2022-2023 Catalog 
    Jun 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology PhD with Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology

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Program Mission

The program trains students according to the scientist-practitioner model in mental health diagnosis, assessment, and intervention for adults who have experienced traumas, and in basic and applied research on the psychological functioning of adults with a trauma history. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work in a range of settings, including mental health clinics and clinical practices, hospitals, VA’s, colleges and universities, state offices, research institutes, and as consultants to a wide variety of other professional and community providers of services to adults who are trauma survivors.

For more information on faculty and their areas of specialization, please see the faculty web page at https://psychology.uccs.edu/faculty

Program Goals and Objectives

Students will develop foundational skills in the science and practice of clinical psychology with an emphasis on trauma psychology. They will be prepared to provide diverse empirically-based assessment and psychotherapeutic services, conduct research, educate, and provide leadership. Specifically, the 3 formal goals of the program (and the objectives for each goal) are:

Goal #1: Produce graduates who have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry into the professional practice of clinical psychology 

Objectives for Goal #1:

   1-A: Demonstrate knowledge and skill in clinical assessment
   1-B: Demonstrate knowledge and skill in psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions
   1-C: Demonstrate knowledge of the ethics of clinical practice, including ethical practice with diverse populations
   1-D: Demonstrate knowledge of clinical supervision and consultation that is commensurate with level of training

Goal #2: Produce graduates who are capable of conducting, evaluating, and disseminating research

Objectives for Goal #2:

   2-A: Develop attitudes and skills essential for life-long learning and scholarly inquiry
   2-B: Develop knowledge and skills to conduct empirical psychological research
   2-C: Acquire knowledge and skills to disseminate research effectively to professional and lay audiences

Goal #3: Produce graduates who demonstrate competence in knowledge and skills in trauma psychology

Objectives for Goal #3:

   3-A: Demonstrate knowledge and skills in professional practice consistent with the New Haven competencies associated with graduate training in trauma psychology
   3-B: Demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to conduct empirical research in trauma psychology

These Goals are consistent with training in health service psychology; we aim to provide foundational knowledge to students seeking scientist-practitioner careers and specialty training in Trauma Psychology.

Program Requirements

Knowledge and skills in clinical psychology and basic scientific psychology are the foundations on which the trauma psychology focus is built. Students in this program are preparing to be clinical psychologists first and foremost, with a focus on trauma psychology as their curricular emphasis. Students entering this program are essentially agreeing to focus their work on trauma psychology rather than sampling the variety of populations and problems that might form the elective offerings in another program.

This program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training in clinical psychology, commonly referred to as the Boulder model. Under this model, professional psychologists are trained to be both scientists and practitioners with the goal of enhancing the interplay between science and practice. In an emerging field, such as trauma psychology, it is of utmost importance that practitioners add to the existing knowledge base regarding application strategies that are effective, and that scientists be informed of applied issues in shaping their pursuit of knowledge.

The curriculum will require at least five years of post-baccalaureate work to accomplish requirements of the doctoral degree. Students complete 120 hours of required and elective courses, a comprehensive exam, a dissertation of original scholarship, clinical practica, and a clinical internship (off site). The clinical curriculum requires specific coursework, required for licensure and accreditation, and an off site internship year. Students who enter the program with a BA or BS degree will earn an MA en route to the doctoral degree through the mechanism of the existing MA program.

Timeline for program completion: Completion of the Clinical Psychology PhD program from the BA or BS starting point will typically take five years of residence on campus with the sixth year allocated for internship (students should expect this time frame as the general rule pending unusual exceptions).

Doctoral students are also advised that this is a 12-month program with clinical Practicum obligations during the summers and some limited Spring pre-term course requirements. Clinical and research work are continuous without regard to the semester structures and students are funded to participate year round.

Successful completion of an APA-approved (or equivalent) one year (2000 hour) pre-doctoral internship is required for graduation.

This program values and promotes self-awareness as a significant component of training in clinical psychology. Students in this program engage in self-awareness exercises within their courses and practicum training, including assignments that promote growth in awareness of social structures that sustain privilege and oppression. Students are also strongly encouraged to engage in their own psychotherapy during their training.


The PhD program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association through 2029.

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 2002-4242
Tel: (202)336-5979
Email: APAAccred@apa.org 
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Admissions Requirements

 Applicants should have the following credentials:

  • A BS or BA degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • An overall average of 3.0 (“A” is equivalent to 4.0) or above in all undergraduate courses, and 3.5 or better on graduate coursework.
  • Graduate Record Exam scores of the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections. The advanced psychology test is strongly recommended.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors, clinical supervisors, and/or employers.
  • An adequate undergraduate program in psychology including college-level mathematics, statistics, experimental psychology, and some background in the biological, physical, and social sciences.
  • Applicants should have career goals consistent with the program emphasis in trauma psychology and desire training consistent with the scientist-practitioner model of training.

Promising students who do not meet all of the requirements may be considered as applicants.  Graduate level courses completed prior to admission may be transferable into the program. Applicants with previous graduate coursework or degree may request a review of their transcript and related materials to determine whether specific courses or thesis requirements may be waived.

Faculty of the program and of the psychology department are strongly committed to respecting diversity in all of its forms. We strive to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and student body.

Application Material and Deadlines

The application deadline for fall admission each year is December 1. Please see the Graduate School website at https://www.uccs.edu/admissionsenrollment/graduate for an online application.

Contact Information

Questions concerning the Clinical Psychology PhD with Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology can also be addressed by calling (719) 255-4500 or e-mailing Mr. David DuBois ddubois@uccs.edu.

For further information on the PhD program, please see the department website at https://www.uccs.edu/psych/graduate/phd-program.html.

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