Contact Person: Cathy Rawlings http://cas.umkc.edu/psychology/GCPhD.asp

Note: The information on the Department of Psychology web pages (link above) supersedes information in this Department of Psychology catalog section, as the catalog is updated only once per year.

The Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) Option provides full-time Ph.D. study in the science and practice of clinical psychology. Within this broader context, it also integrates clinical and epidemiological research with the health and life sciences, providing specialized training in clinical health psychology. Our doctoral training seeks to enhance public health, broadly defined, through rigorous training of students (education mission); provide an accessible resource for the integration of behavioral sciences and health research and healthcare (service mission); develop knowledge and enhance health outcomes through empirical research (research and evaluation mission); and incorporate integrity and respect for human and intellectual diversity in all our activities (human mission). Based on a scientist-practitioner model, our 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  faculty and students are actively involved in research, communities, and healthcare 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 http://education.umkc.edu/CEP.

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 (Health Emphasis) 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 health 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 People 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 and health psychology are empirically-based disciplines, 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 (Health Emphasis) 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 (Health Emphasis) Track 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 (Health Emphasis) 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
PSYCH 55093PSYCH 55173PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 5580 or 56323, 43PSYCH 56013 
PSYCH 5590 or 559911PSYCH 55103 
PSYCH 55163PSYCH 5590 or 559911 
PSYCH 55333  
 13 10 1
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCreditsSummer SemesterCredits
PSYCH 5590 or 559912PSYCH 558033PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 5631 or 558643PSYCH 5590 or 559912 
PSYCH 553833PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53 
PSYCH 565023PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53 
PSYCH 5580 or 56323, 43PSYCH 565023 
 14 14 1
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCreditsSummer SemesterCredits
PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53PSYCH 569662PSYCH 5650 (optional)21
PSYCH 565021PSYCH 565021 
PSYCH 569662PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology or Special Topics in Health Psychology53 
PSYCH 5586 or PSYCH 563143  
 9 6 1
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits 
PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology or PSYCH 558653PSYCH 0000 Core Psychology53 
PSYCH 569962PSYCH 569962 
PSYCH 565021PSYCH 565021 
 6 6
Fifth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits 
PSYCH 569981PSYCH 566071 
PSYCH 566071PSYCH 569981 
 2 2
Total Credits: 85
1

Students are required to officially enroll and accumulate 6 hours of research credit over their first 2 years in the program (6 credit hours of graduate level research credit are required to receive the M.A.). If the master’s thesis project has been waived or completed, formal enrollment in directed research is still required. It is expected that all students will be actively involved in research and evaluated on their research performance every fall and winter semesters. Students who have had the M.A. requirement waived need only take 1 credit hour of research in each semester of the second year. However, students will still need to accumulate the additional 8 research credit hours required over and above the master’s thesis requirement to reach the graduate school minimum of 12 research credit hours for the Ph.D.

2

The program requires that students enroll in practicum each regular Fall and Winter semester of the second, third, and fourth years. Students may complete additional clinical hours in summer practicum to improve their competitiveness for internships. Official enrollment is optional, although documentation of supervised hours is required for those to be included.

3

This may be taken during the third year (same semester) instead of the second year.

4

Evidenced Based Clinical Practice and Health Psychology Interventions are both required, however, these courses will offered in alternate years

5

There are 5 core course requirements (see list at the bottom of the table). In some areas (e.g., Developmental) alternative courses may be used to fulfill the requirement.

6

The graduate school requires at least 12 hours of graduate research credit to graduate with a Ph.D. Our program requires a total of 8 research credit hours (pre-dissertation and dissertation) beyond the 6 required for the master’s thesis for graduation. You may accumulate these hours in any way you wish as long as you complete the additional 8 hours prior to graduation. However you must first pass comps before enrolling in dissertation units.

7

Due to variable internship start and end dates you may only officially complete you internship after the end of the Spring semester. In these cases an incomplete grade will be given until official completion of the internship. Note that the university generally requires students to be enrolled in the semester that they graduate. However, providing all other program requirements have been completed by the end of the spring semester (such as the dissertation) the DCT will request that summer enrollment be waived for students graduating in the summer. If all other requirements are not completed you will be required to enroll in at least one credit (for example, if you dissertation is not yet defended you will enroll in 1 credit of research for the summer semester). 

8

Students who defend their dissertations prior to the 5th year do not register for continuing dissertation hours. Students, fifth year or beyond, who have not successfully defended the dissertation are required to enroll in 1CH of Dissertation each fall and winter semester until it is completed.

Core Psychology 

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

Footnotes about the Core Curriculum

Note: A course number of 5580 denotes a “Special Topics” course.  If more than one special topics course is offered in a semester, individual courses will be denoted with letters (e.g., 5580A, 5580B).

+ This represents the currently recommended sequencing of courses.  Students may be allowed to alter this sequencing, with prior approval of the faculty advisor and DCT.  This sequencing is also subject to change based on course availability in a given semester as determined by the DCT and committee.

Requirement for Retention

A detailed description of policies and procedures, including the requirements for retention, is available in the student handbook which can be accessed through the Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) Option web page.