The Wayne State University Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since August 1, 1960 and is currently accredited through 2018. We have long been a very strong scientist-practitioner program, and we continue to follow that training model. We educate and train highly skilled psychologists who competently provide a broad range of professional services, contribute to the scientific development of the field by conducting research, and disseminate knowledge effectively by teaching and training others. Our graduates routinely take positions of leadership and innovation in dealing with clinical problems within the context of the individual, the family, and the community. Our urban setting offers clinical training and research opportunities in a large number of different clinical settings, providing our students with exposure to a wide variety of health problems across a broad spectrum of socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural populations.


Our students are prepared first as psychologists, second, as clinical psychologists, and third, as clinical psychologists with specific expertise. Thus, all students receive broad and general psychology education, clinical training in both assessment and intervention with the full age range of clients, and focused training in a specific minor area or concentration. Our program currently offers focused training in the subfields of neuropsychology, child clinical psychology, health psychology, and community psychology. Our extensive network of affiliated faculty and facilities provides research and clinical training in many other areas, including infant mental health, gerontology, substance abuse, rehabilitation, forensics, and primary care.


As shown in the accompanying tables, admission to the clinical psychology Ph.D. program is competitive. We expect GRE scores to be at least the 50th percentile on all sections of the general GRE, and successful applicants usually have GRE scores above the 70th percentile. The average undergraduate GPA of students admitted to the program typically is above a 3.5. A strong science background, both in psychology and the other sciences, and a strong math background help applicants. Although we are a scientist-practitioner program, we are more research-oriented than most programs that follow this model; thus, substantial experience and interest in research is weighed heavily in admissions. Student match with our program's philosophy and with specific faculty research programs also is a very important consideration. Potential applicants should consider the interests and expertise of our faculty, compare them to their own educational goals, and discuss this in their personal statement, as well as identify potential mentors of interest on the application website. Letters of recommendation provide us with valuable information about applicants’ past level of achievement, their potential for excellence in academic and clinical settings, and their emotional maturity to become a clinician.


The program is intensive, full-time, and year-found. Most clinical psychology graduate students spend five years in the program before conducting a year-long predoctoral internship in their 6th year. The department strives to ensure that all students who are making good progress are funded (stipend plus almost all of their tuition) for the first four years in the program, and most students also are funded in their fifth year, before leaving for internship (which also is paid).


The accompanying Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Handbook provides extensive information about our program. We invite you to review this to learn more about our program.  Also, applicants who are made an offer of admission to our program are expected to read this Handbook and to endorse its content (including Ethics policies) before they accept admission.


As a member of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP), the Clinical Psychology program at Wayne State University adheres to CUDCP’s policies and guidelines for graduate school admissions, offers and acceptance. For additional information about these policies, please visit this page.


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



 APA Commission on Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979



Majoring in Clinical Psychology Encompasses:

  • General psychological background obtained in the core curriculum
  • Knowledge and appreciation of professional ethics and conduct
  • Knowledge of theory and research in psychopathology
  • Knowledge of theory and research in psychological assessment and acquisition of skills in assessment
  • Knowledge of theory and research in psychological interventions and acquisition of skills as a therapist
  • Competence in research methods, experimental design, and statistics
  • Teaching experience
  • Clinical training at our in-house Psychology Clinic, external placements, and an accredited predoctoral internship.

In addition to the department's general requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students in the clinical program must satisfy additional criteria established by the American Psychological Association for accredited programs in clinical training. Clinical area students are required to take History and Systems and at least one course in each of four content areas to satisfy American Psychological Association requirements (biological aspects of behavior, cognitive and affective aspects of behavior, social aspects of behavior, and individual differences). Several courses, including those listed as departmental Core Curriculum Courses, will satisfy the required coverage of these content areas.

Clinical students also complete the following series of courses:

  • Psychological Assessment I and II
  • Practicum in Psychological Assessment (3 semesters)
  • Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology (3 semesters)
  • Psychopathology
  • Therapeutic Interventions I and II
  • Practicum in Therapeutic Interventions (3 semesters)


Research Training

All clinical psychology graduate students are expected to complete a formal master's thesis and a dissertation project. The Wayne State University Clinical Psychology Program is based strongly on the scientist-practitioner model of training. Therefore, we encourage and support students' efforts to enhance their skills by participating in research-oriented activities in addition to those required by the degree program. The Clinical Psychology training program has extensive links to the many research institutes, hospitals, schools, and community organizations surrounding Wayne State. These affiliations and the ongoing research conducted by our core faculty provide students with a broad array of opportunities in research.


Minors or Concentrations in Clinical Psychology

Clinical Neuropsychology
Students who wish to specialize in the area of brain-behavior relationships are expected to complete Biological Basis of Behavior, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Neuropsychological Assessment, and may take other courses such as Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy. These students receive clinical training (and often conduct outside research) at various placements in the Detroit area, such as the Rehabilitation Institute of Medicine, Ann Arbor VA, Henry Ford Hospital, and Children’s Hospital, where they are supervised by neuropsychologists. Research related to neuropsychology is usually mentored by Drs. Rapport, Woodard, or Whitman, and (for those interested in child neuropsychology), Dr. Sarah Raz.

Child Clinical Psychology
Students who wish to pursue a career working with children or adolescents typically will complete advanced courses in Child Psychopathology and various courses in Developmental Psychology. A dual title PhD in Infant Mental Health is also available. These students receive clinical training (and often conduct research) at the Children’s Center, Adolescent Medicine, Project Challenge at Children’s Hospital, 3rd Judicial Court Child Clinic, Hawthorn Center, The Guidance Center, and several private or group practices owned by our alumni. Student research in child clinical psychology is usually mentored by Drs. Barnett, Casey, Trentacosta, or Simon.

Health Psychology
Students who wish to pursue careers in medically-oriented settings or to deal with health-related problems typically will take Health Psychology I and II and Biological Bases of Health Psychology. These students receive clinical training (and often conduct outside research) at Beaumont Family Medicine, Crittenton Family Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Beaumont Pain Clinic, Wayne State Sickle Cell Clinic, and Wayne State Life Stress Center in Detroit Receiving Hospital. Student research in health psychology is usually mentored by Drs. Cano, Grekin, or Lumley.

Community Psychology
Students wishing to focus on community-based problems such as homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, serious mental illness, and related issues will usually complete Community Psychology or Theories and Methods of Program Evaluation, as well as courses outside the department (e.g., public health). These students receive clinical training and often research training in setting such as the Michigan Forensic Center, Tolan Park Substance Abuse Program, the Wayne State Counseling and Psychological Services center, and local community mental health organizations. Student research is usually mentored by Drs. Toro and Grekin.



Supervised Clinical Training

The required clinical training work consists of practicum courses, internal and external practicum training, and a predoctoral internship. The practicum courses in assessment and psychological intervention operate as part of the student's training experience in the Department Psychology Clinic, which is run by our training program. Our Psychology Clinic is used for training purposes throughout the student's graduate years. Clinical graduate students conduct psychological assessments in their second year and psychotherapeutic interventions in their third while receiving supervision from the core clinical faculty. Students may pursue advanced training in years 4 and 5 at our Clinic in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and other approaches. Most students participate in supervision training in their last year on campus, learning how to conduct supervision effectively. Many different theoretical orientations to both assessment and intervention are represented among the faculty, and different types of psychotherapy (adult, child, family, marital, group) are conducted. The Psychology Clinic is equipped with observation windows and video equipment to facilitate supervision and the student's training.

Students' clinical training also is greatly strengthened by a network of approximately 20 external practicum placements. Students are required to conduct at least one of these, but most students do two or three, beginning in their third year of the program. These external placements range from 1 day to 3 days per week, and about one-third of them pay the student some stipend. Many of these placements are noted above under “Minors or Concentrations in Clinical Psychology.” Students apply for these placements in January and then participate in them for a year, starting in September.

The required predoctoral internship consists of one year of full-time training in an APA-approved institution. Successful completion of an APA-accredited internship is required for conferral of the doctoral degree. Our internship “match rate” in recent years has been very good (about 94%).



