The Clinical Psychology Program adheres to a clinical science model of training, and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.  We are committed to training clinical psychologists whose research advances scientific knowledge of psychopathology and its treatment, and who are capable of applying evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention. The main emphasis of the program is research, especially on severe psychopathology. The program includes research, course work, and clinical practica, and usually takes five years to complete. Students typically complete assessment and treatment practica during their second and third years in the program, and they must fulfill all departmental requirements prior to beginning their one-year internship. The curriculum meets requirements for licensure in Massachusetts, and is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) and by the American Psychological Association (APA).  PCSAS re-accredited the program on December 15, 2022 for a 10-year term. APA most recently accredited the program on April 28, 2015 for a seven-year term. 


Required courses and training experiences fulfill requirements for clinical psychology licensure in Massachusetts as well as meet APA criteria for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs.  In addition to these courses, further training experiences are required in accordance with the American Psychological Association’s guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs (e.g., clinical practica [e.g., PSY 3050 Clinical Practicum, PSY 3080 Practicum in Neuropsychological Assessment]; clinical internship).

Students in the clinical psychology program are required to take the following courses:

  • PSY 3900 Professional Ethics
  • PSY 2445 Psychotherapy Research
  • PSY 3800, Psychometric Theory or 2070 Psychometric Theory and Method Using R
  • PSY 2430 Cultural, Racial, and Ethnic Bases of Behavior
  • PSY 3250 Psychological Testing
  • PSY 2050 History of Psychology
  • PSY 1951 Intermediate Quantitative Methods
  • PSY 1952 Multivariate Analysis in Psychology
  • PSY 2040 Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology
  • PSY 2460 Diagnostic Interviewing
  • PSY 2420 Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Clinical students must also take one course in each of the following substantive areas: biological bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 1202 Modern Neuroanatomy; PSY 1352 Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Research; PSY 1355 The Adolescent Brain); social bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 2500 Proseminar in Social Psychology); cognitive-affective bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 2400 Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders); and individual differences (Required course PSY 2040 Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology fulfills the individual differences requirement for Massachusetts licensure).

In accordance with American Psychological Association guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs, clinical students also receive consultation and supervision within the context of clinical practica in psychological assessment and treatment beginning in their second semester of their first year and running through their third year. They receive further exposure to additional topics (e.g., human development) in the Developmental Psychopathology seminar and in the twice-monthly clinical psychology “brown bag” speaker series. Finally, students complete a year-long clinical internship.

Students are responsible for making sure that they take courses in all the relevant and required areas listed above. Students wishing to substitute one required course for another should seek advice from their advisor and from the director of clinical training prior to registering. During the first year, students are advised to get in as many requirements as possible. Many requirements can be completed before the deadlines stated below.

First-year project: Under the guidance of a faculty member who serves as a mentor, students participate in a research project and write a formal report on their research progress. Due by May of first year.

Second-year project: Original research project leading to a written report in the style of an APA journal article. A ten-minute oral presentation is also required. Due by May of second year.

General exam: A six-hour exam covering the literature of the field. To be taken in September before the start of the third year.

Thesis prospectus: A written description of the research proposed must be approved by a prospectus committee appointed by the CHD. Due at the beginning of the fourth year.

Thesis and oral defense: Ordinarily this would be completed by the end of the fourth year.

Clinical internship: Ordinarily this would occur in the fifth year. Students must have completed their thesis research prior to going on internship.


Credit for Prior Graduate Work

 A PhD student who has completed at least one full term of satisfactory work in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may file an application at the Registrar’s Office requesting that work done in a graduate program elsewhere be counted toward the academic residence requirement. Forms are available online.

No more than the equivalent of eight half-courses may be so counted for the PhD.

An application for academic credit for work done elsewhere must contain a list of the courses, with grades, for which the student is seeking credit, and must be approved by the student’s department. In order for credit to be granted, official transcripts showing the courses for which credit is sought must be submitted to the registrar, unless they are already on file with the Graduate School. No guarantee is given in advance that such an application will be granted. 

Only courses taken in a Harvard AB-AM or AB-SM program, in Harvard Summer School, as a GSAS Special Student or FAS courses taken as an employee under the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) may be counted toward the minimum academic residence requirements for a Master’s degree.

Academic and financial credit for courses taken as a GSAS Special Student or FAS courses taken as a Harvard employee prior to admission to a degree program may be granted for a maximum of four half-courses toward a one-year Master’s and eight half-courses toward a two-year Master’s or the PhD degree.

Applications for academic and financial credit must be approved by the student’s department and should then be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.


Student Admissions, Outcomes, and other data

1. Time to Completion

Time to completion

Students can petition the program faculty to receive credit for prior graduate coursework, but it does not markedly reduce their expected time to complete the program.

2. Program Costs

Program costs

3. Internships 

Internship placement Table 1

Internship placement Table 2

4. Attrition


5. Licensure


Standard Financial Aid Award, Students Entering 2022

The financial aid package for Ph.D. students entering in 2022 will include tuition and health fees support for years one through four, or five, if needed; stipend support in years one and two; a summer research grant equal to two months stipend at the end of years one through four; teaching fellowship support in years three and four guaranteed by the Psychology Department; and a dissertation completion grant consisting of tuition and stipend support in the appropriate year. Typically students will not be allowed to teach while receiving a stipend in years one and two or during the dissertation completion year. 

Year 1 (2022-23) and Year 2 (2023-24) 
Tuition & Health Fees:                            Paid in Full 
Academic Year Stipend:                          $33,850 (10 months) 
Summer Research Award:                      $6,770 (2 months)

Year 3 (2024-25) & Year 4 (2025-26)
Tuition & Health Fees:                            Paid in Full
Living Expenses:                                      $33,850 (Teaching Fellowship plus supplement, if eligible) 
Summer Research Award:                      $6,770 (2 months)

Year 5 (2026-27) - if needed; may not be taken after the Dissertation Completion year
Tuition & Health Fees:                            Paid in Full

Dissertation Completion Year (normally year 5, occasionally year 6)
Tuition & Health Fees:                            Paid in Full 
Stipend for Living Expenses:                  $33,850

The academic year stipend is for the ten-month period September through June. The first stipend payment will be made available at the start of the fall term with subsequent disbursements on the first of each month. The summer research award is intended for use in July and August following the first four academic years.

In the third and fourth years, the guaranteed income of $33,850 includes four sections of teaching and, if necessary, a small supplement from the Graduate School. Your teaching fellowship is guaranteed by the Department provided you have passed the General Examination or equivalent and met any other department criteria. Students are required to take a teacher training course in the first year of teaching.

The dissertation completion year fellowship will be available as soon as you are prepared to finish your dissertation, ordinarily in the fifth year. Applications for the completion fellowship must be submitted in February of the year prior to utilizing the award. Dissertation completion fellowships are not guaranteed after the seventh year. Please note that registration in the Graduate School is always subject to your maintaining satisfactory progress toward the degree.

GSAS students are strongly encouraged to apply for appropriate Harvard and outside fellowships throughout their enrollment. All students who receive funds from an outside source are expected to accept the award in place of the above Harvard award. In such cases, students may be eligible to receive a GSAS award of up to $4,000 for each academic year of external funding secured or defer up to one year of GSAS stipend support.

For additional information, please refer to the Financial Support section of the GSAS website (

Registration and Financial Aid in the Graduate School are always subject to maintaining satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Psychology students are eligible to apply for generous research and travel grants from the Department.

The figures quoted above are estimates provided by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and are subject to change.


Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979

The Director of Clinical Training is Prof. Richard J. McNally who can be reached by telephone at (617) 495-3853 or via e-mail at: