Clinical Psychology Questions:

Pre-licensure Track

Research/Thesis Track



Where are all of the classes held? Are there any online courses?

In general, the program classes are offered in person, at the UCF Sanford/Lake Mary campus. The program faculty try to schedule all courses two days per week (all day) so that students have three days to schedule hours for their practicum and internship experiences.



May I take courses that are also offered in other programs on another campus?

No, students are expected to complete the program with their cohort at the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.



How long does it take to complete the program? Can I go part-time? 

Full-time students complete the program in two calendar years (e.g., August 2021 – August 2023). We do not admit part-time students. On occasion, when warranted by emergencies or other personal circumstances, students may be eligible to take a leave of absence or reduce their course load. However, we do not admit students with the option to take courses part-time and extend their time to graduate. In addition to the fall and spring semesters, full-time enrollment for pre-licensure track students includes summer during both years.



Where can I get information about financial aid?

Financial Aid for applied masters programs is limited. To learn about financial aid, go to www.graduate.ucf.edu.



Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in psychology?

Most of the students admitted to the program do have undergraduate degrees in psychology. However, we sometimes admit students with degrees in other areas. The key is preparation in psychology. To be a competitive, we require that applicants have at least 15 credit hours of psychology coursework. Further, completion of courses in abnormal psychology and research methods and/or statistics is strongly recommended. Other recommended courses include clinical psychology, developmental psychology, personality theories, physiological psychology, and psychology of diversity.



What is the minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) that you will consider?

Based on the policies set by the College of Graduate Studies at UCF, the minimum GPA is 3.0 out of 4.0 for the last 60 hours of your degree work. Competitive students typically present with a GPA much higher than this minimum.



Do I have to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)? Is there a minimum score I need on the GRE? What is a competitive score on the GRE?

All students are required to complete the GRE before their application can be considered. We only require the general exam (Verbal and Quantitative); we do not require the Psychology subject exam. There is no minimum score required; however, a score of 300 or above (Verbal + Quantitative Scales) is a considered a reasonably competitive score.



How many applications do you receive each year and how many do you accept?

The past few years, we have received a total of approximately 120 applications for both tracks. We typically admit approximately 15-16 students to the pre-licensure track and 4-6 students to the research/thesis track.



So the program seems to be somewhat competitive, what does it take to be a successful applicant?

We consider a number of factors when selecting students. This includes academic performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and interview performance. Fit is very important to us. We are looking for students who are interested in being trained by psychologists in the scientist-practitioner model. Successful applicants to the pre-licensure track exhibit the interpersonal skills and potential to be outstanding therapists, and most have had some clinical experience before applying. Successful applicants to the research/thesis track demonstrate the motivation to conduct research and exhibit the potential to develop as outstanding researchers, and most have research experience before entering the program.



I would like to start in the spring. How do I apply?

We only admit students to the program to begin during the fall semester. Applications are due January 1. We invite a group of applicants for an interview in late February or early March, and students are expected to either accept or reject their offers by April 15. Classes begin in mid-August.



May I take a couple of classes before I begin the program?

No, our courses are offered only to students admitted to the program.


How many credit hours are required to complete the program?

For the pre-licensure track, the total number of credit hours (coursework, practicum, and internship) is 61. For the research/thesis the total number of required credit hours is 38, including a thesis.



Will I be able to work at my outside job while I am a student?

Graduate study is a very intensive experience. Students are discouraged from working outside jobs. If you feel you must work, 20 hours/week is the recommended limit. In addition to coursework, second year pre-licensure track students are required to complete 20 hours/week at their internship sites during the fall and spring semesters and 30 hours/week during the summer. The addition of a part-time job would lead to a very heavy workload and may hinder performance.



What is the internship?

During the second year of the program, students complete a 1000 hour internship at a site selected by the student in collaboration with their faculty supervisor. During the fall and spring semesters of the second year, interns work 20 hours/week at their assigned site. Internship counts as one of four courses taken each semester. During the summer semester prior to graduation, interns work 30 hours/week at their assigned site. Internship supervision is the only required course during the final summer semester. Also during that final summer semester, students complete their required comprehensive exam and do a case presentation. Both of those activities are face-to-face on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.



What is the process involved in getting licensed?

