Admission

Thank you for your interest in our Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. We encourage you to carefully review all of the information we provide here, and to check out our Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Manual to learn more about our program and the training we provide.

Overview

The overarching aim of the APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University is to provide broad and general training that prepares students for entry-level practice in clinical psychology. Our goal is to train students to become competent, ethical, and culturally responsive scientist-practitioners who embody the professional values, attitudes, and skills required of clinical psychologists.

Please note that and we are no longer accepting any new candidates for the Clinical Respecialization Certificate.

Application Review Process

Consistent with our program aims, and emerging best practices in graduate education (see Council of Graduate School Report [PDF]), the clinical psychology doctoral program uses a holistic approach to evaluate applications. We do not establish GPA or GRE cut-off scores to identify potential candidates for our program. Instead, our holistic review involves the consideration of a broad range of applicant qualities and characteristics. Background and opportunity are used to contextualize strengths and weaknesses in the application.

In reviewing applications, we consider:

  • Alignment with the mission and aims of the clinical doctoral program
  • Alignment with the interests and areas of expertise of potential faculty mentors
  • Academic preparation (quality and scope of educational background)
  • Quality and scope of previous research experience
  • Previous clinical experience, community service, or exposure to clinical populations
  • Letters of reference and interview behavior that suggests the applicant has the foundational skills needed to cultivate profession-wide competencies during graduate school, such as professional values, attitudes, and behaviors like self-reflection, integrity, and openness to feedback, communication and interpersonal skills, and awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural diversity

Applicants interested in further information on the qualifications of admitted students should consult the Student Admission, Outcomes, and other Data [PDF]. This page also details the program's graduation outcomes and student internship application success.

  • Completed online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary work. Admitted students enrolling in the program will need to have official transcripts, including proof of degree conferral, on file prior to their first class.
  • Completion of core, foundational courses that demonstrate academic preparation for doctoral-level coursework in psychology (Required: Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Statistics; Recommended: Coursework in the biological, cognitive, social, and developmental bases of psychology)
    • Although the GRE Psychology Subject test is not required, applicants who have not completed an Introductory to Psychology course may submit official the GRE Psychology Subject test instead
    • Research Methods and Statistics coursework can be from psychology or a related field
  • Goal statement (essay)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation (Learn more)
  • Official GRE scores (General Test)
    • The Suffolk University GRE code is 3771
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE scores are not required as part of the application for the clinical psychology doctoral program for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Applicants who wish to submit their GRE scores are welcome to do so as part of their applications. However, GRE score submission is optional for this year’s application.
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic scores (international students only)
  • Interview, by invitation
  • PhD In Clinical Psychology Supplemental Application

Goal Statement: Special attention should be paid to the personal statement, which should describe relevant background experience (in both research and clinical settings), academic interests, professional goals, and potential mentors. Applicants should emphasize aspects of their experience and professional goals that closely align with the overarching aims of the program and the specific mentors with whom they would like to work. As the program is dedicated to training culturally responsive psychologists, we encourage applicants to address any interest and/or experiences related to diversity and social justice.

Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation should be written by faculty members with whom you have studied or from people with whom you have worked professionally (preferably a direct supervisor from previous work experience in a research or clinical position).

Additional Information

To request additional information and application materials, contact the Office of Graduate Admission via email or phone at 617-573-8302.

If you have questions related to the doctoral program in clinical psychology, please review the material in our Clinical Doctoral Program Manual or email us.

Faculty Accepting New Students for Fall 2021

  • Gary Fireman
  • Jessica LoPresti
  • David Langer
  • Matt Jerram
  • Sukanya Ray
  • Sarah Schwartz

For a full list of department faculty, please visit our Faculty & Staff page.

Applications for the 2021 cycle of the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology are due on December 1, 2020. All supplemental materials must be submitted or postmarked no later than December 10, 2020.

  • There are no spring semester admissions into this program
  • Invitations to attend interview weekend will be sent via email in late January.
    • The Ph.D. program receives approximately 300 applications each year. After a thorough review, we invite 65-70 candidates to Suffolk University for an interview
    • We strongly encouraged applicants to attend interview weekend in person. If circumstances preclude in person attendance we will do our best to schedule an online interview, but this option cannot be guaranteed
  • The 2021 interviews for invited candidates will be scheduled on either Friday or Saturday in late February/early March
    • Unfortunately, due to the size of our applicant pool our policy is that clinical faculty do not conduct interviews with applicants who have not undergone our review process and have not been invited for an interview

As a member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP), the Clinical Psychology program at Suffolk University adheres to CUDCP’s policies and guidelines for graduate school admissions, offers, and acceptance. For additional information about these policies, please see the Summary of CUDCP Policy for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances [PDF]. More information about clinical psychology and application tips also can be found at the CUDCP website.

In our APA-accredited program we are committed to a training process that ensures that graduate students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with members of the public who embody intersecting demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and values. When graduate students' attitudes, beliefs, or values create tensions that negatively impact the training process or their ability to effectively treat members of the public, the program faculty and supervisors are committed to a developmental training approach that is designed to support the acquisition of professional competence. We support graduate students in finding a belief- or value-congruent path that allows them to work in a professionally competent manner with all clients/patients.

