Written by: Staff Writer
Graduate programs in clinical psychology prepare students to understand, assess, and treat individuals struggling with psychological issues. In these programs, students learn about psychological theories, cognitive function and behavior, developmental processes throughout the lifespan, and treatment strategies and techniques.
Becoming a licensed clinical psychologist requires the completion of a master's and doctoral degree. Master's in psychology programs typically require 36-60 credits and take 2-3 years to complete. Doctoral programs in psychology require 90 credits and take 4-7 years to complete. Some doctoral programs are structured so students may earn a master's degree during the course of the doctorate, while others may require students to possess a master's before enrolling. Graduate students in clinical psychology complete coursework, clinical practicums or internships, and theses and dissertations that prepare them for state licensure.
If you are seeking the most affordable master's degree in psychology, read on. This guide outlines the clinical psychology field, the most affordable psychology degrees, school rankings of clinical psychology graduate programs, and typical courses and degree curricula. Use this guide to decide whether obtaining a degree in clinical psychology is right for you and which programs align with your career goals and interests.
Top 10 Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology 2020
|1||The University of Texas at Tyler||Tyler, TX||$9,423|
|2||University of Houston-Clear Lake||Houston, TX||$12,231|
|3||Barry University||Miami, FL||$17,820|
|4||Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||$54,620|
|5||American International College||Springfield, MA||$11,380|
|6||The University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, TX||$9,295|
|7||Missouri State University-Springfield||Springfield, MO||$7,560|
|8||The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley||Edinburg, TX||$9,455|
|9||Ball State University||Muncie, IN||$15,198|
|10||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, TX||$9,275|
Graduate Degree in Clinical Psychology Overview
Clinical psychologists study, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. After a diagnosis, clinical psychologists treat and help patients manage chronic conditions or personal difficulties. They also conduct research on behavioral or emotional patterns, brain function and neurological conditions, mental health disorders, and best practices in the field.
Clinical psychologists typically work in research or clinical settings, but they may also work in forensic or industry sectors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned an annual median salary of $80,370 in 2019. The BLS projects jobs for psychologists to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028, a faster rate than average.
To become a clinical psychologist, individuals typically must complete a doctorate and supervised clinical experience hours, and they must pass a licensing examination. It is possible to find employment as a master's-level psychologist in certain mental health facilities, public service organizations, and other institutions and positions that do not require state licensure. However, to practice independently, work in a clinical setting, or conduct research, clinical psychologists must obtain a doctorate and meet licensure requirements.
In most states, clinical psychology students must complete 1-2 years of supervised clinical experience, such as an internship during a graduate program or a postdoctoral position. For example, in Texas, clinical psychologists must complete 3,500 clinical hours, 1,750 of which must be completed as part of a graduate program and 1,750 after the doctorate has been conferred. Several graduate programs included in this guide are based in Texas, but students should research the state licensure requirements for the state in which they intend to practice.
Common Clinical Psychology Courses
Clinical Psychology Concentrations
Concentrations in a psychology graduate program allow students to narrow their focus and prepare for a subfield within clinical psychology. Clinical psychology graduate programs offer concentrations in forensic psychology, neuropsychology, developmental psychology, childhood and adolescent development, substance abuse and addictions, and other specialties related to a practice area or working with specific populations.
Concentrations require 9-12 credits in addition to core coursework. Even when a program does not offer official concentrations, students can tailor their electives to acquire expertise in a particular specialty. If a graduate program requires a clinical internship or practicum, students can choose to work in a setting or with an organization that does work related to their area of concentration.
Concentrations can be appealing to employers who are looking for candidates with expertise in a certain area. For instance, schools or foster and adoption agencies may be more likely to hire clinical psychologists with a concentration in developmental psychology or childhood and adolescent development since their organizations work primarily with students and children.
Other psychology concentrations similarly prepare students to enter certain settings or fields. A concentration in forensic psychology, for example, provides students with an understanding of the justice system and the role of psychology in family, civil, and criminal court cases. Forensic psychologists often serve as expert witnesses during a trial to help the jury and judge understand the psychological elements of a case. They may also provide counseling or psychological services to justice-involved populations.
Most clinical psychologists work in research or clinical practice settings. Students should choose a concentration based on the types of psychological issues and clients they want to work with. For instance, students who want to diagnose and treat cognitive disorders related to brain injury may choose a concentration in neuropsychology.
Clinical Psychology Requirements
Admissions criteria to graduate programs in psychology include a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related discipline, a minimum GPA requirement, satisfactory GRE scores, and the completion of prerequisite courses. Some programs require candidates who completed their undergraduate degree in a discipline other than psychology to take prerequisite courses in psychological statistics, research methods, and abnormal psychology before progressing to graduate-level coursework.
GPA and GRE requirements vary by program. Most graduate programs require at least a 2.5 or 3.0 GPA. Some institutions admit students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement under a probationary status. Other programs do not have a minimum GPA requirement but allow for other elements of an application to offset a low GPA, such as a high GRE score, strong recommendation letters, and personal statement. Not all schools require GRE scores for admission.
