Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Adolescent Psychology

Purpose and Goals

The Department of Psychology offers a PhD in Clinical Adolescent Psychology.  The mission of the program is to provide opportunities for diverse doctoral candidates to obtain a quality education that facilitates their advancement as clinical psychology researchers and practitioners equipped to work in a multicultural society. To better serve society, doctoral candidates will learn about clinical and research practices that are ethical, sensitive to culture, and supported by evidence.  

The pass-through Master of Science in Clinical Adolescent Psychology is utilized to recognize the completion of a portion of the PhD program; but are not admitted into candidacy for the doctorate. No students are admitted into the master's degree; it is only awarded as a pass-through degree after the completion of the first three years of coursework in the PhD program and the successful defense of the empirical masters thesis.

Admission Requirements

  1. The minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. At least 18 hours in Psychology. Must have taken coursework in research methods, statistics, and abnormal/clinical psychology.
  2. The Office of Graduate Studies requires an overall 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework or 3.5 GPA in all previous graduate work. The applicant must provide official transcripts of all post-secondary academic work sent from institutions directly to the Admissions Committee.
  3. Completion of the Clinical Adolescent Psychology Doctoral Program Application.
  4. A vita or resume must be submitted to the Admissions Committee
  5. Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to assess the applicant's academic and professional potential must be submitted directly to the Admissions Committee. A minimum of two letters must be written by faculty members or faculty mentors familiar with your academic performance; the third letter may be written by qualified individuals who have supervised any previous clinical or research work. Please send no more than four letters.
  6. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program must submit additional letters from their program director certifying that the applicant is in good standing and will complete all program requirements leading to graduation prior to August 15 of the current enrollment year.
  7. Applicants who have been enrolled in a graduate program that was not completed must submit an additional letter from their program director explaining the circumstances surrounding the non-completion. The letter must also certify that the applicant is eligible to return to the program as a student in good standing.
  8. An acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be submitted if applicable.


In the event the initial committee decision is favorable, applicants will be invited by the Doctoral Committee for a preferably face-to-face interview focused on the assessment of academic/professional promise and interpersonal competence. In extenuating circumstances, such as hardship due to long travel distance or other work/personal obligations, an interview by telephone conference call with the Committee will be acceptable. The student may pass or fail the interview based on the criteria established by the faculty. Professional promise, interests that match Department faculty research interests, clearly articulated clinical psychology career goals and interpersonal skills are priority decision criteria. However, a positive qualifying score and interview do not automatically result in admission to the PhD program.

Program Requirements

The program requires a minimum of 96 semester credit hours for the PhD.  Of these, 12 are practica hours, 12 are dissertation hours, and 3 are internship hours. Students will be provided a wide range of settings to do their practica and internship.

Transfer of Graduate Courses from Other Universities

A maximum of six (6) units of doctoral-level course work may be transferred from other accredited universities. A minimum grade of “B” is required in any such courses. Transfer credit is granted by petition to, and approval by, the Doctoral Committee, with final approval by the Dean of the College. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the petition and justify the acceptance of the courses.

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment defines the minimal level of academic activity needed to remain enrolled in the program. A PhD student on an assistantship is considered to be continuously enrolled when he or she is registered for at least 9 hours in the spring, fall, and 6 hours in the summer.


Students must establish coursework residency before being admitted to candidacy. The residency requirement is considered to be met when a student has been continuously enrolled on campus for three consecutive semesters (including the summer semester).

Leave of Absence

Graduate students who have not completed their formal course requirements are expected to enroll continuously in the program during all consecutive semesters after initial registration. Students who do not expect to be enrolled should request a leave of absence in a letter to the Head of the Department. A leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Dean of the College.

This provision includes students who have completed their formal course requirements and are writing the dissertation away from the campus. During a leave of absence, a student cannot make use of the University or College of Arts and Sciences resources, nor can a student attempt comprehensive exams or defend a dissertation.

Good Standing

PhD students remain in good standing when they maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for graded courses in the doctoral program. Only grades of “B” or better count toward required course work and dissertation hours. Any grade lower than “B” in a required area course will require the student to retake the course and pass it with a grade of “B” or higher. While one elective grade of “C” may be counted toward the Ph.D., only grades of “B” or better indicate satisfactory completion of courses required.

Comprehensive Examination

Before students can be admitted to doctoral candidacy, they must successfully complete the required doctoral comprehensive examination.  Students who fail any portion of the comprehensive examination must consult with the Department Head and the Doctoral Committee to determine the required remediation steps for re-taking the comprehensive exam. Two consecutive failures on any examination will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Following successful completion of the comprehensive examinations, it is the student’s responsibility to petition for advancement to candidacy. To be advanced to candidacy, students must have completed all of the following requirements and/or procedures:

  1. Achieved a cumulative grade-point average no lower than 3.0 in program course work and a minimum grade of “B” in all required area courses.
  2. Completed all program course work with no more than one grade lower than “B” (unless the student successfully petitions his or her dismissal and retakes a second “C” course with a grade of “B” or higher).
  3. Successfully passed the comprehensive examinations.


Two attempts at passing the dissertation prospectus and dissertation defense are permitted. 

Financial Assistance

The graduate programs of the College offer a limited number of graduate assistantships to qualified full-time students at the doctoral degree level. All full-time doctoral students will be eligible for assistantships. Student loans are available to graduate students at Prairie View A&M on the basis of need. For more information about loans and other sources of aid, contact the Office of Student Financial Services, Memorial Student Center, third floor, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX 77446 (936) 261-1000.