This manual is intended to welcome you to the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan and to help orient you to the Program. We are very pleased with your decision to come to Ann Arbor. We realize that the transition from your previous environment involves many uncertainties. We are also well aware that entering the field of Clinical Psychology is a major career decision for each of you. While relocation both physically and socially has the attractions of novelty and excitement, it also can create anxiety and at a university as large as Michigan, a degree of confusion. For this reason, we believe the information and advice contained in this manual will be useful.
Because the Clinical Program is constantly changing, what you read in this manual will not be valid indefinitely, but it is a good reflection of the year ahead. The Clinical Program will correct and clarify material in this manual through e-mail announcements as the need becomes apparent, and the possibility exists that Department, University, and state policy changes will supersede some of the information here. Again, the Clinical Program will issue corrections and clarifications through e-mail announcements as the need becomes apparent.
It is also important that you familiarize yourselves with the materials in the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Requirements, Policies and Procedures Manual for Graduate Students and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies' Student Handbook of Policies and Procedures. After reading this Manual as well as these other materials (provided by the Student Academic Affairs Office), please sign the statement on the last page of this Manual and give it to the Clinical Area Office 2229 East Hall administrative assistant so it can be made part of your permanent file. As an APA-Approved Program, the students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to the Ethical Principles of the Association
(see "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 2002" at http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx)
American Psychological Association
Commission on Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
The Department of Psychology's Program in Clinical Psychology received the Suinn Achievement Award (2005) from the American Psychological Association (APA). The
award is given to university psychology departments that have demonstrated excellence in the recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students.
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR INCOMING STUDENTS
Listed below is material you should have received by the end of the summer prior to your initial enrollment here. If you have not received this material, please let us know.
- Policies & Procedures, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan
- Letter of acceptance from the Clinical Area, to which you should have responded.
- Letter from the Clinical Area or the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office stating your source of support for at least your first year if it has been possible to arrange support.
- Admissions Certificate and enclosures from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
- University Housing information.
Your Arrival in Ann Arbor
When you arrive in Ann Arbor, it is best to proceed first to the Psychology's Student Academic Affairs Office (1343 East Hall: 764-2580). The staff there will want to know your Ann Arbor address and may have suggestions of persons to contact if you are looking for housing. Registration materials will be available for you in that office. After checking in at the Student Academic Affairs Office, please stop at the Clinical/Developmental Area Office (2229 East Hall: 764-6332 or 764-1587) and provide the clinical area administrative assistant with your home address and phone number. At that time you will be shown your new office and student mailbox and will be provided with the necessary key requests. Psychology students can register for any course unless permission of instructor is designated in the Course Guide. Overrides only need to be obtained for independent research (619, 719, 990, and 995). You can email a request to the Student Academic Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in your message your name, faculty advisor, faculty INDI #, University of Michigan ID # and the course number for which you would like an override for.
Rackham School of Graduate Studies, will conduct a Fall Orientation Session for all incoming students which will provide you with an opportunity to meet other incoming students, some advanced students, and some faculty.
Registration can begin when your unique name is established through Wolverine Access at the following link http://wolverineaccess.umich.edu. Your advisor will be available for consultation before and during the registration period. He or she can also be reached via e-mail for any additional questions.
OVERVIEW OF THE CLINICAL AREA
Since 1948, the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan has been integral to the mission of the Psychology Department and the University. In the last half-century, more than 500 individuals have received doctorates in clinical psychology from our program. As currently designed, the program requires students to complete at least four years of graduate study and 2,000 hours of internship. Virtually all graduates spend at least four and usually five or six years as full-time students in residence.
The clinical psychology program at the University of Michigan is committed to training clinical scientists who will pursue careers that advance professional knowledge in the promotion of mental health and the assessment, prevention, and treatment of psychopathology and neurodevelopmental disorders. In general, the faculty view clinical practice as an applied science and aspire to contribute to the foundation of evidence that guides ethical and effective psychological services. To achieve these goals, our APA-accredited program offers rigorous training in psychopathology, cognitive and affective neuroscience, cultural processes, resilience and coping, interdisciplinary research methods, statistics, clinical and research ethics, and evidence-based assessment, prevention, and treatment interventions.
Our program recognizes clinical training as a core component in the development of clinical scientists, and we believe that clinical competency facilitates and informs clinical science. Thus, we strive to provide excellent clinical training that integrates science and practice through prevention, assessment, case conceptualization, and intervention. We encourage the multi-level integration of biological, psychological, familial, community, cultural, and lifespan approaches.
Nuts and Bolts
The Clinical Area is an APA-approved (through 2013) clinical psychology training program with approximately 12 core faculty and a number of other faculty. The “other” faculty category includes tenured/tenure track faculty with appointments outside of psychology, non-tenured adjunct faculty and non-tenured faculty appointed as clinical instructors (these numbers are approximations because the inclusion of individuals in most of these categories varies from semester-to-semester according to who is teaching formal courses.) About 35 students are currently enrolled in the program, most of whom are on campus on an almost daily basis. Approximately 65% of these students are women, and approximately 44% are from historically under-represented ethnic minority groups.
Graduate student retention in the program is excellent. Time to Ph.D. averages about 5-6 years, with a small number of individuals finishing all requirements in four years.
There is an appointed Area Chair along with a Director of Clinical Training. There is also an Admissions Committee (three appointed faculty members and two elected graduate students) Brown Bag Committee, Practicum Committee Newsletter Committee and Awards Committee. Finally, there are Departmental and Graduate School and University Ombudspeople who can be consulted regarding any and all concerns about the graduate school experience.
Prior to internship, graduate students participate in a clinical practica. These vary from year to year but can include the University Center for the Child and Family, the Psychological Clinic, community programs directed by faculty members, clinics at the Department of Psychiatry, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. Other practicum sites are added on an ongoing basis.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVANCED DEGREES IN PSYCHOLOGY:
The following policies of the Department of Psychology are designed to insure an opportunity to profit maximally from graduate work in the field of psychology, to maintain fair and equitable treatment of all students, and to maintain high standards of quality. Because no set of regulations can take account of all contingencies, a student is free to petition the Graduate Committee of the Psychology Department whenever he or she feels that special circumstances justify a departure from existing rules.
The Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The program of training for the doctorate is designed to enable the student (a) to achieve breadth and integration of study in the various fields of psychology (in other words, to experience some generalist training) and (b) to achieve research and professional competence in a field of specialization. The student is permitted considerable freedom to arrange a pattern of studies defining an area of specialization.
The basic program is planned so that a student who carries a normal course load and works no more than half the time on approved part-time jobs can complete the Ph.D. degree in five years, although because of differences in individual programs, some students require more time.
1. Basic Requirements for the Ph.D. Program: First Two Years in the Clinical Area
a) To insure the first objective of a reasonable breadth and integration of knowledge, students are required to take series of required Clinical Area courses that cover ethics, psychopathology, assessment theory and practice, research methods, intervention, culture and diversity, history and systems and professional development, and 3 core courses from another area outside of clinical psychology (known as the "breadth requirement") that cover biological, cognitive, emotional, and social bases of behavior. A grade of less than "B-" will be unacceptable in all courses.
b) To insure early progress toward research and professional competence, the student is required to devote time during the first year to a research project (Psychology 619). Each student must complete two courses in statistics, from a group of courses recommended by the student's Area Chair, by the end of the second year unless the advisor recommends an undergraduate statistics course as preparation for this requirement, or unless the Graduate Committee accepts equivalent work done elsewhere. A student must receive a grade of "B-" or better to fulfill the statistics requirement.
2. Research and Professional Training
A number of broad areas of study and research are designated within the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Research and training in a particular Area are the responsibility of a chairperson chosen from the staff and sometimes assisted by an Area coordinating committee. Particular matters of curriculum and student affairs are the concern of the Area committees, although general responsibility for the conduct of the graduate program rests with the Departmental Committee on Graduate Studies, and particularly with the chair of the Graduate Committee.
