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Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts


The Department of Psychology at Jackson State University is a unit of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Jackson State University (JSU) was approved by the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi to begin its Ph.D. program in clinical psychology in 1995 with an inaugural class of six doctoral candidates. The American Psychological Association awarded our program accreditation in 2001, and the first doctoral dissertation defense occurred in 2002. The program was first reaccredited in 2005, and then accredited in 2010, 2016, and 2020 (the completion of the 2020 application cycle did not occur until 2023 due to COVID-19 delays).  The next accreditation application is due in 2033.

Students in this program immersed into a curriculum anchored in the cumulative body of psychological knowledge, with a firm basis in statistics, research design, and experimental methodology. The program develops a comprehensive knowledge base and teaches skills to improve the students’ ability to effectively function as an empirically-oriented clinical psychologist in diverse settings. This is accomplished through a sequence of formal clinical courses, and distinguished by an in-depth exploration of multicultural issues and exposure to ethnic minority communities.

The Program Application and Recommendation Form are noted below. See Program Application Materials and Student Selection Process in the drop-down box (above) for more information about the application process.

GRE requirement waived for the current 2024 applications.

Program-Application fillable

Recommendation Form

Student Outcomes, Admission, and Other Data (click below)

2022-2023 Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

(due to scheduled University website updates/changes in progress, some pages may periodically become inactive.  The DCT is checking the outcomes page frequently to adjust and ensure it is accessible.  If it does not pop up, please check back or email the DCT for a copy at  Thank you for your patience.)

Accreditation Body Contact Information:

The program is APA accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed  to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202)336-5979 / E-mail:



More about us
By the time JSU officially gained university status from Mississippi’s state legislature in 1979, the Department of Psychology’s primary focus on research made its move to the School of Liberal Arts a natural transition. Then, Dr. Janet St. Lawrence, a faculty member and clinical psychologist at JSU, began to investigate HIV and STD issues in vulnerable populations during the advent of the AIDS epidemic. Out of this work with those in drug treatment, people contending with incarceration, or people from other at-risk groups, came the genesis of the Community Health Program (CHP). This program became the foremost research division within the Psychology Department and works to provide community service while training students and conducting original studies, which gain national attention. Additionally, during this time period, Dr. Cynthia Ford designed a course to teach psychology from an afro-centric perspective. This type of enhancement to the curriculum highlights JSU’s focus on both cultural and individual diversity and remains a popular elective in the discipline.


The mission of the Undergraduate Major in the Psychology Department is to expose students to the breadth and depths of the various fields of psychology. Students are encouraged and taught to think critically about psychological issues and to understand the value of empirical investigation. The department seeks to foster each student’s appreciation for the field of psychology and its applications to individual and social problems. The department is dedicated to high standards of original inquiry and personal growth. Students are taught that sound research and scholarship serve to expand knowledge and improve the quality of peoples’ lives. Our program provides students with the education needed to enter a variety of careers or to pursue graduate work in psychology or related fields.

“Challenging Minds, Changing Lives.”


After years of preparing undergraduates to pursue advanced research degrees, JSU began to develop its own plan for graduate study. Spearheading this movement was a working group whose goal was to design a program in clinical psychology that would provide multicultural training. The idea behind such multiculturalism is that the most effective clinical psychologists are those who have separated themselves from their personal biases and that this can only occur through in depth understanding of other cultures. In 1995, program was launched with a charter class of five students. APA accreditation then followed in 2001, and the first dissertation defense occurred in 2002. The concept of multicultural training remains a primary mission and requires the program actively to support those from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds while ensuring that even the most traditional of graduate students becomes immersed in as many different environments as possible. This occurs most directly through practica, externships, and field research experience with underserved people; in the area of Jackson, this most often means rural and African-American populations.


Psychology majors have a plethora of career options after studying:

Psychiatrist Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Neuropsychologist Clinical Psychologist
Engineering Psychologist Counseling Psychologist Forensic Psychologist School Psychologist
  Correctional Psychologist Sport Psychologist  



For more information, please contact us at (601) 979-2371.  We look forward to meeting with you and seeing how our program can help you achieve your goals.



College of Liberal Arts Building-2nd Floor
1325 J. R. Lynch Street
P.O. Box 17550
Jackson, MS 39217-0350


(601) 979-2371