Psychology (Clinical Psychology Specialization) |

The PhD program in Clinical Psychology Specialization is the first and longest standing program at a Historically Black College or University. Accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1987, we are dedicated to bringing well-being and health to diverse groups in globally unserved settings by rigorously grounding psychological science in transcultural contexts. Our mission is to train scientist-practitioners from diverse backgrounds to apply their services to understanding and reducing societal problems.


HU Students

Established in 1930 under the leadership of Dr. Francis Sumner, the Department of Psychology at Howard University hailed influential alumni such as Drs. Kenneth Clark, Mamie Clark, James A. Bayton, and Leslie Hicks. It was in this department where Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted their seminal research on children’s awareness of racial differences between “colored” and “whites.” This Doll Experiment (1950) provided the foundation for the Brown v. Board of Education case, which led to the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that ‘separate was not equal.’ This rich tradition has been carried by graduates of the Clinical Psychology PhD program for the past 3 decades, who have tirelessly worked at the forefront of addressing the wellness of unserved communities through scholarship, advocacy, and clinical services.

The Clinical Psychology Specialization program at Howard University is a full time, five-year program of study that trains culture-relevant practitioner-scientists to apply the science of psychology to understand how individuals interact with their communities to affect mental and physical well-being.

What sets our program apart?

  • Awarded the 2005 APA Richard Suinn Minority Achievement Award, honoring excellence in training ethnic minority PhD students
  • Unique research collaborations with Howard University Hospital and other Howard PhD programs in neuropsychology, developmental, social, and personality psychology
  • Specialized child and adult tracks
  • Active international research programs in Africa and Asia


Contact Information for the Commission of Accreditation: APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. TEL: (202)336-5979



Welcome New Core Faculty


Dr. Terry DilmoreDr. Terri Dilmore (Associate Professor, PhD) holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University, completing a pre-doctoral internship at Howard University’s Counseling Center. She also completed a fellowship in Group Psychotherapy from the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, DC. Prior to her career as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Dilmore received a doctorate in Medical Science from the University of Calgary. Dr. Dilmore specializes in psychological assessment of justice system-involved, African American boys and girls; her complementary scholarly interests focus on characterizing complex, multigenerational trauma that affects these individuals and designing interventions to effectively address their mental health needs.












Dr. Darren BernalDr. Darren Bernal (Associate Professor) earned his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Bernal's research, clinical work, and teaching focuses on sociocultural factors that affect psychological and social functioning. His research focuses on the measurement and function of socioeconomic status in mental health disparities, mindfulness, performance, and psychological well-being. He is the former chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Socioeconomic Status. He grew up in Jamaica before migrating to Washington, DC and continues to focus on the global role of psychology in low-income populations. When he is not teaching, providing therapy, or researching mental health inequities, he can often be found working on his favorite “R&R” plan of rowing and reading. 











The following documents must be included in your application packet due December 1


Dr. GiShawn Mance

Director of Clinical Training
(202) 806-9454

Ms. Lorena Daniels

Program Assistant
(202) 806-6810

Dr. Debra Roberts

Psychology Department Chair
(202) 806-6805

Program Details

  • Related Degrees: Ph.D.
  • Program Frequency: Full-Time
  • Format: In Person

Degree Requirements

The clinical program is a full-time 5-year PhD program. Students are required to enroll for a minimum of 3-years of full-time graduate study at Howard and complete an off-campus full-time internship in the 5th year.  At least two of the three academic training years must be taken at Howard and at least one year of which must be in full-time residence. 

Core Courses

  • PSYCH 210 Ethics in Professional Psychology. First Year Seminar (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 280 Clinical Assessment I
  • PSYCH 281 Clinical Assessment II
  • PSYCH 294 Individual Psychotherapy I
  • PSYCH 296 Individual Psychotherapy II
  • PSYCH 291 Family Assessment and Therapy
  • PSYCH 220 Psychopathology
  • PSYCH 233 Neuropsychology
  • PSYCH 288 Neuropsychological Assessment
  • PSYCH 207 Statistics I
  • PSYCH 208 Statistics II
  • PSYCH 206 History and Systems
  • PSYCH 205 General Research Methods
  • PSYCH 315 Complex Case Conceptualization, Consultation, and Supervision

In order to train students to approach clinical practice and research with multidiscplinary views, students are also required to take Breadth and Minor courses in areas of neuropyschology. developmental, experimental, personality, and social psychology - subdisciplines that intersect with Clinical Psychology Specialization. Child/Adolescent or Adult tracks are also offered to students who are interested  in coursework that is more tailored to their research and clinical interests. 


Howard places a high emphasis on clinical field training. Students gain supervised training through different placements in the District of Columbia and Maryland areas. Students receive supervised   clinical training in areas of psychological assessment, evidenced-based intervention, and community-consulation laison.

  • Assessment and Therapy Practicum 1-6 (Years 1-3)
  • Externship (Year 4)
  • Internship (Year 5)



Linda Berg-Cross, PhD, Professor| (202) 806-9459 

Research: Family therapy, child-parent interaction, behavioral sleep medicine

Darren Bernal, PhD, Associate Professor

Research: Measurement and function of socioeconomic status in mental health disparities, mindfulness, performance, and psychological well-being (Accepting PhD student/s in Fall 2024-25)

Terri Dilmore, PhD, Associate Professor


Research: psychological assessment of justice system-involved, African American boys and girls, complex, multi-generational trauma (Accepting PhD student/s in Fall 2024-25)

Jules Harrell, PhD, Professor | (202) 806-4078

Research: Psychophysiology & stressors among people of African descent

Hope M. Hill, PhD, Associate Professor | (202) 806-6805

Research: Community violence and African American child development

Ronald Hopson, PhD, Associate Professor | (202) 806-6805

Research: Substnace abuse and mental illness, spirituality and psychology

Ezer Kang, PhD, Professor | (202) 806-6844 

Research: HIV stigma, perinatal HIV, global mental health, peace & conflict studies, Global Community Health Lab (Accepting PhD student/s in Fall 2024-25)

GiShawn Mance, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Training | (202) 806-9454

Research: child traumatic stress, community interventions

Denee T. Mwendwa, PhD, Professor | (202) 806- 9461

Research: Cardiovascular & kidney disease risk, health disparities, mindfulness inteventions


APA Accreditation (1st Clinical Psychology PhD Program at a HBCU): 34 years