Aspiring psychologists who want to focus their studies specifically on children and adolescents can enroll in child psychology programs at top schools. These programs are available at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. Three schools have some of the best degree programs in child psychology available and offer programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Each of them was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2016 and 2017.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, also known as U of M, offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Child Psychology with a strong research focus. Students can specialize in child development areas such as cognitive development, language, learning, and social development, as well as neuroscience and psychobiology. Those pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology may focus on child developmental psychopathology. The PhD program is accredited by the APA.
U of M also offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology, both of which prepare students for further study in the field. Coursework teaches students about adolescent psychology, infant development, child psychology, and language development.
In 2017, the university was ranked 26th among all public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Kansas in Lawrence
The Clinical Child Psychology Training Program at the University of Kansas offers a PhD in Clinical Child Psychology. The program coursework draws from the applied behavioral science and psychology departments. Its focus is research and teaching students how to clinically evaluate and treat children and adolescents. Classes include child psychopathology, family therapy, ethical and legal issues, cultural diversity, and social concerns.
The child psychology program is accredited by the APA, and the school was tied at 56th on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best public schools in 2017.
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Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA
For undergraduates, Azusa Pacific offers a 15-unit emphasis option in child and adolescent psychology. Students can complete the emphasis as part of a bachelor's degree program paired with programs in applied psychology, applied studies, leadership, management, criminal justice, or health sciences. Coursework includes crisis counseling, intervention, family systems, child and adolescent psychology, and conflict management. The program can prepare students for research-based or clinically-focused graduate programs in the field. The bachelor's degree in psychology program also offers a child life specialist concentration.
At the graduate level, Azusa Pacific offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in developmental psychology. This emphasis includes relevant courses in behavioral assessment, child and adolescent psychology, cognitive development, and family issues.
In 2016, Azusa Pacific was ranked within the top 200 national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Top Child Psychology Programs
Here are some more schools with strong child psychology programs:
|Bryn Mawr College||Bryn Mawr, PA||Home to the Bryn Mawr Child Study Institute|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago||Chicago, IL||Offers an online M.A. in Psychology with a child and adolescent concentration|
|Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Graduate students gain clinical experience in child and family services through the school's psychological services center|
|Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, TX||Home to the TCU Institute of Child Development|
|University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL||Offers six practicum training program options for doctoral students studying clinical child psychology|
|University of Detroit Mercy||Detroit, MI||Offers a developmental psychology major and minor, plus a Family Life Education certificate|
Whether students want to work directly with children in clinical settings or pursue advanced research in the field of child psychology, there are excellent academic opportunities at colleges and universities around the country.