Mission and Values
Our mission is to understand how behavioral and mental health problems emerge and develop and to improve well-being at the individual, system, and societal levels through intervention, prevention and resilience promotion.
We aim to train the next generation of leaders who are capable of producing innovative, high-impact research and who apply a science-informed lens to improve behavioral and mental well-being in diverse settings.
We aspire to pursue this mission with awareness that the logic, methods and findings of psychological science have often perpetuated and justified systems of oppression and inequity. Our belief is that a flexible and progressive clinical science, engaged with humility by diverse scientists, and centering those furthest from behavioral and mental health equity and justice, is essential for creating lives worth living for all members of our society.
Overview of Program and Training Sequence
Located in a vibrant metropolitan setting in Seattle, Washington, UW’s doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is top ranked and is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) and the American Psychological Association (APA). With an emphasis on research training, our program aims to develop creative clinical scientists who will become leaders and innovators in academic, research, clinical, community, and/or global dissemination settings.
Most students complete the Ph.D. program in 6-7 years. Program requirements include coursework, research activities, and supervised clinical training in psychological assessment and treatment at our in-house training clinic and at external practicum training sites. Required classes are generally completed within the first 3-4 years of the program, with students beginning to see clients in the second year. The last year of the program typically involves a one-year, full-time accredited clinical internship.
Given the research emphasis of our program, individuals who are primarily interested in a career in private clinical practice will not find our program to be a good fit.
- Close research mentorship from faculty with expertise spanning alcohol and other substance use; behavioral aspects of HIV; anxiety, autism spectrum, posttraumatic stress, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders; implementation science and treatment in global settings; coping and contextual factors impacting child adjustment; biological mechanisms underlying disorders and treatment; racism and microaggressions; and mental health disparities.
- A newly renovated psychology building, Kincaid Hall, which includes a state-of-the-art in-house magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) center with a Siemens 3T Prisma scanner and peripheral equipment for fMRI such as eye-tracking, physiological monitoring, and audio presentation systems (see: https://depts.washington.edu/chnadmin/chn-mri/ for details).
- Emphasis on evidence-based clinical training, including through in-house practica such as the CALM Clinic for Anxiety, Traumatic Stress, and Obsessive Compulsive Related Disorders, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic, the Parent-Child Clinic, and the LEARN Clinic, as well as opportunities at more than 40 external practica sites throughout the Seattle area.
- Opportunities for additional specialized training within the department in diversity science, data science, and quantitative methods.
- Access to a wealth of additional resources and formal and informal training opportunities across departments and institutes in the broader UW community, including through the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, the eScience Institute, the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), Medical Genetics, and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.
- High student success rates in obtaining external fellowships from NIH and NSF, as well as top-choice internships in the APPIC Doctoral Level Internship Match Program
- Active efforts to continue to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in the department including a faculty-student diversity steering committee, diversity advocacy committee, and department-level bias reporting mechanisms to maintain accountability and transparency in these efforts.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Recognizing that psychological science has often perpetuated and justified systems of oppression and inequity, the Clinical Psychology Program approaches our DEI work from a stance of humility. We place great value on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and students, co-creating an inclusive environment, and providing curriculum and clinical training that support and promote DEI. For example, clinical students and faculty play a prominent role in a new departmental Specialization in Diversity Science, 5 of our 6 recent Clinical faculty hires hold historically marginalized identities, and our curriculum is influenced by a recently implemented DEI-focused syllabus review process. In addition, many of the 48 external practica sites we currently partner with throughout the Seattle area serve diverse and traditionally underserved populations. For example, many practica, such as the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, and Dawson Place Child Advocacy Program, provide low-cost or free services in multiple languages and/or focus on providing services to specific diverse populations. We are committed to the ongoing process of improving our program such that our training is aligned with these values and centers those furthest from behavioral and mental health equity.
For details on recent actions to strengthen DEI in the Clinical Program and department see: https://psych.uw.edu/diversity/recent-actions
General and Child Tracks
The Clinical Psychology Program offers separate but highly overlapping General Clinical and Child Clinical tracks. The Child Clinical track offers specialized coursework in the assessment, etiology, and treatment of psychological disorders of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, whereas the General track covers the assessment, etiology, and treatment of psychological disorders across the lifespan. The Child Clinical track also offers a variety of specialty practica focused on evidence-based treatment for youth and families. The tracks share many courses and faculty collaborations, while allowing for training emphases from groups of faculty whose interests focus primarily on either adult or child/adolescent populations. Students in both tracks are encouraged to take core courses from the other track. Applicants should apply to either the General track or the Child track, specifying core faculty with whom they would like to work. Please see the General Track Faculty Page and Child Track Faculty Page for details on faculty expertise within each track.
Clinical Program Accreditation
The Clinical Psychology Program has a long and distinguished history. It has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1948 and is currently accredited through 2027 (http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/). Reflecting our commitment to excellence in scientific training and to using clinical science as the foundation for designing, implementing, and evaluating assessment and intervention procedures, our program is also accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (http://www.pcsas.org) through 2028. We plan to maintain PCSAS accreditation indefinitely. Meanwhile, we are actively promoting efforts to ensure that, in the future, students graduating from programs accredited by PCSAS are given the same access to state licensure opportunities as are programs accredited by APA. Once this parity is achieved, we will reconsider whether to maintain our APA accreditation.
The Clinical Psychology Program has been the recipient of three prestigious awards: the Distinguished Program Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies for its success in training cognitive-behavioral clinical scientists; the Award for Innovative Practices in Graduate Education in Psychology from the American Psychological Association for its creative integration of clinical and scientific training; and the First Annual Clinic Innovation Award from the Association of Psychology Training Clinics for our development of the Owl Insights (owlinsights.com) software platform to aid clinical decision making by routinely monitoring treatment process and outcomes on a session-by-session basis.
Program Statistics and Further Information
For statistics on admissions, graduation, internships and other information, please click on "Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data" link above. For a detailed examination of all aspects of our program, please view our Training Manual.