The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology


The Stony Brook Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology began in 1966, and it is APA accredited (Committee on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, Phone: 202-336-5979). Based on chair rankings in US News and World Report, it has been ranked among the top 10-20 clinical programs in the United States across the past decade. Using the empirical index of citation impact, Stony Brook faculty ranked 13th in the nation (Mattson et al., 2005) and Stony Brook graduates rank 2nd in the nation in terms of total number of publications (Roy et al., 2006, Journal of Clinical Psychology). The clinical program was among the first in the country to espouse the behavioral tradition in clinical psychology. Currently, the program retains its behavioral roots, but has evolved to encompass a broader set of perspectives that are oriented around an empirical approach to clinical psychology. Our goal is to graduate clinical scientists who approach psychological problems from an empirical perspective and who are also skilled clinicians. As such, students receive research and clinical training in a broad range of approaches. Our program is most suited to students who are interested in pursuing academic and research-related careers. Not only is our program accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), but it also is a member of the PCSAS Founder's Circle. PCSAS provides rigorous, objective, and empirically based accreditation of Ph.D. programs in scientific clinical psychology. Its goal is to promote superior science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, increase the quality and number of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care.


The research interests of the core faculty center on depressive disorders (child, adolescent, adult), anxiety disorders (child, adolescent, adult), autism spectrum disorders, personality, child maltreatment, close relationship functioning (e.g., discord and aggression among couples, romantic competence among adolescents and adults), lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues (among youth and adults), emotion regulation processes (e.g., cognitive, interpersonal, neurobiological), emotion and attention processes in normal and pathological conditions, and psychotherapy process and outcome.

Research and Clinical Facilities:

Departmental: Faculty maintain active laboratories for research and graduate training (see individual faculty pages for further description). Clinical facilities include the Krasner Psychological Center and its affiliate, the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, which are training, research, and service units that provide psychological services and consultation to the community and campus, and the University Marital Therapy Clinic that provides consultation, assessment, and therapy for couples and individuals in the community who are experiencing relationship difficulties and provides a center for research evaluation of couples.

Campus: The University Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Prevention and Outreach, which serve the Stony Brook student population, offer a variety of externship options for graduate students Collaborative relationships exist with the Department of Psychiatry, where students can engage in research and clinical activities related to, among other topics, childhood and adolescent disorders and health psychology, and with the Department of Neurology, where students can engage in research and clinical activities related to neuropsychology.

Off-campus: Affiliations have been established with numerous agencies on Long Island and in the surrounding areas, including North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital, Neurological Associates in Patchogue, VA Northport, Fay J Lindner Center for Autism, Child and Family Psychological Services, the Victimís Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS), numerous local public schools, and other local mental health agencies and hospitals. Each of these sites provides opportunities for clinical externships and research collaboration.

Program requirements:

Official program requirements are detailed in our Program Requirements Guide. More generally, the program is designed to provide students with competencies in research, clinical work, and teaching through coursework, clinical supervision, and research mentoring. Students follow a program of coursework through their first 3 to 4 years in the program that includes courses pertaining to the foundations of clinical psychology (e.g., psychopathology, assessment, and intervention), research methods and statistics, and ethics. Students are also required to take courses in the other areas of psychology (biopsychology, cognitive/experimental, developmental, and social/health) in order to increase breadth of training. Students become actively involved in a research lab upon arrival in the program and are required to complete two projects by the end of their third year in order to advance to candidacy, which is followed by the doctoral dissertation. Virtually all students present papers at major professional conferences and the vast majority publish at least one (and often many) papers during the course of their graduate training at Stony Brook. Clinical training, under the supervision of area faculty, begins in the first year of the program in our Krasner Psychological Center and can continue until the internship year. Prior to internship, many students choose to complete externships at local agencies and hospitals in addition to their training in the Krasner Psychological Center. Throughout the program, students often work as teaching assistants and are required to complete at least two semesters of substantial direct instruction of undergraduates, which involves lecturing in undergraduate classes. For the period, 2004-2010, the average time to completion of the program was 6.8 years, including the internship year. For more information on characteristics of accepted applicants and time to completion see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data on this website.

Admission to the program:

The program received between 242 and 336 applications between 2004 and 2010 and, over the past 7 years, had an entering class of 4 to 8 students. Successful applicants to the program are bright, socially skilled students with strong research backgrounds, who have interests compatible with those of core clinical faculty, and who are interested in pursuing academic/research careers. The average GPA of the last seven entering classes (2004-2010) was 3.7, and their average GRE scores were V 645, Q 715. As of Fall 2010, 31 students were enrolled in the program. Approximately 87% (n=27) of those students are female and 6% (n=2) are under-represented minorities.


The Clinical Program has an outstanding placement record. Of all students graduating since 2004 47 (90%) are currently in positions in which they function as clinical scientists (e.g., academic or research position, research post-docs, clinical settings that involve research and/or the provision and dissemination of evidence-based approaches to treatment). Looking only at those students in academic or research positions (including research post-docs) there are 32 students (60%). . In a recent study examining which clinical psychology programs have trained the most faculty in other doctoral programs across the country, Stony Brook ranked second across the past 30 years (Ilardi et al., Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 2000). Over the past 10 years, Stony Brook has trained more faculty members in APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral programs than any other program in North America or Europe.