Programs in Psychology and Clinical Psychology

Major: Psychology
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS) or 91.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 42.0101
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-3031; 19-3032; 19-3039

About the Programs

The MS in Psychology program is designed for students interested in advanced education in scientific psychology in order to obtain further educational or career opportunities.

The PhD in Psychology with the specialization in Clinical Psychology program places equal emphasis on clinical research and the application of scientific principles.

The PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Cognitive and Brain Science program is designed for students who wish to pursue a research based career in human experimental psychology with a concentration in applied cognitive and brain science.

For more information, visit the Department of Psychology website.

Master of Science in Psychology

The master of science degree in the Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, is ideal for students interested in pursuing graduate education in scientific psychology and research methods.

The program is an opportunity for students to take their first step into graduate education, and to begin a path toward further educational and career opportunities. These opportunities may include further graduate-level training leading to a PhD, a career in research, or other educational and administrative opportunities. The curriculum is focused on training in a range of research experience in neurocognitive and behavioral sciences. In addition to required coursework, students are required to complete a minimum of eight hours per week with a research mentor in laboratory activities. These activities culminate with the successful completion of an empirical thesis.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must meet the general University requirements for admission, including a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the last two years of undergraduate study. Applicants to the graduate program in psychology are also required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general tests. Only applications for full-time status are considered.

Various factors are considered in choosing students. These include background in psychology, undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) GPA, GRE scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. The minimum expected combined GRE score is 302, with scores 150 on each section (verbal, quantitative) of the GRE.

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

Degree Requirements

The general requirements for earning the MS degree in psychology are as follows:

  • Completion of all required coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, with no grade lower than a B in any required (non-elective) course and no more than two course grades of C or lower.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 45.0 course credits. Students take required courses and select additional electives.
  • Successful completion of required research laboratory hours (8 hours per week for 2 years).
  • Completion of an empirical thesis.

For more information on specific requirements, consult the Master's of Science in Psychology website.

PSY 510Research Methods I3.0
PSY 511Research Methods II3.0
PSY 512Cognitive Psychology3.0
PSY 610Data Analysis in Psychology3.0
PSY 624Behavior Analysis3.0
PSY 710Data Analysis II3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
Additional Electives18.0
Total Credits45.0

PhD in Psychology: Clinical Psychology

The Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology program is a scientist-practioner-oriented program that is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). 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. See the Clinical Psychology Program's website for more information.

Requirements for Admission

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.


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.

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.

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

Taken for 1 credit in Fall and 2 credits in Spring.

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.

PhD in Psychology: Applied Cognitive and Brain Science (ACBS)

The Department of Psychology's program in Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences (ACBS) program is  a research-oriented, non-cliniqql program in experimental psychology and/or cognitive neuroscience. The program places equal emphasis on basic research and the application of scientific principles. Please visit the ACBS website more information.


Drexel University is seeking applicants with a strong academic record, as evidenced by their GRE scores (a quantitative plus verbal sum of 1250 or greater is desirable), strength of undergraduate institution and GPA (3.5 or greater is preferred). In addition, applicants should have outstanding letters of recommendation (from doctoral-level academic, research oriented psychologists, if possible), high-quality research experience, and include a statement of purpose that convinces Drexel that a potential student is an excellent “match” for one or more of our research groups.

For more details on how to apply to this program, please visit the Graduate Admissions Psychology page.


The PhD program curriculum requires student to earn a minimum of 90.0 credits. Students completing the concentration in Applied Cognitive and Brain Science take all or most of their core courses within the first two years. The third and fourth years, following the receipt of the master’s degree, successful passing of the qualifying examinations, and advancement to doctoral candidacy, will be spent in enrichment or specialization courses negotiated with their research supervisor and in research activities.

The following section outlines the courses required for graduation for entering Bachelor's-level students. 

First Year
BMES 510Biomedical Statistics4.0
PSY 512Cognitive Psychology3.0
PSY 530Neuroanatomy and Behavior3.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology1.0
 Term Credits11.0
BMES 515Experimental Design in Biomedical Research4.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology1.0
PSY 812Cognitive Neuroscience3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
 Term Credits11.0
BMES 518Interpretation of Biomedical Data3.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology1.0
PSY 614Problem Solving & Creativity3.0
PSY 8653.0
 Term Credits10.0
Second Year
For the second year and beyond the student’s academic schedule will be determined jointly by the student and their primary mentor/advisor. Pre and Post Master’s coursework will be partly shaped to suit the student’s goals and may be drawn from the following list of courses. (Additional courses may be added as appropriate and with the approval of the program director.) 
 Term Credits0.0
Total Credit: 32.0


Sample Electives
Research Methods I
Research Methods II
Developmental Psychology
Social Cognition
Data Analysis in Psychology
Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction Design
Motivation and Emotion
Empirical Unconscious Process
Theories of Personality
Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment
Sensory and Motor Systems
Forensic Assessment I
Forensic Assessment II
Data Analysis II
Data Analysis III: Advanced Topics
History and Systems
Health Psychology
Criminal Law and Psychology
Neuropsychological Evaluation and Intervention of Children and Adolescents
Cognitive Neuroscience
Advanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Master's Thesis in Psychology
Ph.D. Dissertation in Psychology
Enrichment Courses from other Disciplines
Computer Science
CS 510Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3.0
CS 530Developing User Interfaces3.0
CS 610Advanced Artificial Intelligence3.0
Information Systems
INFO 608Human-Computer Interaction3.0
INFO 610Analysis of Interactive Systems3.0
INFO 611Design of Interactive Systems3.0
Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
BMES 531Chronobioengineering I3.0
BMES 532Chronobioengineering II3.0
BMES 551Biomedical Signal Processing3.0
BMES 710Neural Signals3.0

For more information on the PhD program requirements, consult Department of Psychology's web site.

For more information on the PhD program requirements, consult Department of Psychology's web site. 


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 Center City Hahnemann Campus library, 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.

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