25 Best Psy.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology

By: BCD Staff

November 2019

If you are seeking advanced study in psychology with a particular interest in hands-on clinical practice, a Doctor of Psychology degree may be an ideal next step in your career.

While Doctor of Philosophy programs typically focus more on research and academia in psychology, a Psy.D. degree is the generally recognized doctoral psychology degree for clinical practitioners. Best Counseling Degrees' 25 Best Psy.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology combines in-depth, evidence-based research inquiry with clinical training, practica, and internships. 

Most of the programs listed follow a scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes research-informed clinical practice and practice-informed research. The following programs examine the biological, cognitive, cultural, and social aspects of human behavior and personality. Students can expect to build skills in areas such as psychological assessment, intervention, and supervision. 

As a clinical psychologist, you may work with clients in settings ranging from community health centers, hospitals and medical centers, prisons, university counseling centers, and beyond. You can expect to have opportunities to work with a diverse range of clients, from children and adolescents to adults and aging populations. Clinical psychologists may work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports psychologists' median pay as $79,010 in 2018, which is equal to about $38 per hour. The demand for psychologists is growing at a 14% rate, which is much faster than the national average. A doctoral degree is often a requirement for psychologist positions, so career and salary prospects will be brightest for doctoral degree-holders. 

Methodology

Best Counseling Degrees is proud to provide counseling students with top-ranking resources and information so they can make informed decisions about their future. While several micro-factors are affecting every school's overall score, primary grading factors are accreditation, affordability, mid-career earning potential, how competitive admissions are for incoming students, student feedback, and school reputation. Each ranking utilizes information provided public sources such as:

  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP)
  • National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator
  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook

#25 Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Florida Institute of Technology offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. The service-oriented, practitioner-scientist degree program emphasizes clinical skills. Only 20 applicants are accepted per year, making this program a competitive one. Students can expect to receive supervised clinical training in counseling, diagnosis, testing, and therapy. Students must also complete doctoral research projects relating to their special interests within the clinical psychology field, and to gain one full year of supervised internship training. The curriculum emphasizes professional development, and students can expect to shadow Florida Tech clinicians and work with faculty at a variety of clinical sites. 

The Psy.D. program includes special elective emphasis areas, including Child and Family Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Integrated Behavioral Health, and Neuropsychology. Past students have completed research projects in areas such as adaptation to chronic illness, aging and sports injuries, and child and family conflicts. Students may pursue clinical psychology training through the university's Concussion Management Program, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or The Scott Center for Autism Treatment. Graduates of the Florida Tech Psy.D. program are prepared for clinical psychologist licensure in all 50 states. They may move into positions in hospitals, independent practice, medical centers, or mental health clinics. 

Courses Include:

  • Assessment of Intelligence
  • Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Cultural and Social Psychology
  • Laboratory in Assessment of Personality
  • Personality and Psychotherapy

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $22,588
  • Credits Required: 123
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#24 University of Hartford

West Hartford, CT

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

The University of Hartford houses a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program through its Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology. All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and significant coursework in abnormal, cognitive, developmental, personality, and physiological psychology, as well as research methods and statistics. The Psy.D. degree program admits 20 to 25 full-time students each fall as members of a cohort peer group. It seeks to prepare competent clinical psychologists to lead, design, direct, and consult for clinical services and to conduct empirical research in the field. It emphasizes diversity and cultural sensitivity in clinical psychology practices. 

Students may choose to follow the program's Child and Adolescent Proficiency Track, which includes specialized courses in areas such as child assessment, development, and intervention, as well as a specialized practicum experience with children and adolescents. Each doctoral students must successfully complete a three-part qualifying exam in order to advance to candidacy. The exam requires each student to complete a theoretical essay, a clinical case study, and an oral component. Candidates culminate their Psy.D. work through a capstone doctoral dissertation with an accompanying seminar and defense. The degree program takes three years to complete, including the internship and dissertation. Each student works on coursework during the academic year and during a six-week term each summer. 

Courses Include:

  • Consultation in Health Delivery Systems: Case Perspectives
  • Experimental Design
  • Gender and Sexuality Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Professional Seminar: Diversity
  • Theories of Personality

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $13,055
  • Credits Required: 96
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#23 Kean University

Union, NJ

Doctor of Psychology in School and Clinical Psychology

Kean University's Nathan Weiss Graduate College houses a Doctor of Psychology in School and Clinical Psychology. The combined degree program provides hands-on training and rigorous coursework in the practice of both clinical psychology and school psychology. Prerequisite courses include Abnormal Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Statistics, and Theories of Personality. Entering class sizes are limited to 12 students to allow for direct faculty mentorship. Each degree candidate can expect to gain skills in behavioral processes, contextual factors, intervention, evidence-informed practice, and practice-informed research. Students will also gain clinical training through campus- and community-based practicum experiences. 

In their second year of study, students gain experience providing assessment and/or psychotherapeutic services through Kean Psychological Services, as well as engaging in a K-12 school externship. Students complete an externship in a clinical setting in their third year, followed by an optional fourth-year externship. In their final year, students are placed in a full-time, 1,750-hour internship in a clinical or school setting. Students participate in scientific inquiry throughout the program, are offered opportunities to publish and present research, and culminate their studies in a doctoral research dissertation. The degree program includes three exams: the Assessment Competency Exam, the Foundations Competency Exam, and the Interventions Competency Exam. Psy.D. students may choose to join the Kean Psychology Graduate Council student group.

Courses Include:

  • Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Cognition and Emotion
  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in the Professional Practice of School and Clinical Psychology
  • Marriage & Family Therapy: Models and Techniques
  • Neuropsychological Assessment in School & Clinical Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $17,133 in-state; $21,998 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: 121
  • Accreditation: American Psychology Association

#22 Palo Alto University

Palo Alto, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Palo Alto University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. The program is offered in collaboration with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. It is intended for individuals seeking direct practice careers in clinical psychology. Preferred program applicants will bring prior psychology coursework and clinical experience. The practitioner-scholar Psy.D. program provides a generalist psychology education with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. 

Students complete four full-time residential years of psychological training through academic coursework and applied practicum experiences. The program also requires degree candidates to spend a fifth year on 2,000 hours of doctoral internship in an APA-accredited clinical psychology setting. Graduates of the doctoral program go on to pursue careers as clinical psychologists in government agencies, healthcare settings, mental health centers, schools, and beyond. Alternatively, doctoral graduates may pursue work as an administrator, consultant, or researcher in the clinical psychology field.

Courses Include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Mood Disorders
  • Culturally Competent Counseling
  • Foundations of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Nature and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychological Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $25,616
  • Credits Required: not reported
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#21 Loma Linda University

St. Loma Linda, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Loma Linda University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through its School of Behavioral Health. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field in order to be admitted. The degree program follows a practitioner-scholar model and emphasizes clinical training and individualized mentorship in clinical child psychology, health psychology, and neuropsychology. It reflects the university's Christian religious principles and holistic approach to psychological care. Students take foundational coursework in empirical and scientific principles of psychology, and they begin supervised clinical work at the end of their first year of training. 

Throughout the program, students can expect to complete multidisciplinary practicum experiences in campus- and community-based settings. In the second year of the program, students work with individuals, couples, and families in the university's psychology clinic. During their third and fourth years, students work in the Loma Linda University Medical Center and in clinical settings around the local community. Students can expect to gain experience through a variety of challenges, including addictions, combat-related PTSD, forensic neuropsychology, hospice care, and sex offender psychology. The degree requires five years of full-time study and training, including the year of internship.

Courses Include:

  • Clinical Supervision and Consultation Laboratory
  • Foundations of Social and Cultural Psychology
  • Human Diversity
  • Objective Personality Practice Laboratory
  • Spirituality and Clinical Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $29,372
  • Credits Required: 83
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#20 Pepperdine University

Los Angeles, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology houses a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. Program applicants must have a master's degree in psychology or a related field. They must have a foundational understanding of psychological areas including affective, biological, cognitive, and social aspects of behavior; data analysis and research methodology; and psychological measurement. The Psy.D. degree program is designed to prepare licensed psychologists for applied clinical practice. 

