Psychology: Clinical Psychology PhD

Major: Psychology
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours:  93.0 (PhD)
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 42.0101
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-3031; 19-3032; 19-3039

About the Program

The PhD program in Clinical Psychology program is a scientist-practioner-oriented program that is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The program places equal emphasis on clinical research and the application of scientific principles. It encompasses five years of full-time study and provides graduate students with a strong foundation in relevant psychological theory, experience in the practice of psychological assessment and intervention, experience in conducting meaningful clinical research, and opportunities to develop teaching competencies.

The program in Clinical Psychology curriculum follows the scientist-practitioner model and APA guidelines on accreditation of doctoral clinical psychology programs. It also considers state licensing guidelines and various publications that have been written on the topic of doctoral education, training, and credentialing in clinical psychology, as well as the specialty areas of Clinical Neuropsychology, Clinical Health Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology, Clinical Child Psychology and/or Forensic Psychology.

See the Clinical Psychology Program's website for more information.

Admission Requirements

All students are admitted with the expectation that they intend to complete the PhD degree. However, before advancing to doctoral-level studies, students must earn the MS, including completion of a master’s thesis. Admitted students who hold a bachelor’s degree are expected to complete both the master’s degree and post-master’s portions of the Drexel curriculum. Applicants who already hold a master’s from another university may be admitted with post-master’s status if their graduate-level preparation is deemed equivalent to the master’s portion of the Drexel curriculum.

Requirements for Students Enrolling with a Bachelor’s Degree

For those entering with a bachelor’s degree, the PhD program requires approximately five years to complete. The first two years of training correspond to the master’s-level studies: focusing on clinical areas such as entry-level assessment and intervention skills, psychopathology, and specialized study in Clinical Neuropsychology, Clinical Health psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology, Clinical Child Psychology and/or Forensic Psychology. These two years also include a major focus on research skills, involving statistics, research design, and supervised research experience with the mentor. Entry-level assessment, intervention, and teaching skills are also developed.

By the end of the first two years of study, students should have completed 45.0 credits of coursework, maintained a GPA of at least 3.5, developed and defended a thesis, passed comprehensive examinations and completed practicum experience, both internally (Psychological Service Center) and external clinical practicum experiences. Students demonstrating satisfactory performance in these areas will be admitted to post-master’s status.

Requirements for Students Who Already Hold a Master’s Degree

Students entering with a master’s degree from another university complete the PhD requirements in 4-5 years. The master’s degree should have included an experimental thesis. Students lacking this prerequisite will still be considered for admission, but such students will be required to complete a research project equivalent to the Drexel master’s thesis. In addition, students must demonstrate a GPA of at least 3.5 in master’s-level courses in order to be accepted for post-master’s status.

For additional information on how to apply, visit Drexel's Admissions Requirements for Psychology page.

Degree Requirements

The following section outlines the courses required for graduation for entering Bachelor's-level students. The PhD program curriculum requires the student to earn a minimum of 90.0 credits. Typically, students enroll in 27.0 credits during the first year, 22.0 credits during the second and third years, 12.0 credits in the fourth year, and 8.0 credits during the fifth/final internship year. Drexel University operates on a calendar of four eleven-week terms. Students in the program do not take courses during summer term in order to complete research projects and continue clinical practicum training.

All coursework can be divided into two major components: (1) foundations of psychology, which is the evolving body of knowledge in the discipline of psychology, and (2) clinical and professional training, which focuses on the application of theory and empirical research to the practice of psychology. Listed below are all required and elective courses offered within the Drexel psychology curriculum followed by specific requirements for each major area of study. Credit levels listed are set at the minimum required.

Program Requirements

Required Courses
Foundations of Psychology
PSY 516Developmental Psychology3.0
PSY 712History and Systems3.0
Statistics/Research Methods
PSY 510Research Methods I3.0
PSY 610Data Analysis in Psychology3.0
PSY 710Data Analysis II3.0
PSY 711Data Analysis III: Advanced Topics3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
PSY 998Ph.D. Dissertation in Psychology4.0
Biological Bases of Behavior
PSY 630Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment3.0
Select one of the following:3.0
Neuroanatomy and Behavior
Special Topics in Psychology
Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behavior
PSY 812Cognitive Neuroscience3.0
Select one of the following:3.0
Cognitive Psychology
Problem Solving & Creativity
Motivation and Emotion
Social Bases of Behavior
PSY 518Social Psychology3.0
PSY 550Multicultural Perspectives in Psychology3.0
Clinical and Professional Training General Foundations of Practice
PSY 520Psychopathology3.0
PSY 524Professional Issues and Ethics3.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology *3.0
Foundations of Psychological Evaluation/Measurement
PSY 515Clinical Case Conceptualization3.0
PSY 522Psychological and Intellectual Assessment3.0
PSY 620Personality Assessment3.0
Foundations of Intervention
PSY 721Principles of Psychotherapy3.0
PSY 722Theories of Intervention3.0
PSY 820Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy3.0
PSY 897Clinical Psychology Practicum Seminar3.0
PSY 899Practicum1.0
PSY 999Internship4.0
Advanced Professional Training Electives
Select five of the following:15.0
Neuropsychological Assessment
Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration
Neuropsychological Assessment of Children and Adolescents
Forensic Assessment I
Forensic Assessment II
Child Psychopathology & Treatment
Health Psychology
Criminal Law and Psychology
Social Science Applications to the Law
Multilevel Regression
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy
Pediatric Psychology
Substance Use
Behavioral Stress Management
Weight and Eating Disorders
Advanced Topics in Health Psychology
Advanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Psychology of Rehabilitation
Special Topics in Psychology
Total Credits93.0

Major Areas of Study

Clinical Neuropsychology
The clinical neuropsychology concentration includes courses, research, and clinical experiences designed to train the students for professional practice in neuropsychology. Clinical neuropsychology involves the application of psychological assessment and intervention to the problems encountered by people with brain injury or illness. The knowledge of brain-behavior functioning and the incorporation of neuropsychological conceptualizations with traditional clinical conceptualizations of functioning are aimed at providing the student with a wider perspective regarding the range of human functioning and disability. The student is able to pursue specific interests in geriatrics, pediatrics, traumatic brain injury, and rehabilitation.

In addition to the core curriculum:

  • One neuropsychology practicum
  • A neuropsychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • Required classes: Neuroanatomy and Behavior, Neuropsychological Assessment, Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration
  • At least two neuropsychology electives: Learning and Memory, Rehabilitation, Psychology, Principles of Neuroscience, Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment and Intervention: Children and Adolescents, Nuropsychologioy and Brain Imaging

Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology involves the application of assessment and intervention techniques to informing legal decision-makers and attorneys on questions in criminal, civil, and family law. Those who concentrate in forensic psychology will be trained in relevant law, behavioral science research, and assessment and intervention approaches with a particular focus on juvenile and criminal issues.

In addition to the core curriculum:

  • One forensic psychology practicum 
  • A forensic psychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • At least two years of research in an area related to forensic psychology
  • Required classes: Forensic Assessment I and II, Mental Health Law
  • At least two forensic psychology electives.

Clinical Health Psychology
Health psychology adopts a broad-based, biopsychosocial perspective in order to: (1) better understand the interplay among behavioral, emotional, cognitive, social, and biological factors regarding health, wellness, and physical disease; (2) promote and maintain wellness and positive physical health; (3) prevent, treat, and rehabilitate illness and disability, and (4) improve the health care delivery system. The health psychology concentration aims to provide specialty training in order to prepare graduate students for academic and/or clinical positions where the primary focus is on physical health problems.

In addition to the core curriculum:

  • One health psychology practicum 
  • A health psychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • Required classes:  Health Psychology, Evidence-Based Assessment and Psychotherapy, Behavioral Stress Management
  • At least three Health Psychology electives

Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) represents a broad family of psychological interventions that are grounded in scientific theories and principles derived from psychology and related disciplines, and that stress the empirical validation of intervention methods. Various theories, principles, models, and techniques fall under the general rubric of CBT, and these approaches have been applied to the full range of human experience, from the assessment and treatment of severe psychopathology and profound developmental delays to primary prevention efforts to enhancing peak performance among athletes.

Common features of the various CBT approaches include a focus primarily on the present rather than the past, an emphasis on parsimony in theoretical explanations, grounding in learning principles (including principles related to how we interpret the world and/or how we related to our own experience), and the emphasis on epistemological empiricism. The aim of this major area of study is to provide pre-specialty training in order to prepare graduate students for academic and/or clinical positions in which CBT is a primary focus.

