Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

About the Clinical Health Concentration 

The Clinical Health concentration will train psychologists in the science of psychology, as well as train them to deliver clinical services in settings such as primary health care hospital teams, rehabilitation, psychiatry, oncology, cardiology, geriatrics, pain clinics, sleep medicine, pediatrics, health maintenance organizations, community mental health agencies, and in the private practice of health psychology. 

  • Graduates of the Clinical Health concentration will: be competent in the assessment of a biopsychosocial factors affecting an individual's overall health and well-being including psychological, cognitive, behavioral, social, environmental, and biological/physical factors. 
  • be skilled in developing and delivering psychological interventions to promote prevention and wellness and treat psychological conditions that affect health and illness.
  • be skilled in a broad range of psychological interventions and techniques, ranging from psychotherapy to targeted interventions such as stress-management, relaxation training, biofeedback, health promotion, and problem solving therapy.
  • be skilled in collaboration, consultation, and teamwork, which are essential to working within a multidisciplinary team of health professionals such as medical doctors (e.g. family medicine, psychiatry, neurology, cardiology), nurses, physician assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, and public health professionals.
  • be expert in contemporary research so as to rigorously conduct and apply scientific methods to understanding health and illness and be able to select and evaluate clinical treatment strategies based on established scientific knowledge and empirical support 

The clinical health program is based on a mentorship model. Students are commonly admitted to perform research with a specific faculty mentor.  The mentorship model allows for a rich training experience. 

Additional information about our our policies regarding student selection, program preparation, and admission policies can be found here. 

Specialty training in clinical neuropsychology is also available for interested doctoral students. Information can be found here. 

The clinical psychology program at East Carolina University is accredited by the American Psychological Association 

Application deadline for the fall of 2019 is December 1, 2018. 

Interview day for the fall of 2019 is February 8, 2019.

National Distinctions and Student Success in Doctoral Training in Clinical Health Psychology

Clinical Health Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is one of seven programs in the United States focused primarily on health psychology.


Clinical health psychology faculty currently hold awards from both federal funded agencies, such as NIH, as well as industry funded studies. ECU has a 93% placement rate in accredited internships (national avg: 53%). Examples of sites include:Brown University, University of Florida, Buffalo VAMC, Cherokee Hospital Systems, etc. Currently training 24 doctoral students. 50% of the students published a peer reviewed article in the past year. Additionally, 91% of the students presented research at a national professional meeting. Check out some of our students research accomplishments.


The clinical psychology program at East Carolina University is accredited by the American Psychological Association. In our most recent site visit, we were accredited for the maximum duration, seven years. Our next site visit will be in 2019. The APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation is located at the following address:

APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 750 First Street  NE Washington  DC 20002-4242(202) 336-5979

For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Peggy Fleming Graduate Administrative Assistant 

Department of Psychology 

East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858 252-328-1368


Licensure. ECU cannot confirm whether any of its courses or programs meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of of North Carolina. ECU strongly encourages students to contact applicable licensing boards in states they wish to pursue licensure prior to seeking admission or beginning study in an academic program. ECU

Criminal Background Checks. Having a history of criminal charges may impact a student's ability to participate in selected community practica and obtain licensure in some states. The Clinical Health Concentration requires all incoming students to have a background check completed during the Fall semester of your 1st year. If the background check reveals a history of criminal charges, students may be prevented from participating in selected practica and in some instances continuing in the program.


Thank you for your interest in doctoral studies in Health Psychology at East Carolina University. Our program began in 2007 and endeavors to produce state-of-the-art scientist practitioners in health psychology. The Department of Psychology at East Carolina University offers a Ph.D. program in health psychology with a concentration in clinical health. Our program combines a lifespan approach to understanding health with an emphasis on prevention and care, from primary to tertiary, within mental health and healthcare settings. Students are trained in both research and practice, with practicum experiences in our in-house psychology clinic (PASS Clinic), as well as primary care, and outpatient and inpatient medical settings across medical subspecialties. For example, some program faculty provide psychological services in medical clinics, such as cardiology, family medicine, and pediatrics, accomplishing fully integrated psychosocial care with ongoing medical care. 

We believe the training program at East Carolina University is among the most innovative in the country with training as a clinical psychologist and an emphasis on health psychology in clinical medical settings. We hope you agree and will consider East Carolina for your future studies. Tomorrow Starts Here. 

Go Pirates! 

Robert A Carels, Ph.D., MBA, Director of Clinical Training 

Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D. Director of Doctoral Studies

Primary Integrated Care Training Grant Awarded   

The Departments of Psychology and Family Medicine at ECU were awarded a $730,000 Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program grant from the Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) to train doctoral-level psychologists. 

To read more about the grant: Primary Integrated Care Training Grant 

Receive additional information about clinical health program and the grant:  Clinical Psychology Program

How we integrate Diversity and Inclusion into our Program

The clinical health concentration is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community. Consistent with this principle, trainers and trainees do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status in the services provided at the training clinic or practicum site. We are committed to a training process that ensures that graduate students develop and adopt a multicultural framework in their professional life. It is acknowledged that developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with a diverse public who embody intersecting identities (including differing attitudes, beliefs, and values) is a lifelong process. Therefore, multicultural training is evident across our coursework and through invited speakers, workshops, and research presentations.

Training. Recent trainings included a workshop on cultural humility, entitled Cultural Humility: Engaging Diverse Identities in Therapy. Additionally, our federally-funded training (HRSA) graduate psychology training grant in conjunction with the Family Medicine Department makes significant contributions to our diversity training. These experiences prepare students to work with a wide-range of populations in both their clinical work and research.

Research. We have faculty with expertise in multicultural research issues to help foster student growth in these areas and we believe that research is enriched when diversity is considered at all levels of conceptualization, design, and analyses.

Committees. To complement these experiences, we have an active Department Diversity Committee, made up of faculty and students. One of its most recent projects was to develop an assessment tool for assessing the cultural competence of the built environment in the Psychology Department and to assess the racial/ethnic diversity competence of the Psychology Building.

Pipeline. We also play an active role in increasing the diversity of the graduate psychology applicant pool by hosting an annual Graduate Psychology Diversity Pipeline event to make students from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups aware of our graduate programs and how best to become competitive for admission.

We hope you will consider joining us in these endeavors.