Florida Tech's clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. (Commission on Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; Phone: (202) 336-5979).
The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is a service-oriented degree emphasizing clinical skills. The program leading to the Psy.D. is based on a practitioner/scientist model and is committed to the Vail model of training and the training conferences of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Florida Tech was the first university in the southeast to offer the Psy.D. and the model of training that it represents. In addition to classes and seminars, the training program in clinical psychology includes supervised experience in testing, diagnosis, counseling and therapy, and research projects related to special fields of interest. Before completing the doctorate, students complete one year of supervised internship training. Graduates are licensed throughout the United States and hold positions of responsibility in mental health clinics, hospitals, medical centers, HMOs, PPOs and independent practice. Students are expected to be aware of various theories of human nature and of various treatment modalities.
The program provides training based on a practitioner-scientist model that focuses on the development of clinical practice skills to become a practicing clinical psychologist. It is very exclusive, accepting only 20 students per year. In the first year, as part of the pre-practicum, students will shadow various clinicians within Florida Tech. Students can also volunteer to participate at a variety of clinical sites working with faculty.
Graduates of the program receive a Psy.D. in clinical psychology and possess core competencies in relational/clinical skills, comprehensive psychological assessment, clinical treatment interventions, research and evaluation, consultation and education, management and supervision and diversity issues. Designed to provide excellent clinical training and research skills, the Psy.D. in clinical psychology program includes special elective emphasis areas including:
Child and Family Psychology
Integrated Behavioral Health
Florida Tech's faculty have extensive clinical backgrounds. Many faculty members have served as presidents or members of board of directors of national and international professional organizations, putting them in the position to secure millions of federal and state dollars to support their research.
Achieving national and international prominence in the field of psychology, professors offer a variety of theoretical orientations and advanced research opportunities. Students seeking a Psy.D. in clinical psychology can expect a high-quality curriculum enhanced by diverse practicum training and individual one-on-one faculty mentoring.
Faculty and students work together to delve into psychology research. Students working towards a Psy.D. in clinical psychology and may participate in internships in medical and psychiatric hospitals; outpatient medical and mental health facilities; university counseling centers; US military care facilities; child treatment centers; and veteran's health facilities.
Clinical training for students in the Psy.D. in clinical psychology program begins in the Community Psychological Services (CPS) center, located on campus at the internationally recognized Scott Center for Autism Treatment. Clients come to CPS from the greater Brevard County area presenting with the full spectrum of mental health problems–depression, anxiety, thought disorders, marriage and family issues, developmental disabilities, health problems with emotional components, and others. After two semesters of supervised practicum in CPS, students move on to advanced practicum in a large variety of health facilities in the area. With faculty consultation, students are able to select practicum sites to expand their experience with certain problems or populations of interest to them.
As students work towards a Psy.D. in clinical psychology degree, they are able to conduct research on a variety of topics and identify the area of concentration. Past graduate research includes such projects as child and family conflicts; neuropsychological sequela of aging and of sports injuries; chronic fatigue; adaptation to chronic illness; teen suicide and a number of studies related to child and juvenile sex offenders and primary care psychology.
Graduates with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology degree can provide health care services, continue to work in the research community or consider a position in psychology advocacy. Some specific areas Psy.D. graduates commonly choose as their particular area of expertise includes behavioral medicine such as clinical neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, geropsychology and integrated primary care. Other common choices among Florida Tech students includes working with families and children and forensic psychology.
Much of a student's time in an advanced Psy.D. in clinical psychology program is spent applying clinical knowledge and skills at the various practicum sites. It is through these practicum placements that student attempt to translate their academic knowledge into the solution of real-life problems at the individual, group, and institutional levels.
For its APA-accredited program since 1983, an opportunity to tailor the program to meet individual interests and emphasis on beginning clinical experience the first year, Florida Tech is one of the top clinical psychology programs in the country.
Studying psychology at Florida Tech provides excellent clinical and research training, with special areas of concentration. Due to the exclusivity of the program, students work in a colleague-in-training environment with one-on-one faculty guidance and mentoring – something only top clinical psychology programs can offer. The curriculum emphasizes core scientific knowledge in 14 behavioral topics, offering concentration in family/child psychology, forensic psychology and neuropsychology/clinical health psychology.
The faculty has achieved local, regional and national prominence in the field of psychology and offers a variety of theoretical orientations and areas of clinical and research interest. Florida Tech's psychology professors have extensive clinical backgrounds and board certifications in their given specialties. Students receive didactic training through both classes and seminars during their first four years followed by one year of supervised internship training, making Florida Tech one of the top clinical psychology programs.
The curriculum follows a practitioner-scientist model that emphasizes clinical training and professional development. This is based on the roles most practicing psychologists fill in their careers and allows students to become competent in providing services to those in need of psychological intervention. When considering top clinical psychology programs for a degree in clinical psychology, consider what Florida Tech provides: a sound psychological knowledge base through course work, extensive practical training at a variety of inpatient and outpatient sites and research opportunities.
In addition to didactic training, top clinical psychology programs like Florida Tech demand that students have numerous opportunities to obtain hands-on supervised experience. At Florida Tech, this includes testing, diagnosis, counseling, psychotherapy and research experience related to special fields of interest. Emphasizing training through direct client contact, students also obtain experience in a variety of therapeutic settings.
