Training and Activities

Clinical Training 

Students in the clinical psychology program receive extensive training in both assessment and therapy. This training is sequential and developmental, where students take relevant coursework in psychopathology, assessment and therapy, which informs their hands-on training first in our in-house training clinic and then in clinical placements throughout the broader community. 

  • The Psychological Services Center, or PSC as we call it, will be the first place where you will gain experience providing assessment and therapy to clients. It serves both the student population and the broader community. 
  • Clinical Training continues through clinical externships at agencies in the community. Most of them are set up to be paid graduate assistantships. View a listing of these placements. 
  • The final year in any APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral program is a full-time, 12-month internship. Over the last eight years, we have had a 100% match rate for internships. See the listing of where our students have been matched for internships in recent years. 

Research Training 

NIU’s clinical psychology program values its identity as a scientist-practitioner training program. As such, students are trained through coursework in statistics and research methodology to be able to design, implement and disseminate findings related to a variety of research projects. 

  • In addition, to thesis and dissertation projects, which are required elements in our program, students also are active in additional research with their research advisor and/or other faculty in the department. All students present research at national research conferences. View a list of recent presentations. In addition, almost all students have at least one research publication before they apply for an internship. See a listing of student publications. 
  • Graduate students in our program benefit from our collaborations with the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault (CSFVSA), a center on campus with extensive resources available to support research endeavors (e.g., psychophysiology lab, behavioral observation lab). Students can request the use of these facilities for research projects. Further, students in the clinical psychology program often are given the opportunity to have a research assistantship on ongoing research projects at the CSFVSA. 

Diversity Training and Resources 

The clinical psychology program values diversity and inclusion. The graduate students and faculty in the program have worked to develop a statement related to the way we are thinking about these issues both broadly and in terms of how we train students. 

  • Laura Pittman, co-director of Clinical Training, shares in this recorded presentation specifics about the program’s conceptualization and approach to training students on topics related to research and clinical work with people from diverse backgrounds. In addition, the presentation describes how we strive to support students of color who are in the program. 
  • NIU is proud of the work being done to make our campus a welcoming and inclusive place for all to live, learn and work. Hear from NIU Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Carol A. Sumner, in this video, as she shares a message of belonging and community. 
  • NIU has a broad array of resources and groups that are devoted to supporting students of color and helping the broader campus community learn about diversity issues. Learn more about resources and programs offered by our Division of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion including the many Diversity and Cultural Resource Centers on campus. 

Additional Training 

  • The training in our program is designed to be broad so that all students gain knowledge and clinical experiences that prepare them to work with clients with a broad array of psychopathology. In addition, students have the opportunity to pursue more in-depth training on one or both of our two areas of focus: Developmental Psychopathology and Trauma Psychology. For each area  
  • The Developmental Psychopathology Focus supports students who are interested in gaining research and clinical experiences with children, adolescents, and families in career preparation that specialize in these populations.  
  • The Trauma Psychology Focus supports students who have strong research and clinical interests in the area of trauma.  See students talk about their favorite things about this focus area in this video. 

Contact Us

Department of Psychology
Psychology-Computer Science Building room 400

Director of Graduate Studies
Kevin Wu, Ph.D

Graduate Studies Assistant

Admission Questions