Psychology

Clinical Psychology Admission Criteria and Application Instructions

 

See the attached set of tables for program related data on admissions, costs, attrition, internship match rates, and licensure of alumni.  This information is being provided in accordance with the Commission on Accreditation's (2012) Implementing Regulation C-20 “Disclosure of Education/Training Outcomes and Information Allowing for Informed Decision-Making to Prospective Doctoral Students."

 Please refer to our downloadable 2013-2014 Applicant Brochure for detailed application instructions and information.

Individuals with a PhD in another area of psychology may be eligible to apply to our Clinical Respecialization Program.

Our program conforms to the Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances adopted by the Counsel of the University Directors of Clinical Psychology.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the clinical psychology doctoral program requires a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. and psychology G.P.A. of 3.0 or above, but students admitted to our program typically have outstanding undergraduate academic records with GPAs that average 3,6 to 3.9. Applicants usually have an undergraduate degree in psychology, but may apply with a minimum of 21 units of undergraduate psychology. These units must include coursework in introductory psychology, statistics for behavioral/social sciences, and research design in psychology. It is recommended that the undergraduate preparation include coursework in social psychology, cognitive psychology, history and systems, physiological psychology, developmental psychology, in addition to experience with psychological research.

The GRE scores and grades of our incoming students, statistics on program and internship applications and admissions, and program completion rates for the previous six years are provided below.

Average GRE's and Grades for our Incoming Students

Incoming Class

2006

2007

2008
2009
2010
2011

Verbal GRE

610

643

622
600
635
617

Quantitative GRE

690

689

667
675
708
687

Writing GRE

5.0

4.8

4.9
4.75
4.6
5.0

Advanced GRE

665

736

672
718
705
643

Undergraduate GPA

3.55

3.74

3.7
3.79
3.7
3.7

Psychology GPA

3.80

3.86

3.90
3.78
3.8
3.9

 

Applications and Admissions

Year

2006

2007

2008
2009
2010
2011

# Applications

110

115

126
126
125
147

# Offers

9

16

15
15
10
12

# Enrolled

7

6

6
6
6
6

# Funded

7

6

6
6
6
6


Internship Application and Placement

Year

2006

2007

2008
2009
2010
2011

# Internship Applications

3

11

6
1
9
4

# Matched Acceptances

2

7

6
1
7
3

# Matched After Matchday

1

1

0
0
0
0

#APA-App. Placements

3

8

6
1
7
2

# Funded Placements

3

8

6
1
7
3

 

Program Completion and Attrition

Year

2006

2007

2008
2009
2010
2011

# Completing Program

4

3

8
5
3
7

Mean Years to Complete

6.0

6.0

6.0
6.0
6.5
6

Student Attrition

1

2

2
2
1
1

The University of Missouri-St. Louis follows affirmmative action guidelines in all selection precedures and decisions. The clinical faculty is committed to increasing the diversity of the students in our program and welcomes applications from all qualified students.

 

Students who are not accepted to the program are eligible to reapply in later years. However, it should be noted that a student is unlikely to be successful in a second application unless the student's credentials have substantially improved.

 

Licensure of Program Graduates

Of the 72 students who graduated from our program during the period from 1997-2010, 57 (79%) are licensed psychologists. Of the remaining 11 program alumni, the licensure status is unknown for 5 individuals; 6 alumni have elected to not be licensed because it is not a requirement of their professional responsibilities (e.g., alumni teaching in undergraduate colleges, full time researchers, etc).

 

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Student Selection
Applications are due by December 15th of the year preceding admission. Students are admitted for the Fall Semester only. Due to the structure of our program, no midyear admissions are possible. All complete applications are considered by the clinical faculty; no applications are automatically rejected on the basis of cut-off scores.

The clinical faculty review all application materials and identify approximately 30 applicants to be invited to one of our two interview days. Invited applicants are not required to attend; those who cannot attend will receive phone interviews and will be fully considered..

Applicants who visit the program will have the opportunity to meet the program faculty and students at a reception and are individually interviewed by program faculty and students. First offers are extended after our Interview Days. Alternates may receive offers as late as April 15th. Applicants who are not invited to Interview Day receive notification in February that they are no longer under consideration.

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Applicants with Advanced Graduate Credit

Students who have a Masters Degree in psychology or some psychology graduate credits are welcome to apply to the program, but it is not a specific advantage to have a masters degree (i.e., we frequently accept students with only BS/BA degrees in psychology). Students may transfer up to 9 semester units of graduate credit toward their electives in the program, and up to 6 units of practicum (total of 15 credit hours together). All students, including those entering the program with an M.S. or M.A. degree, will be required to complete the core coursework (non -elective courses) and an initial thesis project.

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Non-matriculated, Nondegree Students

Prospective students often ask if they can be admitted to classes in the Clinical Program before being admitted to the program. Due to our emphasis on maintaining an intensive learning environment, enrollment in courses is generally restricted to students accepted into our program.

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Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances

The Counsel of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) has adopted the procedures below in order to facilitate the Graduate Admission's process. These principles are designed to spell out the expectations of both parties during this stressful and often difficult time.

1. The policies listed here should be sent to all students applying to CUDCP-member graduate programs or other graduate programs that have adopted these guidelines.

a. Each Application package for admission to graduate school should be accompanied by a copy of these guidelines.

b. Whenever possible, undergraduate advisors for students seeking admission into graduate programs of clinical psychology should familiarize the students with guidelines, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the guidelines.

