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Psychology Diploma Programs in Massachusetts with School Options

Massachusetts has more than 50 colleges and universities that offer psychology programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info, and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Students in Massachusetts have a wide range of schools from which to earn an education in psychology. Degree types range from bachelor's to doctoral degrees as well as post-baccalaureate certificates. Programs are designed for students with different career goals - such as those currently working in a counseling field, seeking to gain licensure as a psychologist, or those wishing to gain the knowledge needed to specialize within their practice. Program lengths vary by award, but many include practicum or internship requirements. Completion of a thesis is common for master's degree programs, though a doctoral degree may require extensive research and a dissertation.


Boston College

Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill and offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. While the former emphasizes the study of human behavior and mental functioning, students in the Bachelor of Science program acquire a background in neurobiology and learn about its relationship with behavior, motivation, and perception.

Boston College also offers a 5-year combined bachelor's/master's degree program in psychology. The Master of Arts degree can be used to fulfill some of the requirements for the 4-5-year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. The PhD program is a full-time, research-based course of study that allow for concentrations in one of five areas, including developmental, quantitative, and social psychology.

Boston University

According to U.S. News and World Report, the graduate program in clinical psychology at this Boston-based university ranked #31 in the U.S. in 2016. An undergraduate program is also available, and requirements for the Bachelor of Arts include eight courses in cognitive and family psychology, behavior, neuroscience, and personality, among other topics. Students can also supplement their coursework with memberships in the Undergraduate Psychology Association.

Boston University also offers a terminal master's program in psychology and a master's program leading to a PhD in Psychology. Doctoral students can specialize in clinical psychology or developmental science; a brain, behavior, and cognition track is also available. Doctoral program requirements include oral and written exams, a dissertation, and research. Students in both the Master of Arts and doctoral programs have access to a wide range of courses in atypical development, child therapy, forensic psychology, social anxiety, and other topics.

Bridgewater State University

The state university in Bridgewater offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as a research-based honors program and double majors in elementary, early childhood or special education. In addition to coursework in abnormal, clinical, and personality psychology, undergraduates can join the Psychology Club and Psi Chi (international honor society) or pursue research in the departmental laboratory.

Unique to the undergraduate program is the opportunity to participate in junior and senior practicums, whereby students have the opportunity to work with children and/or adults in rehabilitation facilities, schools, shelters, or prisons. Clinical practicums and internships are also available through the 60-credit Master of Arts in Psychology, a course of study that includes a thesis and topics in multicultural counseling, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology. The master's program prepares students for enrollment in doctoral psychology programs and licensure as mental health counselors.

Harvard University

Harvard University in Cambridge was established in 1636, and according to U.S. News & World Report, the school ranked #2 in the country among national universities in 2016. During the previous year, the graduate programs in cognitive, social, and developmental psychology ranked #2, #3, and #4, respectively, with clinical psychology ranked #16.

The bachelor's degree in psychology program allows for a thesis or non-thesis option and requires a total of 16 major courses. Areas of focus may include, among other topics, cognitive and social neuroscience; mind, brain, and behavior relationships; or general psychology.

At the graduate level, PhD candidates can pursue a track in clinical science or a common curriculum that covers topics in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, or social psychology. In addition, the program offers opportunities for research in nearly 30 different areas, such as evolutionary and health psychology, emotional and thought disorders, animal learning, and moral cognition.

Northeastern University

At Northeastern University in Boston, undergraduates can pursue a dual major that combines the study of cognitive or general psychology with computer or information science, American Sign Language, education, or linguistics. In addition to statistical research, the requirements for the Bachelor of Science include the study of personality and social psychology, as well as the biological and cognitive aspects of behavior. Along with participating in honors projects and research labs, students also attend junior and senior seminars.

Through the school's Cooperative Education program, aspiring professionals alternate between full-time academics and off-campus work experiences. They also take a 1-credit professional development course that provides training in resume writing, professional etiquette, and job search procedures.

Graduate students who are accepted into the PhD program can specialize in one of four areas, including social and personality studies, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive behavior, or perception. While the program does not include a clinical or counseling component, students do have the opportunity to participate in lab-based apprenticeships with faculty mentors.

