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PhD Program Rankings (Adapted from US News and World Report)

Below are reputation scores and ranks of the top 27 PhD programs in Psychology, including top-ranked schools in each of six subspecialties. From US News and World Report, “America’s Best Graduate Schools” rank/school average reputation score.

Rank                                      School Average reputation score

1                                 Stanford Univ.                                                         4.8

2                                 Univ. of California-Berkeley                                       4.6

2                                 Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor                                     4.6

4                                 Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign                         4.5

4                                 Yale Univ.                                                                 4.5

6                                 Harvard Univ.                                                        4.4

6                                 Univ. of California-Los Angeles                             4.4

6                                 Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities                             4.4

9                                 Carnegie Mellon Univ.                                             4.2

9                                 Princeton Univ.                                                          4.2

9                                 Univ. of Pennsylvania                                                4.2

9                                 Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison                                        4.2

13                               Indiana Univ.-Bloomington                                          4.1

13                               Univ. of California-San Diego                                         4.1

13                               Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill                               4.1

16                               Johns Hopkins Univ.                                                       4.0

16                               Univ. of Colorado-Boulder                                              4.0

16                               Univ. of Texas-Austin                                                  4.0

19                               Cornell Univ.                                                               3.9

19                               Duke Univ.                                                                   3.9

19                               Northwestern Univ.                                                  3.9

19                               Univ. of Chicago                                                      3.9

19                               Univ. of Washington                                                    3.9

24                               Columbia Univ.                                                             3.8

24                               Ohio State Univ.                                                             3.8

24                               Univ. of California-Irvine                                                 3.8

24                               Univ. of Virginia                                                              3.8

Top Specialty Programs

C linical Psychology

1. Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities

2. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

3. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

4. Univ. of California-Los Angeles

5. Univ. of Washington

Co unseling Psychology

1. Univ. of Maryland-College Park

2. Ohio State Univ.

3. Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities

4. Univ. of Missouri-Columbia

5. Univ. of Iowa

Developme n tal

2. Univ. of Virginia

2. Stanford Univ.

4. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

5. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

5. Univ. of California-Berkeley

Expe ri menta l P sychology

1. Stanford Univ.

2. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

3. Univ. of California-Berkeley

4. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

5. Carnegie Mellon Univ.

I ndustrial / Organizational

2. Univ. of Maryland-College Park

3. Michigan State Univ.

4. Ohio State Univ.

5. Bowling Green State Univ.

5. Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Schoo l Psychology

1. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

2. Univ. of Texas-Austin

3. Univ. of South Carolina-Columbia

3. Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

3. Columbia Univ.

(The response rate for psychology was 34%, the lowest response rate for the six PhD fields surveyed. Political Science had the highest response rate, at 54%.)

Reprinted with permission from US News and World Report. Copyright, 1995, US News and World Report.

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colleges with phd in psychology

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colleges with phd in psychology

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PhD Admissions

The PhD program in Psychology trains students for careers in research and teaching. In addition to a wide range of courses, the PhD program is characterized by close collaboration between students and their faculty advisors. 

General Information

The Department of Psychology holistically reviews each candidate's complete application to assess the promise of a career in teaching and research. Consideration is based on various factors, including courses taken, grade point average, letters of recommendation, and the statement of purpose. Additionally, the Department of Psychology places considerable emphasis on research training, and admitted students have often been involved in independent research as undergraduate students or post-baccalaureate settings. Although there are no course requirements for admission, all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge and research experience to engage in graduate-level coursework and research.

We accept students with undergraduate degrees and those with both undergraduate and master's degrees. An undergraduate psychology major is not required; the Department welcomes applicants from other academic backgrounds.

Our application portal is now closed for the AY24-25 admissions cycle.  Please consider applying during next year's AY25-26 admissions cycle, which opens on September 15, 2024.

How to Apply

Application and deadline.

Our 2025-26 Admissions application will open on September 15, 2024.

Applications will be due on November 30, 2024

The deadline for letters of recommendation will be  November 30, 2024 . 

Once an applicant submits the recommenders' information, the recommenders will receive an automated email with instructions for submitting the letter. Late letters should be sent directly to psych-admissions [at] stanford.edu (psych-admissions[at]stanford[dot]edu) . Staff will add them to the application file if the review process is still underway. Still, the faculty reviewers are not obligated to re-review files for materials submitted after the deadline.

The status of submitted applications can be viewed by logging in to the   application portal . 

The deadline to apply for the Stanford Psychology Ph.D. program is  November 30, 2024 . 

Applicants who are admitted to the program will matriculate in autumn 2025. 

In addition to the information below, please review the  Graduate Admissions  website prior to starting your application. The Department of Psychology does not have rolling admissions. We admit for the Autumn term only.

Requirements

  • U.S. Bachelor's degree or its  foreign equivalent
  • Statement of Purpose (submitted electronically as part of the graduate application). You will be able to specify three  Psychology Department faculty members , in order of preference, with whom you would like to work. 
  • Three  Letters of Recommendation  (submitted electronically). A maximum of six letters will be accepted.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended for at least one year must be uploaded to the graduate application. Applicants who reach the interview stage will be asked to provide official transcripts as well; Department staff will reach out to these applicants with instructions for submitting official transcripts. Please do  not  submit official transcripts with your initial application.
  • Required for non-native English speakers: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores, submitted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) electronically to Stanford. 

Application Fee

The fee to apply for graduate study at Stanford is $125. Fee waivers are available for some applicants. Please visit Graduate Admissions for information on applying for an  Application Fee Waiver .

Application Review & Status Check

The Department of Psychology welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. The review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

To check the status or activity of your application, please log into your  application account . You can also send reminders to recommenders who have not yet submitted their letter of recommendation.

Due to limited bandwidth, the Department of Psychology staff will not answer any phone or email queries about application status, including requests to confirm the receipt of official transcripts.

Our faculty will interview prospective students before making final admission decisions. Candidates who progress to the interview round will be informed in January. Interviews are generally conducted in February.

The Department of Psychology recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

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For More Information

Please see our  list of Frequently Asked Questions  and  psych-admissions [at] stanford.edu (contact us)  should you have additional questions.

Clinical Psychology PhD

Ph.d. in clinical psychology.

Welcome to the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Clinical Psychology Program was founded in 1947-1948. It was APA-accredited in the first group of programs that were reviewed for accreditation in 1948 and that status has been uninterrupted. Our most recent site visit from the APA occurred in 2021, and we have been accredited until June 2031.

Our program operates according to a scientist-practitioner model. We are, thus, dedicated to training students to generate empirically-based knowledge in clinical psychology and to perform clinical work that is constantly informed by traditional and emerging scholarship in the field. We expect our students to learn to expertly produce, analyze, and discuss scientific material. We also expect our students to become proficient at providing clinical services to a diverse population. And, most importantly, we expect our students to learn to integrate these two goals. As our mission statement in the TC catalog notes, “The driving goal of our Clinical Psychology Program is to provide rigorous training in both contemporary clinical science and clinical assessment and intervention.”

A good deal of the training, especially that related to research, occurs through intensive participation in a research lab directed by a specific faculty mentor. It is this context, through this lab, that students develop their scientific skills and begin presenting their work at professional conferences and publishing in professional journals. Each student, of course, is also part of a cohort of doctoral students with whom they learn, collaborate, and socialize.

In recent years, graduates of our doctoral program have gained employment in tenure-track academic positions, as research scientists in medical schools, and as clinical researchers in a broad range of treatment settings. In addition, many of our graduates practice independently as well as in community settings for under-served populations.

