The clinical science program is dedicated to educating students to become first class scholars and researchers. Research expertise is cultivated primarily through a mentorship model in which students work closely with one of more faculty members and in the context of a research lab. High quality coursework in methods, research design, and statistics complement the lab-based experiences.

Research in the program addresses wide-ranging topics, as detailed under faculty and student interests. Ongoing scientific inquiry contributes to the identification of risk and protective factors, explores treatment efficacy, examines interactive psychopathology, genetic, medical, environmental and familial risks, and seeks to understand effective coping with serious life stresses. Research methods employed in our program include longitudinal designs, genetic models, think-aloud and other narrative procedures, behavioral observation, and peer nomination. The lens of ethnic and cultural sensitivity and the perspective of developmental life change inform much of our ongoing research.

Students are responsible for meeting progressive steps of research competence, each of which involves activities that clinical researchers do throughout their professional careers. Students use the NIH grant proposal format to write their proposals for the second year research project and the dissertation. They write up the completed second year project and dissertation in a format to be submitted for journal review. The qualifying examination includes writing a literature review appropriate for journal or book chapter submission. In addition to these required research steps, students are encouraged to engage in a variety of research projects and to use graduate school as a time of scholarly exploration.

We try to create an environment that fosters creativity and productivity and prepares students for careers as clinical scientists. Students are encouraged to submit their work to journals and to scientific meetings. Research and travel funds are available to help defray costs. Students have opportunities to practice delivering talks and preparing posters through our annual research conference in the spring and poster presentation in the fall. Most students graduate with multiple publications and presentations as detailed under outcomes.

  • Department of Psychology
  • University of Southern California
  • SGM 501
  • 3620 South McClintock Ave.
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2203