Program of Study


The Health Psychology and Clinical Science (HPCS) doctoral program is concerned with training students with strong research interests in the biopsychosocial determinants of physical and mental health disorders and how to design and evaluate interventions to improve the physical and mental health of individuals, families, and communities. Training in the HPCS program is centered on development of competency in four primary areas:

  1. Knowledge of psychological science in health and/or clinical psychology.
  2. Empirical research skills, including laboratory, field, and intervention research.
  3. Professional skills including proficiency in teaching, writing research grants, and publishing in professional journals.
  4. Appreciation for cultural diversity and conduct of ethical research.

To achieve its training goals, the HPCS curriculum stresses the scientific foundations of the discipline; applications of theory to research and research findings to practice and policy; and development of professional skills.

Below is a general description of the provisional curriculum structure and requirements. The curriculum is designed to accomplish the HPCS training goals, meet CUNY and Graduate Center standards, and prepare students with the necessary background and skills to achieve professional success. Also included are several worksheets designed to provide you with tools to assist you in tracking your progress.

HPCS Provisional Course Curriculum

In concert with doctoral examinations, the dissertation, and close faculty mentoring, coursework provides a core foundation to the fulfillment of the HPCS training objectives. The HPCS Training Area requires successful completion of 72 credits (as outlined below) , a first and second doctoral examination, a comprehensive assessment, and the doctoral dissertation. We also include a sample timeline for course of study and course requirements for students in the HPCS training area. This timeline does not include additional requirements and responsibilities (e.g., teaching, research, or grant appointments). Depending on the incoming status of students' (i.e., B.A. or M.A.), as well as the pace that students move through the program, some students may move faster or slower through the program. The timeline is meant to be used as a framework for planning your progression through your doctoral training in HPCS.

  1. Core Courses (36 Credits)
  2. Breadth Requirements (12 Credits)
  3. General Electives and/or Applied Clinical Training Requirements (24 Credits)


Core Courses (36 credits)

Course Name Credits Number
Health Psychology 3 85300
Psychopathology 3 75500
Psychosocial Determinants of Health Disparities and Diversity 3 80103
Research Methods 3 70310
Statistics I 3 70500
Statistics II 3 70600
Directed Research (repeated for credit) 6 70330
Ethics 3 77100
Foundations of Health Psychology & Clinical Science (repeated for credit) 6 80193
Interventions in Health Psychology & Clinical Science I 3 83900

All students are expected to complete the core courses by the end of their second year of Ph.D. study. Some of the courses will be offered by core HPCS faculty, while others will be taught by faculty in other areas of psychology (e.g., Basic and Applied Social Psychology). This will expose students to diversity in perspectives as well as offer opportunities to interact with students and faculty outside of HPCS. As shown above, students are expected to complete Foundations of Health Psychology & Clinical Science I and II for credit (typically in their first year); however, it is expected that students will attend meetings of this course every semester in which they are in residence at CUNY.


Breadth Requirements (12 credits)

Course Name Credits Number
Biological Bases 3 varied This elective is satisfied by any elective course designated by the HPCS sub-program as satisfying the biological breadth area (e.g., 71000 Advanced Physiological Psychology).
Cognitive-Affective Bases 3 varied This elective is satisfied by any elective course designated by the HPCS sub-program as satisfying the cognitive-affective breadth area (e.g., 71103 Cognitive & Affective Aspects of Behavior).
Developmental/Lifespan Bases 3 varied This elective is satisfied by any elective course designated by the HPCS sub-program as satisfying the developmental/lifespan breadth area (e.g., 72000 Developmental Psychology).
Social Systems Bases 3 varied This elective is satisfied by any elective course designated by the HPCS sub-program as satisfying the social systems breadth area (e.g., 74600 Social Psychology).

 The effects of biological, psychological, and social forces are critical to understanding the risk and protective processes that underlie physical and mental health. The intent of the HPCS program is to train students across biopsychosocial domains. Thus, the breadth requirements are meant to provide the opportunity for exposure to four core primary processes that underlie health and health behavior. Each area should be seen as a domain rather than a specific course. Students, with their advisors, can select courses that fulfill these areas that are best matched with their interests and training objectives. The HPCS program will provide specific recommendations for courses that fulfill requirements. This will provide opportunity for flexibility while ensuring breadth in training. It should be noted that these areas map onto many expectations for licensure-level clinical training. Students are encouraged to consult faculty when selecting breadth requirement courses.


General Elective and/or Applied Clinical Training Requirements (24 credits)

Course Name Credits Number
8 General Elective Courses 24 varied
Assessment I: Intellectual and Cognitive Functioning 3 82700
Assessment II: Personality Functioning 3 82800
Therapeutic Interventions II 3 80103
Personality and Individual Differences 3 74003
History of Psychology 3 70000
Clinical Practicum (can be taken 3 times) 9 84100

Some students will wish to complete applied clinical training requirements. Completion of applied clinical training can provide the opportunity for students to receive training as clinically-focused researchers. In an effort to install flexibility in the training, we have designated additional coursework (including focused practica) for those students wanting training.