Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

//Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019
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Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019 2021-10-16T00:40:27+00:00

experimental psychology masters programs

The rise in the number of graduate programs in experimental psychology is directly correlated to the importance that the field has in America. Psychologists in this field are the ones innovating methodologies and practices that are used every day all across the country. They provide practicing psychologists with up-to-date and accurate information on this ever-evolving psychology. With new opportunities popping up all the time in the field, more programs are offering programs in experimental psychology.

Graduate programs in experimental psychology are excellent opportunities for professionals interested in research as their career. With a focus on teaching advanced methods of research, experimental psychology programs provide students with ways to enhance their own research projects. The programs listed below have different specializations and methods of teaching but all are reputable degrees that will help students begin their careers.

Methodology

This ranking was created by utilizing information collected on the National Council for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database. An original pool of 40 schools was assembled by searching for graduate programs in experimental psychology. Each program was then independently reviewed to ensure that it met the criteria for this ranking. The final 25 schools were chosen based on the school’s total estimated in-state graduate tuition rate for the length of the program. The programs that are listed as having tuition paid by the university were ranked based on their ranking available from U.S. News and World Report.

25. Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, Texas

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology offers three areas of specialization.

Website

Tuition: $41,985

Texas Christian University is home to one of the top graduate programs in Experimental Psychology. It’s a research-based degree that will help students in their aim to advance their personal and professional research. This program focuses on practical psychological research. It provides students with the chance to contribute to research publications and present papers at local and national conferences.

Secondary to research is the aspect of teaching. Students in this program are given the opportunity to teach undergraduate classes on campus both with and without supervision. There are three main areas within the field:

  • Cognitive/Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Neuroscience Psychology

Students can participate in the cross-disciplinary fields of applied quantitative psychology and behavioral neuroscience. This program is focused on a student’s chosen area of specialty and so there are not set graduation requirements. The exception to this is that every student must complete and defend a dissertation.

More information on this program can be found by contacting the Department of Psychology at the school.

24. The University of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $20,475

Students interested in a graduate program in experimental psychology will find an excellent program at the University of South Carolina. This program is for professionals interested in academics and research as their career. The program focuses on:

  • behavioral neuroscience
  • developmental psychology
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • cognitive psychology

A concentration in one of these areas is required. The program relies on research projects to ensure that students can competently demonstrate their ability to analyze a problem and find a solution. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • a qualifying exam

Sample courses include:

  • Basics of Developmental Psychology
  • Basics of Neuroscience
  • Basics of Learning and Motivation.

23. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 40 Best Graduate Programs in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $19,680

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has a low-cost doctorate in experimental psychology that’s flexible and focuses on apprenticeships. Students devise their own course of study with the help of a mentor. The process helps students choose courses that reflect their professional interests.

Practicums are also required and are completed in a research laboratory of two different faculty members. The practicum ensures that students learn new forms of research and can handle the responsibilities that come with working in a research setting.

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • a set of qualifying exams

Sample courses include:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Conceptual Foundations of Evolution and Behavior
  • Advanced Animal Behavior.

22. Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Applied Experimental Psychology requires 90 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,333

The graduate program in experimental psychology at Central Michigan University is for those who wish to work in applied aspects of the field. Students in this program are interested in working in both the public and private sectors, including in healthcare and the government. Students have the chance to enter into a program that offers a wide variety of interest areas, including:

  •  experimental design
  • computer applications
  • biological psychology

Students in the program are paired with mentors who match their stated interests. The mentors stay with studnts for the length of the program.  Research opportunities, as well as assistantships, are also available for students who want to put their skills to use while still in school.

This degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond undergraduate work as well as a dissertation for graduation.

21. The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires students to attend a weekly brownbag research seminar as well as complete a guided teaching seminar.

Website

Tuition: $16,170

The University of Alabama offers an advanced degree in experimental psychology that serves as terminal education for professionals in the field. There are three concentrations available within this degree:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Science
  • Social Psychology

Students are paired with a mentor who matches their concentration and serve as their guide. Students are required to attend a weekly brownbag research seminar as well as complete a guided teaching seminar. Research opportunities are also available.

