New Jersey: How to Earn a Psychology Doctorate Degree

With a guide to schools that offer a PsyD degree in New Jersey, you will be armed with quality information to help you earn your PsyD degree in this state. That includes the requirements to become a licensed, practicing psychologist. Take a look at what you need to know.

Quick Facts:

  • The highest graduation rate for a psychology program in New Jersey is Princeton, with 97 percent.
  • Nineteen schools in the state offer a master’s or other advanced degree in psychology.
  • There are 26 not-for-profit schools in New Jersey with psychology programs.
  • New Jersey does not have full reciprocity if you’ve been licensed in another state, but there are options to get your license faster under certain circumstances.
  • A background check is required before you can become a licensed psychologist in this state.

Top PsyD Degree Programs in New Jersey

This list of schools have programs that can help you move toward a PysD in Psychology:

#1 Kean University

At Kean University there are two different options for a Master of Arts in Psychology. These are psychological services, or human behavior and organizational psychology. Both of these concentrations require you to complete 33 credits of psychology courses, and if you’re going to go on to be a graduate student there are 12 credits of specific courses that have to be taken as a part of that. There are also electives and a mandatory thesis. No matter which track is chosen, this degree will help you prefer to move on to a more advanced degree.

#2 Montclair State University

There are three different master’s in psychology degrees offered at Montclair State University. All three are Master of Arts degrees, and the options are psychology, clinical psychology, or industrial and organizational psychology. The clinical psychology degree also has a chose of two different concentrations, which are child and adolescent psychology or Latina/Latino psychology. Between 35 and 39 credits are required, and the university encourages internships, as well. You will need to take the GRE and submit your scores, but this is waived if you already have a master’s degree in another field.

#3 Rutgers University

For their bachelor’s in psychology, many students choose Rutgers University. There is both a major in the field or an honors major, and 38 credits in psychology courses are required for the traditional track. Honors majors must have an exceptional track record academically, complete 45 credits, and can also assist faculty members with research projects. An extended research project of their own and the opportunity to present findings at conferences come along with the honors track, but not with the traditional psychology degree.

How to Become a Practicing Clinical Psychologist in New Jersey

If you want to get licensed and legally practice psychology in New Jersey, focus on first earning a bachelor’s degree. There are certificates and associate degrees available, but they won’t really help you get to your goals. Just make sure your bachelor’s degree is in psychology or a field related to it.

During the time you’re working toward your bachelor’s degree in New Jersey, look around for all the opportunities you have to gain good research experience. Most universities offer this, so undergraduates can work with psychology department professors as research assistants and get valuable work experience.

SEE ALSO: 5+ Online PsyD Programs Accredited

When you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to focus on earning your master’s in psychology. You may want to do that through a program listed above, or through a different school. Either way, completion of your master’s degree will set you up to move to to earning your PsyD. That degree, including your internship, should take you approximately four to five years to complete.

The next step will be to get your license so you can practice psychology in New Jersey. Here are the steps to expect when you start the license application process:

  1. You’ll need two years of supervised clinical experience (3,500 hours) in your training area. At least 1,750 of these hours have to be completed after you get your doctoral degree, but the rest can come from internships provided those internships meet the proper criteria.
  2. Next you can submit a licensure application and request transcripts from the educational institutions you’ve attended. The Board will need the application filled out properly, and some areas require notarization. Additionally, you need to document supervised hours with the right forms in order to have those hours accepted.
  3. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you’ll get information about how to complete your background check. For that you’ll need to be fingerprinted. There is a fingerprinting fee, and you can pay that when you schedule your appointment.
  4. The next step after the completed background check is taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPPP). This is a national exam, but in addition to it you also have to take the New Jersey jurisprudence exam. You’ll get instructions on how to take this test, and you’ll need to pay a fee for it.
  5. Getting your license is the last step in the process. After you’ve done everything else, you’ll just wait to hear from the Board about the status of your license. Once it’s approved, you’ll be notified. Then you’ll pay your license fee, and the Board will issue your license and send it to you so you can start practicing psychology in the state of New Jersey. just remember to renew your license on the proper schedule and complete any continuing education credits that are required in each renewal period.

New Jersey Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

The median pay for psychologists in New Jersey is $102,870. This is significantly higher than the average in many states, but New Jersey also has a higher cost of living than other areas of the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can also expect job growth to be around eight percent for the next decade. That’s encouraging news for anyone who wants a career in this field in the state of New Jersey.