The program is designed to follow the scientist-practitioner model of training (also known as the “Boulder Model”) (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10717972). Program faculty are thus committed to the idea that the professional practice of psychology is grounded on the science of psychology, and the science of psychology is optimally established by the practice of psychological findings (such as in clinical practice). Consistent with this model, academic knowledge, research skills, and clinical skills, and especially their integration, are emphasized throughout students' tenure in the Program. The Program is designed so that students' skills develop in a sequential and cumulative fashion that increases in complexity. The Program strives to develop scientist-practitioners who are capable of obtaining careers in academic, research and clinical settings. Thus, graduates of the program are prepared to practice as clinical psychologists, teachers, researchers, consultants, and administrators. Click here to see a complete list of teaching goals of the doctoral program.
The Program curriculum requires 84 credit hours. Requirements include coursework, supervised clinical practica, a master's thesis, a doctoral qualifying examination, a doctoral dissertation, and a 12-month pre-doctoral internship (required by all clinical psychology programs). Students typically spend 4-5 years on-site, including extensive clinical training at externship sites.
The program seeks to train graduates to be competent in the following general areas. (A link to the page listing specific competencies comprising these general goals can be found at the bottom of this page.)
The scientific bases of clinical psychology
By the time they graduate, students will have developed a broad foundation and understanding of the knowledge base in psychology especially as it applies to clinical psychology. This includes understanding the biological bases of behavior, the cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, personality, and human development across the lifespan.
By the time they graduate, students will have developed an extensive knowledge base and high-level skills needed to make significant research contributions to the empirical and theoretical literatures of clinical psychology.
By the time they graduate, students will be on their way to becoming skilled clinicians who understand and apply empirically-supported techniques of assessment, intervention, consultation and supervision. They will be capable of developing effective working relationships with individuals, groups, and/or communities, as well as multidisciplinary teams within a variety of clinical settings.
Cultural and individual diversity
By the time they graduate, students will have an appreciation of and knowledge about the relevance of ethnic, racial, age, gender, cultural, and individual diversity and how these issues apply to both scientific research and clinical practice.
Ethical and professional standards
By the time they graduate, students will have an appreciation of and expertise in applying ethical, professional and legal principles that relate to both scientific research and clinical practice.
Training in research skills such as statistics, measurement, and research methods ensures competence in conducting empirical research and in critically evaluating one's own and others' clinical and empirical work.
The Program seeks to train students who are interested in making significant contributions to scientific clinical psychology. The program uses an apprenticeship model, and applicants to the program are strongly encouraged to specify which faculty research laboratory they would like to enter. Faculty research interests and descriptions of research labs can be found on this page. Students begin research training as soon as they begin the program. Before the second year, the student proposes a master's research project, which is completed by the end of the second year. The third, fourth and fifth years are typically the time to write the doctoral qualifying exam (DQE) and to complete the dissertation. Throughout their tenure in the Program, students are strongly encouraged to make presentations at research conferences and to submit manuscripts for publication in research journals.
The Program is therefore not appropriate for those interested solely in clinical practice.
Students become competent in professional practice skills, such as assessment, interventions, and consultation. Supervised clinical experiences are planned throughout the curriculum.
Graduates of the Clinical Program demonstrate competency in the assessment and treatments of children, adolescent and adults, and basic proficiency in consultation and supervision. The doctoral graduate is expected to demonstrate understanding of professional practice issues, including ethical principles, legal guidelines, and multicultural and diversity issues. Doctoral students obtain their initial clinical training in both assessments and interventions under the close supervision of departmental clinical faculty at the Center for Psychological Services, which is in the Department of Psychology. Several specialty clinics within CPS serve as laboratories for cutting-edge clinical research (e.g., the ADHD clinic, the Autism clinic). Numerous external training sites are available in the Milwaukee area, including but not limited to numerous clinics within Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center. The quality of clinical training can be seen in the success of advanced students, who routinely obtain one of their top choices in the highly competitive national Internship Match Program.
A 12-month predoctoral internship is completed prior to granting of the doctoral degree.
The Program places great value on ethnic and cultural diversity. Numerous faculty focus primarily on diversity-related issues in their research laboratories. Training experiences with traditionally underserved populations are readily available. The Multicultural Awareness and Professional Integration Program is a specialty certificate for doctoral students to assist them in gaining additional knowledge of multicultural issues.
The Program is very flexible. Its apprenticeship model allows students to gain specialized training in areas of most interest to them. All students take the same coursework, but research and clinical training diverge greatly. Some students focus on adults, others focus on children, and still others focus on families. Some students specialize in neuropsychology, whereas others focus on interventions. Several faculty are involved in the development and empirical evaluation of psychological interventions for various clinical populations. So, whereas there are not “tracks” in the Program, by choosing faculty with whom to work, students enrolled in the program develop specialized expertise.
The goal of the Program is to prepare students for successful careers as scientist-practitioners. Thus, faculty strive to create an environment that fosters scholarly productivity. Students are encouraged to apply for internal and external research funding, to present at professional conferences ,and to publish in scientific journals.
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Any other questions about the Program can be directed to the Program’s Administrative Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to the Director of Clinical Training (email@example.com).