor.
In Year 2, students generally continue graduate courses, continue work on research projects, and begin clinical work in the in-house UMD Psychology Clinic. Most students defend their master’s thesis in their second or third year.
In Year 3, students generally finish their graduate courses, defend their master’s (if not defended in the second year), work on an independent research project (qualifying exam), continue research work under their mentor, and continue clinical work in the in-house UMD Psychology Clinic.
In Year 4, students generally finish their independent research project (qualifying exam; if not already finished), conduct clinical work in an external externship placement, plan for their dissertation, and continue research under their mentor. Students are encouraged to defend their thesis proposal before Year 5.
In Year 5, students generally conduct clinical work in an external externship placement, work on their dissertation, and apply to clinical internships. Students are encouraged to defend their dissertation prior to going on internship, otherwise, they incur tuition costs. Current tuition fees can be found here.
More information and specific details can be found in the Clinical Program Handbook.
Who to contact?
For inquiries regarding the doctoral program please contact: PsycPhD [at] umd.edu ()
For inquiries about treatment and assessment services please contact:PsycClinic [at] umd.edu ()
The UMD Psychology Clinic can be located at:
2114 Biology-Psychology Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Director: M. Colleen Byrne, Ph.D.
Phone: (301) 405-4808; Fax: (301) 405-0367
E-mail: PsycClinic [at] umd.edu ()
Our program also recommends the following resources to aid students in their application process:
Personal Statement Support Programs
Application Statement Feedback Program: a program where you can get anonymous feedback on your personal statements from reviewers with shared interests
Harvard’s Prospective Ph.D. & RA Event in Psychology (PPREP): a program to assist historically minoritized groups in STEM with their applications to graduate school, lab manager, and/or research assistant positions
Mentorship Programs and Communities
Project Short: connects you with current med/grad students for pro bono mentoring for both professional health and graduate school admissions
Next Gen Psych Scholars: virtual graduate student-led mentorship program for underrepresented (e.g., BIPOC, low-income, first-gen, LGBTQIA+) undergraduates and post-baccalaureates applicants to psychology Ph.D. programs
Psychinout: a global hub of programming and resources to break underrepresented aspiring psychologists into PhD programs. They provide mentorship opportunities through their PhD App Mentorship program. They also hold various “bootcamp” style events aimed at demystifying the PhD application process. Psychinout has an active slack channel where applicants can build a community and get advice from current PhD students and post-docs.
Guides For Applying To Graduate Schools
Guide to Clinical Psychology Applications, by The Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP)
A Field Guide to Applying to Graduate School: Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum by Jessica McCrory Calarco
“How to Write a Strong CV,” Association of Psychological Science
Example CV for clinical psychology applicants, University of Nebraska – Lincoln