Clinical Psychology

The LSU Department of Psychology's Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP) has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1956. Our program emphasizes the integration of the scientific and applied aspects of clinical psychology. Within our training model, training focuses on conducting clinical research, conducting evidence-based clinical services, evaluating the clinical research from a scientist's perspective, calling upon relevant empirical findings and principles in the creation and/or application of clinical procedures, and integrating basic and applied clinical psychology into a suitable and sound personal frame of reference. Training is based on a strong mentor-mentoree relationship and a strong empirical orientation.

Program Structure

Consistent with the definition of Health Service Psychology (HSP) in the Standards of Accreditation, our program aims to prepare students for careers in HSP by offering broad and general training when appropriate, emphasizing the following elements:

  • Integration of empirical evidence and practice: Practice is evidence‐based, and evidence is practice‐informed.
  • Training that is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for careers in academic, research, and applied settings.
  • Respect for and understanding of cultural and individual differences and diversity.

Students in the PhD program in Clinical Psychology are eligible to receive a master's degree as part of their enrollment in the PhD program. However, this master's degree is not intended to be a terminal degree and is not designed to meet requirements for licensure for clinical practice at the master level.

Program requirements are detailed in the clinical psychology program handbook. The training is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.  In the first year, students are prepared for the objectives of the program primarily through coursework. Once they have attained basic skills and information, practical experience is gained via mentoring on practica and on research projects (e.g., masters thesis). Expectations for students increase as they progress through the program. More support and direction are provided initially with increased autonomy and independence later in one’s training.

All students complete training consistent with the specialization of clinical psychology. There is additional coursework and practical research training that allows interested students to complete elective areas of study, including clinical child and neuropsychology tracks. Further, students may choose to minor in an area of interest (including but not limited to a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis).

The Program is designed to be completed in five to seven years, including the internship. Students complete a core set of broad and general as well as clinical coursework (see program Aims & Competencies).

Course Work

Students in the Clinical Program are expected to devote full-time to graduate study and complete the requirements for the Ph.D. within 5 to 7 years. To prepare them for clinical work, students are required to complete the following courses in their first year (and no later than end of their second year): Professional Considerations in Psychology (PSYC 7999), Developmental Disorders and Psychopathology of Children (PSYC 7171) or Advanced Psychopathology (PSYC 7982), and Child Behavior Therapy or Behavior Therapy (PSYC 7972/7185). Students are also required to complete at least one assessment course within their first two years. To prepare students for thesis work, PSYC 4111 and 7117 must be completed within the first two years.  All required coursework must be successfully completed (earn a grade of B- or higher) by the end of the fourth year (or by degree completion). Students are allowed two attempts to pass a required course, although they cannot make more than 1 grade below B-.


Research training begins in the first year via (1) didactic training in statistics and (2) experiential training in participation in on-going research in the major professor’s laboratory. This training continues throughout the program via coursework (e.g., research methods, advanced statistics) and with the major professor. Two (2) research projects are required: a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation. The master's thesis must be completed by the 5th semester and the dissertation must be successfully proposed prior to applying for internship. 


Commitment to Diversity

Training in individual and cultural diversity (broadly defined) is viewed as an important, essential component of clinical training. Please see the Clinical Psychology Program's Diversity Training page to learn more about our program’s training in issues concerning individual and cultural diversity.

Further, we encourage applications from individuals with diverse racial, ethnic, and/or cultural backgrounds. Baton Rouge is a racially diverse city and our work in the greater Baton Rouge community allows us to provide clinical services to and conduct research with racially diverse individuals in our community. We take great pride in this diversity. Furthermore, our program is deeply committed to fostering a learning environment that supports cultural and individual differences and diversity. Additionally, “Diversity is fundamental to LSU's mission and the University is committed to creating and maintaining a living and learning environment that embraces individual difference. Cultural inclusion is of highest priority” (see entire LSU Diversity Statement)

LSU recognizes the devastating consequences of structural racism in our society and on campus that have become all too apparent by recent events. These events have reaffirmed our commitment to address inequities on campus and to become a more inclusive and diverse community that can be a model for the broader society. Information regarding these efforts at LSU can be found on the LSU Together page and information regarding our department’s work can be found on our department’s Committee on Diversity and Outreach in Psychology page.

APA Accreditation

We are currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Questions related to our program's accreditation 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
Website: APA Accreditation