Additional  requirements beyond the core curriculum include:

  • One Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology-oriented practicum 
  • A Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology--focused thesis and/or dissertation
  • Required classes: Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Evidence Based Assessment and Treatment, Acceptance Based Behavioral Therapy
  • At least two Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology electives

Clinical Child Psychology

The clinical child psychology major area of study is designed for students who have strong clinical and/or research interests in working with children and adolescents. Students in this major area of study will complete the required courses taken by all clinical psychology students and will also enroll in child-related elective courses designed to help them develop a greater degree of expertise in working with child and adolescent populations. It is expected that students completing this specialization will develop an appreciation of the research literature in the clinical child area and will possess specialty skills that enable them to function as competent practitioners in the child/ adolescent area upon graduation. 

Additional requirements beyond the core curriculum include:

  • One Clinical Child Psychology oriented practicum 
  • A Clinical Child Psychology focused thesis and/or dissertation
  • Required classes: Child Psychopathology, Pediatric Psychology, Neuropsychological Evaluation and Intervention of Children and Adolescents
  • At least two Clinical Child Psychology electives

For more information on the PhD program requirements, contact the Clinical Psychology PhD Program.



Computer resources for student use include more than 20 personal computers (IBM, Macintosh) available in the library and 10 IBM PCs available in the computer laboratory. Both facilities are near the department. In both locations, word processing and biostatistics software is available.

By using computers from their homes or in the library, students have free access to e-mail and a wide array of online services (e.g., the Internet, World Wide Web, and literature databases such as PsychLit and Medline).


Psychology books and journals are located at the Moore Campus Library on Henry Avenue, Queen Lane Library on the Queen Lane Campus, and the W. W. Hagerty Library on the University City Campus. The combined holdings represent one of the best psychology libraries on the East Coast.


Testing equipment for classroom instruction is available to psychology graduate students. The program also has videotape and audiotape equipment available for classroom instruction and research activities.

