Clinical Admissions

Accreditation, Licensure, Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

Educational Requirements for Licensure in Psychology

The Clinical Psychology PhD Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington is designed to achieve an integration of academic, scientific, and professional training. As recognition of our compliance with national standards, the UW Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA; through 2027 and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS; through 2028.

The practice of psychology, however, is regulated at the state level. State licensing authorities, commonly referred to as “State Boards,” determine the specific educational and training requirements for licensure in their state. Of note, many states require post-doctoral training as well as examinations beyond educational and training requirements. As such, a PhD degree from the UW Program in Clinical Psychology is not sufficient, in and of itself, to meet licensure requirements in most states. 

If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in the state for which you are seeking licensure or certification to obtain information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning an academic program.  Given that state requirements for licensure or certification vary and may change over time it is also strongly recommended that you review licensing or certification requirements as you get closer to seeking licensure or certification. You are encouraged to review the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards’ online tool, PsyBook (, which summarizes requirements for most states and territories. You are also encouraged to confirm state licensing requirements directly with the state in which you are interested in seeking licensure or certification. 

To the best of our ability, we have determined that the curriculum offered by our Program meets – or does not meet – the educational requirements for licensure or certification to practice psychology in each of the states, territories, and district listed in Table 1. For states in which the Program’s educational offerings do not meet a specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification, students may be required to obtain alternate or additional courses or more experiential or clinical hours. These findings are accurate, to the best of our ability, as of July 1, 2020.

Program Outcomes

A small minority (fewer than 10%) of our students enter with a masters degree in clinical or counseling psychology, or in some other discipline. Such students are required to take all required clinical area courses, practica, and training experiences. They may, however, be able to waive a limited number of out-of-area "breadth" courses with the permission of the relevant departmental area Graduate Training Committee representative. Nonetheless, we have found that entering with a masters degree does not shorten program completion time.

Note: Tuition is waived for students on research or teaching assitantships.

Note: All students who failed to match limited their applications to two internship centers in the Seattle area to facilitate completion of their dissertations, then matched the following year when they applied more widely.

Note: Graduates of our program frequently choose research or other career tracks that do not require licensure, and therefore do not apply. We know of no instances in which a graduate of our program applied for and failed to attain licensure.

Duration of the Program

Our program requires a minimum of 3 full-time academic years of in-residence study. Typically, students spend 5-6 years in full-time residence prior to the one-year full-time internship (or, in rare cases, 2 years of half-time internship) that completes program requirements. See the Time to Completion table (in the data sheet attached below) for more detailed statistics on program duration. Because of the rich array of clinical and research training opportunities available to our students (plus the attractiveness of Seattle), many students take a bit longer to complete the program.

Admissions: Guidelines from the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP)

  1. Policy for Admissions Offers and Acceptances (Please review PDF)
  2. Choosing a Graduate Program in Clinical psychology (PDF)