This program focuses on a student’s ability to do research in a real-world setting as well as their interest, so graduation requirements may vary. Interested students are encouraged to contact the department directly for more information on the program.

20. The University of Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,000

The graduate program in experimental psychology at the University of Vermont is rooted in mentorship. Students will be paired with a faculty member who is currently working in their stated area of interest within the field. The program’s three goals are to:

  • provide students with a strong foundation in their specialization and additional fields of interest
  • develop their research skills both in the classroom and in the lab
  • develop their communication skills so they can discuss their findings in a coherent way

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of course work
  • a dissertation
  • a comprehensive exam.

19. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $13,356

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas has a low-cost doctorate in experimental psychology that prepares students for independent research that can be recognized internationally. The program has four different areas of specialization, including:

  • developmental psychology
  • neuroscience
  • cognitive psychology
  • quantitative/experimental psychology

This course of study focuses on the mentor model, meaning a student will work closely with a faculty member who becomes their mentor. Graduation from this program requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework at the doctoral level
  • a dissertation
  • a set of qualifying exams

Sample courses include:

  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Theories of Personality
  • Psychometrics.

18. The University of Mississippi

University, Mississippi

Graduate Program in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology offers three degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: $12,975

The graduate program in experimental psychology at the University of Michigan is a research-based, scientific training course of study. Students in this program are offered the chance to work in real-world research labs. They also do an apprenticeship with a mentor who is chosen based on their areas of interest. There are three concentration areas, including:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology

One of the program’s main goals is to ensure that students have experience publishing their research and presenting their papers at state and national conferences. More information on this program and graduation requirements can be found by contacting the Department of Psychology at the school.

17. The University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The  Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 90 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,960

The University of North Dakota has a brilliant graduate program in experimental psychology. It’s for students who have an interest in working within a specialization in the field. The current specialties available at the school include:

  • Applied Cognition
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Health and Aging
  • Psychology and the Law
  • Social Psychology

This program was designed to further a student’s education in their stated field, meaning that their program of study will vary from a student. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • an oral defense
  • a set of qualifying exams

Sample courses include:

  • Psychological Profiling and Criminal Behavior
  • Experimental Design
  • Advanced Developmental Psychology.

16. The University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Quantitative Psychology Graduate Program

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Quantitative Psychology is a mentor-focused program.

Website

Tuition: $12,580

The graduate program in experimental psychology at the University of North Carolina is unique in that it focuses on quantitative psychology. This program provides students with an education that helps determine new ways of developing, evaluating, and applying quantitative methods in psychology.

Students focus on models for individual behavior over long periods of time. This is a mentor-focused program, one that requires a student be matched with a professor for the duration of their degree. More information on this program, courses offered and graduation requirements can be found by contacting the Psychology and Neuroscience Department at the Chapel Hill campus.

15. The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Quantitative Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,424

The Ohio State University offers a doctorate in quantitative psychology, an integral aspect of experimental psychology. This program is for students who in a research-based career after graduation. It includes training in new and existing analysis and statistical methods. There are no set concentrations. This is a course of study that focuses on an individualized study. Over the course of five years, students learn the research methods currently in use in the field and participate in ongoing research projects.

This is an MS-Ph.D. program, meaning students will earn a master’s degree throughout the program. A minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework, as well as a dissertation, are required for graduation.

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

14. The University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Quantitative Psychology is an individualized program.

Website

Tuition: $11,553

Students with an interest in experimental psychology will want to check the University of Missouri. The school’s Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Psychology is a research-based degree that also utilizes the mentor model. This degree offers five concentrations, including:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognition and Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Quantitative Psychology
  • Social/Personality Psychology

There is also an option for a dual emphasis in Child Clinical and Developmental Psychology. Students will find that their research and apprenticeship opportunities will directly correlate to their chosen field of study. This program is individualized, so students are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about graduation requirements.

13. Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology (M.S. – Ph.D.)

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The  Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 64 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $11,470

The doctoral program in experimental psychology at Idaho State University provides students with the knowledge and research training needed to become professionals in the field. The school prides provides students the core competencies in research methodology and analysis. It also teaches students how to communicate their findings as well as the ethics of research.

