Ph.D. Program-Clinical Psychology

APA Accreditation

Clinical Psychology doctoral programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) if they are judged to be in compliance with the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology established by the APA. The UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral program is accredited by the APA as of October 7, 2005. Contact information for the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation: Office telephone: 202-336-5979; Office fax: 202-336-5978; web address:

Program Philosophy and Mission
The Field of Clinical Psychology and Competitive Admission
Program Goals and Competencies
Representative Course of Study and Practicum Sites
Clinical Program Handbook and Program Timeline
Student Financing
Evaluation of Applications
Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data
Transfer Credit
Program Faculty
UNLV Graduate Catalog (use the drop-down box to navigate to the Graduate Catalog)
Contact Us

Program Philosophy and Mission

The UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, in the scientist-practitioner tradition, prepares students to address psychological concerns through both scholarly research and the application of psychological knowledge and skills in practice. We recognize psychology as an empirical science and expect students to have a broad understanding of existing psychological knowledge and methods. We train students to base their scholarly and professional activity on the scientific foundation of psychology, including an understanding of and attention to human diversity. We train students as generalists who are prepared to conduct ethically appropriate scientific research and clinical interventions with children and adults in an increasingly multicultural society. We provide an integration of didactic study, supervised clinical activity, and mentored scholarly research. This mission is consistent with and complementary to the mission of the Department of Psychology and UNLV.

The Field of Clinical Psychology and Competitive Admission

Those who are not familiar with the field of Clinical Psychology or the process of competing for admission can find additional information or the American Psychological Association website at: or click here for a list of additional resources.

Program Goals and Competencies

The central goal of our doctoral program is to train psychological scientist-practitioners who possess a broad foundation of psychological knowledge, the ability to design and implement scientific investigations, and the skills necessary to intervene in psychological concerns. We thus evaluate our students along the following areas of competence: 

Broad Knowledge of the Discipline of Psychology (including methods of psychological science, knowledge and skills necessary to address psychological problems, integration of science and practice, and skills necessary to communicate effectively both orally and in writing)

Professionalism (professional values and ethics as evidenced in behavior and comportment that reflects the values and ethics of psychology, integrity, and responsibility)

Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care (practice conducted with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection; with awareness of competencies; with appropriate self-care)

Scientific Knowledge and Methods (understanding of research, research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, and development across the lifespan; respect for scientifically derived knowledge)

Relationships (relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups, and/or communities)

Individual-Cultural Diversity Awareness (awareness, sensitivity, and skills in working professionally with diverse individuals, groups, and communities who represent various cultural and personal backgrounds and characteristics defined broadly and consistent with APA policy)

Ethical Legal Standards and Policy (application of ethical concepts and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations)

Interdisciplinary Systems (knowledge of key issues and concepts in related disciplines; identify and interact with professionals in multiple disciplines)

Assessment (assessment and diagnosis of problems, capabilities, and issues associated with individuals, groups, and/or organizations)

Intervention (interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations)

Consultation (ability to provide expert guidance or professional assistance in response to a client’s needs or goals)

Research/evaluation (generating research that contributes to the professional knowledge base and/or evaluates the effectiveness of various professional activities)

Supervision (supervision and training in the professional knowledge base and of evaluation of the effectiveness of various professional activities)

Teaching (providing instruction, disseminating knowledge, and evaluating acquisition of knowledge and skill in professional psychology)

Management/administration (manage the direct delivery of services and/or the administration of organizations, programs, or agencies; this competency is currently aspirational)

Advocacy (actions targeting the impact of social, political, economic, or cultural factors to promote change at the individual (client), institutional, and/or systems level; this competency is currently aspirational)

Representative Course of Study and Practicum Sites

The doctoral degree in clinical psychology requires a minimum of 96 credits. En route to doctoral candidacy the student will complete the requirements for a Master’s degree in psychology. Students are expected to complete the requirements for the Master’s degree (48 credits) during their first two years of study.

Year One: Fall
PSY 708: Statistics for Psychologists I
PSY 736: Psychopathology
PSY 715: Assessment of Children
PSY 725: Intervention with Children

Year One: Spring
PSY709: Satistics for Psychologists II
PSY 716: Assessment of Adults
PSY 726: Intervention with Adults
PSY 714: History and Foundations of Clinical Psychology

Summer after Year One
May: PSY 755: Ethics and Professional Issues


Year Two: Fall
PSY 707: Research Methods
PSY 750: Diversity Issues in Prof. Psychology
PSY 767: Clinical Practicum I
PSY 769: Thesis

Year Two: Spring
PSY 712: Psychometrics
PSY 767: Clinical PracticumI
PSY 769: Thesis
Elective or Open
Defend thesis proposal


Year Three: Fall
Breadth Course Selection*
Elective or Open
PSY 767: Clinical Practicum II
PSY 770: Dissertation

Year Three: Spring
Breadth Course Selection*
Elective or Open
PSY 767: Clinical Practicum II
PSY 770: Dissertation
Defend thesis

After defending thesis, able to take comprehensive exam, must have completed 66 credit hours.

Year Four: Fall
Breadth Couse Selection*
PSY 767: Clinical Practicum III
PSY 770: Dissertation
Year Four: Spring
Breadth Course Selection*
PSY 767: Clinical Practicum III
PSY 770: Dissertation
Year Five: Fall
PSY 771: Professional Internship
Year Five: Spring
PSY 771: Professional Internship
Defend dissertation proposal


*Breadth Course Selections currently include PSY 701: Biological Bases of Behavior; PSY 742: Psychopharmacology, PSY 703: Cognitive Psychology; PSY 704: Social Psychology; and PSY 705: Developmental Psychology. See Graduate Catalog for details. 

Click here for representative practicum sites.

Clinical Program Handbook and Program Timeline

Click here for the Clinical Program Handbook. Click here for the Program Timeline.

Student Financing

UNLV strives to provide competitive funding offers with reasonable tuition and fees to doctoral students. Our program attempts to provide funding to all students that request it. The most common source of funding for first and second year graduate students is a Graduate Assistantship. Students in years three and beyond are often funded through Assistantships which involve teaching two sections of introductory psychology or a similar course. Some students are funded on faculty research or service grants. In past years nearly all students that have requested funding have received some form of funding similar to a Graduate Assistantship. For additional information regarding financial aid and other possible sources of funding, click here.


Complete the online application via the Graduate College Apply Yourself (AY) website:

The deadline for submitting all required application materials (see below) is December 1. The online system will be closed to admissions after December 1. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as early as possible.

The program admits students for matriculation only in the Fall semester of each academic year. The application deadline is December 1st prior to the Fall for which matriculation is being requested. The admission process is typically completed by April 15th. We anticipate entering classes of approximately 5-8 students each year.

Admission Material Requirements*

• A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution.

• Applicants should have completed at least 18 hours of undergraduate psychology courses including Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Experimental Psychology.

• Scores on the Verbal, Quantitative, Writing, and Advanced Psychology sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). For the GRE Testing website, click here. GRE score reporting is cumulative. Current GRE Board policy states that your scores are retained for the 5 testing years following the testing year in which you tested. The GRE code for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is 4861. All GRE scores must be entered into the AY application site by December 1 for a file to be considered complete.

• Official transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended. Include transcripts from institutions for which you had credits transferred to another college or university if applicable. All official transcripts must be uploaded into the AY application site by December 1 for a file to be considered complete.

• Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s potential for doctoral studies.These letters must be uploaded to the AY application site by December 1 for a file to be considered complete.

• A Letter of Intent written by the applicant. This letter should describe your clinical and research interests, educational and professional goals, a primary faculty member with whom you wish to work, factors that you would want the admissions committee to consider in evaluating your application that are not evident from other materials, and some background information describing how you became interested in these areas. This letter must be uploaded to the AY application site by December 1 for a file to be considered complete.

• A personal interview with members of the program faculty is required for finalists in the selection process. Typically, applicants are notified if they are finalists by early February.

*In highly unusual circumstances, students who do not meet these admission requirements may be admitted.

Evaluation of Applications

The Admission Requirements represent the minimum standards. Meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee admission. Admission is a competitive process in which the faculty judge each applicant’s credentials with the goal of selecting those who are most qualified and represent the best fit with our Clinical Psychology program. Consideration of fit includes factors such as the applicant’s goals and the program’s goals.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

Although it is impossible to predict admission decisions in advance, some sense of an applicant’s likelihood of being admitted can be gained from comparing qualifications with those of recently admitted students. Please note that the listed qualifications do not include factors such as fit with the program, relevant experience, letters of recommendation, and letter of intent. Click here to see some information regarding students that have been admitted to the program during past years. Outcome data for recent students are presented as well.

Transfer Credit

The Clinical Program Committee evaluates requests for transfer credit only after students have been accepted into the program.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not grant personal interviews to prospective applicants apart from the formal admission process.

Program Faculty

All Psychology Department faculty are involved in the training of Clinical Psychology students. The following faculty are centrally involved:

Daniel N. Allen, Ph.D.
• Neuropsychology
• Schizophrenia,
• Substance abuse

Stephen D. Benning, Ph.D.
• Psychophysiology of emotion and reward
• Psychopathy and normal-range personality
• Risk-taking

Michelle Paul, Ph.D. (no research supervision of graduate students)
Associate Director of Clinical Training
• Child Clinical
• Psychological Assessment

Bradley Donohue , Ph.D.
• Development and evaluation of Family Behavior Therapy
• Substance abuse, child maltreatment, clinical sport psychology

Christopher L. Heavey, Ph.D.
• Inner experience
• Depression
• Emotion

Jason M. Holland, Ph.D.
• Implications of stressful life events experienced in later-life
• Assessment and identification of prolonged grief disorder

Russell T. Hurlburt, Ph.D.
• Sampling inner experience
• Introductory statistics pedagogy

Christopher A. Kearney, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Training
• Internalizing problems of children
• Anxiety disorders
• School refusal behavior

Marta Meana, Ph.D.
• Women's sexual health
• Sexual pain disorders
• Female sexual desire

Cortney S. Warren, Ph.D.
• Eating disorders
• Multicultural Issues

Other Faculty with Clinical Psychology Interests:

Kim Barchard, Ph.D.
• Emotional Intelligence
• Psychopathy
• On-line data collection
• Psychometrics

Contact Us

If you have additional questions, you can contact the Department of Psychology’s Office of Doctoral Studies at (702) 895-0176 or via e-mail (


© 2012 Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. All rights reserved.
Contact Us | Department of Psychology | Classroom Building Complex (CBC) 4th floor
University of Nevada, Las Vegas | 4505 S. Maryland Parkway MS 5030 | Las Vegas, NV 89154-5030
Telephone: 702.895.3305 | Fax: 702.895.0195