Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychological Science


Statement of Goals, Purpose, and Values

The clinical area 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.

Area Description

The UCI Clinical Psychology area 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 area provides students with an appreciation of the reciprocal relations between research and practice.

The UCI Clinical area 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 area. Each student works closely with a primary faculty research mentor. Clinical area 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 area 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 area, 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 area coursework, the doctoral dissertation, and an approved internship.

Area Aims

1. To produce graduates who possess a solid foundation of knowledge in core areas of scientific psychology and research consistent with a biopsychosocial and clinical-science framework.

2. To produce graduates who possess the ability to design and conduct research studies that can provide independent contributions to knowledge.

3. To produce graduates who can conduct competent clinical practice in the areas of assessment and intervention.

4. To produce graduates who can practice psychology and conduct psychological research according to ethical standards.

5. To produce graduates who can practice psychology and conduct psychological research with sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity.

For more information, see our Clinical Area Handbook or visit our FAQ below. 

For questions regarding admissions, please see here or contact Irice Castro, Associate Director of Graduate Affairs at

Clinical Psychology Area Newsletter

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Newsletter Subscription Form

Volume 1 - January 2022

Volume 2 - January 2023

Volume 3 - January 2023

Clinical Area Costs

Students are offered a full funding package for 5 years, which includes 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 2022-2023 academic year:


California Resident


Tuition $11,700.00 $11,700.00
Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition - $15,102.00
Student Services Fee  $1,152.00 $1,152.00
Associated Graduate Students (GSHIP) Fee $27.00 $27.00
UCI Student Center Fee $432.99 $432.99
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) $4,871.85 $4,871.85
Total Tuition and Fees $18,516.84 $33,618.84

All tuition and fees (with the exception of “local fees” that are estimated to be less than $300) are covered by UCI for the first 5 years in the program (assuming out-of-state students become CA residents before their 2nd year). This table is simply describing what is covered in our funding package. Coverage of tuition and fees is in addition to the annual stipend of $23,000. Students do not have to pay these fees, but rather UCI pays them on the behalf of students. 

Although individual paths may vary, in many cases, students take 12 units throughout the duration of their graduate program. For 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 $264. Quarterly local fees include the following: 

  • AGS Fee: $9.00 
  • Student Center Fee: $144.33 
  • Bren Fee: $23.00
  • ARC Fee: $88.00

Please note, that these are just estimates based on 2022-2023 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. Apartment Advisor provides a platform to help students find the best off-campus housing for their needs. 

APA Accreditation

We have begun the process of applying for accreditation. Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:

Licensure Disclosures

As a new area 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.  The clinical area 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

Consumer Information Disclosures

State Board Contact Information

As a University of California (UC) area ultimately intended to provide licensure to practice clinical psychology in the state of California, our area must declare that admission into our area 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).

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)
  • 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 area’s orientation/philosophy?
The clinical area at UCI is a “clinical science” area. This means the area 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 choose UCI’s clinical area, will I graduate from an accredited program?
Following the American Psychological Association’s timeline for accreditation, our area 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 area 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 area designed to take to complete?
The area 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 area are guaranteed funding for the first five years. Funding comes from teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. 

What type of courses will I take?
Students in the area 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 clinical area’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 area’s provisions and emphases on clinical science.

If I am not interested in research, is the clinical area right for me?
No, this area 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 upcoming admissions cycle. 


In our first year accepting students, we received over 500 applications and had an entering class of nine. Successful applicants to the area 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 area 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 area 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.

For information on how to apply, please click here.

Application Requirements

Applications are due December 1st.  Applicants to the clinical area will complete an online application via SLATE. Below are the components/steps of the online application. 

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

  1. Statement of Purpose (essay format, 1200 words maximum)
    • Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization. We expect applicants to include:
      • A description of your background, research experience, current and future research interests, future goals, and how you see yourself fitting in our department.
      • Name(s) of the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working and why.
  2. Personal History Statement
    • In your personal history statement, please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. A sample of topics you might address in your statement is below. However, please structure your statement in any way that you feel best represents your personal history.
      • Any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences or opportunities relevant to your academic journey
      • Challenges and/or obligations you have had to address in order to achieve your educational goals and how you addressed them
      • Prior employment, as a student or as a working professional, that is relevant to your pursuit of a graduate degree
      • Discuss any leadership roles or plans, outreach, or community service experiences and goals that have or will benefit others or the community
      • How your perspectives, activities, or goals have or may contribute to inclusivity and/or broaden your understanding of the experiences of diverse groups of peopleAny educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences or opportunities relevant to your academic journey.

      We also expect applicants to include the following in the context of the above:

      • Any experience(s) you have in advocating for diversity in organizations or communities of which you have been a member (3-5 sentences).
      • Any significant challenge(s) you have faced and your ability to demonstrate resilience and achievement despite the challenges (3-7 sentences).
      • Your interest in an academic career in teaching/research and/or other professional goals and interests you may have (3-5 sentences).
  3. GREs Scores
    • GRE scores are optional. We do not require applicants to our graduate program to submit a GRE score report as part of their application. Applicants may choose to submit GRE test scores, and they will be reviewed as one part of the application evaluation. Applications with GRE scores will not be given greater consideration than those without scores. For applicants who wish to include their scores to supplement their application, please note that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UCI is: 4859. Please visit the Graduate Division Website for more information.
  4. Transcripts
    • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended after high school. Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts directly into the online application.
  5. Application Fee
    • Non-refundable application fee ($135 for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents, and $155 for all other applicants). The application fee can be paid by credit card only; checks will not be accepted.
      • Fee waivers are available to qualified domestic applicants only. Eligibility to apply for a fee waiver is determined by diversity program participation, US veteran status, or demonstrated financial need based on information requirements specified on the application.
  6. Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are required and must be uploaded digitally. Paper Letters will not be accepted. 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. English Language Proficiency Requirement
    • 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. 
      • All graduate applicants, except those who have earned an undergraduate or master's degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database, are required to demonstrate English proficiency for admissions consideration. If English is not the sole language of instruction listed or if no language is listed at all, the waiver does not apply and the applicant is required to take and pass an approved English proficiency test (TOEFL or IELTS).
      • English proficiency for Teaching Assistantship - All international students, including those with Permanent Resident status, who wish to serve as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate must pass an oral English proficiency exam approved by UCI. Exemptions to this exam are ONLY given to students who meet specific criteria listed on the Graduate Division website for English Proficiency for Teaching Assistantships. For more detailed information on these exams of spoken English proficiency, including the respective passing scores, please review the English Proficiency Summary Chart.

Information Sessions

Online information sessions will be hosted by UCI Social Ecology representatives and are designed for prospective students to learn more about the Psychological Science Ph.D. programs, application requirements, tuition & funding. Archived information sessions and application workshop registration can be found here.

If you would like additional information, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact us here.