Psychology is the scientific study of behavior, consisting of the following major areas of study: experimental psychology, biopsychology, animal behavior, developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, personality, industrial/organizational psychology and abnormal psychology.
The Psychology department offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology that is earned en route to the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree in Clinical Health Psychology. Our program trains students within the context of the scientist-practitioner model. That is, we value an integrated approach to both the science and practice of clinical psychology. Our training emphasizes the contribution of research to the understanding, treatment and prevention of human problems, and the application of knowledge that is grounded in scientific evidence.
Clinical health psychology focuses on the interaction between psychological, physiological, and environmental factors as they influence health and well-being. This emphasis includes focus on:
- the development of effective disease prevention behavioral interventions for individuals and populations at high risk for medical problems; and
- the development of strategies to help individuals who are already ill to manage their disease and to increase their ability to collaborate with medical professionals and improve their coping skills.
A clinical health psychologist combines expertise in research on health psychology with training in clinical psychology. Students in this program are trained to work within the community to use clinical psychological skills and techniques to diagnose and treat mental health conditions, promote health and prevent illness, apply behavioral interventions in the treatment of illness, and improve the health care system. In addition to course work, students acquire expertise in research by completing both a master's thesis and doctoral dissertation. They demonstrate competence in clinical assessment and intervention through several applied practicum experiences, successful passage of the Comprehensive Clinical Competency Examination and successfully completing a pre-doctoral psychology internship. Students can complete the program in five years and have up to eight years to complete the program according to Graduate School Policies and Procedures.