Adult Emphasis | Clinical Psychology PsyD

The goal of the Adult Emphasis within the School of Graduate Psychology is to train outstanding practitioner-scholars who can contribute to the psychological guild by delivering and/or developing cutting-edge empirically-driven and validated treatments for the general adult population that are culturally and contextually relevant.  The Adult Emphasis combines academic and clinical training experiences designed to prepare students for work with general adult populations ranging from college students through gerontology clients. The emphasis provides students with a way to cluster their training through defined curriculum, programs of research and program evaluation, and clinical practica that solidify core knowledge in the diagnosis, treatment, and assessment of adults. Adult emphasis students typically go on to careers in community mental health, private practice, group practices, and university counseling centers.

Students in this emphasis can also choose to develop skills specifically related to culturally and linguistically informed work with the Latinx community by participating in the Latino Bilingual Psychology experience.

Faculty areas of clinical and research specialization include but are not limited to the following:

  • College Counseling/Transitional-aged Youth
  • Community Mental Health
  • Private Practice
  • Hospital/VA (mental health departments)
  • Sport Psychology



In addition to the regularly required courses within the general SGP curriculum, the following emphasis-specific courses are required (for full course descriptions see the University Catalog):

  • Group Interventions
  • Trauma Theory and Practice
  • Minimum of 8 credits additional approved coursework (including 1 assessment elective) 

Clinical Training

Practicum I

Students complete their Practicum I training experience conducting intake assessments and psychotherapy during their 2nd year in the program.  This training takes place at the Pacific Psychology and Comprehensive Health Clinics (our in-house training clinics located in Hillsboro and Portland) where Adult Emphasis students gain experience working with a wide range of presenting problems with adult clients.

Practicum II

Students complete their Practicum II training experience during their 3rd year in the program at a community training site where they gain experience in assessment and/or psychotherapy with adult clients. Many students also engage in part-time clinical work during their 3rd year to supplement the Practicum II training experience.

Advanced Practicum

During their 4th year in the program students continue their assessment and/or psychotherapy training with adult clients at a community training site or within our in-house clinics on assessment teams. 


During their 5th year in the program students complete Internship. This requires a national application process through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC; Students often relocate during this year, as sites are located all across the country.  Sites are listed in the APPIC directory (


Students complete empirical dissertations that involves collection of original data or use of archival data for analysis. Dissertation work begins in the 2nd year of training and should be completed prior to internship applications (fall of 4th year). In all cases, dissertations must be completed by the time the student starts Internship. The dissertation topic can relate to a wide range of issues impacting the general adult population.

Recent Adult Emphasis student dissertations include the following:

  • Internalization of thin ideal and disordered eating: Mediating roles of attachment and parental binding in a sample of undergraduate and graduate school Latinas.
  • Body project: A single-subject approach to analyze change over time.
  • Factors influencing ethnic identity development.
  • Factors in the retention and attrition of graduate ethnic minority students.
  • Bullying experiences and adult attachment.
  • Social functions of parasocial relationships.
  • Theory and practice of ERP: Using a clinical psychology evidence-based approach to enhance performance
  • A critical review of the biracial and multiracial identity development literature and research
  • University response to implementing the NCAA policy for Transgender student-athletes


American Psychological Association

American Psychological Foundation

Association for Applied Sport Psychology

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

Journals of the American Psychological Association

Oregon Psychological Association

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues