Psychology: PhD in Clinical Psychology

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program follows the scientist-practitioner model. In this American Psychological Association-accredited program, students are trained as applied researchers and scientists, developing skills in the research methods used to advance knowledge of the causes, prevention and treatment of emotional, behavioral and physical health problems within diverse urban communities.

Program faculty subscribe to a range of theoretical orientations, including cognitive-behavioral, family systems, social ecology and community frameworks that emphasizes multiple influences on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.  These faculty perspectives enable students to develop a broad base of knowledge, as well as specialize in particular areas of research and/or evidence-based application.

The program’s coursework, research and clinical training embrace a community psychology perspective that emphasizes the importance of understanding the associations between individuals and the settings and systems in which they are embedded. This ecological orientation is evident throughout the curriculum and reflects the program theme: prevention and health promotion in diverse urban communities. Because of this focus, the clinical psychology program is also recognized by the Society for Community Research and Action as a doctoral clinical-community training program.

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is a STEM-designated program.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:
Fall: December 1
Standardized test scores:
We will consider all applications, regardless of the absence or presence of GRE scores. Although the Clinical program will not require you to report GRE scores for consideration this year, certain university-level scholarships do require GRE scores when selecting admitted students. Therefore, some applicants may decide to submit the GREs at the time of the application process. Please note that because the timing varies for these scholarships, sending the GRE scores late may result in the admitted student being ineligible at that time.
The GRE general test is waived for applications who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 
Minimum scores for the Ph.D. program are:
  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 68; 
Prerequisite requirements:
Course prerequisites: applicants need to meet program course requirements in one of three ways:
(a) Have an undergraduate Bachelor's degree in psychology
(b) Have a Master’s degree in psychology
(c) For Non-Psychology majors - Complete at least six undergraduate or graduate courses in psychology, including Statistics, Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology, and three general content courses (such as developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, personality, biological bases of behavior, or history and systems of psychology).
Recommendations required:
Three (3) recommendations
Prior academic records:
Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose:
In an essay of 500 words maximum, please describe how you see your role as a scientist-practitioner within the context of social justice and diversity considerations. In responding to this question, we encourage you to reflect upon how your cultural, ethnic, or personal background brings a unique perspective to the Clinical Psychology graduate program. Also describe how your interests resonate with the Clinical Psychology Program's mission statement.
An interview is required.
Additional requirements:
Applicants will rank two faculty members whose research interests best match their current research interests (1 = first choice, 2 = second choice). Applicants should review eligible core faculty and bios and indicate their ranking on the online application for the PhD program in clinical psychology.
The Clinical Psychology program rarely admits students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.10.
International applicants only:
Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday