UMass Psychology

Research & Trng

Currently, the Respecialization Program in Clinical Psychology is not accepting applications.

Overview: The Respecialization Program (RP) in Clinical Psychology is designed for individuals holding a doctorate in another area of psychology who wish to shift their psychology careers towards clinical practice. This program supplements prior training in research methods and general psychology with didactic material relevant to the clinical subspecialty and supervision in the practice of clinical psychology.

Fellows typically spend two-three years completing coursework and clinical training, followed by an APA-accredited intensive clinical internship year.  The time sequence is commensurate with the completion of coursework and the development of clinical competence as practitioners. Full-time status in the RP involves clinical coursework, a comprehensive project, direct clinical practice at our the Psychological Services Center and/or at sites in the surrounding community (a total of 12 ½ credits each semester).  Fellows who cannot maintain this full-time involvement or who lack adequate preparation and/or experience may require additional training prior to internship.

This is a non-degree certificate program, rendering you eligible for an APA internship and ultimately, license eligibility as a psychologist and health provider.  Following completion of all Program requirements, trainees are awarded a Certificate of Clinical Respecialization. The entire RP must be completed within a six year period.

Admissions Requirements: Admission requirements for this program include (1) a Ph.D. in Psychology from an accredited University, in an area of psychology other than Clinical Psychology; (2) evidence of currency in contemporary methods of psychological research; (3) evidence of clinical potential, and (4) prior course work which, supplemented by the curriculum of the Respecialization Program, will render candidates eligible to sit for licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Tuition: The tuition for the RP is $22,510 for each of the first two years and $11,255 for the third and subsequent years (reductions may apply if candidates have completed all program requirements, but continue to garner additional clinical experience after the second year). These tuition costs cover all required coursework, clinical training and faculty supervision, clinical liability insurance, and associated fees (Fellows are responsible for their own health insurance). The internship year is generally paid, and there is no program fee during this year.

Deadlines: The deadline for the Postdoctoral Respecialization Program is January 1st, and then on a rolling basis until April 1st or until all positions are filled.  Applicants are encouraged to contact us with quetions about the program before making a decision to apply.  Our interview weekend generally occurs in the first week of February.

Application Materials:  Interested candidates should submit 1) Statement of Purpose, 2) Three letters of recommendation, 3) a Curriculum Vita, 4) and a Graduate Transcript along with a $50.00 application fee to:

Respecialization Program in Clinical Psychology
C/O Christopher E. Overtree, Ph.D.
135 Hicks Way-Tobin Hall
Amherst, MA 01003-9271
(413) 545-0041
(Please make checks out to UMass/PSC)

You may submit your application online as a MS Word or PDF file to e-mail. Questions about the program or application can be directed to Christopher Overtree, Ph.D. by email (e-mail) or phone (413.545.5943). For additional information, you may also consult the information below.

Required Courses

  • Child Assessment I (3 credits)
  • Adult Assessment (3 credits)
  • Diagnostic Interviewing (2 credits)
  • Psychopathology (3 credits)
  • Theories & Techniques of Intervention (Child and Adult, 2 semesters, 6 credits)
  • Multicultural Issues (3 credits)
  • Ethics and History of Psychology (3 credits)
  • Clinical Colloquium (4 semesters, 1 credit per year)
  • 3 electives (9 credits)
  • 18 credits of clinical practicum
  • Additional courses required for state licensure (depending on previous coursework)

Fellows who have previous courses in one of the above areas will not be required to retake them unless they do not satisfy program requirements. Additionally, Fellows who lack other content areas required for licensure may take UMass courses that fulfill those requirements, and in some cases, these many also fulfill the elective requirement. For more information about APA requirements, please visit the web site of the American Psychological Association.  For more information about obtaining a license as a psychologist and health provider in Massachusetts, consult the Board of Registration of Psychologists.

A Sample of Some Available Elective Courses

  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Descriptive and Inferential Univariate and Multivariate Statistics
  • Biological Bases of Behavior (e.g. psychopharmacology, physiological psychology)
  • Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behavior (e.g. cognitive, learning, applied behavioral analysis)
  • Social Bases of Behavior (e.g. social psychology)
  • Individual Differences (Personality, Human Development)
  • Psychometrics

Comprehensive Exam

Fellows must also successfully complete a self-designed comprehensive project designed to integrate various aspects of clinical subject material, such as assessment, psychopathology, treatment models, and ethics and professional standards.

Clinical Internship

To become licensed as a Clinical Psychologist, all RP Fellows must complete an intensive clinical internship. This internship (generally called the "pre-doctoral internship" because it is a requirement for the clinical doctorate) involves full-time clinical practice in APA accredited site (generally a teaching hospital or major mental health clinic).  Fellows apply for internship positions through a matching program, designed to pair internship sites with qualified applicants. The match process is highly competitive, though an examination of our program statistics demonstrates that UMass candidates do quite well in this process. For more information about the internship match, please visit the web site of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (


Obtaining licensure generally requires additional post-doctoral (or post-Respecialization) training. This generally consists of additional supervised clinical hours in a setting similar to internship (many internships incorporate this second year to accommodate this requirement).  Fellows are responsible for examining the licensing requirements if they wish to become licensed in another state following completion . RP  should be careful to take courses that will fulfill the requirements of others states in which they plan to live.


RP Fellows are evaluated regularly, both in their coursework and their clinical practicum experiences. Completion of the RP requires completing all course requirements and attaining an adequate level of clinical competence, as evaluated by the Clinical Psychology Faculty.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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