Salem State University

The state university in Salem offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology with 35 and 41 credits of major coursework, respectively. Undergraduates pursuing the BA also complete a minor and study a foreign language, while students in the BS program take two additional courses in math and science.

At the graduate level, the Master of Science in Counseling can be completed on a full- or part-time basis and allows for concentrations in family and marriage therapy, industrial and organizational counseling, or mental health counseling. The Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology includes an internship and is designed to prepare students for doctoral studies or for careers in human resources.

Tufts University

Tufts University is located north of Boston in Medford, MA, and offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Psychology and Human Factors. This is an interdisciplinary and unique course of study, where students learn how information about human behavior can help with the design of biomedical engineering equipment, computer interfaces, consumer products, and machines.

The PhD in Psychology program emphasizes experimental psychology, and students who hold an undergraduate degree have the opportunity to earn an interim Master of Science. Areas of focus include developmental and social psychology, cognitive studies, and experimental clinical psychology. A joint PhD in psychology and cognitive science is also available. Supervised research is conducted on a semester-by-semester basis, and the program culminates in a dissertation.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The University of Massachusetts in Amherst offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with the latter allowing for a track in neuroscience. In addition to fulfilling degree requirements, students can participate in for-credit internships, independent studies, and research assistantships. Incoming freshmen with credits in AP psychology can apply to the highly selective Residential Academic Program (RAP), which includes the opportunity to live on campus with other psychology majors and network with faculty members.

At the graduate level, doctoral students must first complete the requirements for the 30-credit, thesis-based Master of Science in Psychology and pass a comprehensive exam. Doctoral students may select from specializations in clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology, along with a unique specialization in peace and violence. Students in the clinical track are required to complete an APA-approved internship.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

Students at the University of Massachusetts in Boston can earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and both programs require a total of 12 major courses. To meet the advanced course and capstone requirements, undergraduates can also pursue a study of experimental psychology methods and participate in a 6-credit internship. Unique to the university is a major in social psychology that may include internships and courses in abnormal or community psychology, family violence, law, and juvenile delinquency.

At the graduate level, the PhD in Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and covers topics in abnormal development, ethnic and cultural studies, mental illness, and intervention. The university also offers a lab-based, research-intensive PhD in Developmental and Brain Sciences program, with an emphasis on hormonal and neural mechanisms, behavior, cognition, and perception.

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

At the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, students can enroll in either an on-site or an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program that includes the study of clinical, experimental, and personality psychology. In addition to class work, students also participate in community, field, and volunteer work, acquire a background in scientific methodology, and conduct supervised research.

Through the Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology program, graduate students learn how cultural, economic, and political systems can have a positive influence on individuals and organizations. The university also offers a Master of Science in Autism Studies, a course of study that teaches students how to work with individuals and families affected by behavioral and neurological disorders. Additional programs include five 12-credit graduate certificates in diversity, domestic violence, family studies, and other related areas.


Career Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a master's or doctoral degree is required in order to become a psychologist, and those in professional practice need to be certified or licensed. In Massachusetts, candidates for licensure must complete a doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association and fulfill the state's internship and professional practicum requirements.

Of the ten profiled schools, the following five offer APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical and/or counseling psychology: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and Boston.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Psychology Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Boston College 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Arts in Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$49,324*
Boston University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Master of Arts in Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$48,436*
Bridgewater State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Arts in Psychology
$8,903 (in-state);
$15,043 (out-of-state)*
Harvard University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor's degree in psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$45,278*
Northeastern University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$45,530*
Salem State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Science in Counseling,
Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
$9,246 (in-state);
$15,508 (out-of-state)*
Tufts University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Engineering Psychology and Human Factors,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$50,604*
University of Massachusetts - Amherst 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
$14,171 (in-state);
$30,504 (out-of-state)*
University of Massachusetts - Boston 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental and Brain Sciences
$12,682 (in-state);
$29,920 (out-of-state)*
University of Massachusetts - Lowell 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
graduate certificates,
Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology,
Master of Science in Autism Studies
$14,171 (in-state);
$30,504 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.


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