The list of faculty reviewing and potentially accepting applicants for each cycle is listed on the application itself. Please check the application itself or email the admissions office at 

[email protected] for clarification.

Doug Mennin, Ph.D.

Professor, Director of Clinical Training

Research Centers

Dean Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services

The Dean Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services (DHCEPS) is an integral part of the teaching and training programs in Clinical, Counseling, School Psychology, Learning Disability and Reading Specialist. The Center works in a two-folded way; first it offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical coursework with practicum experience within a multidisciplinary setting. This training is foreseen by highly qualified supervisors. Simultaneously, the DHCEPS offers affordable psychological and educational services to individuals, couples, and families residing in the nearby neighborhood of the New York City area. The emphasis is on respecting and working with clients from diverse, multicultural contexts regardless of age, racial and ethnic background, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and religious or cultural affiliations. Additionally, DHCEPS is committed to maintaining a liaison with community-based agencies and organizations such as schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics, among others.

Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families

The Resilience Center for Veterans & Families pairs groundbreaking research on human emotional resilience with clinical training of therapists to assist veterans and their families as they transition back to civilian life.

Dean Hope Center for Psychological Services

The Dean Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services (DHCEPS) is an integral part of the teaching and training programs in Clinical, Counseling, School Psychology, Learning Disability and Reading Specialist. The Center works in a two-folded way; first it offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical coursework with practicum experience within a multidisciplinary setting. This training is foreseen by highly qualified supervisors.  Simultaneously, the DHCEPS offers affordable psychological and educational services to individuals, couples, and families residing in the nearby neighborhood of the New York City area. The emphasis is on respecting and working with clients from diverse, multicultural contexts regardless of age, racial and ethnic background, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and religious or cultural affiliations.  DHCEPS also commits to maintaining a liaison with community-based agencies and organizations such as schools, hospitals and mental health clinics.

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Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Points/Credits: 95
  • Entry Terms: Fall

Application Deadlines

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines , such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

Requirements from the tc catalog (ay 2023-2024).

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

View Full Catalog Listing

The Program requires the following:

The completion of 95 points of academic credit during three to four years of residence at the College.

A full-time, twelve-month clinical internship during the fourth or fifth year of study.

An original piece of empirical research, which also serves as a qualifying paper, to be completed during the second year of study.

A passing grade on the certification examination (on Research Methods) during the third year of study.

A Clinical case presentation as well as a research presentation, during the third year, each demonstrating the student’s ability to integrate theory, research, and practice.

A doctoral dissertation, which must be completed no later than the seventh year after matriculation.

During the first year of study, in addition to participating in a research lab, doctoral students typically take the following didactic courses: Ethical and professional issues in clinical psychology (CCPX 5030); Psychological measurement (HUDM 5059); courses on statistics and modeling; Research methods in social psychology (ORLJ 5040); Child psychopathology (CCPX 5034); Adult psychopathology (CCPX 5032); History and systems of psychology (CCPX 6020); and Dynamic psychotherapies (CCPX 5037). Students also take two semesters of psychological testing and diagnostic assessment (CCPX 5330, CCPX 5333) and a course in clinical interviewing (CCPX 5539).

Second Year

During their second year, students’ didactic courses include Brain and behavior (BBS 5068, 5069); Cognition, emotion, and culture (CCPX 5020); Psychotherapy with children (CCPX 5531); Cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal therapies (CCPX 5038); Clinical work with diverse populations (CCPX 5036); and Seminar on life course development (HUDK 6520). In addition, students sign up for a full year of research practicum with a faculty member (culminating in an empirical second- year project), a full-year adult psychodynamic psychotherapy practicum (CCPX 6335), and an additional elective full-year clinical rotation (e.g., on child and adolescent psychotherapy; on neuropsychological assessment).

Third-year didactic courses include Group dynamics: A systems perspective (ORL 5362); and Dissertation seminar (CCPX 7500). There is also a full-year advanced psychodynamic clinical practicum (CCPX 6336) and a one-semester supervision and consultation practicum (CCPX 6333). Most students also elect a full-year family therapy practicum (CCPJ 6363).

Fourth and Fifth Year

The fourth year is typically focused on clinical externship (CCPX 5230) and extensive work on the dissertation. A full-year fourth year psychotherapy practicum (CCPX 6338) is recommended, though not required. Year five is usually spent on a full- year clinical internship (CCPX 6430).

The program allows only 12 points of graduate work from another institution to be transferred. No transfer credits are awarded for practica, workshops, or independent study.

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Teachers College, Columbia University 328 Horace Mann

Contact Person: Rebecca Shulevitz

Phone: (212) 678-3267 Fax: (212) 678-8235

Email: shulevitz@tc.columbia.edu

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The clinical program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System.

Your program will typically be fully funded for five years thanks to stipend grant support and guaranteed teaching fellowships. Tuition support is also available for a six-year program. Funding is also available for research, travel, and conferences. You will have access to the latest technology at FAS Research Computing and the Neuroimaging Facility at the Center for Brain Science.

Examples of student dissertations and theses include “Childhood Anxiety Disorders: Developmental Risk Factors and Predictors of Treatment Response,” “Clarifying the Pathway to Suicide: An Examination of Subtypes of Suicidal Behavior and Their Association with Impulsiveness,” and “A Cognitive Neuroscience of Social Groups.”

Graduates have secured positions in academia at prestigious institutions such as Princeton University, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University. Others have embarked on careers with companies such as Facebook, BetterUp, and Apple.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Psychology and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies .

Areas of Study

Cognition, Brain, and Behavior | Experimental Psychopathology and Clinical | Developmental | Social Psychology

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Psychology .

Academic Background

While an undergraduate concentration in psychology is not required, some social science coursework is recommended. Because the program is heavily quantitatively oriented, college-level math and statistics are also advised. Research experience is extremely helpful; successful applicants have often worked for professors, done research projects as part of college courses, written an undergraduate thesis, or volunteered in a psychology research lab.

Please Note: Before making the decision to apply, the program in Psychology suggests checking individual faculty/lab websites or emailing faculty directly to inquire whether they plan to consider applicants for Fall 2024 admission. It’s important to note that while individual faculty members may have every intention of bringing in a new student this year, we cannot guarantee that they will all be able to do so. The total number of offers of admission to be extended by the graduate program is based on applicant preparedness and fit, availability of university advising and support resources, and target class size. Some of these factors are not able to be determined until after the applicant pool has been finalized.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Psychology

See list of Psychology faculty

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Questions about the program.

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Psychology Graduate Program

  • Psychology Department

The Clinical Psychology Program adheres to a clinical science model of training, and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.  We are committed to training clinical psychologists whose research advances scientific knowledge of psychopathology and its treatment, and who are capable of applying evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention. The main emphasis of the program is research, especially on severe psychopathology. The program includes research, course work, and clinical practica, and usually takes five years to complete. Students typically complete assessment and treatment practica during their second and third years in the program, and they must fulfill all departmental requirements prior to beginning their one-year internship. The curriculum meets requirements for licensure in Massachusetts, and is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) and by the American Psychological Association (APA).  PCSAS re-accredited the program on December 15, 2022 for a 10-year term. APA most recently accredited the program on April 28, 2015 for a seven-year term, which was extended due to COVID-related delays. 

Requirements

Required courses and training experiences fulfill requirements for clinical psychology licensure in Massachusetts as well as meet APA criteria for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs.  In addition to these courses, further training experiences are required in accordance with the American Psychological Association’s guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs (e.g., clinical practica [e.g., PSY 3050 Clinical Practicum, PSY 3080 Practicum in Neuropsychological Assessment]; clinical internship).