Upon admission to the Department, the graduate student is assigned to a specialized Area on the basis of a statement of interests and background provided in the admission application. Although Areas differ somewhat in the administration of their programs, usually a student is assigned an academic advisor who may also guide the completion of a research project (Psychology 619) described in detail in a subsequent section. The student must complete this research project no later than the end of the second year in the program. The written report of this research project is equivalent in level to a master's thesis. The completed research report will be read and evaluated by two faculty members, and a written report reflecting their joint evaluation will be submitted to the Student Academic Affairs Office. The primary research supervisor will assign the final grade.
Research opportunities are provided for students in the many projects and programs now underway in the department or in related institutes. Usually an Area advisor will acquaint students, shortly after their arrival on campus, with the range of research opportunities available to them. However, an occasional student will devise and independently carry out a project of special interest or will plan a project with a particular faculty member in whose work he or she is interested
3. Student Evaluation
A student is allowed to continue work toward the Ph.D. only after his or her performance at the University of Michigan is judged sufficiently promising by the faculty of one of the Areas to justify that group's sponsorship of the student's independent research and eventual professional placement. At the end of the student's first full year of residence and no later than the completion of the second year, the student's progress is formally evaluated by his or her Area. At this time, a student's work may be judged suitable for continuation in the Area of first choice or, while one's work is regarded as adequate, changing interests may dictate transfer to another Area of specialization. Occasionally, a student's performance is deemed to be so marginal that either interruption or termination of graduate study is recommended.
Overall breadth and integration of preparation of each student, quality of work, research promise, work habits, and other related factors will be considered by the staff of the student's Area and will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee at the time of the annual evaluation.
4. Specialized Program of Study
Along with completing basic requirements, students also specialize in an Area of study by taking core courses and seminars in that Area. Each Area has its mechanism, whether by examination or papers or portfolios, to judge whether the student is prepared to become a Candidate.
5. Advance to Candidacy
Advance to candidacy is ordinarily contingent upon the completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation.
The requirements are:
- A cumulative minimum GPA of B (5.00 on a 9.00 point scale)
- Residency requirement: A precandidate must complete at least 18 credit hours of graded graduate coursework registered as a Rackham student while in residence on the Ann Arbor campus.
- Statistics requirement: Complete a two-semester sequence of statistics. Clinical students register for Psych 988.002 Advanced Statistical Methods for their first semester of statistics.
- Cognate requirement: Complete 4 credit hours of cognate coursework with a grade of B- or better. Clinical students satisfy this requirement by completing Psych 988.002.
- Breadth requirement: Complete two courses in the first year that are within Psychology but outside of the Clinical Area.
- Complete required core courses.
- Complete a Psych 619 Research project.
- Complete Clinical Area preliminary exam/portfolio.
6. Doctoral Committee
In consultation with an advisor, a student nominates the members of his or her doctoral committee. This committee should be formed as soon as possible once the student has achieved candidacy. The committee plays a critical role in the remainder of the student's graduate career. This committee must consist of at least four members. Each committee must have a chairperson (or two co-chairs), a cognate member from another department who is tenured or tenure-track and who represents the Rackham Graduate School, and two or more additional members. At least two of the committee members must be tenured or tenure-track faculty from the Department of Psychology. Students must successfully present a written thesis proposal at a prospectus meeting.
7. Doctoral Dissertation
Toward the end of the training program, the student's efforts are directed toward the successful completion of a major research project and its written presentation in the form of a dissertation. In addition, the student is required to pass a final oral examination covering the dissertation topic.
The Master of Science Degree
The Department of Psychology does not offer a terminal master's degree program. All graduate programs are directed toward training individuals of Ph.D. caliber for scientific and/or professional work. A student will earn the M.S. along the way to a Ph.D., but please note that it is the student’s responsibility to apply for the master’s degree once requirements for it have been met:
- Complete two full terms of graduate work (Graduate School requirement).
- Accumulate 24 semester hours of credit (Graduate School requirement).
- Complete 4 credit hours of cognate coursework with a grade of B- or better (Graduate School requirement).
- Complete a two-semester sequence of statistics, receiving a grade of “B-” or better (Rackham requirement).
- Complete two core courses within the Area of specialization and a core course that is from another Area (Departmental requirement).
- A cumulative minimum GPA of B (5.00 on a 9.00 point scale) is required for all graduate work taken for credit. (Graduate School requirement).
- Complete and gain approval of the written report in the required Psychology 619 research project (Departmental requirement).
COMPONENTS OF THE CLINICAL AREA PROGRAM
The information described in the preceding section applies to students in the Clinical Psychology program, but here is a more detailed description of how requirements are fulfilled.
Course Requirements for Candidacy
Aside from the 619 - which formally is a course taken for credit - the overall course requirements for reaching candidacy consist of the following to be taken in the first and second years. The following account integrates the course demands of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the Department of Psychology and the Clinical area.
Students have to complete:
- Department Ethics: Psych 605
- Two courses in statistics, typically the sequence Psych 613 and Psych 614
- Coverage of area core courses from the set listed below (core courses listed below)
- Three graduate course in another area within Psychology (see Breadth courses)
- Two graduate courses (precisely: 4 credits total) outside Psychology (see Cognate courses).
The Statistics Requirement
We strongly encourage students to take the PSYCH 613/614 sequence, but equivalent courses in other departments may suffice. In the past, some students have found the statistics courses (listed as Political Science courses) offered during the summer by ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) to be a good way to fulfill this requirement. There is a form for students to submit with their plan to complete the statistics requirement. It must to be approved by the Area Chair and then the Student Academic Affairs Chair.
Breadth courses are courses within other areas of psychology than clinical. They are taken to satisfy APA and Michigan state licensing board requirements that require doctoral students in clinical psychology to complete formal coursework in the following areas: biological, affective OR cognitive, and social foundations of behavior. Thus, we ask our students to take three courses that cover biological, cognitive and/or affective, and social bases of behavior. It is important to note that APA does not want students to take applied courses in these areas (such as a “how to do it” course in fMRI or neuropsychological assessment). Rather, they require courses that cover basic theoretical and empirical issues.
The availability of specific breadth courses changes every year. Prior to each new semester, the clinical area chair will send a list of possible breadth courses that have been approved by area faculty as satisfying APA requirements for courses in biological, affective/cognitive or social bases of behavior. Prior to enrolling, you will need to request permission from the course instructor and make sure that the breadth course does not conflict with other clinical courses or required agency meetings.
Two cognate courses (graduate level courses of not fewer than two credit hours each) are required by the Graduate School for the Ph.D. degree. Cognate courses may be taken in any Rackham Department other than psychology (cross-listed courses are acceptable), and both need not be in the same field. A grade of "B" or better must be received to fulfill the cognate requirement. If the required statistics courses (see below) are taken as cross-listed courses in Sociology, these satisfy the cognate requirement.
Current core courses in the Clinical area
::Psych 670: Research Methods and Ethics
::Psych 671: Assessment Theory
::Psych 672: Introduction to Intervention and Clinical Ethics
::Psych 771: Topics in Clinical Science and Practice
::One Assessment Lab:
- Psych 775: Adult Assessment Lab or
- Psych 778: Child Assessment Lab
::Psych 776: Proseminar: Clinical Science in Historical and Cultural Contexts
:: One course in intervention:
- Psych 874: Adult Therapy or
- Psych 875: Child Therapy
::Psych 876: Practicum Clinical Psychology
::Two courses in Psychopathology:
- Psych 877: Lifespan Psychopathology: Childhood/Adolescence and
- Psych 878: Lifespan Psychopathology: Adult
Students in the joint program in Social Work and Psychology
Students admitted to the joint program in SW/Psychology must take required courses in both disciplines. Therefore they will have reduced courseloads in clinical Psychology. If you are a joint program student please contact your chair in the Social Work program for a current list of required courses.
A note on course exemptions
Although it is not easy to directly transfer credit for courses from another program to this program, it is possible to exempt some required courses based on graduate-level work taken elsewhere. Among the Clinical Area's guidelines for considering requests for exemption of courses are the following:
The 619 requirement is named for the course number for which you register while completing this research requirement during your first two years in the program. The 619 must be completed by the end of August of the second year in the program. You must have an advisor for this project approved by the Area Chair; your advisor will usually be a member of the Clinical Area Faculty, although advisors from other Department Areas or other Rackham Departments may be appropriate as well. A second faculty member functions as the “reader” of the 619. Upon completion of this project, the advisor and the reader prepare a written evaluation of the 619 which is given to the student and filed in the Clinical Area Office and the Student Academic Affairs Office. A grade is assigned as well. If the advisor is not a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, then the reader must be.
We strongly suggest that students have an advisor and to begin work on the 619 as early as possible in the fall semester of their first year. Toward this end, we provide a list of possible advisors to incoming students prior to their actual arrival in Ann Arbor. Students may choose a 619 advisor from among appropriate and agreeable faculty members. We do not encourage the switching of advisors, but in the case of unforeseen circumstances, this can be done with the consultation of the Area Chair.
In its most typical form, the 619 is an empirical research project presented in the form of a paper (i.e., 20-30 pages in APA format) ready to be submitted to a journal. The student may gather his or her own data or work on a data set already available from an advisor. In any event, the project should be of mutual interest to the student and the faculty member. One of the best ways for a beginning graduate student to learn about research is to be an “apprentice” to an experienced faculty member, and we think it most advisable for a student doing a 619 to choose a topic in which his or her advisor is expert and is conducting ongoing research.
Clinical psychology faculty are committed to ensuring high quality practicum training for both scholarly and professional reasons. We view quality clinical research and quality practicum training as transactional in nature. High quality practicum training helps to promote sophisticated clinical research and sophisticated research helps to inform clinical practice. Given that most research topics in clinical psychology require sophisticated training and direct clinical experience to adequately recruit, assess, and/or treat participants, we strive to make high quality clinical training available to our students throughout their graduate career but especially for their earliest training experiences.
Students are required to complete practicum of at least 500 hours as well as a 2,000-hour clinical internship. Assessment labs, as well as additional practicum experiences, contribute to fulfilling the 500-hour requirement.
Practica are typically completed during the second and third years of the program. However, clinical training begins in the first year of the program with the Introduction to Intervention and Clinical Ethics course (Psych 672). Students may also elect to do practica at the end of their first year. Each year, descriptions of available practica will be made available late in the Fall term. The Area Practicum Committee oversees the matching of student requests and practicum site openings. Students should keep detailed records of their practicum training hours each semester. (An Excel template to track hours can be obtained from Linda Anderson in 2229 East Hall). Evaluations of practicum students by supervisors and of practicum sites by students are coordinated by the Director of Clinical Training and area practicum coordinator. See Appendix G for more detailed Practicum Guidelines.
Candidacy Portfolio Requirement
When all required courses are done, typically in the spring after a student’s second year in the program, students wishing to become doctoral candidates must satisfactorily complete a Candidacy Portfolio.
End of Second Year Prelim Portfolio Items:
To receive a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan, a student is required to complete at least 2,000 hours of internship. Students wishing to be licensed in Michigan should note that the Michigan Licensing Board will not allow internship hours to be accumulated prior to the completion of the masters degree. As already stressed, it is the responsibility of the student to request that his or her masters degree be granted; this does not occur automatically. Students are responsible for documenting their practicum hours and should be sure to complete "Practicum Confirmation Forms" and obtain internship evaluations for all field placement hours. Forms are available in the Clinical Area Office.
During the third year in the Program, students are encouraged to write a Dissertation Prospectus and have it approved by their Dissertation Committee. The process usually starts with the student discussing with the eventual chair of the Committee the selection of other members whose knowledge and compatibility will facilitate the completion of the dissertation. The dissertation prospectus should contain:
• a rationale for the dissertation
• a literature review
• description of research participants
• method(s) of analysis
• a bibliography
• where appropriate, appendices describing techniques, coding schemes, and so on
• tentative timetable
Some advice about writing a prospectus proposal is included in Appendix D. There are also samples for current students of prospectus at https://ctools.umich.edu entitled Clinical Students.