Using a practitioner-scholar model, this program combines clinical coursework, clinical training, and the culminating completion of a clinical research dissertation. Students can take advantage of training opportunities through the university's four campus clinics and external placements throughout Southern California. Students may complete their APA-accredited doctoral internship through a full-time, year-long format or a half-time, two-year format. The doctoral program can typically be completed in four years, but students who choose to complete a half-time internship may take an additional year. Once graduates complete postdoctoral clinical training, they will be eligible for psychologist licensure in the United States and Canada.

Courses Include:

  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues
  • Foundations of Conceptualization and Psychotherapy in a Multicultural Context
  • Interventions with Children and Adolescents
  • Proseminar in Professional Development
  • Sociocultural Foundations of Behavior

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $33,820
  • Credits Required: 82
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#19 University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

The University of Indianapolis offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum of 18 undergraduate credit hours of psychology coursework. The degree program includes at least two years of clinical training through numerous practicum sites and placements, including in correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and specialized facilities relating to addictions, domestic violence, and eating disorders. Through their clinical placements, students gain supervised experience in areas such as assessment, case management, interdisciplinary collaboration, treatment planning, and other aspects of professional psychology. 

Degree candidates can choose between three concentrations: Adult Psychopathology & Psychotherapy, Childhood & Adolescent Psychology, and Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine. Students entering with a Master of Arts degree can earn their Doctor of Psychology in four years, and those with an MA and professional clinical experience can earn their degree in three years. Those entering without a master's degree must take additional elective courses and can earn their Psy.D. in four years, earning an MA along the way.

Courses Include:

  • Comprehensive Personality Assessment
  • Ethics, Professional Standards, and Legal Issues
  • Humanistic Approaches to Treatment
  • Lifespan Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Biological Bases of Behavior

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $37,234
  • Credits Required: 111-120
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#18 Biola University

La Mirada, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology 

Biola University has a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology within its Rosemead School of Psychology. The degree program examines psychological science through a theological Christian lens. The practice-oriented program is designed to prepare graduates to become full-time psychological practitioners and applied researchers. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of eight to one to allow for personalized attention and interaction. The program typically requires four years of study in residency, including practicum experiences and psychotherapy laboratory courses. 

In addition to psychology coursework and psych labs, students must complete theological coursework, a series of theology and psychology integration seminars, and a dissertation research component. Each student can expect to complete comprehensive, qualifying, and final exams. Hands-on clinical program components include 36 hours of interpersonal training therapy, 50 hours of individual training therapy, and an APA-accredited, full-time doctoral internship. After the first two years of the doctoral program, students will earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology degree. Students can also expect to graduate from the program with a built-in minor in Theology and Biblical Studies. Students can typically earn their Doctor of Psychology degree from Biola in five to six years. 

Courses Include:

  • History of Psychoanalytic Thought
  • Multicultural Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Psychotherapy and Religion
  • Seminar in Ethical and Professional Issues
  • Theological and Psychological Anthropology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $11,178
  • Credits Required: 133
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#17 Widener University

Chester, PA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Widener University's Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program allows students to learn from faculty mentors about clinical and leadership skills in professional psychology. All applicants must hold a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, but a psychology major is not a requirement for admission. The degree program follows a scholar-practitioner model, fusing the science of psychology with the application of psychological assessment, consultation, intervention, and supervision. 

From their first year in the program, students can expect to gain academic and hands-on clinical psychology training through various practicum placements, a paid pre-doctoral internship experience, and dissertation research. The Psy.D. program offers certificate tracks in Biofeedback, Neuropsychology, and School Psychology. It also offers seven concentration options, including but not limited to Cross-Cultural & Diversity Psychology, Health Psychology, and Psychodynamic Psychology. Students in the Psy.D. program also have the option to earn the degree concurrently with a master's degree in business administration, criminal justice, health care management, or human sexuality education.

Courses Include:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Diversity
  • Human Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Theories of Learning and Motivation

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $22,600
  • Credits Required: 120
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#16 Pacific University

Forest Grove, OR

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Pacific University's School of Graduate Psychology offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Upon entrance into the program, doctoral students gain mentorship and support from other students. Students who enter the program without a master's degree must earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology en route to the doctoral degree. The degree program emphasizes contemporary, evidence-based research in clinical psychology. It blends psychology coursework, practicum placements, and a doctoral research dissertation to prepare students for practice, research, and teaching in the field.

