Clinical Science: Curriculum

1. Introduction to the Profession of Psychology (2 units)

Incoming graduate students in all Department Programs are required to attend the seminar entitled “Introduction to the Profession of Psychology” (Psy 292). This seminar provides both a broad review of the field of psychology and an introduction to Psychology Department faculty members who will discuss their particular programs as well as summarize current developments in their areas. The seminar will also cover topics in professional development (e.g., scientific writing, convention presentations, journal review processes, professional and scientific ethics, and special issues facing women and minority psychologists). Students take Psy 292 in the Fall semester of Year 1.


2. Seminar on Professional Development (2 units)

Second or third-year graduate students in all Department programs are required to attend the Seminar on Professional Development (Psy 293) in the spring of the second or the third year in the program. This seminar focuses on various issues related to professional development. The seminar participants select actual topics at the beginning of the semester. Topics may include planning a research program, preparing for qualifying exams, choosing a dissertation committee, identifying career options, presenting work at conferences and in journals, preparing grant proposals, preparing for job interviews, juggling professional and personal life, and recognizing obstacles in career development. Psy 293 is usually taught each year in the Spring semester, and students take this during Year 2 or 3 of the program.


3. Statistics (6 units required)

All students are required to take two statistics courses while a student in residence in the program. Students typically take statistics courses taught in Psychology (e.g., Data Analysis: Psy 205A & 205B) but, in consultation with their advisor, may choose to take courses taught in other departments to fulfill the statistics requirement. Psy 205A and Psy 205B are usually taught each year. Students typically take these courses in Year 1 or Year 2 of the program. In the Fall of the first year, students often take part in QUARK workshops that help review key topics in statistics, in preparation for formal statistics classes.


4. Teaching of Psychology (2 units)

Students must enroll in the Teaching of Psychology seminar (Psy 300) before or concurrent with assuming GSI responsibilities. It is strongly recommended that students take this seminar in the fall of Year 1 or Year 2. This course covers a variety of teaching techniques, reviews relevant pedagogical issues, and assists graduate students in mastering their initial teaching experiences.


5. Individual Research (1-12 units per semester)

Beginning in the first semester of Year 1 and continuing throughout their years in residence, all students are required to register for individual research supervision (Psy 299) with a faculty member.


Clinical Science Program Requirements


6. Clinical Science Program Colloquia Series (1 unit per semester).

All students registered and in residence are required to enroll in and attend clinical science colloquia (Psy 239) every semester. In this course, students, faculty, and guest speakers present material of concern to the field of clinical science. The Clinical Science Program Colloquia meets 4 or more times each semester. These colloquia, as well as other program meetings to be scheduled on an impromptu basis, are held each semester on Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00. Students should keep this time slot (Tuesdays 3:30-5:00) free for colloquia and any such meetings. To facilitate this, no Psychology Clinic appointments are scheduled Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00.


7. Proseminar: Clinical Psychology (3 units)

The Proseminar in Clinical Psychology (Psy 230) is a review of major theories of the field of clinical psychology. The course covers adult and child psychopathology, ethnic minority mental health, culture and community influences. This is taken in Year 1 of the program.


8. Introduction to Clinical Methods(1 unit)

In the Spring semester of Year 1, students enroll in Intervention: Introduction to Clinical Methods (Psy 237H). This workshop-style course focuses on Psychology Clinic policies and procedures and introduces students to clinical supervisory staff. It includes training in conducting telephone consultations and initial consultations with clients through role playing a variety of interview and therapy scenarios.


9.  Research Methods (3 units)

This requirement may be fulfilled by 235 Clinical Research Methodsor by 250D-Personality Measurement which is taught by Oliver John or, with approval from your mentor, any research methods course on campus.


10. Clinical Assessment: Theory, Application, and Practicum (3 units)

The two-semester Clinical Assessment course (Psy 233A: Adult--3 units; Psychology 233B: Child--3 units) emphasizes the principles and methods of clinical interviews and includes intellectual, objective, and projective clinical assessment. One semester focuses on adult assessment; the other semester focuses on child and adolescent assessment. The courses include both didactic instruction and hands-on assessment experience with clients. Psy 233A & B are taught alternately each spring. Students take these courses in Years 1 and 2.


Note: All Clinical Science students in residence must carry APAIT Student Liability Insurance. Students apply for this insurance ( at the beginning of the first semester upon arrival in the program and renew it annually. The Clinical Science Program reimburses the cost of the coverage for clinical work conducted in the Psychology Clinic. Copies of the policy must be on file in the Clinic Office. See The clinical science academic program coordinator for further instructions.


11. Specialty Clinics (3 units per semester for the specialty clinic course, and 1 unit per semester for clinical supervision; four semesters are required in Years 2 and 3.)

Each year two or more Specialty Clinics are offered. Each Specialty Clinic (Psy 236) defines a clinical population, intervention issue, or community context to be served that year. The Specialty Clinic is a course in which the topic of interest is studied by reviewing the empirical literature, defining and developing an intervention/consultation, marketing and delivering the intervention/consultation, and evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention/consultation. Along with the Specialty Clinic course, students receive clinical supervision (Psy 237G, a separate course requiring separate enrollment). Students are required to enroll in a Specialty Clinic course and in clinical supervision each semester in Years 2 and 3.


12. Professional Development in Clinical Science (3 units per semester;four semesters are required in Years 2 and 3.)

Students working in the Psychology Clinic meet for two hours (plus one hour for individual meetings) per week to discuss Professional Development in Clinical Science including: theories of consultation; theories of supervision and supervision competencies; ethical standards of clinical care (risk management, risk assessment, informed consent, professional boundaries and behavior, HIPAA regulations, confidentiality and the limits on client-therapist confidentiality, documentation.)(Psy 237E) Students are required to enroll in this course each semester in Years 2 and 3.


13. Clinical Assessments

Students are required to complete 1 assessment  per year during Years 2 and 3 through the Psychology Clinic. If an Assessment Specialty Clinic is offered, enrolling in the Assessment Specialty Clinic may take the place of some or all this requirement.


14. Breadth (discipline-specific knowledge) Courses

To meet requirements for APA accreditation of the Clinical Science program, students are required to take

A.   History and Systems (1 credit, offered every 4-5 years). This requirement can also be covered through undergraduate coursework taken before program entry.


B.   Discipline-Specific Knowledge

Trainees are required to complete (1) foundational and (2) graduate-level training in the following breadth topics:

  • Affect
  • Biology
  • Cognition
  • Development
  • Social

(Hence, the acronym “ABCDS.”) 

Graduate-level training that integrates at least two of these ABCDS topics must be completed.


Foundational knowledge is defined by knowledge of a broad range of topics within each domain. Graduate level knowledge is defined by reading of primary sources and the ability to demonstrate critical thinking in that area.  


There are multiple routes to meeting the foundational requirements in each of these ABCDS topics including undergrad courses and Psychology GRE scores.  There are also several options for the graduate-level requirement, including graduate coursework or a porfolio. Please see the clinical science program manual for more detail


15. Electives

Students are encouraged to take as many elective courses as their schedules will allow. Elective courses might include: courses offered by other Psychology Department graduate programs and/or courses offered by other graduate departments. Choice of electives should be made in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. In addition, students are encouraged to attend colloquia offered by other graduate programs, both in the Psychology Department and campus-wide.


16. Diversity and Ethnic Minority Issues

The discussion of diversity and ethnic minority issues takes place in most Clinical Science Program courses, and is a focus of the history and systems class. Students are encouraged to take additional courses in diversity and ethnic minority issues while enrolled in the graduate program. Students with particular interests in the field of ethnic minority mental health and in cross-cultural psychology are also encouraged to seek internship experiences and to focus their research efforts in this field.


17. Ethics and Professional Issues

Ethics and other professional issues constitute an important part of training in clinical science. These issues are dis­cussed in a number of contexts including the Clinical Psychology Proseminar, Professional Development in Clinical Science, Specialty Clinics, Lab Meetings, Individual Supervision, and Clinical Science Program Colloquia.


Other Program Requirements


1. First-Year Research Proposal

Early in the Spring semester in Year 1, students submit for review by the core Clinical Science Program faculty a brief proposal (not more than two pages) describing their second-year research project. Students work closely with their faculty advisors to develop these proposals. In addition, a portion of the course time in the Clinical Psychology Proseminar will be devoted to helping students complete them.  The completed proposal is to be sent electronically to the clinical science academic program coordinator.If the project is not completed by the due date, a student may petition for an extension to the Director of the Clinical Training.  However, a student will not be considered to be in good standing until the project is completed.


2. Masters-Level Research

All students enrolled in the Clinical Science Program must complete a Masters-Level Research project regardless of having received an MA from another institution. The final version of a paper/thesis based on a research project is to be completed and approved by the last day of Spring Semester of Year 3.  Please consult the academic calendar for the specific date: If the pro­ject is not completed by this time, a student may petition for an extension to the Director of the Program. However, a student will not be considered to be in good standing until the project is completed. The paper need only be approved by the research ad­visor unless the student wishes to receive a Master's degree, in which case the thesis must be approved by the research advisor and two readers. (See the clinical science academic program coordinator for the appropriate internal approval form for advisor signature only.)


Additional paperwork is required if the student wishes to apply for a Master’s degree. For this application, please refer to this link: Students planning to file for a Master's degree should consult the Student Calendar in the Schedule of Classes for actual deadline dates. Applications for admission to candidacy are available in the Psychology Department's Student Services Office, or directly at: The application for the MA must be submitted to the Graduate Division by the September deadline date for a December degree and the February deadline date for a May degree. Completed Master's theses must be filed no later than the respective deadlines in December or May.


Note: Copies of all official forms must be supplied to the clinical science academic program coordinator, and the Psychology Department Graduate Student Advisor, prior to submission to the Graduate Division.


Each second-year student is expected to present his/her Masters-Level Research Project at a special Department-wide poster session organized in mid-May. In addition, Clinical Science Program students are required to present on their Masters-Level research projects in the Clinical Science Colloquia series in the Fall of Year 3.


Please forward an electronic copy of your final MA-Level Project to the clinical science academic program coordinator. 


3. Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

During their careers at Berkeley, Psychology graduate students are required to spend two semesters as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI). The Department may require one of these semesters to include Psychology 1 (Introductory Psychology) or 101 (Statistics). Psychology 375 (Teaching Psychology – 2 units) is required of all graduate students in the Department. This seminar must be taken before or concurrent with first assuming GSI responsibilities. It is recommended that students take the seminar in the fall of Year 1.


Note: For all questions related to GSI placement and funding, please contact Psychology Graduate Student Advisor, John Schindel at 642-1382 or


4. Qualifying Examination.

During Year 3, students should select a qualifying examination committee. The committee consists of at least four members: a chair (this person cannot be the student’s dissertation chair, per University regulations), two members from Psychology (usually including the student’s advisor), and one member outside the Psychology Department. Students will work with their committee members to select the three areas and written products that will serve as the basis of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination ("orals"). This requirement is designed to recognize career-enhancing activities that have taken place during the first three years of the program. As such, the three written products that constitute the written part of the Qualifying Examination can include a number of options. Note that only one may be a clinical case or conference paper:


  • A. First-authored publication: First-authored scientific or clinical case publication submitted to a peer reviewed journal. Note: The substantive portion of all first- authored papers must be written after entering the program to be considered for the Qualifying Examination, even if the data were collected elsewhere. First-authored book chapters will not count toward the written requirement of the Qualifying Examination.
  • B. Conference presentation: First-authored written conference paper (scientific research paper or clinical case presentation) presented at a conference. A first-authored poster will not count.
  • C. Substantive grant application: For example, a National Research Service Award (NRSA) application.
  • D. Review paper on area of interest.
  • E. Written essay exam questions provided by the committee.

5. The oral portion of the Qualifying Examination, a requirement of the Graduate School, must be scheduled one week after the three written products are turned in. It is expected that the Qualifying Examination will be completed by the end of Year 3 or beginning of Year 4. Students who do not meet this timeline can apply for an extension, but will not be considered to be in good standing until the qualifying examination is completed.


Note: Doctoral students who are preparing to take the Qualifying Examination (QE) must submit an application at least three weeks prior to the proposed date for the examination:


6. The Advancement to Candidacy application must be filed with the Graduate Division no later than the semester following completion of the exam:


7. Dissertation

A committee consisting of three faculty members (the faculty advisor, a member of another department or school, and one additional member of the Psychology Department faculty) must approve the dissertation proposal. Students are welcome to have additional members on the thesis advisory committee, but it is not mandatory. After approval, a three-person committee (advisor, outside member, and one additional Psychology faculty member) guides the work on the dissertation and is responsible for accepting the final dissertation.


Dissertation plans should normally be completed and approved by the beginning of Year 4 (or 5), with the dissertation completed by the end of Year 5 (or 6). Students must have their dissertation proposals approved prior to embarking on their full-time internships. More specifically, the dissertation proposal must be approved by October 1 of the year the student wishes to apply for internship.


Although dissertations can be submitted with the Graduate Division before successful completion of the internship, the doctoral degree cannot be awarded until after the successful completion of the internship. Doctoral degrees are conferred twice a year, in December and May. Deadline dates appear in the Schedule of Classes.


Note: There are special instructions for submitting the dissertation prior to or during the internship year. The clinical science program administrator can advise students about the appropriate procedures. An electronic copy of your dissertation must be forwarded to the academic program coordinator as soon as it is submitted to Graduate Division.

7. Year-Long Clinical Internship

A year-long, full-time internship is required of all students. Students normally submit applications in Year 4 or 5 for internships in Years 5 or 6. Students are required to obtain internship experience in an APA-approved setting. In recent years, the demand for internships has outstripped the supply. For this reason, it is important for students to plan to apply broadly to internship sites across the country. Internships in non-APA approved settings have negative implications for students’ career options and for the program’s accreditation status and thus will only be considered for approval by the Clinical Science Program faculty under extraordinary circumstances.


Students must complete all required course work prior to beginning the year-long internship. And the dissertation must be approved by October 1 of the year prior to the internship. Ideally, students will have completed the dissertation before the internship begins.


Note: Graduate students are not eligible for Department travel funds once the student has begun the year-long clinical internship.


Additional Research

Formal and informal research training and experience begin in the first year under the supervision of the student's advisor. Research training is tailored to the needs and career plans of the individual student. For most students, the formal research requirements (i.e., Masters-level research and the dissertation) are sup­ple­mented by additional individual and collaborative research projects undertaken during their tenure in the program. Students should discuss their evolving career plans with their advisors and other mentors early and often. Research goals can then be set that are most consistent with these plans.


Additional Course Work

The graduate program in Clinical Science is designed to have a limited num­­­ber of required courses, which are augmented by elective courses. Through­out their grad­uate work, students are encouraged to study substantive, research, and theoretical issues in diverse areas.


Additional Clinical Work

The bulk of students’ applied clinical training takes place during Years 2 and 3. To ensure a balance between theoretical and practicum learning and to facilitate student progress in meeting the research and other program requirements, students are asked to place a reasonable limit on clinical practicum activities. The expectation is that students are engaged in practicum activities from 12-15 hours per week during Years 2 and 3. Although caseloads are small, intensive supervision and detailed consideration of clients in Specialty Clinics are intended to give a firm base for developing the concepts and skills necessary for effective intervention. The clinical training that is provided by the program prior to the full-year internship more than meets the requirements established by the American Psychological Association.


Students who are in good standing in the program at the end of Year 3 may opt to obtain additional clinical experience in Years 4 or 5.Many students seek an off-site externship as a way of broadening their exposure to additional clinical populations, problems, and settings. These externships should require 10 hours or fewer per week. Participating in externships that entail 11-20 hours per week requires evidence of your being in good standing in the graduate program and making good progress in your research (e.g., publications, conference presentations). All externships must be approved by the Clinical Science Program Director and the faculty mentor prior to a student’s accepting an externship. Students may also elect to participate in additional assessments or an additional Specialty Clinic in the Psychology Clinic if these are thought to meet professional goals and if such opportunities are available(Please see The clinical science academic program coordinator for the appropriate required approval forms and Memorandum of Understanding prior to agreeing to an externship.)


Note: Once it is requested and approved that a student in year 4 or 5 will conduct additional clinical work (Externship, or Assessment or Specialty Clinic in the Psychology Clinic), the student is bound by that decision and is required to follow through and complete the additional training.