Psychology: Clinical Psychology PhD

Major: Psychology
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 90.0 (PhD)
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 42.2799
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-3031; 19-3032; 19-3039

About the Program

The PhD program in Clinical Psychology program is a scientist-practitioner-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, clinical child psychology, and/or forensic psychology.

Additional Information

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 four to five 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.

Additional Information

For more 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 11-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 709Data Analysis in Psychology I3.0
PSY 710Data Analysis in Psychology II3.0
PSY 711Data Analysis in Psychology III3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology1.0-3.0
PSY 998Ph.D. Dissertation in Psychology6.0
Biological Bases of Behavior
PSY 630Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment3.0
Select the following or a relevant PSY elective:
PSY 530Neuroanatomy and Behavior3.0
Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behavior
PSY 812Cognitive Neuroscience3.0
Select one of the following:3.0
Cognitive Psychology
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 560Clinical Supervision and Consultation in Psychology *2.0-3.0
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 999Internship6.0
Advanced Professional Training Electives
Select at least five of the following:15.0
Neuropsychological Assessment
Forensic Assessment I
Forensic Assessment II
Child Psychopathology & Treatment
Mindfulness and Acceptance-based Treatments
Health Psychology
Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration
Behavioral Data Mining
Multilevel Regression
Neuroimaging & Physiology of Behavior
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 Credits90.0-93.0

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 (800 hours)
  • A neuropsychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • At least two years of research in an area related to clinical neuropsychology
  • Five courses from the following list: Neuroanatomy and Behavior, Neuropsychological Assessment, Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment, Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology of Rehabilitation

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 (800 hours)
  • 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 electives from the following list: Neuropsychological Assessment, Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration, Child Psychopathology and Treatment, Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Treatments, Multilevel Regression, Evidence-Based Psychotherapy, Substance Use, Advanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychology of Rehabilitation

Clinical Health Psychology

Clinical 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 clinical health psychology MAS aims to provide students with specialty training to prepare them for academic, clinical, and/or administrative positions where the primary focus is on medical and physical health problems.

In addition to the core curriculum:

  • One clinical health psychology practicum (800 hours) 
  • Clinical health psychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • At least two years of research in an area related to clinical health psychology
  • Required classes: Health Psychology, Evidence-Based Psychotherapy, Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment, Behavioral Stress Management
  • At least two electives from the following list:  Advanced Topics in Health Psychology, Advanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Treatments, Psychology of Rehabilitation, Substance Use, Weight and Eating Disorders

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. 

In addition to the core curriculum:

  • One pediatric, child or adolescent practicum (800 hours)
  • A Clinical Child Psychology-focused thesis and dissertation
  • At least two years of research in an area related to clinical child psychology
  • Required classes: Child Psychopathology and Treatment, Pediatric Psychology
  • At least two additional electives from the following list: Neuropsychological Case Analysis and Integration, Forensic Assessment I, Behavioral Analysis

Additional Information

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

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
PSY 5203.0PSY 5223.0PSY 5103.0VACATION
PSY 7093.0PSY 7103.0PSY 7113.0 
PSY 7223.0PSY 7213.0PSY 8203.0 
 9 9 9 0
Second Year
PSY 5153.0PSY 5243.0PSY 5503.0VACATION
PSY 898 (or PSY Elective)3.0PSY 898 (or PSY Elective)3.0PSY 898 (or PSY Elective)3.0 
PSY Elective3.0PSY Electives3.0PSY Elective3.0 
 9 9 9 0
Third Year
PSY 6303.0PSY 6203.0PSY 5163.0VACATION
PSY 898 or 998 (or PSY Elective)3.0PSY 898 or 998 (or PSY Elective)3.0PSY 5183.0 
PSY Elective3.0PSY Elective3.0PSY 5602.0-3.0 
  PSY 898 or 9981.0 
 9 9 9-10 0
Fourth Year
PSY 9986.0PSY 7123.0PSY 9986.0VACATION
PSY Elective3.0PSY 9986.0PSY Elective3.0 
 9 9 9 0
Fifth Year
PSY 9987.0PSY 9987.0PSY 9987.0 
PSY 9992.0PSY 9992.0PSY 9992.0 
 9 9 9 
Total Credits 135-136



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 email 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). 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) Director, PhD Program in Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Associate Professor. Cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, neural basis of language, memory, and executive functions, neurocognitive processes associated with problem solving and flexible thought
Brian Daly, PhD (Loyola University, Chicago) 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. 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). Associate 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.
Aaron Kucyi, PhD (York University). Assistant Professor. Brain networks, mental health, spontaneous thought, attention, experience sampling, fMRI, intracranial EEG.
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.
Stephanie Manasse, PhD (Drexel University) Director, MS and Accelerated BS/MS in Psychology Programs. Assistant Professor. Novel treatments for adolescents and adults with eating disorders, Momentary drivers of binge eating, Self-regulation, Ecological momentary assessment.
John Medaglia, PhD (The Pennsylvania State University). Associate 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). Associate 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.
Nancy Raitano Lee, PhD (University of Denver). Associate 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) Director, AJ Drexel Autism Institute. Professor. Autism screening, early detection of autism
Leeland Loew Rogers, PhD (University of Delaware). Assistant Teaching Professor. Incidental learning, statistical learning, attention.
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). 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.
Julia Sluzenski, PhD (Temple University). Associate Teaching Professor. Spatial and episodic memory, memory loss across the lifespan, developmental psychology.
Alexa Tompary, PhD (University of New York). Assistant Professor. Neural bases of episodic memory and conceptual knowledge, systems memory consolidation theories, functional neuroimaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Fengqing (Zoe) Zhang, PhD (Northwestern University). Associate 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.
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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