Clinical Psychology

Are you interested in clinical psychology?

The clinically-focused aspects of the curriculum for the Psychology Major includes courses that concentrate on promoting mental health and resilience, along with identifying, preventing, and treating mental illness. Common areas of study include the factors that contribute to the development, maintenance, and recovery from various forms of psychopathology, disorders of behavior and personality, and problems in living. Clinical psychology spans the lifespan, including developmental psychopathology and identification of risk factors and childhood disorders through to mental disorders that are especially common in older age, such as dementias.

Undergraduate research experience is a fundamental component of training in clinical psychology. Students interested in pursuing a clinically-related position after graduation, especially those interested in attending graduate school in clinical psychology, are advised to seek out research assistant opportunities (e.g., Psych 3950, completing a Distinguished Majors Project).

In addition, obtaining experience working with populations who have mental or behavioral health needs or who are in distress (e.g., volunteering at a crisis line, shelter, hospital, or school or camp that serves children with behavioral challenges, or completing a University Internship Program) can provide helpful applied experience. Further, getting involved with one of the many groups on campus that promote mental health awareness and advocacy (e.g., student chapters of Active Minds, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, etc.) can also be good exposure to current issues in clinical psychology.

It is often helpful to continue pursuing research and applied/clinical experiences following graduation before applying to graduate school (e.g., to work and/or volunteer for 1-3 years in a lab). This can make the person a more competitive applicant and also help to focus their interests. Along these lines, there are many professions associated with the mental health field (e.g., clinical and counseling psychology, psychiatry, social work, etc.) so we encourage students to carefully consider the different paths to determine the right match for their interests.

To learn more about applying to graduate school in clinical psychology and decide if that’s the right path for you, please read and visit This second web site has helpful advice on applying to clinical graduate programs and also lists post-baccalaureate research assistant/project coordinator positions to get some clinical psychology experience.

To learn more about what makes an applicant competitive, read CUDCP's Preferred Predoctoral Competencies for Clinical Psychology.

There are a number of courses that can provide particularly useful background in clinical psychology while fulfilling the degree requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

The following courses should not be viewed as requirements for pursuing a focus on clinical psychology but can provide valuable exposure to some of the exciting topics in the field. 


To earn a BA in Psychology students must complete 34 credits in PSYC courses, including at least one course from Introductory courses in Pillars I, II, III, and IV. Research Methods (PSYC 2005 and PSYC3006), 4 courses at the 3000-level or higher (including 1 at the 4000- or 5000-level). The remainder of credits can be completed by enrolling to any other PSYC courses.



PSYC 2400 - Introduction to Personality Psychology


SENIOR UNDERGRADUATE AND LAB COURSES: Multiple semesters are recommended.

PSYC 3410 - Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 3440 - Child Psychopathology

PSYC 3445 - Introduction to Clinical Psychology

PSYC 3460 - Psychological Study of Children, Families, and the Law

PSYC 3485 - The Science & Lived Experience of Autism I

PSYC 3495 - The Science & Lived Experience of Autism II

PSYC 3950 - Psychology Research



PSYC 4130 - Risk and Resilience Among Marginalized Adolescents

PSYC 4155 - Autism: From Neurons to Neighborhoods 

PSYC 4200 - Neural Mechanisms of Behavior

PSYC 4601 - Introduction to Clinical Psychology

PSYC 4602 - Women's Issues in Clinical Psychology

PSYC 4606 - Cognitive Biases in Anxiety and Related Disorders

PSYC 4682 - Mobile Technology in Mental Health Research

PSYC 4700 - Flourishing

PSYC 4580 - Directed Readings in Psychology



Please check for prerequisites.

PSYC 5160 - Emotion and Cognition