Ranking Top 20 Doctoral Programs in Clinical Psychology in 2014

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Badge - Online Psyc Degrees - Top Doctoral Degree Programs

By Kristen Fescoe
Published July, 2014

Individuals with a Graduate Psychology Degree in Clinical Psychology will be in increasing demand over the next ten years. Clinical Psychologists are trained professionals who provide professional therapeutic services for the diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, treatment and prevention of psychological, emotional, psychophysiological and behavioral disorders in people of varying ages and levels of psychological distress. The practice of Clinical Psychology requires understanding, predicting, and improving intellectual, emotional, physical, and psychological distress, social and behavioral maladjustment, and mental illness, as well as other forms of stress. Employment for Clinical psychologists continues to rise each year. With almost 105,000 Americans currently employed as Clinical Psychologists, the field is predicted to rise approximately twelve percent in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 Occupational Handbook, the mean annual salary for a clinical psychologist is approximately $72,710. With such a positive outlook for the field more and more trained clinicians will be needed to fill the increase in positions available.

Ranking Methodology

This ranking list has been developed to evaluate the top ranked Clinical Psychology Graduate programs in the United States according to a combination of several ranking bodies. The most attention has been paid to the 2014 US News and World Report list for Psychology Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology. The list is then ranked according to additional national rankings and commendations. The goal of this ranking list is to summarize the highest ranked online psychology programs while considering the cost of tuition and the achievements earned by the college or university. Also noted are additional achievements, awards and benefits of each program.

Ranking Top 20 Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology

#20 – University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

 University of Virginia Doctorate Clinical Psychology
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College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia requires a minimum of five years of full-time study, four years plus a year long internship. The curriculum was developed to ensure that student’s are able to actively participate in clinical research as well as experiential learning opportunities with the assessment and treatment of clinical problems throughout their programs of study. The clinical training program is designed to offer students a broad skill set required to utilize the most research-supported assessment and therapy approaches for working with clinical problems, as well as problems in living and relationships. The curriculum sequence includes theoretical and applied training in how to provide therapy for adults, children, families and couples. In the doctoral program, students do not choose whether to work towards becoming a scientist or practitioner; the department asks that students approach these two activities as being intertwined, and graduates must be able to function in both roles.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #18
Tuition: $12,458 in-state, annual tuition / $39,844 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #23 Best National University
US News and World Report #25 Best Value School
US News and World Report #26 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #2 Top Public School
Ranked #20 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#19 – University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California


University of Southern California Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science

Program Website

The Graduate Psychology Program in Clinical Science at the University of Southern California is dedicated to the culmination of science and practice. The psychology department works to educate clinical scientists who are capable of conducting meaningful research that addresses issues of societal importance and who engage in empirically-supported clinical work. The goal is to “prepare talented graduates to create new knowledge with the potential to advance the field in whatever setting they choose to work– academia, research centers, medical centers, applied settings, or private industry”.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #18
Tuition: $46,298 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #23 Best National University
US News and World Report #37 Best Value School
US News and World Report #40 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #10 Up and Coming School
Ranked #29 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
Academy of Psychological Clinical Sciences (APCS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Master of Science in Applied Psychology

#18 – Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia

Emory University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

The goal of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Emory University is the training of clinical psychologists with a framework in research, theory, and practice. The program is a clinical science program, meaning that the faculty encourages students to make meaningful contributions to the understanding of the assessment, cause, diagnosis, and treatment of various psychopathology. Students are also encouraged them to become efficient clinicians who utilize available evidence and to contribute to the training of future psychologists. The primary emphasis of the curriculum is to offer students the knowledge and skills they need to function as productive clinical researchers in psychology. This requires a basic understanding of the determinants of human behavior, including biological, psychological, and social factors, and a strong background in research design and quantitative methods. The goal and philosophy of the clinical program are consistent with the goals of the Psychology Department and the mission of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #18
Tuition: $44,008 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #38 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #19 Best Value School
US News and World Report #20 Best National University
Ranked #44 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer

Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#17 – Washington University – Saint Louis, Missouri

Washington University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Accredited Graduate Psychology Degree Program in Clinical Psychology is devoted to training clinical scientists while promoting the integration of science and practice. The primary goal is to train students who will become innovators in the search for new knowledge regarding the assessment, understanding, and treatment of psychological disorders. Students in the clinical program cam choose to pursue specialized training in neuropsychology, clinical aging, or health psychology. Research activities in the clinical area are closely tied to basic science areas within the department. Faculty members at the psychology department are leading investigators in the psychology of aging, cognitive neuroscience, and personality research.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #14
Tuition: $ 44,841 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #14 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #26 Best Value School
US News and World Report #14 Best National University
Ranked #64 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#16 – Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Arts and Science

