The Clinical Psychology program espouses a blend of the clinical-scientist model and the scientist-practitioner model, integrating the full range of research, teaching, and applied skills in training doctoral students. We view research and applied skills as interwoven rather than as two discrete sets of skills. As a result, our graduates acquire the foundation for pursuing a strong clinical scientist career in an academic or research setting, as well as a robust scientist-practitioner career in a medical or other training institution or serving in an administrative role in a service delivery agency.
The program is designed for completion in five years, the last year of which is the clinical internship. The first two years are relatively course intensive, during which students complete basic courses in research methodology, scientific domains of psychological inquiry, and core clinical courses in psychopathology, assessment, and psychosocial interventions.
Students become involved in faculty-led research teams during their first year, affording them the opportunity to collaborate with team members in developing research questions, designing empirical studies, collecting and analyzing data, writing manuscripts, and presenting scientific papers at national and regional conferences. By the end of their first year, students propose their master’s thesis research to be completed during their second year. The Clinical program emphasizes student involvement in collaborative research beyond their thesis research, providing a broad foundation in research methodology prior to formulating their dissertation research during their third year. We expect our students to have several scholarly publications and presentations at scientific meetings prior to applying for the pre-doctoral internship.
Students also acquire clinical skills in assessment and intervention beginning in their second year. All students serve as primary therapists for clients at our Department Clinic serving children, adolescents, and adults from the community (as individuals, couples, or families) under close faculty supervision. Advanced students may specialize in certain types of cases (e.g., eating disorders, chronic pain, substance abuse, attention-deficit disorders, or relationship problems) and may also involve themselves in one of the ongoing specialty training/research programs at the clinic, gaining intensive experience with a particular problem while participating in the design, conduct, and evaluation of a research project.
Since the 1990s, the Clinical program has been successful in developing a variety of community and regional training sites in assessment, crisis intervention, individual and group therapy, behavioral health consultation, and program evaluation with children, adolescents, and adults. We view community practica as a valuable means of expanding the breadth of our students’ clinical training in balance with their research and teaching needs. At present, we have two paid community practica (Brazos County Detention Center and Brazos County Probation and Parole Services), with 2-3 students placed at each per academic year. At Brazos County Detention Center, students develop skills in psychodiagnostic interviews, brief individual therapy, crisis management, and consultation with correctional staff as well as other community agencies servicing inmates, with common referrals involving noncompliance with staff, aggressive behavior, adjustment problems to jail placement, severe emotional distress, unmedicated serious psychiatric disorders, and suicide risk assessment. At the Brazos County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, students develop skills in psychological assessment of anger and impulse control, substance abuse, and psychopathology, individual or group therapy for anger management, chemical dependence, or severe emotional disorders, and consultation to probation department staff. In addition to these paid external placements, students may occasionally pursue unpaid practicum experiences at sites that meet specific training needs (e.g., pediatric facilities, VA hospitals). Such opportunities are developed in conjunction with the primary research mentor and must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training.
Our students are highly competitive for premier pre-doctoral internships nationally (e.g., university and VA medical centers in San Diego, Seattle, New Orleans, New York City, Baltimore, Chapel Hill, Houston, and San Antonio). The majority of our graduates from the Clinical program pursue research positions in academic or medical settings, or clinical training or administrative positions in medical centers or community agencies. The Clinical program at Texas A&M is not intended for individuals wishing to pursue a career primarily in independent clinical practice.
The Clinical program supports an active speaker series that each year brings to campus distinguished faculty members from other universities. This series provides exposure to different perspectives on the field and the opportunity to network with professors at other institutions.
Additional Program Information:
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinical Psychology Faculty
Adrienne Carter-Sowell– Purdue University (2010): Social
Joshua Hicks – University of Missouri-Columbia (2009): Social
Heather Lench – University of California, Irvine (2007): Social
Stephanie Payne – George Mason University (2000): Industrial/Organizational
Rebecca Schlegel – University of Missouri-Columbia (2009): Social
Brandon Schmeichel – Florida State University (2005): Social