Prospective Students

Welcome Prospective Students!

We are eager to tell you about our program. Our Clinical Science program has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since March 2, 1948. Questions related to the program’s accredited status by APA should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation at 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002; Phone: (202) 336-5979/E-mail:; Web: In February 2014, we were accepted into the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, denoting our program officially as a clinical science program. Finally, in January 2020, we became accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). Questions related to the program’s accredited status by PCSAS should be directed to Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC  20036-1218; Phone: (301) 455-8046; E-mail:

The graduate students in our Clinical Science program are the backbone of the program. The program has 20-25 active graduate students at any one time, and all students are actively involved in the research labs, staffing the training clinic, and assisting in course instruction. The quality of our students is evidenced by their high-level of research productivity (see table below) and their success on the internship and job market, including a 100% match rate to APA-accredited, APPIC internships for the past 15 years.


Information for Prospective Students

  • Message for Prospective Students

    We are delighted that you are considering applying to MSU's Clinical Science Program!

    Indeed, we are proud of our program and hope you will take some time to visit the rest of our website and the links below to obtain more information about our mentorship model, admissions process, curriculum/program requirements, and graduate life at MSU.

    If you join our program, you will join an outstanding graduate student body that is actively engaged in all aspects of clinical science. The quality of our students is evidenced by their excellent undergraduate academic records and high-level of research productivity and their success on the internship and job market. Indeed, all of our students are active in presenting at national and international conferences and publishing their research (see Research Output Table on the Current Student page).

    Our students also develop clinical excellence during their training, as evidenced by our 100% match rate to American Psychological Association (APA) accredited, APPIC internships for the past 15 years. Our students have matched to highly competitive sites, including programs at the University of Washington, McLean Hospital/Harvard University Medical School, Yale University Medical School, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic/University of Pittsburgh Medical School, and Stanford Medical School.

    Finally, our students are employed in a range of clinical science positions, including postdoctoral or faculty positions in academic settings and clinic director positions.

    Please consider applying if your interests and values in clinical science are a good match with our program. We look forward to considering your application.


    Alytia Levendosky, Co-Director of Clinical Training (Co-DCT)

    Kelly Klump, Co-Director of Clinical Training (Co-DCT)

    Natalie Moser, Associate Director of Clinical Training (ADCT)

  • List of Clinical Faculty Accepting New Students for Fall 2024

    Information about the Clinical Science faculty who will be recruiting new students for the Fall 2024 admissions class will be posted by September 2023. Please check back later for updates!


  • Admissions Interview Day

    Our Clinical Science Program requires interviews for admission. The date of the 2024 MSU Admissions Interview Day and whether it will occur in-person or via Zoom will be posted in early September 2023.The interview day will be an all-day event that includes information sessions about our program and interviews with faculty members and graduate students. Invitations for Interview Day will be sent in late December 2024 or early January 2025.

  • Mentor Model

    Consistent with our philosophy of multi-level and cross-disciplinary work, our mentorship model is one in which students have a primary advisor within the Clinical Science Program, but are encouraged to work with a range of faculty in our Clinical Science program as well as related disciplines.

    Although the research training is done primarily through an apprenticeship with the primary mentor, the full Clinical Science faculty are actively involved in the overall student training through coursework, clinical practica, evaluation of students, and intellectual activities (e.g., colloquia series and the grant writing seminar). Thus, students are exposed to the multiple perspectives, training, and expertise of the full Clinical Sscience faculty. We believe that this mentorship model facilitates flexibility in methods and theory, provides the best approach for fostering positive mentor-mentee relationships, and develops research scientists who have a breadth and depth of training in the clinical science field.

    In addition to working with a primary, Clinical Science faculty mentor, many of our graduate students have secondary mentors or thesis committee members from outside of the Clinical Science Program. These secondary mentors come from a variety of disciplines and programs including Ecological/Community Psychology, Social/Personality Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Behavioral Neuroscience. These multidiplinary collaborations are an explicit expression of our clinical science orientation and focus on multi-level work, as our faculty recognize the need for interdisciplinary collaborations in order to conduct state-of-the-science research and remain competitive for top journals and extramural grant funding (see Principles and Values). Graduate students choose secondary research mentors and committee members in collaboration with their primary mentor based upon fit with the student’s research topic and need for additional training/expertise in diverse areas of science.

  • Curriculum and Program Requirements

    Our program is structured so that training in courses, research, and clinical work is intended to be sequential and cumulative, such that students move toward increased independence and sophistication in their work as they progress through the program. The Master’s portion of the program is designed to take two years, while the doctoral program generally takes four years (including the internship). The training model is implemented through (i) core courses, (ii) practicum, (iii) a cognate, (iv) a comprehensive examination, (v) mentored research projects (i.e., master’s thesis and dissertation), and (vi) a clinical internship. You can learn more about our curriculum and program requirements, including clinical practica and internship training, in the Graduate Student Handbook.

    Michigan Licensing Requirements

    Per our APA accreditation, Clinical Science Area graduate students must meet any additional requirements that the State of Michigan has for licensing.  Michigan licensing law requires no additional courses, but the program must be accredited. The Clinical Science Program is accredited by APA and PCSAS, so this requirement is automatically met.

  • Application Procedures and Information

    Application Process Status: OPEN

    OPENS: September 1st, 2021

    CLOSES: December 1st, 2021

    In order for your application to be considered by the Psychology Programs, you will need to submit your online applications to the University: Apply To MSU


    An official transcript for all previous undergraduate and graduate work must be sent by the appropriate officials of the institutions where the work was done. Your personal copies, or reproductions of your copies, will not be accepted. The official transcripts must be mailed directly to the Department of Psychology. The address is: 

    Brooke Rosek
    Psychology Building
    316 Physics Road, Room 240E 
    East Lansing, MI 48824

    Admission Procedures

    The faculty and graduate students in the various fields of concentration offered in our department are organized into Areas. Admission recommendations are made by area groups. The faculty or a faculty committee from a particular area group review the credentials of all applicants indicating a primary interest in that field of concentration. Please apply to the program that is best suited to your interests. If you are interested in interdisciplinary training across two of our areas, please contact the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in our department (Dr. Emily Durbin - for additional information. 


    Our Clinical Science Program requires interviews for admission. We will notify our top candidates that they have been invited for an Admissions Interview by early January.  This year, our Admissions Interview Day will be on January 24, 2022 and will be conducted virtually via Zoom. We anticipate inviting applicants who are accepted into our program to come to campus for a recruitment visit in late February.

    Program Information

    Applications are accepted only for Fall semester, which usually starts in late August. For Fall admission, applications must be submitted by DECEMBER 1 of the PREVIOUS YEAR. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for admission.

    Individuals sometimes ask us to make a preliminary evaluation of their qualifications for admission. We are sorry, but this is not possible. We make comparisons among all applicants each year and must have complete application files before any evaluations can be done. We believe that this web page contains sufficient information for potential applicants to decide whether or not they should apply for admission.

    The focus of our six on-campus areas is the Ph.D. A M.A. is required as part of the process, but this degree is not intended to provide an entry point for professional employment in psychology. In contrast, we do offer a separate, online terminal M.A. degree in Program Evaluation (please see Program Evaluation).

    Graduate degree programs in the Department of Psychology are offered only within the College of Social Science. Our affiliation with other colleges includes research and teaching links, but no degrees in psychology are available outside the College of Social Science. Descriptions of our programs appear in Academic Programs, a catalog published on-line by Michigan State University.

    Most successful applicants to our on-campus Ph.D. programs are admitted with some sort of financial support. (No financial support is provided for the online M.A. in Program Evaluation.) Support sources come in five main types:

    1. Teaching assistantships eligible to join the Graduate Employees Union (TA)
    2. Teaching assistantships not eligible to join the Graduate Employees Union (TE)
    3. Research assistantships (RA)
    4. MSU fellowships (e.g., University Distinguished Fellowships, University Enrichment Fellowships)
    5. External fellowships (e.g., from the National Science Foundation)

    If you are offered admission to our program, you will be told whether you will be on a fellowship or some type of assistantship. We make every effort to support our graduate students during their program.


    Graduate Record Examination

    In most years, the Graduate Record Exam General Test is required for admission and is available by computer. However, the Psychology Department faculty have decided that the GRE General Test will be OPTIONAL (not required) for applications submitted in fall 2021. You may submit these scores with your application, or you may opt to leave them out. The GRE Psychology Subject Test is never required for admission, but the department has often recommended them, given their predictive validity for success in graduate school. Just like with the GRE General Test, you may choose to submit these scores with your application or you may opt to leave them out. 

