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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Psychology INTERNAL

Clinical-Community Program

UofSC’s Doctoral Program in Clinical-Community Psychology provides doctoral level training in psychological science and training in health service psychology. We bridge the psychology subfields of clinical and community psychology to consider health at the individual, family, and community levels. The program provides training in understanding the causes of psychological well being and unwanted psychological conditions, and in what intervention strategies are needed to promote more positive lives for people.

Our Focus

Our program emphasizes community-based and community-engaged research consistent with UofSC’s designation by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its commitment to community engagement activities.  We define health along a broad continuum of mental and physical well being that extends beyond the simple absence of pathology or disease. Our program places a particular focus on understanding the role of environmental influences on psychological well being, in part because of community psychology’s focus on the social causes of stress. We consider the integration of cultural factors into research and applied practice to be critical to the future of our nation’s health. 

Our Goal

The goal of the Doctoral Program in Clinical-Community Psychology is to educate doctoral students as clinical-community scientists who are prepared to work in a range of roles and contexts. Students who wish to focus on applied practice work without a strong grounding in scientific approaches to their work are not likely to be satisfied in our program. Our training model provides: (a) training in research and research methods that help inform the planning or delivery of psychosocial interventions and (b) knowledge of how to develop and implement applied practices that are contextually appropriate and grounded in empirical science. Our program exists in the context of UofSC as a Carnegie I Research Institution for its high research productivity and a Department of Psychology that is consistently one of the top departments on campus for extramural research funding. Objectives for Our Training.

Scientific Principles and Approaches

A fundamental aspect of our training is that scientific principles and scientific approaches are a critical part of addressing societal problems. Basic research, applied research, translational research, dissemination research, and the implementation of this knowledge into routine practice through organizational change are keys to improving the human condition.  Program faculty members predominantly have a philosophical orientation of critical realism. This philosophy means that theory and its ongoing evolution is a fundamental driving force for science. Essential elements to good science include the use of multiple approaches, multiple observations, the triangulation of research methods, and constructive criticism from others to refine our concepts and theories. 

Our Faculty

Our faculty have national and international recognition for excellence in research and professional training as demonstrated in their federally-funded research and training grants, editorship roles in professional journals, and leadership roles in national organizations.  Each year our faculty consider if they will be mentoring incoming doctoral students for the next academic year Clinical-Community Mentors for 2021-2022.


The Clinical-Community Program in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina is accredited as a program in Clinical Psychology by the American Psychological Association (APA)'s Commission on Accreditation.* The program had a site visit in November 2019 and was awarded full accreditation for the longest period possible based upon this review. The next site visit will be in 2029.

This document contains the APA required Student Admissions, Outcome and Other Data (pdf) for the Clincal Community Program.

Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the APA's Commission on Accreditation:

*American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Phone: 202.336.5979

Admission Information

The clinical-community psychology program offers the Ph.D. degree for students who seek to be clinical scientists and researchers/scholars. In addition to formal courses, supervised training in diagnosis and intervention, and supervised research experience, the program offers a wide range of clinical practice and community-based intervention experiences.  The program is designed to be completed in six years, which includes a year-long, full-time internship (which can be completed as a two-year, half-time internship).  Students must be in residence at least three years, but typically are in residence five years.  Applicants for the Ph.D. program in clinical-community psychology who do not already have a research-based master’s degree in psychology are required to earn the M.A. in Psychology in the course of earning their Ph.D. degree. Graduates are employed as faculty members in colleges and universities, are employed in providing services within public and private institutions and service organizations, and are engaged in independent practice as psychologists. Admissions Criteria. Apply to the program.»