Psychology - Doctoral Program

Detroit Mercy doctoral program graduates

University of Detroit Mercy’s doctoral program in clinical psychology is a competitive course of study that trains you to provide psychological services to the community. Based on sound ethical standards and a thorough and contemporary understanding of research-tested psychological principles, your University of Detroit Mercy training emphasizes the inter-relationships among theory, research and clinical practice.

Through sequential, gradual and cumulative training experiences, you receive the broad preparation essential to the practice of clinical psychology and for the development and execution of scientific research. The program consists of coursework, practice, research and scholarship.

Opportunities abound throughout the program for you to not only participate in ongoing theoretical and applied research projects, but also to gain experience through substantive clinical contact.

Clinical experiences are designed not only to afford opportunities to learn skills in clinical settings but also to integrate skills and the theories shaping and guiding those skills. Scholarship is demonstrated throughout coursework through examinations and student papers. Within the context of a comprehensive examination, you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to understand, integrate and communicate your knowledge of psychology in general and clinical psychology in particular. The dissertation, which may be experiential or clinically empirical, is an opportunity to show how you can contribute new knowledge within the field.

As you progress through the course sequence, you will gain in-depth knowledge of psychology and its application to ethical clinical practice. Course content is rooted in a broad-based theoretical perspective that emphasizes classical and contemporary approaches to the psychoanalytic viewpoint. This viewpoint provides a thorough understanding of human behavior that is impacted by conscious and unconscious processes, personality and motivational factors and relational dynamics. These factors serve as the basis for psychotherapeutic interventions.

University of Detroit Mercy’s doctoral program in clinical psychology follows the scientist-practitioner model of clinical training, which includes the integration of science and practice. Consistent with the model suggested at the National Conference on Scientist-Practitioner Education and Training (January 1990), the program emphasizes the development of interlocking skills in scientific methodology and professional practice.

Watch an Introduction to the Ph.D. program and to the City of Detroit


    Program Goals

    The overall long-range goals of the program emanate from our training model and are directed toward the training of professional clinical psychologists who demonstrate and practice:

    • professional competence and adaptability
    • ethical standards and sensitivity to social justice issues
    • scholarly contributions to the field of psychology
    • service to the community

    The long-range goals of the program are operationally defined through the identification of their related objectives and competencies.The successful completion of specific activities ensures that the goals of the training model will be achieved by all students.

    The courses in the curriculum are designed by content and sequence to fulfill several goals. One goal is to acquire a firm foundation in psychology. A second goal is to acquire breadth and depth of knowledge in clinical skills. The curriculum is also designed to fulfill another essential goal: namely, that students be exposed to a variety of problems, populations, issues, and techniques of assessment and intervention. These serve as a basis for further development, professional growth, and innovation as students’ interests and the demands of their professional situations dictate.


    How to Apply

    Requirements for Application
    We accept applications from students with either a baccalaureate or a master’s degree as a terminal degree, who have completed, as a minimum, the prerequisite courses (on either the undergraduate or graduate level) listed below: a) One term: Statistics b) One term: Theories of Personality c) One term: Abnormal Psychology d) One term: Developmental Psychology e) Two laboratory courses, for example: Physiological Psychology (strongly recommended), Perception Experimental Psychology (strongly recommended).

    Application Materials

    When you submit your application online, you will be asked to submit the following:

    1. A Personal Statement - Your personal statement should describe pertinent aspects of your background and your aspirations toward becoming a doctoral-level clinical psychologist. In this letter describe your interests, your accomplishments, your interest in psychology, the issues in psychology that have attracted your attention, why you are applying to our program, and your goals for your professional life. The purpose of this letter is to give you the opportunity to inject something personal into the application materials. This letter helps us see something of the individual who has compiled the indirect indices of achievement that comprise the bulk of the application. Please do not send term papers or theses.
    2. Copies of all Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts
    3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical)
    4. Three (3) letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic potential and achievement (for those with the master’s degree one person familiar with the applicant’s clinical work). Have one or more of your references comment on your suitability and talent for a professionally oriented course of study in Clinical Psychology. Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA in their previous academic work.

