Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program


The URI Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology is designed to train you as a clinical psychologist, and to meet existing state licensure requirements, while providing flexibility to accommodate your individual interests. The curriculum satisfies all American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation requirements, and those necessary for licensure as a psychologist at the independent level of practice. The Psychology Department requires a total of 90 credits for the Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology. Specific departmental and program requirements are described in the Clinical Psychology Program Manual in detail for each class year.

Program Requirements

The table below shows a recommended plan for completing the program requirements within five years.  An alternate sequence would involve proposing the dissertation in the spring of the third year and taking the Comprehensive Exam in fall of the fourth year. The deadline for defense of the master’s thesis is the end of the fall semester of the third year. If the thesis has not been defended by this time, the student is subject to program sanctions.

First YearMA Program of studies due Develop thesis proposal
Second Year Propose thesis Defend thesis
Third Year Plan comprehensive exam Doctoral Program of Studies due Take comprehensive exam Plan dissertation proposal
Fourth Year Propose dissertation Apply for internship Defend dissertation
Fifth Year InternshipInternship Petition to graduate


The program is designed to be completed in 5 years; University policy requires all students to graduate within 7 years. Students who do not complete within this time period must petition the graduate school to continue and may be required to retake courses and other degree requirements. Procedures are specified in the Graduate Student Manual.

Evaluation of Students

Student evaluations are conducted annually by the program. Your progress in the program is assessed in two ways:

  1. Through formal yearly evaluations by the clinical program faculty
  2. Annual review by the student’s program committee.

The clinical faculty evaluation consists of reviewing the student’s completed annual evaluation information form, course grades, practicum evaluations, other clinical evaluations, research evaluation, teaching or other assistantship evaluations, and departmental/program service. The faculty discuss this information and complete a written evaluation form which is returned to the student. Students have the opportunity to discuss the evaluation with either the DCT or their major professor. The student, DCT, and major professor sign the form acknowledging receipt of the information. A copy of the evaluation is kept in each student’s file. The annual evaluation form indicates whether a student’s progress is outstanding, good, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory. For students whose progress is less than satisfactory, specific program requirements which are to be completed and deadline dates for completion are indicated, as well as consequences for noncompliance. A remediation plan may be instituted including guidance regarding specific steps necessary to address identified problems. Feedback is provided as to whether the student has successfully met the goals of the remediation plan. If remediation has not been successful, a possible consequence is a recommendation to the graduate school that the student be terminated from the program. In addition to the above procedures, the graduate school requires annual status reports of student progress to be submitted by the student’s major professor and program committee. Additional information is contained in Section 10 of the Graduate Student Manual on scholastic standing. To facilitate the evaluation process we require that students submit an annual evaluation form and copy of their curriculum vita for the year. The evaluation form is designed to update us about activities during the past year. This form will be distributed by email during the spring semester.

Professional Licensure Disclosure
In accordance with the 2019 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, URI hereby discloses only that the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program in all U.S. States and Territories. The applicable licensing board in these states may impose additional non-educational requirements on candidates prior to granting a license (e.g., passing of an exam; obtaining a certificate; performing supervised clinical/practicum hours; etc.), and we encourage you to investigate those requirements with your licensing board.