Clinical Psychology

Mission Statement

Our mission is to advance knowledge that promotes psychological well-being and reduces the burden of mental illness and problems in living and to develop leading clinical scientists whose skills and knowledge will have a substantial impact on the field of psychology and the lives of those in need. Our faculty and graduate students promote critical thinking, innovation, and discovery, and strive to be leaders in their field, engaging in and influencing research, practice, policy, and education. Our pursuit of these goals is guided by the values of collaboration, mutual respect, and fairness, our commitment to diversity, and the highest ethical standards.

Information about the Clinical Psychology Graduate Major

UCLA's Clinical Psychology program is one of the largest, most selective, and most highly regarded in the country and aims to produce future faculty, researchers, and leaders in clinical science, who influence research, policy development, and practice.

Admissions decisions are based on applicants’ research interests and experiences, formal coursework in psychology and associated fields, academic performance, letters of recommendation, dedication to and suitability for a career as a clinical scientist, program fit, and contributions to an intellectually rich, diverse class. Once admitted, students engage with faculty in research activities addressing critical issues that impact psychological well-being and the burden of mental illness, using a wide range of approaches and at varying levels of analysis. Their integrated training is facilitated by on-campus resources including the departmental Psychology Clinic, the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Our program philosophy is embodied in, and our goals are achieved through, a series of training activities that prepare students for increasingly complex, demanding, and independent roles as clinical scientists. These training activities expose students to the reciprocal relationship between scientific research and provision of clinical services, and to various systems and methods of intervention, assessment, and other clinical services with demographically and clinically diverse populations. The curriculum is designed to produce scientifically-minded scholars who are well-trained in research and practice, who use data to develop and refine the knowledge base in their field, and who bring a reasoned empirical perspective to positions of leadership in research and service delivery.

The program’s individualized supervision of each student in integrated research and practice roles provides considerable flexibility. Within the parameters set by faculty interests and practicum resources, there are specializations in child psychopathology and treatment, cognitive-behavior therapy, clinical assessment, adult psychopathology and treatment, family processes, assessment and intervention with distressed couples, community psychology, stress and coping, cognitive and affective neuroscience, minority mental health, and health psychology and behavioral medicine. The faculty and other research resources of the Department make possible an intensive concentration in particular areas of clinical psychology, while at the same time ensuring breadth of training.

Clinical psychology at UCLA is a six-year program including a full-time one-year internship, at least four years of which must be completed in residence at UCLA. The curriculum in clinical psychology is based on a twelve-month academic year. The program includes a mixture of coursework, clinical practicum training, teaching, and continuous involvement in research. Many of the twenty clinical area faculty, along with numerous clinical psychologists from other campus departments, community clinics, and hospitals settings, contribute to clinical supervision.  Clinical training experiences typically include four and a half years of part-time practicum placements in the Psychology Clinic and local agencies. The required one-year full-time internship is undertaken after the student has passed the clinical qualifying examinations and the dissertation preliminary orals. The student receives the Ph.D. degree when both the dissertation and an approved internship are completed.

Accreditation

PCSAS – Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA was accredited in 2012 by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). PCSAS was created to promote science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, to increase the quality and quantity of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and to enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care. The UCLA program is deeply committed to these goals and proud to be a member of the PCSAS Founder’s Circle and one of the group of programs accredited by PCSAS. Website: http://www.pcsas.org/

APA CoA – American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation

The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA has been accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation since 1949. (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE. Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 202-336-5979.) Website: http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/

Future Accreditation Plans: The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA is committed to training clinical psychologists who are prepared to make significant contributions to basic research on mental illness and well-being; to the development, evaluation, delivery, and dissemination of new assessments and interventions; and ultimately to reducing the burden of mental illness and related problems in living. Increasingly, we view the evolving curricular and other demands associated with APA accreditation as inconsistent with this approach to training. For this reason, after seeking another round of accreditation with APA once our current accreditation ends in 2018, we may or may not seek subsequent accreditation from APA. Discussion of this issue would include students in our program and would in no way represent a departure from our core mission, stated above, and our guiding values of collaboration, mutual respect, fairness, diversity, and the highest ethical standards. 

Clinical Program Policy on Diversity-Related Training 

In light of our guiding values of collaboration, respect, and fairness, this statement is to inform prospective and current trainees, faculty, and supervisors, as well as the public, that our trainees are required to (a) attain an understanding of cultural and individual diversity as related to both the science and practice of psychology and (b) provide competent and ethical services to diverse individuals.  Our primary consideration is always the welfare of the client.  Should such a conflict arise in which the trainee’s beliefs, values, worldview, or culture limits their ability to meet this requirement, as determined by either the student or the supervisor, it should be reported to the Clinic and Placements Committee, either directly or through a supervisor or clinical area faculty member.  The Committee will take a developmental view, such that if the competency to deliver services cannot be sufficiently developed in time to protect and serve a potentially impacted client, the committee will (a) consider a reassignment of the client so as to protect the client’s immediate interests, and (b) request from the student a plan to reach the above-stated competencies, to be developed and implemented in consultation with both the trainee’s supervisor and the Clinic Director.  There should be no reasonable expectation of a trainee being exempted from having clients with any particular background or characteristics assigned to them for the duration of their training.

Clinical Program Grievance Policies & Procedures

Unfortunately, conflicts between students and faculty or with other students will occur, and the following policies and procedures are provided in an effort to achieve the best solution. The first step in addressing these conflicts is for the student to consult with their academic advisor. If this option is not feasible (e.g. the conflict is with the advisor) or the conflict is not resolved to their satisfaction, then the issue should be brought to the attention of the Director of Clinical Training. If in the unlikely event that an effective solution is not achieved at this level, then the student has the option of consulting with the Department's Vice Chair for Graduate Studies. Students also have the option of seeking assistance from the campus Office of Ombuds Services and the Office of the Dean of Students. It is expected that all such conflicts are to be addressed first within the program, then within the Department, before seeking a resolution outside of the department.

More Clinical Psychology Information

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