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Clinical Requirements


MISSION OF PROGRAM

The mission of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Stony Brook University (SBU) is to train clinical scientists who are skilled researchers and clinicians and who can advance the science of psychology by assuming active roles in academic and research settings. The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).

OVERVIEW OF CURRENT PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:

To receive a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from SBU you must:

  1. Complete a series of required courses and demonstrate your academic competence across the field of psychology.
  2. Satisfy a series of requirements in research and scholarship, culminating in the doctoral dissertation.
  3. Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 160 hours of direct supervised contact with clients.
  4. Complete one full year of approved internship.
  5. Adhere to the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association as if you were a professional psychologist.
  6. Satisfy any additional general requirements set forth as degree requirements for the Psychology Department as a whole.

SEQUENCE OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The required course sequence outlined below is designed to meet APA guidelines. Although students are not required to meet New York State's licensure requirements, most requirements can be met with careful course selection.

Students must  pass all courses with a B- or better, and must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0

First Year

Fall Semester: Total 12 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

501

Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design

1

508

Introduction to Computer Application and Statistics

2

534

Assessment: General Principles, Clinical Interviews, and Adult Psychology

2

545

Psychopathology: Conceptual Models and Internalizing Disorders

3

537

Methods of Intervention: Treatment of Internalizing Disorders

1

698

Research

0

504

First Year Lectures

 

Spring Semester: Total 14 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

502

Correlation and Regression

1

508

Introduction to Computer Applications

2

602

Assessment: Personality Testing, Intellectual/Cognitive Testing, and Child Parent Assessment

2

596

Psychopathology: Externalizing and Psychotic Disorders

3

538

Methods of Intervention: Treatment of Externalizing Disorders and Relationship Problems

2

603

Ethics and Professional Issues

1

698

Research

0

620

Human Diversity Issues in Psychology

Second Year

Fall Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

-

Multivariate Methods (either 505 or the equivalent)

2

604

Intervention Practicum

3

606

Supervised Practice (Use Supervisor’s Number)

1

698

Research

 

Spring Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

2

605

Advanced Clinical Practicum

3

606

Supervised Practice (Use Supervisor’s Number)

3

-

Breadth Course I

1

698

Research

Third Year

  Fall Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

606

Supervised Practice

3

-

Breadth Course 2

3

-

Breadth Course 3 (Can be taken in Spring)

0-3

698

Research

 

Spring Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

606

Supervised Practice

3-6

698

Research (Credits registered for will depend on whether a breadth course is taken this semester)

3

-

Breadth Course 4 (Can be taken in the fourth year; Note: one of the breadth courses must be PSY 510 History and Systems in Psychology)

Fourth and Fifth Years

  Fall Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

606

Supervised Practice (optional)

6

699

Research

 

Spring Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

3

606

Supervised Practice (optional)

6

699

Research  

Internship Year

  Fall Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

1

608

Internship

8

700

Dissertation Off Campus

 

Spring Semester: Total 9 Credits  

Credits

Course Number

Title

1

608

Internship

8

700

Dissertation Off Campus

 

Note. Students must register for research credits in the semester prior to graduation.

 

  Summers:

Students are not required to take courses during the summer.  However, most students remain in residence doing research and seeing clients. If you wish to use the student health services in the summer, you will need to register for 0 credits. See the Graduate Coordinator for details.  

REQUIRED RESEARCH AND SCHOLARLY ACHIEVEMENTS (prior to the dissertation):

Second Year Project

The second year project involves designing, conducting, and writing up an empirical study which is approved by the student’s 2nd year project committee. The committee consists of two members: the research advisor and one other faculty member with a full, research, joint, or adjunct appointment in the Department who is chosen by the student after consulting with the research advisor. At least one member of the committee must be from the core clinical faculty. Any joint or adjunct faculty member must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training (DCT). Students are advised to discuss the project with both committee members as early in the development of the project as possible and to confirm in writing all understandings reached. These discussions should include the substance of the project as well as the expectations of the committee members regarding a proposal (a formal proposal is not required by the program, but may be required by the committee). Upon completion of the project, the student will submit a manuscript in APA format to the committee for its approval. Approval forms may be obtained from, and must be returned to, the Psychology Graduate office. A l0-15 minute oral presentation of the 2nd year project to the clinical faculty and students is required at the end of the spring semester of the second year. Arrangements for the 2nd year project presentations are made by the DCT.

Specialty Paper

The specialty paper is conducted in the third year of the program. Its goals are to: foster breadth of scholarship; foster continued development of independent research skills; foster manuscript development for publication; and evaluate overall readiness to advance to candidacy.

The specialty paper can take multiple forms, including a review article, a meta-analysis, an empirical paper, or a grant proposal (e.g., NRSA). Other forms are possible, should be designed in collaboration with the students’ research mentor, and must be approved by the clinical area faculty. The decision about which option to choose to fulfill the specialty paper requirement should be made in collaboration with the faculty mentor and based on what will be most useful to the student’s professional development. The mentor is expected to play an active role in helping the student choose a topic area and select a target journal for eventual submission of the paper, and in reading and commenting on drafts of the paper. The specialty paper must be proposed and defended to a committee consisting of the mentor, a core or research clinical faculty member (other than the mentor) and one voting member of the department who is not in the clinical area. (A voting member is someone with a primary appointment in the psychology department, not someone with joint or adjunct status). Committee members are selected by the student. The proposal of the specialty paper must be approved by the committee and it is the student’s and committee’s choice as to whether they meet as a group to facilitate this process. Once complete, the specialty paper must be defended during a 1-hour oral defense conducted by the committee. During the oral defense, the committee will question the student about the paper and related topics. The questions will generally be broad, and require the student to place the topic and findings in a broader context, discuss the topic from alternative theoretical perspectives, and comment on the implications of the findings for the broader field. The student’s performance must be evaluated as satisfactory by the specialty committee members. Specialty paper committee approval and completion forms must be obtained from, and submitted to, the Psychology Graduate Office. The committee must be approved by the Graduate Office and the Graduate School prior to the specialties defense. The clinical faculty, at its discretion, may allow a student who fails to satisfactorily complete the written and/or the oral portion of the Specialty paper the opportunity to resubmit the written paper and/or retake the oral defense.

Supervised Direct Instruction (SDI)

The Department requires that all graduate students complete two semesters of Supervised Direct Instruction (SDI), which involves taking responsibility for preparing and teaching several classes of an undergraduate or graduate course under the supervision of the course instructor. One of the SDIs must include PSY 310 Research Methods.

Students who have completed at least one SDI and taken the departmental seminar in Teaching generally have the opportunity to teach their own undergraduate course if they desire.

REQUIRED CLINICAL TRAINING (prior to the internship)

Supervised Practice

You are required to have a minimum of 160 hours of supervised practice (direct contact with clients); you are encouraged to exceed this minimum, as many internship sites are looking for 200 or more hours. All students are expected to have a minimum of 80 contact hours at the Krasner Psychological Center (KPC) during their second year, and a minimum of 60 contact hours at the KPC during the third year. A maximum of 20 hours from externship sites may be approved by the DCT. You are advised not to undertake any psychological practice (including therapy, testing, or interviewing), paid or non-paid, unless you are supervised by a qualified supervisor and have notified and received an approval from your advisor and the DCT in advance.

INTERNSHIP:

Internship is typically taken in the 6th year, although some students do so in their 5th year. Although the program has a very high match rate and, to date, all students have obtained an internship, the program cannot guarantee that all students will successfully match for an internship. Students who do not match will be assisted by the DCT and their advisor in finding a suitable alternative for the non-matched year. Every effort will be made to limit the financial burdens during the unmatched year and to develop a specific plan to assist students who go unmatched with educational, mentorship and training opportunities during the subsequent training year.

ADDITIONAL CLINICAL TRAINING: 

Externships

Stony Brook’s clinical psychology program does not require an externship. Nonetheless, over the past five years or more, the majority of our graduate students have taken externships. There are good reasons some students want externships, like a desire to have experience with certain populations not seen in our KPC  or wanting different kinds of supervision than offered in the KPC. If you do seek an externship, you must follow the specific guidelines outlined in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Handbook which you may obtain from the DCT.

POLICY ON WORKING WITH DIVERSE STUDENTS:

We are committed to a training process that ensures that graduate students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with members of the public who embody intersecting demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and values. When graduate students’ attitudes, beliefs, or values create tensions that negatively impact the training process or their ability to effectively treat members of the public, the program faculty and supervisors are committed to a developmental training approach that is designed to support the acquisition of professional competence. We support graduate students in finding a belief- or value-congruent path that allows them to work in a professionally competent manner with all clients/patients. 

 For some trainees, integrating personal beliefs or values with professional competence in working with all clients/patients may require additional time and faculty support. Ultimately though, to complete our program successfully, all graduate students must be able to work with any client placed in their care in a beneficial and noninjurioius manner. Professional competencies are determined by the profession for the benefit and protection of the public; consequently, students do not have the option to avoid working with particular client populations or refuse to develop professional competencies because of conflicts with their attitudes, beliefs, or values.

ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY:

All students are expected to be advanced to candidacy by the beginning of their 4 th year. Students will be advanced as soon as they have completed the following requirements: (1) the second year project (including oral presentation to the entire clinical area); (2) the specialty examination; (3) all departmental and area course requirements; and (4) at least 160 hours of supervised practice.  Students who have met all these requirements must apply to the DCT for advancement to candidacy. Being advanced to candidacy is required for forming a dissertation committee and for filing applications for an internship. In addition, you must have been advanced to candidacy for one year prior to graduation.   

COMPLETION TIME:

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including dissertation, must be completed within 7 years after completing 24 graduate credits in the Department. Students must remain continuously registered for fall and spring semesters until the Ph.D. is granted or they are considered by the Graduate School to have left the university and must formally be readmitted, which requires, among other things, approval of the clinical faculty.

MINIMAL LEVELS OF ACCEPTABLE ACHIEVEMENT:

To advance through and graduate from the program, students must: (1) pass each of the two statistics courses, three core courses, and the clinical courses with a B- or better; (2) maintain an overall average of 3.0; (3) receive satisfactory clinical evaluations; (4) receive passing evaluations on the three required research projects; (5) successfully complete SDI requirements with positive evaluations.

