Area Director: David A. Smith


The APA accredited area in clinical psychology at Notre Dame provides excellent research and clinical training designed to prepare students for research and academic careers. In addition to specialty training in Clinical Psychology, Clinical-area students acquire expertise in statistics, research design and methodology, and they gain a broad and general knowledge of the field of Psychology. The Clinical area trains academically oriented psychologists who appreciate how science and practice mutually inform one another to advance the discipline and to enhance human functioning.

Faculty research interests span a wide variety of contemporary topics in psychology, including: cognitive processes, stress, and emotion regulation in anxiety and depression; developmental psychopathology: effects of child maltreatment on development, translational research interventions, resilience and polyvictimization; effects of honesty, deception, and impression management on social relations and health; assessment and diagnosis of personality disorder: adaptive and nonadaptive personality traits, self/ interpersonal/ daily functioning; mechanisms of chemobrain and neurocognitive rehabilitation; coping with cancer and cancer survivorship; stress, depression, and recurrences of depression; change processes in psychotherapy, dissemination and implementation of empirically supported treatments; prevention of eating pathology; sleep and stress effects on memory and psychological function; interpersonal processes and psychopathology; structure and assessment of personality and psychopathology, emotional dysfunction in psychopathology; emotion, motivation and neuroendocrine systems.  See individual faculty pages for more information.

The following faculty members (listed in alphabetical order) are interested in recruiting a graduate student for Fall, 2017:  
Profs. Lee Anna Clark, Mark Cummings, Jerry Haeffel, Tom Merluzzi, David Smith, Kristin Valentino, and Lira Yoon.

For additional information on graduate admissions to the clinical area, please see Admissions Procedures and Criteria.

Research training commences in the first year, and students continue to develop their programs of research throughout their graduate careers. Students conduct a first-year project, which they present preliminarily to the area in the spring and finally to the Department at the beginning of the fall semester of their second year. Students then conduct Master's Degree research, write a Doctoral qualifying examination review paper, and continue to expand and deepen their research credentials, often through collaborative efforts with scholars in different research laboratories. Research training culminates in a comprehensive Doctoral Dissertation project through which students demonstrate their ability to function as independent scientists.

Clinical training begins with basic skills and didactic courses in the first year and then proceeds to an initial practicum at the University Counseling Center or other clinical venue during the second year, followed by advanced practica at a variety of community agencies in the following years. Students also undertake a one-year full-time clinical internship prior to graduation. Clinical training emphasizes accurate diagnosis, reliable and valid assessment, and empirically supported interventions.

Our program has a strong commitment to cultural and individual diversity in the research and clinical training we provide students and in the atmosphere in which training takes place.  We seek to recruit students who share a perspective of inclusiveness and interpersonal respect and who wish to become culturally and research-informed clinical psychologists.  We endorse the APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists (PDF), which not only recognize that the United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, but also provide clear guidelines for culturally informed research and practice.  We encourage our students to become involved with issues of social justice and inclusiveness and we infuse material on cultural and individual diversity throughout our curriculum and both research and clinical training.

All students in good standing are completely funded for at least five years, including tuition, stipend, and health care.

The clinical psychology area at Notre Dame is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC  20002
Phone:  (202) 336-5979/E-mail: