The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Option is a full-time program of graduate study designed to train health service psychologists who are competent scientist-practitioners with expertise in clinical psychology. The program seeks to enhance the health of our communities, broadly defined, through: providing rigorous training of students (education mission); serving our communities through the integration of behavioral sciences, health research and health service (service mission); developing knowledge and enhancing health outcomes through empirical research (research and evaluation mission); and incorporating integrity and respect for human diversity in all our activities (human mission). Based on a scientist-practitioner model, the program's clinical training and services are grounded in a commitment to the integration of science and practice. Consistent with the mission of our University to lead in the life and health sciences, our program faculty and students are actively involved in research, communities, and health service systems to promote a high quality of life for all.

Note: UMKC also offers a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology through the School of Education. For information on that program, please see https://education.umkc.edu/.

Admission Criteria

Our doctorate is designed for applicants with a prior bachelor's or master's level degree. New students are admitted in fall semester only. Because we receive applications from many more qualified individuals than can be admitted, admission is highly competitive (see links to detailed information below). All application materials must be received by December 5 to be considered for admission the following fall. Visit the Clinical Psychology Option web page for current application procedures and links to other helpful application resources.

The following are minimum criteria recommended for admission:

  1. A bachelor's degree in Psychology, Counseling, Special Education or other health-related discipline such as Pre-Med or Nursing. Satisfactory completion of prior coursework in Introductory/General Psychology, Experimental Methods/Research Design and Statistics/Quantitative Methods is required. Satisfactory completion of prior coursework in at least two of the following areas is also strongly recommended: Abnormal Psychology, Personality, Biopsychology, Sensation and Perception, Cognitive Psychology, Motivation, Social Psychology.
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or graduate GPA of 3.5. Alternative criteria may be accepted at the discretion of the admissions committee if there is good reason to believe the regular criteria do not adequately portray the student’s potential to do quality work in the doctoral degree. However, admission to the doctorate is highly competitive, and we seek to admit students with a general history of excellence. A disclosure of the average GPA of students recently admitted to the program can be accessed through the doctorate's web page.
  3. Competitive Graduate Record Examination scores from the general test (GRE Math + Verbal greater than 300; Analytical Writing score of at least 4.5). Students whose scores fall below this recommended minimum may present additional evidence of their capacity to do quality doctoral-level work. Such additional evidence will be considered and accepted at the discretion of the Clinical Admissions Committee. A disclosure of the GRE scores of students recently admitted can be accessed through our web page.
  4. Demonstrated evidence of interest in clinical psychology research. Our training follows a mentorship model. Therefore, applicants whose research interests are similar to those of the faculty will be given higher consideration. A listing of faculty interests and research can be accessed through the Department of Psychology Faculty Research web page.
  5. History of personal conduct consistent with the ability to adhere to high standards of student conduct, as outlined in the UMKC Standard for Student Conduct, and professional conduct as outlined by the American Psychological Association and state licensure boards.

Because clinical psychology is an empirically-based discipline, our training emphasizes continuous involvement in research and practice. For this reason, students primarily interested in psychotherapy and clinical or counseling practice without a strong interest in the scientific aspect of the scientist/practitioner model would be better served by other programs.

Typically four students are accepted each year. Applicants are evaluated based on the following dimensions:

  1. Academic potential
  2. Research potential
  3. Interpersonal skills and other indications of potential for clinical work
  4. Professional identity and involvement
  5. Evidence of high ethical standards

Our training follows the American Psychological Association Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances.

Admission Procedure

New students are admitted in fall semester only. Because we receive applications from many more qualified individuals than can be admitted, admission is highly competitive. A disclosure of relevant data for students recently admitted can be accessed through the Clinical Psychology Option web page. All application materials must be received by December 5 to be considered for admission in the following fall. Please see the Clinical Psychology Option web page for current application procedures.

Our training follows the American Psychological Association Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Clinical Psychology Option is organized around the following training goals and student learning outcomes:

Training Goal 1: To provide students with knowledge and skills in the evaluation, conduct, and dissemination of general psychological and clinical health related research

Student Learning outcomes:

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate literature relevant to the science and practice of psychology
  2. Student will demonstrate the ability to conduct  empirically sound research, including research design and implementation and statistical analysis

Training Goal 2: To provide students with entry-level skill in the delivery of evidence-based psychological and clinical health services

Student Learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to select, administer, and interpret assessment and diagnostic tools in the context of clinical service delivery
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to select, administer, and evaluate evidence-based psychological and clinical health interventions

Training Goal 3: To provide students with knowledge of ethical and professional principles and to promote ethical conduct and high professional standards in research and clinical situations

Student Learning outcomes

  1. Student will demonstrate the ability to identify and appropriately respond to ethical issues raised in research contexts
  2. Student will demonstrate the ability to identify and appropriately respond to ethical issues raised in clinical contexts

Training Goal 4: To provide students with knowledge and skills in working with diverse groups of individuals in professional contexts

Student Learning outcomes

  1. Student will demonstrate the ability to identify the nature and impact of diversity on the administration and interpretation of assessments and the delivery of health services
  2. Student will demonstrate the ability to identify the nature and impact of diversity in the conduct of research and its dissemination

Program Requirements

The following represents the program’s core curriculum.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCreditsSummer SemesterCredits
CPCE 55033PSYCH 55103PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 55093PSYCH 55173 
PSYCH 55163PSYCH 5590 or 559911 
PSYCH 558031-3PSYCH 56013 
PSYCH 5590 or 559911-9  
 11-21 10 1
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCreditsSummer SemesterCredits
Psych 0000 Core Psychology53PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 553833PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53 
PSYCH 565023EDUC-R&P 5611 or 56133 
PSYCH 5580 or 56323, 43PSYCH 5590 or 559912 
PSYCH 5590 or 559912PSYCH 565023 
 14 14 1
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCreditsSummer SemesterCredits
PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology or Diversity Requirement53PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 5586 or 55803PSYCH 565021 
PSYCH 565021PSYCH 569662 
PSYCH 569662  
 9 6 1
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits 
PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology or PSYCH 558653PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53 
PSYCH 565021PSYCH 565021 
PSYCH 569962PSYCH 569962 
 6 6
Fifth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits 
PSYCH 566071PSYCH 566071 
PSYCH 569981PSYCH 569981 
 2 2
Total Credits: 83-93
PSYCH 5521Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYCH 5507Cognitive Psychology3
or PSYCH 5505 Motivation
PSYCH 5518Advanced Biopsychology3
PSYCH 5515Advanced Systems And History Of Psychology3
Developmental Requirement, for example:
Contemporary Issues In Developmental Psychology
Adult Development And Aging