Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Overview
Our department has eliminated the GRE General Test for admission to the fall 2021 class. We will NOT accept or consider GRE scores for applications submitted this fall 2020. Applicants should NOT submit their GRE scores through ETS nor report their scores in the application portal or on their CVs or personal statements. All interviews for fall 2021 admission will be virtual.
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University is dedicated to training outstanding students to become responsible, innovative, and scholarly clinical psychologists. Our program embraces the scientist-practitioner model, providing balanced training in the science and practice of clinical psychology. Our faculty view scholarly empirical research as the foundation of clinical psychology, and we seek to train students who are eager to embrace the research mission of the program. Graduates of our program are well-positioned to pursue a variety of career options, including academic appointments, clinical research, and the provision of clinical services. The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1956. Please see below for more information.
Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data
Data on students’ time to completion, program costs, attrition, internships, and licensure are collected and reported in keeping with requirements of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. These education and training outcomes can be found at this link: Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data. Please also see the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) policy regarding Admissions Offers and Acceptances.
Promising applicants will be invited for personal interviews; telephone interviews may be conducted if travel to Syracuse is not possible. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 15th or earlier if possible. We encourage all admitted applicants to visit the campus and meet Clinical faculty and students before making a decision to accept an offer. The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or physical handicap.
Diversity in Clinical Psychology
The Syracuse University Clinical Psychology doctoral program is committed strongly to promoting diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and age. Our doctoral program also seeks to prepare students to be sensitive to issues of inclusion and diversity in all aspects of their culturally competent work.
We strive to maintain a diverse student population and historically underrepresented students are especially encouraged to apply for our doctoral program. The Clinical Psychology program is dedicated to the active recruitment of a diverse group of students and faculty. Our diversity recruitment efforts include our Diversifying Psychology Visit Day as well as other departmental activities to promote diversity and inclusion in our classrooms, research, clinical practice, and programming.
We support strongly Syracuse University's institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The Department of Psychology makes a determined effort to provide at financial support for all graduate students in good standing. For decades, all Psychology graduate students in good standing have been funded. Financial support consists of tuition scholarship, assistantships that provide a competitive stipend, research funding, and the opportunity for summer assistantships.
Students receive 24 hours of remitted tuition per year (at $1,683 per credit hour), up to 90 credits in total across the span of the graduate career, which funds the full PhD program of study. The tuition scholarship does not cover the costs of student fees or student insurance.
Students receive a competitive stipend that meets or exceeds the cost of living in Syracuse from one of several different sources including teaching assistantships, clinical assistantships, internships or externships, research assistantships, or fellowships. In most cases these are 9-month appointments although some are 12-month positions. Teaching assistants support the education of undergraduate students by teaching lab or recitation sections, grading, providing reviews, proctoring exams, or other activities. Research assistantships support a specific research project, typically one funded by extramural funding agencies such as the NIH. Fellowships provide protected time to pursue independent research projects. Clinical assistantships provide mental health services to community and campus clients. Internships and externships are offered in conjunction with community partners.
Summer funding opportunities are available in the form of independent teaching, clinical assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships.
The department offers a research fund to support the research and professional development of each student. These funds can be used for the collection or analysis of data, to attend a scientific conference or workshop, or other purposes that will enhance student training.
Cost of Living Comparison
Syracuse is a very affordable city. We encourage you to use a cost of living comparison (like the one at this site) to compare Syracuse to other cities.
Official program requirements include at least 90 credit hours, including a 6-credit master's thesis and an 18-credit dissertation. Prior to beginning the dissertation, students must pass a doctoral qualifying exam. A full-time, one-year internship is also required before the Ph.D. is awarded.
Program of Study
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University admits students to begin full-time study in the fall semester. Our curriculum has evolved in order to meet both responsibilities to the profession of Psychology as well as individual student needs. Doctoral students in Clinical Psychology typically follow a common core sequence in their first two years of study. The course content in the first two years is structured to ensure that all doctoral students receive comprehensive training in statistics and research design, theoretical underpinnings to Clinical Psychology as well as developing core foundational skills in evidence-based treatments. Students are also expected to complete their Master’s thesis in their second or third year of study.
This core sequence is then followed by an opportunity for students to tailor their training and study to match personal interests. These subsequent years of doctoral study include elective courses, additional research and dissertation work, clinical practica and a one-year predoctoral internship.
Consult the Course Catalog for specific requirements. For more complete information, please see the Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Handbook.
Our APA accredited Clinical Psychology doctoral program is also identified as New York State licensure-qualifying. This ensures that the education of program graduates will be accepted for licensure immediately in New York. The core courses that our doctoral students must complete are those require by New York State for licensure.
In addition to completing the degree requirements for the doctorate in Clinical Psychology, students in good academic standing can also enroll in the Neuroscience Concentration, which appears as a graduate specialization on a student’s transcript. The Concentration is a 4-course sequence that spans broad areas of Neuroscience, including biological and psychological processes, and is meant to provide students with a breadth of knowledge across core disciplines. Students are admitted to the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, and then complete interdisciplinary neuroscience coursework. Your Ph.D. will be awarded from the Psychology department with the "Neuroscience Concentration" listed as an area of specialization on your degree. More information about the concentration can be found here.
The Clinical faculty considers the mentoring of graduate students to be an integral part of our professional endeavors. Graduate students are carefully selected from a pool of applicants and work closely with a major advisor in a research apprentice training model. Although admissions decisions are made by the faculty as a committee, major advisors and students are matched based on shared research interests at the time an offer of admission is made. The following is intended to provide a quick reference for potential applicants. Please see the rest of this page for more detailed information about the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University.
- Applications are due no later than December 1.
2. Application requirements include but are not limited to:
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal Statement of Purpose (indicate at least one faculty member you are interested in working with)
3. All application materials must be submitted via the online application for graduate study.
- To begin the application process visit https://www.syracuse.edu/admissions/graduate/apply/
- Click the online application link and create a New User account with Embark
- When queried as “to which program and degree do you intend to apply?” select “Clinical Psychology, Ph.D.”
4. Each of the Clinical Psychology faculty listed below will be reviewing applications for Fall admission:
5. Please direct questions about our program to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or 315.443.3087.
- Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Handbook
- Other useful forms can be found via the Forms & Resources page
- Steps: Defense Procedures
Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336 5979 / E-mail: email@example.com
Clinical Psychology Faculty
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University is dedicated to training outstanding students to become responsible, innovative, and scholarly clinical psychologists. Our program embraces the scientist-practitioner model, providing balanced training in the science and practice of clinical psychology. Our faculty view scholarly empirical research as the foundation of clinical psychology, and we seek to train students who are eager to embrace the research mission of the program.
Kevin Antshel, Ph.D.
Dr. Antshel is a professor and the Director of Clinical Training. His research and clinical interests focus on developmental psychopathology, with specific emphasis on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) across the lifespan. Dr. Antshel is particularly interested in further investigating and understanding the heterogeneity of ADHD (e.g., ADHD in the context of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD in medical disorders such as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome). His goal is to use information about the heterogeneity of ADHD to further explore and predict mediators and moderators of treatment outcomes. Dr. Antshel directs the ADHD Lifespan Treatment, Education and Research (ALTER) program at Syracuse University. For more information, please visit Dr. Antshel's faculty page.
Joseph W. Ditre, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph W. Ditre is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. He is also Director of the Pain and Addiction Research (PAR) Lab, which operates out of the Central New York Medical Center in Syracuse NY. Dr. Ditre’s research cuts across basic and applied work in the areas of health psychology and behavioral medicine, with an emphasis on the intersection of addictive behaviors and comorbid medical disorders. At the broadest level, this research examines how the use of substances may influence the onset and progression of comorbid medical disorders, and how the symptoms and sequelae of medical disorders may influence the use of addictive substances. More specifically, he has established a programmatic line of research that applies a multi-method approach to the study of complex interrelations between pain, affect, comorbid psychopathology, and the maintenance of addiction. For more information, please visit Dr. Ditre's faculty page.
Les A. Gellis, Ph.D.
Dr. Gellis is an associate teaching professor. His research and teaching focuses on cognitive and behavioral elements that contribute to stress, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. Les is currently interested in testing and designing techniques to treat insomnia and understanding and causes and consequences of sleep problems in University students. For more information, please visit Dr. Gellis’ faculty page.
Afton Kapuscinski, Ph.D.
Dr. Kapuscinski is an assistant teaching professor and director of the psychological counseling center. Her experiences and interests focus on the treatment and prevention of mental health issues in adults, and college students in particular. She is especially interested in the treatment of mood, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, as well as other concerns that are particularly relevant to the young adult population, including body image, disordered eating, and religious/spiritual issues. In Dr. Kapuscinski’s clinical work and supervision, she utilizes an integrative approach to treatment that emphasizes psychodynamic and humanistic therapy models. Additionally, she provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults. For more information, please visit Dr. Kapuscinski’s faculty page.
Katie Kidwell, Ph.D.
Dr. Kidwell’s research focuses on pediatric health behaviors (primarily eating and sleep) as predictors, mechanisms, and intervention targets for improving physical and mental health. Dr. Kidwell employs a multilevel, multimethod approach to better understand the relationships among physical health, mental health, and health behaviors within a larger social context in children and adolescents. This research program combines subjective and objective data with technology to build rich datasets to answer complex questions about the best way to improve children’s health. For more information, please visit Dr. Kidwell's faculty page.
Aesoon Park, Ph.D.
Dr. Park's research interests focus on individual risk pathways of the development and escalation of alcohol use/misuse involving and co-occurring high-risk health behaviors within developmental contexts. She is also interested in statistical techniques that account for the time-varying and multi-level nature of human development (e.g., structural equation model, multilevel model, latent mixture model). For more information, please visit Dr. Park's faculty page.
Jillian R. Scheer, Ph.D.
Dr. Scheer’s research broadly focuses on (1) examining trauma exposure, such as physical and sexual abuse, as a key driver of sexual and gender minority disparities in alcohol misuse and mental health comorbidities (e.g., PTSD, suicidality) and (2) identifying maladaptive cognitive, affective, and behavioral pathways through which trauma exposure and minority stress (e.g., anticipating stigma) affect racially and ethnically diverse sexual and gender minorities’ sustained mental and behavioral health issues. Dr. Scheer’s current interdisciplinary research program seeks to inform epidemiologic, etiologic, and clinical treatment models of sexual and gender minorities’ alcohol use and related morbidities by specifying psychosocial stressors (i.e., trauma exposure, minority stressors such as heterosexism, racism, and sexism) that uniquely affect this vulnerable and understudied population. For more information, please visit Dr. Scheer's faculty page.
Shannon Sweeney, Ph.D.
Dr. Sweeney is an assistant teaching professor. She teaches Foundations of Human Behavior, Psychology of Childhood and Pediatric Psychology. She also focuses on transferring theory to practice and in so doing provides her students with a strong foundation for their own practices in psychological service delivery. For more information, please visit Dr. Sweeney’s faculty page.
Peter A. Vanable, Ph.D.
Dr. Vanable's research focuses on psychological aspects of health and illness, with an emphasis on behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS. Current projects include studies designed to characterize the coping challenges and experiences of men and women who are living with HIV disease, as well as studies that evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to reduce high risk sexual behavior. Dr. Vanable's interests also include the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors. For more information, please visit Dr. Vanable's faculty page.
Sarah Woolf-King, Ph.D.
Dr. Woolf-King is a licensed clinical psychologist with a combined interest in health psychology, epidemiology, and behavioral medicine. The overarching goal of her work is to inform the development of behavioral and psychological interventions that can enhance the wellbeing of patients and families coping with chronic medical conditions. For more information, please visit Dr. Woolf-King's faculty page.
Research training is a primary mission in the Clinical Psychology training program. Through both coursework and supervised apprenticeship, doctoral students learn skills that will enable independent research upon graduation. Skills that provide the basis for our research training model include how to critically evaluate the existing knowledge base, formulate new hypotheses that can be empirically tested and disseminate research findings. Training in manuscript preparation, grant writing and presenting data orally are all core components of our research apprenticeship model.
Members of the Clinical faculty collaborate with each other and with colleagues within the Syracuse area and across the country. There are ongoing collaborative research projects at the Syracuse V.A. Medical Center and the State University of New York - Upstate Medical University. Both of these institutions are within easy walking distance of the Psychology Department and provide valuable research and clinical experiences for our students.
Our clinical training is centered on providing doctoral students with a thorough grounding in evidence-based practice. Our goal is to equip students with core skills in assessment and intervention so that the student is fully prepared for the predoctoral internship training experience.
Students begin their formal clinical training by completing a year-long assessment course sequence and a year-long therapy practicum course. Both of these year-long sequences are completed before the students spend the third year training in the Department's Psychological Services Center (PSC). The PSC provides psychotherapy and assessment services to university students and to members of the greater Syracuse community. Upon completion of the year-long PSC practicum, students are able to complete advanced practica at multiple local sites in the broader Syracuse community.
Clinical supervisors vary in their conceptual approaches to understanding and modifying behavior, which promotes lively discussion of clinical topics and the development of flexibility in clinical skills. Supervision is complemented by seminars in multicultural issues, ethics and psychopathology, as well as by regular case conferences.
Many students also obtain teaching experience to help prepare them for academic careers. Initially, students may work as a teaching assistant, usually during the first year, in the undergraduate Introduction to Psychology course (PSY 205). Subsequent to this initial teaching experience, students may serve as a course instructor and have full responsibility for an undergraduate course. Doctoral students interested in pursuing an academic career can be confident that they will receive significant teaching opportunities and mentoring on the essential skills of college instruction. Students frequently rank teaching among the most rewarding experiences of their graduate training. Many of our students also obtain additional training in teaching and career development experiences through the Future Professoriate Program. http://graduateschool.syr.edu/programs/future-professoriate-program/