Clinical Psychology Overview
The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology
The Stony Brook Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology began in 1966. Based on chair rankings in US News and World Report, it has been ranked among the very top clinical programs in the United States for the past several decades, and it has a long tradition of strong publication rates by both faculty and graduates (Mattson et al., 2005; Roy et al., 2006). In the 2016 US News and World Report rankings, the Stony Brook Clinical Psychology doctoral program was ranked 4th in the country - see http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/clinical-psychology-rankings. The clinical program was among the first in the country to espouse the behavioral tradition in clinical psychology. Currently, the program retains its behavioral roots, but has evolved to encompass a broader set of perspectives that are oriented around an empirical approach to clinical psychology. Our goal is to graduate clinical scientists who approach psychological problems from an evidence-based perspective and who are also skilled clinicians. As such, students receive research and clinical training in a broad range of approaches. Our program is most suited to students who are interested in pursuing academic and research-related careers.
The program is accredited by the APA (Committee on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, Phone: 202-336-5979) and by PCSAS (Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System). In addition, the program is a member of the PCSAS Founder's Circle. PCSAS provides rigorous, objective, and empirically based accreditation of Ph.D. programs in scientific clinical psychology. Its goal is to promote superior science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, increase the quality and number of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care.
The program is due to be re-accredited by APA in the spring of 2018. If full accreditation is awarded, we will have APA accreditation until 2028. As the 2028 re-accreditation time approaches, we will consider not continuing accreditation with APA. We may choose, instead, to be solely PCSAS accredited.
Regardless of whether we decide to continue APA accreditation, our program will remain committed to training students who are among the field’s best clinical psychologists, fully prepared for positions at the forefront of clinical science and practice. We will remain committed to preparing students to be competitive for the best internships, postdoctoral positions, and career opportunities, and we will maintain our emphasis on training clinical scientists who approach psychological problems from an evidence-based perspective and who also are skilled clinicians. In addition, all students graduating from our program are eligible for licensure in NY and a number of other states (including California, Delaware, and Illinois) regardless of our program’s accreditation status.
Statement On Diversity:
The Psychology Department and the clinical program respect and value diversity. We view diversity broadly, including (but not limited to) age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and ability status. Diversity in our student body is an important priority and contributes to the strength of our department. Our Diversity Committee, composed of faculty and students, is dedicated to promotion of awareness, support, and dialogue with regard to all aspects of diversity in research and clinical training.
The research interests of the core faculty center on depressive disorders (child, adolescent, adult), anxiety disorders (child, adolescent, adult), autism spectrum disorders, personality, child maltreatment, close relationship functioning (e.g., discord and aggression among couples, romantic competence among adolescents and adults, relationship education), lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues (among youth and adults), emotion regulation processes (e.g., cognitive, interpersonal, neurobiological), and emotion and attention processes in normal and pathological conditions.
Research and Clinical Facilities:
Departmental: Faculty maintain active laboratories for research and graduate training (see individual faculty pages for further description). Clinical facilities include the Krasner Psychological Center (KPC) and its affiliate, the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, which are training, research, and service units that provide psychological services and consultation to the community and campus, and the University Marital Therapy Clinic that provides consultation, assessment, and therapy for couples and individuals in the community who are experiencing relationship difficulties and serves as a center for research evaluation of couples.
Campus: The University Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Prevention and Outreach, which serve the Stony Brook student population, offer a variety of externship options for graduate students. Collaborative relationships also exist with the Department of Psychiatry, where students can engage in research and clinical activities.
Off-campus: Affiliations have been established with numerous agencies on Long Island and in the surrounding areas, including North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital, Neurological Associates in Patchogue, Northport VA, Fay J Lindner Center for Autism, ASPIRE, Child and Family Psychological Services in Smithtown, the Victim’s Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS), the Biobehavioral Institute in Great Neck, CBT/DBT Associates in Manhattan, and other local mental health agencies and hospitals. Each of these sites provides opportunities for clinical externships and research collaboration.
Official program requirements are detailed on our Program Requirements page. More generally, the program is designed to provide students with competencies in research, clinical work, and teaching through coursework, research mentoring, and clinical supervision. Students follow a program of coursework through their first 3 to 4 years in the program that includes courses pertaining to the foundations of clinical psychology (e.g., psychopathology, assessment, and intervention), research methods and statistics, and ethics. Students are also required to take courses in other areas of psychology to increase breadth of training. Students become actively involved in a research lab upon arrival in the program and are required to complete two projects by the end of their third year in order to advance to candidacy, which is followed by the doctoral dissertation. Virtually all students present papers at major professional conferences and publish at least one (and often many) papers during the course of their graduate training. Clinical training, under the supervision of area faculty, begins in the second year of the program in our Krasner Psychological Center (KPC) and can continue until the internship year. Prior to internship, many students choose to complete externships at local agencies and hospitals in addition to their training in the KPC. Throughout the program, students often work as teaching assistants and are required to complete at least two semesters of substantial direct instruction of undergraduates, which involves lecturing in undergraduate classes. Students typically complete the program, including the internship year, in 6 years. For more information on time to completion see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data on this website.
Admission to the program:
The program typically receives between 250 and 350 applications and has an entering class of 4 to 8 students. Successful applicants to the program are bright, socially skilled students with strong research backgrounds, who have interests compatible with those of core clinical faculty, and who are interested in pursuing academic/research careers. For more information on characteristics of accepted applicants see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data on this website.
In line with the Psychology Department’s value of diversity, the clinical program encourages applications from a diverse range of applicants, including (but not limited to) applications from people of different ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, religions, and ability statuses.
As a member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP), the Clinical Psychology program at Stony Brook University adheres to CUDCP’s policies and guidelines for graduate school admissions, offers and acceptance. For additional information about these policies, please visit this page.
More information about clinical psychology and application tips also can be found at clinicalpsychgradschool.org, offered by CUDCP.
The Clinical Program has an outstanding placement record. Of all students graduating since 2004, nearly all (90%) are in positions in which they function as clinical scientists (e.g., academic or research position, research post-docs, clinical settings that involve research and/or the provision and dissemination of evidence-based approaches to treatment).