    If an applicant would like to send their GRE scores, they should be scheduled to be sent from ETS to the MSU Psychology Department using the Institution Code 1465 and the Department Code 2001. 

    International students may not have the option to take the General Test by computer. Should you opt to take the GRE by way of the standard pencil and paper method, it is recommended that the test be taken no later than October. 



  • Program Resources

    We have sufficient resources in our program to meet the needs of both faculty and students. We have a relatively low student to faculty ratio (2.5:1) that ensures highly attentive and individualized training. We also have adequate institutional support for faculty and student clinical science initiatives.

    Student Resources

    There is institutional support for students and their clinical science activities as well. Upon admission, each student is guaranteed four years of funding (i.e., a stipend, tuition reimbursement, and insurance coverage) from the department via teaching assistantships (TA) and research assistantships (RA). Although summer funding and funding after the 4th year are not guaranteed, in the past 5+ years, all of our students have been supported in the summer and beyond their 4th year. In addition, some of our students have been funded via the Academic Achievement Graduate Assistantships (AAGA) or University Fellowships (UF). These competitive, university-wide fellowships provide incoming students with 1 year (AAGA) or 2 years (UF) of full support to engage in their own independent research rather than serve as a TA or RA. As noted earlier, our program has been extremely successful in securing these fellowships.

    In terms of other support for scholarship activities, our graduate students have free access to the departmental computer support, administrative assistant support, grant support, volunteer subject pool, and research databases/recruitment pools described above. Students are encouraged to attend national and international scientific conferences to present their research, network with colleagues in the field, and learn about the state-of-the-science in their areas. The Department of Psychology and College of Social Science provide funding for these conferences through travel awards and conference travel grants that range from ~$400-$600. 

    Our program, department, and university also provide monetary support for graduate student research and activities. Each year, the Clinical Science Program awards the John and Margo Reisman Award for Exceptional Promise in Clinical Psychology to exceptional applicants who have been offered admission to our program. This award provides funds to support the student and their research and training program. The Clinical Science program also awards the John Hurley Endowed Fellowship to a Clinical Science graduate student each fall. This award provides research support to the graduate student with the highest rated dissertation proposal. Finally, the Clinical Science Program awards the Jacqueline J. Oatman Graduate Fellowship in Clinical Psychology to advanced graduate students in recognition of their exceptional clinical work during graduate school.  These awards provide monetary support to the students in support of their clinical science activities. 

    Our department and university offer up to $2,000 in additional research support through the department’s graduate research fund and the university’s Graduate Student Research Enhancement Award.

    Finally, several of our graduate students have successfully secured multi-year, individual training grants from the NIMH, National Science Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the Canadian Health Institute for Research. Our students have been highly successful at obtaining other external grant support through Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the American Psychological Foundation (APF), and other non-profit organizations.

  • FAQ - General Program Questions

    How many classes do students typically take? 

    Students typically take three (3-credit) classes each semester during their first year, in addition to working on their master's thesis. In subsequent years, students take one to three courses per semester, in addition to research and clinical practicum. Generally students are able to complete required coursework by the end of their third year, although many students choose to take additional courses during their fourth or fifth years.  

    How long does the graduate program take to complete? 

    The students in our program complete a curriculum that facilitates their growth as clinical scientists. The Master’s portion of the program is designed to take two years, while the doctoral program takes four years (including the internship).

    Will I be assigned to work with a particular professor, or will I get to choose whom to work with? 

    Our mentorship model is one in which students choose a primary advisor within the Clinical Science Program, but they are encouraged to work with a range of faculty across clinical science and related disciplines. Although the research training is done primarily through an apprenticeship with the primary mentor, the full clinical science faculty are actively involved in the overall student training through coursework, clinical practica, evaluation of students, and intellectual activities (e.g., colloquia series). Thus, students are exposed to the multiple perspectives, training, and expertise of the full clinical science faculty. We believe that this mentorship model facilitates flexibility in methods and theory, provides the best approach for fostering positive mentor-mentee relationships, and develops research scientists who have a breadth and depth of training in the clinical science field.  

    Will I receive a teaching or research assistantship? 