Pacific is also home to in-house clinical training facilities that allow doctoral students to gain hands-on training with real-world clients at the Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic. The generalist program offers six tracks, including but not limited to Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Latina/Latino Psychology. Students can expect to complete clinical practice and research programs within their chosen track. Students culminate their studies by orally defending their doctoral dissertation. Requirements for both the MA and the Psy.D. degrees can be met in five years of full-time study, including four years in residence and one year of a doctoral internship. 

Courses Include:

  • Group Interventions
  • Health Psychology
  • Multicultural Assessment
  • Neuropsychological Assessment + Lab
  • Trauma Theory and Practice

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $22,600
  • Credits Required: 135
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#15 La Salle University

Philadelphia, PA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

La Salle University houses a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program within its School of Arts and Sciences. The degree program trains students in the science and professional practice of clinical psychology. It prepares graduates for careers in areas such as clinical research, psychological assessment, and psychotherapy. The program follows a practitioner-scholar model and features an emphasis on cognitive-behavioral theory. It is designed for individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology or mental health discipline. 

The program offers three areas of concentration: Child Clinical, Clinical Health, and General Practice. Students can expect to engage in on-campus clinical training for at least two years. Students can also expect to train in areas such as autism, anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, mindfulness, weight and eating, and beyond. Each student will also complete a full year of clinical doctoral internship, as well as a culminating clinical dissertation. The degree program is designed to be completed in five years of full-time study, but students may take courses on a part-time schedule for up to two years.

Courses Include:

  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Human Diversity
  • Interviewing and Psychotherapy Lab
  • Professional Ethics
  • Working with Families in Clinical Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $25,020
  • Credits Required: 75
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#14 Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Azusa Pacific University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. It emphasizes diversity and features three emphasis areas that are incorporated across all courses: Christian Principles, Diversity, and Family Psychology. It incorporates elements from multiple psychology disciplines, such as neuropsychology, personality theory, and social psychology. Students may choose to apply for a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology degree en route to the doctoral degree. The curriculum may require students to attend certain seminars on Saturdays. 

Students can expect to gain clinical experience in areas such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, group interventions, postmodern interventions, and psychodynamic interventions. The program requires a doctoral internship and a culminating research dissertation. Once students have met the degree requirements, they will also have met all requirements for California state psychologist licensure. Graduates of the degree program are prepared to work as psychologists in areas such as clinical research, psychological assessment, and psychotherapy, and to become administrators, consultants, or teachers in the clinical psychology realm. 

Courses Include:

  • Christian Spiritual Formation and Psychotherapy
  • Global Psychology
  • Moral Identity Formation and Psychotherapy
  • Moral and Spiritual Identity Formation in the Family
  • Social Ethics and Psychotherapy

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $17,362
  • Credits Required: 133
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#13 Marywood University

Scranton, PA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Marywood University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through its Department of Psychology & Counseling. Applicants to the program should have completed at least 18 credits of undergraduate psychology coursework, including the areas of abnormal psychology, research methods, and statistics. The degree program is primarily designed for students entering without a master's degree. It emphasizes diversity and cultural sensitivity, ethics, and research-informed practice. 

Through this program, students can expect to gain competency in areas such as assessment, communication, ethics, research, and supervision in clinical psychology. They receive clinical practice opportunities to work with children, adolescents, and adults. The program takes a generalist approach to clinical psychology, with a focus on cognitive-behavioral theory and opportunities for students to focus their electives on adult or youth populations. The curriculum includes an introductory practicum, summer practica, supervision training practica, and community-based practica. As is typical, each Psy.D. student must complete a doctoral internship and dissertation. The degree program is designed to deem graduates eligible for psychologist licensure.

Courses Include:

  • Advanced Human Development
  • Assessment of Adult Personality and Psychopathology
  • Child Psychopathology
  • Marital and Family Therapy
  • Multicultural Issues in Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $11,300
  • Credits Required: 117
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#12 Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Nova Southeastern University's College of Psychology is home to a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. The degree program follows a practitioner-informed-by-science model, supporting clinical training and practice with empirical evidence. It has a particular focus on assessment and intervention in both psychological theory and clinical practice. The curriculum covers areas of clinical psychology, such as history and systems, ethical and legal standards, and research methods. 

