2022-2023 Catalog 
    Oct 04, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (San Francisco)

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School: California School of Professional Psychology

Modality(ies): On-ground

Calendar(s): Semester

CIP Code: 42.2801

Program Description/Overview

The Clinical Psychology doctoral program prepares students to function as multifaceted clinical psychologists through curriculum based on an integration of psychological theory, research and practice. This program is a practitioner and scholar-oriented program. The program includes four major areas of study: foundations of psychology, clinical and professional theory and skills, research and professional growth. While meeting overall program requirements, students can also follow their own clinical and research interests and further their individual career goals by selecting course electives, research and field placements consistent with their interests.

Our program educates students both to conduct psychological research and to become broadly trained practitioners. We provide research training to help clinical psychologists become capable of being productive scholars who contribute to the body of psychological literature. We provide students with the knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes necessary to evaluate psychological functioning and provide effective interventions with diverse clients across a range of settings. We infuse multicultural perspectives throughout our curriculum, offering courses focusing on social justice concerns and the needs of diverse populations, and provide clinical practicum placements (field placements) that offer exposure to a range of client populations.

The program is designed to address all five levels of the biopsychosocial model of human functioning: biological, psychological, familial, community, and sociocultural. We encourage students to develop a personal integration of cognitive-behavioral, family systems, multicultural, and contemporary psychodynamic approaches. Because of the extensive clinical course offerings at CSPP-San Francisco, students are able to develop in-depth expertise in one or more of those orientations by selecting sections of required courses, elective courses, clinical practicum placement (field placements), and supervisors that emphasize a specific theoretical orientation in therapy.

We have special applied research fellowship opportunities with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) allowing students in this special Fellows program to access and work with the research division of the SFDPH, which has a unique integrated database system as well as independently funded projects. Additionally, there are several core faculty who have their own funded projects in which students can engage in the research and program evaluation activities of clinical research projects while being mentored by our core faculty. We are currently developing more research opportunities with Veterans Administration facilities across the Bay Area.

The standard PhD curriculum is five years and is designed to give students the opportunity to complete the dissertation before beginning a full-time internship in the fifth year. However, in consultation with their faculty advisor, students may extend their time to take additional courses and complete research work, or with petition to the program director may extend the internship. A minimum of 60 academic units are required pre-candidacy (first/second years) and a minimum of 60 academic units and 30 internship units are required post-candidacy (third/fourth/fifth years).


Our APA-accredited Clinical Psychology program emphasizes research and clinical training equally, with special strengths in:

  1. Multicultural Psychology, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Psychology, and Gender Studies
  2. Community Psychology, Substance Abuse, and Program Evaluation
  3. Trauma, Stress, and Resilience
  4. Child/Adolescent Psychology

Because of the extensive courses offered in the program, students can develop in-depth expertise in one or more of these areas of special strength by selecting sections of required courses, elective courses, clinical practicum (field placements), and supervisors who emphasize a special theoretical orientation or population in therapeutic settings.

Students in the program also have the unique opportunity to gain real-world experience through a variety of field placements. The program is affiliated with over 150 field placement sites that students may choose from when applying for field training.

For more information, visit the San Francisco Bay Area Community Services and Placements page.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

Program Aims, Competencies and Elements

The Ph.D. Program has adopted a series of three aims, nine competencies and related elements designed to implement its philosophy and meet overall program aims. The competencies are met operationally through various academic and training activities that include courses, practicum and internship placements, and supervised research experiences. Multiple data sources are used to assess outcomes relative to these competencies. These competencies specify attitudes, knowledge, and skills that students are expected to achieve by the time they graduate from the program and perceptions and professional achievements alumni are expected to report as they pursue their profession. The elements are the expected specific outcomes for each of the respective competencies.

AIM 1: To educate students to conduct applied research and to be grounded in, and contribute to, the knowledge base of psychology.

AIM 2: To prepare students to be effective professional psychologists skilled at evaluating theoretical and scientific knowledge, psychological functioning and providing efficacious interventions with diverse clients across a range of settings. We define diversity in keeping with Principle E of the 2010 amended version of the 2002 “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct”, as reflecting individual, role, and cultural differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, socioeconomic status, and other differences.

