Professional Clinical Training Opportunities
Students’ professional development occurs within the context of both formal coursework and professional clinical training experiences supervised by licensed clinical psychologists in a variety of mental health service settings. The Clinical PhD program requires students to complete three clinical practica, and a full-time pre-doctoral internship.
Our program has several field training experts who work closely with students throughout the placement process to assist students in securing placements in the field that allow them a diverse set of clinical training experiences that are aligned with their individual training goals.
Students complete at least 2400 hours of practicum training over the course of three years working with adults, children, couples, and families in a variety of community settings such as:
- academic medical centers
- Veterans’ Affairs hospitals
- inpatient psychiatric facilities
- university counseling centers
- drug and alcohol treatment programs
- community mental health centers
Our staff in the Office of Professional Training have longstanding relationships with over 100 sites within the Los Angeles and surrounding metro areas in southern California. Each site is carefully reviewed and monitored by our field training staff to ensure the quality of training. As students enter these sites, they assume a greater degree of clinical responsibility for assessment and intervention each year while being closely supervised at a level appropriate to the students’ training and abilities.
In the fourth year of the program, all students are required to apply for a full-time APA-accredited internship by participating in Phases I & II of the APPIC Match process. Every student receives extensive guidance and mentoring prior to and throughout the application process from the field training staff and their faculty advisors.
All APA-accredited internships are a full year in length and offer a stipend. Many students leave the Los Angeles area during the internship year to pursue specialized training experiences. The internship is a culminating experience that integrates the student’s academic and clinical experiences and prepares them for their professional role as a psychologist.
Office of Professional Training (Clinical Doctoral Programs, Los Angeles)
In the Clinical Psychology PhD Program in Los Angeles, designing, implementing and evaluating research are core skills that are taught to make our students thrive in their respective professional communities. Beginning in their first year of the program, students choose their own topic of scholarship for a research practicum course sequence. This practicum allows them to be mentored in a small group of students (usually six to eight) that are assigned to one faculty member based on common content and/or methodological interests.
Working with their faculty and student-colleagues, students learn the basic parts to designing and evaluating their own research project, including presenting at a school-wide poster session and sharing their results with various communities through local and national presentations. In the beginning of their third year, students undergo a year-long course in conducting research in applied settings in which they learn skills necessary for research consultation and program evaluation, crucial skills that allow them to aid mental health systems serving diverse cultural and professional communities.
Also during their third year, students apply skills they have learned in research methods and design to develop their dissertation with the help of a faculty dissertation chairperson. These projects involve faculty expertise in areas such as (but not limited to): cultural diversity, health, family dynamics, sibling relationships, child maltreatment, group psychotherapy, pediatric neuropsychology, gender identity, women’s issues, neurodevelopmental conditions, ecopsychology, and community psychology, intimacy and sex, cultural resilience, acculturation. The development of the dissertation is usually a two-year project, providing the knowledge and skills to conduct independent, ethical, and culturally competent psychological research independently upon graduation.
As a result of collaborative work, students and faculty have presented their scholarship at a number of professional conferences, including the meetings and annual conventions of the following professional associations:
- American Psychological Association
- Western Psychological Association
- National Multicultural Conference and Summit
- Los Angeles County Psychological Association
- United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Conference
- Association of Women in Psychology
- National Conference of Child and Adolescent Psychology
- American Psychology-Law Society Conference
- Annual Conference of the Southwestern Social Science Association
- International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
- International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Asian American Psychological Association
- National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect
- International Family Therapy Association
- American Group Psychotherapy Association
- International Congress of Psychology
- National Summit on Interpersonal Violence & Abuse Across the Lifespan
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Chadwick Center Conference on Responding to Child Maltreatment
- Boston College Diversity Challenge
- Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted National Conference
- New England Conference for the Gifted and Talented