Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Clinical Training

Clinical training is organized into the following clinical emphases:

Clinicial emphases are generally independent from the research emphases, and are typically determined at the time of acceptance into the program (although changes are allowed based on strategic career decisions). Although clinical emphases are independent from research emphases, and “mixing and matching” is encouraged, certain pairings are common. For example, students in the Neuropsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience Research Emphasis are typically in the Clinical Neuropsychology Emphasis; students in the Behavioral Medicine Research Emphasis are typically in the Behavioral Medicine Clinical Emphasis. Please review our Students page to understand the Research and Clinical Emphases of our current students.

Second Year

Clinical training begins in the second year of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program in the form of intensive practicum placements. Unlike many clinical psychology programs, students do not have to compete with other clinical psychology students for most practicum positions. Depending on their clinical emphasis, second year students are typically placed at:

Third Year

Depending on their clinical emphasis, third year students are typically placed at:

Fourth Year

Students in their fourth year of training are strongly encouraged to take advanced practica placements that require greater independence and higher-level assessment, case formulation, and/or treatment skills. These additional practicum can include, but are not limited to:

In addition to providing direct training and experience in assessing and treating patients, our practicum placements also provide case conferences, case review procedures, intake meetings, and other in-service programs organized at each facility. Students have the opportunity to work individually or in teams with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and various other health professionals. The student-staff ratio is low, allowing for ample supervision. Supervisors provide periodic formal evaluations to the Doctoral Program’s director of clinical training, who oversees student development and aids in planning comprehensive clinical experiences for each student.

Internship Placement

Our students successfully compete for internship positions in the most competitive institutions nationally and locally. Indeed, the Doctoral Program has the highest 10-year match rate out of all 18 clinical psychological doctoral programs in the state of Illinois. By the end of the third year in the program, students complete the Clinical Qualifying Exam, which is designed to demonstrate competence in fundamental clinical skills, theory, and judgement.

View a sample list of recent student internships.