The program also offers concentrations including but not limited to Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, and Long-Term Mental Illness. Students can expect to engage in multiple intensive supervised practicum experiences in clinical areas such as assessment, consultation, intervention, and supervision. All students must complete one year of internship and pass a clinical competency exam. The program is designed to be completed in five years of full-time study, including the internship year. Graduates of the program are eligible for licensure as doctoral-level psychologists. They may pursue careers as clinical psychology teachers or practitioners, human services administrators, mental health consultants, or researchers. 

Courses Include:

  • Assessment: Intelligence Testing with Lab
  • Diversity in Assessment & Intervention
  • History & Systems of Psychology
  • Objective Personality Assessment
  • Psychopharmacology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $20,620
  • Credits Required: 119
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#11 Baylor University

Waco, TX

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Baylor University's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is home to a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. Many students enter the program with only a bachelor's degree, earning a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology en route to the Psy.D. degree. The program is designed to deliver psychologist preparation that is rooted in ethnic and cultural diversity, the science of psychology, and a commitment to life-long learning in the field. It follows a practitioner-scientist model that integrates the applied science of psychology into its clinical training and practice. The program also emphasizes clinical research and scientific contributions to the psychology field through clinical practice evaluations, peer-reviewed publications, and beyond. 

Practicum placements may take place in the Baylor Psychology Clinic, juvenile detention facilities, university counseling centers, and beyond. Students spend their fourth year of study on 1,000 hours of clinical research in a faculty member's lab. Prior to their internship, students can expect to accumulate around 4,000 hours of clinical experience. The program is designed to be completed on a five-year schedule, including four years in residence on the university's campus in Waco, TX, and the fifth year of internship. All students must complete and defend a doctoral research dissertation in order to complete their studies. 

Courses Include:

  • Ethics and Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Psychopathology and Assessment of Children
  • Social-Organizational Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $17,133 in-state; $21,998 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: not reported
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#10 Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Regent University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through its School of Psychology & Counseling. Each student must have a bachelor's degree in counseling, psychology, or a related human behavioral field and those who do not may complete an additional 18 credit hours of prerequisite psychology coursework. The residential degree program prepares students for state clinical psychologist licensure in Virginia, and for internships nationally. It integrates a Christian worldview as well as a culturally sensitive and evidence-based practice. 

Students have options to concentrate their elective studies into specialty areas such as consulting psychology, health psychology, or marriage and family therapy. Students gain pre-internship clinical training through preparatory labs in their first year, an intensive practicum sequence in their second and third years, an advanced practicum sequence in the fourth year, and 2,000 hours of approved internship in the fifth and final year of the program. All students can expect to culminate their doctoral studies through a dissertation research project. All coursework can be completed in four years of full-time study, followed by the full year of internship work. 

Courses Include:

  • Affect, Cognition & Motivation
  • Clinical Interviewing
  • Personality Assessment & Psychometrics
  • Psychology of Religion
  • Survey of Christianity

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $16,179
  • Credits Required: 124
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#9 Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana, PA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in psychology or a minimum of 18 psychology credits, as well as a strong GPA and Graduate Record Exam test scores. Students entering with a bachelor's degree earn a master's degree during the doctoral program. Housed in the university's Psychology Department, the Psy.D. degree program is a cohort residential program offered on a full-time, year-round basis. It emphasizes professional applications of the science of psychology and follows an applied, practitioner model of clinical psychology training. 

Students can expect to build skills in areas such as community outreach, interpersonal relations, program evaluation, and psychological assessment. Key coursework includes comprehensive academic and professional exams and the culminating doctoral project. The program is designed to meet the academic requirements for clinical psychologist licensure. Students can expect to complete their coursework in four calendar years of full-time study, before moving into the additional year of full-time internship.

