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Top Clinical Psychology Programs

Ten of the Top-Ranked

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Are you planning on becoming a clinical psychologist? Then you will need to earn a doctorate degree in clinical psychology in order to become licensed to practice. With nearly 200 clinical graduate programs to choose from, finding the school that is the right fit for your goals and needs can be a challenge.

Here are ten of the top clinical psychology programs ranked according to U.S. News and World Report.

1. University of California – Los Angeles

UCLA
Denis Bocquet (CC BY 2.0)

"Rigorous scientific training is the foundation of the UCLA Psychology Ph.D. program. As a 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."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and completion of the GRE Psychology Subject Test.
  • Number of Applicants: Approximately 900 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: Approximately 40 per year
  • Length of Program: 5 Years

2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

UNC Chapel Hill
Balrog Daemon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

"The Clinical Program is committed to excellence in research and clinical training from a clinical science perspective. Our goals are to educate students in scientific principles and empirically supported theoretical models that may guide the study and treatment of psychopathology, as well as the study of psychological factors related to health and well-being."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Most admitted students have a bachelor's in psychology, but students from other fields who have extensive coursework in psychology may also be accepted.
  • Number of Applicants: Approximately 400 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: 4 to 6 per year
  • Length of Program: 6 to 7 years

3. University of Washington

University of Washington
Wikimedia Commons

"Our graduate program is mentor-based. Students train under the direct guidance of one or more specific faculty members whose scholarly interests parallel their own."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? Students may opt to also earn an M.S. on their way to the Ph.D., but no terminal M.S. is offered.
  • Prerequisites: An undergraduate degree from an accredited university. A bachelor's in psychology is not required, although some coursework or experience in psychology is preferred. Completion of the GRE general test is also required.
  • Number of Applicants: Approximately 900 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: Approximately 40 per year
  • Length of Program: 5 to 7 years

4. University of Wisconsin – Madison

University of Wisconsin at Madison
Vonbloompasha at en.wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

"The Department of Psychology has fostered excellence in research and scholarship for over 100 years. The department provides graduate students with the best available training to prepare them for a variety of professional careers in academic, clinical, research, and other settings. Emphasis is on both extensive academic training in general psychology and intensive research training in the student's area of concentration."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? Yes, a Master's in General Psychology is available.
  • Prerequisites: A minimum GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credit hours of coursework and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university are required. The department also requires a minimum combined GRE score of 1200 on the old scoring system or 310 on the new scoring system, or a TOEFL of 550 on the paper-based exam or 213 on the computer based exam.
  • Number of Applicants: Approximately 400 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: Approximately 25 per year
  • Length of Program: 5 to 7 years

5. Yale University

Yale University
Pradipta Mitra / Wikimedia Commons

"The program is well suited to students who desire to begin an independent, structured program of clinical science research and are likely to emerge as leaders in the study of psychopathology and its treatment."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: Completion of the GRE general exam and a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.
  • Number of Applicants: "Applicants should realize that the total number of applicants is many times larger than the number that can be admitted, so the competition for admission is very keen."
  • Number of New Enrollments: Approximately 15 per year
  • Length of Program: 5 to 6 years

6. Duke University

Duke University

"Our training program follows the scientist-practitioner model. We aim to prepare graduates to be outstanding scientists and outstanding clinicians, who will conduct research and practice in an ethical manner, with sensitivity to individual, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity."

  • APA Accredited?Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: The program recommends that students who do not have an undergraduate psychology degree take the GRE psychology subject test.
  • Number of Applicants: 300 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: 4-7 per year
  • Length of Program: 5 to 7 years

7. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
HalloweenHJB / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

"Consistently named one of the top five graduate programs in the country, the department nurtures an environment of collaborative and independent research and outstanding scholarship. The organization of our department, the variety of divisions, and the strength of our faculty allow students the opportunity to explore their interests across the discipline and alongside some of the finest minds in the country."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? Yes, both M.A. and M.S. degrees are available
  • Prerequisites: Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate coursework. Most students have a minimum of 15 hours of study in psychology, although those with a degree in a highly related subject area may also be considered.
  • Number of Applicants: 200 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: 8 per year
  • Length of Program: 5-7 years

8. University of Kansas

University of Kansas
InaMaka (CC BY 3.0)

"The mission of the program is to develop leaders in the research, dissemination, and practice of clinical science for children, youths, and their families. The field of psychological science is changing rapidly, with advances in our understanding, assessment, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a range of conditions. Our goal is to train the professionals who are at the forefront of these advances in research, dissemination, education, and service."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum of 15 credit hours in psychology, including statistics and research methodology. Applicants must also take the GRE.
  • Number of Applicants: 100 + per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: 3-5 per year
  • Length of Program: 5-7 years

9. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

"Our program combines rigorous training in assessment and intervention techniques with a solid grounding in psychopathology research. Although graduates from our program will find themselves prepared for various applied and research careers, the program is designed to train students who wish to become academic clinical psychologists or research scientists."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree from an accredited university with at least 12 credit hours in psychology; a course in abnormal psychology is required. Students must also have taken the GRE general test, and the psychology subject test is strongly recommended.
  • Number of New Enrollments: 5-9 per year
  • Length of Program: 5-7 years

10. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
Bruce Andersen / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

"Graduate study in Psychology at Penn emphasizes scholarship and research accomplishment. The first-year program is divided between courses that introduce various areas of psychology and a focused research experience. A deep involvement in research continues throughout the graduate program, and is supplemented by participation in seminars, teaching, and general intellectual give-and-take. Students are admitted into the graduate program as a whole, not into specific subfields. Students and faculty are free to define their fields of interest."

  • APA Accredited? Yes
  • Separate Master's or Psy.D. Program Available? No
  • Prerequisites: Completion of the GRE general test is required
  • Number of Applicants: 300-400 per year
  • Number of New Enrollments: 3-5 per year
  • Length of Program: 5-7 years

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