Clinical Science

Why earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Notre Dame?

Laura Miller-Graff teaching a class on clinical psychology

The clinical psychology program at Notre Dame provides excellent research and clinical training designed to prepare you for research and academic careers. In addition to specialty training in clinical psychology, you will also acquire expertise in statistics, research design, and methodology. The clinical science program trains academically-oriented psychologists who appreciate how science and practice mutually inform one another.

Learn more about our clinical training model

Our program is committed to cultural and individual diversity in the research and clinical training we provide students and in the atmosphere in which training takes place. We endorse the APA guidelines on diversity, equity and inclusion and have adopted our own Clinical Area Vision Statement from these guidlines. We encourage students from diverse backgrounds (for example, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities) to apply.

Our faculty

Our faculty are leading experts with research interests that 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
  • 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


Research training

Research training commences in the first year, and you continue to develop your programs of research throughout your graduate careers. You will 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.

Support for Student Research: Earnest Swarm Notre Dame Psychopathology Research Fund

The Psychology Department is especially pleased to support student research with funding from the Earnest Swarm Notre Dame Psychopathology Research Fund. This substantial endowment supports understanding of the causes of serious psychopathology and to develop and disseminate theoretically driven and empirically supported treatments. The scope of the fund is broad, encompassing all forms of severe psychopathology across the lifespan.

Grants from the Swarm endowment are expended primarily in support of the goal of training the next generation of clinical psychological research scientists. Funds are used to encourage and enable our students to pursue scientific careers.

Clinical training

Clinical training begins with basic skills and didactic courses in the first year. Then it proceeds to an initial practicum during the second year, followed by advanced practica in a variety of settings in the following years. You also undertake a one-year, full-time, accredited clinical internship before graduation. Clinical training emphasizes accurate diagnosis, reliable and valid assessment, and empirically supported interventions.

You will also complete a portion of their clinical training through our in-house training clinic, the Notre Dame Psychological Services Center (NDPSC). At the NDPSC, students receive supervision in evidence-based assessment (child) and intervention (adult individual, child and family, couples) from licensed faculty in the clinical science program. 

Reimbursement for internship application costs

In addition to the financial support offered for professional development and research, clinical science students are reimbursed for costs associated with internship applications, including application fees and travel expenses (transportation, lodging, meals, etc.) up to a total of $2,500 per student. 

Reimbursement for travel costs for eligible external practica placements for clinical science students has recently been approved for up to $800 per year.


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 | Email:

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

The following provides prospective applicants with information about several key aspects of the Clinical Psychology Areas at the University of Notre Dame. The information also includes the disclosure data for both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology.

The Clinical Psychology Area was accredited by APA (effective April 15, 2011), and has replaced the Counseling Psychology Area at Notre Dame (which had been accredited continuously by the APA since 1972). The information provided here is based solely upon students formally admitted to the Clinical Psychology Area.

See the data


Have questions about the graduate program in clinical science? Contact:

Dr. David Smith
Director of Clinical Training
Phone: 574-631-7763