Ph.D. Program in Psychological Clinical Science
The primary purpose of this program is to prepare students for careers in academic or research settings. Thus, a major emphasis is on research training. We hope to train researchers who will contribute to psychological knowledge through the investigation of clinically-relevant issues, including basic research on the nature, etiology, and course of health-related problems or psychological disorders, as well as applied research which investigates the prevention and treatment of health and mental health problems.
NOTE: This program is NOT accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The curriculum was designed to meet accreditation standards and it is our intention to apply for accreditation as soon as we are eligible. In order to apply for accreditation, it is necessary to have students at all levels of matriculation and to have produced graduates. The earliest possible time for a site visit by APA (which, if successful, would mark the point at which students could say they have graduated from an APA accredited program) would be in 2016. There is no guarantee that our program will be accredited by this time.
What does this mean? Students who graduate from our program will be eligible for many internships, jobs, and licensure. However, the options will not be as broad as those who graduate from an accredited program, as some internships and some positions require this. According to a recent survey by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), Georgia, Oklahoma and Oregon require graduation from an APA accredited program for licensure as a psychologist. Iowa and Tennessee require either APA accreditation or designation by the ASPPB-National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology designation project. If you have any questions about accreditation issues, please contact Dr. Paul. Rokke, Director of Clinical Training.
For more information about the coursework and our program, please see the "Graduate Policies and Curriculum" page.
Coursework and Training
Students are required to gain a breadth of knowledge in the foundations of psychology through courses in biological, cognitive, and social bases of behavior. Coursework in research methods and statistics, assessment, psychopathology, health, and interventions comprise the clinical portion of the curriculum. Practica at local hospitals, clinics, and mental health agencies provide supervised experience in service delivery and applied research. This is a full-time program and will take 5 years, including internship, to complete. We do our best to support students with an assistantship that includes a tuition waiver.
Start by doing your homework.
You need to know whether you will be happy in our program. First, consider your career objectives. If you are primarily interested in an academic career, have a strong commitment to research, and would like to teach, then consider us further. If you are mostly interested in a career providing assessment and treatment services in health and mental health settings, we will not be a good fit for you.
Then, learn about our faculty. Look them up on the web. Read some of their publications. When we consider applicants for acceptance into our program, we are looking for students to work with us on our research. You need to know what it is we do and that this is what you want to do as well.
When making admissions decisions we consider grades, GRE scores, research experience, letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty who can comment on your research skills and academic potential), and the personal statement. To the extent that an applicant has a strong background in psychology, including coursework in statistics, research methods, abnormal psychology, and personality and good research experience, this will be an advantage. In addition, the personal statement should be clear about your career goals and interests and why you think NDSU, in particular, will help you achieve those goals. Your undergraduate GPA must be at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. We will consider applicants who already have a master's degree and will judge them by the same criteria. For applicant's with a master's degree, credit towards the doctorate will depend on how well previous course work matches with our own requirements. International applicants must have TOEFL (internet-based) score of at least 100.
We do not require campus visits or interviews. We may, however, like to arrange for a visit via phone or web video with our top candidates.
Applications are made online. You can find instructions and more information at the Graduate School. You will need to make arrangements to include transcripts, test scores, and three letters of recommendation. Our application deadline is February 1. Admissions decisions will be made by mid-March. We review applications only once a year and admit students only in the Fall semester.
Psychological Clinical Science Applicant Summary Statistics
Number of Applicants
Number Accepted for Admission
Actual Size of Incoming Class
Number Receiving Financial Aid
GRE - Verbal Mean Score
530 | 151 (56)*
500 | 155 (63)
GRE - Quantitative Mean Score
770 | 152 (69)*
645 | 153 (53)
GRE - Analytical Mean Score
Average Undergraduate GPA
Primary Clinical Faculty
James R. Council, Ph.D.
History of psychology, personality, hypnosis
Keith F. Donohue, Ph.D.
Cognitive and emotional influences on the consequences of alcohol intoxication
Kathryn H. Gordon, Ph.D.
Disordered eating and suicidal behavior
Robert Dvorak, Ph.D.
Self-regulation of health-risk behavior
Paul D. Rokke, Ph.D.
Cognition and emotion, cognitive vulnerability to depression
Our Affiliated Faculty also serve as research advisors to Psychological Clinical Science graduate students. If you are interested in working with a member of our Affiliated Faculty, please contact them to find out more about their interests.
Clayton Hilmert, Ph.D.
Stress, psychophysiology, and health
Wendy Troop-Gordon, Ph.D.
Peer relationships and developmental psychopathology
Sleep, stress, health behaviors
Personality, emotion, cognition, self-regulation