Clinical Child Psychology Graduate Program

The Clinical Child Psychology Program (CCPP) at the University of Kansas is a graduate program leading to the doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Clinical Child Psychology.  The CCPP is accredited by the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation as a clinical psychology doctoral training program with a special emphasis on children, adolescents, and families. The Program is affiliated with the Departments of Psychology and Applied Behavioral Science, and has strong ties with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas School of Medicine (KUMC) and with Children's Mercy Hospital.  The program does not offer a terminal Masters degree. However, students admitted to the Doctoral program without a Masters degree will obtain a MA in Clinical Child Psychology en route to the Ph.D.

The mission of the CCPP is to develop leaders in the research, dissemination, and practice of clinical science for children, youths, and their families. As such, doctoral training in the CCPP develops clinical scientists capable of conducting innovative research and developing and delivering interventions for a range of human problems, particularly those involving children and families.  In service of its mission, the CCPP is designed to promote professional competencies in four specific domain areas (Research, Clinical Practice, Professionalism, and Leadership/Professional Communications).  This is accomplished through broad and general training across the substantive areas of the science of psychology (i.e., behavioral, social, cognitive, affective, and biological bases of psychology), specialized training in research methodology and statistical analytic methods, and specialized clinical training through basic and advanced practica.  Subdomains of the professional competency and substantive knowledge areas are detailed in the CCPP Training Manual.  A particular strength of the program is the developmental perspective that pervades all core courses. 

The field of psychological science is changing rapidly, with advances in our understanding, assessment, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a range of conditions. Our goal is to train the professionals who are at the forefront of these advances in research, dissemination, education, and service. The program’s didactic and practical experiences prepare graduates for the many roles open to clinical child psychologists.  Graduates hold research/teaching positions in universities, medical schools, colleges, and internship programs, and direct service delivery positions in mental health centers, hospitals, and schools.

In its fulfillment of the training model of clinical psychology known as the “scientist-practitioner model,” the CCPP utilizes report of the National Conference on Scientist-Practitioner Education and Training for the Professional Practice of Psychology. This conference defined the model as “an integrative approach to science and practice wherein each must continually inform the other” in which the scientific research base is related to clinical practice, and practice elements are inherently interrelated to research.  The CCPP places an extremely high priority on the development of research skills and competencies. 

Students can complete course work, practicum requirements, and research requirements for the doctoral degree in 4 years of full-time study followed by a 1-year pre-doctoral clinical internship at an approved site, although some students take longer.  Students are expected to, and indeed want to, participate maximally in research and clinical experiences to ensure the breadth of their training.  An empirically-based master’s thesis (if not obtained prior to admission), qualifying examination, and doctoral dissertation are formal milestones of research progress in addition to regular evaluation in courses, clinical practica, and annual faculty reviews. 

The Director of the Program serves as the official Academic Advisor for all students in the program. As such, the Director bears responsibility for assisting the student in course selection, articulating career goals, assisting with program requirements (e.g., internship applications), and designing experiences consonant with career goals.   Each student in the Clinical Child Psychology Program also selects a Research Advisor who provides individualized guidance with regard to course selection, developing and articulating career goals, and designing experiences consonant with career goals. 

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Admission to the CCPP is highly competitive.  All completed applications are reviewed and incoming students are selected by an admissions committee chaired by the Program Director and comprising core CCPP faculty members and a student representative.  Essential requirements for admission include (a) a Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS) from an accredited institution, (b) a record of scholarly achievement that shows strong promise of success in course work, research, and clinical work, and (c) at least 15 credit hours in psychology coursework, including statistics and research methodology.  Preferred qualifications for admission include a strong record of research experience and evidence of research productivity (e.g., presentations, posters, honors theses).  Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here.

The Admissions committee will use the following when determining suitability for admission: The applicant’s transcripts and grade point averages (GPAs) from previous educational institutions; scores from the Graduate Records Examination (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytic writing, and, for students who did not major in Psychology, the Advanced Test in Psychology); a writing sample; a written statement of interests/goals provided by the candidate; the candidate’s résumé or CV; and 3 letters of recommendation from professionals who can address the candidate’s potential in a doctoral training program.  Highly rated applicants will be invited to interview with CCPP faculty and students prior to admissions decisions.  Financial aid is available.  Please visit the program’s website for information regarding student admissions, outcomes, and other data. 

Submit your graduate application online (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Psychology — Clinical Child Psychology Program) as well as all supplemental materials.

Clinical Child Psychology Curriculum

The following curriculum meets criteria for APA accreditation and KU general requirements.