Students in the clinical psychology program are required to take the following courses:

  • PSY 3900 Professional Ethics
  • PSY 2445 Psychotherapy Research
  • PSY 2070 Psychometric Theory and Method Using R
  • PSY 2430 Cultural, Racial, and Ethnic Bases of Behavior
  • PSY 3250 Psychological Testing
  • PSY 2050 History of Psychology
  • PSY 1951 Intermediate Quantitative Methods
  • PSY 1952 Multivariate Analysis in Psychology
  • PSY 2040 Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology
  • PSY 2460 Diagnostic Interviewing
  • PSY 2420 Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Clinical students must also take one course in each of the following substantive areas: biological bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 1202 Modern Neuroanatomy; PSY 1325 The Emotional, Social Brain; PSY 1355 The Adolescent Brain; PSY 1702 The Emotional Mind); social bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 2500 Proseminar in Social Psychology); cognitive-affective bases of behavior (e.g., PSY 2400 Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders); and individual differences (Required course PSY 2040 Contemporary Topics in Psychopathology fulfills the individual differences requirement for Massachusetts licensure). In accordance with American Psychological Association guidelines for the accreditation of clinical psychology programs, clinical students also receive consultation and supervision within the context of clinical practica in psychological assessment and treatment beginning in their second semester of their first year and running through their third year. They receive further exposure to additional topics (e.g., human development) in the Developmental Psychopathology seminar and in the twice-monthly clinical psychology “brown bag” speaker series. Finally, students complete a year-long clinical internship. Students are responsible for making sure that they take courses in all the relevant and required areas listed above. Students wishing to substitute one required course for another should seek advice from their advisor and from the director of clinical training prior to registering. During the first year, students are advised to get in as many requirements as possible. Many requirements can be completed before the deadlines stated below. First-year project:  Under the guidance of a faculty member who serves as a mentor, students participate in a research project and write a formal report on their research progress. Due by May of first year. Second-year project:  Original research project leading to a written report in the style of an APA journal article. A ten-minute oral presentation is also required. Due by May of second year. General exam:  A six-hour exam covering the literature of the field. To be taken in September before the start of the third year. Thesis prospectus:  A written description of the research proposed must be approved by a prospectus committee appointed by the CHD. Due at the beginning of the fourth year. Thesis and oral defense:  Ordinarily this would be completed by the end of the fourth year. Clinical internship:  Ordinarily this would occur in the fifth year. Students must have completed their thesis research prior to going on internship.

Credit for Prior Graduate Work

 A PhD student who has completed at least one full term of satisfactory work in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may file an application at the Registrar’s Office requesting that work done in a graduate program elsewhere be counted toward the academic residence requirement. Forms are available  online .

No more than the equivalent of eight half-courses may be so counted for the PhD.

An application for academic credit for work done elsewhere must contain a list of the courses, with grades, for which the student is seeking credit, and must be approved by the student’s department. In order for credit to be granted, official transcripts showing the courses for which credit is sought must be submitted to the registrar, unless they are already on file with the Graduate School. No guarantee is given in advance that such an application will be granted. 

Only courses taken in a Harvard AB-AM or AB-SM program, in Harvard Summer School, as a GSAS Special Student or FAS courses taken as an employee under the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) may be counted toward the minimum academic residence requirements for a Master’s degree.

Academic and financial credit for courses taken as a GSAS Special Student or FAS courses taken as a Harvard employee prior to admission to a degree program may be granted for a maximum of four half-courses toward a one-year Master’s and eight half-courses toward a two-year Master’s or the PhD degree.

Applications for academic and financial credit must be approved by the student’s department and should then be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and other data  

1. Time to Completion

Time to Completion 2023

Students can petition the program faculty to receive credit for prior graduate coursework, but it does not markedly reduce their expected time to complete the program.

2. Program Costs

Program costs 2023

3. Internships 

Internship placement Table 1 2023

4. Attrition

Attrition 2023

5. Licensure

Licensure 2023

Standard Financial Aid Award, Students Entering 2023  

The financial aid package for Ph.D. students entering in 2023 will include tuition and health fees support for years one through four, or five, if needed; stipend support in years one and two; a summer research grant equal to two months stipend at the end of years one through four; teaching fellowship support in years three and four guaranteed by the Psychology Department; and a dissertation completion grant consisting of tuition and stipend support in the appropriate year. Typically students will not be allowed to teach while receiving a stipend in years one and two or during the dissertation completion year.    

Year 1 (2023-24) and Year 2 (2024- 25)  Tuition & Health Fees:                             Paid in Full  Academic Year Stipend:                           $35,700 (10 months)  Summer Research Award:                       $7,140 (2 months)

Year 3 (2025-26) & Year 4 (2026- 27) Tuition & Health Fees:                             Paid in Full Living Expenses:                                       $35,700 (Teaching Fellowship plus supplement, if eligible)  Summer Research Award:                       $7,140 (2 months)

Year 5 (2027-28) - if needed; may not be taken after the Dissertation Completion year Tuition & Health Fees:                             Paid in Full

Dissertation Completion Year (normally year 5, occasionally year 6) Tuition & Health Fees:                             Paid in Full  Stipend for Living Expenses:                    $35,700  

The academic year stipend is for the ten-month period September through June. The first stipend payment will be made available at the start of the fall term with subsequent disbursements on the first of each month. The summer research award is intended for use in July and August following the first four academic years.

In the third and fourth years, the guaranteed income of $35,700 includes four sections of teaching and, if necessary, a small supplement from the Graduate School. Your teaching fellowship is guaranteed by the Department provided you have passed the General Examination or equivalent and met any other department criteria. Students are required to take a teacher training course in the first year of teaching.

The dissertation completion year fellowship will be available as soon as you are prepared to finish your dissertation, ordinarily in the fifth year. Applications for the completion fellowship must be submitted in February of the year prior to utilizing the award. Dissertation completion fellowships are not guaranteed after the seventh year. Please note that registration in the Graduate School is always subject to your maintaining satisfactory progress toward the degree.

GSAS students are strongly encouraged to apply for appropriate Harvard and outside fellowships throughout their enrollment. All students who receive funds from an outside source are expected to accept the award in place of the above Harvard award. In such cases, students may be eligible to receive a GSAS award of up to $4,000 for each academic year of external funding secured or defer up to one year of GSAS stipend support.

For additional information, please refer to the Financial Support section of the GSAS website ( gsas.harvard.edu/financial-support ).

Registration and Financial Aid in the Graduate School are always subject to maintaining satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Psychology students are eligible to apply for generous research and travel grants from the Department.

The figures quoted above are estimates provided by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and are subject to change.

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Phone: (202) 336-5979 E-mail:  [email protected]   www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

The Director of Clinical Training is Prof. Richard J. McNally who can be reached by telephone at (617) 495-3853 or via e-mail at:  [email protected]

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  • PhD in Psychology

The PhD program in Psychology trains students at the highest level in one of three specialty areas of psychology: Brain, Behavior, and Cognition (BBC), Developmental Science (DS), and Clinical (C). Upon completion of the PhD, students will be thoroughly prepared for postgraduate training and to eventually assume teaching and/or research positions in academia or industry or to obtain clinical positions. An undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline (e.g., neuroscience) is recommended.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a PhD in Psychology (Brain, Behavior & Cognition) are expected to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of existing theory and research.
  • Develop the ability to conduct sound, independent ethical research.
  • Demonstrate abilities to conduct scholarly and other activities in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Demonstrate teaching abilities.

Students graduating with a PhD in Psychology (Clinical) are expected to:

  • Learn to evaluate existing research and theory and to conduct independent clinical research.
  • Develop ability to write grants.
  • Develop the skills and knowledge necessary for communicating with patients, conducting clinical interviews and assessments, and providing treatment.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge of issues of individual and cultural diversity.

Students graduating with a PhD in Psychology (Developmental Science) are expected to:

  • Develop the ability to conduct sound, independent research.
  • Demonstrate abilities to conduct scholarly and other professional activities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional ethical standards.

Course Requirements

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 16 semester courses (64 credits) of graduate work for the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition and the Developmental Science PhD tracks. A minimum of 20 courses of graduate work (80 credits) is required for the Clinical PhD track. Required courses for all tracks are as follows:

  • GRS PS 711 Statistics in Psychology I
  • GRS PS 712 Statistics in Psychology II

For specific course requirements for each track, please visit our website . Courses are selected in consultation with the major advisor, who may determine that additional work is required.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Qualifying Examinations

PhD candidates must also satisfy a qualifying requirement or pass a qualifying examination in the area of specialization.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the readers, the Director of Graduate studies, and the Department Chair/Program Director. Candidates must undergo a final oral examination in which they defend their dissertation as valuable contributions to knowledge in their fields and demonstrate a mastery of their fields of specialization in relation to their dissertation. All portions of the dissertation and final oral examination must be completed as outlined in the GRS General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree .

Research Requirement

Each student must satisfy a research requirement during the first year, which is initiated by the director of the program and the student’s advisor.

Two categories of requirements are necessary for the MA degree en route to all the PhD programs. They should be completed within three years of admission. Specific graduate programs may have their own additional requirements:

  • Courses: A minimum of eight graduate-level courses, including PS 711 Statistics in Psychology I. Students must obtain prior departmental approval for any course they wish to take outside the department or the University. Please contact Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai, Director of Academic Affairs, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, at [email protected] for additional information.
  • Research Activity: Requirements vary by program. All students are engaged in research beginning in their first year.

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UCLA Department of Psychology

Graduate Program

Information about the UCLA Department of Psychology Graduate Research Program

The UCLA Psychology Department offers graduate Ph.D. training ( there is no separate M.A. program or Psy.D. program offered ) with area emphases in Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Health Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Quantitative, and Social Psychology. In all of these fields, the central objective is to train researchers dedicated to increasing the body of scientific knowledge upon which the discipline of psychology rests. The program is designed to prepare psychologists to function effectively as researchers, college and university instructors, and professional research psychologists. Rigorous scientific training is the foundation of the UCLA Psychology Ph.D. program. As part of this training, the Department encourages student participation in the activities of a number of related departments, schools, or organized research units of the University. For instance, the Brain Research Institute, the interdisciplinary Neuroscience and Cognitive programs, the Institute for Social Science Research, and the Neuropsychiatric Institute provide extensive research facilities for interested students. The  Fernald Child Study Center , moreover, bolsters the department’s long-standing commitment to training in childhood learning and behavioral disorders. Other departmental resources include the Psychology Clinic. Our close working relations with local hospitals (the Veterans Administration), clinics, and institutes provide a unique opportunity for year-round training and research. UCLA’s exceptionally strong library system (the University Research, Biomedical and Research libraries, among others) perfectly complements the Department’s scholarly activities.

Graduates are prepared for careers in both academic and applied settings including positions at universities and colleges, research and governmental organizations and business and industry.  

The Psychology Ph.D. program is one of  18 Ph.D. programs in the biosciences .

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Psychology Graduate Programs in America

1-25 of 462 results

Stanford University Department of Humanities and Sciences

Stanford, CA •

Stanford University •

Graduate School

Stanford University ,

Graduate School ,

STANFORD, CA ,

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Cambridge, MA •

Harvard University •

  • • Rating 4.56 out of 5   9 reviews

Other: I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student' in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Through this School, I will be focusing my time at the John A. Paulson school of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Looking forward to wrapping up my final year on campus! ... Read 9 reviews

Harvard University ,

CAMBRIDGE, MA ,

9 Niche users give it an average review of 4.6 stars.

Featured Review: Other says I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student'... .

Read 9 reviews.

The Graduate School at Duke

Durham, NC •

Duke University •

  • • Rating 4.8 out of 5   5 reviews

Current Master's student: The program is the best in the nation. It is the origin of the profession and it has helped developed it to what it is today. They seem to ver much involve alumni and are involved in your future. ... Read 5 reviews

Duke University ,

DURHAM, NC ,

5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Current Master's student says The program is the best in the nation. It is the origin of the profession and it has helped developed it to what it is today. They seem to ver much involve alumni and are involved in your future. .

Read 5 reviews.

University of Pittsburgh

Graduate School •

PITTSBURGH, PA

  • • Rating 4.43 out of 5   74

College of Arts and Sciences - American University

American University •

WASHINGTON, DC

School of Health Sciences - Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College •

School of Arts & Sciences - University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA •

University of Pennsylvania •

University of Pennsylvania ,

PHILADELPHIA, PA ,

Rice School of Social Sciences

Houston, TX •

Rice University •

Blue checkmark.

Rice University ,

HOUSTON, TX ,

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Evanston, IL •

Northwestern University •

Northwestern University ,

EVANSTON, IL ,

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College of Arts and Science

Nashville, TN •

Vanderbilt University •

Vanderbilt University ,

NASHVILLE, TN ,

Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies

Hanover, NH •

Dartmouth College •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   1 review

Alum: I had a beautiful life-changing experience at the grand Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The Guarini graduate program MALS created so many beautiful opportunities in interdisciplinary learning. Guarini is well integrated within the College, which provides a unique world-class learning experience. Guarini went beyond my expectations and made this experience the best I had and will ever have in my life. The only thing I would like changed is having a GRAD diploma in Latin instead of English to keep up with College tradition. ... Read 1 review

Dartmouth College ,

HANOVER, NH ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Alum says I had a beautiful life-changing experience at the grand Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The Guarini graduate program MALS created so many beautiful opportunities in interdisciplinary... .

Read 1 reviews.

College of Arts and Letters - University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN •

University of Notre Dame •

  • • Rating 4.5 out of 5   2 reviews

Doctoral Student: The faculty at Notre Dame is excellent. The student to professor ratio makes for a wonderful one to one interaction between students and teachers. At Notre Dame, my interests, dreams, goals, research and career path matter. I loved this most. I feel taken seriously and supported with every possible resources for my mental, academic and career success. One gets many opportunities to grow talents through research, and presentations with helpful and supportive feedback from students and professors. For these reasons, I find it a place to be! On the down side, the weather is at first always a challenge for one who is not used to the harsh and gloomy midwestern winter. ... Read 2 reviews

University of Notre Dame ,

NOTRE DAME, IN ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Doctoral Student says The faculty at Notre Dame is excellent. The student to professor ratio makes for a wonderful one to one interaction between students and teachers. At Notre Dame, my interests, dreams, goals, research... On the down side, the weather is at first always a challenge for one who is not used to the harsh and gloomy midwestern winter. .

Read 2 reviews.

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Los Angeles, CA •

University of Southern California •

University of Southern California ,

LOS ANGELES, CA ,

Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences

Ithaca, NY •

Cornell University •

Cornell University ,

ITHACA, NY ,

Rackham School of Graduate Studies

Ann Arbor, MI •

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor •

Master's Student: The Landscape Architecture program at UMich School for Environment and Sustainability is rooted in advancing sustainable design and ecological function, rather than pure aesthetics. We have some amazing faculty very dedicated to this mission, some of whom are legends within the field. This program attracts and retains students who are diverse, passionate, friendly and helpful, and the experience at this school has been very rewarding. The curriculum is challenging but thought provoking, and everyone in the studios is happy and willing to help, fostering a warm sense of comradery and support. ... Read 5 reviews

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ,

ANN ARBOR, MI ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says The Landscape Architecture program at UMich School for Environment and Sustainability is rooted in advancing sustainable design and ecological function, rather than pure aesthetics. We have some... .

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Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - Georgetown University

Nw Washington, DC •

Georgetown University •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   2 reviews

Master's Student: The program is highly practical. The professors explain concepts in class and give us home works to submit on each topic discussed on a weekly basis. This enables us to grasp the concepts more. We are informed of the professors office time and so we can email them to make inquiries and get assistance when needed. We make presentations during class which train us to become more bold and be able to communicate the concepts easily. We are able to discuss and critic writings independently. We work on projects in groups of about 3-4 and discuss findings to the entire class and professor. We review research papers and make meta-analyses inform of class projects. The program is well structured and i am gaining skills. My worst experience is having to worry about Tuition and other related school bills. ... Read 2 reviews

Georgetown University ,

NW WASHINGTON, DC ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The program is highly practical. The professors explain concepts in class and give us home works to submit on each topic discussed on a weekly basis. This enables us to grasp the concepts more. We... .

UCLA College of Letters and Science

University of California - Los Angeles •

  • • Rating 3 out of 5   1 review

University of California - Los Angeles ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 3 stars.

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Baltimore, MD •

Johns Hopkins University •

  • • Rating 4.53 out of 5   19 reviews

Master's Student: I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student Advisor, Alexis has been extremely helpful in initiating my enrollment process and answering all of my questions in a timely matter. My intended Advanced Academic Program is the accelerated (2 semester), dual-modality, 40-credit M.S. in Biotechnology, Biodefense concentration. All of the anticipated course subjects are diverse and there's even a customizable core lab course on campus (at least until Summer 2024). I can't wait and I wish you all the best in your search for academic programs or professional certifications. ... Read 19 reviews

Johns Hopkins University ,

BALTIMORE, MD ,

19 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student... .

Read 19 reviews.

Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Pittsburgh, PA •

Carnegie Mellon University •

Carnegie Mellon University ,

PITTSBURGH, PA ,

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA •

University of Virginia •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   1 review

Alum: Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study ... Read 1 review

University of Virginia ,

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Alum says Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study .

Laney Graduate School

Atlanta, GA •

Emory University •

Master's Student: I chose the graduate programs at Emory because they are ranked among the best in the country. The school of nursing also provides the clinical experiences, something many of the online only nurse practitioner programs do not do. ... Read 2 reviews

Emory University ,

ATLANTA, GA ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says I chose the graduate programs at Emory because they are ranked among the best in the country. The school of nursing also provides the clinical experiences, something many of the online only nurse... .

UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science

Berkeley, CA •

University of California - Berkeley •

University of California - Berkeley ,

BERKELEY, CA ,

Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Winston-salem, NC •

Wake Forest University •

  • • Rating 4.63 out of 5   8 reviews

Current Master's student: The academic program is great. The size of each class gives students the perfect opportunity to make connections with professors and other faculty. There could be an improvement in helping students understand the organization of the program. I love that there are multiple paths you can take within the program. ... Read 8 reviews

Wake Forest University ,

WINSTON-SALEM, NC ,

8 Niche users give it an average review of 4.6 stars.

Featured Review: Current Master's student says The academic program is great. The size of each class gives students the perfect opportunity to make connections with professors and other faculty. There could be an improvement in helping students... .

Read 8 reviews.

College of Arts & Sciences - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC •

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill •

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ,

CHAPEL HILL, NC ,

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Chestnut Hill, MA •

Boston College •

Boston College ,

CHESTNUT HILL, MA ,

College of Liberal Arts - University of Texas - Austin

Austin, TX •

University of Texas - Austin •

University of Texas - Austin ,

AUSTIN, TX ,

Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   3 reviews

Graduate Student: I attended as a graduate student and my son is there now. I have never met professors who were more passionate about their profession. I loved every one of my classes and was so inspired. My son is having an even better experience than I did. He has loved every moment of his college career. ... Read 3 reviews

MIDDLETOWN, CT ,

3 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Graduate Student says I attended as a graduate student and my son is there now. I have never met professors who were more passionate about their profession. I loved every one of my classes and was so inspired. My son is... .

Read 3 reviews.

College of Arts and Sciences - Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA •

Lehigh University •

Lehigh University ,

BETHLEHEM, PA ,

University of La Verne

LA VERNE, CA

  • • Rating 4.5 out of 5   66

Valparaiso University

VALPARAISO, IN

  • • Rating 4.7 out of 5   10

University of North Texas

  • • Rating 4.61 out of 5   129

Showing results 1 through 25 of 462

Best Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programs

Ranked in 2020, part of Best Health Schools

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental illness

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental illness and psychological disorders. Graduates may find work in private practice, schools and health care facilities. These are the top clinical psychology programs at the Ph.D. and/or Psy.D. level. Each school's score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. Read the methodology »

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Charan Ranganath

Charan Ranganath Portrait

Position Title Professor

  • 530-757-8750
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  • http://dml.ucdavis.edu/
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University
  • M.S., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

In addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, Charan Ranganath is an affiliated faculty with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, which seeks to understand the function of the human brain in health and in illness. He is also director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at UC Davis and is an affiliated faculty with the Center for Mind and Brain. His research involves the use of functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology and behavioral methods to study the neural basis of human memory and executive control. He previously served as editor for the Cognitive Neuroscience Section of the journal NeuroImage , and currently serves as an editor for the Journal of Neuroscience , which is the most influential academically edited journal in the field of neuroscience. Professor Ranganath has consulted for government and private funding agencies from several countries and has served on review panels for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Research Focus

Professor Ranganath's research concerns the neurocognitive structure of human memory and executive control. One set of studies currently underway concerns the relationship between short-term, or working memory, and long-term memory. Results from event-related fMRI studies conducted by Professor Ranganath suggest that overlapping regions of the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes are active during both working memory and long-term memory tasks. This research suggests that a common neural system supports both of these types of memory. Currently, Professor Ranganath is investigating how different regions within the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes contribute to working and long-term memory through additional fMRI studies of healthy young adults and behavioral testing of patients with focal brain damage. A second, related area of interest is the role of prefrontal cortex in the control and evaluation of information in memory. Finally, in collaboration with Andy Yonelinas, Professor Ranganath is investigating the roles of different medial temporal lobe regions in recognition memory processes. To address this issue, he is conducting parallel studies using event-related fMRI and event-related brain potentials in healthy young and older adults and amnesic patients with medial temporal lobe damage. In collaboration with another research group, he is also conducting studies to examine field potentials recorded directly from the human hippocampal formation in patients performing recognition memory tasks.

Publications

  • Hsieh, L. T., Gruber, M. J., Jenkins, L. J. , & Ranganath, C. (2014). Hippocampal activity patterns carry information about objects in temporal context. Neuron. 81(5):1165-78. PMID: 24607234
  • Gruber, M. J., Gelman, B. , & Ranganath, C. (2014). States of curiosity modulate hippocampus-dependent learning via the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuit. Neuron. 84(2): 486-496. PMID: 25284006
  • Ranganath, C., & Ritchey, M. (2012). Two cortical systems for memory guided behaviour. Nature Reviews Neuroscience , 13: 713-726. PMID: 22992647
  • Addante, R. J., Watrous, A. C. , Yonelinas, A. P. , Ekstrom, A. D. , & Ranganath, C. (2011). Pre-stimulus theta oscillations predict source memory retrieval. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 108(26):10702-7.
  • Axmacher, N., Cohen, M. S. , Fell, J. , Haupt, S. , Elger, C. E., Schlaepfer, T. E., Lenartz, D. , Sturm, V. , & Ranganath, C. (2010). Intracranial EEG correlates of expectancy and memory formation in the human hippocampus and nucleus accumbens. Neuron , 65, 541‚Äì549.