Numerous paid and unpaid practicum opportunities exist for students to provide individual, group, couples and family therapy and testing in diverse settings. Not many top clinical psychology programs have internationally recognized practicum sites on campus like Florida Tech including the Scott Center for Autism Treatment and Counseling & Psychological Services. Research experiences are also conducted for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, The Fatigue Management Institute and The Concussion Management Program.
Career opportunities for a clinical psychologist can vary widely. Florida Tech graduates in top clinical psychology programs, who obtain a Psy.D. in clinical psychology, create careers in health care services, advocacy, research and private practice treating the full spectrum of mental health problems or behavior change goals. This could include improving health, increased happiness, phobias, or personal and family issues.
Florida Tech has special opportunities to prepare students to work in integrative co-located health settings, neuropsychology, forensic psychology, and child and family psychology. Additionally there are many opportunities for students to prepare specifically for working with veterans of the armed forces.
Because the Florida tech clinical psychology Psy.D. program accepts only 20 students each year, students receive a high degree of individual attention and an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members. This includes collaborating with professors on new or ongoing projects for doctoral research, graduate student assistantships and clinical psychology internships.
All students obtain two semesters of clinical practica at the university-based psychology clinic, Scott Center Psychological Services, supervised by the full-time clinical faculty, followed by a series of external practica. Typically, students receive 6-8 semesters of training in inpatient and outpatient facilities. Numerous paid and unpaid practicum opportunities and clinical psychology internships exist for students to provide individual, group, couples and family therapy and testing in diverse settings.
Students can tailor their practicum experiences to meet individual interests by working in:
Community Mental Health Centers
University Counseling Centers
Air Force Base
Graduate students in the clinical psychology program spend most of their time applying clinical knowledge and skills at various practicum sites. It is through these practicum placements that they translate academic knowledge into solutions for real-life problems. Practicum sites include:
In addition to research and practicum experience, students may participate in clinical psychology internships while earning their Psy.D. at Florida Tech.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) – Working with children and families with the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) model, a nationally recognized empirically validated play therapy treatment, Dr. Felipa Chavez leads clinical psychology internships that provide students with both clinical and research experiences with children and their parents.
The Fatigue Management Institute – Led by Thomas H. Harrell, Ph.D, the Fatigue Management Institute serves as the national focal point for integrating emerging research findings with techniques for the day-to-day management of fatigue associated with various medical disorders. Research is conducted on fatigue and fatigue management interventions.
The Concussion Management Program – Led by Drs. Kevin Mulligan and Frank Webbe, the clinical psychology internships of the Concussion Management Program is a neuropsychological assessment experience with research opportunities for students in the areas of athletic head injury and memory disorders.
The Scott Center For Autism Treatment – Students interested in clinical and research experience with children and families within the autism spectrum can work with the clinical and research faculty of The Scott Center for Autism Treatment.
In addition to clinical psychology internships, Florida Tech psychology professors guide students to conduct research on a variety of topics. Past graduate research includes topics such as child and family conflicts; neuropsychological sequela of aging and of sports injuries; chronic fatigue; adaptation to chronic illness; teen suicide and a number of studies related to child and juvenile sex offenders and primary care psychology.
Graduates with a Psy.D. from Florida Tech can choose any number of careers in clinical psychology including counseling for individuals in private practice, working in advocacy on different psychology issues or contributing to any number of psychology-oriented topics as a researcher. Clinical psychologists often work in hospitals and private care facilities or in academic settings.
Most often Psy.D. graduates focus on areas within behavioral medicine, such as clinical neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, geropsychology and integrated primary care. Working with families and children or in forensic psychology are two other common career tracks chosen by graduates.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including, entry-level education, overall working environment and employment prospects.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in clinical psychology are projected to grow 12 percent from 2012-2022. Demand for clinical and counseling psychologist will increase as people and organizations seek the services of psychologists to treat depression, family and marriage problems, job stress and addiction. School psychologists are increasing to work more closely with those with special needs, learning disabilities and behavioral issues.
In addition, as the population ages, psychologists will be needed to work with seniors on their particular needs, as well as specialized services for veterans suffering from the traumas of war, survivors of other types of trauma and individuals with autism.
Psychologists are scientists whose work contributes to every aspect of our lives. Psychologists can be found in countless fields, from health care and public service to education, business and technology. Careers in clinical psychology deal with the vast scope of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, integrating the science of psychology with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of complicated human problems.
Clinical Psychologist in private practice
Behavioral Health Psychologist
Clinical Case Manager
Clinical Psychologist – Academic Environments
Manager of Clinical Outpatient Services
Starting salaries for careers in clinical psychology vary by job type, industry, company and location. Using entry-level salaries for different career areas is a starting point for what you might expect as you gain experience in the career. The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports median annual pay at $69,280 - $83,580 annually depending on area of expertise, working experience and location.
Payscale.com is an online salary information company that helps people obtain accurate real-time information on job market compensation and another resource for information on industrial organizational psychology jobs. According to this website, entry-level careers in clinical psychology begin at $35,200 with a potential to grow to $60,200.
Another resource for information on all areas of psychology, including careers in psychology, visit Psychology: Science in Action – a resource web site for psychology students and graduates created by the American Psychological Association.