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Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

clinical students and faculty

Program Description


The Clinical Program is the largest doctoral program within URIs Psychology Department and has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1972. The program has adopted the Scientist-Practitioner model and provides generalist training in intervention, assessment, methodology, and the core areas of psychology. Additionally, students select a focus area from the following: health psychology, multicultural psychology, neuropsychology, child/family/developmental psychology, and research methodology. The program also provides students with the opportunity to learn community and population-based approaches, take advanced methodology courses, and focus on multicultural issues through designated courses and infusion. Students are exposed to a variety of psychotherapy orientations (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, family systems, interpersonal-process, multicultural) and treatment modalities (e.g., family, couples, group, individual adult, child therapy).

Click here to see statistics on URI Clinical Graduate Students


The clinical psychology program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1972. As noted in the APA Accreditation Handbook, the aim of accreditation is to promote program excellence and to provide professional and objective evaluation of programs as a service to the public, prospective students, and the profession.

To maintain accreditation, the clinical psychology program submits an annual report summarizing the year's activities with respect to accreditation criteria. Every five to seven years the program undertakes a more detailed self-study followed by a site visit from an accreditation team. A self-study was submitted to the APA Office of Accreditation on September 1, 2010, and the program will undergo an accreditation review in Spring 2011. Students contribute information to the self-study process and are requested to be available to site visitors for discussion and feedback. The program's annual reports, the accreditation report, and related materials are available for inspection to matriculated students from the Director of Clinical Training.

Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979

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  • Chafee Social Science Center—The Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island is housed in the Chafee Social Sciences Center. The facilities in the Chafee Social Science Center include faculty and graduate student offices, administrative offices, labs, and conference rooms.
  • Social Science Research Center—This is a 19,000 square foot building directly adjacent to the Chafee Social Science Center. The building was designed and built to meet the needs of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and contains 55 offices, a lobby and reception area, three conference rooms, and adaptable research space. Beyond office space, this research setting contains a large telephone survey center, mailing area, computer support facilities, kitchen, and data analysis rooms.

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Psychological Consultation Center (PCC)

The PCC began in 1969 as the Psychology Clinic, one of the first university-sponsored training clinics in the country, and now functions as a full-service outpatient mental health clinic with a full-time director.

This on-campus applied training and research facility is located in the Chafee Social Science Center. The clinic includes therapy and assessment rooms, one-way observation rooms for training; and office space for graduate assistants and clinical students. The PCC has videotape equipment for supervision and research, and there is an audiovisual center located in the Chafee building.

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Cancer Prevention Research Center (CPRC)

Research at this center, housed in the Social Science Research Center, is integrated around a common theme, the Transtheoretical model. The model is now recognized internationally as one of the most promising approaches to health promotion. Applying a stage paradigm, CPRC researchers emphasize proactive and interactive interventions for populations at all stages of change and not just the small minority prepared to take action. The model has previously been applied to a wide variety of problem behaviors. These include smoking cessation, exercise, low fat diet, radon testing, alcohol abuse, weight control, condom use for HIV protection, organizational change, use of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer, drug abuse, medical compliance, mammography screening, organ and tissue donation/transplantation, blood donation and stress management.

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Financial Support

Financial support for graduate students is available from a variety of sources.

  • Teaching assistantships
    • The Department of Psychology usually awards 7 TAs to Clinical Psychology graduate students. The clinical program allots 2 of these to incoming first year students. These are assigned at the time that admissions decisions are made.
    • All TA's are awarded for one year at a time. It is thus necessary to reapply for a TA each year. Application dates are announced around April each year. At that time a description of the duties and qualifications for each teaching assistantship is distributed.
    • The Clinical Psychology Training Program has established several guidelines for priorities in the assignment of TAs:
      1. Priority is given to students before the fourth year of training.
      2. Priority is given to students who have not already had a TA for two years.
      3. Applicants must be in good standing in the program.
      4. Please note that some TA's require a Master's degree or other qualifications that affect assignment of the assistantship.
  • Research assistantships (grant funded) :Research assistantships are assigned by faculty who have been awarded grants or contracts. One source of program RAs is the Cancer Prevention Research Center, because this research center is home to a large number of externally funded grants. Students who are interested in being considered for a CPRC RA should contact Kathy Meier at the CPRC. RAs funded by grants held by faculty may also be available. Interested students should keep in touch with the faculty in the Psychology Department, especially those whose area of research is of interest, to see if they have any funding opportunities.
  • Assistantships at the URI Counseling Center. Each year, the URI Counseling Center (the on-campus center providing counseling services to students) awards two or three assistantships. Announcement of the dates for application, interviewing, and assistantship decisions are made by the Counseling Center staff.
  • Other Graduate Assistantships: In recent years, several assistantships have been available through the PCC for work at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) and Slater Memorial Hospital. The contact person for these awards is Ann Varna Garis, Interim Director of the PCC. In addition, there are a number of assistantships available through various offices in the university such as Residential Life.
  • University Fellowships, Minority Fellowships, and Tuition remission scholarships: The Graduate School awards several university fellowships, minority fellowships, and tuition scholarships in a university-wide competition most years. Applications are typically sought in February. Criteria for successful applicants are announced at the time that applications are made available.
  • Off-campus placements at local mental health care agencies: In the third and fourth years (and sometimes earlier) many students accept placements at local hospitals or clinics. These arrangements are made individually by students with the assistance of the program.  All placements must be approved by the program in order to serve as a practicum.
  • Tuition Assistance: The Director of the Clinical Psychology Program awards tuition stipends of varying amounts, as resources permit, to students who have financial need and who do not have tuition funding.
    Traditionally, the URI clinical program has been extremely successful in providing financial support for its graduate students. Although URI has a successful record of financial aid for graduate students, we cannot guarantee that financial support will be available for all students.
  • Conference Attendance Grants: Several sources of funding for conference attendance are available to graduate students, including funding from the Graduate Student Association as well as the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the President's Office.
  • Other Support: The Graduate Student Association offers financial assistance to graduate student groups and individuals through its Assistance Program, Thesis Binding, and Baby-sitting Funds.

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