Early in the dissertation process, a formal meeting of the full dissertation committee should be scheduled for purposes of reviewing and approving the prospectus. This meeting will include a question and answer session, and during this meeting the committee will agree upon any changes in the design or procedure that are needed, agree upon the responsibilities of the individual committee members for advising the student about particular aspects of the dissertation, and agree upon methods and timing for distributing chapters for comments. If the proposal needs further development, subsequent meeting(s) will be scheduled. Faculty may differ regarding the degree of specificity required in the proposal. However, it is generally true that specificity at the proposal stage heads off disagreements later on.
After the committee approves the prospectus (either at the time of the meeting or after improvements have been made by the student), the Dissertation Prospectus Approval Form should be signed by the committee members and forwarded to the Area Chair, who will send it to Student Academic Affairs. If the Student Academic Affairs Chair concurs with the constitution of the Dissertation Committee, the Nomination of Dissertation Committee Form will be sent to Rackham. Approval of the Committee by Rackham completes the process.
The Area hopes that students will have formed a dissertation committee and that the committee will have approved a dissertation proposal by the end of the third year in the Program and certainly no later than the end of the fourth year. It is highly recommended that each dissertation committee include at least two Department of Psychology tenure-track faculty members (it is not necessary that any members of the dissertation committee be affiliated with the Clinical Area, but this is usually desirable for future recommendations relevant to clinical careers).
The regulations of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies state that all work for a degree must be completed within five years of achieving candidacy, but no more than seven years from the date of first enrollment in the doctoral program. The Clinical Area intends that this regulation guides its consideration of students who have not completed the requirements within the seven-year period.
Rackham requires that students complete their Ph.D.s within seven years of beginning a graduate program. If a student does not finish within this limit but still wishes to earn a Ph.D., he or she must reapply to the program, describing reasons for the delay and plans for completion. The
faculty will then make a decision about readmission. The purpose of this message is to remind you of this policy, which the Clinical Area faculty endorses and intends to follow.
Please refer to the Psychology Student Affairs Office Policies and Procedures Manual for Graduate Students for further details.
Graduation Portfolio items:
All students are expected to have developed a core set of skills and knowledge prior to graduating including the following:
Student Progress Timetable
The Clinical Area expects students to progress through the Program as outlined in this manual. If extenuating circumstances prevent progress at the required rate, the student should contact the Area Chair, sooner as opposed to later.
Graduate study can normally be completed in five years. Students encountering unusual but necessary delays must finish within seven years. The Rackham seven-year limit will be waived by the Clinical Area only in exceptional cases of extreme distress caused by factors such as unpredictable loss of income, serious illness, and so on. If a student is found to be unable to finish the Program in a reasonable amount of time (taking into account special circumstances particular to the individual student), then a counseling-out process will be initiated.
Students will be urged and reminded to observe guidelines for various degree requirements. Students will periodically be sent letters or electronic mail messages reminding them of tasks completed and time remaining in the program. However, students are expected to monitor and control their own progress. Students who fall a year or more behind the recommended schedule will be asked to discuss their status with the Area Chair.
After every winter semester, all students in the program are reviewed annually by the Clinical Area Faculty. A written evaluation will be sent to you and placed in your files. Please note: You will be asked to provide written information about your progress and achievements during the past academic year; it is imperative that you provide this information in a timely fashion when it is requested.
All states have licensing regulations for psychologists. Unfortunately, at this time these regulations are not uniform from state to state, although many of them closely parallel the requirements of the American Psychological Association. Thus, if you have plans, even tentative, to move to a certain state after graduation, you should write to that state for its current licensing regulations relatively early in your graduate student career. The licensing regulations should inform your course selection as a graduate student. Very often, other states will allow a student from our program to take a course or two postdoctorally in order to meet that state's requirements if they differ from those of Michigan. Occasionally, however, this has been difficult for students to do. In any case, it is much easier to take the right courses while you are in graduate school.
The University of Michigan Clinical Psychology program is designed to meet all APA regulations and to qualify a graduate for licensure in the State of Michigan. The Area is attentive to changes in the licensing rules and laws, and will try to keep you informed of these. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility to keep abreast of the current licensing regulations. The following paragraphs pertain to current licensing rules in the State of Michigan, as they affect our students. Please note: Michigan Licensing laws can and do change, so this information is not intended as definitive.
For current Psychology Licensure Instructions please refer to www.michigan.gov/healthlicense
All students should obtain a Michigan Temporary Limited License (Rule 7a) after requirements for this license are met. There are various reasons for doing so. First, some agencies in the UM Consortium are much advantaged for insurance purposes by having licensed therapists. Even at other agencies, insurance regulations can be quirky, so that it might advantage individual patients of individual therapists if their therapist were licensed. Most importantly, it is necessary that one hold a limited license as a psychologist from the time that one has completed all the requirements of the Ph.D. in order to count that time towards the required postdoctoral experience. The only way to avoid a lag time here is to have obtained the Rule 7a License as a graduate student. If one is unlicensed post-degree, none of the work experience obtained at that time will count for the Full License in Michigan; in addition, the Licensing Board has occasionally threatened to sue such individuals for practicing without a license, and supervising psychologists are at risk of having their licenses revoked. Finally, students without a Rule 7a License may be substantially disadvantaged in their job search.
The requirements for the Rule 7a License are as follows. Applicants must have a Master's degree which includes at least one course in assessment and one course in treatment. They must also have participated in a practicum or practica that total at least 500 clock hours of psychological work supervised by a licensed psychologist, and a course in scientific and professional ethics and standards.
In applying for the Rule 7a License, as well as the more advanced levels of licensure described below, pay careful attention to precision of reporting. For instance, you will be asked to provide relatively exact accounting of how your practicum, and later internship and postdoctoral experience, time was spent. Provide this breakdown quite meticulously, noting, for instance, how much time was involved in psychotherapy, consultation, supervision, meeting time, paperwork time, etc. Then give a copy of this breakdown to your endorsers and supervisors before you have them fill out their forms. This will insure that your supervisors attest to exactly the same time breakdown that you reported and avoid confusion when your application is processed. If you run into any trouble getting your licensing documentation approved at this level, it is almost certainly due to some sort of technicality. Do not panic, and do not express your irritation to the people at the Licensing Board; these people have quite a lot of control over your professional futures, and you do not want to alienate them. Therefore, accommodate them when you can. If the question seems more complicated or confusing, contact the Area Chair who can direct you to the right resource.
Once granted, a Temporary Limited License (Rule 7a) is valid for two years and is not renewable. If necessary, a third Rule 7a License can be applied for and obtained. Students should apply for the Rule 7a License, rather than the Rule 7 License, because the Rule 7 License is meant for individuals planning a terminal Master's degree.
The next point at which you will have to be concerned about licensure is postdoctorally. Once you have your Ph.D., and at least 2,000 hours of post-practicum, post-Masters Degree, (usually predoctoral) internship experience, you may apply for a Rule 10 Limited License. Some of the requirements for this license deserve your attention during graduate school. First, there are course requirements, which are usually met by the requirements of the Clinical Area. These course requirements are part of the rules, as opposed to the law, and, thus, subject to change. It is unlikely, however, that the rules would change without a transition period or provision for students who had taken courses under the previous rules. Current Rule 10 requirements include the following: The degree shall be an integrated, organized sequence of study which includes instruction in research design and methodology, statistics, psychometrics, and scientific and professional ethics and standards. The degree shall include at least one graduate course, taken for credit, from three of the four following areas:
• biological bases of behavior
• cognitive-affective bases of behavior
• social bases of behavior
• individual differences
The degree shall include at least one course in both “assessment and treatment.”