Professor Ranganath has taught courses in Human Learning, Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroimaging and Current Research in Psychology.

Professor Ranganath’s work has been recognized with several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge, the Laird Cermak Award from the Memory Disorders Research Society, the Samuel Sutton Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution to Human ERPs and Cognition, the Chancellor’s Fellow award from UC Davis, and the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. In 2015, he was one of 11 researchers in the United States to receive a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship. His research has been funded by grants from the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and several private foundations.

Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D.

The Many Benefits of Studying Psychology

How and why an understanding of psychology can be essential for anyone..

Posted May 18, 2024 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

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  • Contrary to popular belief, psychology can be a very employable college degree.

Even though psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors, many people question the benefits of a psychology degree. This is partially due to the fact that a career in the field of psychology typically requires a graduate degree. Yet, I am going to argue that there are many benefits to studying psychology that are beyond simply finding a rewarding career. Here are several:

A Good Understanding of the Scientific Method

Psychology provides a good grounding in the scientific method. Being a social science, psychology teaches us that rather than operating on our hunches or our own biased experiences, it is important to look for objective evidence to gain a better understanding. Psychology students learn that science strives to make informed decisions but also acknowledges that science is not “black and white” thinking. The scientific method relies on the ”best possible evidence,” meaning that as new evidence is gathered, conclusions may change.

We saw this at play during the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine skepticism. Rather than relying on the best possible evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing serious illness and death, skeptics relied more on biased information from uninformed sources or from their own observed (non-scientific) experiences.

Critical Thinking

A great deal of psychological content, and the methods taught and used by psychologists, focus on how to think critically. Critical thinking is considered to be essential to being an educated person. These critical thinking skills can benefit a variety of careers in business, law, and other professions.

Understanding of Relationships and Psychological Well-Being

Although studying psychology doesn’t necessarily make you psychologically healthier any more than studying medicine makes you physically healthy, psychology majors do have this knowledge at their fingertips and should be more aware of the fact that good interpersonal and family relationships require attention and hard work. Psychology also tells us that when we are having difficulties in relationships or in coping with life, it is important to seek out professional help and counseling.

A Better Understanding of Workplace Dynamics

Studying psychology, particularly the area of industrial/organizational psychology provides insights into the world of work. Knowledge of psychology can lead to improved work relationships, and it can benefit professionally, as well. A knowledge of human behavior is one of the "selling points" for psych majors when it comes to gaining employment, and a knowledge of basic psychology makes you a more effective supervisor/manager

Improved Employability

Contrary to popular belief, psychology is a very good general major for careers in law, social services, education , business, and many other occupations. The trick is knowing how to “sell” your psychology degree and background to a potential employer (the employer may hold to stereotypes that psychology is an "empty" major without real skills). However, savvy employers (and savvy job applicants) know that an understanding of human behavior is essential to success in the workplace.

Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D.

Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D. , is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree?

Author: University of North Dakota May 22, 2024

Psychology has taken center stage.

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With anxiety and depression on the rise —alongside the diagnosis of various mental health disorders such as ADHD, bipolar, and autism—psychology has taken a front-row seat. There are people discussing mental health in all spaces of life, be it mainstream media, movies, books, social media, and conversations between friends and family. 

This exposure, while enlightening, only scratches the surface of the diverse field of psychology, the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychologists work across various environments and employ a multitude of methods to understand complex mental processes and behaviors. 

So, what can you do with a psychology degree? Well, given the vastness of the field, a degree in psychology opens up numerous pathways and roles, each offering unique contributions to society. Keep reading as we explore the numerous opportunities such a degree unlocks.

What is a Psychology Degree?

A psychology degree is centered on the intricate workings of the human mind and behavior. It aims to understand how and why we think and act the way we do. Common topics covered include cognitive processes, emotional and social dynamics, brain functions, and psychological disorders. 

Psychology career paths begin with a bachelor's degree as students are introduced to fundamental psychological theories and findings. Then, as students advance, they have the opportunity to specialize in more focused areas through graduate degrees or certifications, choosing paths like clinical psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, or organizational psychology. 

Such advanced specializations enable graduates to apply their skills in various professional settings, including mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, corporate environments, and research institutions. Thus, a psychology degree provides a strong foundation for understanding human behavior as well as equips students with the versatility to pursue a wide range of impactful careers in both scientific and practical domains.

What Can You Do with a Psychology Degree?

To demonstrate the broad applicability of psychological principles across various domains and highlight the field's capacity to address diverse human needs through specialized knowledge and skills, let's examine some roles you can pursue with a degree in psychology. Each contributes uniquely to understanding human behavior and mental processes and directly impacts individual and community well-being.

1. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists are integral in mental health services, offering psychotherapy and behavioral interventions for mental illnesses ranging from depression to schizophrenia. As part of their work, they try to understand a patient's condition through psychological testing and crafting personalized treatment plans based on the results. 

Becoming a clinical psychologist requires a Psy.D. or Ph.D., followed by a supervised clinical internship of 1-2 years and successful completion of licensing exams. This extensive training prepares them to handle complex psychological issues in various settings such as clinics, hospitals, or private practice.

A clinical psychologist is working with a child to help treat his anxiety

2. Counseling Psychologist

These psychologists perform many of the same functions as clinical psychologists but often deal with less severe psychological conditions. They focus on helping clients adjust to life transitions or cope with stress and anxiety, providing tools for personal development and better mental health management. 

Counseling psychologists work in diverse environments, including academic, health, corporate, and community sectors. To reach these professional environments, they need to have a license to practice, which typically involves obtaining a diploma from an accredited master’s or doctoral program in psychology, completing an internship, and passing state-regulated exams.

3. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological theories to organizations and the workplace to boost morale, increase productivity, and optimize organizational structure. They also engage in leadership development, training, policy planning, and recruitment strategies. Thus, these psychologists have an important role in society as they have the capacity to shape the way we work and interact during working hours. 

To take a role as an organizational psychologist, a master’s degree can be suffiecient. However, for higher-level positions a Ph.D. may be necessary.

4. School Psychologist

School psychologists are crucial in educational settings. They help students succeed academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. Moreover, they collaborate closely with teachers, parents, and administrators to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments. 

Typical tasks may include conducting psychological assessments, counseling, and designing educational and behavior management programs. School psychologists typically require an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.), which consists of three years of graduate study and a one-year internship.

5. Forensic Psychologist

The work of such psychologists blends psychological practices with the legal and criminal justice systems. They assess the psychological state of individuals involved in legal proceedings, prepare psychological evaluations for court cases, and provide expert witness testimony. They may also work with offenders, providing rehabilitation programs or risk assessment. 

Forensic psychologists need a doctoral degree, specialized training in forensic psychology, and a state license to practice. In addition to psychological knowledge, their work often requires them to understand legal standards, making their role particularly complex. 

6. Health Psychologist

Health psychologists focus on how behavior and social context influence health and wellness. They work to improve patient outcomes through behavioral change programs, stress management techniques, and by addressing psychosocial factors that affect health. 

This role is key in chronic disease management, preventative healthcare, and system-level intervention to promote health at a community or population level. Practitioners usually need a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in health psychology, and many also pursue postdoctoral work to specialize further, mainly if they aim to provide clinical services where licensure is required.

