Clinical Science Philosophy

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Clinical Science

The clinical science program at USC Dornsife applies scientific theories and methods to healthcare across the lifespan.

Video by Mira Zimet and Matt Meindl

The Ph.D. program in Clinical Science at the University of Southern California is dedicated to the integration of science and application. Clinical science is viewed as an ideology, a perspective taking, that values critical thinking and evidence in informing one's professional activities. Our goal is to prepare graduates to create new knowledge with the potential to advance the field in whatever setting they choose to work -- academia, research centers, medical centers, applied settings, or private industry.

Our program been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1948, and in 2011, we received a full seven-year renewal of our accreditation status. In addition, in 2010 we became one of ten clinical science programs receiving accreditation from the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). PCSAS provides an objective, empirically-based accreditation of Ph.D programs that meet the goal of promoting science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, increasing the quality and quantity of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and generating a new knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care. PCSAS accreditation serves the public interest by indicating to prospective students, mental health care consumers, and policy makers that graduates of this program have received a high quality science-oriented education. The USC Clinical Science Program also is a charter member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.

Our program and education model have several defining features:

  • We offer one of the few programs nationwide that takes a life-span approach to both research and clinical work. Research interests of faculty and clinical training span the developmental spectrum from children and adolescents to older adults.
  • Consistent with the life-span approach we offer sub-specialties in clinical-aging and child/family. We are developing a sub-specialty in neuropsychology that will be grounded in current developments in neuroscience.
  • Situated between downtown and South Los Angeles, our program offers considerable opportunities to conduct research and clinical work with persons from a wide range of economic, cultural, and racial backgrounds.
  • Clinical Science faculty conduct research on psychosocial issues associated with significant societal problems including alcohol abuse, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, early identification of psychosis, family environments and risk and resilience in youth, bullying and peer victimization, hate crimes, family and community violence, and the reintegration of juvenile offenders. Many of these research programs attend to cultural and ethnic factors.
  • Clinical Science faculty conduct highly visible international research including studies on peer relations in China, dementia in Swedish twins, and the duration of untreated psychosis in Mexico.

The Director of Clinical Training is Dr. Steve Lopez, lopezs@usc.edu.

The Administrative Assistant is Erika Quinly, quinly@usc.edu

The University of Southern California is a member of the National Name Exchange, a consortium of 54 nationally known universities that work to identify and exchange the names of talented undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups. USC has used this list in the past to identify students to invite for its annual visitation program. This program is coordinated at USC by the Assistant Dean and Director of the USC McNair Scholars Progam and EDGE Program, Dr. Richard Andalon (richard.andalon@usc.edu). The Clinical psychology faculty members are active participants in USC's minority recruitment efforts.

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