SUU Makes History With First Doctorate Students

Published: September 02, 2022 | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU's first cohort of doctorate studentsWhen Southern Utah University students returned to campus this week for the start of the fall semester, ten students began their path on a history-making event. For the first time in SUU’s 125 years, the University welcomed doctoral students to campus. The students in the Doctorate of Psychology program’s first cohort are primarily from Utah, and eight are graduates of SUU.

“This is a significant moment in SUU history,” said SUU President Mindy Benson. “Not only do we begin our first doctorate-level program at the University, but the focus on clinical psychology will make a difference in the lives of people throughout rural Utah. SUU was founded to improve opportunities for the people of southern Utah and this new Doctorate of Psychology program fits well in our overall mission.”

SUU’s Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program is the only Psy.D. program in the state of Utah. It differs from a Ph.D. degree by placing greater emphasis on training professionals for practical application rather than on research. Both are based on scholarly theories and evidence-based practices.

“This is a culmination of decades of effort in trying to bring graduate training in psychology to SUU,” said Dr. Steve Barney, Psy.D. program director and professor of psychology. “We have worked tirelessly to develop a program to serve the needs of these students and the community. We are making history by welcoming this first cohort of students into the program.”

The Psy.D. is an intensive five-year, full-time in-residence program and will accept 10 additional students each year. The first four years combine coursework and hands-on practical experience, with at least 10 hours per week of practicum training at community sites. The fifth year is spent in a full-time internship.

The program’s location in Cedar City, Utah, provides an ideal environment for training in specialized placement sites that serve Native American, Hispanic, Veteran, student, and other rural populations. In addition to classes facilitated by expert faculty and culturally relevant clinical training activities, students within the program are supervised by practicing psychologists with a range of clinical specializations.

To learn more about SUU’s Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program, visit

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Psychology Doctorate Programs

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