This is a dual M.S. – Ph.D. program. Students will earn a master’s degree “along the way” as they complete the requirements for the doctoral program. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 64 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • a set of qualifying exams

Sample courses include:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Advanced Topics in Learning.

12. Oklahoma State University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 90 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $9,950

The Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Oklahoma State University is focused on a broad approach to general psychology, which is also known as “from the cradle to the grave” approach. Students in this program are able to choose from four concentrations, including:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Comparative-Neurobiology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social-Personality Psychology

This degree comes with a built-in master’s degree, meaning students need to complete a graduate thesis prior to moving into doctoral work. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework
  • a master’s thesis
  • a doctoral thesis
  • a set of comprehensive exams

Sample courses include:

  • Experimental Learning Theories
  • Lifespan Cognitive Development
  • Cognitive Processes.

11. The University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology pairs students with a mentor throughout the program.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The University of Toledo offers a graduate program in experimental psychology that emphasizes research and teaching training. The curriculum has a flexible view of psychology and also engages new fields of interest. Students are paired with a mentor who will serve as their guide while they move through the requirements of the degree, including real-world research training. Students are required to complete a teaching practicum as part of their graduation requirements. They also help supervise and mentor undergraduate students.

More information on this program, such as graduation requirements and course offerings, can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

10. The University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Experimental Psychology program uses an apprentice-based model.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The University of Memphis offers a graduate program in experimental psychology that has a built-in master’s degree in the course of study. This is an apprentice-based model that focuses on students building their own training plans with the assistance of a mentor.

The program starts students off with graduate-level courses, enabling students to learn more about research design as well as methodology. Introductory courses in their chosen specialization are also available at this step. Students will need to complete:

  • a minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework
  • a master’s thesis
  • the Mid-Point Project
  • a doctoral dissertation

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

9. Washington State University at Vancouver

Vancouver, Washington

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 90 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

Washington State University of Vancouver has one of the oldest graduate programs in experimental psychology. This program is known for developing some of the best experimental psychologists in the country. These professionals routinely work in high-placed positions in the public and private sectors.

This program has five specialization areas, including:

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Cognition
  • Biological-Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Social/Organizational Psychology

The program can be completed in five years and students may earn a master’s along the way. The program focuses on coursework, research projects, and more. This degree is also unique in that students are fully funded for the first year of study. After that, the school continues to pay for the degree so long as the student works at the school as an educator or as a researcher. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework
  • a master’s thesis
  • a doctoral thesis
  • a set of qualifying exams.

8. The University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Experimental Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The University of Louisville offers a graduate program in experimental psychology. This degree is for professionals interested in working as researchers or academics in one of the core areas of psychology with a special focus in research.

This program is offered to students free of charge. Students take on assistantships and other funding in order to complete their studies. Core curriculum requirements for this degree are kept at a minimum to ensure that students spend the majority of their time focused on their work.

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • a comprehensive final exam

More information can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

7. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

Doctor of Philosophy in Cognitive Science, Quantitative Concentration

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Cognitive Science requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

Stony Brook University offers a doctoral program in cognitive science that’s a great gateway for experimental psychologists. This research-focused program  provides students with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and more for their research projects.

This is an interdisciplinary program that combines:

  • linguistics
  • computer science
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • psychology

This program requires research papers annually. Along with a mentor, students produce research papers that will be submitted for publication. Students will also be required to present their papers at symposiums. Students can also take on the Quantitative Concentration, enabling them to teach at the university level. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • research papers
  • a teaching practicum
  • a set of qualifying exams

More information is available through the school’s graduate admissions office.

6. The University of California – San Diego

La Jolla, California

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology in Cognitive Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology offers five degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The graduate program in experimental psychology at University of California at San Diego is for students  interested in working as researchers or academics. This program enables students to be fully funded for the duration of their course of study. It even provides teaching assistants with a modest salary so that their needs are met.

There are five concentrations available with this degree:

  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Social Psychology

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • a first-year research project
  • a dissertation
  • a teaching practicum
  • a qualifying exam.

