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Massachusetts Psychology Doctorate Programs

Massachusetts, much like the rest of the U.S., is experiencing a crisis of emotional and behavioral health. That’s a major reason why so many students in the commonwealth are searching for resources to help them become licensed psychologists in Massachusetts.

Let’s take a look at the doctoral programs required to begin the process of earning licensure and what exactly prospective psychologists should know about practicing here in the commonwealth.

What’s On This Page

  • Quick Facts
  • Massachusetts PsyD Programs
  • Other Psychology Doctorates
  • Massachusetts Psychologist Requirements
  • Massachusetts Doctorate Salary Outlook

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

Both of the main doctoral degrees that provide the required foundation for licensure are offered here in Massachusetts, the Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) and Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). All of the programs on our list are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), including both Psy.D. programs offered in the commonwealth.

SEE ALSO: 5+ Best Online PsyD Programs

William James College

Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, William James College first earned APA accreditation in 1987. More than 530 students have earned their Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the college over the past decade, and 87% have earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Newton
  • Annual tuition: $48,480
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in Clinical Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Springfield College

Springfield College’s Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology has been accredited by the APA since 2016, and 34 students have completed the program since it started awarding degrees. About 56% of grads of this new program have earned professional licensure so far.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Springfield
  • Annual tuition: $32,413
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in Counseling Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Other Psychology Doctorates in Massachusetts

Boston University

Several Ph.D. degrees are available in psychology at Boston University, led by the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, which earned APA accredited in 1948. BU is also home to an APA-accredited Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, as well as Ph.D. degrees in behavior and cognition and developmental science. Nearly 100 students have completed the clinical psychology program over the past 10 years, and 79% have earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Boston
  • Annual tuition: $50,980
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Brain, Behavior and Cognition, PhD in Clinical Psychology, PhD in Developmental Science, PhD in Counseling Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Clark University

Clark University’s doctoral psychology program is one of the most storied in the nation. The first president of the university, G. Stanley Hall, founded the American Psychological Association at Clark in 1892, and the school’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology earned APA accreditation in 1948, one of the first 12 programs to earn the honor. Today, the Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology offers two other psychology doctorates in development and social psychology. A total of 39 students have completed the clinical program over the past decade, and 89% have earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Worcester
  • Annual tuition: All students admitted receive full tuition waivers
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Clinical Psychology, PhD in Developmental Psychology, PhD in Social Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

University of Massachusetts

The UMass system is home to several Ph.D. degrees in psychology fields, including clinical, school and counseling, the three biggest specialties in professional psychology. Amherst students can choose from a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology that was first accredited by the APA in 1957 and a Ph.D. in School Psychology accredited by the APA since 1992. Students at the Boston campus have access to APA-accredited Ph.D. programs in clinical (1993), counseling (2015) and school (2016). More than 120 students have earned their Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology degrees with Amherst and Boston combined over the past 10 years, and an average of 72% have earned licensure.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Amherst, Boston
  • Annual tuition: Most students receive tuition waivers and teaching assistantships
  • Degrees offered: PhD
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Suffolk University

Suffolk University’s College of Arts & Sciences is home to an APA-accredited Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology that first earned the APA badge in 2000. Suffolk also offers a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology, but that program isn’t yet APA-accredited. Clinical students can choose from a pair of specialties, clinical child and neuropsychology. More than 100 graduates have earned their clinical Ph.D. degrees from Suffolk in the past 10 years, and 88% have earned licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Boston
  • Annual tuition: All students receive tuition waivers
  • Degrees offered: PhD
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Boston College

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College is home to an APA-accredited Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, first awarded the APA nod in 1982. BC also offers non-APA-accredited psychology Ph.D. degrees in a range of focus areas, including behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, quantitative and computational psychology and social psychology. A total of 63 graduates have completed BC’s counseling psychology doctoral program since the 2009-10 school year, and 92% have earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Chestnut Hill
  • Annual tuition: All students receive tuition waivers
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Counseling Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Harvard University

Harvard’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology has been accredited by the APA since 2008. A total of 24 students completed Harvard’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology between the 2008 and 2017 school years, and 48% earned professional licensure.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Cambridge
  • Annual tuition: All students receive tuition waivers
  • Degrees offered: PhD
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Northeastern University

Two APA-accredited psychology Ph.D. degrees are available at Northeastern University’s Bouve College of Health Sciences, a school psychology program accredited since 2013, and a counseling psychology program accredited since 2014. Northeastern is also home to a non-APA-accredited psychology Ph.D. degree housed in the College of Science. Nearly 40 students have completed their APA-accredited psychology Ph.D. degrees at Northeastern, including the school and counseling programs, and the licensure rate averages 70%.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Boston
  • Annual tuition: Most students receive full or partial tuition waivers
  • Degrees offered: PhD in School Psychology, PhD in Counseling Psychology, PhD in Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

How to Become a Psychologist in Massachusetts

In every state, Massachusetts included, those who wish to practice professionally as psychologists must first meet a series of requirements to be considered for professional licensure. Let’s take a look at what’s required here.

  1. Get a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field. Some but not all doctoral programs will accept applicants who have undergraduate degrees that are in fields other than psychology, but those without such degrees should show academic aptitude in the area. This could include a high number of psychology courses on their transcript and/or a major in a related field, such as biology or social work. Without that, students may need to complete a master’s degree in psychology before they’ll be considered good candidates for a doctorate.
  2. Get your Psy.D. or Ph.D. Either major type of psychology doctorate is accepted as proof of aptitude in the field, but if students get a degree from a non-APA-accredited program, they will face additional requirements to verify that their coursework meets with regulators’ requirements.
  3. Fulfill other state requirements. Applicants must complete at least two years of supervised professional experience in a health setting, and 1,600 of the 3,200 hours can come from predoctoral internship or postdoctoral training. At least 800 hours of the remaining 1,600 hours must include contact with patients. Applicants will then be able to sit for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (minimum score of 500 is required), and the state’s jurisprudence exam.
  4. Remain licensed, and keep up with requirements. Massachusetts psychologist licenses must be renewed every two years, and psychologists need to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years ahead of their renewal date.

Massachusetts Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

Clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Massachusetts make an average annual wage of $90,180, 13th-highest in the U.S., the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. On the high end, they can expect to make well over $125,000, and their average salary is much higher than the $65,680 average wage for all workers in the commonwealth.

SEE ALSO: Massachusetts Clinical Psychologist Salary

It’s expected that all jobs across the U.S. economy will see a steady growth rate of about 5% over the next 10 years, but for clinical psychologists in Massachusetts, that rate is expected to be quite a bit higher —11.9%.

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