Courses Include:

  • Drugs and Behavior
  • Family Therapy
  • Historical Trends in Psychology
  • Personality Theory and Systems of Psychotherapy
  • Racial, Cultural, and Gender Issues in Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $16,650 in-state; $24,102 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: 102-104
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#8 Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, MD

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Loyola University Maryland offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. The service-oriented degree program prepares students to become innovative leaders in the mental health service field. It follows a scholar-practitioner educational model, integrating foundational psychological knowledge with hands-on clinical skills. Doctoral students take four or five courses per semester and they can expect to devote ten to 16 hours per week to clinical training. Students complete their first two years of clinical training in practicum placements at the Loyola Clinical Centers. In their third and fourth years, doctoral students complete clinical externship placements in the wider Baltimore, MD community. 

Key coursework includes written and oral comprehensive exams and a doctoral dissertation. The program accepts approximately 20 applicants per year. Applicants who do not hold a bachelor's degree in psychology must complete prerequisite courses in areas such as cognitive theory, psychopathology, and social science research methods. Individuals who enter the program with a qualifying master's degree can complete the program in four years of full-time study, while others complete it in five years. Individuals who complete the Psy.D. program and an APA-accredited internship will be eligible to apply for clinical psychologist licensure in all 50 states.

Courses Include:

  • Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior
  • Diversity Seminar
  • Personality Assessment
  • Professional Development & Case Conceptualization
  • Seminar on Social and Cultural Bases of Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $19,498
  • Credits Required: 124
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#7 Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA

Doctor of Psychology in Psychology

Georgia Southern University's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences houses a Doctor of Psychology degree program. The degree program only admits eight students per year, but it does not require a master's degree for admission. The program was originally created to prepare licensed psychologists to serve populations in the rural South and other underserved regions of the nation. It follows a full-time, daytime schedule and a practitioner-scholar training model with a professional orientation. It offers a generalist education in psychological assessment, psychological consultation, and psychotherapy. The curriculum takes behavioral, cognitive, existential, familial, humanistic, and psychodynamic approaches to the psychology field. 

Students can expect to engage in independent readings, colloquia, research, and clinical practicum experiences. Each student must complete at least 15 sessions of individual, group, and/or family therapy with a licensed therapist while enrolled in the program. In their first year of study, students take didactic, experiential skill-building, and psychological assessment courses. In their second year, students begin their clinical practicum placements, which continue into their third-year rural practice and fourth-year professional development practice. Each student must complete a written and oral clinical qualifying exam, a doctoral dissertation, and a full, 2,000-hour calendar year of internship. The entire program, including the internship, is typically completed in five years.

Courses Include:

  • Affective and Cognitive Psychology
  • Child Psychotherapy
  • Diversity Issues in Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Rural Mental Health

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $8,728 in-state; $28,610 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: 114
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#6 California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

California Lutheran University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. The program integrates clinical practice and research with an emphasis on human diversity and underserved populations. Graduates of the program will be prepared for careers as licensed, doctoral-level clinical psychologists in community counseling centers, medical centers, prisons, universities, and other settings. Students receive hands-on clinical training in the university's fully operational training clinics and in local community organizations. 

This curriculum consists of six core courses, a research component, and practical skill development courses. It includes three years of practical training, including one year of training at the university. Key program milestones include the second-year project or competency exam, the doctoral candidacy qualifying exam, the dissertation, and the year of internship. Students complete their courses in 15-week terms during the fall and spring semesters, as well as summer sessions. The program can typically be completed in five years of full-time study. 

Courses Include:

  • Biological Aspects of Behavior
  • Cognitive-Affective Aspects of Behavior
  • Diagnostic Interviewing
  • Human Development
  • Social Psychology

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $19,215
  • Credits Required: 114
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#5 Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Xavier University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. Program applicants must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree and a minimum of 18 undergraduate credits of psychology coursework. Students can earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology en route to the doctoral degree, and they advance to doctoral candidacy upon completion of their second year of study. The degree program delivers a generalist education in the role of science in clinical professional practice in health service psychology. It emphasizes service to underserved populations, especially in the realm of health care as well as children and those who suffer from chronic psychopathology. Students can expect to engage in six clinical practicum experiences and a fifth-year internship. Graduates of the program may move into careers in clinical practice, counseling, school psychology, or private practice.