2. To facilitate the decision making for students, training programs should inform students as soon as possible that they have been excluded from consideration for admission.

3. A student can expect to receive offers of admission to programs over a considerable period of time. The timing of offers to students is largely determined by the University's review schedule, which is a strictly internal matter. Regardless of when the offer is made, students are not required to respond to the offer before the decision date of April 15 (or the first Monday after April 15, if April 15 falls on a weekend), except as specified in Section 6 below.

 

a. Offers are usually made in writing prior to April 1st. Between April 1st and the decision date, universities may choose to facilitate the process by making new offers to students over the phone when a position opens up. These verbal offers are official, but should be followed up by a written confirmation within 48 hours.

b. Offers, once made, cannot be withdrawn by the university until after the decision date and then can be withdrawn only if the student fails to respond to the offer by the decision date.

c. A program may make an offer after the April 15th decision date if it still has one or more open slots. Offers made after the decision date should clearly state how long the student has to decide on the offer. The student should be given sufficient time (at least a week) to visit a program before making a decision.

4. Offers with funding are treated like any other offer. There should be no stipulation by the University that the offer carries funding only if the student accepts by a specific date that precedes the decision date described above.

5. The Director of Clinical Training or the designated person in charge of graduate admissions should make every effort to inform students on the alternate list of their status as soon as possible.

a. The procedure of designating all students who have not been offered immediate admission as alternates is inappropriate. The University Training Program should have a procedure for identifying those students who clearly will not be offered admissions.

b. A reasonable designation of the student's position on the alternate list is encouraged (e.g., high, middle, or low on the alternate list.) If such designation is used, the operational definition of "high on the alternate list" is that, in a normal year, the student would receive an offer of admission (but not necessarily funding) prior to April 15 decision date.

c. Once the class has been filled, students on the alternate list should be informed that they are no longer under consideration for admission. Students who were designated "high on the alternate list" should be informed by phone.

6. A student should not hold more offers that they are seriously considering. Holding multiple offers ties up slots, preventing programs from making offers to other students. This is a complex principle operationalized in the points below.

 

a. It is legitimate for students to want to visit a program, if they have not done so already, before making decisions among top offers. Such visits should be scheduled as soon as practical after the offer of admission is received. If after a visit to a program the student decides that the program is rated lower than a program that the student has already been offered admission to, the student should inform the lower ranked program that they will be declining their offer.

b. Whenever possible, the student applicant should inform training programs by phone of a decision, following up within 24 hours with a written confirmation of that decision..

c. Once a student has accepted an offer of admission to a Graduate Training Program, the student should inform all programs in which they are currently under consideration that they are either declining outstanding offers of admission or no longer wish to be considered for admission. Students should contact by phone those programs that have offered admission or have the student high on the alternate list. These phone calls should be followed up within 24 hours by a written confirmation. For programs for which the student is on the alternate list but not high on the alternate list, a letter withdrawing their application mailed within 48 hours is sufficient notice.

7. It is the responsibility of the Director of Clinical Training or the designated person in charge of graduate admissions to keep students informed of changes in their status. Ideally, the student should be informed immediately by phone and with a follow-up letter. Offers of admission or offers of funding for students already offered admission should be made over the phone with a follow-up letter mailed within 24 hours.

8. The current policy statement of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology allows students to resign offers they previously accepted up to the April 15th decision date by submitting the resignation in writing. The purpose of this policy is to avoid pressure on students to accept offers before they have heard from other schools. Although withdrawing an acceptance is legitimate, it is not good form. A much better approach is to accept a position only if you intend to follow through on your commitment. Students have the right to hold offers as described above if a preferable offer is still possible.

a. As stated in 6(c), once a student has accepted an offer, the student should notify other Universities immediately that he or she has accepted another offer.

b. Except in very unusual situations (e.g., serious illness or major personal problems), a student who accepts an offer of admission is expected to start the graduate program the following fall unless other arrangements have been made with the Director of Clinical Training. Training lines are severely limited and failing to use a line once it has been offered prevents other qualified students from obtaining training.

 

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Professional Conduct/Statement of Personal Integrity

 

The profession of Clinical Psychology adheres to the current ethical principles of psychologists, as stated by the American Psychological Association (July, 2003), and the legal codes regulating the profession within each state. In undergoing training to become a clinical psychologist, all trainees must also adhere to these ethical principles and legal codes.

At various practicum locations during training, during application for clinical internship, and upon review for licensure and health provider panels after graduation, clinical psychologists undergo scrutiny regarding their personal background (including criminal background and child abuse checks) and issues of personal integrity.

The following questions represent the types of questions asked:

 

 

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, you will likely encounter difficulties in securing clinical practicum positions during training, obtaining an approved clinical internship, or becoming a licensed psychologist. A number of the clients at our training site, the Community Psychological Service, are seen via service contracts with agencies that require criminal and child abuse background checks, including fingerprinting, of service providers. At some point in the training program, a criminal and child abuse background check will likely be required in order for students to be able to engage in certain training experiences at all three of the clinics associated with our program: Community Psychological Service, Children's Advocacy Center, and Center for Trauma Recovery. As state employees, all students employed by the university as graduate teaching and research assistants must pass a screening for history as a registered sex offender, in accordance with the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

Thus, a person who answered "Yes" to any of these questions should strongly consider whether the time and effort involved in obtaining a graduate degree in clinical psychology is in her or his best interest.

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