Program Strengths

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley contributes to increasing the number of clinical psychology scientists and practitioners conducting research and providing professional services to minority populations. UTRGV is located in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, where more than 90% of residents are Hispanic. This particular demographic allows the program to offer unique training experiences in research and practice.

Graduate students will be exposed to clinical and behavioral issues of Hispanic and Mexican Americans through off-campus clinical training/externship sites located in the South Texas region. Our program develops bilingual clinical psychologists experts in mental health assessment and treatment with Hispanic/Mexican American populations who will be proficient in working with the population of the Rio Grande Valley and similar populations in other parts of Texas and the United States. The program will also accept non-Spanish-speaking students into the program with an interest in working with the Hispanic/Latino population from both a clinical and scientific point of view.

Our program is defined by the scientist-practitioner model: providing integrated academic, scientific, and professional training. We believe that clinical psychologists should be both scientists – knowledgeable in formulating and solving scientific problems – and practitioners – experienced in the use of empirically supported clinical techniques. To this end, the core courses are organized as integrated theory-research-practice units with a problem-solving emphasis.

Within the context of a general clinical psychology program, our doctoral program offers focused training in neuropsychology, integrated behavioral health care and trauma/anxiety. The major program areas prepare students for teaching and research in medical, mental health, and academic settings, as well as for clinical service. Students receive training in a broad range of assessment procedures and intervention approaches with an emphasis on empirically supported interventions. Such training ensures the development of broad-based clinical skills and encourages close, cooperative work with other healthcare specialists, such as pediatricians, internists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, geriatricians, and psychiatrists.

In designing the core curriculum, our department follows the recommendations of the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation for Health Service Psychology. The curriculum includes a sequence of required courses that address Discipline Specific Knowledge and Profession wide competencies as required by the American Psychological Association.

Students will develop competencies in:

  • Biological aspects of behavior
  • Cognitive and affective aspects of behavior
  • Social aspects of behavior
  • History and systems of psychology
  • Psychological measurement
  • Research methodology
  • Techniques of data analysis
  • Ethics and legal standards
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity
  • Professional values attitudes and behavior
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Consultation
  • Supervision