The mission of this PhD Concentration in Clinical Psychology at East Tennessee State University is to provide doctoral training in Clinical Psychology for rural behavioral health and practice in the context of integrated primary health care.
ETSU's Clinical Psychology PhD is accredited by the American Psychological Association's Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation. Accreditation was effective as of April 17, 2012.
Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of this program is to provide doctoral training in Clinical Psychology for rural behavioral health and practice in the context of integrated primary health care. Our curriculum is a scientist-practitioner model with innovative curricular elements utilizing our collaborative relationship with Quillen College of Medicine and building on its national recognition as a leader in the training of rural Family Medicine researchers and practitioners. Our relationship with the surrounding community and Appalachian region make our program unique in what it can offer students in the field of health services psychology. We would like to thank our community and academic partners in assisting with the development and implementation of this program, and particularly the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for providing grant funds to facilitate this process. Our program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association’s Office of Program Consultation and Administration since April 17, 2012.
Again, the clinical psychology program is guided by the scientist-practitioner model, and it places a strong emphasis on research and interdisciplinary clinical training. Though diverse in respect to methods of inquiry and areas of study, the faculty is of one mind in promoting scientific inquiry as the foundation of clinical psychology. The program's philosophy also emphasizes the respect for and understanding of cultural and individual diversity in policies for recruitment, retention, the development of faculty and students, and the curriculum in field placements. Our students receive traditional classroom and field training in psychological assessment, diagnosis and intervention. However, our program emphasizes evidence-based intervention and empirically-based assessment and treatment strategies and inter-professional training. Most importantly, our program is on the cutting edge of training clinical psychologists to work with primary care providers in an integrated rather than segregated fashion. Students participate in classes and field experiences with students and faculty from our medical school, medical residencies, nursing, social work, public health, physical therapy, and pharmacy programs. Thus, our program includes the following competency components not often found in traditional clinical psychology training.
Consistent with the definition of health service psychology in the Standards of Accreditation, the clinical psychology PhD program at ETSU seeks to accomplish three broad training aims:
1. To prepare students as independent scientist-practitioners in clinical psychology
Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge competencies in discipline specific psychological science that inform generalist clinical practice. Students will also be able to demonstrate competency in research design, methods, and execution of research, and in examining and integrating the empirical literature in the practice of clinical psychology. Students will demonstrate specialized knowledge in theories and methods of diagnostic assessment, formulation and implementation of evidence-based interventions, and evaluation of efficacy of clinical intervention.
2. To prepare students for entry level clinical practice in rural and primary care settings
Students will achieve cultural competence in working with rural populations and in community-based practice, and will demonstrate competence in interprofessional collaboration, communication, and consultation. Additionally, students will demonstrate competence in evidence-based assessment and intervention; and will demonstrate knowledge of supervision theories generally, as well as in rural and primary care settings.
3. To prepare students for ethically and culturally competent clinical practice
Students will demonstrate competence in knowing and abiding by professional ethics and related standards of research and practice, as well as federal and state laws and institutional and agency policies associated with the practice of psychology. The program additionally emphasizes that students will demonstrate understanding of and sensitivity to issues of diversity and individual differences relevant to all areas of practice.
We believe these aims emphasize the integration of science and practice and the goal of producing student trainees who are highly knowledgeable and professional in their delivery of health service psychology.
Beginning with the second semester in the first program year, Master's level students shadow psychologists and other health care practitioners participating in multidisciplinary teams in health care settings. In subsequent rotations, students participate in specific clinical activities such as interviewing and case management. Clerkships involve 4-5 hours per week in a primary care setting. Also beginning in the second semester, students are placed in the on-campus training facility, the Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic (BHWC). Initially, the students will provide phone coverage, scheduling, and structured intake experiences and observation of advanced students and faculty. Students provide coverage 4-6 hours per week. The breadth and depth of clinical services in which the student participates will vary from individual to individual and be based on supervisor recommendations.
During the Practicum semesters, students move to more in depth clinical activities including formal assessment, diagnostic interviews, and group, family, and individual intervention. In the fourth program year, doctoral students may participate in the supervision of first year students. Throughout matriculation, students will provide service in the clinic for 4-6 hours per week. Intensive, 20-hour per week, paid field placements occur in the third and fourth years of the program, with students providing clinical services under the supervision of licensed psychologists and other health care professionals in mental health and primary health care settings in both rural and semi-rural areas.
We believe these aims emphasize the integration of science and practice and the goal of producing student trainees who are highly knowledgeable and professional in their delivery of health service psychology.
Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic (BHWC)
The BHWC is an outpatient training clinic designed to provide assessment, evaluation, and counseling services in the context of a wide range psychological and health related concerns; behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, relationship problems, etc. In addition to clinical-based services, the BHWC is also designed to be a resource for consultation regarding a variety of clinical and non-clinical subjects in psychology; human development, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, statistics, and research design. The main facility of the BHWC is on the main ETSU campus. However, the activities of the BHWC extend well beyond the walls of the center to the greater community and surrounding region. For example, our students and faculty provide services to through not-for-profit programs, primary care clinics, and school-based programs.
For more information on the BHWC, please click the following link.
Brief Overview of Integrated Primary Care Models
There is not just one model of integrated primary care, and since our program is empirically based, we assume that our model of training will evolve just as evidence-based practice evolves based on the research. Primary care/behavioral healthcare integration can be depicted as having five levels (Doherty, McDaniel, & Baird, 1996).
Level One: Minimal Collaboration- is where mental health and other health care professionals work in separate facilities, have separate systems and rarely communicate about cases. This is the traditional model that is still practiced in most agencies and private practices in the U.S.
Level Two: Basic Collaboration at a Distance- is where providers have separate systems at separate sites, but communicate about specific patient issues. Operations, records are separate, and there is no sharing of responsibility or treatment decisions.
Level Three: Basic Collaboration On-Site- is where mental health/behavioral health professionals and primary care providers share the same site, but have separate systems. There is more regular communication about shared patients, but no shared patient care as a team. Medical physicians have the responsibility and decision-making authority.
Level Four: Close Collaboration in a Partially Integrated System- is where mental health and other health professionals share the same sites and have some systems in common such as records and scheduling. There are regular face-to-face interactions about patients, coordinated treatment plans, and a shared appreciation for others' roles and professional cultures. Operational discrepancies remain, such as differences in reimbursements. Medical professionals have greater power and influence on the collaborative team.
Level Five: Close Collaboration in a Fully Integrated System- is where mental and other health care professionals share the same sites, same vision, and same systems in a seamless web of biopsychosocial services. The expectation is of a team offering prevention and treatment where all professional are committed to a systems paradigm and in-depth understanding of each other's roles and professional cultures with a conscious effort to balance power and responsibility.
Deadline for receipt of application materials is December 1st.
Prior to beginning your application to our program, we encourage you to visit our website and learn more about our faculty and program, reach out to faculty with whom you may be interested in working, and review information related to student outcomes.
Our program has a two-stage application process. First, you will complete an application through the Psychology Centralized Application System (PsyCAS: http://psycas.apa.org) by December 1 of each application cycle. This will include a statement of interest in our program, your Curriculum Vita, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and completion of several program-specific questions. Following holistic application review by the Clinical Psychology faculty, applicants who are invited for interview will be asked to complete a second stage of the application process, during which they will complete an official application through the ETSU School of Graduate Studies (https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/applynow.php). This will incur an additional application fee ($55 domestic/$65 international). Those who elect not to complete this stage will not advance further in the application process. Interviews typically occur in the early spring of each year (February-March).
Applicants are evaluated once each year only, for admission in the fall semester; applicants for spring admission are not considered. All application information must have been received by December 1st for a candidate to be considered for admission. Students are admitted from two applicant pools, dependent upon level of preparation. All applications are considered with the expectation that the applicant will pursue their PhD. The two applicant pools are as follows:
1. Students holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution will be considered for the MA/PhD program. Students admitted to the Clinical Psychology PhD program complete the requirements for an MA in Clinical Psychology as part of their PhD requirements. Students seeking a terminal master's degree will not be considered.
2. Students already holding the MA or MS in psychology from a regionally accredited institution may also apply to the MA/PhD program. The master's degree must be commensurate with the MA program in Clinical Psychology at ETSU and involve the successful completion of an empirically-based thesis project. Students possessing a master's degree without an empirically-based thesis will be required to complete an empirically-based thesis before being admitted to doctoral candidacy. For further information see the ETSU Graduate Catalog and the Clinical Concentration Handbook.
The following are required:
1. A complete application submitted through the Psychology Centralized Application System (PsyCAS: http://psycas.apa.org/). This includes a statement of interest, Curriculum Vita, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and completion of several program-specific questions;
2. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate and/or graduate level work overall and in Psychology courses;
3. A bachelor's degree in psychology. For those without a psychology major, at least 18 units of undergraduate psychology are required. Please see the "Prerequisites" section of the PSYCAS application for more information;
4. Clear alignment with program mission and faculty research and clinical interests;
5. A committment to full-time graduate education and clinical training;
Other preferred attributes of program applications include prior research experience, appreciation of diversity and inclusivity, and willingness to engage in interprofessional work.
Students with graduate credit earned at another institution, upon matriculation at ETSU, may petition to have these credits applied toward their degree requirements at ETSU. While such credits are not automatically transferred and must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training and the School of Graduate Studies, a maximum of 9 semester hours earned elsewhere could be applied. See the ETSU Graduate Catalog for more details. For students who have attained a master's degree elsewhere, a maximum of 48 semester hours may be applied toward the MA/PhD degree requirements.
Frequently Asked QuestionsIs the program APA-accredited?
Yes. ETSU's doctoral program in Clinical Psychology has been accredited by the APA Commission on Accreditation since Apri1 17, 2012.
How long is the PhD program?
The PhD program is designed as a five-year post-baccalaureate program of study, including a full calendar year of clinical internship. Students admitted to the Clinical Psychology PhD program complete the requirements for an MA in Clinical Psychology en route to PhD completion. Students seeking a terminal master's degree will not be considered. The pre-doctoral clinical internship is a full-time supervised training/employment situation in a formal internship location. The internship is a separate application process and conducted as a 'match' similar to medical school residencies. Internship sites are recognized and or accredited separately from doctoral programs.
The ETSU-based curriculum is four years past the bachelor's. Because there are practical and independent research requirements in addition to structured coursework, it is common for PhD students in clinical psychology program to take longer to graduate than the 5 years of program design.
May I enroll in the program on a part-time basis?
No, the program must be matriculated as a full-time student. Similar to medical school, one cannot complete this type of program on a part-time basis. Thus, it is our intent to support every student who enrolls with graduate assistantships and tuition waivers.
I do not have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. May I still apply?
Yes, students in related undergraduate degree programs are often interested in graduate work in psychology, and are welcome to apply. There are 18 undergraduate hours in psychology that are required, however, to ensure at least some foundation work in psychology has been completed.
Is the program going to be offered online?
There are components of courses that are supported with online material, but the nature of clinical psychology training requires face-to-face training experiences, in our opinion. There is no course that is offered on line, much less the whole program.
I took the GRE years ago. Do I have to take it again?
GRE scores up to five years old may be used in the application. GRE scores older than five years cannot be submitted.
I have a master's degree in a related discipline; will I have to complete the entire program?
If you have an equivalent master's degree in Psychology, you can be admitted post-masters.. However, you should expect to have to take most of the master's courses in the current program; every course taken prior to admission will be compared to our program's courses, and each course must be individually approved by the current course instructor. Practicum courses and courses unique to our program's mission will not be waived. If you have a master's degree in a related discipline such as social work, counseling, or others, you may petition upon acceptance to have up to nine hours of graduate work transferred to this program. If you have already completed a master's thesis, you may petition to have the thesis requirement waived.
I want to do clinical work, but I'm not sure that I want to go all the way to the PhD. May I be admitted for just the master's portion and decide later?
No, there is no longer a terminal master's program in clinical psychology at ETSU, so all applicants must apply to the MA/PhD combined program with the expectation of completing the PhD.
