Ph.D. in Psychology

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

Welcome to SMU's Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology.

Mission Statement

The APA-accredited Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Southern Methodist University follows a clinical scientist model and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. As such, the primary goal of the program is to train 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 through collaborative, lab-directed studies as well as independent mentored projects. Students are expected to participate substantially in scientific publications, conference presentations, grant applications, and make other meaningful contributions to research. Moreover, 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.

Information about APA accreditation and membership in the Academy:

The clinical Ph.D. program at SMU was founded in 2004 and has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 2009. The next evaluation for accreditation will take place in 2020. 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.

In the spring of 2019, the clinical program was accepted as a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS).

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

Program Details

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

Graduate Funding Opportunities

All graduate students who are making good progress in the program receive financial support for five years. In addition, there are other sources of support from the College and University. To see some of the other opportunities, please go to:


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.

Applying to the Program

There is a December 1 deadline for receipt of applications.  For more information see applying to SMU.

Please contact Dr. Hampson ( if you have any questions about the program or the application process.


Submit your application online a Upload all supporting documents with your application.

Applicants to the Clinical Psychological Doctoral Program must submit the following:

  • Completed application form 
  • GRE scores for the general test sent electronically from ETS (SMU code 6660)
  • Unofficial transcripts uploaded online with the application (official transcripts required upon admission)
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted online
  • Personal statement*
  • Application fee ($75) - payable to SMU
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)

*The personal statement should include the applicant's professional interests, graduate school goals, career goals, research experience (as well as other pertinent experience), and the names of two faculty members with whom they would like to work. Foreign applicants who do not have a degree from an English-language institution must also take the TOEFL exam.

Due to high volume of applicants, it is not possible to conduct pre-application advisory meetings or tours. However, any questions about the application process can be submitted by email or phone to Buck Hampson, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Training (, 214-768-2734).

Click here to learn more about our graduate program application process.

Our faculty and students are dedicated to producing cutting edge research that promotes the understanding of factors that impact psychological, family, and physical well-being as well as developing innovative interventions to promote functioning and reduce impairment. Students receive extensive training in psychological theory, research methods, and quantitative methods, and are expected to generate and publish original research. Research training is provided through coursework, active collaboration with faculty, and completion of student-directed research. Coursework covers research and quantitative methods and the foundations of clinical, developmental, social, biological, cognitive, and affective science to provide students with a sound basis in psychological research and theory. Membership in a research lab allows student the opportunity to contribute to the design, completion, and presentation of research. Student-directed research includes three major benchmarks: the thesis, a comprehensive review paper, and the dissertation. Students are also expected to publish at least 2 articles in peer-reviewed outlets, regularly participate in professional conferences, and attend departmental colloquia. The ultimate goal of research training is to produce clinical scientists who can independently generate high quality scientific discoveries.

Click here to learn more about our graduate program research training.

Clinical training focuses on evidence-based practice and is integrated with research training. Students master evidence-based practice in a variety of intervention and assessment domains so that they may provide the highest quality psychological services and promote the awareness and use of evidence-based practices in their future careers, through research, teaching, supervision, and/or direct service provision. Coursework addresses theory and research on clinical problems, assessment and intervention techniques, and methods for evaluating clinical outcomes. Students provide psychological services through the SMU Psychology Clinic in their 2nd year and then advance to external practicum experiences throughout the Dallas/Fort-Worth metroplex, all closely supervised by licensed psychologists with the goal of providing students exposure to a diversity of patient populations and evidence-based interventions. Clinical training also takes part in many research labs through studies of clinical phenomena and evaluation of specific assessment and intervention techniques

Click here to learn more about our graduate program clinical training.

All graduate students receive a stipend and waiver of all tuition and fees for the first four years, pending satisfactory performance

Tuition: $0 (normally $1230 per credit hour)
Fees: $0 (normally $146 per credit hour)

Click here to learn more about program costs and financial support provided.