RETENTION AND TERMINATION POLICIES:

Students who fail to meet the minimal levels of acceptable achievement listed above will be terminated from the program. However, it is the goal of the faculty to provide students with the necessary guidance and resources for success. You and your faculty mentor will monitor your progress. Your progress also will be monitored by the clinical faculty members at student evaluation meetings held at the end of each semester. Should concern arise about your progress and/or ability to meet minimal levels of acceptable achievement, you will be provided with direct verbal and written feedback and you will meet with your advisor and/or the DCT to discuss concerns. The goal will be to identify the road-blocks to success and to develop plans for remediation and ongoing guidance. Your progress will continue to be monitored to evaluate the success of corrective actions in addressing the concerns. The faculty is invested in your success and will work with you towards that end.

STUDENT PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, FEEDBACK, AND ADVISING:

The clinical faculty strives to be accessible to students, provide guidance and supervision that encourages timely completion of the program, and serve as role models who promote students acquisition of relevant knowledge, skills, and competencies. The faculty holds the clinical students in high regard, and we see it as our responsibility to facilitate a successful graduate experience. The program employs a mentorship model, in which faculty meet regularly with, and closely monitor, their students from the point they enter the program. The faculty mentor serves as both the student’s research and academic advisor to provide a coherent training experience that takes into account the goals of the program and the student and allows for a well-designed, programmatic, and timely route to completion of the program and transition into the next stage of training or employment.

You will receive regular feedback and evaluations throughout your graduate student career. In addition to course grades, written comments on papers and exams, ongoing feedback from research and clinical supervisors, and feedback on all research projects, students receive written evaluations of  progress: (1) each year by the DCT (described further below); (2) after each semester by the student’s clinical supervisor; and (3) after each semester of being a teaching assistant or engaging in the substantial direct instruction requirement by both the students in the class and the course instructor. Student progress is monitored at evaluation meetings held at the end of each semester in which all clinical faculty members meet to discuss each student, and non-program supervisors are asked to submit written feedback. Students are provided with annual written evaluations tailored to the individual student and provided with the opportunity to discuss these evaluations with their mentors and the DCT. Students who are doing exceptionally well will receive commendations. The letters and discussion also clearly state any problems that exist and provide guidance on steps to remediate problems. Written and verbal feedback is then provided on the extent to which corrective actions have or have not been successful in addressing the issues of concern.

GRADUATION:

Doctoral students in clinical psychology who are completing their predoctoral required internships after the deadline for August degree conferment but who will have satisfactorily completed that internship requirement by late August or early September and who have satisfactorily completed all other requirements for their doctoral degrees in clinical psychology will register for one credit of internship in the second summer school session, will receive a satisfactory grade for that course if the Director of Clinical Training has received a letter from the internship site indicating that they see no reason why the student will not satisfactorily complete the internship, and will have all paper work regarding completion of all degree requirements signed off by the department in time to meet the August deadline.  Should some unexpected event occur and a student does not satisfactorily complete the internship, a grade change form will be submitted and the diploma will be held.  Since transcripts are not officially stamped until 4-6 weeks after the internship will have been completed, the university will be protected and the students will rely on letters from the Graduate School indicating successful completion of the requirements for the Ph.D. to document their degrees to any prospective employers.  Students in this situation will be able to attend May graduation ceremonies and have their names included in the graduation book if they have applied for May graduation by the relevant deadline.  They will reapply for August graduation thereafter and use the August graduation date on the title pages of their dissertation.  The same philosophy will be applied to students wanting a degree conferment in May but whose internships are completed by July.

STATE LICENSING:

States within the United States differ in their requirements for being licensed as a psychologist, but all states prohibit practice without a license.  In addition, State laws are subject to change.   

As of Fall 2016, the curriculum offered at Stony Brook has been deemed licensure qualifying by NY state. This means that all students graduating from the program after Fall 2016 will automatically be eligible for licensure in NY.  

Information on licensure in New York state can be found on the NYS Dept. of Education, Office of the Professions website:

http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/psych/psychlic.htmm

If you are interested in being licensed in a state other than NY, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with that state's licensing laws.  Information on licensing in each state can be found on the ASPPB website:

https://www.asppb.net/

In addition to course requirements and an internship, most states require a certain amount of supervised practice subsequent to receipt of the doctoral degree.  The nature of the supervised practice that can count varies markedly from state to state.  

To facilitate licensure application, consider banking your credentials with ASPPB: 

https://www.asppb.net/page/TheBank

FEEDBACK AND ONGOING FOLLOW-UP:

Throughout your graduate career and following graduation, the program will solicit your feedback about your training experiences, as well as ask you to provide information about your post-doctoral employment and experiences. During your training, this feedback will be solicited periodically. Once you have graduated, this feedback will be solicited on a yearly basis. We are required by APA and PCSAS, the two accrediting bodies to which we belong, to collect information from you on a yearly basis, and we must submit this information to APA each year.   As such, it is your professional responsibility to provide this information to us immediately when asked .