Clinical Program

Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology

Please note that the Graduate and Clinical Handbooks contain a great deal of information about the Clinical Program and should be read in full.

About the Program

Established in 1947 and accredited by the APA since 1948, the PhD program in clinical psychology at Boston University has a long and distinguished history. As part of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, the program is committed to the pursuit of a science-based approach to psychology.  The clinical-scientist model serves as the basis of our training program that prepares graduates for a wide range of careers in academic, medical, and applied settings.

Mission Statement

The Boston University PhD Program in Clinical Psychology was one of the first twelve programs approved by the American Psychological Association in 1948. The program places clinical science at the foundation of training goals and objectives.  As such, graduates of the program are expected to be competent in psychological research and to be knowledgeable about the scientific bases of clinical psychology applications, such as assessment and intervention.

Our goal is to help students develop skills in research and science-based clinical practice as well as the critical thinking skills and abilities necessary to integrate these domains. Within this framework, we emphasize a mentorship model of teaching that provides experiential learning and supervision in clinical research and professional practice settings.  Key training components include the development of independent research skills, clinical training at sites with psychologists who integrate science and practice, and course content informed by current research. This multipronged training is consistent with the University’s mission of developing outstanding scientists and researchers in all the disciplines in which graduate degrees are offered, while ensuring that graduates are competent to use these skills in applied clinical settings. The presentation of didactic material through courses, participation in clinical research, and clinical training experiences follow a sequence that reflects increasing complexity and effective integration of the subject matter, and promotes increasing autonomy in our graduate students.

The program accepts a small number of students each year with class sizes seldom exceeding ten students. Given the clinical science focus of the BU program, applicants who are solely interested in careers in clinical practice may better achieve their objectives at a professional school in psychology. The overarching goal of the program is to give our graduates the background necessary to implement evidence-based practices and programs in applied settings, develop sophisticated program evaluation methodologies, create new basic and applied knowledge in clinical research settings whether in universities or agencies, and innovate policy relevant to the practice of clinical psychology. Our graduates typically follow career paths in academic and medical settings. Some examples from graduates in the last several years include academic or clinical research positions at Brown University Medical School, Harvard University Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, University of New Hampshire, Suffolk University, University of Waterloo, and the University of New South Wales (Australia). In addition, a number of graduates have also obtained leadership positions in clinical settings including Director of Addiction Ambulatory Services at Bronx Lebanon Hospital / MLK Jr. Health Center in New York, and Program Director, Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program, Palo Alto VA. Whatever the setting, the program philosophy emphasizes training that will produce clinical scientists who will become leaders and innovators in academic and applied settings with clinical science as the foundation of their work.


The Boston University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1948. Questions regarding accreditation can be addressed to the APA Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5979

The Boston University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program has also been accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) since June 2017. Questions regarding accreditation can be addressed to:

Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
1800 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Suite 402
Washington, DC 20036-1218
(301) 455-8046