Psychology professionals are constantly in demand, thus making it a strong career field choice for graduate students interested in mental health. Jobs within this field range from school counselors to addiction specialists and everything in between. That being said, a Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) is typically required to practice psychology in the United States. With the information below you can find out which ones offer a 3 year program for the coursework required toward this degree.
Schools Offering 3-Year PsyD Degrees
University of Hartford
With the PsyD program offered at University of Hartford in Connecticut, students can immerse themselves in 3 years of full-time study which includes a summer term. Final requirements to earn this degree include a dissertation and an internship for a total of 96 credits. Additionally, this school offers a specialized child and adolescent proficiency track that follows all the core coursework but includes extra child and adolescent focused training and courses. In the second year of study students must complete and pass a qualifying exam which includes an essay, clinical case study and oral exam. Reports from the University of Hartford indicate that as of 2019 tuition rates for this program are $28,115 per year for full-time students.
The Wright Institute in California offers a long-standing clinic-based PsyD program which requires students to do clinic work alongside coursework. There is no set number of units or hours to take to graduate; instead, students must simply complete all requirements adding on any additional courses they may like as a complement. There is flat-fee tuition regardless of any added electives. According to the Wright Institute, as of 2019, tuition for the program runs $37,650 per year during the first 3 years, which is then reduced during the dissertation and internship period also required to earn this degree.
James Madison University
In Virginia, James Madison University offers a PsyD program in joint format entitled Combined Clinical & School Psychology. The first two years include coursework and practicum with the dissertation begun in the third year. In addition, a year-long internship must be completed to earn this degree. This university offers individual therapy for students, group meetings, student/faculty conferences and community projects. Also noteworthy is the fact that all students are guaranteed to receive assistantships for tuition during the three coursework years in the program. These assistantships cover full tuition but require students to complete additional work such as teaching an introductory psychology class or doing administrative tasks.
The PsyD program at Rutgers, in New Jersey, delivers two program options, school PsyD or clinical PsyD. For both programs, the first year is typically filled with foundations courses such as human development and adult or child psychopathology with practical work beginning during the first year and increasing each year thereafter. There are three concentration areas: multicultural, community and children and family with professional skills being a key component in all. Final dissertation submissions are due in the 3rd year of the program before starting the required internship. Finally, as stated by Rutgers, the 2019 tuition rates are $11,208 for in-state residents and $18,684 for out-of-state residents per semester.
University of Denver
The University of Denver in Colorado provides a PsyD program that maintains it standards by certain regular evaluations. Not only are the students evaluated bi-annually (by clinic supervisors) the students themselves must give feedback annually regarding the courses, faculty and clinic sites. The program length is 3 years minimum, and a year-long internship must be done after completion with a high internship match rate reported. Requirements to obtain the degree include 135 quarter-hours as well as an exam, practical work, specialty focus tool, doctoral paper and an internship. Reports from University of Denver state that as of 2019 tuition rates are $1492 a credit hour with a flat rate of $17,112 for full time students per term.
How Should I Prepare?
These programs can have limited admittance numbers, making it very important to be prepared during this crucial time. While certain requirements may vary from school to school, the following is a list of typical items requested: letters of recommendation (minimum 2), general GRE scores (some may ask for GRE Psychology Subject test scores as well), master's degree documentation, transcripts (current unofficial if still attending elsewhere), essay responses, a resume, statement of purpose and/or a faculty interview. Interviews take place after submission of the application. Much like a job interview, not all who gain an interview necessarily will be accepted into the program, thus declaring interview preparation equally as important as all the other application materials.
Earning your PsyD degree can put you on the right path to starting your career in psychology and mental health. Earning your doctorate degree can be time consuming and expensive. Luckily, the programs above are built with courses compressed into 3 years to offer some relief for common roadblocks.