Admission & Aid

Applications for the 2020 cycle of the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology will be due December 3rd. If you have any questions, please email us. The 2020 interviews for candidates will be scheduled on either Friday or Saturday in late February/early March. Invitations to attend interview weekend will be sent via email in late January.

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. More information about clinical psychology and application tips also can be found at clinicalpsychgradschool.org, offered by CUDCP.

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to the Clinical Psychology Program to work toward the PhD degree only; the program does not offer a terminal master's degree. If you have any questions, please email us. Approximately 8-10 full-time students will be admitted to the program each fall. Please note that there are no spring semester admissions in this program, and we are no longer accepting any new candidates for the Clinical Respecialization Certificate.

Unlike other graduate programs at Suffolk, the Psychology Department does not host open-house events for prospective applicants. For more information on upcoming online information sessions, please visit the Graduate Admissions website or email us.

Students wishing to apply for admission must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and must complete the Suffolk University Graduate Admission Application Form. All PhD applicants will also need to submit the Psychology Ph.D. Supplemental Form. This form is available as a Word document and is accessible via the online application. All transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 73 Tremont St., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.

Students must submit official scores on the general aptitude (verbal, quantitative, and analytic or analytical writing) sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); the advanced psychology subject test is not required, but is recommended for applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree in psychology. The Suffolk University GRE code is 3771. There is no separate GRE code for the Psychology Department; please use 3771 to code all scores. 

Special attention should be paid to the personal statement, which should include all relevant background experience (in both research and clinical settings), academic interests, professional goals, and potential mentors. Applicants should specifically identify and describe those portions of their experience and professional goals that they believe make them well-suited to this program and the faculty with whom they would like to work. In addition, the program is dedicated to training clinical psychologists who will have competency working with diverse populations. We encourage applicants to address any interest and/or experiences they have with regard to this issue.

Two letters of recommendation are required for all applicants. Recommendations can be submitted electronically through the online application process or directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at Suffolk University (please see the application for more details). The recommender should use institutional letterhead when available. Recommendation letters will not be accepted from any third-party agencies. Recommenders should include their full name, title, and a phone number where we can contact them if necessary. Applicants' first and last names should be included in the letter.

Applicants must have completed a minimum of five courses in psychology, preferably including courses in both statistics and research methods. Though not required, the program values the additional evidence of maturity, competence, and capacity for responsibility that comes from a broad range of work and life experiences. Thus, many students admitted to the program have engaged, after college, in both supervised psychological research and some type of supervised work in a clinical setting.

Please note that while sealed materials (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.) will be accepted with application materials, they must remain unopened. This method is strongly encouraged. These materials can certainly be sent directly to Suffolk University; however, it does create the potential for your credentials to be lost in the mail or otherwise not collected into your application package. The occurrence of this is rare, but it does happen, and may delay your application materials from being received by the deadline.

International applicants must submit successful completion of the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic.

The Ph.D. program receives approximately 300 applications each year. We thoroughly review these and invite 65-70 candidates to Suffolk University for an interview weekend. Applicants invited to interview weekend are required to interview with two different faculty members. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend interview weekend in person. If circumstances preclude in person attendance at interview weekend, the department will attempt to schedule Skype interviews but this is not guaranteed.

Interview Weekend 2020 will be held Friday, February 28th and Saturday, February 29th. Due to the size of the applicant pool, department faculty will not conduct interviews with applicants who have not been invited to interview.

Final admission decisions will be made by April 15th.

Upon acceptance, each student will be assigned a program advisor. This advisor will guide the student over the course of his or her graduate education, helping to plan course work as well as discuss research and clinical opportunities.

Applicants interested in further information on the qualifications of admitted students should consult the full disclosure data page [PDF]. This page also details the program's graduation outcomes and student internship application success.

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

The Psychology Department awards up to two fellowships for students committed to serving individuals from culturally diverse and under-served populations through their research and clinical work. Please see the OUTREACH Fellowship page for more information.

Graduate tuition and fees

Funding

Effective fall 2019, all students who are enrolled full-time in the Clinical PhD program and are in good standing will be eligible for 100% tuition remission until the end of their sixth 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). This is outlined in the doctoral manual. In addition, all students will receive a $10,000 annual stipend for their first three years of full-time study in the Clinical PhD program.

The Office of Student Financial Services is your best resource for getting information about your financial aid award. The material below is provided 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's ruling stands.

Tuition & Program Costs

Tuition

Tuition rates change yearly. As already stated, 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. 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. 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.

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

The Outreach Fellowship in the Clinical Doctoral Program at Suffolk University aims to enhance the field of clinical psychology by supporting students who are committed to serving traditionally under-served populations in mental health throughout their career. The Fellowship will support 1-2 students in each cohort during their first 3 years of in-residence study.

Basic Eligibility & Criteria

  • Applicants must be from a traditionally underrepresented minority group in the Psychological Sciences.
  • Fellows must be admitted (and enrolled) as full-time Clinical Ph.D. students.
  • Fellows must meet the minimum requirements for satisfactory academic standing and make timely progress for all training milestones as outlined by the Doctoral Program Manual.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be applying for the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology

Procedure

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 Lia Gabrielle in the Psychology Department by email or by phone at 617-305-1921.

FAQs

The application itself is due December 3, but all application materials must be submitted online or postmarked to the Office of Graduate Admission by December 10.

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. 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 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 on the Admissions Requirements Page.

As noted in the question above, we cannot describe a 'typical' candidate, and this extends to both GRE and GPA scores. These scores are examined in the context of a candidate's entire application. We have found that students with a combined GRE verbal and quantitative score of less than 1200 or a psychology GPA of less than 3.5 are less likely to be admitted, but this is not always the case, especially in the presence of extenuating or compensating factors. Please feel free to discuss any perceived discrepancies between your scores and your abilities in your personal statement. 

A select group of applicants will be contacted in late January to attend an Interview Weekend 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 a Skype interview for you. The program cannot guarantee a Skype 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.

Once a student has been accepted into the program, he or she 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 see here for the Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form.

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. Additionally, graduate students may choose to apply for a Resident Assistant (RA) position in one of our undergraduate dorms. RAs fulfill many duties in the areas of student development, programming, and administration, and they receive housing free of charge as compensation.

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

Prospective non-matriculated students interested in taking a graduate-level course in the Psychology Department should contact the faculty member teaching the course via email for consent. Course offerings can be found on our course list

When permission is obtained, the graduate Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) application should be submitted along with the email from the faculty member. The application is posted on the University's website and can be found here.

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.