Curriculum & Clinical Training

Students in the clinical psychology PhD program obtain extensive background knowledge in psychology through varied and challenging coursework as well as practical exposure to evidence-based interventions and assessment techniques.

  • In the first year, and in addition to Psychopathology, Statistics, and Ethics, students take a course in Clinical Interviewing as well as a two-course sequence of Psych Eval I & Psych Eval II, where they learn intelligence testing, the use of objective tests, and begin report-writing
  • In the second year, and in conjunction the study of clinical interventions, students begin direct clinical therapeutic contact & practice at the Clinical Psychology Center
  • Each semester, on a rotating basis, faculty offer Interventions or Special Topics courses in their specific treatment specialty, research area or methodology.  Topics include:  Multicultural Psychology, Family Psychology, DBT, Substance Misuse, Integrated Behavioral Health, Motivational Interviewing, LGBT Issues, and Adv Seminar in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Our program’s policy regarding expectations about student disclosure in classes

This area provides a basic introduction to neuropsychology, clinical neuropsychology, and neuropsychological assessment. The neuropsychology exposure is designed to be consistent with the training guidelines described by the Houston conference report on specialty training in clinical neuropsychology. As such, it will prepare the student to apply for neuropsychologically oriented clinical internships and post-doctoral positions in order to complete the extensive training required to independently practice clinical neuropsychology. The major research emphases include the measurement of effort during neuropsychological assessment, diagnosis threat, effects of non-neurological factors on test performance, memory, executive functioning, and cognitive rehabilitation. Additional clinical experiences are typically available. (Faculty supervisor: Stuart Hall)

Useful links:

Core Courses

  • Psyx 500: Adv History & Systems (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 551: Adv Personality (Offered fall, odd years)
  • Psyx 565: Adv Cognition (Offered spring)
  • Psyx 571: Adv Physiological Psychology (Offered fall, even years)
  • Psyx 555: Adv Social/Developmental (540 Adv Development is offered every spring; 550 Adv Social is offered spring, odd years)

Required Courses (70-92 credits plus Core)

  • Psyx 511: Professional Issues (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 512: Clinical Field Placement            
  • Psyx 520: Adv Psychological Statistics (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 521: Adv Psychological Statistics II (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 523: Research Design (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 525: Psych Eval I (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 526: Psych Eval II (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 530: Clinical & Diagnostic Interviewing (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 531: Principles of Psych Interventions (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 532: Adv Psychopathology (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 534: Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum) (Offered every semester)
  • Psyx 599: Masters credits            
  • Psyx 625: Assessment Practicum (Offered every fall)
  • Psyx 630: Professional & Ethical Issues (Offered every spring)
  • Psyx 631: Interventions
  • Psyx 632: Special Topics (Advanced Multicultural)            
  • Psyx 638: Internship      
  • Psyx 699: Dissertation credits    

631/632 Equivalents: 535 Child Interventions, 536 Advanced Child Psychopathology, 537 Child Assessment, 694 Advanced Neuropsychology, or Psychopharmacology

Course Work

First year

Fall Semester

(14 credits)

  • Psyx 501 Teaching Psychology (1cr)
  • Psyx 511 Professional Issues (1cr)
  • Psyx 520 Advanced Psychological Statistics I (3cr)
  • Psyx 525 Psych Eval I (Intellectual Assessment) (3 cr)
  • Psyx 530 Clinical & Diagnostic Interviewing (3cr)
  • Psyx 532 Adv Psychopathology (3cr)

Spring Semester

(13 credits)

  • Psyx 521 Advanced Psychological Statistics II (4cr)
  • Psyx 523 Research Design (3cr)
  • Psyx 526 Psych Eval II (Objectives & Report Writing) (3cr)
  • Psyx 630 Ethics, Professional & Cultural Issues (3cr)
  • Sit in on Psyx 534 – Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum)

Second Year

Fall Semester

(13 credits)

  • Psyx 531 Principles of Psych Intervention (3cr)
  • Psyx 534 Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum) (4cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Psyx 599 Masters Research Project credits (1-3cr)

Spring Semester

(11-13 credits)

  • Psyx 534 Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum) (4cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Psyx 631/632 Clinical Interventions or Special Topics (3cr)
  • Elective (Optional)


Psyx 534 Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum) 

**Propose masters project by the end of the 2nd year

Third Year

Fall semester

(10-16 credits)

  • Psyx 534 Applied Clinical Methods (4cr)
  • Psyx 599 Masters Research Project credits (1-3cr)
  • Psyx 625 Assessment Practicum (3cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Elective Course (optional) (3cr)

**Defend masters project by the end of 3rd year

Spring semester

(10-13 credits)

  • Psyx 534 Applied Clinical Methods (Practicum) (4cr)
  • Psyx 631/632 Clinical Interventions or Topics (3cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Elective Course (optional) (3cr)

Fourth year

Fall semester

(9 -15 credits)

  • Psyx 631/632 Clinical Interventions or Topics (3cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Psyx 699 Dissertation credits (2-9cr)

Spring semester

(10 -17 credits)

  • Psyx 631/632 Clinical Interventions or Topics (3cr)
  • Psyx Core Course (3cr)
  • Psyx 699 Dissertation credits (2-9cr)

Clinical Training

Training for our students includes both classroom instruction and direct clinical experience.  Our students work with people of diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, and experiences and are trained to adapt to a rapidly changing service-delivery environment in mental health and human service arenas.  

Much of our students’ clinical training is done at the Clinical Psychology Center (CPC) on the UM campus.  In the second year of training, clinical PhD students enter practicum and begin seeing clients.

  • The CPC is a training clinic, offering  assessment, consultation, intervention, and psychotherapy services to the general Missoula community; clients receive services on a sliding fee scale 
  • Staffed by Clinical and School doctoral students, the CPC is the primary training site for both programs
  • Clinicians are supervised by Department of Psychology clinical and school faculty members & licensed community psychologists
  • Students take practica from a variety of supervisors and are exposed to a range of theoretical and applied points of view
  • Some schools of thought represented in the techniques and approaches are:  Cognitive-Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Emotion-Focused, Interpersonal Therapy, Functional Analytic
  • Our student clinicians carry fairly small caseloads (typically 3 – 5 clients) in order to provide optimal care and have close supervision
  • As they progress, student clinicians assume increasing responsibility for the care of their clients; they are encouraged in their development of case conceptualizations and treatment plans
  • The CPC has therapy rooms for individual, group, family, child therapy, as well as assessment

Additional Clinical Training Opportunities

As students advance, they are able to apply for a number of community clinical placements.  Positions are program-sanctioned and, in addition to gaining hands-on experience, students can apply their hours towards internship.

  • Assistant to the Director at the Clinical Psychology Center
  • Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes Public Defender’s Office, Pablo, MT
  • Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribal Health Office, St. Ignatius, MT
  • Counseling Services at Curry Health Center, University of Montana campus
  • Missoula County Healthy Relationships Project, Seeley Lake, MT
  • Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC), University of Montana campus
  • Youth Homes, Missoula, MT
  • HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program, various locations in western Montana