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Science Program in Psychological Sciences at Vanderbilt University adheres to the clinical scientist model of training, with the primary goal of training clinical scientists. All students complete a curriculum of required coursework, research, and clinical training. This includes courses in the biological, social, cognitive, and affective bases of behavior; human development; individual differences; research design and statistics; psychopathology; psychological assessment; psychological intervention; and professional ethics. Students can focus their training in the following areas:

  • Psychopathology
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Adult psychopathology
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Clinical neuroscience
  • Basic emotional processes
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Health psychology
  • Quantitative analysis

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #14
Tuition: $ 42,978 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #11 Best Value School
US News and World Report #17 Best National University
US News and World Report #30 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #40 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#15 – Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The Feinberg School of Medicine and The Graduate School

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts

Program Website

The Psychology Graduate Degree Program in Clinical Psychology at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is based upon a scientist-practitioner model. The primary goal of the program is to train academic psychologists who are competent, ethical, and productive in the study and practice of clinical psychology. The program emphasizes the incorporation of science and clinical practice. The program is supported by both Feinberg and The Graduate School at Northwestern University and utilizes its location within an academic medical center by balancing research and clinical training, as well as providing opportunities for research and practice that span molecular to social models of disease, and epidemiologic to clinical and neuroimaging methodologies. The Program has three broad goals:

  1. To train competent researchers in clinical psychology
  2. To train competent clinicians in the professional practice of clinical psychology
  3. To prepare students for careers in academic clinical psychology, particularly in healthcare settings

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #14
Tuition: $ 45,527 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #12 Best National University
US News and World Report #21 Best Value School
US News and World Report #14 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #24 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

#14 – Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts

Program Website

The Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program teachers graduate students in the clinical science model of training. The faculty is committed to training clinical psychologists whose research helps with the evolution and growth of empirical understanding of psychopathology and its treatment, and who are capable of applying evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention. The primary focus of the program is research, specifically severe psychopathology. The program includes research, course work, and clinical practica. Students generals comete the program is approximately five years. The curriculum meets requirements for licensure in Massachusetts and accreditation requirements of the American Psychological Association. Most students 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.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #14
Tuition: $ 42,292 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #2 Best National University
US News and World Report #1 Best Value School
US News and World Report #4 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #6 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (Non-terminal Degree)

#13 – Stony Brook University-SUNY – Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The Graduate School

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at SUNY was one of the first programs in the United States to teach in the behavioral tradition in clinical psychology. To this day the program maintains its strong behavioral roots, but has evolved to embody a broader set of perspectives that are based upon an empirical approach to clinical psychology. The departmental goal is to train clinical scientists who approach modern psychological problems from an empirical perspective and who have exceptional clinical skills. Students in this program receive research and clinical training in a broad range of psychological areas. The program is designed primarily for students who plan to pursue academic and research-related careers. The research interests of the faculty members center on depressive disorders (child, adolescent, adult), anxiety disorders (child, adolescent, adult), autism spectrum disorders, personality, child maltreatment, close relationship functioning (e.g., discord and aggression among couples, romantic competence among adolescents and adults), lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues (among youth and adults), emotion regulation processes (e.g., cognitive, interpersonal, neurobiological), emotion and attention processes in normal and pathological conditions, and psychotherapy process and outcome. This affordable graduate psychology degree program is an excellent choice for residents of New York.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #11
Tuition: $7,984 in-state, annual tuition / $19,924 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #82 Best National University
US News and World Report #34 Top Public School
US News and World Report #46 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #39 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSACSC)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#12 – University of Texas – Austin, Texas

University of Texas Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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UT College of Liberal Arts

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at the University of Texas is a broad-based program based upon a clinical science training model. It is also a cheap graduate psychology degree but comparison to other accredited programs. The primary objective of the program is to train graduate students for positions in research and teaching. The secondary objective is to train students for the professional practice of clinical psychology. The scientific perspective is emphasized in both research and clinical training. The program offers a broad range of opportunities for research and training experiences. Faculty interests include addictive behaviors, human sexuality, health psychology, neuropsychology, depression, anxiety disorders, stress and coping, multiculturalism, positive psychology, aging and cognition, behavioral genetics, and autism.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #11
Tuition: $9,790 in-state, annual tuition / $33,824 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #14 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #2 Best College for Veterans
US News and World Report #52 Best National University
US News and World Report #16 Top Public School
Ranked #17 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#11 – University of California – Berkley, California