Courses Include:

  • Biological Bases of Behavior and Affective Aspects of Behavior
  • Cognitive Aspects of Behavior
  • Diversity
  • Interprofessional Education
  • Psychometrics and Intelligence Testing

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $11,716
  • Credits Required: not reported
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#4 University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

The University of Arizona's School of Mind, Brain and Behavior is home to a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. The degree program follows a clinical science training model to prepare students to practice clinical psychology and contribute to research in the field. It is a peer-reviewed member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Within the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, students can expect to examine areas such as clinical neuropsychology, health psychology, intervention research, and psychophysiology. 

The curriculum includes courses in psychological assessment, ethics, history, intervention, research methods, and statistics. The clinical training component includes practica in assessment, intervention, and neuropsychology. Students can expect to complete a master's project or thesis, written and oral comprehensive exams, and a culminating empirical dissertation. Each student will also complete a clinical externship placement and a predoctoral internship on a full-time basis in 12 months or on a part-time basis over 24 months.

Courses Include:

  • Couple & Family Therapies
  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Human Brain-Behavior Relationships
  • Multilevel Modeling
  • Psychosocial Interventions

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $13,044 in-state; $33,393 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: not reported
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association; Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

#3 George Fox University

Newberg, OR

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

George Fox University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Applicants should have an accredited bachelor's degree and at least 18 credits of undergraduate coursework in areas such as abnormal psychology, human development, and personality theory. The degree program typically admits 22 to 24 students each year in cohort groups. It blends rigorous coursework, clinical training, and research infused with a Christian worldview. Students in the program may choose to add one of three areas of specialization to their studies: Child and Adolescent Psychology, Primary Care Psychology, or Psychological and Neurological Assessment. 

Students can expect to engage in clinical practicum training on Mondays and Tuesdays, clinical and research team meetings on Wednesdays, and class meetings on Thursdays and Fridays. The degree program is designed to be completed in five years of full-time study. Students spend their first four years in residence completing coursework, practica, and research requirements. The fifth and final year is spent on a full-time, APA-accredited predoctoral internship. Graduates of the Psy.D. program may move into professional psychology practice in consultation, higher education, mental health therapy, psychological assessment, or research.

Courses Include:

  • Child and Adolescent Treatment
  • Ethics for Psychologists
  • Learning, Cognition & Emotion
  • Psychometrics
  • Theories of Personality/Psychotherapy

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $14,130
  • Credits Required: 125
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association

#2 California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

California Baptist University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree program. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree and prerequisite coursework in areas such as abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, psychology research methods, and statistics. The Psy.D. degree program is designed to create Christian-informed health service psychologists. Beyond the basic courses, the curriculum explores content areas such as assessment, faith integration, intervention, research, and supervision. It also includes a series of California state course requirements to prepare students to pursue doctoral-level psychologist licensure in the state. 

Students may choose to concentrate their electives in attachment theory, forensic psychology, and organizational psychology. Students engage in six practicum experiences in areas such as client advocacy, interpersonal skills, and professionalism. Each student can also expect to complete three semesters of full-time clinical internship, divided into 1,800 hours of experience over 50 weeks each. The curriculum culminates in extensive doctoral dissertation work.

Courses Include:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Child Abuse Reporting, Assessment, and Treatment
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • Human Social Behavior
  • Intimate Partner Abuse

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $14,130
  • Credits Required: 128
  • Accreditation: N/A

#1 Indiana State University

Terre Haute, IN

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Indiana State University is home to Best Counseling Degrees' top Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology. The university's Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology is housed within its Department of Psychology. The degree program accepts a cohort of seven to nine students per year. Most students enter the program with a bachelor's degree in psychology. The degree program follows a practitioner-scientist model that aims to prepare clinical psychologists for research and professional practice while emphasizing diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility in the field. 

Each student must complete a research-based doctoral dissertation. In recent years, Indiana State Psy.D. students have seen a 100% APA-accredited internship placement rate. The program's clinical faculty research areas include ADHD, cognitive development, correctional and forensic psychology, health psychology, mental health development, and social and environmental psychology. Doctoral students can expect to engage in at least four years of full-time, on-campus study and one year of full-time predoctoral internship.

Courses Include:

  • Biopsychology
  • Cognition & Learning
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Social Basis of Behavior
  • Theories of Personality

Unique Features: 

  • Cost: $7,616 in-state; $14,762 out-of-state
  • Credits Required: 87+

Accreditation: American Psychological Association