University Bulletin 2018-2019

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Clinical and Counseling Psychology

The University of South Alabama offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (CCP). This program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Professional Studies in the College of Education and Professional Studies. The Clinical and Counseling Psychology program prepares professionals to provide the most effective types of psychological care for individuals and communities. Graduates of the program will have a set of competencies which will also enable them to work successfully with a variety of other professionals for the purposes of health promotion and to treat mental disorders. Graduates might be employed in a variety of settings, including counseling centers in colleges and universities, medical centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, schools, private practices, health and wellness facilities, state and federal agencies, family counseling services, academic departments in higher education institutions, and professional associations. The program combines an asset-strength model from Counseling Psychology with a health psychology/wellness model from Clinical Psychology. Graduates will be comfortable providing care in a variety of settings including medical, traditional mental health or counseling, school, university, and community. Such care would include direct service to individuals and the management of psychological services for individuals and groups using evidence-based interventions.

Program Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to start the program in the fall semester. No spring or summer admission will be accepted. Participation in the program is full-time and, with the exception of an assistantship, students are discouraged from engaging in any outside employment. Applications to the Clinical and Counseling Psychology (CCP) program should be completed by December 15th for admission for the following fall semester. In addition to the Graduate School application form and required supporting documentation, the Clinical and Counseling Psychology program requires submission of a program application form, a statement of purpose, and three letters of academic recommendation. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria for admission:

In addition to meeting graduate school requirements for regular admission, applicants to the Clinical and Counseling Psychology program must meet the following criteria:

  1. Summed score of 300 or greater on the verbal and quantitative sub tests of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination will be expected.
  2. Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology, counseling or a similar program from an accredited institution.

Required Psychological Foundations

Students must complete graduate course work and demonstrate competency in the following foundation areas. These courses will typically be completed in the student's Master's degree program of study, but in exceptional circumstances, deficiencies may be approved to be addressed in the doctoral program of study.  Each deficiency will reduce the likelihood of admission, however, or may extend time to complete the program.

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy Skills
  • Evidence Based Practice in Psychology
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychopathology
  • Research Design
  • Social Psychology

Applicants should submit the following materials by December 15th to:

University of South Alabama
Office of Admissions
Meisler Hall, Suite 2500
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002

  • Official GRE scores
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of academic recommendation
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychology program application form
  • Graduate School application form
  • Those interested in applying for a graduate assistantship should also submit a graduate assistantship application form
  • One or two representative work samples of current skills (e.g., test reports, counseling summaries, research reports, publications, etc.)

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available annually on a competitive basis.  Applicants interested in receiving an assistantship should complete the graduate assistantship application form.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass a comprehensive examination following successful completion of their academic work to be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The content of the comprehensive examination will be determined by the comprehensive examination committee and may consist of a written as well as an oral component.


Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree requires completion of the following:

  • successful completion of required academic work
  • successful completion of the comprehensive examination
  • approval of a dissertation research project

The doctoral candidate is, therefore, a student who has fulfilled all requirements for the Ph.D. degree with the exception of completing the dissertation research and the required internship.

Dissertation hours and defense

Nine credit hours of dissertation research may be applied to and are required for completion of the doctoral program of studies in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. However, a student must be continually enrolled in CCP 799 (Dissertation Research) until the final defense of the dissertation is completed and the dissertation document has been approved by the Graduate School. The final defense is scheduled following the completion of and preparation of the final written report of the dissertation research. Revisions of the dissertation may be required for final approval by the student's advisory committee or as a condition of the Graduate School's evaluation of the written report.

The Limit

After being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, the student has a maximum of three years to complete the dissertation.

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