Skip to content

PHD in Clinical Psychology

Using the scientist-practitioner model, the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology blends clinical training with innovative research. This program is normally accomplished in six years and requires the completion of at least 238 units in the School of Psychology and, as part of our commitment to deep theological integration, at least 60 units in Fuller’s School of Theology or School of Intercultural Studies. (In the PhD in Clinical Psychology program, students are awarded a Master of Arts in Psychology after completing 88 selected units.)

Coursework is divided into the following categories:

General Psychology 36 units
Research at least 40 units
Integration 20 units
Clinical Psychology 38 units
Field Training 88 units
Electives 16 units
Theology 60 units (minimum)
Total 298 units (minimum)

I'm Interested in the PhD in Clinical Psychology at Fuller


All students who complete their doctoral training at the Fuller School of Psychology will develop certain competencies as part of their preparation for practice in health service psychology. However, the emphasis placed within each competency area will differ, depending upon whether one pursues a PhD or a PsyD. Students who complete the PhD in Clinical Psychology will develop the following competencies:


Conduct original empirical or theoretical research that contributes to the scholarly literature 

Disseminate this research primarily to national and/or international audiences


Recognize and respond appropriately to legal and ethical situations and dilemmas, with enhanced competency in knowing and applying legal and ethical statutes governing research


Understand how one’s own individual, cultural, and religious history, attitudes, and biases affect one’s work, with an enhanced understanding of the impact of those factors on research participants, clients, and colleagues 

Demonstrate enhanced knowledge, application, and awareness of current theory and research as they apply to addressing diversity in the execution of research


Engage in self-reflection, pursue self-improvement, and seek supervision to enable behavior that reflects the profession’s values and attitudes (e.g., integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and compassion)

Across training, grow in the ability to respond effectively and independently to increasingly complex professional challenges, with enhanced competence in the domain of research


Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals and groups, including colleagues, organizations, communities, supervisors, supervisees, and clients 

Demonstrate excellent oral, nonverbal, and written receptive and expressive communication skills, with enhanced competence in the domain of research


Demonstrate an ability to use assessment tools to answer increasingly complex and varied clinical questions, interpret results to draw informed conclusions, and make treatment recommendations 

Communicate assessment findings and implications in an accurate and effective manner to all levels of research and clinical audiences


Select and provide interventions informed by the current scientific literature, considering assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual factors 

When the literature does not provide a clear evidence base, seek consultation to effectively modify and adapt evidence-based approaches


Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices


Demonstrate knowledge of and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions, working effectively in interdisciplinary field training settings and consulting when appropriate


How do the PhD in Clinical Psychology and PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs differ? Download this chart detailing the differences in emphasis within each competency area.


Fuller places a high emphasis on field training. Students gain supervised training through a variety of placements in the greater Los Angeles area, including Fuller's Psychological and Family Services clinic. Students will spend a minimum of 1,000 hours engaging in a variety of clinical experiences, including psychological assessment and diverse interventions.


The PhD program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the program's accredited 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:

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

Continue the Conversation

admissions counselor portrait

If you have any questions or would like more information about the PhD in Clinical Psychology, please contact us.

Our offices are open Monday to Thursday from 8am to 5pm, and 10am to 5pm on Friday (Pacific Time).