Are you interested in Graduate Training in Clinical Psychology?
If so, you may be interested in what you need to know.
Applying to the Program:
The deadline for receiving application materials for the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Psychology is December 1 of the year preceding the Fall semester in which the applicant intends to enroll (all admissions are for the Fall semester). Application information and forms are available from the Psychology Department's Graduate Secretary and also on-line through the Psychology Department's Application Web Page. An application fee must accompany all applications.
- Graduate School Application (Domestic for US citizens, International for international students)
- Application fee
- List of Psychology Courses / Academic Honors
- Three letters of recommendation
- Waiver Form
- Writing Sample
- Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (Verbal, Quantitative, & Analytical Sections are required, the Subject section is recommended)
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- Statement of personal goals / reason for applying
- Official TOEFL scores (International applicants only)
- Statement of Financial Resources (International applicants only)
We often admit students who are transferring from another program with a masters degree already in hand. Students who are admitted with MA or MS degrees in psychology (or closely related fields) may be credited with a maximum of 30 hours toward our Ph.D. degree. The number of hours that actually count toward our requirements depends on how well the students' MA program requirements map onto our program requirements. Transfer students who wish to have previously taken courses apply toward one or more of our program requirements meet with and provide our current course instructor(s) with syllabi from the previous coursework. If the instructors judge the previous coursework to be substantially equivalent to our own, letters waiving the program's requirement(s) are placed in the students' program and department files.
If a transfer student's MA or MS degree program included an empirical thesis, that thesis may be accepted as satisfying our program's empirical thesis requirement, pending the outcome of a review to determine if the thesis is comparable to those produced within our program. At their earliest convenience, such students provide the program director with a copy of their thesis. The program director then asks one or two faculty members to evaluate the thesis for comparability to those produced by members of our program. If a thesis is accepted as satisfying our requirement, it does not count against the maximum of 30 transfer hours that may be credited. Masters level transfer students whose MA or MS programs do not include an empirical thesis (or whose empirical theses are judged not comparable to those from KU) are required to conduct an empirical thesis as part of our Ph.D. program.
Applicants Without Undergraduate Psychology Degrees:
Our program is open to accepting well-qualified students whose undergraduate degrees are not in psychology. For such an individual to qualify for admission, however, he or she must have a minimum of 15 hours of undergraduate credits in psychology courses. Although a variety of psychology courses would be considered acceptable, the student's transcript ideally would include courses in such topics as psychological statistics, research methods and design, abnormal psychology, personality, brain & behavior, social psychology and cognitive psychology. An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (based on a 4-point grading system) is also required for admission to full graduate standing.
How Applications are Processed:
The clinical program's graduate admissions committee typically consists of three faculty members and one graduate student member. The chairperson of the admissions committee is responsible for organizing and overseeing the review of all completed applications. This process typically begins in late November or early December as applications become completed.
Each member of the admissions committee reviews the completed applications and assigns an overall rating to them based on his or her judgment of the applicants' qualifications. Although there are some quantitative elements involved in this rating process (e.g., GRE scores, undergraduate GPA), many of the elements of the applications are qualitative in nature (e.g., writing samples, personal statements, letters of recommendation) and are, therefore, evaluated on more subjective grounds. Also included in the admission committee members' evaluations are their subjective appraisals of the "goodness of fit" between the applicant's expressed interests and the particular strengths and offerings of our program. Our program does not employ set "cut-offs" with regard to any of the quantitative application elements (e.g., there are no formal cut-off for GRE scores or cumulative GPAs), although the Graduate School requires a minimum 3.00 cumulative undergraduate GPA for full, non-probationary admission into the Graduate School. (See tables below for information regarding students entering our program.)
Once all completed applications have been evaluated by the members of the admissions committee, the committee meets to determine which and how many applicants will be offered admission. The overall number of students being recruited into the program varies somewhat from year to year as the availability of resources and the program's needs change. In recent years, however, typical entering classes have consisted of 5-7 students about evenly split between the General program and the Clinical Health subspecialty. In order to recruit this number, a somewhat larger number of students is typically offered admission (some elect to go to other programs or change their career plans) and a list of "alternates" is also identified.
As quickly as possible following the December 1 application deadline, the admissions committee begins notifying students of the status of their applications. In-person interviews for applicants who are notified they are finalists for admission are strongly encouraged, and an "Admissions Open House" date is scheduled for those finalists who are able to attend (although individual visitation dates are arranged if needed). Although those applicants who are offered admission have until April 15 (unless the 15th falls on a weekend) to either accept or reject our offer, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify us of their decisions as soon as possible and, in fairness to other applicants, to "hold onto" no more than two offers of admission at any one time.
Because we believe that students' professional goals are best served if there is a reasonably close match between the student's interests and the areas of expertise available in our program, we typically recruit students to work with specific faculty members. However, we recognize that students' interests often change after being exposed to new areas they may not have considered previously. Accordingly, after the students have arrived and have been exposed to the research programs of the various faculty members, they are encouraged to "hook up" with the specific mentor of their choosing. It is not uncommon for our students to work with one mentor for the MA thesis and with another for the Ph.D. Dissertation. This is neither encouraged nor discouraged. A general sense of the research interests and programs of our faculty members may be gained by visiting the Psychology Department Web Site pages which present the department's faculty members.
Fellowships & Graduate School GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) Awards:
The Psychology Department has access to a limited number of Graduate School Awards and Fellowships as well as GTA and GRA awards to use in the recruitment process. Currently, all of these are awarded based on university-wide competition. Because of the high quality of our program's applicants, the clinical program typically has been successful in securing several awards for our entering students. However, the department must submit completed nominations for these select fellowships and Graduate School GTA Awards early during the application period each year. Consequently, students who wish to be considered for them should strive to have their application materials completed in advance of the formal application deadline.
Other Financial Support:
Aside from the Fellowships and Graduate School GTA awards mentioned above, the financial support for entering graduate students comes in two forms: Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs). The program is strongly committed to providing all entering students with financial support during their first year in the program. In the second year and beyond, especially after our students have received the MA degree, the variety of support resources expands somewhat beyond the typical GTA and GRA appointments as they become eligible for Assistant Instructorships (AIs) within the Psychology Department and also become eligible for positions in area mental health organizations. Although the program often cannot "guarantee" funding in the second year and beyond to students who enter with GTA and GRA support during the first year, in fact our advanced students are rarely without financial support in one form or another.
Tuition & Fees:
University of Kansas tuition is dependent upon whether or not one is a Kansas Resident. In addition, the tuition and fee amounts change across time. Updated information about these and other important matters is made available on-line through the KU Graduate School web site.
All entering students, as well as the great majority of continuing students (especially those in years 1 through 4 of the program), are provided financial support packages that include full tuition waivers during the fall and spring semesters. Most also guarantee Kansas Resident tuition rates during summer semesters.
See the web page labeled "Student Admissions Outcomes & Other Data" for a table illustrating the estimated program costs for students entering the program in the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters.