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Graduate Programs in Psychology in Seattle with School Overviews

Research psychology graduate programs in Seattle, which currently has nine universities offering degrees. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of program and admission requirements at three schools located within five miles of downtown.

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Seattle Schools with Psychology Graduate Degrees

Prospective students looking to earn a graduate degree in psychology have a few different institutional options to choose from in the Seattle area. The three featured here are all located within five miles of city center. This article focuses on the courses and, in some cases, internships required by these universities. A table of statistics on each institution is included, as are some details on a couple of other area schools.

  • Located around three miles from the downtown area, the University of Washington - Seattle has the largest population of students and the most programmatic offerings at the doctoral level. Students can earn a psychology Ph.D. and complete a minor as part of their studies.
  • The second largest school, Seattle University, is a private nonprofit university that offers a unique, highly competitive master's degree program and a small student-to-faculty ratio. The campus is just about a mile from central Seattle.
  • Using a Christian worldview, Seattle Pacific University offers fully accredited psychology master's and doctoral degree programs that focus on holistic diversity. The school is situated around three miles from downtown Seattle.

Comparison of Schools

You know about the program offerings, but you likely want more about the profiled schools to help you make a choice on where to attend. Take a look at this table to compare tuition rates, enrollment numbers and more for the three universities.

University of Washington - Seattle Seattle University Seattle Pacific University
School Type Four-year; public Four-year, private; not-for-profit Four-year; private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 46,166* 7,278* 3,783*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Average Graduate Tuition (2017-2018) $15,207 in-state; $27,255 out-of-state* $19,426* $28,620*
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 46% 74% 91%

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

University of Washington - Seattle

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington-Seattle is part of a network of three universities in the state of Washington. The school's psychology department offers its graduate students a flexible doctoral program with seven possible concentrations, as well as a quantitative psychology minor and diversity specialization. All prospective students must apply to one of the seven areas of study and choose a faculty mentor to help guide his or her studies. This school now offers a master's degree program in applied child and adolescent psychology, as well.

Ph.D. in Psychology

This degree program offers prospective students seven concentrations to choose from, including clinical psychology, social and personality, cognition and perception and developmental psychology. Students must have a bachelor's degree to apply. While the degree doesn't need to be in psychology, students must have completed coursework in psychology or a relevant area for training.

The clinical psychology concentration is accredited by the American Psychological Association, and is a founding member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Students must choose a general or child clinical psychology track. Coursework and specific training opportunities vary per track. The cognition and perception concentration includes faculty members specializing in attention, language, reasoning and visual perception. All students are required to take three core courses in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology and perception, as well as lab courses.

The developmental concentration trains students to become independent research scientists. Every student is required to take four statistical courses, an advanced research methods course and several core concepts courses in biological, cognitive and personality development. Students enrolled in the social and personality concentration are trained to identify important scientific research questions, design informative methods of inquiry and effectively communicate their findings. All students are required to take four statistical courses, as well as one quantitative course from any department.

Minor in Quantitative Psychology

The quantitative psychology minor is not part of any specific doctoral program. It is designed for students wishing to gain additional mathematical, methodological and statistical training. The program consists of 12 credits, including uncounted lab classes, and requires specific documentation of its completion. To be admitted, students must first complete the minor's prerequisite courses with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Diversity Specialization in Psychology

This specialization trains graduate students to understand and embrace diverse perspectives in psychology. Students are taught to apply psychological theories and methods in ways that positively impact diverse populations. Students must take at least three courses focused on diversity and psychology, including the Diversity Science Brownbag seminar. All enrolled students are also required to write a capstone paper or presentation summarizing their research.

Seattle University

Founded in 1891 as a Jesuit Catholic university, the school is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The university was ranked among the top ten colleges in the West by the U.S. News and World Report for 2019. The school's psychology department is part of the College of Arts and Sciences and offers only one graduate-level degree.

Master of Arts in Psychology - Existential Phenomenological Psychology

The existential phenomenological psychology program is a two-year, full-time degree designed to train students in all aspects of psychotherapy. Established in 1980, the program has an international reputation as a phenomenological research center. Only about 20 students are admitted each year; personal reflection, experiential exercises, the study of texts and in class discussions provide the program with its academic foundation. During the second year of study, students participate in a practicum-internship, take elective courses and write an integration paper.

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University, a private, nonprofit and religious institution, has been educating students for almost 120 years. The school was founded by Free Methodists pioneers and continues to base its education on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The university's School of Psychology, Family and Community offers prospective students three graduate-level degrees, including one master's and two doctoral degrees. All of the school's psychology faculty members hold a doctoral degree in their field of expertise.

Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The industrial/organizational psychology master's degree is a 66-credit program that includes a master's project in a professional setting. The program is specifically designed to meet the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology's competency standards. In addition to the program's academic courses and emphasis on research, students are also required to take one faith integration course. Enrolled students also have the opportunity to participate in three assistantships. Applicants into the program need a bachelor's degree, GRE scores, personal statement and recommendations.

Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The industrial/organizational psychology doctoral degree is a 168-credit program that includes participation in a faculty-led research team, a completed dissertation and field placement. Students are expected to complete two faith integration courses in addition to their academic classes and projects. All students may apply for the school's six doctoral assistantships, and classes are typically held in the evenings for working adults.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

The doctoral program in clinical psychology is a full-time, five-year program fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. The entire program is centered on the 'local clinical scientist' model of a clinical practitioner with coursework based upon empirical texts and studies. The program's training and research methods are founded on this model and include several opportunities for students to complete clinical practicum training. All enrolled students are required to complete an internship, as well.

Other Schools

Graduate programs in psychology are also offered at Antioch University - Seattle and The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Both schools are located within the city limits of Seattle.

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