PhD Clinical Psychology

The Clincal PhD program is a CPA accredited, program, which follows the scientist-practitioner model. Clinical psychology is part of the science of psychology, and we therefore emphasize both research and clinical practice. The program typically takes 6 - 7 years to complete, on average, including a one-year clinical residency/internship.

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is dedicated to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environment. We specifically welcome applications from Black, Indigenous, and racially visible persons, individuals living with a disability, and individuals who identify as a sexual and/or gender minority. The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience continues to make efforts to eliminate barriers for diverse applicants, as has been demonstrated by removal of the Graduate Record Exam requirement, the initiation of a unique bursary for applicants from any of the above-mentioned groups, and ongoing collaboration with administration on improving the accessibility of our departmental space.


The Clinical Program is founded on a scientist-practitioner training model and is committed to prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion in all components of training. Graduates of the program will be thoroughly grounded in both the science of psychology and the methods of clinical practice, the integration of research and clinical practice, and the promotion of social justice in research and clinical practice. Clinical training focuses on evidence-based clinical practice. The program’s generalist training allows students the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in working with individuals across the lifespan as well as with individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

Students are also provided with the opportunity to expand their learning into areas of interest (e.g., child psychology, adult psychology, neuropsychology, addictions, health psychology). Students who want extensive training in both science and clinical practice are the best fit for our program. Our graduates are prepared to work as clinical psychologists in a range of settings and are particularly valued in settings receptive to the integration of research and practice. 

Our Principles

  1. Scientist-Practitioner Model of Training
    Professional psychology advances itself through the scientific method.

  2. Faculty Mentorship
    Faculty who are scientist-practitioners model the values this program wishes to instil in students. Faculty prioritize mentorship to meet the needs of students in the program.

  3. Cultivated Critical Thinking
    Critical thinking skills are foundational skills for both science and practice and are fostered at all levels of training in the program.

  4. Development-Based Learning
    A developmental model of supervision tailors feedback and supervision to a student’s level to advance their learning.

  5. Acceptance and Respect of Diversity
    Ethical thinking and practice permeates all aspects of the program; hence, the well-being, dignity, and respect of others are paramount. 

  6. Collaborative Approch
    A collaborative framework where graduates learn to be effective members of interdisciplinary teams leads to better client-centred care and research.

  7. Beyond the Classroom Learning
    Training is most effective if provided through multiple methods, including coursework, research (i.e., comprehensives projects and dissertation), practica, clinical workshops, and a full year internship/residency.

Our Goals

  1. To provide training consistent with the scientist-practitioner model by providing graduate students with experience in and knowledge of the science and practice of psychology, and the integration of science and practice.

    Objective 1: To train graduates who are skilled researchers

    Objective 2
    : To train graduates who are skilled clinicians

    Objective 3
    : To train graduates who integrate science and practice

    Objective 4:
    To train graduates who are skilled at integrating an understanding of human diversity into research and clinical practice

  2. To provide generalist training that ensures breadth in research, practice, and teaching skills, thus making students competitive for internship and employment positions, and prepared to take on a range of careers in the field of clinical psychology.

    Objective 5:
    To train graduates who have a broad knowledge of clinical skills that are applicable to work with clients of all ages.

    Objective 6
    : To train graduates who have a broad knowledge of clinical skills in order to work with clients who present with a wide range of difficulties related to mental health and well-being

    Objective 7: To train graduates who have a broad knowledge of clinical skills in order to work with clients from diverse backgrounds

  3. To ensure that students develop the necessary skills for careers as Clinical Psychologists, as described in the MRA, and detailed in the CPA 2023 Accreditation Standards, in each of:

    The six general core content areas of psychology: biological bases of behaviour; cognitive-affective bases of behaviour; social-cultural bases of behaviour; individual differences, diversity, growth and lifespan development; historical and scientific foundations of psychology; psychopharmacology.

    The eight foundational competencies: individual, social, and cultural diversity; Indigenous interculturalism; evidence-based knowledge and methods; professionalism; interpersonal skills and communication; bias evaluation and reflective practice; ethics, standards, laws, policies; and interprofessional collaboration and service settings.

    The six core functional competencies: assessment; interventions; consultation; research design and test construction; program development and evaluation; and supervision.
    Objective 8
    : To train graduates who have strong knowledge in the core content areas to the level of preparedness necessary to enter the profession of clinical psychology

    Objective 9
    : To train graduates who have clearly developed all core foundational and functional competency areas to the level of preparedness necessary to enter the profession of clinical psychology

Program Details

Download the Full Clinical Curriculum Handbook [PDF-392 KB]


Subject Code: PSYO
Department Tel: 902-494-3417
Department Email:
Department Address: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 4R2
Director of Clinical Training: Dr. Shannon Johnson
Director of Clinical Training Tel: 902-494-1580
Director of Clinical Training Email:
Department Website: