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Clinical Psychology is a specialty area of psychology that seeks to understand and ameliorate psychological and behavioral disorders. Medical Psychology is a specialty area that addresses the relationship between behavior and health. Combining these fields, the mission of the PhD program with a concentration in Medical/Clinical Psychology is to prepare students to become scientists, clinicians, and leaders in the areas of disease prevention, risk reduction, symptom amelioration, and health promotion.

Computer displaying results of an MRI brain scan. To achieve this mission we specifically aim to train students who are:

  1. thoroughly grounded in the science of psychology and its application to health and disease;
  2. prepared to engage in high-quality practice of psychology at the entry level in collaborative and interdisciplinary professional health care contexts;
  3. prepared to conduct meaningful and high-quality research that contributes to understanding of significant psychological or medical disorders, their assessment, amelioration, or management; and
  4. competent to work professionally with patients, research participants, students, and collaborators from diverse backgrounds.

Using the scientist-practitioner model, our program combines rigorous didactic courses, increasingly independent scientific research, and diverse and closely supervised clinical training experiences. Download a summary of program pdftraining goals and associated objectives, knowledge, and competencies.

The program is typically completed in five to seven years of full-time study, including a one-year clinical internship. For further information on time to completion, please consult the pdfStudent Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data document.

Coursework and Training

The program utilizes research and clinical training resources throughout the UAB Health System, VA Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, and health care facilities and private practices in the Birmingham community. Psychologists from all of these settings as well as the UAB Department of Psychology play an active role in teaching and providing research and clinical supervision to students. Our students are trained to develop, implement, and evaluate procedures designed to assess, understand, and promote mental and medical health, and to prevent and ameliorate disease.

The program offers a variety of areas of emphasis that reflect faculty interests and expertise, including:

  • neuropsychology/rehabilitation,
  • neurobiology of mental illness, stress, and trauma,
  • health psychology/behavioral medicine/pain,
  • clinical child psychology,
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • pediatric psychology,
  • injury prevention,
  • eating disorders and obesity,
  • health-related stigma,
  • health disparities, and
  • substance abuse and addiction.

Students can pursue research, take courses, and obtain clinical experiences in these areas of emphasis and others. Learn more about our program faculty and clinical training sites.

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