At this time our program meets the educational eligibility criteria for licensure or certification as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. Please note the additional eligibility criteria that apply can be found on the Florida Department of Health website. We are unable to confirm the licensure and certification requirements of other states. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its eligibility criteria. You are welcome to contact Brian Fisak, Ph.D., with questions in this regard. We will do our best to assist you in your career planning.



Is the program accredited?

The program is part of UCF, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Our program is not accredited by CACREP, an accreditation held by many counselor education programs, as CACREP does not accredit psychology programs. However, our pre-licensure track curriculum is compliant with minimum CACREP standards, and curriculum is compliant with requirements for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of Florida.



Do you accept credits from courses in other master’s programs?

The faculty reviews course syllabi and decides on transfer of credit on a case by case, course by course basis. If the degree program was other than clinical psychology, transfer of credit is unlikely. The maximum number of transfer credits (per College of Graduate Studies policy) from a non-UCF program is nine (9).



What if I can’t get letters of recommendation from instructors or professors because I took all of my courses online or with graduate teaching assistants?

We require three letters of recommendation and would prefer that at least two of these letters are from faculty who have had you in class or collaborated with you on research. We understand, however, that sometimes you lose contact with your professors, or there may be other circumstances that may have prevented you from developing strong working relationships with one or more of your professors. In that case, we strongly recommend you talk with a previous professor about scheduling a face-to-face meeting to talk about your goals for graduate school and performance in his or her course; the professor may be willing to write a letter. Letters from other professionals in the field may also be helpful (e.g., supervisors); however, we do NOT recommend letters from family, friends, or spiritual leaders.


Pre-licensure Track


Can you provide an overview of the Pre-licensure Track?

This track has been offered for decades. As mentioned in our catalogue description, the primary goal of this track is to train students to become licensed, master’s-level clinicians. More specifically, graduates of this track are eligible to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) in the State of Florida, and they will likely be eligible for master’s level licensure in most other states. This track includes a full course load (9-12 credits/per semester) for two years. Students in this track complete a practicum (10 hours/week in the first spring in the program) and internship (20 hours/week in the fall, spring, and summer semesters in the second year in the program). A majority of the graduates of this program enter clinical practice and obtain licensure at the master’s level. We plan on admitting 15 to 16 students into this track this year.



How do I get licensed?

Students in the applied/prelicensure track meet the eligibility criteria for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of Florida. Please note that more details about eligibility criteria can be found on the Florida Department of Health website.  In addition, our students are also eligible for similar licensure in most other states; however, we are unable to confirm the licensure and certification requirements of other states. Consequently, if you intend to pursue such credentialing outside of Florida, we advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its eligibility criteria.



Can I get into a doctoral program if I complete the pre-licensure track? 

Yes! As mentioned above, most student in the pre-licensure track practice at the master’s level upon graduation. Having said that, each year we have a number of graduating students who apply to and get into Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs (usually around 2-4 students out a cohort of 15-16 students). Engagement in research may increase students’ competitiveness when applying to doctoral programs.



Can I do research if I am in the pre-licensure track?

Yes. Research is not required as part of this track; however, students in the pre-licensure track are often engaged in collaborative research with faculty. It is common for students in this track to present research at scientific conferences, and some of these students become coauthors on peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.


Research/Thesis Track


Can you provide an overview of the research/thesis Track?

The faculty developed this track for students who are interested in focusing on research and/or are interested in gaining entry into a research-focused doctoral program. This track is a great fit for students who are not particularly interested in clinical practice at the master’s level upon graduation. In addition to an empirical thesis, we encourage students in this track to engage in other research projects. Students in the thesis track have a reduced course load relative to the prelicensure track, which allows more time for engagement in research. The tradeoff is that students in this track will not be eligible for licensure at the mater’s level when they graduate. We anticipate admitting no more than 5 to 6 students into the thesis track this year.



Is it possible to get clinical experience in the research/thesis track?

Yes. It is possible for students in the research/thesis track to choose to do a practicum. This experience would be approximately 10 hours/week during one spring semester.



Am I guaranteed admission into a Ph.D. program if I am in the research/thesis track?

No. The program has the potential to increase a student’s competitiveness when applying to research-focused doctoral programs; however, we cannot guarantee admission into a doctoral program.