Core Clinical Psychology Research and Teaching Faculty


Douglas Barnett, Ph.D. Professor, Director of Psychology Clinic
Doctorate: University of Rochester, 1993
Interests: Child clinical, development of human attachment relationships, child abuse and neglect, urban families, child and family intervention

Annmarie Cano, Ph.D. Professor, Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Doctorate: State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1998
Interests: Social context of chronic illness, chronic pain, couples, and health psychology

Rita J. Casey, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Doctorate: University of Texas at Austin, 1988
Interests: Developmental psychopathology, emotion, social development

Emily R. Grekin, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Associate Chair of Psychology
Doctorate:  Emory University, 2003
Interests:  Temperamental bases of substance pathology; developmental issues in substance abuse, psychotropic drug use, and person-environment interactions

Mark A. Lumley, Ph.D. Professor, Director of Clinical Training
Doctorate: University of Florida, Gainesville, 1990
Interests: Health psychology; emotional processes in chronic pain; development and testing of emotional regulation interventions for health problems

Lisa J. Rapport, Ph.D. Professor
Doctorate: University of California, Los Angeles, 1992
Interests: Clinical neuropsychology, assessment, and psychometrics

Sarah Raz, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Doctorate: University of Texas (Austin), 1988
Interests: Developmental neurospychology and developmental psychopathology

Valerie Simon, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Doctorate: University of Denver, 2001
Interests:  Development of adolescents’ peer relationships and sexuality from a developmental psychopathology framework

Christopher Trentacosta Ph.D. Associate Professor
Doctorate:  University of Delaware, 2006
Interests: Behavior problems during childhood, temperament and emotion regulation, risk and resilience, family-centered prevention and intervention

Paul Toro, Ph.D. Professor
Doctorate:  University of Rochester, 1983
Interests: Community psychology, homelessness, poverty, prevention, program evaluation, cross-cultural research

 R. Douglas Whitman, Ph.D. Professor, Interim Dean of the College of Education
Doctorate:  Brandeis University, 1973
Interests: Neuropsychology, creativity, schizophrenia

John L. Woodard, Ph.D. Professor
Doctorate:  Wayne State University, 1991
Interests: Neuropsychology, cognitive aging, neuroimaging and neurobehavioral studies in aging and Alzheimer's Disease, and evaluation of sports-related concussion


Clinical Training Faculty

Marla Bartoi, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor
Doctorate: University of South Florida, 1999
Interests: Cognitive-behavioral therapy treatment and research, substance abuse treatment and research, and human sexuality research.

Jon Hinrichs, Ph.D. Clinical Assistan Professor
Doctorate: Saint Louis University, 2012
Interests:  Personality, psychotherapy process, and treatment engagement.


Affiliated Research Faculty

Richard Slatcher, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2007
Interests: Close relationships, marriage and health, self-disclosure, intimacy processes in dating and marital relationships, stress, effects of family environments on child health

Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP
 Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience & Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Director, Institute of Gerontology
Doctorate: Purdue University, 1986
Interests: Geriatric neuropsychology and rehabilitation, clinical geropsychology, depression, mental health in long term care, minority aging

Steven Ondersma, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
Doctorate:  Wayne State University, 1996
Interests: Motivational Enhancement, substance use in pregnant and post-partum women, child maltreatment, computer-delivered behavioral interventions

Robin Hanks, Ph.D., ABPP-ABCN. Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wayne State University School of Medicine.                         Doctorate:  Wayne State University, 1996                                                                                                                                                                                 Interests: Clinical neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury; neuropsychological assessment; emotional adjustment post brain injury; long-term cognitive and functional outcome in rehabilitation populations.

Sylvie Naar-King, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
Doctorate: University of Colorado, 1995
Interests: Pediatric health disparities, illness management interventions, HIV

Deborah A. Ellis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics
Doctorate: Michigan State University, 1993
Interests: Adherence to medical regimen, family therapy, multisystemic therapy, childhood chronic illness

Angulique Y. Outlaw, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor, Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics
Doctorate: Wayne State University, 2002
Interests: Outreach, prevention, and care of African American youth, particularly young men who have sex with men (YMSM), and HIV+ and high-risk African American youth


 ↑ back to top