Psychology Core

1. Biological Aspects:
ABSC 857Biological Bases of Behavior3
2. Cognitive/Affective Aspects:
PSYC 870Cognitive Development3
3. Social Aspects:
ABSC/PSYC 825Social Development3
4. History of Psychology. Select one of the following:
History of Psychology
History and Systems of Psychology
5. Cultural and Ethnic Diversity:
ABSC/PSYC 888Diversity Issues in Clinical Psychology3
or EPSY 875 Understanding Cultural & Individual Differences in Professional Psychology

Clinical Child Psychology Specialty Skills

Psychopathology, Psychodiagnosis, and Psychological Assessment


ABSC/PSYC 803Fundamentals of Psychological Assessment and Intervention with Children3
ABSC/PSYC 811Achievement and Intellectual Assessment in Clinical Child Psychology3
ABSC/PSYC 812Behavioral and Personality Assessment of Children3
ABSC/PSYC 905Psychopathology in Children3

Intervention and Therapy Procedures


ABSC/PSYC 976Therapeutic Interventions with Children3
Select one of the following:3
Psychotherapy with Families
Theory of Couples and Family Counseling
Theories and Methods of Psychotherapy
Evidence Based Practice in Psychology
Group Therapeutic Techniques

Clinical Practica

Required (17 credit hours, 275 contact hours):

ABSC/PSYC 846Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology I1-3
ABSC/PSYC 847Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology II1-3
ABSC/PSYC 943Advanced Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology III1-3
ABSC/PSYC 944Advanced Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology IV1-3
ABSC/PSYC 947Advanced Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology V1-5

Ethics/Professional Standards


PSYC 975Professional and Ethical Problems in Clinical Psychology3
or EPSY 880 Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychology and Counseling
ABSC/PSYC 809Professional Issues: Clinical Child Psychology (one semester)1
Clinical adult psychology workshop (offered every other year)

Students are expected to function within the code of professional ethics of the American Psychological Association in their behavior and personal demeanor. Adherence to these ethical principles is part of the regular evaluation of students for completion of the degree in clinical child psychology.

Consultation and Supervision

PSYC/ABSC 706Special Topics in Clinical Child Psychology: _____3
or EPSY 945 Clinical Supervision and Consultation

Research and Statistics Core Courses


Design and Analysis for Developmental Research3
Design and Analysis for Developmental Research
Research Methods in Clinical Psychology
One Introductory Statistics Course4
Statistical Methods in Psychology I
Regression and ANOVA: General Linear Models
One ANOVA or Multivariate Statistics Course 4
Statistical Methods in Psychology II
Alternate to PSYC 791 includes the following:
Multivariate Analysis
Analysis of Variance
Fundamentals of Multivariate Modeling
At least 1 additional quantitative course
In consultation with the student’s primary research advisor to be consistent with the student’s professional and research goals.

Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship

Responsible Scholarship Requirement

Responsible Scholarship in the CCPP involves pertinent areas of protection of human subjects, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, authorship, publication, plagiarism, copyright, data management, professional practices, mentor/student responsibilities, maintenance of confidentiality, approach research conduct and research misconduct, HIPAA, and ethics of publishing clinical case material, among other related topics. This requirement must be met before taking the Comprehensive Oral Examination.

Students in the CCPP fulfill the Responsible Scholarship Requirement through

  • Courses in the curriculum:
    PSYC/ABSC 809Professional Issues: Clinical Child Psychology1
    PSYC 975Professional and Ethical Problems in Clinical Psychology3
    or EPSY 880 Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychology and Counseling
    PSYC 815Design and Analysis for Developmental Research3
  • The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Human Subjects Protection and HIPAA online tutorial

Research Skills Training Requirement in CCPP

The additional Research Skill requirement is fulfilled by 1 additional course above the 2 required courses in statistical or data analysis (quantitative, applied behavior analysis, qualitative). No course is specified, but must be approved by the student’s research advisor and the program director.

Master’s Degree and Thesis

The master’s degree requires a thesis consisting of empirical research and a minimum of 30 hours of course work (24 of which must be nonthesis credit hours). A minimum of 6 credit hours in ABSC 897/PSYC 897 Master’s Thesis in Clinical Child Psychology is required.

Ph.D. Preliminary Examination: The Task

The program uses the Task system for its preliminary examination in research methodology, teaching, or applied/clinical area. Details are available in the Clinical Child Psychology Program Training Manual, available on the program's website.

Ph.D. Oral Comprehensive Examination

Upon completion of all course requirements for the Ph.D. and of the Task, except for dissertation and internship, the student must pass the oral comprehensive examination. Details are available in the Clinical Child Psychology Program Training Manual, available on the program's website.

Doctoral Dissertation

The Ph.D. dissertation must be based on an original, empirical investigation. A minimum of 12 hours in dissertation in clinical child psychology is required.

Predoctoral Internship

An 11-month clinical internship at a setting accredited by the American Psychological Association is required. Students enroll in ABSC 963/PSYC 963 for a total of 3 credit hours.


See the course listings for the Departments of Applied Behavioral Science and Psychology.