AIM 3: To prepare ethical and responsible professional psychologists who are able to work collaboratively with other professionals, as well as take on multiple roles, in varied settings and develop attitudes and skills essential for lifelong learning and productivity.

The competencies incorporate attitudes, knowledge and skill attainment in relation to clinical practice, research and professional projects and activities. It is understood that the attitudes need to be addressed before acquisition of knowledge can be attained followed by skill attainment. It is expected that throughout the courses taught at the institution, multicultural issues are properly integrated into the curriculum across all subject matters. 

Profession-Wide Competencies

All students are expected to acquire and demonstrate substantial understanding of and competence in the following nine profession-wide competency areas:

Competency 1:  Research

  1. Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities that are of sufficient quality and rigor to contribute to the scientific, psychological or professional knowledge base.
  2. Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
  3. Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activities via professional presentations and publications at the local, regional, and national level.

Competency 2:  Ethical and Legal Standards

  1. Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with the current version of APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
  2. Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, rules and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, state, regional, and federal levels.
  3. Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  4. Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Competency 3:  Individual and Cultural Diversity

  1. An understanding of how their own personal/cultural history may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves (including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, disability, and people of different ages).
  2. Knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity, including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
  3. Ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual, cultural and diverse differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities).

Competency 4:  Professional Values and Attitudes

  1. Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  2. Engage in self-reflection; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being and professional effectiveness.
  3. Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  4. Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with an increasingly greater degree of independence as they progress along levels of training.

Competency 5:  Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  1. Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services.
  2. Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications; demonstrate a grasp of professional language and concepts.
  3. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Competency 6:  Assessment

  1. Demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal, and cultural).

  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.

  4. Select and apply assessment methods that draw from empirical literature; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods.

  5. Interpret assessment results to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations.
  6. Communicate, orally and in written documentation, the findings and implications of an assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a diverse range of clients and audiences.

Competency 7:  Intervention

  1. Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
  2. Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
  3. Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature.
  4. Apply the relevant research literature to critical decision-making.
  5. Evaluate intervention effectiveness and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
  6. Evaluate intervention effectiveness.

Competency 8:  Supervision

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to integrate supervisor feedback into professional practice

Competency 9:  Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary skills

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.

Discipline-Specific Knowledge

In addition, all students are expected to possess discipline-specific knowledge in the following four categories:

Category 1: History & Systems of Psychology and Basic Content Areas in Scientific Psychology
Category 2: Basic Content Areas in Scientific Psychology (affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior)
Category 3: Advanced Integrative Knowledge in Scientific Psychology
Category 4: Research Methods, Statistical Analysis, and Psychometrics

Training Model

A Scholar-Practitioner Model

This program features a scholar-practitioner model that educates students to become broadly trained practitioners and to conduct a broad range of psychological research such that they are capable of being productive scholars who contribute to the body of psychological literature. The program provides students with the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes necessary to evaluate psychological functioning and provide effective interventions with diverse clients across a range of settings. We infuse social justice and multicultural perspectives throughout our curriculum, offer courses focusing on diverse populations, and provide clinical practica (field placements) that offer exposure to a range of client populations.


All psychologists who offer direct services to the public for a fee must be licensed or certified by the state in which they practice. Applicants for licensure in the State of California must hold an earned doctoral degree in psychology, educational psychology, education with a specialization in counseling psychology, or education with a specialization in educational psychology from an approved or accredited educational institution. They also must have completed 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience (of which at least 1,500 must be postdoctoral) and have taken and passed the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Supplemental Examination (CPSE). In addition, they must submit evidence of having completed coursework in human sexuality, child abuse, substance abuse, spousal abuse, and aging and long-term care. Continuing education is required to maintain the license. CSPP doctoral course requirements are designed to fulfill the programmatic requirements for licensure in California.

Every state has its own requirements for licensure. Therefore, it is essential that all Clinical PhD students who plan to apply for licensure in states other than California contact the licensing board in those states for information on state requirements (e.g., coursework, practicum and internship hours, supervision, or nature of the doctoral project or dissertation). Students seeking licensure in other states should plan to ensure they meet those states’ requirements.

For further information on licensure in California or other states contact:

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
PO Box 241245
Montgomery, AL 36124-1245
(334) 832-4580
Email: asppb@asppb.org


California Board of Psychology
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1400
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-2699
Email: bopmail@dca.ca.gov


Practice Directorate American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org

Programmatic Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA), which requires that we provide data on:

  1. Time to Completion
  2. Program Costs
  3. Internship Placement Rates
  4. Attrition
  5. Licensure

For more information, see Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data.

American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information

Field Training

Students begin their professional clinical training in their second year (Practicum I) in community mental health centers, clinics, inpatient mental health facilities, medical settings, specialized service centers, rehabilitation programs, residential or day programs, forensic/ correctional facilities, and educational programs. In their third year (Practicum II) and often in their fourth year (Supplemental Practicum), students continue clinical training or clinical research practicum experiences. Students typically receive a minimum of 1600 hours of clinical training prior to internship. The San Francisco Bay Area offers an enormous range of training opportunities, in service of individuals representing diverse populations. Students have conducted field placements in many diverse agencies, including: Veteran’s Affairs settings, Kaiser Permanente, and community mental health clinics.

Practicums offer 20 hours per week on average of training that includes direct clinical service, supervision, and didactic training. San Francisco Bay Area student practicum placements are facilitated and supervised through our Office of Professional Training. All students in their field practicums received at least one individual and one group supervision session per week. Although not required for the degree, some students choose to complete a supplemental practicum in their fourth year while applying for predoctoral internship and completing their dissertation research.

An optional and funded research practicum is also available for students, often with students in their first or third year in the program. Established in conjunction with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, that one-year, 8-10 hours per week research and evaluation practicum placement provides a fundamental understanding of research and evaluation within a public health context.

The selection of professional training (practicum) placements for each student is guided by:

  1. CSPP’s requirement for diverse and rigorous professional training experiences,
  2. The rules and regulations of the California Board of Psychology, the body charged with the licensing of psychologists in the State of California, and
  3. The American Psychological Association’s criteria for practicum and internship training.

The primary criteria used in selection and approval of placements are the quality of the training experience and the supervision provided for the student.

The San Francisco Bay Area campus places students in agencies throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties. Additional placements are in some counties outside the immediate Bay Area, including Napa, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, San Benito, and Yolo counties. Because stipends are modest and relatively scarce, particularly at the practicum level, students should not count on them to finance their studies.

Students typically begin the required pre-doctoral internship in the fifth year. All students are required to attend APA-accredited internships (exceptions to policy can occur via petition to the program director), pursued through the national selection process. We strongly support students in preparing for and applying to APA-accredited internships.


All students must enroll in a research seminar beginning their second semester in the program and remain continuously enrolled in research seminar, followed by dissertation and extension units, until both the First Research Project and dissertation are complete. This intimate, small-group setting, with groups comprised of students in all years of the program, gives students a chance to work with faculty members on areas of shared interest and faculty expertise. Consent of the instructor is required to enter a research seminar, and matching of new students to research seminars is done during the fall semester. Students have an opportunity to meet research seminar faculty during orientation and may visit seminars and have individual appointments with instructors before making their selections. Assignments are made based on students’ interests and preferences and their match with faculty preferences and expertise. In past years, most students have been placed into their first-choice seminar, but we cannot guarantee that this will be the case for all students.

In addition to clinical practica, students are involved in research projects that are coordinated by our core faculty. Over the course of four years, students learn how to apply skills they have learned in statistics and research design to actual research projects through the design and presentation of their “First Research Project” that will be completed by the end of the 2nd year. The “First Research Project” generally leads to their dissertation that will be completed at the end of the 4th year. These projects involve faculty expertise primarily in the areas of multicultural and community psychology, LGBT psychology, gender studies, program evaluation, social justice, trauma related disorders (e.g., PTSD, depression, addiction, suicide), stress and resilience, health and sleep psychology, and child and family development.

Students often work with researchers in collaborative institutions, including: University of California at San Francisco, Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers, Stanford University, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Because of collaborative work in research practicum and methods courses, students and faculty present their work at several professional conferences every year, including the meetings and annual conventions of the following professional associations:

  1. American Psychological Association (APA)
  2. Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  3. Association for Women in Psychology
  4. National Council of School and Programs of Professional Psychology
  5. National Multicultural Summit
  6. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  7. Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy
  8. Western Psychological Association
  9. California Psychological Association

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 150

Total Core Credit Units: 143

Total Elective Credit Units: 7

Total Concentration Credit Units: N/A

Credit for Previous Work

Entering students may be eligible to receive credit for previous graduate work from a regionally accredited master’s or doctoral program.

The following graduate level courses will be considered for credit for previous work: Social Bases of Behavior; Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior; Biological Aspects of Behavior; Lifespan Human Development; History and Systems; Advanced Psychopathology; Observation and Interviewing; Principles of Psychotherapy; Intellectual Assessment; Theory & Technique of Clinical Practice; and elective units. Other courses may be considered.

Students who have completed an empirical master’s thesis in psychology may be able to get transfer or waiver credit for the first and second semesters of the Research Seminar and waive the requirement for a First Research Project. To do so, they must submit a copy of their master’s thesis (in English) to the Program Director so that it can be evaluated by program faculty.

The program has a special collaborative agreement with Fordham University-Lincoln Center Campus for graduates of their Master’s-degree program to obtain pre-approved credit for previous work upon being accepted into the program.

Degree Requirements

  1. Writing Proficiency Assessment: please refer to the Writing Proficiency Assessment  requirement in the Academic Policies section for more information.
  2. Preliminary Examinations (currently in data analysis; article review; ethics; assessment) - given at end of first and second years and required for advancement to candidacy.
  3. First Research Project, which must be completed before advancement to candidacy. Note: failure to complete First Research Project (and/or dissertation proposal orals and defense) in a timely manner may result in additional cost and time in program.
  4. Statistics Diagnostic Exam
  5. Clinical Proficiency Progress Review (CPPR), a case-focused report and oral exam given in Year 3, must be passed before graduation.

The program faculty believe that for many clinical students, personal psychotherapy can be an extremely valuable tool through which to better understand oneself, become comfortable with asking for and receiving psychological help, learning about one’s emotional vulnerabilities and “triggers,” and understanding the impact of one’s behavior and affect in the clinical encounter. As a general suggestion, we recommend that students consider seeking personal psychotherapy (individual, group, couple, family, or a combination) on a weekly basis at some point in their graduate training. However, personal psychotherapy is voluntary and not required to complete the program. Students who follow this recommendation arrange and pay for their own therapy, which ideally would be provided by a licensed doctoral-level therapist (psychologist, psychiatrist, doctorate-holding LPCC, LCSW or LMFT). Upon request, the program can provide a list of psychotherapists in the community who offer sliding-scale services.

Advancement to Candidacy

Before advancing to doctoral candidacy, students must:

  1. remain in good academic standing
  2. complete a minimum of 60 units including all first- and second-year courses
  3. finish their First Research Project
  4. pass all preliminary examination subtests in assessment, ethics, research methods (article review), and data analysis

Emphasis/Concentration/Track Requirements

The PhD Clinical Psychology offers elective courses, research opportunities and field training in three broad categories of Trauma, Stress, and Resilience, Health Psychology and Child and Family Services. Interest areas are infused with multicultural and diversity perspectives.

Multicultural Community Psychology, Multicultural Program Evaluation and Social Justice, and LGBTQIA/Gender Psychology

Multiculturalism/Diversity is the overarching theme infused within all coursework, research, and clinical training. The key themes are outlined below and integrated within the interest areas.

Multicultural Community Psychology

In addition to infusing multiculturalism throughout our entire curriculum, the clinical PhD program provides specialized courses that integrate knowledge, research and intervention skills necessary for working with multicultural groups and community organizations. These include Intercultural Awareness (a first-year course) and multiple sections of a course called Sociocultural Diversity, each of which focuses on a different racial/ethnic minority group (e.g., Asian American, African American, and Latinx. The term Latinx is used to respect those of varied gender identities as recommended by the National Latinx Psychological Association).

In addition, the San Francisco Bay Area has a wealth of multicultural field placements (practicum) and internships, as well as relevant research opportunities that enable students to gain special expertise in working with specific racial/ethnic groups.

  1. Assessment, psychotherapy and treatment outcomes in diverse populations (cultural, sexual orientation, gender, size, age, SES, refugee, Veterans, etc.)
  2. Impact of social privilege and oppression, especially related to ethnic identity, body size, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, social class, etc.
  3. Anti-racist and other social justice issues, and issues pertaining to therapy, ethics, clinical training, mentoring and supervision
  4. Bicultural/Multicultural competence and identity

All of the PhD Research Seminars are led by instructors with research expertise in multicultural, community, and/or program evaluation topics (Professors Henn-Haase, Loewy, Morales, Tiet, and Zelman).

Multicultural Program Evaluation and Social Justice

Several of our program faculty have special expertise in the areas of program evaluation, health services research, and consultation in mental health, juvenile justice, substance abuse, HIV prevention, military trauma, sleep, health, and other types of community settings. Also, we offer advanced clinical courses in Consultation and in Program Evaluation. Much of the focus of our program courses integrating multicultural program evaluation and social justice lies in understanding program efficacy and outcomes in a community-based and healthcare system (e.g., VA) context. Critical components include an understanding of the development of logic models and a theory of change in program interventions and health services research.

  1. Early childhood and community prevention and intervention
  2. Program evaluation and improvement in behavioral health systems including managed care systems and the VA
  3. Organizational systems with a focus on managed behavioral health policy, evaluation, and analysis
  4. Cost analysis and studies in Programs for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT)
  5. Workforce development and pipeline; Latinx health and higher education
  6. Juvenile and adult justice systems including drug courts and alternative community approaches in violence intervention
  7. Social justice in psychology and psychotherapy
  8. Anti-racist and other social justice issues, and issues pertaining to therapy, ethics, clinical training, mentoring and supervision

Two of the PhD Research Seminars are led by instructors with research expertise in program evaluation topics (Professors Morales and Tiet).

LGBTQIA/Gender Psychology

The field of Gender Studies as defined here includes the study of gender role socialization processes and norms for males and females across the lifespan, as well as the topics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) identity development and relationships. Faculty and students who work in this area are particularly interested in the behavioral and mental health consequences of gender-related socialization experiences (for example, in areas such as depression, substance abuse, intimate partner violence and other trauma, health-related behaviors, and division of household tasks and childcare between parents in families). Areas of faculty interest include:

  1. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Issues
  2. Psychology of women and men
  3. International socialization of gender roles
  4. Public policy related to LGBTQIA issues

The San Francisco Bay Area provides unique opportunities for clinical and research projects on these topics.

Students may complete their second or third year clinical practicum at an agency specializing in LGBTQ issues (for example, the Pacific Center in Berkeley). Students also can enroll in one or as many courses as they wish in the online Rockway Institute Certificate Program in LGBT Human Services & Mental Health.

Two of our PhD Research Seminars are led by faculty members whose areas of research expertise include gender and LGBTQ studies (Professors Loewy and Morales).

Trauma, Stress, and Resilience

Psychological trauma is broadly interested in the impact of adverse experiences on impacting cognition, emotions, neurophysiology, and behavioral functioning. It involves the psychologists’ role in prevention, intervention, and study and implementation of evidence-based treatments for stress, trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and co-morbid psychopathologies, e.g., substance abuse, depression, anxiety, suicide and health related outcomes. Resilience is an integral component in the study of trauma, and prevention. Specific topics include stress, psychological trauma and resilience within various populations, e.g., combat trauma, intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, physical and sexual trauma, and critical incidents with emergency services personnel. The San Francisco Bay Area PhD Program has a range of research opportunities in these areas with expertise from two faculty (Professors Tiet, and Henn-Haase) and field placement opportunities within community, primary care, and VA settings.

Stress, Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  1. PTSD treatment
  2. Intimate partner violence, child abuse and combat trauma
  3. Sexual trauma
  4. Neuropsychological functioning in PTSD
  5. Impact of trauma on families and parent child relationship
  6. Intergenerational transmission of trauma
  7. Treatment factors and patient outcomes
  8. Assessment of trauma
  9. Treatment of co-morbid psychopathology, e.g., substance abuse, anxiety, depression, suicide


  1. Coping
  2. Protective factors and resilience
  3. Prevention and early intervention

Health Psychology

Health psychology is concerned with the interrelationships among psychological factors, health, and illness. It deals with psychologists’ roles in primary care; psychological aspects of prevention and treatment for specific illnesses (such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and cardiovascular disease); families and health; recovery and rehabilitation following illness or physical trauma; psychosocial aspects of disability; the toll of stigmatization of fat bodies and health at every size. Specific health topics include neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, and sleep (Zelman), traumatic brain injury, dementias and caregiver health (Tiet), and eating disorders prevention and fat phobia, intersectional identities of fat people, and the stigmatization and medicalization of fat bodies (Loewy). The San Francisco Bay Area has a wide range of research with expertise provided by Professors Zelman, Loewy, and Tiet, and field placement opportunities for students interested in health psychology.

