Clinical Science Program

Vision

The Clinical Science area is recognized as an elite program in the integration of science and practice through commitment to research, undergraduate education, and graduate training. We value rigorous scientific methods across multiple domains (e.g., biological, behavior, social, affective, cognitive) and using innovative technologies. We develop and use scientifically informed methods to enhance mental and physical health, well-being, and healthy decisions through the interplay of research, intervention, and implementation across diverse and underserved populations.

Mission

Our program's mission is to advance clinical science. Clinical science is defined as a set of processes and methods directed at the promotion of adaptive functioning; at the prevention, assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems in behavior, affect, social relations, cognition or health; and at the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence. Our program's emphasis on the term science underscores its commitment to empirical approaches to evaluating the validity and utility of testable hypotheses and to advancing knowledge by this method. We seek to develop individuals who are committed to being productive leaders in careers in basic, applied, and translational research, and in evidence-based approaches to prevention, practice, dissemination, implementation, and evaluation. In short, our mission it to serve others through training of outstanding clinical scientists who conduct research and practice with the goal of helping all people be their best selves.Our program is most suited to students who are interested in pursuing science-, research-, academic-, or training-related careers. Students whose primary interest and career goal is solely the direct practice of psychology would likely be more satisfied in a different training program.

Goal

Our program's goal is to produce graduates who are competent, productive, and successful at (a) conducting research relevant to the prevention, assessment, understanding, and treatment of health and mental-health disorders; and/or (b) using science methods and evidence to design, develop, deliver, evaluate, supervise, disseminate, and implement evidence-based prevention strategies, assessments, and interventions. Based on our program's model and a commitment to knowledge and competencies that are expected and measurable, we have set explicit degree, course, research, and practice competencies and milestones for students as they progress through the program. These competencies and milestones are part of the annual Student Activities Report (SAR) that serves as the basis for evaluating students' performance.

Clinics

Graduate students in the Clinical Science program complete their clinical training in a number of on-site clinics/centers, as well as through externships and a pre-doctoral clinical internship. The Department of Psychology offers on-site clinical training and services to the community through the Psychological Services Center (PSC), the Child Study Center (CSC), and the VT Autism Clinic & Center for Autism Research (VTAC/CAR), including its Mobile Autism Clinic (MAC).

Commitment

Our program's commitment is to provide the highest standards in the education and training of clinical scientists. To ensure this we are actively committed to accreditation by and membership in national organizations that promulgate, evaluate, and recognize the quality and advancement of graduate education in clinical psychology. We are currently accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA Commission on Accreditation, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; Phone: (202) 336-5979; E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org; Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS; Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, Joseph Steinmetz, Executive Director, 1101 E. 10th Street Bloomington, IN 47405; Phone: 479-301-8008; E-mail: jsteinmetz@pcsas.org; Website: http://www.pcsas.org). We are also members of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS), the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) and the Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Training Council (CCaPPTC).

Recognition

Our Clinical Science Ph.D. program is one of 43 elite programs accredited by PCSAS. A member of the prestigious CCaPPTC. Selected as Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 2017 Outstanding Training Program

Manual and Brochure

For detailed information about the Clinical Science program area, view our CS Brochure and the CS Manual. We also invite you to view a poster of CS student accomplishments for the last year to get a sense of our students' work. Questions can be directed to the Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Angela Scarpa, at ascarpa@vt.edu.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

We want to provide potential graduate students, current students, and the public with accurate information on our program and on program expectations using the most up-to-date data on education and training outcomes including admissions data, time to completion, program costs, internship placement, attrition, and licensure. This information can be found here. Hopefully these data along with detailed program information provided by our brochure and manual allow applicants to make informed decisions about entering our program.

GRE Scores Not Reviewed

For applicants to the Clinical Science training program, GRE scores will be neither required nor accepted.  All applicants are evaluated holistically.

Recruitment

Faculty that have expressed interest in reviewing applicants for potential Fall 2024 are Meagan Brem, Heather Davis, Chloe Hudson, Adrienne Romer, and Sam Margherio. Please refer to individual websites for more updated information and to check on other faculty.