Dr. Donte Bernard photo


Donte Bernard is an Assistant Professor and licensed clinical psychologist at the at the University of Missouri Columbia. He earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his clinical internship at University of Miami School of Medicine Mailman Center for Child Development. He completed a NIMH funded T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship at the NCVC. Dr. Bernard’s program of research seeks to understand how and why racism-related stress and trauma shape psychological and behavioral health outcomes among Black youth and emerging adults. He is also interested in understanding the processes by which culturally relevant protective factors promote resilience and positive psychological wellbeing in the face of racism-related adversity. Interested in learning more about Dr. Bernard's work? email him at

*****Fall, 2022 ADMISSIONS UPDATES****

Clinical Faculty Mentors:  The following clinical program faculty have indicated that they will consider accepting students for the Fall, 2022 admissions class. Please check individual faculty web pages for further information about specific clinical faculty interests and availability.

     - Debora Bell

     - Shawn Christ

     - Lisa Flores

     - Ian Gizer

     - Kristin Hawley

     - John Kerns

     - Denis McCarthy

     - Tim Trull


Other Available Mentors: The following faculty from other areas may be available to serve as research mentors for clinical students accepted in the Fall, 2022 admissions class. Please check faculty web pages for further information about their research areas.

- Bruce Bartholow, social area, Department of Psychological Sciences

- Jordan Booker, developmental area, Department of Psychological Sciences

- Nicole Campione-Barr, developmental area, Department of Psychological Sciences

- Ashley Groh, developmental area, Department of Psychological Sciences

- Christina McCrae, Department of Psychiatry

- Amanda Rose, developmental area, Department of Psychological Sciences

Program Philosophy and Accreditation

The PhD program in clinical psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of American Psychological Association and by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Clinical science is defined as "a psychological science directed at the promotion of adaptive functioning; at the assessment, understanding, amelioration, and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition, or health; and at the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence."

In particular, MU's Clinical Training PhD Program is designed to provide

  1. Training in the major substantive areas and methodology of the science of psychology,
  2. Intensive training in the subject matter of clinical psychology as well as in empirically supported assessment and intervention approaches,
  3. Research competence and background in theoretical and applied problem areas of clinical psychology, and
  4. A clinical scientist orientation that embraces both an appreciation of and a commitment to the advancement of clinical psychology as a science.

Questions related to the program’s APA-accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979

Questions related to the program’s PCSAS-accredited status should be directed to the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System:
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC  20036-1218  USA
(301) 455-8046

Commitment to Ethical and Cultural Competence

Foundational to all of these training goals and professional activities is a commitment to ethical & culturally competent science and practice. The clinical PhD program strives to incorporate an understanding and appreciation of individual, cultural, and contextual factors in all aspects of the program, including coursework, research, clinical practice, professional identity development, and program climate.

A fundamental tenet of our profession is that psychologists are ethically-bound to provide services to all types of clients, regardless of client worldviews, beliefs, values, racial or ethnic background, gender identification, sexual orientation, or other aspects of clients’ identity. We are committed to training all students to be able to meet this ethical standard, and meeting the standard is necessary for successful completion of the program. We appreciate that, initially, some students may find it challenging to work with clients who hold very different worldviews or conflicting values and beliefs, and we are committed to working in a respectful way with students to develop, over time, the capacity to meet this core ethical standard.

We hold similar values regarding psychologists’ research, teaching/learning, and other professional activities. We are committed to training students to be able to consider issues of individual and cultural diversity in the design, implementation, and interpretation of their research, including an appreciation of the how they can both utilize and contribute to a more culturally informed knowledge base. We are further committed to facilitating students’ ability to work effectively with students, research participants, and colleagues with diverse worldviews, backgrounds, and identities.

Training Experiences

The program seeks to prepare students for careers in clinical science including research, teaching, and service in universities, medical centers, clinics, hospitals, and similar agencies. Students receive training in research skills and in empirically supported approaches to assessment, prevention and intervention. This training occurs via course work, involvement in research labs from the very start of the program, weekly brownbag seminars where faculty and students present research findings, and clinical practica beginning in the second year. Although extensive training in both basic and applied aspects of clinical psychology is emphasized, the major goal is the training of clinical scientists. Therefore, students whose primary interest is applied training would not be a good match with our program.