5. The University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Quantitative/Psychometric Methods Graduate Program

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Quantitative Psychology offers over two dozen degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The University of Minnesota offers a graduate program in quantitative/psychometric methods  for experimental psychologists interested in working with research methods. Students have the option to choose concentrations, including:

  • Multi-Way Data Analysis
  • Nonparametric Methods
  • Multivariate Methodology

Students are paired with a mentor. They and have access to an interdisciplinary program that requires courses from:

  • mathematics
  • computer science
  • philosophy, and more

Since this is a highly individualized program, students are encouraged to contact the school’s graduate admissions office to learn more about the degree and graduation requirements.

4. Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Psychology offers five degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

Yale University offers a doctoral degree in psychology that has an emphasis on experimental psychology. There are five concentrations that include:

  • Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social/Personality Psychology

The last four concentrations enable experimental psychologists to focus on their intended area of specialization. Yale University funds a student’s education in exchange for the student participating  as a teaching assistant or a researcher. This program is individualized, even in the specialization areas. It’s recommended that before students apply to the program that they contact the school’s graduate admissions office for more information.

3. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Concentration in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Psychology offers six degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor offers a graduate program in psychology that provides concentration options for experimental psychologists. There is a total of six concentrations, including:

  • Biopsychology
  • Clinical Science
  • Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality and Social Contexts
  • Social Psychology

Students benefit from having their study fully funded by the college. They work as researchers or educators on campus in order to stay in the program. Each concentration could be considered its own program. Students have mentors in their specialization. They engage in research projects and apprenticeships that directly correlate to their chosen field.

More information on this degree, including graduation requirements and course offerings, can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Concentration in Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Psychology was designed for students who are interested in subfields within cognitive psychology.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

Students who are accepted into the graduate program in psychology at Harvard University can enroll in the school’s Cognition, Brain and Behavior program. This program is for students interested in subfields within cognitive psychology. Students learn the methodologies used in this field and use them in research projects and as part of studies that they participate in as researchers. Harvard University funds doctoral study provided that a student teaches undergraduate courses.

This degree is individualized to the student’s need. It’s highly recommended that a student contact the school’s graduate admissions office prior to applying to learn more about the program.

1. Stanford University

Stanford, California

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology in Cognitive Psychology

Ranking Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology in 2019

The Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology is a five year program.

Website

Tuition: Tuition Paid by University

Stanford University offers a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology, a great choice for students interested in experimental psychology. This is a five-year, full-time program of study that focuses on research and applied training. There are five different subfields in this degree, including:

  • Affective
  • Cognitive
  • Developmental
  • Neuroscience
  • Social

Students are required to teach undergraduate courses during their course of study. In return, the school funds their program of study. Students are required:

  • to complete a minimum of 135 units of coursework
  • a dissertation
  • a set of qualifying exams

Sample courses include:

  • Neuroscience
  • Foundations of Cognition
  • Affective Science.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for a Graduate Program in Experimental Psychology?

  • Experimental Psychologist
  • Research Analyst
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Research Associate
  • User Experience Researcher
  • Sleep and Fatigue Research Assistant
  • Neuroscience Researcher
  • College or University Professor
  • Ethnographer
  • Product User Researcher
  • Quantitative Research Lead
  • Usability Researcher
  • Human Factors and User Experience Research Lead
  • Aerospace Experimental Psychologist
  • Neuroimaging Data Scientist

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The current average salary of an experimental psychologist is about $75,000 to $80,000 a year, depending on the region that the professional lives in. It is possible to make upwards of $180,000 a year with experience or a doctoral degree. These salary numbers do not reflect cost-of-living adjustments or any additional forms of compensation that may come with some positions.

Professionals in this field tend to work as academics or researchers. In some cases, they are both. Working as a professor brings in an average salary of $85,000 when working at a public college or university. Salaries at private institutions can reach up to $100,000 and are very competitive.

Experimental psychologists can work in the public and private sectors. The highest-paying jobs, however, tend to be with tech companies in the business sector. These jobs can regularly fetch up to $180,000, provided that a professional meets the noted requirements for the positions. Working as user experience researchers, human factors engineers, or consultants are high-paying jobs that experimental psychologists are trained to do.

What are the Various Disciplines of Experimental Psychology?

