Clinical Ph.D. Option

From the Department Chair:

December 21, 2020

Dear students:

Thank you for your interest in studying psychology at UMKC.  I am writing today to let you know that our department has made the difficult decision to suspend admissions for Fall ’21.  We will not be admitting any students for the coming ’21 – ’22 academic year.

We did not come to this decision easily.  We are experiencing a number of uncertainties related to student funding and program offerings that convinced us that suspending admissions was the best course of action.  We plan to use the coming year to redesign our program to better serve our students and the faculty who teach and mentor them.

I understand that preparing an application requires significant time and effort, and I apologize that this decision has come so late in the process.  Of course we will be refunding your application fee as soon as possible.

I hope that the coming year is a healthy and productive one for you.  If your interest in UMKC remains active a year from now, we would be happy to receive your application at that time.  In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Joan M. McDowd, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair | Department of Psychology


Our Clinical Psychology Ph.D. is a full time, APA accredited1 program of graduate study that provides professional education in the entry-level science and practice of clinical psychology.   The program has a science-practice training model and our program is particularly suitable for students interested in pursuing careers in academia, research and medical settings.

The program seeks to enhance the public health, broadly defined, through:

  • Providing rigorous training of students (Education Mission)
  • Supplying accessible resources for the integration of behavioral sciences, health research and healthcare (Service Mission)
  • Developing knowledge and enhancing health outcomes through empirical research (Research and Evaluation Mission)
  • Incorporating integrity and respect for human and intellectual diversity in all our activities (Human Mission)


Research training is a major emphasis and is based on a mentorship model in which each incoming student is paired with a faculty member with shared interests.  Check out of faculty research interests.  Students complete an original thesis and dissertation and continuously engage in research throughout their program.  They are encouraged and expected to present their research at national and international conferences and to publish their work in scientific journals. The department provides a rich research environment for students across various research laboratories; collaborations with colleagues at community- based organizations, medical centers, and other Kansas City institutions; as well as national and international research collaborations.

Clinical Training

The program’s clinical training and services are grounded in a commitment to the integration of science and practice.  Our clinical training is graduated to provide increasing skills and specialization opportunities as students’ progress.  All second year students complete their year-long clinical practicum at UMKC’s Community Counseling and Assessment Center allowing program faculty the opportunity to provide regular direct supervision of students’ clinical work.   Practicum after that are tailored to students’ interests and developmental needs and take place in a range clinical settings in the Kansas City area.

Program Structure

The program is designed to be completed in 5-6 years of full-time program participation. The core curriculum includes training in assessment, psychotherapeutic intervention, professional and ethical issues, quantitative analysis, research methods, psychopathology, biopsychology, and health psychology outlined in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program Student Handbook. Beginning in the second year students also engage in year-long clinical practicum experiences and typically apply for internship at the end of the fourth or fifth year.


Please see note from Department Chair above.

Typically the program admits 4 students from a pool of over one hundred applicants each year (see Ph.D. Program Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data page). The program received initial APA accreditation1 in 2004, and in 2018 it was re-accredited1 by the APA for the full ten years possible.

Professional Licensure Disclosures

The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at UMKC is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). APA accreditation is recognized in all 50 states as providing required education for psychology license eligibility. State Boards of Psychology determine training requirements for licensure and typically include post-doctoral training as well as examinations beyond the educational requirements of a PhD program. Students should confirm state licensing requirements directly with the state for which they are interested in licensure. ASPPB (Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards) provides a compendium called PsyBook, which summarizes requirements for each state that may be a helpful resource for students determining vocational location and licensing requirements.

As an APA-accredited program, UMKC’s clinical psychology program meets the educational requirements to apply for licensure as a psychologist in Missouri and in many other states. Indeed, UMKC clinical psychology has graduates who are successfully licensed in various states. Yet, as noted above, some states do have additional training and education requirements and most states have post-doctoral clinical supervision requirements as well. Here is a state-by-state listing of psychology licensure information, which is based on an annual review by ASPPB. If you are interested in seeking licensure in a particular state, you should check the web site directly of the State Licensing Board you are interested in for the most accurate and up-to-date information on educational and other requirements for licensure, as there is no guarantee that our summary or ASPPB’s review is entirely accurate and up-to-date.

More Information

This program follows the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants.


1For additional information or questions on the accreditation of our Clinical Psychology Program, contact the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Web: Phone: 202-336-5979. E-Mail: