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Clinical Science

Do you want to study the assessment, etiology, pathophysiology, developmental pathways or treatment of psychopathology?

If you want to be trained as a clinical scientist and be eligible to apply for licensure as a clinical psychologist after graduation, select Clinical Science (CS) as the first concentration on your application to the graduate program in psychology.

You may have significant specialized research interests closely aligned with other concentrations which you may indicate on your application as a second or third area of interest. The graduate program in psychology encourages students to take advantage of the range of research expertise reflected in our faculty. Please see the list of faculty recruiting CS students here. You may select any of these faculty members as potential research mentors while selecting CS as your first concentration

The CS concentration is the department’s clinical psychology PhD program, accredited by both APA and PCSAS. The CS concentration is designed for individuals who intend to apply for licensure regardless of the way in which you plan to integrate research and clinical work in your career as a clinical scientist. Students accepted into this program will complete clinical training including an internship, and are expected to apply for and obtain licensure within 5 years of graduation.

Research and Affiliated Faculty

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Faculty and students affiliated with the CS concentration work with researchers from the other concentrations and from many other departments and research centers, including the:

Students utilize a range of scientific methodologies to investigate biological, cognitive, affective and social processes that are associated with risk and intervention for psychopathology. Students learn to apply the perspective and skills of a clinical scientist to research, teaching, and professional environments including academic departments, research institutes, medical schools, community mental health facilities, or other practice settings.


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Core Courses

The two core courses for the Clinical Science concentration are:

  1. Psychopathology
  2. Research Methods

Additional Courses Required 

Additional courses required for those in the APA-approved clinical training program include methods of assessment, intervention/treatment strategies and ethics. Breadth of knowledge in psychology is provided by taking courses within other concentration areas that meet APA requirements for discipline specific knowledge. These courses focus on research drawn from biological, cognitive, affective, social and developmental psychology.

Accredited Clinical Psychology Training

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The Emory Clinical Science (CS) doctoral program is accredited by both of the accrediting bodies in the field: the  American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA) (since 1963) and the  Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) (since 2014). Our program is a member in good standing of the  Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the below:

American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979

Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402
Phone: (301) 455-8046

Our faculty and curriculum embody the values embraced by both organizations. Our clinical science training model and vision is most consistent with the standards of the PCSAS.

Presently, PCSAS is working toward ensuring that:

  1. Graduates from its programs are fully license-eligible to pursue licensure for professional practice in the majority of states
  2. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) provides parity for and recognition of PCSAS within all of its regulatory standards.

If and when those changes are realized, our program may consider remaining accredited solely by PCSAS. However, any such consideration would be based on clear evidence that our graduates can continue to obtain the sorts of successful career positions they have long enjoyed (e.g., as university professors, college teachers, public policy analysts, faculty in medical centers, research institutes and VA settings, licensed clinical psychologists, and administrators/directors of a variety of community agencies/organizations).

Sequence of the Clinical Training

The goal of clinical science is to integrate the science (research on psychopathology and development/evaluation of interventions) with the application of that science to clinical practice.

Students in the CS primary concentration are therefore expected to apply for and obtain licensure in some jurisdiction within 3 years of graduation. APA provides a guide to specific requirements in each state.

The sequence of training that leads to being a licensed clinical psychologist is:

Initial Clinical Training in assessment and therapy is provided through the in-house training clinic. Subsequently, students participate in supervised clinical work at various approved external sites including the 

An APA-approved Internship is required before the PhD with the Clinical Science concentration can be conferred. Students typically apply for external internships in the fall of their 5th year and complete it in their 6th year.

Students interested in the option of a two year half-time fully accredited affiliated internship at the Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP)in the Emory University School of Medicine typically complete that in their 4th and 5th years in the program.

Becoming Eligible for Licensure as a Health Service Provider

Successful completion of the CS concentration, including the APA-approved internship, makes CS students eligible to apply for licensure as a clinical psychologist in Georgia (and in many other jurisdictions) but students must also meet any additional requirements of any state in which they want to be licensed. For example, these additional requirements may include a year of supervised postdoctoral clinical work, and passing state licensure exams. To learn more about licensure in Georgia and other jurisdictions, please review the information found here.

Application Information

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Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (pdf) 

Updated September 2023

Our Clinical Science concentration is accreditated by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)  . Applicants who choose Clinical Science as their primary concentration should be aware of the following information before applying (click title for pdf): 

  1. Disclosures
  2.  Admissions
  3. Time to Completion 
  4. Program Costs
  5. Internship Placements
  6. Attrition 
  7. Licensure