Application Deadline: November 15, 2020.

2021 Interview Dates: February 4-5, February 18-19.


Questions about the online application:

Questions about the CHP Program and admissions process:

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

Admission to CU Denver's Clinical Health Psychology PhD Program is competitive with an average of 5 students admitted each year. Students in the program receive the highest quality training and mentoring as well as financial assistance. Typical requirements for admission include a BA or BS from an accredited college or university, undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.5, and undergraduate or graduate courses in Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology, and History of Psychology from an accredited program. In the application, you are asked to confirm completion of or progress towards these requirements or their equivalent. If requirements or their equivalent are not met, this will need to be addressed prior to matriculating into the program. Typically we require valid GRE scores (see “How long are GRE scores valid?”) but due to the COVID-19 crisis we are not mandating this for Fall 2020 applications. If you have already taken the GRE, it is optional for you to submit this with your application or not. The GRE Psychology Subject Test is never required, but may be helpful to supplement your application, particularly if you do not have a degree in Psychology.

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.

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. Applicants are encouraged to examine this document, as well as the rest of the admissions criteria outlined on our website before applying.

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

Athena Baca-Chieza, Psy.D. Not currently accepting new students. Dr. Baca-Chieza will be joining the CHP faculty on August 1 as the new Clinic Director/Coordinator of Clinical Training. Expertise: Psychosocial Oncology; Chronic Complex Medical Conditions; Integrated and Multidisciplinary Health Care Environments; Health Equity/Health Disparities in Marginalized and Underserved Communities; Training; Leadership/Consulting

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

Sneha Thamotharan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Health Disparities/Health Equity; Pediatric Health Services; Preventive Medicine; Youth of Color; Minority Youth; Pediatric Psychology

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