PhD program information

Application Deadline: Now closed, was November 15, 2023 (Next application deadline likely 11.15.24)

2024 Interview Dates:  Face to face February 1-2, Face to face February 8-9, Remote February 15-16

Questions about the online application:

Questions about CHP admissions:

Student Admissions, Outcomes, & Other Data has statistics on students that entered the program in the past and their progress. 

The Clinical Health Psychology PhD program offers a doctoral degree (PhD) in clinical psychology that has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 2016 (APA, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 1st St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; 202.336.5979). Our next site visit is schedule for Winter/Spring 2024.

Admission to CU Denver's Clinical Health Psychology PhD Program is competitive with an average of 6 students admitted each year. Students in the program receive high quality training and mentoring as well as financial assistance. When considering the quality of the program, it may be useful to know that we do not participate in the US News and World Report assessment and ranking process, in line with the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), who passed a resolution in 1995 encouraging programs not to participate in the survey due to concerns about its methodology.

Our program has endorsed the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology statement on Preferred Pre-doctoral Competencies for Clinical Psychology (CUDCP preferred competencies). The Pre-doctoral Competencies outlined in this document represent many of the qualities that our program prefers applicants to have acquired prior to applying to our program.

Requirements for admission include coursework (or standardized assessment) in Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology, and History of Psychology. This must be in the last 10 years, currently being fulfilled (the Fall semester of your application year), or planned to be fulfilled (the Spring semester of your application year). Offers of admission are conditional upon completion of requirements. These requirements can be met in the following ways:

  • Introductory Psychology: B- or greater from an accredited university in Intro Psyc, or a 3 in Psychology AP Exam. If you have taken the class but have a lower grade/score or the class is beyond the 10 year timeline, you could achieve the requirement with at least a 50th percentile in a valid Psychology GRE Subject Test
  • Statistics: B- or greater from an accredited university in Statistics or a 3 in Statistics AP Exam
  • Research Methods: B- or greater from an accredited university in Research Methods (social sciences or psychology specific). If you have taken the class but have a lower score or the class is beyond the 10 year timeline, you could achieve the requirement with at least a 50th percentile in a valid Measurement/Methodology subtest of the Psychology GRE Subject Test
  • Abnormal Psychology: B- or greater from an accredited university in Abnormal Psychology (e.g., Abnormal Psychology, Psychopathology). If you have taken the class but have a lower score or the class is beyond the 10 year timeline, you could achieve the requirement with at least a 50th percentile in a valid Clinical subtest of the Psychology GRE Subject Test
  • History of Psychology: B- from an accredited university in History of Psychology (must be named as a separate course; a history component of Intro Psyc is not sufficient). Because some undergraduate institutions do not offer a course in History of Psychology, we will consider plans for students conditionally accepted to the program to take this course in the Summer prior to matriculation or during the program prior to Internship. The program does not pay for this course.

We also require a BA or BS from an accredited undergraduate institution with a preferred minimum GPA of 3.5. Finally, we require a fully completed application.  See Application Information for details regarding what must be included in this application. As a program, we do not require the GRE. In addition to our standard application materials and interview process, individual potential mentors may ask for additional materials or information at any stage, such as a writing sample, test scores, or a phone call.

We strongly value diversity and encourage applications from prospective students with a variety of life backgrounds and experiences. The admissions committee looks favorably on courses in the biological and physical sciences, demonstrated interest and/or experience in health psychology research and clinical work, interest in a scientist-practitioner model of training and career, and interpersonal skills and abilities that are suitable for teaching, research, and clinical work in psychology.

Applicants are asked to identify one to three core faculty members (see “Core Faculty” list below) within the Clinical Health Psychology Program as a potential research mentor. Incoming students have one primary research mentor although opportunities for collaboration exist across mentors and their research labs. Because we use this method of training, the degree of compatibility between your interests and those of the identified core faculty mentor(s) is a very important consideration with regard to admission.

Each year many applicants who exceed the minimum requirements are not selected for admission. Whereas the admissions committee considers all applicants with excellent academic credentials, research potential, and clinical interest or experience, successful applicants are those who also best demonstrate an excellent fit with our program and faculty in their applications and interviews.

Core Faculty

​Elizabeth Allen, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Couples Functioning & Mental Health, Military Marriage, Relationship Education, Infidelity.  

Jeffrey A. Rings, Ph.D. Not currently accepting new students. Dr. Rings is the Clinic Director/Coordinator of Clinical Training. Expertise: Clinical supervision, grief and loss, crisis intervention, suicide risk assessment and prevention, multiculturalism, and veteran mental health.

Kevin Everhart, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Clinical Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology, Infant Mental Health. 

Jim Grigsby, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Neuropsychology, Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Kristin Kilbourn, Ph.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Psychosocial Oncology, Palliative Care, Caregiver Stress. 

Krista W. Ranby, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Relationship Partners and Health Behavior, Smoking, Physical Activity, Social Psychology, Quantitative Methods. 

Kevin Masters, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Spirituality & Health, Cardiovascular Disorders, Exercise. 

Jonathan Shaffer, Ph.D. M.S. Assistant Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Behavioral Cardiology, Geriatric Cardiology, Meta-analysis, Psychometrics. 

Amy Wachholtz, Ph.D., M.Div., M.S., Associate Professor of Psychology & Clinical Health Psychology Program Director. Expertise: Pain management, psychopharmacology. 

Affiliated Faculty

Mitchell Handelsman, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology & CU President's Teaching Scholar. Expertise: Ethics, Teaching

Peter Kaplan, Ph.D. Professor & Chair. Expertise: Postpartum depression and child development

Jennifer Morozink Boylan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences. Expertise: Cardivascular Psychophysiology, Health Disparities, Psychological Well-Being

Jason Watson, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Cognitive psychology, attentional control, working memory, potential cognitive benefits of naturalistic settings