Clinical Psychology

Degree Types: MA, PhD

The PhD Program in Clinical Psychology is one of only a handful of programs in the United States based in an academic medical center and housed in a psychiatry department. This unique setting provides opportunities for translational research and practice that span molecular to social models of disease, and epidemiologic to clinical and neuroimaging methodologies.

This scientist-practitioner program effectively balances clinical and research training to produce graduates who are competent in the science and practice of clinical psychology. Training is provided through core and emphasis-specific curricula, intensive research mentoring, and exceptional clinical practica. Major milestones include a research qualifying paper, a clinical qualifying exam, an empirical dissertation with original research, and an APA-accredited clinical internship.

Our mentor-based program prepares students to be competitive for careers as clinical psychologists in academic health centers and related medical facilities.

The Clinical Psychology Master of Arts (MA) Program within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is intended for students interested in pursuing a career in academic clinical psychology. The MA program is designed to provide a foundation in academic clinical psychology at the graduate level, while also allowing students to gain educational and research exposure to major areas of study within clinical psychology, including Adult Psychopathology and Treatment, Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. 

The goals of the MA Program in Clinical Psychology are to:

  1. Develop foundational competencies in research design, analytics, and ethics within academic clinical psychology.
  2. Explore major areas of study within academic clinical psychology.
  3. Understand educational and career opportunities within academic clinical psychology.

Note: the MA Program in Clinical Psychology does not include clinical training and is not intended to prepare students for clinical practice.  Given the academic and research focus of the MA Program, the degree will not lead to licensure for independent practice. For those interested in Master-level programs that prepare students for licensure and practice, please visit the MA in Counseling and the MS in Marital and Family Therapy at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. 

The MA Program in Clinical Psychology was designed for a variety of students, including students who:

  1. Are not yet ready to apply to a PhD program, but are considering doing so in the future.
  2. Wish to improve their competitiveness for a PhD program.
  3. Are interested in exploring a career in academic clinical psychology.
  4. With interests in related fields for which a background in academic clinical psychology may be of value.

The MA Program is embedded in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program, with coursework and lab work completed alongside PhD students. Although students in the MA Program are welcome to apply to the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology, the MA Program is not intended to be a "gateway" into the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

See Clinical Psychology Degree Requirements for specific classes and procedures needed to complete these programs.

PhD Program Statistics