The Rule 10 Limited License also requires an internship of not less than 2,000 clock hours of psychological work. The internship also requires the applicant to work not less than 20 hours per week in the internship program. Interns must be supervised by a Fully Licensed psychologist in the State of Michigan (or the equivalent out of state). It is, therefore, important that interns be certain that at least one of their supervisors at a given internship site has a Full License, and that this person meets with them face to face weekly to discuss clinical material. It is not necessary that every supervisor of the student be fully licensed, but only Fully Licensed psychologists should be asked to fill out the supervision confirmation forms required by the Licensing Board.
In most cases, the Rule 10 Limited License should be obtained shortly after graduation. Obtaining it at this time allows the applicant to determine if there are any glitches in his or her transcript or internship and decide how to remedy them. Once the Rule 10 Limited License is obtained, the individual is eligible to take the licensing exam, and should take it before he or she reaches eligibility for the Full License. Taking the exam early will avoid any delays in obtaining the Full License when one is finally eligible.
For those of you thinking ahead, the Full License requires 2,000 hours of postdoctoral experience as a psychologist in an "organized health care setting." This experience is generally acquired over a period of approximately two years. Not more than 2,080 hours of acceptable experience can be accumulated in any one calendar year. The experience should be accumulated at not less than 16 hours per week. Again, a Fully Licensed psychologist must supervise, and must meet with the supervisee weekly and face-to-face. What the License Board construes as an organized health care setting seems to change periodically. The current definition involves the interaction with mental health care professionals other than just psychologists and contact with a variety of patients using applied psychological techniques. If one has any questions about whether one's postdoctoral plans would meet licensing requirements, it is best to contact the Licensing Board and make arrangements for "prior approval" of the postdoctoral training. This means that the Licensing Board will rule on the acceptability of the training early on, giving applicants a chance to change their job or supervision to meet acceptable licensing standards.
In all of the contacts with the Licensing Board, you should plan ahead. While some of the personnel can be helpful in providing information, few can provide definitive and rapid decisions on your applications. Each of you would be well advised to obtain copies of your state's licensing requirements and correspond with your Board regularly, documenting and obtaining the Board's approval for programs of study and clinical experience.
Many times students feel uncertain about their performance in the Clinical Area program. Do not unnecessarily increase your anxiety – talk to your advisor or the Clinical Area Chair. The vast majority of students accepted into the Clinical Area complete their training and take an appropriate doctoral-level position. Of the few who do not complete Ph.D.s, many choose to leave the Clinical Area and transfer to another Area or to leave the Department entirely. Only a very few students fail to meet the expectations/requirements of the Area. If a student does have either academic problems and/or personal problems exacerbated by or interfering significantly with clinical practice, his/her situation is thoroughly evaluated by the student's advisor, the Area Chair, and the Records and Evaluations Chair. All aspects of the evaluation and recommendations are discussed fully with the student.
If a student should feel dissatisfied with an Area action (by an instructor, advisor, and so on, the student may first proceed via the Area grievance policy. For the Clinical Area, this consists of presenting the problem to the Area Chair. If the response is not satisfactory, students may avail themselves of a meeting with the Departmental Graduate Committee. If further discussion is necessary, the student may pursue the formal steps of Rackham's grievance process. There are Departmental and University Ombudspersons to aid the student in resolving disagreements or complaints.
Under special circumstances, a semester or academic year leave-of-absence (LOA) or period of detached study is considered useful, necessary, or advantageous by a student. If the student is currently in good standing in the Area, there is typically no problem about being granted such requests. These requests, though, must be discussed with the student's advisor and the Area Chair, as should any request a student might have to work in some location outside of Ann Arbor if the time involved exceeds a period of one month. Requests must also be formally detailed in writing (as to length of time, rationale, implications for progress in program, and so on) with written communication to the student. Please note the special nature of readmission requests following leaves of absence beyond one academic year in duration - such readmission requests are by no means automatically granted.
A. University of Michigan Equal Opportunity Assurances, Non Discrimination Policy Notice