The Clinical Health Psychology program is an APA-accredited* Clinical Psychology program that is housed within the Health Psychology Ph.D. program at UNC Charlotte. Accordingly, graduate students in this program receive training in both foundational clinical psychology skills (e.g., assessment, psychotherapy, research), as well as clinical health psychology-specific skills (e.g., clinical practice and research with people with physical health conditions). Because we are a scientist-practitioner program, it is essential that our students aspire to be excellent researchers as well as excellent practitioners. In addition, we adhere strongly to the Biopsychosocial-Cultural and Social-Ecological models of health: such holistic perspectives provide empirically-ground, innovative ways to understand risk, mental and physical disease/illness, and health promotion. Graduates are eligible for licensure as clinical psychologists and health services providers in psychology, and may assume clinical, research or teaching positions in academic medical centers, universities, community health centers, private practice, or other applied settings.
Accreditation Status of the Clinical Psychology program
All clinical health students are expected to be actively involved in research, beginning in their first semester on campus. Students will be paired with one or more mentors whose research is aligned with their interests. Faculty research focuses on topics such as socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health and healthcare; public health concerns such as domestic violence and sexual assault; the role of racism and racial identity in cardiovascular health; positive body image and weight-related stigma, particularly among ethnic minority college students; HIV prevention in at-risk minority communities; community-level interventions to enhance academic achievement and health for children and adolescents; and much more. Applicants are encouraged to view the faculty webpages that are linked under the “faculty” tab on the left.
Academic coursework for clinical students includes courses in the following areas: core clinical/practice; foundational scientific psychology; research methodology/statistics courses; health psychology; and interdisciplinary approaches to health. Please see the current program handbook or the Graduate School catalog for more information.
Clinical Training Requirements
Clinical students are required to complete at least two practica as part of their clinical training: most students complete three or four. These are typically 9 – 12 month placements that require approximately 15-20 hours of clinical work per week, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Practica vary widely in terms of setting, patient/client population, clinical experiences offered, and the nature of supervision, among other things. While they differ, all sites provide students a solid grounding in the practice of clinical and clinical health psychology and a foundation for internship and beyond.
All students complete at least one practicum that is focused on health psychology, working within interdisciplinary teams to treat people with physical health conditions and enhance wellness. Many students will complete a one-year fellowship, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), emphasizing training in integrated primary care, substance use disorder, and telehealth. Many of our practicum sites provide care to very low-income patients with few resources and little other access to behavioral healthcare.
Here is a list of some of our recent practicum sites:
The Clinical program requires that student complete a year-long pre-doctoral internship, after completion of their coursework and practica and after they have successfully proposed their dissertation. Since our initial accreditation* in 2012, all (100%) students have matched to, and completed, an APA-accredited internship. These typically take place in an academic or VA medical center, or a Counseling and Psychological Services center on a university campus.
The following is a partial list of sites where our students have completed internships.