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Clinical Health Psychology

Doctoral Degree Program

Graduate opportunities

The Clinical Health Psychology program at the University of North Texas prepares you to work as a clinical researcher and practitioner in health care settings or in a professional career in academic or applied settings.

While pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Health Psychology, you'll receive broad and general training in the foundations of psychology and the activities pertaining to clinical health psychology. Our curriculum places strong emphases on:

  • An interdisciplinary understanding of biopsychosocial factors relevant to health and illness and the applications of this knowledge to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation
  • The integration of biological and behavioral science approaches to the promotion of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, and the identification of etiological and diagnostic correlates of illness and health
  • Mind/body interaction as you focus on knowledge of the physiological and psychological antecedents of illness and health

Throughout the program, you're mentored by faculty researchers and have opportunities to work on a supervised practicum team. Additional training is accomplished through external practica in health-related settings, such as hospitals.

Our doctoral program is accredited as a program in clinical psychology by the American Psychological Association's Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation (750 First St. NE; Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; telephone 202-336-5979).

Research centers and facilities

Our program houses cardiovascular health and sleep health laboratories. You may participate in research from the beginning of your training in a laboratory or interdisciplinary research center.

The UNT Psychology Clinic delivers professional services and referrals to clients and offers professional and competencies training to graduate students. The clinic includes psychotherapy rooms, rooms for research, and rooms with one-way mirrors for live observation of individual and group sessions. Extensive digital recording capabilities are available for use in supervision and training.

The Center for Psychosocial Health Research performs research on wellness while battling a chronic illness. This builds a foundation for the future development of psychosocial and behavioral interventions that encourage health-related behavioral change.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You must meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School, which are outlined at the graduate school website, and the following program requirements. The minimum criteria include 24 credit hours of advanced psychology courses plus one of the following:

  • 3.0 overall GPA on your bachelor's degree
  • 3.5 GPA on your last 60 credit hours of the bachelor's degree
  • 3.5 GPA in your undergraduate psychology course work
  • 3.5 GPA on a completed master's degree (exclusive of practicum and thesis)
  • Completed doctoral degree in another field
  • First or second author of an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific or professional journal

You'll also need to submit your GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning scores and have a reading knowledge of a foreign language or competency in an approved research tool subject. For more information on the admission criteria, visit our website.

Admission to our program isn't determined by one criterion or quantitative measure of achievement. Motivation, aptitude and self-awareness are highly valued, as are communication skills, research methods skills and scientific writing skills.

Life experiences relevant to research, mental health and the ability to work with people from different backgrounds in culturally diverse contexts should be described in a background and goals statement.

Our faculty members review applications during December, then issue invitations for interviews, typically in January. The interview process consists of meeting with the program's faculty members and students.

Admission decisions are made soon after, and you should be contacted by phone and in writing. Your decision to join the program needs to be finalized by April 15 unless the admission offer is specifically delayed.

Degree requirements

This degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours. In addition to a one-year supervised internship, you'll complete:

  • 20 credit hours of general psychology courses
  • 42 credit hours of clinical core courses
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Two dissertation-related exams (the proposal and the final defense)

You may enter the degree program with either a bachelor's or master's degree. No more than 30 credit hours from a master's degree can be applied toward deficiencies for the doctoral degree.

With the advisory committee's consent, if you're entering the program with a master's degree or equivalent, you may transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours beyond the master's degree. This is provided the work has been taken in a department offering a doctoral degree in psychology. A minimum of 48 credit hours in residence would remain to be completed.

Financial assistance

The program funds teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships and part-time clinical externships to assist you financially with your doctoral studies. The program seeks to provide at least partial support for doctoral students for at least four years.

Competitive scholarships are available from the graduate school and other sources. For more information on financial assistance programs, visit the graduate school website or the financial aid website.