Ph.D. in Human Services Psychology (Behavioral, Clinical, Community)

The Human Services Psychology (HSP) Program
(Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, and Community Psychology)

The Human Services Psychology program is composed of three interrelated and complementary programs which provide education and training in clinical psychology, behavioral medicine, and community psychology.

Initiated in 1983, the Human Services Psychology Program represents a reconceptualization of clinical psychology and several related specialties. The program’s rationale derives from a general systems theory perspective which focuses on the generic nature of the knowledge and skills upon which these specialties draw and the multidimensional nature of the problems with which they are concerned. We believe that this approach fosters a more comprehensive and integrative approach to both research and professional practice. It also represents a more cost-effective and flexible approach to professional training than most traditional single-specialty professional training programs since it allows us to provide training for a number of specialties within the framework of a single program.

Human Services Psychology is defined as that sector of professional psychology concerned with the promotion of human well-being through the acquisition and application of psychological knowledge and principles concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of psychological and physical disorders. Thus, the program is designed to prepare students to contribute to the growth of knowledge in this area, as well as to apply this knowledge to a broad range of human problems. Consequently, the program is based on a scientist-practitioner model of training which aims to provide students with skills as both researchers and practitioners.

The Human Services Psychology Program uses a biopsychosocial approach as the integrative perspective for its training of human service providers and researchers. The HSP program encourages a focus on the boundaries of biopsychosocial interactions as well as a solid understanding of each individual aspect in order to promote a more holistic and integrated approach to psychology research, service and practice.

For more information, please contact the HSP Graduate Program Director (Steven Pitts, Ph.D.) at

A comprehensive description of the HSP Program can be found in the HSP-HANDBOOK