Psychological Science with a concentration in Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Ph.D. concentration offers training in clinical psychology guided by a clinical science model to prepare future leaders for careers as clinical scholars and mental health care leaders. In addition to the clinical faculty listed below, graduate students in the clinical area can conduct research with faculty from the Affective Science, Developmental, Health, or Social and Personality areas.

For more information, see our FAQ below.

For information on how to apply, please click here.

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


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 and Interim Director of Clinical Training (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 (mHealth, technology, implementation science, treatment and prevention, depression, positive psychology)
  • Jason Schiffman, PhD (identification and prevention of early psychosis, addressing issues of health disparities across racial/ethnic groups among individuals at clinical high-risk) (Joining the faculty as Director of Clinical Training fall of 2021)
  • 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 recruiting students, we do not yet have these data. When we do, they will be posted here. 

Do you require the GRE or Psychology GRE?
Due to COVID-19, 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 2021-22 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.