Clinical Psychology

Mature adult therapist listens to mid adult male client
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Gain the skills you need to assess, diagnose and treat mental illness with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, one of the top research universities in the U.S. In our American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited program, we integrate the science and practice of psychology, helping you learn the research foundations for the field and apply your findings to clinical settings.

You’ll come away from our program prepared for a career as an organizational psychologist, marriage and family therapist, researcher, clinical psychology professor, psychotherapist and more.

What to Expect

Choose from one of two sub-specialties in  our program: our adult track, or our child and family track (you may choose to specialize in pediatric psychology within the latter). You can complete either track in about five to seven years. 

Regardless of your focus, you’ll immerse yourself in the scientist-practitioner model—an approach centered on the belief that clinical psychology, in its ideal form, is based on cross-fertilization of the science and practice of psychology. We aim to provide a common core of knowledge, methods and philosophy that you can take with you as you pursue applied and scientific career options.

At Case Western Reserve, you’ll learn how to draw from established theoretical frameworks, research findings and empirically validated strategies as you conceptualize cases, plan treatment strategies and administer interventions. We’ll prepare you to not only conduct empirical research but also to write integrative review papers. Because we also value skills in teaching, another goal is to prepare you to teach your own courses and to present your research and clinical work to professional audiences.

As a clinical psychology graduate student, you’ll be supported far beyond your studies. We established a Wellness Committee in 2017, which exists to attend to the socioemotional needs of the Department of Psychological Sciences by encouraging a balance of personal and professional life. Events and resources seek to target social, mental, physical, and financial wellbeing with the purpose of helping students, faculty and staff have a healthy and enjoyable experience at CWRU.

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Beyond the Classroom

During your first year in the PhD in Clinical Psychology program, you’ll begin developing skills in clinical interviewing and assessment. An essential component of our program is an emphasis on psychotherapy, including extensive coverage of empirically validated treatments. We offer two year-long psychotherapy practicums—one in cognitive behavioral therapy, and one in psychodynamic therapy. We also offer a year-long seminar and case conference in child and family therapy. 

Additionally, you’ll complete several year-long field placements focused on assessment and intervention—a wide range of settings, patient populations, and intervention styles for practicum and pre-internship placements are available in the Cleveland area. 

Frequent field placements for our students include:

Lastly you’ll complete a clinical internship experience during your final year. The internship will provide you with an intensive clinical experience, where you’ll gain exposure to new populations, clinical contexts, and therapy techniques. Past students have done extremely well in the internship match process, completing internships at some of the most prestigious sites in the United States. Visit our website for a full list of recent facilities where our students have interned.

By the Numbers


graduates between 2011-2019


of those graduates became licensed psychologists


percent of those graduates obtained APA/CPA internships 


percent of those graduates obtained paid internships

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a personal statement
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • List of research experience (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

Contact Us

Arin Connell
Arin Connell
Associate Professor, Etiology of Depression & Anxiety
Director of Clinical Training (DCT)
Department of Psychological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

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