    All students who are admitted to MSU's clinical program receive a teaching or research assistantship or a university fellowship. During the last decade, we have been able to provide funding for students through their fifth year in the program. If you are admitted to our program, the letter of admission will specify the number of years of funding you are guaranteed. The clinical program is a full-time program. Thus, it is not feasible for students to complete the necessary graduate work and, at the same time, hold a full- or part-time job. Therefore, MSU's clinical program only admits the number of students that can be supported through departmental or university funding.

     Where are graduates employed?

    Graduates of MSU’s clinical Ph.D. program are employed at universities, colleges, hospitals, government agencies, consulting firms, industry, and private practices. 

    What year does clinical work begin? 

    Students begin their formal clinical practicum training during their second year in the program, with an introduction to completing brief assessments in the spring of their first year. 


    Do students live on or off MSU’s campus? What is a typical monthly rent payment in the East Lansing area?  

    There is a graduate dormitory on campus (Owen Hall) and there are also university apartments. However, almost all students choose to live off-campus. There are plenty of reasonably priced apartments and townhouses in either walking or short-driving distance from campus. See here for more details about living near MSU.

     When do students make living arrangements?  

    Students generally come to the East Lansing area to look for an apartment and sign a lease during the early summer. However, some students start looking as early as April, because some apartment complexes will put you on a waiting list, and will contact you when a unit comes available within the time frame that you would like to start your lease.   

    Do I need to have a car?  

    While you may decide you don't want to have a car if you live very close to campus, most of the current students do have cars. There are bookstores, restaurants, athletic facilities, and a few small stores near campus, but most of the supermarkets and many other stores and restaurants are not a reasonable walking distance. A bus line runs throughout the East Lansing area to outlying shopping areas. A car, taxi, or Uber/Lift is necessary to reach the Lansing City Airport. The Detroit Airport can be reached by commuter bus or by car. Amtrak stops near the MSU campus and has routes to Chicago and elsewhere. Campus parking permits are available for purchase by students who have assistantships and fellowships. These allow graduate students to park in specific areas of campus. See here for more information about parking on campus. There are other low-cost or free parking options within a short walk of campus that many students choose to utilize. 

    Will I need to take out student loans, or can I afford to live off the assistantship?  

    The assistantship stipend is designed so that one student can afford to live modestly. Whether you need a loan will depend on your lifestyle and if you have mitigating factors, such as a partner or dependent children, high moving expenses, etc. Some current students do have loans; however, there are also a large portion of students who are managing the process loan-free.

    Do I have to pay tuition? 

    In fall and spring semesters, students with assistantships receive a tuition waiver for nine credit hours; during summer session, five credit hours of tuition are waived. Students who take more than nine credits (or five credits in the summer) are required to pay for those additional credits, but this situation is quite rare.   

    Do I receive any health care coverage?  

    All graduate students on a 9-month assistantship or fellowship receive student medical insurance coverage for a full calendar year, free of charge. See here for more details.

    What do students do for fun? 

    Students often take advantage of the many clubs, bars, and restaurants on Grand River Avenue near campus and downtown. The campus and community hold concerts, theatrical performances, and sporting events throughout the year. You can learn more about East Lansing here.

    Students often take advantage of the beautiful Great Lakes surrounding the state of Michigan. The beaches of Lake Michigan are gorgeous and the closest are about a two hour drive away. 

  • Licensing and Certification Disclosure

    Federal regulations require MSU to publicly disclose, for each educational program designed to meet the educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification required for employment in an occupation (or advertised as meeting those requirements), information about whether program completion would meet those requirements in a state. These public disclosure requirements apply to all programs, regardless of their modality (i.e., on-ground, online, and hybrid programs). MSU discloses the required information for its Clinical Science Program on page 73 of the table at Licensure and Certification - Public Disclosures - Final.pdf.

    All current and prospective students are encouraged to contact the applicable professional licensure/certification boards in their respective states for additional information regarding professional licensure/certification requirements, including, without limitation, information regarding any non-educational requirements (such as post-doctoral supervision, licensing examination). 

    The information in the table should not be construed as guaranteeing that any particular professional licensure/certification authority will approve a student’s application; nor should the information in the table be read to imply that other requirements for professional licensure/certification do not exist or that other requirements for professional licensure/certification have been determined to have been met by MSU’s program/course, or that any necessary approvals for clinical or other experiential learning placements are secured by virtue of a student’s enrollment at MSU.

    State professional licensure/certification requirements are subject to change at any time.