Department of Psychology

Program Overview

Clinic Counsel

The clinical program emphasizes research excellence, clinical competence, and intra- and interpersonal growth and maturity. A combination of required and elective academic, research, and clinical experiences provides a balance between breadth and depth of knowledge and training. Students have the opportunity to acquire general knowledge in core areas of psychology, as well as more specialized knowledge and skills in areas including psychological assessment, psychotherapy, clinical research design, and data analysis. The majority of courses are usually taken within the first two years, which makes the academic pace very rigorous for beginning graduate students.

In order to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students in the clinical program should expect to spend four years at the University of Toledo and one year on internship at another institution. Approval of transfer credit for previous graduate work is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and may shorten the time needed to complete the degree. The median number of years to complete the doctoral program in clinical psychology is 5 years.

As students progress through the program, they are expected to manage increasing portions of the learning process, becoming more independent as competencies increase. At all times, students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethically responsible manner in their academic, research, and clinical activities

Clinical Training

Training in clinical practice is an integral part of the program. The model of clinical training provided in the context of the UT Clinical Psychology program is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for further organized training.


In the first year, the clinical practicum and applied courses are devoted to the acquisition of clinical interviewing and psychological assessment skills, as well as a strong foundation in cognitive behavioral theory. First-year students, in the context of the Foundations in Clinical Practice courses, learn basic therapeutic communication skills and conduct intake interviews and initial assessments in the Psychology Clinic under the close supervision of Clinical Faculty. First-year clinical students are integrated into clinical practicum teams, which provide the opportunity to observe ongoing clinical practica cases.

The second year practicum courses emphasize psychotherapy, as students begin to conduct psychotherapy in the UT Psychology Clinic and continue performing assessments. Third and fourth year students continue to see clients in the Clinic in order to further develop diagnostic, assessment, and treatment skills. Practicum students in the fourth year may elect to engage in peer supervision with second- and third-year practicum students, or to provide supervised consultation to a party relevant to a specific case. When feasible, more advanced students are encouraged to choose Clinic training cases that are of particular interest to their developing clinical focus.

Each program student is required to participate in a minimum of one academic year’s training in an externship placement in the local community. In consultation with the mentor and DCT, and if consistent with the student’s training plan and goals, students may elect to be placed in an externship for additional years.

A sample of the community agencies in which students have recently been placed include the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, the Cullen Center - Toledo Children’s Hospital, Harbor Behavioral Health (Youth Services), the Toledo VA Community Outpatient Clinic, Mercy Health, the University of Toledo Counseling Center, the University of Toledo Medical Center - Psychiatry, UT Family Medicine – St. Luke’s Family Medical Center, and the Zepf Center. The list is revised on a yearly basis to maintain consistency with community training opportunities and student training goals and interests. 

In the fifth year, most students complete their training in full-time, American Psychological Association-accredited internships outside of the Toledo area. In all of their clinical work, students are expected to show respect for and an understanding of cultural and individual diversity.

Research Training

Research training occurs through a combination of coursework and practical experience. During the first year, coursework includes statistics and research methods. Practical research experience is also obtained through working with the faculty mentor on research projects, which may include being a member of a research team. These experiences also help prepare students to carry out their master's thesis, dissertation, and other individual and collaborative research projects.

Conference and empirical paper submissions. Each student is required to submit two first-authored poster or presentation abstracts to professional conferences by the end of their second year and one first-authored, peer-reviewed manuscript by the end of their 3rd program year.

Research mentorship. The clinical program endorses a flexible mentor model of clinical research training. This means that one criterion for acceptance into the program is that the student’s training goals and interests match those of one or more faculty members. The student then starts research training under that person's supervision and conducts research in their lab.

At the present time, faculty research interests can be broadly characterized as falling within the following areas:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and posttraumatic growth
  • Emotion- and self-regulation
  • Substance use
  • Borderline personality disorder, self-injury, and suicide
  • Positive psychology, empowerment, recovery, and resilience
  • Cognitive and personality assessment
  • Treatment development, process, and outcome
  • Social media and cyberpsychology
  • Community psychology 
Last Updated: 6/27/22