Clinical Psychology Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School's Policy Guide.

MA Degree Requirements

The MA program requires at least 17 units for graduation. Students are required to take the Research Core, including Research Methods/Statistics (3 units), Advanced Research Methodology (1 unit), and Scientific and Professional Ethics in Psychology (1 unit). In addition to these required courses, students are expected to select between five to eight elective courses across the Fall, Winter, Spring, and/or Summer II quarters. Elective courses can include courses at the Foundational, Bases of Behavior, or Clinical level, as well as courses in one or more of the emphases or Major Areas of Study. 

In addition to the Research Core and Elective courses, all MA students participate in the weekly Career Development Proseminar for the first four quarters of the MA Program.  The Proseminar orients students to the MA program, introduces students to various mentors and labs across Northwestern, explores career options in academic clinical psychology, refines interests in academic clinical psychology, and prepares students for the next steps in their careers (e.g., developing applications for PhD programs; preparing for interviews). 

Other MA Degree Requirements

  • Research/Projects: In addition to completion of the coursework requirements, students engage in a Research Lab Experience for at least 10 hours a week.
  • Master's Thesis: Optional (see below)
  • Master’s Culminating Academic Experience: Through the Research Lab Experience, the student will work with her or his research mentor to complete a Capstone Project.  The Capstone Project is the culmination of the Research Lab Experience provided by the research mentor, providing the final evaluation of the student’s research competencies. Examples of capstone projects include: Substantial participation (i.e., authorship level) on one or more empirical studies submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. First author submission of one or more peer-reviewed poster/oral presentations at regional, national, or international conferences. A comprehensive review paper that is submitted to and graded by the research mentor. A grant proposal (e.g., F31 style) that is submitted to and graded by the research mentor.  

PhD Degree Requirements

Courses Units
CLIN PSY 402 Psychological Assessment I 1
CLIN PSY 403 Psychological Assessment II 1
CLIN PSY 404 Psychological Assessment III 1
CLIN PSY 411 History of Systems of Psychology 1
CLIN PSY 412 Cognitive Psychology 1
CLIN PSY 413 Advanced Social Psychology 1
CLIN PSY 414 Diversity in Psychological Science and Practice 1
CLIN PSY 415 Scientific and Professional Ethics in Psychology 1
CLIN PSY 416 Psychopathology 1
CLIN PSY 426 Research Methods I 1
CLIN PSY 427 Research Methods II 1
CLIN PSY 428 Research Methods III 1
CLIN PSY 429 Advanced Research Methodology 1
CLIN PSY 441 Introduction to Psychotherapy 1
CLIN PSY 444 Cognitive-Behavior Therapies 1
CLIN PSY 417 Behavioral Neuroscience 1
CLIN PSY 487 Life-Span Developmental Psychology 1
Electives (including CLIN PSY 498 Special Topics in Clinical Psychology, CLIN PSY 499 Independent Study, and CLIN PSY 590 Research) 14
Total required units: 30

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: defense of a research paper and a clinical qualifying project serving as examination for admission to candidacy
  • Research/Projects: independent, empirical research study completed in fulfillment of the research qualifying paper
  • PhD Dissertation: original research following third year of coursework
  • Final Evaluations: oral defense of dissertation