Currently we are not accepting any new applications for the Clinical Respecialization Certificate Program (updated 8/25/17).


The Suffolk University Respecialization Program is designed for individuals with a doctoral degree in psychology who are interested in receiving doctoral-level training in clinical psychology. The respecialization program is designed to supplement previous coursework and experience in research methods and general psychology with the coursework and supervised training that are relevant to clinical psychology. Respecialization candidates are trained within the context of the APA-approved Clinical Training Program at Suffolk University. Candidates in the respecialization program typically spend at least two years in full-time residence on campus completing the program-required clinically-relevant coursework and practica and one year (or two half-time years) at an APA-accredited or AAPI-participating clinical internship. Upon completing the program, candidates receive a certificate of respecialization in clinical psychology from Suffolk University.

For more information on the respecialization program, please see the Department of Psychology Respecialization Program Manual and the Department of Psychology Doctoral Program Manual both located here.

The graduate admissions application form (same form for both doctoral and respecialization students) can be found here. While we strongly recommend that applications be submitted by the December 1st deadline, respecialization student applications will be considered up to February 1st based upon availability of space.

Criteria for admission include:

  • A doctorate in psychology from a department of psychology within an accredited university (for which a dissertation was completed)
  • Evidence of academic excellence
  • Evidence of potential for clinical work
  • International applicants: Successful completion of the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic


Post-Doctoral Respecialization Certificate Requirements

Course requirements for the Respecialization Certificate are met in two ways:

  1. First, students may request that a program requirement be waived because they have taken a similar course during previous doctoral training. By May 1st of the summer before a candidate’s start date, he or she must complete and submit the respecialization program planning sheet to the director of clinical training, which can be found on the departmental website under Curriculum Documents.

    Students need to provide an official copy of their transcript and copies of syllabi for each course to be considered for exemption. Students must have a minimum grade of “B” or a “Pass” in the case of Pass/Fail courses to satisfy course requirements. The director of clinical training reviews the courses in collaboration with the director of undergraduate and graduate studies, department chair, and/or faculty who teach the relevant courses. Although we are committed to reviewing these requests as quickly as possible, please allow at least four weeks for decisions regarding transfer credit requests to be made by the faculty. In order to ensure that the core clinical content of the curriculum is provided, students may not transfer in psychopathology, assessment, or treatment courses.
  2. Second, students will take the remaining courses that are needed to fulfill the program requirements, typically involving psychopathology, assessment, and treatment, and any outstanding ‘bases’ courses required for licensure (e.g., a course in social bases of behavior). The student should work with the director of clinical training and his or her program advisor to determine an individualized plan of study, which is retained in the student's record. This plan will list the remaining courses a student needs to take to meet remaining course requirements.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Suffolk University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was established in accordance with the scientist-practitioner model proposed at the national conference in Boulder, Colorado in 1949 (Boulder Model). Our philosophy is that the practice of clinical psychology should be grounded in science informed by the dynamic character of the discipline. Thus, our program involves systematic and cumulative training in both psychological research and practice in order to prepare students for careers in practice, research, or academic settings. Our goal is to prepare students to be competent clinical psychologists who function with ethical and cultural awareness in academic, research, clinical, or community settings. The program’s orientation is that of understanding of the processes underlying adaptation and maladaptation within a cultural and biopsychosocial frame. Throughout all aspects of training the program encourages an awareness of and respect for diversity. Our faculty approach intervention and psychotherapy from a variety of perspectives including developmental, psychodynamic, systemic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic and integrative/eclectic. Our faculty approach assessment from a psychometrically sound, evidence-based, and culturally appropriate perspective. Our intent is to enable students to take a creative, empirical, and ethical approach to diagnostic and therapeutic problems among diverse populations; to critically evaluate and contribute to the evolving body of scholarly literature in the science and practice of psychology; and to integrate the clinical, theoretical, and scientific foundations of psychology.

Learning Objectives

Learning Goals and Objectives

Learning goals and objectives reflect the educational outcomes achieved by students through the completion of this program. These transferable skills prepare Suffolk students for success in the workplace, in graduate school, and in their local and global communities.

Learning Goals

Students will...

Learning Objectives

Post-Doctoral Clinical Respecialization Certification students will be able to..
Develop the skills needed to function as competent professionals in the practice of clinical psychology.
  • Evaluate, administer and interpret psychological assessments with an understanding of the psychometric and empirical underpinnings of assessment
  • Formulate and apply psychological diagnoses with an appreciation of the conceptual strengths and limitations of current diagnostic approaches and an understanding of the role of etiological and risk processes
  • Develop, evaluate, and implement treatment plans that reflect both knowledge of empirically-based principles and an appreciation of individual client characteristics and contextual factors
Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for individual and cultural diversity across content areas of science and practice and will develop the skills needed to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities).
  • Consider the nature and impact of diversity on the administration and interpretation of assessments, the validity of diagnostic formulations, and the appropriateness of a particular treatment plan
Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with the regional, national, and professional ethical standards, guidelines, and codes of conduct. Students will develop the skills necessary to conduct themselves in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of and skill in implementing the ethical/professional codes, standards and guidelines related to clinical work