Clinical faculty have either an emphasis on child psychopathology (child track) or adult psychopathology (adult track). Several adjunct faculty and faculty from other departmental areas (developmental, social/personality, cognition & neuroscience and quantitative) also participate in the training of clinical students.

The Psychological Services Clinic, located in the Psychology Building, is a community-based outpatient facility that serves as the primary clinical practicum training site for the clinical program. A variety of psychological services (assessment, consultation, and individual, group and family therapy) are provided to people and agencies in the University and Columbia communities, largely by students in the program under the close supervision of the clinical faculty and psychologists on staff at the Clinic (currently four doctoral-level clinical psychologists). In addition, clinical training is available at various off-site placements (e.g., Fulton State Hospital).

Training experiences are designed so that, through a sequence of coursework, mentored research, and clinical practicum that is developmentally sequenced and graduated in complexity, students develop competencies that allow them to become independent and successful clinical scientists. The program is designed so that students spend a minimum of 5 years in the doctoral program and complete the required doctoral internship in their 6th year. Many students choose to extend their doctoral training for an additional year (or sometimes two) to take advantage of dissertation fellowships or other research or clinical training opportunities. Students are required to complete their doctoral study in residence at least through the dissertation proposal.

Admission to the Clinical Program

Our major goal is the training of clinical scientists. Therefore, we admit students who have a strong interest in conducting research and applying this knowledge to clinical problems. Applicants whose primary interest is applied training (i.e., primarily or only interested in seeing clients, but not in research) would not be a good match with our program.

The Clinical program adheres to a mentorship model whereby students are admitted who have research interest that are similar to the research interests of one or more of the Clinical faculty. Therefore, applicants are urged to provide detailed information regarding research background and interests on their application. A formal interview, either in person or by telephone, is required for finalists.

Financial support is available to students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and clerkships, which are paid clinical experiences through the University and community agencies.

For statistics on application rates, student activities, internship placement, time to degree, completion rates and program costs, please see the attached Public Disclosure Data.

Dual Emphasis Degree Program in Child Clinical and Developmental Training

Students who wish to pursue a graduate degree with training in both clinical (child track) and developmental psychology may do so through the pursuit of the Dual Emphasis option. Students in this program will be involved in training that bridges the two areas of developmental psychology and child-clinical psychology. This program will be the equivalent of training in the area of developmental psychopathology with the added benefits of training and practice in child-clinical psychology. To pursue the joint program, students must be officially admitted into either the clinical or developmental training areas within the Department of Psychological Sciences. Then, at the end of their first year of study, students must apply to the other training area. Once accepted into both areas, notification of the dual degree must be made to Office of Graduate Studies.

Clinical Research Labs

Lab Director Lab Location
Alcohol Cognitions Lab Denis M. McCarthy 124F Psychology
Child & Adolescent Therapy Research Group
PDF icon Lab Flyer
Kristin M. Hawley 125 Psychology Building
Clinical Neuropsychology Lab
Research in the CNL lab focuses on neurocognitive development in children with and without neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g, autism, phenylketonuria). Methods utilized include behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, sMRI, DTI).
Shawn E. Christ 329 Noyes Hall
Cognitive and Emotional Control Lab
Research on the nature of cognitive and emotional control and their role in schizophrenia and emotion dysregulation
PDF icon Lab Flyer
John G. Kerns 208 Psychology Building
Gene-Brain-Behavior Relations Lab
Research in the lab focuses on genetic contributions to the development of externalizing spectrum disorders such as substance dependence, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and antisocial behavior.
Ian Gizer
Personality and Emotion Laboratory Timothy Trull 219 Psychology Building
Youth Anxiety and Depression Lab
Our lab examines cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal experiences that may serve as risk or protective factors anxiety and/or depression in youth.
Debora Bell