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What is Clinical Psychological Science?

Clinical Psychological Science is the study of clinical psychology with an emphasis on scientific rigor and empirically supported approaches to assessment and treatment.  Clinical psychological scientists play an important role in every aspect of psychology, from teaching and research to developing policy and providing therapy.

Clinical psychology researchers have made important advancements in the development of psychosocial interventions that are effective in treating a range of disorders.  However, these empirically supported interventions are often not available in the community because providers frequently have limited training in the use of these interventions or they lack adequate scientific training to appreciate the importance of making evidence-based decisions in conducting assessment and in selecting treatments that work.  A related concern is that educators, policy makers, research support staff and other professionals working in areas related to mental health often lack training in the latest findings concerning the causes of clinical disorders, their effective intervention, and the broader skill of critical thinking in evaluating the research literature.  Clinical psychological science is a training perspective that emphasizes the role of science in understanding and treating clinical disorders.  The MPS in Clinical Psychological Science at the University of Maryland is the nation’s first masters-level training program that adopts a clinical science perspective.  This MPS program seeks to provide high-quality graduate training that will benefit individuals in a range of professional settings where understanding the causes and treatments of psychopathology from an informed scientific perspective will be of use.

What can I expect to gain from this degree?

The goal of the program is to provide students with both a broad understanding of psychological principles and focused training in the science of clinical psychology.  This program emphasizes contemporary theories of clinical disorders and empirically supported interventions for the treatment of these disorders.  This degree will prepare students for a range of careers in mental health and related areas (including research and education) and can serve as academic preparation for those interested in pursuing further doctoral training in clinical or counseling psychology.

Upon completion of this program, all students will be able to:

  •  Critically evaluate existing psychological research and data
  •  Understand how to competently design and carryout research
  •  Think critically about current issues in clinical psychology
  •  Communicate complex psychological topics to wider   audiences
  •  Understand current causal models that seek to explain how clinical disorders develop
  •  Know the available empirically-supported psychological interventions used to treat clinical disorders

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