7. Research Psychologist

Research psychologists play a significant role in advancing the understanding of human behavior and mental processes through empirical research. These professionals design and implement studies, analyze data, and publish results that contribute to the scientific foundation of psychology. 

They often specialize in areas like cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, or social psychology and find careers in academic settings, government research institutions, and the private sector. A Ph.D. in psychology is typically necessary to lead research projects and teach at the collegiate level.

A research psychologist is testing new treatment methods while assessing brain function.

8. Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists focus on understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. They assess cognitive function, diagnose conditions, and treat patients suffering from brain injuries or neurological disorders. 

These professionals work in hospitals, clinical settings, and research facilities. To enter the field and achieve board certification, they must undergo extensive training, including a doctoral degree in neuropsychology or clinical neuropsychology, followed by a postdoctoral residency in neuropsychology.

9. Rehabilitation Psychologist

These psychologists focus on helping individuals cope with disabilities and chronic health conditions, aiming to enhance their functional abilities and quality of life. They assess psychological needs, provide counseling, and develop treatment strategies that promote personal and social adjustment. 

A doctoral degree in psychology, typically specializing in rehabilitation, is necessary, along with a clinical internship and licensure to practice independently.

10. Social Worker

Lastly, social workers support individuals, families, and communities to overcome life's challenges, such as poverty, abuse, addiction, and mental illness. They provide therapy and crisis intervention as well as connect clients with other resources to improve their circumstances. 

While closely related to psychology, social work emphasizes social systems and social change, focusing on direct community involvement. A degree in social work (BSW for entry-level positions and MSW for clinical roles) is required, along with state licensure to practice clinically.

Benefits of a Psychology Degree

One of the primary benefits of a psychology degree is the vast career opportunities discussed so far. However, a psychology degree also equips individuals with a skill set that encompasses skills highly valued in any profession, making psychology graduates well-prepared for challenges and leadership roles in their chosen fields. 

Additionally, careers in psychology can be incredibly lucrative and personally satisfying. Psychologists often work directly with individuals or communities to improve their mental well-being, providing a unique opportunity to make a tangible, positive impact on others' lives. This rewarding aspect attracts many to the field.

Is a Psychology Degree Worth It?

Absolutely, a psychology degree is worth it. In addition to the rewarding career paths it encompasses, which can profoundly impact people's lives, the degrees also provide a strong foundational skill set applicable in virtually every industry today.

With the growing recognition of mental health's critical role in overall health, the demand for trained professionals in psychology is high, ensuring that graduates find meaningful and stable careers.

The Bottom Line

So, a psychology degree opens a world of possibilities, catering to a wide range of interests and career aspirations. Whether your passion lies in understanding the criminal mind, assisting those in need of mental health support, or exploring the depths of human cognition, UND provides the perfect starting point with its Bachelor in Psychology . 

For those aiming to specialize further, UND offers advanced opportunities, including a master's in Forensic Psychology , Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology , Counseling Psychology , and General Experimental Psychology , as well as an undergraduate certificate in Forensic Psychology . Each program is designed to deepen your expertise and enhance your professional impact. At UND, you won't just be studying psychology; you'll be preparing to help others.

What pays the most with a psychology degree? ( Open this section)

While salaries can vary widely in psychology, the highest earners typically are found in specialized areas such as clinical neuropsychology or industrial-organizational psychology, where professionals can earn six-figure salaries. These high earnings often depend on factors such as the specific role, industry, and geographic location.

Does psychology require math? ( Open this section)

Yes, psychology degrees generally require some math, particularly statistics, to support psychological research and data analysis.

What is the hardest field in psychology? ( Open this section)

Clinical psychology is often considered one of the hardest fields due to its demanding nature, intense emotional engagement, and the extensive education required to practice.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? ( Open this section)

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication and tend to focus on biological factors of mental health conditions, while psychologists primarily provide psychotherapy and treatment based on behavioral interventions.

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When the PhD path leads to career struggles

A bird flew past a rainbow on the horizon, as viewed from Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.

A doctoral degree is a major commitment. Think carefully.

I appreciated reading Kara Miller’s The Big Idea column “PhD: Pretty heavily disappointed” (Business, May 22), about people with doctoral degrees struggling to build careers in academia. It made me think back to a conversation I had when I was about to graduate from high school.

I happened to run into a former track coach of mine, and as we were reminiscing he asked me what I planned as a major in college. “History,” I responded. He said, “Why don’t you take some computer classes also? It never hurts to be able to do something useful.”

I did not reflect on his motivation at the time, but my track coach was a young guy, and he was probably giving me advice straight from his own life, as a parent trying to raise his own young children. I did take computer classes in college and ultimately received a PhD in chemical engineering. I always remember that conversation as being a kind of turning point.

Earning a doctoral degree is a life commitment of great proportion. It can take, as Miller notes, between four and seven years. If we think of working life as roughly between the ages of 22 and 65, then a PhD requires more than 10 percent of a person’s working life. People need to think carefully about that investment.

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Two powerful arguments in favor of the path of science, technology, engineering, and math are that there tend to be more STEM jobs for PhDs, and many universities’ STEM departments are generous in covering their PhD students’ tuition and cost of studies, including a stipend toward food, rent, and other expenses.

Stuart Gallant

Not much has changed in 30 years

As I prepared to graduate in 1995 with a doctor of education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, my mother memorably said to me, “Of my four children, you are the one with the most education and the smallest salary.” Apparently not much has changed in 30 years.

I must congratulate these students, however, on following their passion rather than following the money. I can’t help but think that their lives, though stressful, may contain greater happiness.

Peggy Clark

Lawyers & electricians & philosophers, oh my!

Kara Miller’s column on the career challenges for people with doctoral degrees generated more than 260 comments on Boston.Globe.com. The following is an edited sample of readers’ reactions:

Lots of law school grads are underemployed as well. (PL)

So true, PL. The market in Massachusetts is flooded with talented lawyers seeking work. (Roforma)

Supply and demand, the market at work. (guk)

Investing in education and research in all fields is the hallmark of a society with staying power. Disinvesting from these endeavors signals decline and decay. (Massachusetts citizen)

Electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and other skilled technical professions have no problems getting $100k jobs with great benefits. (ramsen)

Not enough turnover from tenured professors, leaving little space for new faculty. Although the tenured, well-established professors are needed, it’s the junior faculty who are hungry and with new ideas that help build new programs. The whole graduate program model is a bad model. I worked two jobs, had my tuition and some type of minimal student health insurance and could barely cover the rent with my stipend, and the second job paid for everything else. Though I was working on many faculty projects, it was the faculty who said this would be good for me. Never did they say it was also good for them. (TravelerofNJ2)

I just retired from a tenured faculty position in science. I’m in my early 70s. I have colleagues who are still doing what they do well into their 70s, a couple approaching 80. There is no active incentive from the university to move the older faculty on, to make way for a new generation. (Lola-lola)

The next step is for adjuncts to go on strike across the nation and hold colleges and universities accountable. The current system is completely absurd. (Wordsmith2358)

Universities should be required to release disclosure data about the fate of their PhD graduates. (davidman820)

I knew an attorney who managed a Cheesecake Factory. She had worked in food services through school. As an attorney, she really did not make that much money and was not doing the field of law of her choice. How many real estate closings can you do without dying of boredom? She went into management in the food industry and makes the same salary. (Antietem)

It was always a question and puzzling to me why people study philosophy. (Blazer27)

colleges with phd in psychology

Globe Opinion

IMAGES

  1. Best Masters in Psychology Campus Programs & Graduate Schools

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  2. Why A PhD In Psychology?

