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Tennessee Psychology Universities with Degree Program Overviews

Tennessee has more than 30 colleges 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 Tennessee have a wide range of schools from which to choose when searching for a psychology program. Such programs lead to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. A baccalaureate degree is the minimum education requirement for admission to a graduate program, and students in pursuit of a doctorate need to have earned a master's degree in the field. Undergraduate programs include general education classes, while the completion of a thesis or dissertation is common in graduate programs. Some psychology programs allow students to gain practical experience through clinicals or internships.

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville's Austin Peay State University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in psychology, as well as two graduate programs in counseling or industrial and organizational psychology. In addition to a general education core, the requirements for the bachelor's degrees include 41 credits of major coursework in, among other topics, abnormal, developmental, and social psychology; cognitive processes, and research. Students also have the chance to pursue psychology electives in African-American psychology, bereavement, child development, or consumer psychology.

The 34-credit Master of Arts in Industrial and Organization Psychology is an online program that requires 12 courses in, among other areas, applied psychology, performance management, and personnel assessment. Students in this 2-year course of study also complete an exam or a thesis. Through the 48-60-credit Master of Science in Counseling programs, graduate students can specialize in either mental health or school counseling, and concentrations associated with the Education Specialist (EdS) include administration and supervision, education, and school counseling.

East Tennessee State University

At Johnson City-based East Tennessee State University, students will find ten undergraduate and two graduate programs in psychology, all of which are administered through the Department of Psychology (College of Arts and Sciences). Students in both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs complete 120 credits of general education and core coursework, as well as minors in biology, early childhood education, sociology, or philosophy. In particular, the major in general psychology requires 32 credits of core coursework, including a study of the history and systems of psychology, scientific design and analysis, and behavioral neuroscience.

The Master of Arts/PhD program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation Accreditation) and is designed to prepare students for careers in rural mental health. Students in the master's program complete 42 credits of coursework, with 51-52 credits required for the doctoral portion. Course topics include those in psychopathology, psychological assessments, and psychopharmacology.

Students in the experimental psychology program complete 42 credits of master's and 45 credits of doctoral work in, among other areas, behavioral neuroscience, community assessments, cultural anthropology and diversity studies.

Middle Tennessee State University

Psychology programs at Murfreesboro's Middle Tennessee State University include three undergraduate degrees, a specialized Master of Arts, a Master of Education, and an EdS. The Bachelor of Science program provides students with the opportunity to pursue one of three 38-60-credit majors in industrial and organizational, general, or pre-graduate psychology. Foundational coursework can include topics in developmental psychology, research, social behavior, and statistics.

The 36-46-credit Master of Arts allows students to pursue one of five concentrations, including a study of clinical psychology with specializations in health and neuropsychology, behavior analysis, and general clinical work. Additional areas of concentration associated with this program include industrial and organizational, experimental, quantitative, and school psychology.

Students in the 61-credit Master of Education program can choose between concentrations in mental health and school counseling (Pre-K), and the program includes the eight core areas of study required by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). A master's degree in a relevant area, as well as the coursework for the pre-specialist in education are required for the EdS, and the 30-credit program allows for a concentration in school psychology.

Tennessee State University

Nashville's Tennessee State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as two Master of Science and two doctoral degrees in counseling. The 120-credit undergraduate curriculum requires 44 credits of major coursework and electives, and the program also includes opportunities for reading and research, a lab-based senior project, and the chance to join the Psychology Club.

The Master of Science in Counseling offers both a 53-credit thesis or a 58-credit non-thesis option. Students in both tracks have the chance to develop counseling and interviewing skills, explore intelligence and vocational testing, and participate in two counseling practicums. Graduates of the Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling program will be qualified to work with students in Pre-K through 12.

The PhD in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the APA, and unique to the program is a new specialization in military psychology. In addition to a dissertation and an internship, general requirements for the doctoral concentration in school psychology include 63 hours of coursework in, among subjects, multicultural education, psychopathology, and statistics.

Tennessee Technological University

Cookeville's Tennessee Technological University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a specialized Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and Counselor Education, and an EdS in Educational Psychology, all of which are administered through the Department of Counseling and Psychology. The bachelor's program consists of 120-121 credits, and the curriculum includes introductory coursework in developmental and social psychology, as well as upper-level studies in experimental, health, and physiological psychology.

The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology includes licensure and/or non-licensure programs in case management and supervision, mental health and school counseling, education psychology, and school psychology. In general, the degrees require 30-63-credit hours to complete, and students should be advised in advance that the Master of Arts with a concentration in agency counseling is no longer accepting applicants (2013).

Students who have completed a master's degree in psychology can also earn an EdS in Educational Psychology and Counselor Education. Areas of study include agency and school counseling or educational psychology, and students complete an additional 30 credits of coursework with guided electives and independent study.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Located in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee's Department of Psychology offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology, and three doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and experimental psychology (APA appoved). The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts include a general education core, 24 credits of major coursework, and electives in emotion and motivation, child psychology, ethology, and social psychology.

The curriculum for the 32-credit, thesis-based Master of Arts combines a research-based practicum with foundational coursework in evolutionary and behavioral studies, biopsychology, and ethological psychology. Coursework for the PhD in Experimental Psychology addresses the biological, developmental, and social aspects of psychology, and students also complete a research practicum.

PhD students in the clinical psychology program complete four foundation and 15 core courses and participate in six clinical and research practicums. Foundational topics include a study of the history and systems of psychology, the biological and social aspects of behavior, and developmental psychology. The PhD in Counseling Psychology program is grounded in the scientist-practitioner-advocate model and includes substantial research and a social justice practicum.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

One of the most popular programs at the Chattanooga campus of the University of Tennessee is the Bachelor of Science in psychology. The 120-credit degree programs provide students with either a non-scientific or a scientific approach to contemporary psychology and require 34-35 credits of major coursework respectively.

At the graduate level, the Master of Psychology includes courses in developmental and experimental psychology, applied and individualized research, and a thesis. Students who pursue the 2-year Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology complete an 8-course core, a 300-450-hour internship, six electives, an exam or a thesis.

The University of Tennessee - Martin

The University of Tennessee's Martin location offers both a Bachelor of Art and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, both of which require 36 credits of major coursework. Core requirements include an introductory course in psychology, the history of psychology, a 2-course sequence in experimental psychology, and a senior seminar. Students can also choose electives from three related areas, and these can provide them with additional instruction in learning and cognition, developmental psychology, or personality theories, among others.

University of Memphis

At the university in Memphis, students can pursue a specialized Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduate programs in general or school psychology (thesis and/or non-thesis), and a PhD in clinical, experimental or school psychology (APA approved). The 120-credit undergraduate program allows for 35 credits of major coursework and offers concentrations in general psychology, behavioral neuroscience, or cognitive science. Courses may include topics in learning and memory, perceptual psychology, gender studies, and human sexuality.

Prerequisites for the PhD in Psychology include completion of the 33-credit Master of Science, and a total of 80 credits beyond the bachelor's degree. Students in the Master of Science/PhD programs also participate in research, write a thesis, and take a comprehensive exam. The requirements for the Master of Arts/EdS include a total of 67 credits of coursework (37 for the Master of Arts; 30 for the EdS), oral and written exams, and an internship. Graduate level coursework may include topics in behavior, ethics, family therapy, scientific modeling, and statistics.

Vanderbilt University

Nashville's Vanderbilt University offers both a general and an honors program in contemporary psychology, a combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts, as well as research-based PhD programs in clinical science, developmental science, neuroscience, and quantitative methodology. The 36-credit bachelor's program is available through the Department of Psychology (College of Arts and Sciences) and requires core studies in general psychology and experimental design, and undergraduates can also take courses in abnormal, cognitive, and developmental psychology. Requirements for the honors program include 42 credits of coursework and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on research. Additional undergraduate programs in child development, cognitive studies, and quantitative methodology are available through the Peabody College.

General requirements for all graduate students include two courses in statistics, a research seminar, and nine credits of specialized studies in psychology. Interim master's degrees may be awarded to those enrolled in the doctoral programs.

While the requirements vary according to the program, students in the lab-intensive neuroscience program acquire a background in experimental design and quantitative methodology. The PhD in Clinical Science is offered through both the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychology and Human Development and allows students to specialize in one of nine areas, including prevention and intervention, developmental disabilities, emotional processes, and psychopathologies.

The doctoral programs at Vanderbilt University are approved by the APA.

Career Requirements

The Tennessee Board of Examiners in Psychology requires practicing professionals in the field to be licensed, and the requirements include a doctoral degree from an approved program and an internship. School counselors and psychologists must also be licensed, and the prerequisites include a master's in the area of specialization.

Below are brief overviews of the ten largest schools in Tennessee that have psychology programs, including four doctoral programs that have been approved by the American Psychological Association (APA). Students will also find a comparison table with information about each university's degree offerings, institution type, and cost of attendance.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Psychology Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Austin Peay State University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology,
Master of Science in Counseling
$7,501 in-state; $22,333 out-of-state*
East Tennessee State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts (child psychological science, clinical psychological science, cognitive science, general psychology, and neuroscience psychology),
Bachelor of Science (child psychological science, clinical psychological science, cognitive science, general psychology, and neuroscience psychology),
Master of Arts/Doctor of Philosophy (clinical or experimental psychology)
$8,153 in-state; $24,977 out-of-state*
Middle Tennessee State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science (general psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, or pregraduate psychology),
Master of Arts in Psychology,
Master of Education in Professional Counseling,
Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction
$8,080 in-state; $24,808 out-of-state*
Tennessee State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Science (guidance and counseling or counseling psychology),
Doctor of Philosophy (counseling or school psychology)
$7,112 in-state; $19,832 out-of-state*
Tennessee Technological University 4-year, public; remote town Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and Counselor Education,
Educational Specialist in Educational Psychology
$8,011 in-state; $23,443 out-of-state*
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Master or Arts in Experimental Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy (clinical, counseling, or experimental psychology)
$12,436 in-state; $30,856 out-of-state*
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Psychology (research concentration)
Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
$8,356 in-state; $24,474 out-of-state*
The University of Tennessee at Martin 4-year, public; remote town Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
$8,326 in-state; $22,270 out-of-state*
University of Memphis 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Master of Arts/EdS in School Psychology,
Master of Science in General Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy (clinical, experimental, or school psychology)
$8,903 in-state; $20,615 out-of-state*
Vanderbilt University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Psychology,
Doctor of Philosophy (clinical science, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental science, neuroscience, or quantitative methods)
$44,712*

Source: *NCES College Navigator


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