To complete a graduate program in clinical psychology, students must meet all degree requirements, which include coursework, clinical experience, and a thesis or dissertation. Students are generally required to earn at least a grade of C or B in each course for the class to count toward their degree and maintain a certain overall GPA in order to graduate.
Master's-level students take a comprehensive exam and write a thesis. Doctoral students work with faculty advisors on a research project, complete a clinical internship, and write a dissertation. Completing these requirements prepares graduates to apply for licensure from the state board. Students seeking licensure should make sure their chosen graduate programs satisfy licensure requirements in the state in which they wish to practice.
How to Become a Clinical Psychologist
Complete a Master's Degree
To complete a master's degree, students must complete coursework, clinical experience, and a comprehensive exam or thesis. Most master's degrees in clinical psychology require 36-60 credits and can be completed in 2-3 years. Students can choose a master of arts or master of science degree in clinical psychology, both of which provide students with a background in the theory and practice of clinical psychology.
Enroll in a Ph.D. Program
Students can complete either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. The latter prepares students to provide psychological services to patients; the former teaches students psychological theories, best practices, and research methods to prepare them to conduct their own original research and advance science in the field. A Ph.D. in clinical psychology takes 4-7 years to complete and results in a dissertation. Students may also have to complete comprehensive and qualifying exams as a part of the doctoral program.
Complete Clinical Training
Most states require a certain number of clinical training hours for licensure as a clinical psychologist. This can include two years of postdoctoral supervised clinical experience, roughly 3,000 hours of clinical experience, or a related requirement. In some states, clinical experience obtained during master's and doctoral programs may be sufficient to meet the requirement, while other states require postdoctoral clinical training. These clinical hours should be completed in a mental health setting related to the candidate's career goals.
State licensure requirements for clinical psychologists typically include the completion of a doctoral degree, a number of supervised clinical experience hours, and satisfactory scores on a licensing exam. Prospective psychologists should check with their state's licensing board to ensure their graduate programs and clinical training satisfy the state's requirements. After completing the necessary education and training requirements, eligible candidates must take and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Licensed psychologists must also maintain their license by regularly completing approved continuing education courses.
Best Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology
1. John F. Kennedy University
Average Net Price: $8,500
John F. Kennedy University offers educational opportunities to working professionals, a mission it has upheld since its founding in 1964. The university offers an APA-accredited clinical psychology degree that requires 126 coursework credits and 36 internship credits. Students can choose a concentration in integrated health, neuropsychology, or clinical sport psychology.
The program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a psychologist in California. The curriculum includes coursework in cognitive-behavioral theory, psychopathology, multicultural proficiency, and clinical interviewing skills. Students must pass both a comprehensive written exam and the clinical proficiency exam to graduate. Additionally, the program assigns students to cross-cultural practicum sites to provide psychological services to members of underserved communities.
John F. Kennedy University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
2. Stony Brook University
Average Net Price: $16,870
Stony Brook University began in 1957 as a small preparatory college for secondary school teachers. Stony Brook now enrolls more than 26,000 students and offers more than 350 programs across 11 academic colleges
Stony Brook University offers one of the few clinical psychology Ph.D. programs accredited by both the American Psychological Association and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System. The program's curriculum requires 116 credits. Students must complete a second-year project, a specialty paper, required coursework, and at least 160 hours of supervised direct contact with clients.
Stony Brook University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
3. University at Buffalo
Average Net Price: $16,870
The University at Buffalo began in 1846 as a private medical college and merged with the SUNY system in 1962. The university offers over 420 undergraduate and graduate programs across 13 schools and colleges.
UB offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychologya> that meets the educational requirements for licensure in New York. The 72-credit curriculum includes two research projects, a clinical competency exam, a one-year clinical internship, and a dissertation. The curriculum also includes courses in advanced developmental psychology, multivariate statistics, research methods in clinical psychology, and psychopathology.
The University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
4. Columbia University
Average Net Price: $48,390
Starting out as King's College in 1754, Columbia University's initial enrollment included eight students. Today, the university enrolls more than 26,000 students and operates 20 academic schools.
The Teachers College at Columbia offers one of few research-focused clinical psychology doctoral programs that uses a mentorship model. Applicants must identify a faculty member whose area of research and expertise resonates with their own academic and professional goals. Students earn a master of science and master of philosophy as they complete the requirements for the Ph.D. The university funds doctoral students (tuition and a $25,000 stipend) through their fourth year of enrollment.
Columbia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
5. University of Washington
Average Net Price: $21,665
The University of Washington began in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington, with few students enrolled at the collegiate level. Today, UW enrolls over 47,000 students and offers a diverse selection of degrees, including a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
UW's clinical psychology degree offers general clinical and child clinical psychology tracks. Most students spend 5-6 years in full-time residence enrolling in classes and completing other program requirements before they begin a one-year internship period. Admission requirements include GRE scores. Admitted applicants typically score above the 70th percentile on the GRE and earn high undergraduate GPAs (3.5 overall and 3.7 in psychology coursework).
The University of Washington is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
6. University of Virginia
Average Net Price: $21,424
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia now enrolls almost 25,000 students and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs across 13 schools and colleges.
UVA's Curry School of Education and Human Development offers a combined Ph.D. in clinical and school psychology, one of only 10 combined programs in the field with APA accreditation. The program also holds accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists. After earning the degree, students can apply for licensure or certification in either field.
Students entering the clinical psychology degree with a bachelor's degree typically graduate after five years, while students with master's degrees usually graduate in four. The program requires a minimum residency of at least three years. As of March 2020, the program only accepted full-time students.
The University of Virginia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
7. Marshall University
Average Net Price: $13,269
Now located in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall University began as a school for local children. Marshall became a teacher training college in 1867 and finally a university in the late 1960s. Today, the university enrolls over 13,200 students and offers almost 70 programs across nine academic colleges.
MU's College of Liberal Arts offers a doctor of psychology with an emphasis on underserved rural populations. The Psy.D. curriculum includes courses in clinical health psychology, differential diagnosis and treatment planning, intermediate behavioral statistics, and studies in human sexuality. Students complete courses as part of a cohort.
Applicants with a master's degree in psychology with a clinical emphasis can apply for advanced standing. These advanced standing students enter a practicum in the field as soon as they begin the clinical psychology degree.
Marshall University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
8. Regent University
Average Net Price: $16,179
Regent University welcomed an initial class of 77 students in 1978. Today, Regent serves more than 10,400 students at its Virginia Beach, Virginia, campus and online.
The doctor of psychology at Regent's School of Psychology and Counseling holds accreditation from both the American Psychological Association and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. The program's curriculum comprises 124 credits and includes coursework in multicultural psychology; intelligence testing and psychometrics; clinical assessment and treatment planning; and ethics, professional orientation, and legal issues.
Students complete a 1,200-hour practicum during their second and third years of the clinical psychology degree (600 hours each year). The program culminates in a year-long 2,000-hour full-time internship that students can complete at approved sites anywhere in the country.
Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
9. University of North Texas
Average Net Price: $9,185
The University of North Texas opened its doors as the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute in 1890. The university has since expanded the range of its academic programs and now offers 230 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees across 14 schools and colleges.
UNT's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Students with a bachelor's degree must complete 90 credits. Incoming learners with master's degrees complete 60 credits before graduating. All students complete a required internship in the field.
All students pursuing the clinical psychology degree also complete supervised clinical training in the university's psychology clinic, where they provide professional services to the campus and the surrounding community. The clinic maintains several assessment and intervention rooms that students can use for training and applied clinical research.
University of North Texas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
10. University of Kansas
Average Net Price: $16,677
The University of Kansas now serves over 28,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The university also offers more than 400 degrees and certificate programs across 16 schools and colleges.
KU offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that requires all students to spend at least three years of full-time graduate residency on campus in Lawrence. Incoming students typically take 5-6 years to complete the program, including one year of predoctoral internship. However, students with master's degrees can apply up to 30 credits of comparable graduate-level coursework toward the Ph.D. after approval.
The curriculum includes coursework in theories and methods of psychotherapy, advanced psychopathology, and integrative psychological assessment. Students pursuing the clinical psychology degree must complete a minimum of 450 clinical hours, including at least 275 hours at KU's psychology clinic.
The University of Kansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
11. Nova Southeastern University
Average Net Price: $20,620
Nova Southeastern University emerged from the 1964 union of Nova University of Advanced Technology and the Southeastern University of Health Sciences. The university currently enrolls 20,435 students and offers an array of degrees and certificates across 18 schools, colleges, and centers.
Doctoral applicants can pursue either a doctor of clinical psychology (Psy.D.) or a doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology (Ph.D.). Both clinical psychology doctoral programs meet the educational requirements for psychologist licensure in Florida and require at least 118 credits. All students can pursue concentrations, such as psychodynamic psychology, clinical forensic psychology, and clinical neuropsychology. Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation to graduate from the program, while Psy.D. candidates must complete a directed study.
Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
12. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Average Net Price: $16,008
The 1969 merger of Indiana University and Purdue University resulted in the creation of IUPUI. The university now enrolls close to 30,000 students and offers over 450 programs across 17 schools.
IUPUI offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in three areas: clinical health psychology, severe mental illness/psychiatric rehabilitation, and substance abuse. The program requires 90 credits of graduate coursework, which include an 800-hour clinical practicum with hands-on training in assessment and intervention. Students also complete a post-dissertation internship of at least 2,000 hours at an approved site.
The university provides five years of financial assistance to doctoral students pursuing the clinical psychology degree. Students receive a $19,000 living stipend and a full tuition scholarship.
IUPUI is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
13. Texas Tech University
Average Net Price: $9,567
Established in 1923, Texas Tech University welcomed 914 students to its six-building campus during its initial year. Today, the university enrolls approximately 38,000 students, occupies over 1,800 acres, and offers more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
Texas Tech offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology requiring 90-120 credits of graduate coursework. Students can choose to earn a master's as they pursue their doctorate, but the program does not offer a terminal master's degree in clinical psychology.
Most students complete the clinical psychology degree in five years of continuous full-time enrollment. The curriculum includes coursework in advanced correlational methods and factor analysis, psychotherapeutic intervention and management, social psychology and emotion, and objective personality assessment.
Texas Tech University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
14. SUNY at Albany
Average Net Price: $16,870
SUNY at Albany began 1844 as the New York State Normal School, the first state-chartered institution of higher learning. Initial enrollment consisted of 29 students, and classes were held in an abandoned railway station. Today, UAlbany serves more than 17,000 students, operates three campuses, and offers over 175 programs, including a clinical psychology degree.
UAlbany's Ph.D. in clinical psychology requires 66 credits. To advance to candidacy, students must complete a research competency paper and all required coursework, master a foreign language or a statistical technique, pass the doctoral qualifying exam, and spend time in residency at UAlbany.
SUNY at Albany is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
15. Loma Linda University
Average Net Price: $29,372
Loma Linda University began in 1905 as the Loma Linda Sanitarium. It quickly became a teaching hospital and admitted its first group of nursing students just a few months after opening. Today, LLU enrolls over 4,400 students and offers more than 100 programs across eight schools and colleges.
LLU's School of Behavioral Health offers two clinical psychology doctoral programs: a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) and a doctor of philosophy in psychology (Ph.D.). Both programs let students choose an optional concentration in health psychology, clinical child psychology, or neuropsychology. The Psy.D. is a five-year program, while the Ph.D. takes six years. Students complete the practicum requirement in multidisciplinary settings affiliated with LLU or approved non-affiliated facilities.
Loma Linda University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
16. University of Houston
Average Net Price: $12,838
The University of Houston began in 1927 as a junior college with an initial enrollment of 232 students. It now serves over 46,000 students and offers more than 250 programs across 16 academic schools.
UH's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that requires 120 credits. Students can choose from three specialty training areas: clinical child psychology, neuropsychology, and adult clinical psychology. The curriculum includes coursework in experimental design, developmental psychopathology, lifespan clinical neuropsychology, and advanced clinical assessment.
The program does not offer a terminal master's degree; however, students can earn one in the process of meeting the requirements for the doctoral clinical psychology degree.
The University of Houston is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
17. Graduate Center
Average Net Price: $16,040
Established in 1961, the City University of New York's Graduate Center currently enrolls over 3,500 students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees and serves as the administrative home for five CUNY schools.
Students can pursue the Ph.D. in clinical psychology at John Jay College (90 credits) or Queens College (91 credits). The curriculum includes coursework in core clinical psychology subjects such as neuropsychological assessment, ethical and legal issues for psychology, cognitive and affective aspects of behavior, and psychometric methods.
The clinical psychology degree requires students to pass two doctoral examinations. Most students complete an empirical project and defend their work before a faculty panel to meet the first doctoral examination requirement. Students with a master's degree can meet this requirement by defending their master's thesis before a doctoral committee. The second doctoral exam typically consists of a comprehensive written test.
The GC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
18. University of Texas at Austin
Average Net Price: $17,153
The University of Texas at Austin opened its doors in 1883 to 221 students, eight teachers, and one building. Today, more than 51,000 students pursue their academic goals at UT Austin's 431-acre campus and online.
The curriculum for UT Austin's Ph.D. in clinical psychology includes coursework in functional neuroanatomy, clinical psychopharmacology, human language processing, and principles of cognitive neuroscience. All students pursuing the clinical psychology degree must enroll full time for four years and complete a research project, a clinical practicum, a dissertation, and a one-year internship.
The University of Texas at Austin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
19. University of California, San Diego
Average Net Price: $18,993
Founded in 1960 and currently comprising 11 schools and divisions, the University of California, San Diego offers more than 130 undergraduate majors and supports a total student population of over 39,000.
UC San Diego offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology as a joint doctoral program (JDP) with San Diego State University. Most students complete the clinical psychology degree in 5-6 years of full-time enrollment. All students in the program complete a clinical internship. JDP students can earn a master of science after completing 36 credits. The program provides financial support to all doctoral students, covering their tuition and fees for five years and providing an annual stipend of $23,000.
The University of California San Diego is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
20. San Diego State University
Average Net Price: $11,928
San Diego State University started out in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School, an institution focused on training elementary school teachers. SDSU opened with an initial enrollment of 91 students and a seven-member faculty. Today, the university enrolls close to 33,000 students and offers nearly 200 programs across eight academic colleges, including a clinical psychology degree.
SDSU offers its Ph.D. in clinical psychology as a joint doctoral program (JDP) with the University of California, San Diego. Many JDP students fulfill their practicum requirements at the SDSU Psychology Clinic, where they work as therapists under the close supervision of licensed clinical psychologists. The clinic is a mental health facility serving the university and the surrounding community.
San Diego State University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
21. Northwestern University
Average Net Price: $54,620
Established in 1851, Northwestern University began with a two-member faculty and 10 students. Today, Northwestern serves a student population of almost 22,000 across 10 academic colleges.
Northwestern offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that consists of at least 27 courses. Students enroll in core subjects, such as psychopathology, clinical assessment, and psychotherapy. They also complete more focused studies in experimental approaches to personality, the socio-emotional brain, and neurobiology and behavior. The clinical psychology degree requires two research projects during the first three years and a comprehensive qualifying exam prior to advancing to doctoral candidacy.
Northwestern University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
22. Binghamton University
Average Net Price:$16,870
Established in 1946 as Triple Cities College, Binghamton University started out as a branch of Syracuse University. Today, Binghamton University enrolls more than 17,500 students and offers over 200 programs across six schools.
Binghamton's Harpur College of Arts and Sciences offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that gives students the opportunity to earn a master of science by the end of their second year. The curriculum includes coursework in the social aspects of behavior, human neuropsychology, multicultural psychology, and cognitive and affective bases of behavior.
Doctoral students typically receive a tuition scholarship, health insurance, and an annual stipend. Funding remains in place as long as students maintain a good standing and make steady progress through their program.
Binghamton University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
23. University of Louisville
Average Net Price: $19,569
The University of Louisville traces its origins back to 1798, with the establishment of the Jefferson Seminary in Louisville. The university currently consists of 12 schools and colleges and offers over 200 programs to more than 21,400 students.
The UofL offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that gives students the chance to explore four major research areas: geropsychology, psychopathology, mental health disparities, and health psychology. Students enroll in both departmental and clinical core courses in behavioral neuroscience; advanced developmental psychology; clinical interviewing; and legal, professional, and ethical issues. The program does not offer a terminal master's degree, but students can earn one as they fulfill the academic and training requirements of the doctoral program.
The University of Louisville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
24. University of North Dakota
Average Net Price: $15,095
Founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota was recognized as a state, the University of North Dakota's first graduating class consisted of six women and two men. Today, close to 13,500 students enroll at UND, pursuing one of 250 programs offered by the nine schools and colleges that make up the university.
Students can earn aPh.D. in clinical psychology through UND. The program requires 92 credits and usually takes 4-6 years to complete. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, 18 credits of undergraduate psychology coursework, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher, and a GRE score within the 30th percentile or better.
The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
25. University of Massachusetts Boston
Average Net Price: $26,404
Established in 1964, the University of Massachusetts Boston is the second-oldest institution in the UMass system. It consists of nine schools and colleges and enrolls close to 16,000 students from all over the nation and more than 144 countries.
UMass Boston offers a Ph.D. in clinical psychology that requires at least five years of full-time enrollment to complete. Students must also complete a two-year practicum, write an empirical master's thesis, pass a qualifying exam, and write and defend a dissertation. The program also requires students to complete a one-year internship prior to graduation.
The University of Massachusetts Boston is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Ranking Top 25 Doctorate Clinical Psychology Degree Programs
1. The University of Texas at Tyler
Average Net Price: $9,423
UT Tyler offers one of the most affordable psychology degree programs in the country. The 60-credit master's in clinical psychology degree includes courses on topics like psychopharmacology, applied therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The program also incorporates two supervised practicums. Graduates meet the educational requirements for licensed psychological associate in Texas.
The school's Office of Career Success and Alumni Engagement offers career assessments and Handshake job search software. Students can also work one-on-one with advisors to hone their networking skills.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE scores. the Department of Psychology and Counseling prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Texas residents save approximately 40% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Incoming degree-seekers with excellent standardized test scores may qualify for the $1,000 New Graduate Fellowship.
2. University of Houston - Clear Lake
Average Net Price: $12,231
UHCL's 63-credit master's degree in clinical psychology includes courses on topics like advanced experimental methods, the biological basis of behavior, and learning principles. Students can choose from sociocultural, therapy, and free electives to tailor the degree to their interests. Learners culminate the degree with a two-semester clinical practicum.
Learners gain access to career services, such as resume critiques, on-campus networking events, and guidance on potential career paths. The school also provides Jobs4Hawks, a job board that features internship opportunities throughout Houston, and information on upcoming recruiting events.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with five completed undergraduate psychology prerequisites. They must also submit a statement of purpose, a resume, three recommendation letters, and GRE scores from the previous five years. Out-of-state graduate students pay more than double the in-state tuition rate.
3. Barry University
Average Net Price: $17,820
Barry offers a master's in clinical psychology program with 60- and 36-credit options. The 60-credit program qualifies graduates for licensure. Both tracks offer evening classes to accommodate working professionals. Classes include human sexuality, clinical psychopathology, and advanced personality.
Graduate students can further prepare for their careers by joining Psi Chi - the National Honor Society in Psychology. Learners can also visit the school's Career Development Center to access resume critiques and job search tools.
Application requirements include undergraduate transcripts that reflect a minimum 3.0 GPA, a statement of purpose, and two recommendations. Barry charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all learners regardless of residency. Nearly 80% of graduate students receive financial aid.
4. Northwestern University
Average Net Price: $54,620
Northwestern offers one of the most affordable psychology degree programs in the country. The 17-unit master's in clinical psychology takes one year to complete. Learners take courses on topics like statistics, research, and cognitive psychology. The program concludes with a research lab capstone.
Northwestern Career Advancement hosts networking tips, career fairs, and links to job boards to help students prepare for their future careers.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA, three recommendation letters, an essay, and satisfactory GRE scores. All degree-seekers pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency, and full-time students enjoy a tuition discount. Financial aid options for graduate learners include low-interest institutional loans.
5. American International College
Average Net Price: $11,380
AIC's master's degree in clinical psychology offers two concentrations: mental health and forensic psychology. Both the 60-credit mental health concentration and the 66-credit forensic psychology concentration qualify graduates for licensure. All students complete psychology coursework in addition to a practicum and a 600-hour internship.
At the Saremi Center for Career Development (SCCD), students can receive cover letter assistance, perform mock interviews, and attend career workshops. The SCCD website also features private job and internship boards, a salary calculator, and career planning guides.
AIC prefers applicants with a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must submit two recommendation letters, transcripts, and a personal statement.
6. The University of Texas at El Paso
Average Net Price: $9,295
UTEP's 45-credit master's in clinical psychology includes 15 elective credits. Students can choose from courses on topics like developmental psychology, behavioral medicine, structural equation modeling, and scientific writing. Additionally, degree-seekers must write a master's thesis and complete a clinical internship during their final year.
The University Career Center (CC) shares internship and job opportunities through JobMine as well as career guidance and university news. Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, three recommendation letters, and a 2-3-page personal statement. The program accepts up to 24 transfer credits. In-state students save more than 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state degree-seekers.
7. Missouri State University - Springfield
Average Net Price: $7,560
MSU's master's in psychology degree offers three specializations: clinical, industrial/organizational, and experimental psychology. Each specialization comprises 47 credits and includes courses in statistics and research design, ethical and professional issues, and social psychology. Students select between an internship and a master's thesis to culminate the degree.
Approximately 75% of MSU students who earn a graduate degree find a job or enter another academic program within six months of graduation. Degree-seekers can improve employability by using the school's Career Planning Toolkit, which includes one-on-one career counseling and free career development courses.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.25 undergraduate GPA, satisfactory GRE scores,and three recommendation letters. Missouri residents save nearly 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. MSU offers multiple scholarship opportunities exclusively for graduate students.
8. The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
Average Net Price: $9,455
UTRGV's 48-credit MA in clinical psychology prepares students for professional counselor licensure. Graduates can also pursue a doctoral degree. The curriculum features coursework on topics like psychological statistics, research design, and advanced psychological measurement. Students can choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. Non-thesis students must pass a written comprehensive exam.
The school's career resources include Handshake software, career development workshops, and on-campus job and internship opportunities. Learners can also access online career education guides that cover interviewing and resume writing best practices.
Prospective students need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must also submit GRE scores, a 1,500-word essay, and three recommendation letters. Out-of-state students pay double the in-state tuition rate. Incoming degree-seekers may qualify for one of six institutional scholarships that award up to $2,000.
9. Ball State University
Average Net Price: $15,198
Ball State's master's in psychology program does not lead to licensure but prepares students for doctoral study. The program accepts just 10-12 learners each year, so students receive individualized attention from professors. Required courses include abnormal psychology, applied research methods, and the analysis of variance.
Learners gain access to career resources, such as skill-building guides, career coaches, links to job boards, and internship opportunities.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, and at least two recommendation letters. In-state students receive a significant tuition discount. The university's graduate assistantship program helps eligible degree-seekers save 55% on tuition.
10. Sam Houston State University
Average Net Price: $9,275
SHSU's master's in clinical psychology degree offers two tracks: a 45-credit thesis track and a 48-credit non-thesis track that includes additional electives. Regardless of their track, all students take courses on topics like advanced statistics, cognitive psychology, and psychotherapy. Additionally, all students complete three practicums.
Students can access career services and resources, such as on-campus hiring events, resume critiques, and an exclusive job board. The school also allows some students to rent formal attire for job interviews and other functions.
Prospective students must hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and submit three recommendation letters. SHSU charges out-of-state learners double the in-state tuition rate. The university posts institutional scholarship opportunities on the Scholarships4Katz website.
11. Montclair State University
Average Net Price: $15,032
Among the most affordable psychology degrees, Montclair's master's in clinical psychology comprises 36 credits and includes two concentrations: forensic psychology and child/adolescent psychology. Both programs emphasize developmental psychology and psychometrics and include a one-semester externship.
Students and alumni gain access to career counseling, doctoral preparation, and resume assistance. They can also access a blog that covers the latest career trends and news on upcoming career fairs and internship opportunities.
Prospective students can apply for the spring or fall semester. Applicants must submit transcripts, GRE scores, a personal statement, a resume, and two recommendation letters. In-state students enjoy a tuition discount. Financial aid opportunities for graduate learners include assistantships and scholarships.
12. University of Central Florida
Average Net Price: $16,337
UCF offers a master's in clinical psychology that comprises 49 credits and includes courses on topics like multicultural psychotherapy, career and lifestyle assessment, and research methodology. In addition to coursework, students must complete a 1,000-hour internship that spans three semesters and pass a comprehensive exam.
The school offers career services and resources, such as Handshake software, resume and cover letter assistance, and a job board. Students can also access an online calendar that promotes upcoming career labs and job fairs.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in psychology, GRE scores, a resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters. Out-of-state learners pay three times the in-state tuition rate. Qualified degree-seekers can apply for a graduate fellowship that awards up to $10,000.
13. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Average Net Price: $11,132
NSU offers a master's in psychology degree that appeals to students planning to earn a doctorate. The 42-credit program includes courses on topics like theories of psychotherapy, psychological resources, and psychopathology. Students also complete two practicums. Learners can culminate the degree with a thesis or an approved elective.
Graduate students gain access to a guide on graduate school application best practices, helping them prepare for doctoral study. They can also access guides on interviewing skills.
NSU accepts up to 12 transfer credits toward the degree. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a minimum 290 GRE score. Out-of-state students pay more than double the in-state tuition rate. Degree-seekers can apply for a graduate assistantship, which awards $12,000 to learners working 20 hours per week during the academic year.
14. Mercer University
Average Net Price: $14,674
Mercer's master's degree in psychology emphasizes clinical mental health counseling and qualifies students for Georgia licensure. The 60-credit curriculum features a practicum and two internships that provide learners with over 700 hours of hands-on experience working with patients in a clinical setting. More than 95% of degree-seekers pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination on their first try.
Approximately 88% of degree-seekers find employment within six months of graduating. Mercer promotes students' professional success through career workshops and fairs, networking guides, and marketing tools.
Mercer accepts new psychology students in August, January, and May. Application materials include GRE or MAT scores, a resume, transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a goal statement. Applicants must also complete an interview. All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
15. Eastern Illinois University
Average Net Price: $12,204
EIU's master's in clinical psychology program gives students over 700 hours of practical experience working in diverse clinical settings. The two-year curriculum features coursework in cognitive behavioral therapy, research design and statistical analysis, and psychological assessment. Degree-seekers can customize the program through a variety of electives.
Approximately 91% of students find a job or enter a graduate program within six months of earning a degree. Students gain access to career services and resources like professional development workshops, career fairs, and interviewing tips.
Prospective degree-seekers need an undergraduate degree in psychology that reflects a minimum 3.25 GPA. Other application materials include a personal goals statement, a resume, and contact information for three professional references. In-state learners save over 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Degree-seekers who work as graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and stipend.
16. University of Detroit Mercy
Average Net Price: $28,422
Mercy's master's in psychology program prepares students to earn a limited license in psychology. The 45-credit, part-time curriculum takes approximately 2.5 years to complete and requires courses on topics like ethics and professional issues, psychological assessment, and applied behavior analysis.
Mercy's Center for Career and Professional Development offers information on upcoming job fairs and workshops. Students can also access counseling services and a private job board for UD Mercy learners and alumni.
Admission requires a bachelor's degree, including three undergraduate psychology courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit a personal statement, GRE scores, and three recommendation letters. A private school, UD Mercy charges the same tuition rate to all learners regardless of residency.
17. Minnesota State University - Mankato
Average Net Price: $8,156
Minnesota State University - Mankato offers a master's degree in psychology that prepares students for doctoral study. The 50-credit program includes coursework in clinical case management, behavior therapy, and research clinical psychology. Additionally, degree-seekers complete multiple practicums and perform original research alongside faculty. The program takes two years of full-time study to complete.
The school's Career Development Center (CDC) offers doctoral application guidance, including personal statement tips and standardized test study guides. Students can also consult the CDC Handbook for Applying to Graduate School.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE scores, transcripts, and three recommendation letters. They also need professional experience in the human service or research field. All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
18. Emporia State University
Average Net Price: $12,865
ESU's master's in psychology comprises 60 credits and includes courses on topics like the assessment of intelligence, drugs and behavior, and research design and writing. The program offers multiple electives, and students can select between thesis and non-thesis tracks; non-thesis students take two additional higher-level electives.
Approximately 25% of psychology graduates enter a doctoral program, while others continue gaining professional experience to earn licensure. Students gain access to educational and career opportunities, resume critiques, and interview guidance through the school's career services.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and MAT or GRE scores. Applicants must also submit three recommendation letters and a 1-2-page statement of purpose. Kansas residents save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state degree-seekers.
19. University of South Carolina - Columbia
Average Net Price: $21,423
UofSC's psychology program confers both a master's and a doctorate. The 47-credit master's curriculum includes courses on topics like research approaches to human behavior, developmental psychology, and systems and theories of psychological intervention. Additionally, students take two thesis-preparation courses before writing a thesis during their final semester.
After completing the MA, students move on to the Ph.D. program in clinical-community psychology. Students and graduates can take advantage of career services, such as job boards, resume critiques, and interviewing tips.
Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters. Out-of-state learners pay more than double the in-state tuition rate. All students can apply for institutional scholarships, grants, departmental fellowships, and assistantships.
20. Cardinal Stritch University
Average Net Price: $10,833
Stritch's master's degree in clinical psychology prepares students for Wisconsin licensure. Students take courses on topics like forensic issues, personality psychology, psychopathology, and foundations of psychology. The 60-credit program also requires a 700-hour internship in an approved clinical psychology setting.
Through the school's Experiential Learning and Career Center, students can access on-campus internship fairs, resume guidelines, and networking best practices.
Stritch accepts up to nine transfer credits toward the degree. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and prerequisite coursework in general and abnormal psychology. Applicants must also submit three recommendation letters and a resume. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Wisconsin residents who teach at a Catholic institution may qualify for up to a 50% tuition discount.
21. DePaul University
Average Net Price: $19,422
DePaul's master's in clinical psychology program confers an MA and a Ph.D., making it an excellent choice for students working toward a career in academia. The degree features two specializations: community psychology and child psychology. The 76-quarter-credit program includes courses on topics like physiological processes, perception and cognition, and the social psychology of the self.
In addition to coursework, learners complete multiple practicums and internships at various Chicago-area clinical settings. Psychology MA/Ph.D. graduates report a 100% employment rate. Students can access career communities and Handshake software through DePaul's Career Center website.
DePaul prefers applicants with a minimum 3.5 undergraduate GPA. Application materials include recommendation letters, GRE scores, and a personal statement. DePaul awards a three-year tuition waiver to all students.
22. University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
Average Net Price: $22,314
UMass Dartmouth's master's in psychology program uses a cohort learning model wherein the same group of students progress through the three-year program together. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses on topics like behavior therapy, clinical methods, and helping relationships. Graduates meet the educational requirements for Massachusetts' master's-level counseling license.
Through the Umass Dartmouth Career Center, psychology degree-seekers can receive resume and cover letter guidance, network with employers, and take career assessments. These and other resources help over 90% of graduate students find employment or enter another educational program within one year of earning a degree.
Prospective students need a bachelor's in psychology or a related field with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Dartmouth recommends that applicants submit recommendation letters and GRE scores. Out-of-state degree-seekers pay approximately 85% more in tuition than in-state learners. The program offers graduate assistantships to some qualified students.
23. Eastern Michigan University
Average Net Price: $25,020
EMU's 45-credit master's degree in psychology includes 15 elective credits that students can use to tailor the program to their goals and interests. Students take required courses on topics like cognitive assessment, personality theories, and intrapersonal processes. The program concludes with a two-semester clinical psychology practicum.
Approximately 75% of EMU degree-seekers find a job within six months of earning a degree. The University Advising and Career Development Center hosts annual career and internship fairs. The university also boasts a robust alumni network on LinkedIn.
Admission materials include a personal statement, official transcripts, GRE scores, and an academic writing sample. Applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA. Out-of-state learners pay nearly double the in-state tuition rate. Incoming graduate students may qualify for one of three institutional scholarships.
24. Murray State University
Average Net Price: $10,857
At Murray State, students can choose between an MA and MS in psychology. Both degrees comprise 49 credits and focus on behavior and family therapy. During their second year, degree-seekers conduct original research and write a thesis. The program qualifies graduates for a Kentucky counseling license.
Students gain access to career services and resources, such as discounted professional attire, resume critiques, and Career Lab videos.
Murray State offers unconditional admission to applicants who possess a bachelor's in psychology with a minimum 3.0 GPA and satisfactory GRE scores. Prospective students must submit three recommendation letters and a statement of purpose. Kentucky residents benefit from low in-state tuition rates. Some degree-seekers may qualify for the Racer Advantage Grant, which requires a separate application.
25. Wright State University
Average Net Price: $19,292
Wright State's psychology program combines a master's and doctoral degree in psychology. Students can choose from three concentrations: child; forensic; and health, rehabilitation, and primary care. The two-year master's program requires courses like integrated assessment, history and systems, and professional ethics. Students who do not move on to the doctoral program receive a master's degree and can continue working toward licensure.
Students gain access to career resources and services, such as Handshake software, mock interviews, and career counselors. They can also access a networking guide and information on salary negotiation best practices.
Admission requirements include undergraduate prerequisites in abnormal psychology and research methods. Applicants must submit transcripts, three recommendation letters, GRE scores, and two 500-word essays. Ohio residents save approximately 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners.