Graduate programs in clinical psychology enable students to specialize in particular areas, such as family and couples counseling or behavioral medicine. Additionally, studies in psychology typically involve a large research component as well as hands-on clinical work through internships and residencies.
Top 10 Clinical Psychology Schools
The following list includes the 2016 top-ranked clinical psychology programs in the country according to U.S. News & World Report:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $11,220; Out-of-state: $26,322|
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $11,220; Out-of-state: $26,322|
|University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $9,143; Out-of-state: $26,354|
|Stony Brook University||Stony Brook, NY||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $10,870; Out-of-state: $22,210|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $15,844; Out-of-state: $24,508|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $10,728; Out-of-state: $24,054|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4-year, Private||Doctoral||$38,700|
|University of Texas - Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $10,934; Out-of-state: $20,762|
|University of Virginia||Charlottesville, VA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $14,518; Out-of-state: $24,316|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||In-state: $15,207; Out-of-state: $27,255|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Many schools have on-site clinics, research labs and affiliations with local mental health facilities and organizations, which allows students opportunities for real world experience. Here are a few important considerations to contemplate when choosing a clinical psychology school:
- One of the most important factors to consider is if the chosen clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- Programs that offer cutting-edge facilities and opportunities for research and professional experience may prove to offer students the most benefit.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree or another doctoral degree is usually required to be licensed and work as a clinical psychologist in independent practice (www.bls.gov).
- Clinical psychology programs are highly selective and competitive, so students whose interests and goals align with those of a program's faculty will have an edge in the selection process.
Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology
Most programs also include courses in assessment and psychotherapy and require clinical internships or field experiences. Students have opportunities to participate in research as well.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Most programs follow a scientist-practitioner model that integrates research and practical clinical training and experience through required internships and residencies. Students must also complete a dissertation based on original research.
Graduate degree programs in clinical psychology are most commonly offered by 4-year colleges and universities at the doctoral level, and most programs require internships and research components, such as a dissertation. Students should look for programs that are accredited by the APA and have state-of-the-art facilities.