Demystifying One’s Chances of Acceptance into Clinical PhD Psychology Programs

Jonathan M. Golding, Mary Beth McGavran, David Susman, Raymond Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the commonly accepted view from various sources (e.g., American Psychological Association [APA]), which indicates the significant difficulty in being accepted into a PhD in clinical psychology program. Data were collected (total number of applicants, applicants accepted, and number of accepted students who matriculated) from 100 APA-accredited PhD in clinical psychology programs that are also members of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology. These data were used to examine why the probability of acceptance into at least one clinical PhD program may be higher than previously thought. The results showed an acceptance–matriculation discrepancy—the overall number of individuals accepted into clinical psychology PhD programs is higher than that of matriculated students. In addition, being accepted into a clinical PhD program is a function of the number of applications per applicant. The article concludes with a discussion of how applicants to clinical PhD programs should approach the application process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • PhD
  • acceptance
  • application
  • clinical
  • graduate school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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