Health Psychology

  1. Health at Every Size
  2. Traumatic brain injury
  3. Chronic illness adherence in adolescence
  4. Neuropsychological assessment
  5. Sleep psychology
  6. Psychopharmacology

Substance Abuse

  1. Substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in multicultural communities
  2. Chemical dependency
  3. Dual diagnosis of substance use disorders and PTSD
  4. Juvenile and adult justice systems including drug courts and alternative community approaches in violence intervention

For understanding and treating individuals in medical settings, we recommend that students take sections of required courses (Clinical & Ethical Issues; Advanced Clinical Seminar) that emphasize skills in cognitive-behavioral therapy and family systems therapy. We also recommend that students take electives in Neuropsychological Assessment, Psychopharmacology, Consultation in Primary Care Settings, and Pediatric Consultation and sections of Advanced Clinical Skills that relate to psychology and medicine (e.g., Sleep Disorders). To gain clinical experience in medical settings, it is recommended that students take a one-year practicum (field placement) in a health psychology setting (such as the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, or other medical settings affiliated with CSPP’s field placement office of professional training and BAPIC).

Some PhD faculty members have a strong background in health psychology research and connect our students with opportunities in medical research institutions for the First Research Project and the dissertation. A focus on health psychology research is actualized through signing up for a PhD Research Seminar with one of five faculty members who have expertise in an area of health psychology research (Professors Henn-Haase, Loewy, Morales, Tiet, and Zelman). Students who complete these recommended courses, as well as a clinical practicum and research projects in health psychology, will be well prepared to pursue internships and postdoctoral work in the field of clinical health psychology.

Family/Child/Adolescent Psychology

We provide a wide range of family/child/adolescent (FCA) courses and practica. For treating FCA problems, we emphasize the acquisition of both traditional child-clinical skills (assessment, individual therapy) and family intervention skills (family therapy, couple therapy, child custody evaluation). Courses infuse multicultural diversity into the course content and include the discussion of couple, family, and child, theory, interventions, and assessment. Faculty interest and experience in this area of interest provide research oversight.

  1. Child and Family
  2. Family systems theory and technique
  3. Child/family assessment
  4. Family violence and psychological trauma
  5. Multicultural influences in family therapy
  6. Anti-racist and social justice issues pertaining to child, adolescent, and women’s development, and to therapy, ethics, clinical training, mentoring and supervision

For students interested in pursuing FCA careers after graduation, we recommend that they take advantage of specific program offerings. The core of these learning experiences includes: (1) basic coursework (child psychopathology, child assessment, child psychotherapy, family therapy); (2) a one-year practicum (field placement) in an FCA setting; (3) PhD Research Seminar with a focus on FCA research; (4) dissertation research on an FCA topic; and (5) an internship focusing on FCA populations. We also offer a variety of relevant electives. Two of the clinical PhD Research Seminars are led by faculty members with expertise in various FCA psychology topics (Professors Henn-Haase and Morales). Students have the option to take as few or as many of these FCA offerings as it fits their career goals.

Elective Requirements

In addition to the required coursework, the program is committed to offering a broad array of elective courses (PSY850***) reflecting theory, assessment, and intervention across a variety of systems, with emphasis on multicultural and diversity issues to prepare students for professional practice in a pluralistic society. Students may select from a diverse range of elective units. Many students elect Neuropsychology courses. Students may take any course that does not fulfill a core requirement to satisfy the Clinical Elective requirement.

Curriculum Plan

Students enrolled in the PhD Clinical Psychology Program beginning AY2022-2023 are required to enroll in two summer courses Year One through Year Three.

Semester Calendar

Academic Year 2- Semester 3 (6 units)

Academic Year 3- Semester 3 (6 units)

Academic Year 4- Semester 1 (11 units)

Academic Year 4- Semester 2 (10 units)

Academic Year 5- Semester 1 (11 units)

Academic Year 5- Semester 2 (11 units)

Academic Year 5- Semester 3 (8 units)


*Students who pass oral proposals early may waive this course and make up the unit(s) through additional elective courses.

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