Psychological Science with a concentration in Clinical Psychology

Statement of Goals, Purpose, and Values

Our program will lead the search for new knowledge in assessment, understanding, prevention, and treatment of psychological disorders and mental health concerns from an inclusive perspective that is psychologically, ecologically, socially and biologically informed. In this service, we will train clinical scientists to produce, implement, evaluate, and disseminate psychological science and to function as leaders in academic, research, and applied settings to improve the human condition from an inclusive lens.

Program Description

The UCI Clinical Psychology Program follows the clinical science model. Students gain a solid foundation in research methods and data analysis as a foundation that supports learning as well as creating empirically-supported principles of assessment and intervention. The program provides students with an appreciation of the reciprocal relations between research and practice.

The UCI Clinical Program is uniquely embedded within the School of Social Ecology, which emphasizes an integrative, biopsychosocial perspective on community, mental health, and physical health. Students approach clinical problems with an awareness of the complex interaction of biological, social, and community factors that influence how people interact with the environment around them.

Research is the central component of the Clinical Program. Each student works closely with a primary faculty research mentor. Program faculty and students conduct research on a wide range of topics, with work ranging from basic laboratory studies to problems in applied clinical and community settings. Students are encouraged to present research at professional conferences and to publish their work in professional journals. Clinical Program students are required to complete an empirical doctoral dissertation that makes a unique contribution to knowledge in their area of specialization.

Clinical Psychology at UCI is intended to be a five or six-year program, which includes a full-time one-year clinical internship. Pre-internship clinical training includes a minimum of two years (six academic quarters) of part-time placements in clinical settings. These clinical practica provide students with opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the classroom to real-world problems and diverse populations. Practicum placements will draw upon the rich clinical training opportunities in the greater Orange County area.

The required one-year full-time clinical internship is undertaken after the student has passed the comprehensive examination and successfully defended their dissertation proposal. Students are eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree after successful completion of all program coursework, the doctoral dissertation, and an approved internship.

Program Costs

For Academic Year 2021-2022, 100% of incoming students received financial support which included, at a minimum, a 9-month stipend of $23,000, university health coverage, and full coverage of tuition.  The school also pays local fees and Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) for the first 3 quarters. Nonresident students should petition for California residency prior to their second year of graduate study. Tuition and Mandatory fees per credit for Fall 2021:


California Resident (per credit)

Non-Resident (per credit) 

Tuition $11,442.00 $11,442.00
Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition - $15,102.00
Student Services Fee  $1,128.00 $1,128.00
Associated Graduate Students (GSHIP) Fee $27.00 $27.00
UCI Student Center Fee $426.30 $426.30
Bren Events Center Fee $69.00 $69.00
Recreation Center Fee $264.00 $264.00
eTech Fee Varies Varies
Document Fee $80.00 $80.00
Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) $4,680.66 $4,680.66
Total Tuition and Fees $18,036.96 $33,138.96

Although individual paths may vary, in many cases, students take 12 units throughout the duration of their graduate program. As an example, a typical first-year student (regardless of California residency), taking 12 units should expect to receive all units and fees paid for per quarter and a stipend of $7,748.84 per quarter. Second year and beyond, stipends continue to be offered and fees continue to be covered with the exception of “local fees.” These are assessed on a quarterly basis but are roughly estimated to amount to $262. Quarterly local fees include the following: 

  • AGS Fee: $9.00 
  • Student Center Fee: $142.10 
  • Bren Fee: $23.00
  • ARC Fee: $88.00

Please note, these are just estimates based on 2021 rates and are subject to change.

Many students seek additional income through loans or other sources. For more information on these options please visit the UCI Financial Aid and/or UCI Graduate Division websites. 

We do not vouch for the accuracy of the following, but Expatistan and Numbeo offer more information about the cost of living in Irvine. 


In our first year accepting students, we received over 500 applications and had an entering class of nine. Successful applicants to the program have strong research backgrounds (e.g., at least 1 year of research experience in a psychology lab, experience disseminating their research projects at a conference or to a journal), interests compatible with those of core clinical faculty, and interests in academic/research careers. 

The clinical program encourages applications from a diverse range of applicants, including (but not limited to) applications from people of different ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, religions, and ability statuses.

As a provisional member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP), the Clinical Psychology program at UCI adheres to CUDCP’s policies and guidelines for graduate school admissions, offers and acceptance. For additional information about these policies, please visit this link.

More information about clinical psychology and application tips also can be found at, offered by CUDCP.

To view a recording of the online information session held on Thursday, October 8, 2020, please click here

For information on how to apply, please click here.

Licensure Disclosures

As a new program aspiring towards, but currently not possessing, APA accreditation, we work to train our students in all the particulars of health service psychology so as to be equipped for excellence as scholars and clinicians.  We expect that the majority of our graduates will obtain professional licensure in clinical psychology. Because each state has governing boards (typically State Boards of Psychology) with different licensing requirements, we cannot guarantee that the specific training we provide will meet the criteria for licensure in any individual state.  Our program provides a curriculum and training experience consistent with current APA accreditation for a clinical program. If of interest, please consider reviewing current state licensing requirements at:

APA Services

State Board Contact Information

Consumer Information Disclosure

Additional Consumer Information

As a University of California (UC) program ultimately intended to provide licensure to practice clinical psychology in the state of California, our program must declare that admission into our program does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate in California. Licensure (as well as certification) requirements in California are determined by agencies not affiliated with the UC system and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

Students intending to seek licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet that state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

Please contact Claudia Campos, Graduate Affairs Manager at with questions.

For more information, see our FAQ below.

Central Clinical Faculty

  • Jessica Borelli, PhD (developmental psychopathology, attachment, emotion, prevention of mental health problems in children and adolescents)
  • Susan Charles, PhD (emotional processes across the adult life span, subjective experience and cognitive processes, health and emotion)
  • Kate Kuhlman, PhD (developmental psychopathology, psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneuroendocrinology, early life stress, and adolescent depression)
  • Elizabeth Martin, PhD (emotion and social functioning in individuals with psychosis and psychosis-risk; EEG)
  • Daniel Nation, PhD (clinical neuropsychology, aging, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular disease, vascular cognitive impairment, brain imaging and cognitive impairment, biomarkers of cognitive impairment)
  • Ray Novaco, PhD (anger, violence, stress, trauma, and interventions)
  • Stephen Schueller, PhD (Health, technology, implementation science, treatment and prevention, depression, positive psychology)
  • Jason Schiffman, PhD Director of Clinical Training (identification and prevention of early psychosis, addressing issues of health disparities across racial/ethnic groups among individuals at clinical high-risk) 
  • Julian Thayer, PhD (health psychology, psychopathology, health disparities, heart rate variability, emotions, stress)
  • Alyson Zalta, PhD (trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, moral injury, resilience, treatment & prevention)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the program’s orientation/philosophy?
The clinical program at UCI is a “clinical science” program. This means the program is designed to produce psychologists who are devoted to the advancement of scientific knowledge in clinical psychology and who have a broad range of clinical proficiencies in assessment and treatment. We aim to develop clinical psychology scholars whose research achievements provide prototypes for understanding mental health problems and for developing psychotherapeutic interventions and prevention programs.

If I attend UCI’s clinical program, will I graduate from an accredited program?
Following the American Psychological Association’s timeline for accreditation, our program will likely have obtained accreditation status before the graduation of our inaugural class (i.e., students can expect to graduate from an APA-accredited program). We are also actively investigating accreditation through the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).

Why UCI for graduate training?
Students will gain from the interdisciplinary orientation of the School of Social Ecology with faculty/programs in UCI’s Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Law, Education, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Arts, and Engineering, and UCI’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and the Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders. Training will feature a partnership with Psychiatry and Human Behavior as well as community mental health agencies. Additionally, the School of Social Ecology houses the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, the Center for Psychology and Law, and the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, and UCI’s Campus Center for Neuroimaging. In addition to these educational and research resources, as well as being consistently ranked as a top 10 public university by US News and World Report, the UCI campus is located between Los Angeles and San Diego, and is just minutes from the Pacific ocean.

When I graduate, what will I be able to do?
The program will prepare students for a broad range of high-demand careers. These include university faculty positions and research tracks; positions in behavioral medicine and health psychology in medical schools and healthcare organizations; positions as clinical psychologists in public- and private-sector mental health facilities; positions in forensic psychology; and applied research positions in companies, organizations, and programs that address mental health.      

How long is the clinical program designed to take to complete?
The program is six years, including a one-year, full-time internship. The first five years are intended to be spent in residence at UCI. 

Am I guaranteed funding?
All graduate students in our program are guaranteed funding for the first five years of the program. Funding comes from teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. 

What type of courses will I take?
Students in the program will take a broad range of clinical, research, and statistics courses. These courses will include adult or child psychopathology, psychological assessment, clinical interviewing, neuropsychological assessment, evidence-based psychological treatments, multicultural issues, research methods, and psychometrics.

What are the program’s thoughts on issues of diversity or inclusive excellence?
As a minority serving institution, UCI is committed to attracting doctoral students who can help meet the mental health needs of a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse population. We seek to attract a diverse applicant pool to increase student diversity and diversity in clinical psychology more broadly.

How are admissions decisions made?
We approach admissions decisions holistically, attempting to evaluate applicants based on a variety of attributes demonstrated across their academic career and life’s journey to date. Students will be selected for admission based on interests that are congruent with our clinical program’s provisions and emphases on clinical science.

If I am not interested in research, is this program right for me?
No, this program aims to produce psychologists who are devoted to the advancement of scientific knowledge in clinical psychology. Thus, conducting and disseminating research is a main focus. 

Do you have full disclosure/student admissions and outcome data?
As this is the first year we are admitting students, we do not yet have these data. When we do, they will be posted here. 

Do you require the GRE or Psychology GRE?
GREs are an optional part of the 2021 admissions cycle. 

Application Requirements

Applications are due December 1st. Applicants to Psychological Science with a Concentration in Clinical Psychology will complete an online application via SLATE. Please note, that in order to apply to the Concentration in Clinical Psychology, applicants must use the major code, 176. Below are the components/steps of the online application. 

For additional details, including eligibility requirements, please visit the Graduate Division application page.

  1. Statement of Purpose.
    • In your statement, please indicate what faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working. Your statement should describe your background, research experience, current and future research interests, future goals, and how you see yourself fitting in our department.
  2. Personal History Statement.
  3. GREs are not required for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. They are optional, and scores will not be considered in initial admission decisions because some students were unable to take the exam, and others could only take the exam in sub-optimal conditions. However, for students who wish to include their scores to supplement their application, they are welcome to do so. We will consider scores as additional material. If you choose to include GRE scores in your application, please note that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UCI is: 4859. Please visit the Graduate Division Website for more information.
  4. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended after high school. Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts directly into the online application.
  5. Submit your non-refundable application fee ($120 for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents, and $140 for all other applicants). The application fee can be paid by credit card only; checks will not be accepted.
    • Fee waivers are available are available to qualified domestic applicants only. Eligibility to apply for a fee waiver is determined by program participation, US veteran status, or demonstrated financial need based on information requirements specified on the application.
  6. Three letters of recommendation. Paper LORs will not be accepted. They must be uploaded digitally. These letters should speak to your academic and/or professional achievement, describe your strengths and weaknesses, and comment on your character, integrity and motivation are especially useful. Additional information regarding letters of recommendation can be found here.
  7. International students must meet English language proficiency requirements for admission and may also need to meet proficiency requirements in order to serve as a Teaching Assistant (most students serve as a TA). Submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score is highly encouraged at the time of application.