Performing a clinical examination

Students are required to complete a curriculum that typically consists of four to five years of full-time academic course work, research, and clinical training in residence at UVM, followed by completion of a mandatory year-long internship at an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited site.

Usually our students complete five full-time academic years of graduate training in residence at UVM, apply for internships in the fifth year, and go on internship during the sixth year. Therefore, the typical time to degree completion is six years. Students who enter with a master’s degree in psychology may complete the degree requirements in five years, including four full-time academic years of graduate training in residence at UVM, followed by internship in the fifth year. A successful dissertation proposal defense by October 15 is required to be eligible to submit internship applications in a given academic year. We recommend students complete all program requirements before they leave campus for the internship year. At a minimum, students complete all requirements (except for the dissertation) before beginning internship. All program requirements, including the internship, are satisfactorily completed prior to awarding the doctoral degree. Most commonly, our students have their degrees conferred in October following completion of their internship, assuming the dissertation has been defended and submitted in final form to the Graduate College.

American Psychological Association (APA) Requirements

The course work of clinical students is largely determined by the American Psychological Association's requirements for accrediting Clinical programs. There is some flexibility, however, and the selection of "electives" is decided by students with advice and guidance from their advisors.


All clinical graduate students gain teaching experience through presentations in graduate courses, mentoring junior graduate students on their clinical practicum team and research team, and completing at least three of six additional teaching experiences. See Doctoral Comprehensive Portfolio (PDF)

Research Requirements

All students are involved in research during all years that they are enrolled in the program. The Doctoral Comprehensive Portfolio (PDF) presents the minimum research requirements: students are strongly encouraged to exceed these minimum requirements. During years one and two all clinical students initiate and complete a masters research project. It is expected that, if appropriate, the article will be submitted for publication.

In addition, students are required to complete a research-based dissertation. The dissertation proposal is written and proposed to a doctoral committee; the data-based study is conducted, analyzed, written, and finally defended in front of this committee.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination in Clinical Psychology is fulfilled by successful completion, at a pass level, of a comprehensive examination that includes a proposal, written exam, and successful defense. Additional information about the comprehensive exam can be found in our Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Policies and Procedures Manual (DOC).

Course Work

All graduate students must have at least 78 hours of course credit for completion of their doctoral degree. See Model Ph.D. Program Schedule (PDF)

Students can use the Record of Courses and Requirements to track their progress through the program:

American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited Clinical Internship

This year-long experience (2000 hours) is most typically completed in the sixth year of the program. Students apply for an internship at various medical centers, VA hospitals, and mental health centers throughout the country. Internship sites selected by students must be accredited by the American Psychological Association, except in unusual circumstances. Please see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data for information on student placements in internships.

Clinical Requirements

Students are required to obtain these hours through field placements at a community based clinic or other affiliated practicum sites (e.g., UVM College of Medicine Affiliated Teaching Hospital, Community Health Center, other clinical practice site in the community)