Clinical Psychology

The clinical psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University is designed to provide broad clinical training utilizing a scientist-practitioner model. Graduates from this program are competent to function in a variety of professional roles including research, practice and college teaching. The balance of research and practice is obtained in part by practicum and research training within an on-site clinic, as well as practical experience in community agencies and research activities within faculty members’ independent laboratories. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

The curriculum requirements are structured according to the scientist-practitioner model as well. The orientation of the program is decidedly behavioral with an emphasis on empirical research and empirically supported practice. All students are exposed to the broad content areas of the field.

A master of arts degree is earned in the process of earning a Ph.D.; however, all students will be permitted to complete the requirements for the doctorate only insofar as their performance merits continuance in the program. The program is planned as a six year curriculum with the sixth year comprising the doctoral internship. Students entering the program with prior graduate training may accelerate their training if faculty approve the adequacy of specific program requirements.

The Ph.D. program requires successful completion of 95 credit hours of academic work including practica, internship, advanced doctoral coursework, a comprehensive examination, a thesis and a dissertation. Ph.D. students must finish a 750-hour pre-masters practicum, many of which are completed at the internal Psychology Clinic, a 500-hour post-masters practicum and a 2000-hour pre-doctoral internship in a healthcare setting.

Clinical brochure
Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data—Find costs, time to degree and answers to other enrollment questions.

Our philosophy

The clinical psychology program is dedicated to preparing competent intervention oriented clinical psychologists. Our training program has a behavioral orientation and operates according to the scientist-practitioner model. Doctoral-level graduates are prepared to function in professional roles that involve teaching, research, administration and direct clinical service. Recent graduates have typically taken academic faculty positions, faculty and post-doctoral positions at university based medical centers, and private practice positions. Students work closely with faculty and other clinical psychologists throughout their training.

The clinical psychology faculty is committed to making the educational experience a positive one for everyone involved. Every effort is made to meet the legitimate needs of students, including those with special requirements.


  • The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1991.
  • The next visit by the American Psychological Association will be in 2027.
  • The program is structured around the scientist-practitioner model.
  • Clinical and research interests in:
    • Anxiety disorders/PTSD
    • Behavior health in primary care
    • Behavioral medicine
    • Behavioral pediatrics
    • Child injury and maltreatment
    • Depression
    • Emotion regulation/experiential avoidance
    • Habit behavior
    • Interpersonal victimization
    • Multimedia-based treatment
    • Psychotherapy process and outcomes
    • Sexual deviations and dysfunctions

Program requirements

Review the complete list of doctoral program requirements.

Application requirements

When applying to the clinical psychology training program, include the following information:

  • Vita.
  • A professional goals statement limited to two pages (single or double-spaced) and including the following:
    • Research and clinical experience
    • Research and clinical interests
    • Practicum experience
    • Other relevant experiences
    • Post graduation professional goals
    • List of clinical program faculty to apply with and why
  • Include a writing sample, maximum of 20 pages, unbound. (e.g., publication, portion of honor’s thesis, presentation, class paper).
  • Applicants with criminal convictions should be aware that felony convictions will likely make it difficult to complete the external agency training experiences (i.e., external practicum, internship) required for the Ph.D. If students are unable to obtain and complete these required experiences, their program of study will not be able to completed nor will they be able to graduate. In addition, be aware that students may not be eligible for renew their license by the State of Michigan Board of Psychology or the boards of other states. The Michigan Board of Psychology has indicated on their Web page that applicants who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor will be reviewed on an individual basis and that they take into consideration the type of conviction, the age at the time of the incident and the time elapsed since the conviction. Thus, it is also possible that future employment would be limited.

Application will be reviewed only if all material is completely submitted by the application deadline.

The faculty seek qualified students for training in the Doctor of Philosophy program and especially encourage members of historically underrepresented groups including ethnic and racial minorities, and people with disabilities to apply.

Financial support

All admitted students receive a commitment of financial support in the form of an assistantship for the first year of the program and every effort will be made to maintain this level of funding for three years. Funding typically takes the form of teaching, research or clinical assistantships. Students are also encouraged to apply for the following programs: Graduate College fellowships, and Thurgood Marshall Awards or King/Chavez/Parks Fellowships for members of underrepresented groups. To learn more on the cost of attending graduate school, see financial information.

After graduation

Clinical psychology graduates may find careers in:

  • Academic faculty positions
  • Clinical faculty positions at medical schools and veterans administration medical centers
  • Private practice


Meet the clinical psychology faculty.


Clinical Psychology
3700 Wood Hall

Contact us
Dr. Scott Gaynor, co-director
Dr. Amy Naugle, co-director