Psychology Faculty

Meghan Butryn, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Research Professor. Treatment and prevention of obesity and eating disorders, behavioral treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy.
Dorothy Charbonnier, PhD (State University of New York at Stony Brook). Associate Teaching Professor. The nature of the creative process and writing.
Evangelia Chrysikou, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, neural basis of language, memory, and executive functions, neurocognitive processes associated with problem solving and flexible thought
Douglas L. Chute, PhD (University of Missouri) Louis and Bessie Stein Fellow. Professor. Neuropsychology and rehabilitation; technological applications for the cognitively compromised and those with acquired brain injuries.
Brian Daly, PhD (Loyola University, Chicago) Interim Department Head. Associate Professor. Pediatric neuropsychology, intervention with at-risk youth.
David DeMatteo, PhD, JD (MCP Hahnemann University; Villanova University School of Law) Director of the JD-PhD Program in Law and Psychology. Associate Professor. Psychopathy, forensic mental health assessment, drug policy; offender diversion.
Evan M. Forman, PhD (University of Rochester) Director WELL Center. Professor. Clinical psychology: mechanisms and measurement of psychotherapy outcome, cognitive-behavioral and acceptance based psychotherapies, the development and evaluation of acceptance-based interventions for health behavior change (for problems of obesity and cardiac disease) as well as mood and anxiety disorders; neurocognition of eating.
Pamela Geller, PhD (Kent State University) Director, Clinical Training. Associate Professor. Stressful life events and physical and mental health outcomes, particularly in the area of women's reproductive health (e.g. pregnancy, pregnancy loss, infertility, medical education).
Maureen Gibney, PsyD (Widener University). Teaching Professor. Clinical psychopathology; neuropsychological evaluation and intervention with the elderly.
Naomi Goldstein, PhD (University of Massachusetts) Co-Director of the JD-PhD Program; Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow. Professor. Forensic psychology; juvenile justice; Miranda rights comprehension; false confessions; juvenile justice treatment outcome research; anger management intervention development; child and adolescent behavior problems.
Kirk Heilbrun, PhD (University of Texas at Austin). Professor. Forensic psychology, juvenile and adult criminality, violence risk assessment, forensic psychological assessment, treatment of mentally disordered offenders, academic-sports mentoring.
Adrienne Juarascio, PhD (Drexel University) Director, Practicum Training. Assistant Professor. Enhancing treatment outcomes for eating disorders and obesity; Acceptance-based behavioral treatments; Evaluating mechanisms of action in behavioral treatments
Marlin Killen, PhD (Trident University International). Teaching Professor. Authentic teaching methods in Psychology as well as student persistence behavior.
John Kounios, PhD (University of Michigan) Director, PhD Program in Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Professor. Cognitive neuroscience, especially creativity, problem solving, and cognitive enhancement.
David Kutzik, PhD (Temple University). Professor. Social and cultural theory, political economy, gerontology, materialisms, activity theory, reflection theories, communities of practice and labor theories of culture.
Michael Lowe, PhD (Boston College). Professor. Prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity; effects of appetitive responsiveness and dietary restraint on eating regulation; psychobiology of obesity-proneness; empirical foundations of unconscious processes.
John Medaglia, PhD (The Pennsylvania State University). Assistant Professor. Applying models and methods developed in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience and graph theory to understand and treat brain dysfunction and enhance healthy functioning
Megan Meyer, PhD (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Influences on preferred body type; changes in body image, self-esteem, and self-efficacy in females as a function of strength training; Sensation and Perception
Danette Morrison, PhD (University of Maryland - College Park). Assistant Teaching Professor. Social and academic motivation within school context; Social relationships and identity development; Educational attainment of ethnic minorities
Arthur Nezu, PhD, DHLL, ABPP (State University of New York at Stony Brook). Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Community Health and Prevention. Behavioral medicine applications of problem-solving therapy and other cognitive-behavior therapies (e.g., to decrease emotional and psychosocial risk factors; improve adherence), particularly with regard to patients with cardiovascular disease; assessment.
Christine Maguth Nezu, PhD (Fairleigh Dickinson University). Professor of Psychology, Professor of Medicine. Cognitive-behavioral assessment and treatment for mood, anxiety, personality disorders, and coping with chronic illness; mind/body studies; stress and coping; developmental disabilities and comorbid behavioral and emotional disorders; spirituality and psychology.
Karol Osipowicz, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University). Assistant Teaching Professor. The application of advanced neuroimaging to the study of human brain function and anatomy.
Nancy Raitano Lee, PhD (University of Denver) Director of MS and BS/MS Programs. Assistant Professor. Neuropsychological and neuroanatomic correlates of intellectual and developmental disabilities; Verbal memory and language difficulties in Down syndrome and other genetic disorders; Comorbid autism spectrum disorder symptoms in youth with genetic disorders; Neuroanatomic correlates of individual differences in typical and atypical cognition
Diana Robins, PhD (University of Connecticut) Interim Director, AJ Drexel Autism Institute. Professor. Autism screening, early detection of autism
Ludo Scheffer, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Director of Undergraduate Studies. Teaching Professor. Meta-cognitive development, writing, and computers; Language and literacy development in the early years in the context of family and schooling; Youth-at-risk; School violence and bullying; Program/intervention effectiveness
Maria Schultheis, PhD (Drexel University) Interim Dean College of Arts and Sciences. Professor. Clinical Neuropsychology and rehabilitation following neurological compromise (brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis), application of technologies in psychology. Specialization in the use of virtual reality (VR) simulation, and evaluation of the demands of driving after disability.
Jennifer Schwartz, PhD (Idaho State University) Director of Psychological Services Center. Associate Teaching Professor. Adult psychopathology; evidence-based clinical practice; competency-based training; competency-based clinical supervision.
Julia Sluzenski, PhD (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Spatial and episodic memory, memory loss across the lifespan, developmental psychology.
J. Michael Williams, PhD (University of Vermont). Associate Professor. Memory disorder; traumatic brain injury; auditory neglect; neuropsychological assessment; recovery and rehabilitation of brain function; functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Fengqing (Zoe) Zhang, PhD (Northwestern University). Assistant Professor. Neuroimaging data analysis; Data mining; Bayesian inference; High dimensional data analysis
Eric A Zillmer, PsyD (Florida Institute of Technology) Carl R. Pacifico Professor of Neuropsychology and the Director of Athletics. Professor. Psychological assessment (neuropsychological, cognitive, personality), psychiatric and neurological disorders, behavioral medicine, neurogerontology, mathematical modeling, sports psychology, psychology of genocide.

Emeritus Faculty

Donald Bersoff, JD, PhD (Yale University, New York University). Professor Emeritus. Law and psychology; mental health law.
James Calkins, PhD. Professor Emeritus.
Thomas Hewett, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Professor Emeritus. Human computer interaction and cognitive engineering; development of computing environments to support knowledge, workers, and high performance experts.
Myrna Shure, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Child development, problem-solving interventions with children, prevention programs.
Mary Spiers, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham). Professor Emeritus. Clinical neuropsychology and medical psychology; memory and practical applications for memory disorders in the elderly; cognitive health of women.
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