University of California Berkeley Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Letters and Science

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Science Program at U.C. Berkeley is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, a coalition of doctoral training programs that share a common goal of “producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems”. Membership in the Academy displays the degree to which the Clinical Science Program at U.C. Berkeley is committed to excellence in empirical training, as well as using clinical science as the foundation for designing, implementing, and evaluating assessment and intervention procedures. The major principles that guide the Clinical Science Program are:

  1. Discovery in clinical science requires exposure to clinical and community phenomena.
  2. Translational research is essential and requires moving from discovery to application (in assessment, treatment, and prevention) and back to discovery.
  3. Breadth of understanding is needed across domains and levels of the phenomenon (from genetic, biological, psychological, developmental, social, cultural, and societal).
  4. Depth of training is needed in an integration of theory, research, and application around a particular problem that can generalize to other problems and modes of intervention.
  5. Discovery and application are enhanced in a training context of diversity (in theoretical perspectives, clinical and social problems, and faculty/student background).

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #11
Tuition: $12,864 in-state, annual tuition / $35,742 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #2 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #20 Best National University
US News and World Report #1 Top Public School
Ranked #9 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Science

#10 – University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

University of Minnesota Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Liberal Arts

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The graduate psychology program in clinical science and psychopathology is closely tied with several affiliated departments, area hospitals, and mental health centers. This allows students to have exposure to wide array of research and clinical experiences. What this means is that almost any research interest or clinical training needs of students can be met. The focus of the program is psychopathology and personality research, which represents the research interests of the clinical faculty members of the program. Upon graduation students are prepared for various applied and research careers, specifically academic clinical psychologists or research scientists. Current clinical course offerings cover: descriptive, developmental, 
psychosocial, and biological psychopathology; neuropsychological, intellectual, objective, and interviewing assessment; taxometrics; cognitive and behavioral therapy courses for adults and children, crisis and short-term therapy; clinical psychophysiology; ethics and social responsibility, ethical issues in applied developmental psychology; personality and personality disorders.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #6
Tuition: $13,555 in-state, annual tuition / $19,805 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #9 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #69 Best National University
US News and World Report #23 Top Public School
Ranked #7 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Science and Psychopathology

#9 – University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical and Community Psychology Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a Clinical Science program designed to graduate scholarly and scientifically skilled researchers and professionals with a variety of interests. The psychology department is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, which is a coalition of PhD and internship training programs that share the common goal of “producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems”. The PhD program has four primary goals:

  • To prepare students to be independent scholars in the field of clinical/community psychology.
  • To prepare students to engage in applied work that bridges science and practice.
  • To prepare students to conduct research and applied work that is effective in meeting the needs of diverse individuals and/or communities and meets accepted ethical standards.
  • To prepare students to be skilled higher education instructors.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #6
Tuition: $15,258 in-state, annual tuition / $29,640 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #7 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #41 Best National University
US News and World Report #11 Top Public School
Ranked #5 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Community Psychology

#8 – University of Kansas – Lawrence, Kansas

University of Kansas Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The doctoral psychology program at the University of Kansas utilizes the Boulder Training Model and works to both balance the scientist and practitioner features of clinical psychology, as well as focus on the integration of science and practice. The psychology department purports that “competent clinical practitioners must understand, appreciate, and apply the science associated with effective clinical interventions, and that competent clinical researchers must have first-hand experience with clinical disorders that is both broad and in-depth”. The aim of the doctoral program is to produce practitioners and researchers who demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the field of scientific psychology and who will have:

  • The ability to generate new scientific knowledge and theory related to the field of psychology
  • Can make independent contributions to the evolving base of skills and scientific knowledge required for clinical practice.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #6
Tuition: $10,107 in-state, annual tuition / $24,873 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #101 Best National University
US News and World Report #47 Top Public School
US News and World Report #40 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #15 Best College for Veterans
Ranked #56 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#7 – Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

Duke University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

Image Source

The Graduate School

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Psychology Program at Duke University is a doctoral training program designed for graduate students looking for a well-rounded academic, scientific, and clinical training program. The program is based in the Boulder (scientist-practitioner) model and recently has additionally adopted a clinical science model of training, where the science of psychology and its clinical application are mutually dependent and reciprocally in a state of change. The program is designed to train psychological scientists who are capable of functioning successfully in academic, research, clinical, and community settings. Within this multidisciplinary educational framework, training is provided to students interested in careers where the empirical side of psychology is applied to address public health issues related to mental and physical diseases both nationally and internationally. The program is not designed for students interested solely in clinical practice. The psychology department strives for excellence in both the science and practice of clinical psychology.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #6
Tuition: $45,476 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #7 Best National University
US News and World Report #12 Best Value School
US News and World Report #21 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #33 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#6 – University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Doctorate Clinical Psychology

Penn College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral clinical training program is designed to prepare for students for research and academic careers in Clinical Psychology, Psychopathology or Personality. Clinical training (in assessment, diagnosis and psychotherapy) is a critically important part of the training of highly qualified, creative clinical scientists. The principal goal of Penn clinical students is to become expert psychologists, not just expert clinicians, and the program is designed to support that goal. Clinical students have the opportunity to take courses in Cognitive Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Human Memory, Decision Making, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Language and Perception. The specific goals of the program include the following:

Goal #1: To train clinical scientists whose research is informed by clinical practice and a broad knowledge of psychology, such that they integrate theory, research and practice.

  • Students will acquire breadth of knowledge in psychological science, theory and history.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of the substantive field of clinical psychology.
  • Students will develop competence in evaluating, designing, carrying out, and disseminating ethical empirical research relevant to clinical psychology, including research on the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of individual differences and issues of diversity as pertinent to clinical science.
  • Students will adopt the orientation that their education in science and practice must be life-long and involve the study of emerging findings.

Goal #2: To train clinicians whose practice is guided by clinical science and who have the knowledge and skills requisite for clinical internship. In the following, we will describe the level of performance a student should achieve prior to the predoctoral internship as entry-level skills.

  • Students will develop entry-level skills in evidence-based psychological assessment and diagnostic interviewing.
  • Students will develop knowledge of and entry-level competence in empirically supported psychological interventions.
  • Students will engage in ethical practice and carry out their responsibilities professionally.
  • Students will have exposure to the clinical psychologist’s roles as consultant and supervisor.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #6
Tuition: $45,890 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #7 Best National University
US News and World Report #16 Best Value School
US News and World Report #12 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #8 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSACSC)
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#5 – Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University Doctorate Clinical Psychology

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

The Clinical Psychology Degree Program at Yale is dedicated to research and training in clinical psychological science. Unique to this program, the main training objective at Yale is to aid in the development of scholars through exposure to an expansive and interdisciplinary range of research opportunities and to empirical disciplines both inside and outside the field of psychology. Practicum opportunities are offered as part of the doctoral curriculum, largely to further scientific study and to help design and evaluate evidence-based treatments. Students enrolled in this program are often places at some of the most respected national internship sites. The values of the clinical program are reflected in current themes of research and study, including:

  • Basic science research on psychopathology and its treatment;
  • Integrative science involving methods and theories from related psychological disciplines;
  • Evaluations of the psychological mechanisms, efficacy, effectiveness, and applications of psychosocial treatments;
  • Applications of scientific inquiry to prevention and social policy.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #2
Tuition: $44,000 annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #4 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #2 Best Value School
US News and World Report #3 Best National University
Ranked #3 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#4 – University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

University of Washington Doctorate Clinical Psychology

The Department of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Washington is a PhD program designed to “achieve an integration of academic, scientific, and professional training”. This APA accredited program is a founding member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. The specific goals of the program are the following:

  • Develop a broad foundation and understanding of the knowledge base in psychology and, more specifically, in the field of clinical psychology, as well as an understanding of current issues in the field.
  • Create a training environment that fosters the acquisition and application of the knowledge base and skills needed to make significant research contributions, develop grant proposals, and contribute to the empirical and theoretical literatures.
  • Produce skilled clinicians who understand and can apply empirically supported principles and techniques of assessment and intervention in clinical activities, supervision, and consultation.
  • Promote and provide training experiences in the integration of science and practice.
  • Foster appreciation for and knowledge of cultural and individual diversity, together with the ability to apply such knowledge in both research and practice.
  • Provide a grounding in ethical and legal principles that relate to research and practice.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #2
Tuition: $12,383 in-state, annual tuition / $29,938 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #52 Best National University
US News and World Report #16 Top Public School
US News and World Report #14 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #12 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#3 – University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Doctorate Clinical Psychology

Image Source

The Graduate School

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

The Doctoral Degree Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin is based upon two fundamental assumptions: 1) The practice of psychology will be best served by training clinical scientists who possess the knowledge, research training, theoretical sophistication, and clinical experience to increase understanding of the processes underlying mental health and mental illness, and 2) Such understanding will ultimately foster methods that promote mental health, prevent mental illness, and ameliorate psychopathology. In keeping with the programs membership in the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, the program’s emphasis on training clinical scientists highlights the strong “commitment to empirical approaches to evaluating the validity and utility of testable hypotheses and to advancing knowledge by the scientific method” (APCS mission statement).

The principal goal of the UW-Madison Clinical Program is to train clinical psychological scientists who will:

  • Generate new and significant knowledge about the factors that influence mental health and illness.
  • Develop more effective methods for treating mental illness and promoting mental health.
  • Deliver evidence based, cost effective, clinical care to treat psychopathology and improve mental health.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #2
Tuition: $10,403 in-state, annual tuition / $26,653 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #9 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
US News and World Report #41 Best National University
US News and World Report #11 Top Public School
Ranked #15 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#2 – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

University of North Carolina Doctorate Clinical Psychology

Image Source

UNC College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

The Clinical Psychology Program PhD program has shown a commitment to excellence in research and clinical training from a clinical science perspective. The goals of the program 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”. The faculty members of the clinical program adhere to the idea that clinical psychologists should be trained to produce, evaluate, and apply scientific knowledge in both research and clinical endeavors, and that ideal training promotes the reciprocal exchange of knowledge between empirical scientific inquiry and clinical practice activities. The UNC Clinical Program offers training in both research as well as clinical work. The program offers students the opportunity to achieve excellence in scientific investigation, the practice of clinical psychology, as well as teaching, and guides students as they begin to make these career decisions.

US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: Tied for #2
Tuition: $8,340 in-state, annual tuition / $30,122 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #30 Best National University
US News and World Report #5 Top Public School
US News and World Report #17 Best Value School
US News and World Report #12 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Ranked #1 by The National Science Foundation (NSF) survey for federal Research and Development funding
Ranked #25 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

#1 – University of California – Los Angeles, California

University of California Los Angeles Doctorate Clinical Psychology

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The College of Letters and Science

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Website

UCLA’s Clinical Psychology program is one of the largest and most widely respected and selective in the United States. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program aims to produce future faculty, researchers, and leaders in clinical science. Admissions decisions are based on evidence of research interests and extensive experience, psychology major or equivalent, outstanding academic and GRE performance, dedication to and suitability for a career as a clinical scientist, and superior letters of recommendation. The esteemed faculty and superior graduate students are consistently engaged in research activities addressing a variety of modern psychological and mental health problems. On-campus resources including the departmental Psychology Clinic, the Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, and the David Geffen School of Medicine facilitate the research and clinical work affiliated with the program. The PhD curriculum was created to produce clinical scientists: “clinically well-trained psychologists devoted to the continuous development of an empirical knowledge base in clinical psychology, with a particular emphasis on preparing graduates for employment in academic and research settings”. The program’s extensiveness offers graduate students a framework for a number of professional functions involving issues of optimal development and psychological disability on an individual, couple, family, and community basis. There is also an opportunity for students to choose a more intensive concentration in one or two particular areas of clinical psychology.
US News and World Report Graduate Clinical Psychology Program Ranking: #1
Tuition: $12,696 in-state, annual tuition / $35,574 out-of-state, annual tuition
Additional Rankings:
US News and World Report #23 Best National University
US News and World Report #2 Top Public School
Ranked #4 Best US Doctoral Program in Psychology by the National Research Council published in the Association for Psychological Science Observer
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Degrees Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

Opportunities for a Graduate Degree in Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychologists have some of the most flexibility when choosing where to put their degree to use. These highly skilled professionals are often employed in schools, hospitals, addiction treatment facilities, rehabilitation facilities, universities, governmental agencies, private practices and many more. The level of education to become a Clinical Psychologist varies depending upon the state in which you plan to practice. While some states allow Master’s level clinicians to obtain a license, the majority of states require a doctoral degree in order to practice Clinical Psychology in that state. As the need for clinical psychologists steadily increases, it is an ideal time to earn a Graduate Psychology Degree in Clinical Psychology from a top rated university.

For More on the Best Graduate Programs in Psychology Please Refer to the Following Articles:

Ranking Top 25 Best Doctoral Degree Programs in Psychology

Ranking Top 20 Best Graduate Programs in Developmental and Social Psychology

Ranking Top 20 Best Graduate Programs in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

About the Author

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and then a Master of Science in Clinical and Forensic Psychology from Drexel University, Kristen began a career as a therapist at two prisons in Philadelphia. At the same time she volunteered as a rape crisis counselor, also in Philadelphia. After a few years in the field she accepted a teaching position at a local college where she currently teaches online psychology courses. Kristen began writing in college and still enjoys her work as a writer, editor, professor and mother.

 

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