University of Wisconsin–Madison


About us
The principal goal of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Wisconsin is to train clinical psychological scientists. Thus, key objectives of our program are that our graduates be able to: 1) generate knowledge concerning factors that influence well-being, mental illness and mental health, 2) contribute to the development of more effective methods for promoting mental health and well-being, detecting and/or preventing mental illness, and treating psychopathology, 3) apply clinical psychological science in an ethical and effective manner to improve mental health, and, 4) disseminate clinical psychological science via college/university teaching, research mentorship, practitioner training, and science-related service activities to society. The clinical faculty are highly research productive and leaders in their respective subfields. In addition to our core clinical faculty, two licensed psychologists serve as the Director and Assistant Director of the program’s in-house Psychology Research and Training Clinic.

Our Approach
The Clinical Program is guided by the fundamental principle that the practice of psychology will be best served by training clinical scientists who possess the knowledge, research training, theoretical sophistication, and clinical experience to increase understanding of the processes underlying mental health and mental illness. We believe that such understanding will ultimately foster methods that promote mental health and well-being, prevent mental illness, and ameliorate psychopathology. Consistent with this philosophy, our program is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System. We have a strong commitment to empirical and experimental approaches to evaluating testable hypotheses about brain and behavior as they relate to healthy psychological functioning.

Our Research
All clinical faculty have very active research laboratories that regularly produce high quality, high impact research publications. Our clinical faculty as a group are exceptional at securing extramural support to fund their research and have received considerable national and international attention for these accomplishments. The clinical faculty are leaders in many areas of psychopathology and individual differences including such specific topics as psychometric methods (Curtin, Goldsmith, Li), assessment (Curtin, Davidson, Goldsmith, Gooding, Piper, Pollak), psychotherapy/intervention and its evaluation (Abramson, Davidson), clinical research methods (all faculty), biological aspects of behavior (Abramson, Curtin, Davidson, Goldsmith, Gooding, Koenigs, Li, Pollak), assessment of cognitive processes (Abramson, Curtin, Davidson, Gooding, Koenigs, Li) developmental perspectives on psychopathology (Abramson, Davidson, Goldsmith, Gooding, Pollak, Li), biologically based assessment methods (Curtin, Davidson, Goldsmith, Gooding, Koenigs, Pollak) and psychiatric genetics and epigenetics (Davidson, Goldsmith, Li, Pollak) to name some focal areas. A number of the faculty are actively consulting on various assessment / treatment projects (Abramson, Davidson, Pollak), and/or using psychological research and theory to advance clinical practice (Curtin, Davidson, Gooding, Piper) and public policy (Pollak). In addition, our clinical faculty have won a disproportionate share of University teaching awards

The UW-Madison Clinical Program is extremely fortunate to have access to state-of-the-art resources at the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center. Four members of the core faculty are currently using this facility for their research (Davidson, Goldsmith, Li and Pollak). Professor Richie Davidson directs the Center’s brain imaging facility, and Professor Pollak is the Director of the center’s Clinical Translational Core service. The department also provides faculty and students with a shared psychophysiology laboratory that is capable of collecting 64 channel EEG as well as other peripheral psychophysiological measures (e.g., startle response, facial EMG). In addition, UW-Madison possesses a well-equipped Biotechnology Center that supports molecular biological and genetic research.

The training program
The UW-Madison Clinical Program is intended to provide highly motivated and talented graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to produce, apply, and disseminate empirically substantiated knowledge throughout their professional careers. Toward this end, we select outstanding graduate students and provide them with education and training designed to establish several core competencies in the following four domains: 1) scientific and scholarly research methods relevant to the nature of psychopathology and its assessment, prevention, and treatment, 2) scientifically based psychological assessment, 3) scientifically based intervention, and (4) application of ethical, legal, and quality assurance principles. A strong student-faculty mentor relationship is the cornerstone of our clinical program. We actively maintain small incoming class sizes so that our faculty:student ratios permit high quality and intensive supervision. Students are admitted to work in the laboratory of a specific clinical faculty member. In general, most research training is obtained through mentored experiences in the student’s laboratory that is tailored to each student’s career goals and stage of professional development. We believe that this individualized mentoring represents the most important part of the training we provide to students. However, coursework and applied clinical training make important contributions to our students’ development as well. Our graduate students are well supported throughout their graduate training in our program as either teaching assistants, research assistants, training grant fellowships, or through University or extramural fellowships. Our students also receive considerable supplemental financial support for travel, specialized training workshops, and other professional development experiences. For example clinical students can receive up to $10,000 for their own research and professional development needs.

Although students are matched to primary research mentors on admission, students are strongly encouraged to interact regularly with other faculty and, if desired, work in more than one laboratory. We encourage applicants to contact faculty directly prior to submitting admission materials.

More detailed information about the Clinical Psychology Program and curriculum may be found on our programs web pages.

Accreditation Information
University of Wisconsin-Madison’s doctoral program in clinical psychology abides by the guidelines and principles for American Psychological Association accreditation and has been continuously accredited since l948.

American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979

Our doctoral program in clinical psychology also obtained accreditation from the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System in 2014.

Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
Richard M. McFall, Executive Director
1101 East Tenth Street
IU Psychology Building
Bloomington, IN  47405-7007
Phone: 812-856-2570


Time to Completion for all students entering the program
Outcome Year in which Degrees were Conferred
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 Total
Total number of students with doctoral degree conferred on transcript 0 4 3 6 3 1 1 18
Mean number of years to complete the program 0 7 8 8 8 7 6 7
Median number of years to complete the program 0 7 8 8 8 7 6 7.5
Time to Degree Ranges N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students in less than 5 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students in 5 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students in 6 years 0 0 1 25 0 0 1 17 0 0 0 0 1 100 3 17
Students in 7 years 0 0 3 75 1 33 2 33 1 33 1 100 0 0 8 44
Students in more than 7 years 0 0 0 0 2 67 3 50 2 67 0 0 0 0 7 39


Prior graduate coursework completed at other institutions is not counted toward degree requirements and therefore has no impact on time to completion


Program Costs

Description 2016-2017 1st-year Cohort Cost
Tuition for full-time students (in-state) 11942.32
Tuition for full-time students (out-of-state) 25269.20
Tuition per credit hour for part-time students (if applicable enter amount; if not applicable enter “NA”) NA
University/institution fees or costs 607.40
Additional estimated fees or costs to students (e.g. books, travel, etc.) 0


Potential applicants are encouraged to see the UW Registrar Web Site for the most up-to-date information


All of our full-time, first year doctoral students who enter the program have full financial support, including tuition remission. At minimum, all incoming students are provided with a five year guaranteed teaching assistantship. This financial support does not include personal, spouse, or family support, wages from work unrelated to the program, or loans.


Adjustments to tuition are made via:
  • externally funded fellowships (e.g. NSF fellowship),
  • externally funded training grants (e.g., NIMH-funded Emotional Training Grant, NRSA grant),
  • institutional fellowships (e.g., University Fellowships, Advanced Opportunity Fellowships),
  • teaching assistants,
  • research assistantships, or project assistantships,
  • or some combination of the above.


Internship Placement – Table 1
Outcome Year Applied for Internship
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who obtained APA/CPA-accredited internships 5 100 1 100 5 83 3 100 0 0 1 33 2 67
Students who obtained APPIC member internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 1 17 0 0 1 100 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other membership organization internships (e.g. CAPIC) that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other internships conforming to CDSPP guidelines that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained any internships 5 100 1 100 6 100 3 100 1 100 1 33 2 67
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 5 1 6 3 1 3 3


Internship Placement – Table 2
Outcome Year Applied for Internship
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 5 1 6 3 1 3 3
Students who obtained paid internships 5 100 1 100 6 100 3 100 1 100 1 33 2 67
Students who obtained half-time internships* (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Cell should only include students who applied for internship and are included in applied cell count from “Internship Placement – Table 1″

Variable Year of First Enrollment
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students for whom this is the year of first enrollment (i.e. new students) 4 5 3 1 2 3 0
Students whose doctoral degrees were conferred on their transcripts 0 0 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students still enrolled in program 2 50 4 80 2 67 1 100 2 100 3 100 0 0
Students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of doctoral degree 2 50 0 0 1 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Outcome 2006-2016
The total number of program graduates (doctoral degrees conferred on transcript) between 2 and 10 years ago 28
The number of these graduates (between 2 and 10 years ago) who became licensed psychologists in the past 10 years 21
Licensure percentage 75%


Lyn Abramson
My research focuses on vulnerability and invulnerability to depression. I am particularly interested in the developmental, cognitive, motivational, and cultural determinants of information processing about the self.

John Curtin
My research program focuses on the motivational processes that contribute to both social and addicted alcohol and other drug use.

Richard Davidson
Research in my laboratories is focused on cortical and subcortical substrates of emotion and affective disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Hill Goldsmith
The focus on our laboratories in the Psychology Department and at the Waisman Center is the development of childhood psychopathology and developmental disabilities.

Diane Gooding
My primary research focus is on schizophrenia and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Janet Hyde
My research falls in the areas of psychology of women, human sexuality, and gender-role development.

James Li
My research examines the interplay between genes and environments that contribute to the development of child externalizing problems.

Seth Pollak
Developmental risk (child poverty, child maltreatment); mechanisms of developmental change; experience-dependent learning; stress regulation; children’s health; development and evolution of emotion; developmental psychopathology