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  3. 2024 Best psychology colleges

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  4. Online Doctorate in Psychology Degrees 2024+

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  5. 10+ Best Colleges For Psychology In 2023

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  6. 10 Best Colleges For Psychology To Consider In 2023

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VIDEO

  1. BEST MA PSYCHOLOGY COLLEGES IN MUMBAI 2024

  2. PhD in Psychology from Delhi University

  3. Three Research Philosophies Explained!

  4. Study Psychology Abroad

  5. How to choose university for Ph.D I Ph.D Psychology I PhD in Psychology India

  6. WATCH THIS Before Applying to PsyD/PhD Programs

COMMENTS

  1. Psychology Doctoral Degree Programs 2024

    According to 2024 EducationData.org research, nearly 30% of psychology doctoral students surveyed reduced their educational costs through teaching assistantships. Ph.D. programs are more likely than Psy.D. programs to offer full funding, which can include teaching and research assistantships and stipends.

  2. 2023-2024 Top Doctor of Psychology Graduate Programs

    The Graduate School at Duke. Duke University,Graduate School,DURHAM, NC,5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars. Featured Review: Current Master's student says The program is the best in the nation. It is the origin of the profession and it has helped developed it to what it is today.

  3. PhD Program Rankings (Adapted from US News and World Report)

    Below are reputation scores and ranks of the top 27 PhD programs in Psychology, including top-ranked schools in each of six subspecialties. From US News and World Report, "America's Best Graduate Schools" rank/school average reputation score.

  4. Explore the 10 Best Graduate Clinical Psychology Programs

    3 (tie). Stony Brook University—SUNY. Location: Stony Brook, New York. Peer reputation score (scale of 1-5): 4.6. Key facts about the program: This Ph.D. program in clinical psychology is most ...

  5. Best Graduate Psychology Schools

    Northwestern University. Evanston, IL. #9 in Psychology (tie) Save. 4.5. Studying the intricacies of the human experience is central to a psychology program. With a graduate degree, psychologists ...

  6. Graduate Study in Psychology

    Find your Psychology Graduate Program. American Psychological Association's premier psychology graduate school search tool. Search and compare admissions information for more than 900 masters and doctoral programs at over 300 schools and departments of psychology in the United States and Canada.. PREVIEW PRODUCT

  7. PhD Admissions

    The deadline to apply for the Stanford Psychology Ph.D. program is November 30, 2024 . Applicants who are admitted to the program will matriculate in autumn 2025. In addition to the information below, please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. The Department of Psychology does not have rolling admissions.

  8. Clinical Psychology PhD

    Welcome to the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Clinical Psychology Program was founded in 1947-1948. It was APA-accredited in the first group of programs that were reviewed for accreditation in 1948 and that status has been uninterrupted.

  9. Psychology

    The focus of the psychology program is on research. You can choose from four main areas depending on your interests or intended career path: experimental psychotherapy and clinical science; developmental psychology; social psychology; and cognitive, brain, and behavior. The clinical program is accredited by the American Psychological ...

  10. Psychology Graduate Program

    Welcome to the Psychology PhD program at Harvard University! Our work is united in the focus on the science of mental life, yet highly interdisciplinary. ... Psychology Graduate Office William James Hall 210 33 Kirkland Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-3810 [email protected]

  11. Discover the 12 Best Graduate Psychology Programs

    Click through this slideshow to see which graduate school programs excel in teaching psychology, according to the ratings of academics in the field. Two graduate schools share the top spot. Education

  12. Clinical

    The purpose of the Clinical Psychology Handbook is to outline and describe the philosophy and structure of Harvard University's Clinical Psychology Program and to provide students with information about the courses, research, and clinical training required to earn a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology.

  13. Best Graduate Schools for Clinical Psychology

    Clinical psychologists earn an average salary of $87,500, according to Payscale data from August 2023. Other factors like industry, location, and experience can also impact your earning potential. In clinical psychology, the median annual salary is $96,100. The top 10% of earners make $168,870 a year, according to the BLS.

  14. Clinical Psychology • UCLA Department of Psychology

    The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA has been accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation since 1949. (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE. Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 202-336-5979 .)

  15. PhD in Psychology » Academics

    Students graduating with a PhD in Psychology (Brain, Behavior & Cognition) are expected to: Demonstrate mastery of existing theory and research. Develop the ability to conduct sound, independent ethical research. Demonstrate abilities to conduct scholarly and other activities in a professional and ethical manner. Demonstrate teaching abilities.

  16. Graduate Program • UCLA Department of Psychology

    The UCLA Psychology Department offers graduate Ph.D. training ( there is no separate M.A. program or Psy.D. program offered) with area emphases in Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Health Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Quantitative, and Social Psychology. In all of these fields, the central objective is to train ...

  17. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Program Guide

    The average annual salary for graduates of Psy.D. programs is $87,000, with a range of $58,000-$116,000 for clinical psychologists, according to Payscale data from July 2023. Ph.D. graduates average $99,000 per year, and clinical psychologist salaries range from $62,000 to $125,000.

  18. 2023-2024 Top Psychology Graduate Programs

    Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - Georgetown University. Master's Student: The program is highly practical. The professors explain concepts in class and give us home works to submit on each topic discussed on a weekly basis. This enables us to grasp the concepts more.

  19. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

    Courses: 20. Estimated Time to Complete: 46 months. The Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD-PSY) degree program can be completed in 60 credits. Each course runs 8 weeks, except for the research, dissertation, and internship courses which run 12 weeks. You'll receive 3 semester credits per course but may require additional credit hours ...

  20. Clinical Program

    Clinical Program. The intent of our doctoral program in clinical psychology is to train students to become scientific clinical psychologists. It is our view that clinical psychology must be a science-based discipline, as the scientific method provides the strongest basis for developing new knowledge in our field and for disseminating services that are shown scientifically to be effective.

  21. Best Clinical Psychology Programs

    Harvard University. Cambridge, MA. #10 in Clinical Psychology (tie) Save. 4.3. Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental illness and psychological disorders. Graduates may find work in ...

  22. School Psychology PSYD

    The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program in school psychology trains students to attain certification to practice as school psychologists and/or pursue other doctoral-level employment such as university teaching. The program emphasizes (a) data-based decision making, (b) multiculturalism, (c) mental health, and (d) prevention.

  23. Charan Ranganath

    Education Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University M.S., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University B.A., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley AboutIn addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, Charan Ranganath is an affiliated faculty with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, which seeks to understand the function of the human brain in health and in illness.

  24. Career Opportunities for Qualified Psychology Degree Graduates

    Discover the fascinating world of psychology at the University of Memphis. Dive into this scientific field dedicated to understanding the human mind and behavior. Explore our comprehensive programs, renowned faculty, and cutting-edge research opportunities. Start your journey towards a rewarding career in psychology today.

  25. The Many Benefits of Studying Psychology

    Contrary to popular belief, psychology can be a very employable college degree. Even though psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors, many people question the benefits of a ...

  26. What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree?

    With anxiety and depression on the rise—alongside the diagnosis of various mental health disorders such as ADHD, bipolar, and autism—psychology has taken a front-row seat. There are people discussing mental health in all spaces of life, be it mainstream media, movies, books, social media, and conversations between friends and family.

  27. When the PhD path leads to career struggles

    I appreciated reading Kara Miller's The Big Idea column "PhD: Pretty heavily disappointed" (Business, May 22), about people with doctoral degrees struggling to build careers in academia. It ...