The primary mission of the PhD Concentration in Experimental Psychology at East Tennessee State University is to provide students with broad and general training in translational research in the psychological sciences, including the areas of developmental, cognitive, social psychology, and behavioral neuroscience.
The primary mission of the PhD Concentration in Experimental Psychology at East Tennessee State University is to provide students with broad and general training in translational research in the psychological sciences, including the areas of developmental, cognitive, and social psychology, personality, affective behavior, and behavioral neuroscience. To the best of our knowledge, there are no other PhD programs in the US with an explicit focus on translational experimental psychology. An additional focus of the program is to prepare students for future faculty membership.
The goals of the PhD Concentration in Experimental Psychology are to:
- train students to be scientists through designing, implementing, and interpreting research studies, and communicating research findings;
- train students in the application of basic and applied research with a translational focus (i.e., "from bench to bedside"), and in the craft of grant-writing;
- train students in teaching, research, and service.
Prior to beginning your application to our program, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our website and learn more about our faculty and the program. You are also encouraged to contact faculty with whom you may be interested in working. Our program has a two-stage application process. The first stage of the process is to complete an application through the Psychology Centralized Application System (PsyCAS: http://psycas.apa.org) by December 1 of the application cycle. The application includes:
- a statement of interest in our program;
- your Curriculum Vita;
- official transcripts;
- three letters of recommendation and
- answers to program-specific questions.
Following holistic application review by the Experimental Psychology faculty, applicants who are invited for interview will be asked to complete the second stage of the application process, which is to complete an official application through the ETSU School of Graduate Studies (https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/applynow.php). This will incur an additional application fee ($55 domestic/$65 international). Those who elect not to complete this stage will not advance further in the application process. Interviews typically occur in the early spring of each year (February-March).
All applicants are considered with the expectation that the applicant will pursue the PhD, and will be accepted from two applicant pools as follows:
Students holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution will be considered for the MA/PhD program. Students admitted to the Experimental Psychology PhD program complete the requirements for an MA in Experimental Psychology (43 credit program of study with thesis) en route to PhD completion. Students seeking a terminal master's degree will not be considered.
Students already holding the MA or MS in psychology from a regionally accredited institution may also apply to the MA/PhD program. The master's degree must be commensurate with the MA program in Experimental Psychology at ETSU and involve the successful completion of an empirically-based thesis project. Students possessing a master's degree without an empirically-based thesis will be required to complete an empirically-based thesis before being admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students without commensurate coursework may be required to take additional coursework.
The MA in Experimental Psychology requires 43 semester hours distributed as follows:
Master's Requirements (43 credits):
- PSYC 5210 Statistical Methods, 3 credits
- PSYC 5410 Correlation & Multiple Regression, 3 credits
- PSYC 5610 Topical Seminar in Developmental Psychology, 3 credits
- PSYC 5620 Topical Seminar in Social Psychology, 3 credits
- PSYC 5630 Topical Seminar in Cognitive Psychology, 3 credits
- PSYC 5650 Topical Seminar in Applied Psychology, 3 credits
- PSYC 5707 Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience, 3 credits
- PSYC 5717 Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience Lab, 1 credits
- PSYC 5800 Teaching in the Psychological Sciences, 3 credits
- PSYC 5801 Teaching in the Psychological Sciences: Practicum I (3 hr, repeated 2 times), 6 credits
- PSYC 5950 Methods of Psychological Research, 3 credits
- PSYC 6660 Grant Writing, 3 credits
- PSYC 5960 Thesis, 6 credits
The PhD in Experimental Psychology concentration requires 39 credits distributed as follows:
Doctoral Program Requirements (39 credits):
- PSYC 5825 Psychopathology, 3 credits
- PSYC 6801 Teaching in the Psychological Sciences: Practicum II (3 hr, repeated 3 times), 9 credits
- PSYC 7000 Doctoral Preliminary Project, 3 credits
- PSYC 7500 Cultural Anthropological Applications, 3 credit or PSYC 7770 Diversity in the Psychological Sciences, 3 credits
- Guided Electives, 9 credits
- PSYC 7960 Dissertation, 12 credits
See handbook link above for required forms.