The Doctoral Dissertation is the capstone of the scholar component of the program. Students are prepared for the dissertation by the program's research sequence in the first year and by the Dissertation Seminar in the fall of the second year.
The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate doctoral-level scholarship in clinical psychology. The dissertation may take a variety of forms, including an empirical study (quantitative or qualitative), a theoretical contribution/critique, a program evaluation, an analysis of a public policy issue as related to professional practice, a program development project, or a careful case analysis of a clinical problem. The major criteria are that the form, design, and methodology of the project be creative, germane to the question under consideration, informed by the psychological literature, and that the final product yield conclusions that are logically consistent with this plan.
Students are encouraged to select topics that flow from their personal and professional interests, and for which they can find appropriate dissertation advisement from among the faculty or psychologists within the region.
Students who plan to apply for internship must have an approved (i.e. successfully defended) dissertation proposal prior to internship application. Without a defended proposal, an applicant will be deemed as not ready to apply for internship by the program's faculty.