For some trainees, integrating personal beliefs or values with professional competence in working with all clients/patients may require additional time and faculty support. Ultimately though, to complete our program successfully, all graduate students must be able to work with any client placed in their care in a beneficial and non-injurious manner. Professional competencies are determined by the profession for the benefit and protection of the public; consequently, students do not have the option to avoid working with particular client populations or to refuse to develop professional competencies because of conflicts with their attitudes, beliefs, or values.

Tuition & Program Costs

Tuition

Tuition rates change yearly. All students enrolled full-time in the Clinical Ph.D. program who are in good standing are eligible to receive 100% tuition remission until the end of their 6th year in the program. Students who wish to continue their studies past a sixth year will need to petition the program for continued tuition remission (not guaranteed after Year 6). Registering for less than a full-time course load may affect tuition remission and have consequences outside of the doctoral program—please see the Doctoral Program Manual, section Residency Requirements, for further details. 

Additional Expenses

Other university and program related costs include books, professional liability insurance (required for students on practicum and internship), and health insurance (required by the State of Massachusetts)—students without private insurance can purchase insurance through Suffolk University.

Financial Aid

New students normally receive notification from the Office of Student Financial Services regarding their financial aid package by April of the preceding academic year. Award offers are extended on a “rolling basis” as students are admitted to the program and aid applications become complete. All students will receive a $10,000 annual stipend for their first three years of full-time study in the Clinical PhD program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their FAFSA as soon as it is available on the web (January 1st). The Psychology Department due date for FAFSA filing is April 1st. Graduate aid application information is available here.

Suffolk's Office of Student Financial Services is your best resource for getting information about your financial aid award. We have provided some information here as a helpful guide specifically for students in the doctoral program in clinical psychology. However, if there are inconsistencies between this information and that provided to you by the Office of Student Financial Services, the Office of Student Financial Services’ ruling stands.

Employment Opportunities

Some students may be eligible for work-study on the basis of financial need. Eligibility for work-study is determined by the Student Financial Services Office after students complete a financial aid application process. Regardless of the source of funding, no student employed by the university may work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year.

Students at different stages of training are eligible for various types of student employment.

Outreach Fellowship

Outreach fellowships provide additional financial support for students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups in the psychological sciences and/or students committed to serving traditionally under-served populations in mental health throughout their career or who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to rectifying histories and systems of oppression and cultivating justice and equity. In order to receive the award, demonstration of this commitment may be shown through research, service, and/or clinical activities. Fellows must be U.S. citizens, admitted (and enrolled) as full-time Clinical Ph.D. students, who maintain the minimum requirements for satisfactory academic standing and make timely progress for all training milestones, as outlined by the Doctoral Program Manual. 

Up to two fellowships are available for incoming Ph.D. students. Candidates can indicate their interest in the Outreach fellowship on their applications or at Interview Weekend. Candidates will be interviewed by members of the Psychology Department. If you have questions about applying for an Outreach fellowship, please contact our Program Administrator in the Psychology Department by email or by phone at 617-305-1921.

FAQs

The application is due December 1, and all supplemental materials must be submitted no later than December 10. As always, the Office of Graduate Admission is happy to assist with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing your application soon.

We have many applicants every year, and, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for individual informational interviews. However, we do hold online information sessions in the fall. For more information, please visit the Graduate Admission website. We also encourage all prospective students to fully explore our website, as we have posted a great deal about our program. 

Our program leads students to a PhD in clinical psychology. Ours is a Boulder-model program that equally emphasizes both research and clinical aspects of psychology to produce competent scientist-practitioners. Most PhD programs incorporate elements of research and clinical training in their curricula. In contrast, PsyD programs typically train students in a practitioner model and focus on clinical aspects of training.

Our program involves three years of full-time study, one year of full-time internship, and a dissertation. Although our average time to completion is approximately 6 years, full-time students may be able to finish all program requirements within five years. For specific data on time to completion, please see our Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data [PDF] report.

We do not believe that there is a 'typical' PhD student, and so we cannot describe a 'typical' successful applicant. However, we have outlined some general guidelines in the Application Review Process section.

There isn't a 'typical' candidate for our program, and this extends to both GRE and GPA scores. These scores are examined in the context of a candidate's entire application. Please feel free to discuss any perceived discrepancies between your scores and your abilities in your personal statement.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE scores are not required as part of the application for the clinical psychology doctoral program for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Applicants who wish to submit their GRE scores are welcome to do so as part of their applications. However, GRE score submission is optional for this year’s application.

Applicants selected for interview will be contacted in late January to attend an Interview Day to be held in late February or early March. The interview is required. In-person interviews are strongly preferred; however, if scheduling conflicts or expense will prevent you from making a trip to Suffolk, we will do our best to schedule an online interview for you. The program cannot guarantee an online interview, but if one is able to be arranged, it will not negatively affect your application

All application paperwork should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admission.

Applicants accepted to the program may file a petition to transfer credit with the Director of Clinical Training. Transfer requests are evaluated on an individual basis and credit is ordinarily given only for courses whose content is similar to those offered within our own program. Please note that students may not transfer in more than 6 credits of coursework and that transfer credits can only be used toward elective courses.

Suffolk does not provide housing for its graduate students. Any student interested in obtaining assistance in locating housing in the Boston area can contact our Off-Campus Housing Office at 617-573-8647.

Our department receives 300+ applications each year. Unfortunately, the large volume of applications keeps us from providing individualized feedback to applicants.

Several forms of aid are available to psychology PhD students and include stipends, grants, employment, and loans. Details about these forms of aid are listed under the Funding section on this page.