Ph.D. Program Clinical Psychology

Doctoral Program Mission Statement

The American Psychological Association (APA) accredited Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Southern Methodist University (SMU) follows a clinical scientist model and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS). As such, the primary goal of the program is to train psychological clinical scientists, and the single most important component of the doctoral training is research. To that end, we expect our students to be actively engaged in research throughout their training with SMU faculty members through collaborative, faculty-directed studies as well as studies in which students take a lead role. Students are expected to participate substantially in scientific publications, conference presentations, grant applications, and make other meaningful contributions to research. The clinical science model recognizes the reciprocal relationship between research and clinical application. Students should apply scientific knowledge to their clinical work as well as use their clinical work to inform their research. State-of-the-science training will be provided in evidence-based assessment, diagnosis, and intervention.

Consistent with the mission statement of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, SMU faculty members who serve as the primary mentors for doctoral students (faculty research mentors) conduct research designed to advance clinical science. In this context, clinical science is defined as “a psychological science directed at the promotion of adaptive functioning; at the assessment, understanding, amelioration, and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition or health; and at the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence.” Faculty research mentors are all actively involved in conducting research. In addition, faculty research mentors are also actively involved in SMU’s mission to provide students with high-quality instruction, and many teach courses for doctoral students.


The Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University values diversity and is committed to (1) recruiting and retaining faculty members, students, and staff from various backgrounds, and (2) contributing to research and education that emphasizes multicultural issues. Click here to see more about Diversity in the doctoral program.

Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

SMU’s doctoral program in clinical psychology became a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS) in 2019. Membership in APCS is consistent with the program’s focus on training students to conduct research designed to advance psychological clinical science.

American Psychological Association Accreditation

SMU’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was founded in 2004 and has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 2009.  APA re-accredited our program for 10 years in 2021.

APA accreditation is essential for students who are applying for internships, post-doctoral training, and jobs, as it indicates that the primary professional organization and evaluating body has concluded that the program provides training experiences that are consistent with the national standards established by the field of clinical psychology.

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 / Email:

Statement on Licensure

This program meets Texas licensure requirements. It has not yet been determined if the program meets licensing requirements in other states.
The doctoral program in clinical psychology at SMU adheres to APA accreditation standards and prepares students for entry into the profession of clinical psychology. Given the varied and changing requirements across jurisdictions, we cannot assure, nor is it our responsibility to assure, that graduates will meet all requirements for licensure in all states or territories. Doctoral trainees in this program are encouraged to become familiar with state licensing laws and discuss their curricular plan with the Directors of Clinical Training as needed. 
A compilation of licensure requirements,organized by jurisdictions is available here and updated annually. Items highlighted in yellow reflect a change in progress or a lack of verification by the board administrator in the jurisdiction.

Doctoral Program Details

To learn more about our program, see our graduate student handbook.


Our department has state-of-the-art research and training facilities, including digital observational equipment, psychophysiological assessment tools, and virtual reality technology. We have multiple interview/therapy rooms for research and clinical training, almost all of which are equipped for video-recording and/or observation.


Financial Information

Doctoral students enrolled in the SMU Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program receive stipends for five years of graduate study through Dedman College, pending satisfactory performance. Funding includes a stipend of $25,000 per year, plus tuition and fees, and SMU benefits.

In addition to stipends, the department offers doctoral students the opportunity to apply for funding to attend external workshops (up to $300/year) and travel to national research conferences (up to $700/year). This information is also presented on the department website.

All funding opportunities carry with it a responsibility to serve as a teaching assistant and to be engaged in research with SMU faculty members.

Applying to the Program

There is a December 1st deadline for receipt of applications. For more information see the tabs for Frequently Asked Questions and Apply. Please contact Dr. Chmielewski ( if you have any questions about the program or the application process.