Experimental psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology and is a research-based discipline. Psychologists in this field do the work necessary to create the theories and models that licensed psychologists use in their everyday work. While it is considered a sub-discipline, it is one of the most critical aspects of this ever-growing field.

Experimental psychology is informed by:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • neurology
  • mathematics
  • law
  • research
  • statistics
  • science, and more

Utilizing all of these disciplines creates an environment in which these professionals can work. Depending on the specialization within experimental psychology, pioneers in this field will be informed in some disciplines over others.

There are several specializations within experimental psychology. This is due to the research nature of the field. Some of these include:

  • developmental processes
  • memory
  • cognition
  • learning
  • motivation
  • sensation and perception

Other specializations, such as human factor engineering or user experience design, use computer science and engineering to create a unique career path forward for some psychologists.

Underlying all of the work that an experimental psychologist does are some core skills. Communication, research, critical thinking and writing skills are integral to a professional completing a research study and presenting the results. Because their work is based on learning new things from studies, they must be able to communicate their findings in a way that provides their audience with a comprehensive conclusion.

Is Licensure Necessary to Work as an Experimental Psychologist?

Yes, licensure is required to work as an experimental psychologist. This is the standard for most psychology professions because the field has a lot of contact with the general public. They also make decisions that impact the public in different facets of their lives. Professionals will find that most jobs will require licensure or a demonstration of actively seeking licensure.

The licensure requirements for experimental psychologists can vary from state to state. Some require a doctorate in the field while others will provide a pathway with just a master’s degree. Around 3,000 supervised hours of practice is also required by most states to ensure that professionals meet the minimum work requirement for licensure. Students are highly encouraged to contact their state’s Board of Psychology to find out what requirements they must meet in order to sit for licensure.

Professionals who wish to work as educators at a college or university do not need to have a teaching license. This is because experimental psychology is generally only taught at institutions of higher education, not in high schools. In America, professorships are granted to those with at least a master’s degree in their field and previous work experience. This is enough to ensure that they can teach experimental psychology. Full-time professors usually hold a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and have been published or have worked as researchers.

Are Internships Required for a Graduate Program in Experimental Psychology?

Internships are required for this program and are notoriously difficult to complete in certain areas of the country. Internships help pave a path forward for licensure because all licensing exams have a mandatory number of supervised work hours that are needed to qualify for the exam. Internships that fit the requirements for licensure as an experimental psychologist are hard to come by. Students must be willing to wait up to a year before finding a suitable work placement.

There are more students in experimental psychology programs than there are available internships. Students must be aware that the internship process is competitive. They should apply to a wide array of internships and interview with every single place until they find a job. Additionally, students should start the internship search as soon as possible, which can be up to a year in advance. This will ensure they find a placement in time for graduation as well as meet the criteria for licensure.

Is There a Way to Streamline Earning a Master’s and a Doctorate Degree in Experimental Psychology?

Yes, although it is not a universal pathway and some schools may not provide this pathway. Many schools that offer a graduate degree in experimental psychology may also offer a doctorate in the field. If this is the case, the school may allow students who have earned an undergraduate degree in psychology to enter the Ph.D. program while earning their master’s “along the way.”

The term “along the way” refers to a student entering the Ph.D. program and completing their master’s degree prior to moving into doctoral work. It essentially is a guaranteed spot in a doctoral program while a student is completing their master’s degree. This ensures they will not have to wait for placement at their school. These placements can be very competitive. Most schools enroll fewer than five students every year in their experimental psychology program.

Many schools do not offer this pathway, so it is up to the student to check with the school prior to applying for the program. Students who earn their master’s degree and then apply for the doctoral program at the same school are often given preference in the application process, making it an attractive pathway for most candidates. However, preference does not equal a guarantee of acceptance. Students should try their best to shine in the master’s program for a chance in the doctoral program.

Experimental psychology is a fast-growing field that provides psychologists in all specializations with the theories and models that are important to their work. While many professionals in the field are interested in practicing psychology, those who choose to research the field are the true pioneers who are opening the doors to understanding how humans think and how that information can be applied to different areas of life.

This ranking of the top 25 graduate programs in experimental psychology will serve as a resource for students interested in advancing their education in the field.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Graduate Programs in Experimental Psychology.

By OPD Staff
August 2019