Colorado Psychology Doctorate Programs

For people who want to practice professionally as clinical, school, counseling or any other type of psychologist, the biggest academic step is earning a doctoral degree. There are two types of degrees that fit the bill, a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Fortunately for students in Colorado, there are multiple options for educational institutions that offer one or both of these degrees.

What’s On This Page

  • Quick Facts
  • Colorado PsyD Programs
  • Colorado Psychologist Requirements
  • Colorado Doctorate Salary Outlook

Quick Facts

  • The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has specializations such as geropsychology and trauma psychology, for those who are interested in focusing their counseling on a specific audience.
  • The University of Denver is ranked as the top value for college in the state of Colorado, with the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Boulder close behind.
  • There are dozens of undergraduate and graduate degree programs available in Colorado, with many of them offering online classes — however, some require internships for upper graduate programs.
  • Before you can become a psychologist in Colorado, you need to pass two tests: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology as well as the Mental Health Jurisprudence Examination.

List of PsyD Degree Programs in Colorado

There are over 20 psychology programs available in Colorado. The following schools have programs available for a PsyD:

SEE ALSO: 5+ Best Online PsyD Programs

Two Psy.D. degrees are offered in the state — one at the University of Denver, and the other at the University of Colorado-Denver. But several other psychology doctorate degrees are offered at universities across the state.

University of Denver

The University of Denver was one of the first major colleges and universities to offer the Psy.D., with the program kicking off in 1976. Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology today offers a wide range of specialty areas, including military, Latinx, oncology, infant and early childhood, and substance use and addiction. UD also offers a range of Ph.D. degrees in psychology fields, including developmental, school and counseling psychology.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Denver
  • Annual tuition: $68,448 (PsyD); PhD tuition varies by program, and many students will qualify for tuition waivers and annual stipends
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in Clinical Psychology, PhD in Affective/Social/Cognitive Psychology, PhD in Child, Family and School Psychology, PhD in Counseling Psychology, PhD in Developmental Psychology, PhD in Clinical Child Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

University of Colorado

Multiple University of Colorado campuses offer doctoral education in psychology, led by a Psy.D. in School Psychology that’s offered at the system’s campus in Denver. That program recently received APA accreditation, so few graduates have become licensed in just the first few years of the degree. Other psychology doctorates are offered through the University of Colorado system, including Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology programs offered at Boulder and Colorado Springs.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campuses: Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver
  • Annual tuition: PsyD $11,310 in-state, $37,650 out-of-state; most PhD students receive free tuition and annual stipends
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in School Psychology (Denver), PhD in Clinical Psychology (Colorado Springs and Boulder)
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here
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Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s robust psychology department first received APA accreditation in the early 1970s, and today the school offers a total of five Ph.D. degrees in a range of psychology specialties, including counseling psychology, industrial-organizational psychology and cognitive neuroscience. About three-quarters of graduates over the past decade have earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Fort Collins
  • Annual tuition: $4,958 in-state, $12,155 out-of-state; some PhD students will receive teaching fellowships to offset tuition costs
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Counseling Psychology, PhD in Cognitive Psychology, PhD in Applied Social and Health Psychology, PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

University of Northern Colorado

Accredited by the APA since 1981, the University of Northern Colorado offers one of the few Ph.D. in School Psychology degrees in the state of Colorado. Nearly 65 students have earned their degrees since 2010, and their licensure rate in school psychology is 98%.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Greeley
  • Annual tuition: $25,270 in-state, $47,804 out-of-state; most PhD students will qualify for research or teaching fellowships to offset tuition costs
  • Degrees offered: PhD in School Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

How to Become a Psychologist in Colorado

Earning a Psy.D. or Ph.D. in psychology is just one step on the road to professional practice in psychology. For many people, the end of that journey is earning a license to practice as a psychologist. Here’s what it takes to complete those steps in Colorado.

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in an applicable field. Most people who apply for psychology doctoral programs have a bachelor’s in psychology, but that might not be a requirement, provided you either have an undergrad transcript full of related courses or a master’s degree in psychology. Other applicable fields could include social work, biology or statistics.
  2. Get your doctorate. All of the programs in this list will qualify you for the next step in the process, though you may have additional real-world hours that you’re required to put in, so be sure to check out what’s involved in your chosen program if you want to become licensed as a psychologist in Colorado.
  3. Apply for state licensure. Psychologists in Colorado are required to complete 1,500 hours of supervised post-degree experience. In some programs, particularly six- to seven-year Psy.D. degree programs, this time may be built into the academic track. Once you’ve tallied enough real-world hours, you’ll have to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and the Mental Health Jurisprudence Exam.
  4. Remain licensed, and keep up with requirements. Psychologists licensed in Colorado are up for renewal on a two-year cycle, and at least 40 hours of professional development must be completed each cycle to maintain legal status.
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Colorado Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

Clinical psychologists in Colorado earn an average of about $93,000 per year, which places the state among the top 10 for this job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the high end of the spectrum, they’ll make about $140,000.

SEE ALSO: Colorado Psychologist Salary Outlook

Colorado leads the nation in the projected growth rate for clinical psychologist jobs over the next decade, with demand for these positions expected to grow by nearly 34%, several times higher than the growth rate for all jobs across the economy (5%).