Those who are interested in a practice-oriented doctoral degree in psychology might consider earning the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). These programs require students to complete coursework as well as extensive clinical training, culminating in a full-time internship during the final year. Read on to learn more about five schools in New Jersey that offer the Psy.D.
Psy.D. programs in New Jersey
William Patterson University
William Patterson University, in Wayne, NJ, offers a five-year program leading to the Psy.D. Students begin to participate in clinical practicums beginning in their second year of study at a diverse set of institutions, including wellness centers and correctional facilities. Program milestones include the second-year case conceptualization or research project, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Courses may include psychopathology, group interventions, Rorschach assessment, and health psychology. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research labs, such as the adult anxiety disorder lab or the bicultural family issues lab.
Rutgers University's Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) offers a five-year Psy.D. program with a focus on clinical psychology or school psychology. The program is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Courses may include child psychopathology and cognitive psychology. In addition to coursework, major program completion requirements include a written comprehensive exam, clinical oral exam, and dissertation with defense. Multiple practicum opportunities are available at GSAPP centers, including the foster care counseling project and the anxiety disorders clinic in addition to community agencies. Visiting faculty allow students to learn from those who are engaged in practice in the field.
At Kean University, in Union, students can pursue the Psy.D. in combined clinical and school psychology. Courses may include cognitive assessment and adult psychopathology. Students must complete three competency exams as well as a dissertation during the five-year course. All students participate in externships both in schools and in community mental health agencies. The annual Kean Research Day event allows students and faculty to present the results of professional research in psychology.
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University offers the Psy.D. in School Psychology. Courses may include child neuropsychology, students with learning disabilities, and child/adolescent interventions. Students complete their practicum experiences in schools and related agencies. In addition to clinical experiences and coursework, students must complete a dissertation and the Praxis exam. Half tuition scholarships may be available for the five-year program.
College of Saint Elizabeth
Students can also pursue the Psy.D. in a four-year program at the College of Saint Elizabeth. Six graduate-level courses are required for admission to the program. Courses may include research methods and group counseling. Students complete at least four practicum opportunities, and capstone experiences include a comprehensive examination and a dissertation.
Some Psy.D. programs require applicants to apply through the Centralized Application Service for Graduate Psychology, while at other schools application is made directly to the university. Those who are applying should hold a bachelor's degree; while an undergraduate major in psychology may be preferred, it typically is not required. However, undergraduate courses in abnormal psychology, statistics, and research methods might be prerequisites. Prospective students should expect to provide transcripts, a personal statement, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. In-person interviews and the GRE subject test in psychology may be required as well.
Those interested in clinical careers in psychology have a range of programs throughout the state of New Jersey from which to choose. Undergraduate coursework and the GRE exam are common admission requirements.