Below are answers to some questions frequently asked by applicants. If you still have questions after reviewing these, do not hesitate to contact us.
We typically have many more candidates apply for admission than we can admit. Admissions decisions are made by a committee, which is comprised of faculty members from the Department of Psychology. The committee considers a number of things in making these decisions, including applicant GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, applicant interests and goals, and research experience.
Successful candidates are those who appear to be a good "fit" or "match" with the program and with the lab of a specific faculty member who would be the applicant's research mentor during his/her tenure in the program. That is, the interests and goals of the successful candidate will match those of the program and of a potential Faculty Advisor. Similarly, academic qualifications and experiences indicate the likelihood of success in the program and in the research lab of the candidate's likely Faculty Advisor.
You will complete one application to the Ph.D. program, which is sent to the Graduate Office by December 1. In your personal statement within that application, you should identify two faculty members in the department who you perceived as a good fit for your interests and experience. There is no separate application for this "match".
Prospective applicants should read over the information found on this website. It is especially important to consider whether or not our mission statement matches your training goals and whether the research of at least one of our faculty members matches your own interests.
As indicated in our mission statement, our goal is to provide students with high-quality research and clinical training. Because of our program’s commitment to research training and the extensive research requirements, applicants with little or no interest in developing research skills or conducting research will not find our program a good fit. Similarly, because we are serious about providing students with training in scientifically-based clinical practice skills, applicants with no interest in developing such skills will not find our program a good fit.
"Fit" of interests with a specific faculty member is an important criterion when the program makes admissions decisions. Students in our program are assigned a Faculty Advisor who serves as the student’s research mentor. Many student research activities are completed with the Faculty Advisor. For example, student-directed research projects (e.g., first-year project, thesis, dissertation) are typically conducted on a topic in which the Faculty Advisor has expertise and can help guide the student. Students assist their Faculty Advisors in conducting research and typically co-author papers with their Faculty Advisor, which are presented at conferences and published in professional journals. It is extremely important for prospective applicants to make sure that there is at least one faculty member in our department conducting research in an area that she/he would also like to conduct research.
Our doctoral program in Clinical Psychology has been accredited by the American Psychological Association for a five year period, effective May 19, 2009. The next cycle for APA program review is 2020.
APA Contact Information:
American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE . Washington, DC . 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979 . TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123 . Fax: 202-336-5978
We typically admit 4-6 students each year.
Any tenured or tenure-track faculty member can serve as a Faculty Advisor, with the exception of Drs. Hampson and Rosenfield, who do not act as the primary research mentor for graduate students. Lecturers, Research Faculty, and Adjunct Faculty do not serve in this role to Ph.D. students at SMU.
It is important to recognize that, for a variety of reasons, not all of our tenured and tenure-track faculty advise new students (admit new students into their research labs each year). If you are interested in working with a particular SMU faculty member, it might be worthwhile to contact that faculty member before you apply and ask if she/he plans to advise an incoming Ph.D. student during the next academic year.