    Completed applications must be submitted no later than January 1st for consideration to begin the Fall term.

    To Apply

    Complete and submit your online application at:

    1. You will need to create an account the first time you try to log in.
    2. Select "Graduate U.S." from the list of choices.
    3. Depending on your previous academic degree, select the appropriate choice as your course of study:
      1. If you already have a master's degree in clinical psychology, select: Clinical Psychology Ph.D.
      2. If you DO NOT HAVE a master's degree in clinical psychology but do want to pursue a Ph.D., select: Clinical Psychology Ph.D. with M.A.
    4. Complete the rest of the application as it applies to you.

    Note: The application fee is waived for online applications. You may request additional information about applications from: Theresa Carson, graduate admissions counselor:
    direct line: 313-993-3309
    toll free: 800-635-5050

    What Happens Next?

    The program’s admissions committee reviews completed applications in February. Qualified applicants are invited for on-campus interviews in March. Admission decisions are made in March and April for the Fall semester.


    Financial Aid

    The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program has generally been able to offer half-time tuition credit to students during the first two years of training in exchange for performing teaching assistant duties. A limited number of credits are available for clinic positions starting in the 2nd and 3rd years. Students are expected to pay for the remainder of tuition and other expenses. Students should also contact the University's Financial Aid Office for additional information regarding other sources of financial assistance 313-993-3350.


    Our Graduates

    We expect our graduates to make contributions to the local community. In addition, we expect our graduates to contribute to society as a whole through their clinical work and scholarly contributions to the evolving body of scientific and professional knowledge.

    We train professionals who are committed to a lifetime of learning, pertaining both to professional issues and to major questions of human existence.

    Our graduates are employed in a variety of settings including independent practice, clinical and administrative positions in community mental health centers and social agencies, hospital practice, forensic work, research positions, and higher education. They also occupy positions of leadership in professional organizations and are involved in a broad range of professional activities.

    Our graduates have gone on to do postdocs around the country, including:

    • Stanford University School of Medicine
    • Harvard Medical School | Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Emory University School of Medicine
    • Consortium for Advanced Psychology Training: McLaren Health System/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
    • Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
    • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital: Pediatric Psychology
    • Battle Creek VA
    • South Florida State Hospital
    • Loma Linda Veteran Affairs Medical Center in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder emphasis area.
    • Premier Behavioral Health Services
    • Univ. of New Mexico - Center for Development & Disability
    • Wayne State University Medical School
    • Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC - Integrated Primary Care
    • John D. Dingell VA Medical Ctr.
    • Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hosp.
    • Memphis VA Hospital
    • Henry Ford Health Sciences Ctr.

Accreditation Status

Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Clinical Psychology

University of Detroit Mercy's Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association (APA), 750 First Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002-4242.


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Kristen Abraham
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Clinical Psychology Master of Arts Program

Balter Blume, CFLE picture

Libby Balter Blume, CFLE
Professor Emerita
Professor of Psychology

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Barry Dauphin, ABPP
Professor of Psychology
Director of Clinical Training for the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

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Sharla N. Fasko
Associate Professor
Director of the School Psychology Program

Lee, BCBA, NCSP picture

Rachel Lee, BCBA, NCSP
Assistant Professor of Psychology

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Cheryl Munday
Professor of Psychology
Affiliated Faculty, Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social Research
Director of Developmental Psychology

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John Porcerelli, ABPP
Professor of Psychology
Director, Detroit Mercy Psychology Clinic
313- 993-1442

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Linda Slowik
Associate Professor of Psychology
*Department Chair, Psychology


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Carol Weisfeld, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita
Professor of Psychology (retired 2018)

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Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster
Professor of Psychology
Director of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master of Arts Program

Administrative Support