Applying to the Program

The program admits up to 8 students per year, typically out of a pool of between 60-110 applicants. As such, the application process is competitive. We accept students in the fall only, and each cohort of students works closely together over the two-year program. Because of our program size we do not offer part time admission into the program.

In line with our Training Philosophy, we very much value unique life experiences, diverse backgrounds, and varied clinical practice experiences when we evaluate applicants to the program. Here is a summary of our program requirements for admission:

Clinical Experience:  Because incoming students begin clinical training within weeks of starting the program, our program requires that incoming students have at least one year (preferably more) of clinical practice experiences. These experiences may include any paid or non-paid position that involves supporting the mental health of individuals, children, or families. This experience can occur either in-person (e.g., providing ABA services, working at a residential facility) or remotely (e.g., crisis hotlines, warmlines). Please note that clinical experience conducted solely through text-based modalities is not considered sufficient.

Coursework: We require the following upper-division undergraduate coursework (preferably before applying to the program): Statistics, Theories of Personality, and Abnormal Psychology.

GRE:  We no longer require the GRE exam.

Applicants will additionally submit three letters of recommendation, their cv/resume, and a personal statement.

Applications are due on February 1. Details are in the department application materials or in the Admission FAQ. You can also write or call the Graduate Services Liaison, Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132. Phone: 415-338-2713; email:

Important note:  All trainees in our program work at a community-based placement during their time in the program. To be able to work at this placement, trainees must pass a background check (e.g., fingerprinting, review of criminal history). If you have concerns about passing this background check, you may want to consult with our clinical director (David Gard, We understand that having a criminal history should not preclude you from working in a clinical placement (or from getting your license), but want to make sure that you are aware of limitations that exist in many community-based placements and also with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Specifically, an inability to pass the background check may jeopardize your ability to participate in the program’s training sequence


Couldn't make it to the Clinical Open House this year? See our Powerpoint presentation or watch our most recent Open House.