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Top Schools for Clinical Psychology

Learn about graduate programs in clinical psychology, through which students learn how to diagnose mental health disorders and issues. Read summaries of the programs offered by four top-notch schools, and find a list of other universities in the U.S. that provide training for clinical psychologists.

A graduate degree is required for practicing clinical psychologists. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in psychology can provide the necessary preparation for doctoral studies, and career-focused doctoral programs are available at top universities.

School Overviews

Aspiring clinical psychologists can find exceptional programs at the University of California in Los Angeles, University of Washington in Seattle, University of Wisconsin in Madison and Indiana University in Bloomington. Each one of the featured programs leads to a Doctor of Philosophy and can include the opportunity to pursue a clinical specialization and conduct research. Also, they were all highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), CA

School Highlight: The clinical psychology program at UCLA is one of the most prestigious of its kind in the country.

The University of California in Los Angeles, a highly selective school with a 17% acceptance rate, ranked 24th on U.S. News & World Report's list of national universities for 2017. The clinical psychology program is a 5-6 year course of study that leads to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology. Students can pursue a variety of specializations, including child psychopathology and adult treatment, health psychology and behavioral medicine, cognitive-behavioral therapy and cross-cultural mental health research.

University of Washington in Seattle, WA

School Highlight: In the 2015-2016 school year, almost 12,000 undergraduates enrolled in psychology courses.

A B.A. or a B.S. in Psychology is offered at this university, and there is the potential for undergraduates to enter into an Honors Program. The Ph.D. in Psychology program is available to students with their M.S. in Psychology. Graduate students will work under the guidance and direction of a mentor. The school was ranked #54 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI

School Highlight: The Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin typically offers financial support and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.

The university's doctoral program focuses on mentor-based clinical research training; students are paired with faculty mentors while researching topics in clinical psychology. Through the Emotion Training Program, among other related options, students may also pursue studies and training across a number university departments. A third-year clinical practicum program is endorsed at the university's Psychology Department Research and Training Clinic. Overall, the Clinical Psychology Program at the school could potentially be completed in excess of five years. The school was ranked #44 among national universities for 2017.

Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

School Highlight: A minor is required in one of seven areas of psychological study.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University offers seven tracks leading to a PhD. Students can focus their studies on clinical science, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, mechanisms of behavior, molecular and systems neuroscience or social psychology. Each of these tracks includes advanced coursework in addition to research experience. Indiana University's School of Education offers a PhD in Counseling Psychology, which consists of 90 credit hours of coursework and can prepare students for counseling work in mental health centers, educational settings or private practice. Students begin by building a portfolio of academic work and prepare for an oral examination; from there, they begin to work on a final dissertation in an area of interest. For 2017, Indiana University was ranked #86 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Clinical Psychology Schools

These two universities also offer excellent clinical psychology programs:

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a clinical psychology doctoral program.
  • At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, all clinical psychology students receive a full stipend for the first five years.

Aspiring clinical psychologists can find preparatory undergraduate programs as well as comprehensive doctoral programs that can prepare them for work in the field at highly ranked universities.


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