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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Graduate Program: Clinical Psychology

(Formerly Clinical Adult Psychology)

The SIUE Clinical Psychology Graduate Program is intended for students interested in either of two outcomes: preparation for doctoral-level training in clinical psychology and related fields, or employment in the mental health field. Graduates of our program earn the M.A. degree, and typically spend 5 semesters (two academic years and the summer between them) in the program. The program includes rigorous coursework in such areas as psychotherapy, psychological assessment, psychopathology, biopsychology, and research and statistics. The program also requires multiple semesters of practicum, completed through our network of external practicum sites, and an empirical master’s thesis, which the student designs and conducts under the supervision of a thesis committee.

For more information about many aspects of our program, see the list of frequently asked questions below. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the program director, Dr. Andy Pomerantz, at apomera@siue.edu or (618) 650-3661.

Get an overview of the program from students, graduates, and faculty in this brief video.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the purposes of the graduate program?

The program has two purposes: to prepare students for doctoral level training in clinical psychology or related fields, and to prepare students for employment in the mental health field.

What types of doctoral programs have your graduates attended?

Our graduates have gained admission into a wide variety of doctoral programs, including Clinical Psychology PhD programs; PsyD programs; Counseling Psychology PhD programs; and others. Among the Clinical Psychology PhD programs that our graduates have attended are Texas A & M University, University of Detroit-Mercy, University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Saint Louis University, University of Alabama, University at Albany (SUNY), and University of North Texas. Among the PsyD programs that our graduates have attended are the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Indiana State University, and University of Indianapolis. Among the Counseling Psychology PhD programs that our graduates have attended are University of Iowa, Auburn University, University of Memphis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and University of North Dakota.

What types of employment positions have your graduates obtained?

Our graduates have worked in a wide variety of applied and research positions, including private practices; research institutions (e.g., Washington University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry); neuropsychology departments (e.g., Mercy Hospital Neuropsychology Services); college counseling centers (e.g., SIUE Counseling Services; Augusta University); community clinics (e.g., The SPOT, a treatment center for young adults affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine); health service organizations (e.g, Chestnut Health Systems); and many other settings.

Who are the faculty?

The program faculty include the following full-time, tenure-track professors. Click on any name to learn more.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Our program is designed for completion in five consecutive semesters (fall-spring-summer-fall-spring). The majority of our students complete the program in that time period.

What courses does the program include?

Curriculum may vary slightly, but here’s a typical sequence of courses:

Fall of Year 1

PSYC 520—Research Design and Inference I

PSYC 531—Advanced Psychopathology

PSYC 537b—Counseling and Psychotherapy of the Individual Adult

PSYC 541b—Cognitive Assessment of the Adult

Spring of Year 1

PSYC 521—Research Design and Inference II

PSYC 535—Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy

PSYC 538—Group Therapy

PSYC 543b—Personality Assessment of the Adult

Summer between Year 1 and Year 2

PSYC 507—Multicultural Counseling and Psychotherapy

PSYC 550—Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology

PSYC 523—Practicum in Clinical Psychology

Optional—elective(s)

Fall of Year 2

PSYC 523—Practicum in Clinical Psychology

PSYC 599—Thesis

Optional—elective(s)

Spring of Year 2

PSYC 514—Advanced Biopsychology

PSYC 523—Practicum in Clinical Psychology

Optional—elective(s)

Does the program prepare students for licensure as a mental health professional?

Of course, licensure as a psychologist requires a doctoral degree, so our program does not directly prepare students for that license. Licensure as a professional counselor (e.g., LCPC, LPC) is obtainable with a master’s degree, and many of our graduates have taken the necessary courses—which typically include a small number of courses beyond our program’s requirements—to obtain it. More information on licensure is available here.

Regarding the practicum—where do students complete it, what clinical activities does it include, and how much time does it require?

Our students complete their practica within a network of external practicum sites in the southern Illinois and St. Louis areas. These sites have been visited and approved by our practicum coordinator, and typically they have hosted many students from our program in the past. The practicum sites span a wide clinical range, including psychiatric hospitals, general hospitals, college counseling centers, private practices, community mental health centers, specialty clinics and departments, and more. At these sites, our students perform a wide variety of clinical tasks, including individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, personality assessment, intellectual and neuropsychological assessment, and more. They also interact with a wide variety of professionals and gain first-hand experience in the functioning of real-world mental health facilities. In recent years, practicum sites have included:

  • SIUE Counseling Services
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis Counseling Services
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Dept. of Neurology & Psychiatry, Neuropsychology Division
  • Safe Connections
  • Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Center
  • Alton Mental Health Center
  • St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center
  • St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute
  • Alternatives Counseling, Inc.
  • St. Anthony’s Health Center
  • Chestnut Health Systems
  • Choices Counseling, Inc.

Typically, students are eligible to begin practicum after successful completion of their first two semesters of coursework. The program requires two semesters of practicum, but a third semester is available for elective credit. For the standard amount of credit hours (3), our program requires that a student spend at least 12 hours per week on site during fall or spring semesters (approximately 16 hours per week during summer semester). However, some practicum sites require students to spend up to 20 hours per week on site.

Regarding the master’s thesis—how do students determine their thesis topic, and who supervises it?

Students are encouraged to develop their own thesis topics. If students want to focus on a topic closely related to a faculty member’s research, we welcome that approach. If students want to focus on a topic that does not closely relate to a professor’s research (but, of course, is within the field of clinical psychology), our faculty will do our best to accommodate the student. We cannot promise that a faculty member will be competent to supervise every thesis idea, but collectively, we have a wide range of expertise and a commitment to helping students pursue research that is personally meaningful rather than simply a rote task to complete. Each master’s thesis is supervised by a committee consisting of three professors, one of whom serves as chair. Thesis committees are not limited to members of the Clinical Psychology faculty; in fact, when necessary, students may seek thesis committee members who are outside of the Department of Psychology. 

Do students’ master’s theses ever get published or presented at conferences?

Yes! Quite a few of our students’ master’s theses have been published in esteemed peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Journal of Clinical Psychology; Ethics & Behavior; Counselling and Psychotherapy Research; Journal of American College Health; American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation) or presented at national and regional conferences (e.g., American Psychological Association and Midwestern Psychological Association).

How many students are admitted, and when does admission take place?

We admit students on an annual basis, starting in the fall semester. Each new cohort typically includes about 10 students.

How can I apply?

Find application instructions at this link: http://www.siue.edu/education/psychology/graduate/apinfo.shtml

How selective is the admissions process?

The number of applications we receive varies from year to year, but the number is always far more than the approximately 10 that we will ultimately include in our cohort.

Which factors are important in admissions decisions?

We do a comprehensive evaluation of every application we receive, in which we consider all elements of the application. Important factors include undergraduate grades, recommendation letters, personal statement, GRE scores, clinical experience, research experience, and overall fit between the applicant’s goals and our program. We typically invite our most competitive applicants for personal interviews shortly before making final admissions decisions.

Does the program offer graduate assistantships?

Over the last 20+ years, with very rare exception, every student in our program who has applied for a graduate assistantship has received one. (Graduate assistantships are essentially part-time jobs within the university that provide tuition remission and a stipend for living costs.) Typically, our program has sufficient funding to offer assistantships to approximately one-third of the students we enroll. Those assistantships are offered at the time of admission and involve work within the Department of Psychology. For the other approximately two-thirds of students entering our program, we offer guidance to other departments in the university who are looking to hire graduate assistants. Often, these departments lack a graduate student population of their own, but seek high-quality graduate assistants, which our program has been able to consistently supply over the years. Graduate assistantships carry the same tuition remission and stipend whether housed within or outside of the Department of Psychology. While we cannot absolutely guarantee that all students will receive a graduate assistantship, and availability may change with budgetary issues, the fact that almost every student who has applied for a graduate assistantship has received one over multiple decades makes us very confident in our students’ chances.

Does the program have part-time or online options?

No. At this time, the program is only available as a full-time, in-person program.

Where is SIUE located?

SIUE is located in the thriving southern Illinois town of Edwardsville, less than a half hour from downtown St. Louis (from which some of our students and faculty commute) and about 4 hours from Chicago.

How can I get more information?

Contact the director of the graduate program, Dr. Andy Pomerantz, at apomera@siue.edu or (618) 650-3661. If you would like to speak directly to a current student or graduate, feel free to make that request to Dr. Pomerantz and he will be happy to connect you.

Statement on Diversity

The SIUE clinical psychology graduate program is dedicated to upholding the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA), including those emphasizing issues of diversity and multiculturalism. For example, Principle E (Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity) states that:

Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices (APA, 2002, p. 1063).

Therefore, we hold the expectation that our students, regardless of their own personal beliefs, will be aware of and respect these cultural, individual, and role differences, and will try to eliminate the effect on their work of such biases. An inability or refusal to do so may be reflected in a student's evaluation by faculty, and possibly remedial or restrictive action such as ineligibility for practicum experiences.

This statement was informed by:

American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060-1073. Also available at https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/.

Cuper, P. & Wise, E. (2010). The case of Leo: Conflict between student and program values. The Register Report, Spring, 18-20.

Policy on Student Evaluation

The SIUE clinical psychology graduate program evaluates its students once per semester. The evaluation process involves a meeting of the program faculty to discuss the progress of each student. The faculty may seek input from others with whom the student works (e.g., instructors of courses taught by others). The faculty rates each student in a variety of areas, including preparation/professionalism, academic performance, attitude, participation, collegiality, oral communication, written communication, acceptance of feedback/criticism, ethical behavior, and openness/respect for diversity. In a timely manner, faculty members arrange and hold meetings with each of their advisees in order to provide feedback. The rating form is then signed by the student and faculty advisor and kept in the student’s file.

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