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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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PhD Program in Clinical Health Psychology

Applying to the Program

PhD Admissions

Application Deadline: December 1*

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. Minimum requirements for admission include a BA or BS from an accredited college or university, GPA of 3.5 and undergraduate courses in Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, and Abnormal Psychology. The admissions committee also looks favorably on courses in the biological and physical sciences. 

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

Clinical Health Psychology Core Faculty

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

Evelinn A. Borrayo, Ph.D. Professor & Executive Director, Latino Research & Policy Center. Expertise: Health disparities in the prevention, control, and treatment of cancer among ethnic minorities, women, and older adults

Edward J. Dill, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Clinical Child and Adolescent (Pediatric) Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Quantitative Methods, Health-Related Quality of Life, Psychosocial Correlates of Health, Victimization and Bullying

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

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

Kristin Kilbourn, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Stress and Health, Psychosocial Oncology, Palliative Care, Psychoneuroimmunology, Caregiver Stress

Krista Ranby, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Social Psychology, Substance Abuse

Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D. Professor & Clinical Health Psychology Program Director. Expertise: Spirituality & Health, Cardiovascular Disorders, Exercise

Barbara Walker, Ph.D. Clinical Professor of Psychology & Coordinator of Clinical Training. Expertise: Clinical Health Psychology, Chronic Pain, Integrated Primary Care

Clinical Health Psychology 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

Michael Zinser, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology. Expertise: Clinical Psychology


*Students are admitted only in the fall semester. International students should submit all materials at least two weeks before the deadline to ensure they arrive on time.​​​

How Do I Apply?

The online application to the program consists of a Personal Statement and Supporting Materials

Personal Statement

In the Personal Statement, applicants provide the names of the faculty members with whom they would like to work and answers to four key questions regarding their research interests, professional experiences and aspirations, and how they view the relationship between science and practice. The admissions committee pays close attention to the Personal Statement. 

Applicants can fill out the Personal Statement Template below and upload it into the online application, or they can directly input the same information into the space provided for the Personal Statement in the online application. 

Personal Statement Template

Supporting Materials

Supporting materials are submitted electronically by the issuing organization or uploaded to the online application unless otherwise noted.

  • Resume or Curriculum Vita: Include education, employment, publications, theses, research and other activities related to clinical health psychology
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three, at least two of which must be academic references, are required. Recommenders can upload them to the online application or email them to
  • Transcripts: One official transcript from each college and university attended.       Address for standard mail: The Graduate School, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Box 163, PO Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217                          Address for an item that requires a signature: The Graduate School, University of Colorado Denver, 1380 Lawrence Street Suite 1251, Denver, CO 80204
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores: Take the GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) at least six weeks before December 1 to ensure that the scores arrive on time. CU Denver's school code is 4875; the Psychology Department code is 2001
  • Application Fee: $50 for US citizens; $75 for international students   ​​

After I Apply

The admissions committee reviews all applications and invites the top candidates to campus interviews within six to eight weeks of the application deadline. Interview days are in February and early March and consist of individual and group meetings with faculty and students. In-person interviews are strongly preferred but telephone interviews can be arranged if necessary. ​​​​

Transfer Students/Credits

Transfer students must meet all regular criteria for admission. Transfer credits and projects (e.g.,​ theses) are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director according to program policies. Only courses from regionally accredited institutions are considered. The course or project in question must be equivalent to a required course or project in our program and relevant syllabit must be submitted. Students who enter the program with a master's degree will almost certainly not have all of their courses or thesis credits transfer. Criteria for accepting transfer credits include:

  • The courses are recommended for transfer by the Program Director, the course instructor, and the student's advisor and are approved by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at CU Denver.
  • Grades of B or better were obtained in the courses (no pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades will be accepted).
  • The courses are graduate level (5000 or higher).
  • The courses were completed within five years of the student's request for transfer.
  • The maximum number of transfer credits allowed is 24.

Transfer students must complete a minimum of four semesters in residence in our program. ​