Closeup of young black male with eyes closed meditating outdoors.


This major area of study focuses on developing and integrating knowledge and techniques in behavioral/biomedical science and applying psychological knowledge to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Clinical and research practica may include training and placements in the SDSU Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies as well as in the following locations at the UC San Diego Medical School: Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Child and Family Health, Cardiology, Hemodialysis, Rehabilitation Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Burn Unit, Oncology, Chronic Pain Unit, and Pediatrics. Additional placements are possible in projects on hypertension, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, and diabetes.


SDSU: Kristen Wells, Ph.D., MPH
UC San Diego: Neal Doran, Ph.D.

Three patients sitting in circle, an arm of a fourth is resting on should over one patient who's back is facing us.


Experimental psychopathology focuses on the causes, characteristics, and treatment of psychological dysfunction. Theory and research in this major area of study focus on the assessment and treatment of both childhood and adult disorders. Experimental psychopathology is broadly defined to provide students flexibility in deciding upon a particular area for study.

Current faculty interests include anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, affective disorders, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, child psychopathology, and treatment outcome research.

Possible research and clinical practica in experimental psychopathology include placement in advanced practica in the SDSU Psychology Clinic, the VA San Diego Healthcare System, the UC San Diego Medical Center, Rady Children’s Hospital, and the UC San Diego Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic.


SDSU: May Yeh, Ph.D.
UC San Diego: Charles Taylor, Ph.D.

Brain scans CT in cyan


Clinical neuropsychology involves the identification, description, multivariate quantification, and remediation of psychological impairments resulting from central nervous system disease and trauma. The neuropsychology major area of study provides a systematic program in human clinical neuropsychology.

Clinical and research practica include placements in the Department of Psychology at SDSU, the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego, the VA Medical Center, Rady Children’s Hospital, and the Salk Institute.


SDSU: Sarah Mattson, Ph.D.
UC San Diego: David Moore, Ph.D.


Through the JDP, students will have the opportunity to focus their training on a specialized area within clinical psychology. After completing the core curriculum, students are required to participate in formal training in one of the three major areas of study:

A full year’s seminar in the scientific and clinical aspects of the major area of study.

Clinical practica in the major area of study.

Advanced seminars and didactics, typically taken in conjunction with clinical practica.

A comprehensive examination or its equivalent (e.g., formal research grant proposal or major literature review).

Substantial research experience in the area, including a second-year project and dissertation.