Massachusetts: How to Earn a Psychology Doctorate Degree

The guide below is comprised of information that is designed to help you in pursuing a PsyD degree in the state of Massachusettes as well as how to obtain your license to practice in the state once your education is completed.

Quick Facts:

  • There are 31 schools in the state of Massachusetts that offer advanced degrees in the field of Psychology.
  • Harvard University boasts the highest graduation rate in the state with an impressive 97%.
  • Massachusettes had nine schools rank on the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018: Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Clark University, Stonehill College, Smith Colleg, Simmons College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, College of the Holy Cross, and Assumption College.
  • Harvard was ranked as the 2nd best college and number one for best value by the U.S. News and World Report.
  • The University with the lowest net price is the University of Massachusetts – Boston – at $11,966.

Top PsyD Degree Programs in Massachusetts

The list below includes universities in Massachusetts where you can obtain a PsyD or P.h.D in Clinical Psychology.

#1. William James College (Newton)

Formerly known as the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, the PsyD program in Clinical Psychology at William James College provides students with the knowledge and experience they need to work intimately with a diverse population as well as train, treat and teach individuals, families, and groups. The school was founded in 1974 with a sole dedication to the field of psychology. At William James College, students can learn in a more intimate setting, as the school only has around 600 students.

The PsyD program was designed to accommodate students who wish to treat patients, act as supervisors or directors, or become consultants to one of the major mental health industries. It is one of only a few hybrid programs in the U.S. and blends coursework, field placement, and internship. The program is accredited by the APA and NCSPP and takes roughly four years to complete on a full-time basis.

#2. Harvard University (Cambridge)

Harvard offers its students a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology that is ranked the 4th best psychology graduate program in the nation and is ranked 14th in clinical psychology. The program strongly imposes the clinical science model of training. The aim of the program is to produce competent and well-trained clinical psychologists who have advanced research skills and extensive knowledge in psychopathology as well as treatments. Research tends to focus on severe psychopathology, and many of the graduates are equipped to apply evidenced-based models to their assessments and interventions in a clinical setting. The course includes research, advanced coursework, clinical practicum, a dissertation, and a full-time clinical internship for a year. The program takes approximately five years to complete for students how have already achieved their master’s degree.

#3. University of Massachusetts (Amherst)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers their students a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program that prepares students for careers in the clinical research field through research, psychotherapy experience, and neurological assessment training. University of Massachusetts is a large, comprehensive, public research facility that serves the community as well as 23,000 students. The campus is home to the renowned Rudd Adoption Research program and also has a strong alliance with the Center for Research of Families. With these relationships, the University is able to provide program concentration on Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology. The program is accredited by the APA, NEASC, and NASP and uses one-on-one mentorship with a faculty member to learn effective research methods that can be used in the fields of psychopathology, development, cognition, neuropsychology, psychotherapy and emotional therapies. The program takes between five and seven years to complete depending on whether or not you have achieved your master’s degree before enrollment.

How to Become a Practicing Clinical Psychologist in Massachusetts

If your desire is to become a licensed psychologist in the state of Massachusetts, you will have to start with formal education. First, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree which will require 120 credit hours and typically takes four years to complete when completing your degree full-time. Most students will major in psychology or a closely related field.

Once you have completed your bachelor program, you may wish to obtain your master’s degree as a stand-alone, instead of making it part of your doctorate program. When completed on its own, a master’s degree will often take one to two years to complete and require 35 to 45 hours.

The final step to complete the education portion of your studies is obtaining a doctoral degree in psychology. The program you attend will need to be accredited by the American Psychological Association and recognized by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards or the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

After completing the educational requirements to achieve licensing in the state, you will need to complete a few more steps before you receive your license.

  1. To successfully apply to the board for a license in the state of Massachusetts, you will need to complete at least two years of supervised professional experience in a health service setting. The total number of hours you will need to complete is 3,200 with 1,600 of those hours being completed during your predoctoral internship or a postdoctoral training program. The last 1,600 hours can come from placements during or after your doctoral training, but at least 800 hours will need to involve contact with patients.
  2. The next step in the process of getting your license is submitting your application to the Board. This process involves completing a Massachusetts’s Licensure Application Packet and sending it in with a $150 application fee as well as forms that will need to be complete by the supervisors who observed your professional experience.
  3. After completing and submitting your application, the Board will send you notification of your approval to sign up for and take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. This exam requires a 500 or higher score to pass and costs $687.50 to take. After the board receives your scores on this exam and approves your application, you will be invited to sit for the Massachusetts’s jurisprudence exam. The one hour test contains 20 multiple questions and study information can be dounf in the Psychology Jurisprudence Book.

Massachusetts Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

Clinical Psychologists in the state of Massachusetts can expect an average salary of $75,550 with a starting salary of around $43,050, increasing up to $115,000. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics average of $77,000 makes Massachusets slightly below the average, they do see a higher pay on the top scales over other states. Massachusetts is a hub for research, and the field of mental health is expected to grow in the state well into the future.

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Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief

Ann Steele, Ph.D., is Editor-In-Chief of PsydPrograms.org. Ann has training as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with adults, couples, adolescents, and preteens throughout San Diego county.