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Rutgers University Psy.D. Psychology Review

The Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology is one of the oldest and most well-established centers for the study of human psychology, offering two Psy.D. degrees, one in clinical psychology and the other in school psychology, and serving as a hub of resources for research, instruction and care for individuals with autism and other behavioral disorders.

What do prospective Psy.D. students need to know about this program and whether it’s right for them?

About the Program

Before we dive into the details of the major features and drawbacks of the Rutgers Psy.D. offerings, let’s learn a bit about the school and this particular program, including where the school is located, what types of degrees are offered and how much prospective students can expect to pay.

Basics

  • Institution type: Public
  • Main campus: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Accreditation: American Psychological Association
  • First year of program: 1974, school psychology and clinical psychology; organizational psychology specialty added in 1988

Tuition and fees

  • Full-time, in-state tuition: $22,416
  • Full-time, out-of-state tuition: $37,368
  • Per credit-hour tuition for part-time students: $934
  • Institution fees: $1,671

Student outcomes

  • Median years to completion:6
  • Percentage completing in <5 years: 1%
  • Percentage completing in 7+ years: 33%
  • Degrees conferred, 2010-2020: 185
  • Percentage of students obtaining internships (2019-20 school year): 100%
  • Percentage of graduates earning professional licensure: 85%

Degrees & requirements

  • Psy.D. degrees offered: Clinical Psy.D., School Psy.D.
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: Master’s in Applied Psychology, Master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Master’s in Special Education
  • Number of credit hours required: 93 credits for clinical psychology, 131 credits for school psychology; both require practicum, internship and/hour supervision credits and hours

Admissions

  • Application method: Online
  • Application fee: $70
  • Admission requirements: Undergraduate or graduate transcripts; three letters of recommendation; GRE scores (required for clinical psychology only); TOEFL for foreign applicants whose first language is other than English; resume
  • Admissions office address: 56 Bevier Road ASB Annex I, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Biggest Pros

Let’s explore what facets of Rutgers’ program truly set the institution apart and are most likely to be appealing to Psy.D. students.

A long history

Rutgers has been offering Psy.D. degrees for nearly 50 years, starting with a pair of degrees (clinical psychology and school psychology) that the university began offering in 1974. This makes Rutgers one of the most well-established and long-lived programs in the entire field, and Rutgers was the first professional school to offer the Doctor of Psychology degree among major research universities.

Indeed, the state of clinical and school psychology training in the United States has been heavily influenced by Rutgers’ Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), and today’s students may well further that influence.

Specialty clinics & visiting faculty

Despite the lengthy history the GSAPP boasts, program leaders are acutely aware that the needs of students are driven largely by needs across society. This understanding includes giving students the chance to learn in specialty clinics where they can benefit from the traditional rigors of the program brought to bear on an emerging field of human behavior.

Similarly, the program welcomes as many as four visiting faculty members each year, and the expertise these active, full-time practitioners bring can inspire, challenge and motivate students by bringing in a nearly real-time professional experience.

Research programs

Rutgers as a whole is a major research institution, and the GSAPP continues along in that tradition, with faculty research regularly published in leading journals and presented at state, national and international conferences.

Psychology clinics & centers

The average student who is interested in earning a Psy.D. degree is likely someone who wants to make a difference in the lives of people as soon as possible. GSAPP staffs two centers — the Douglass Developmental Disability Center and the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services — that support members of the community dealing with autism spectrum disorders. The school also staffs the Rutgers Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, an NIH-supported research program focusing on addiction and substance abuse.

Other specialty clinics include:

  • ADHD Clinic
  • Anxiety Disorders Clinic
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
  • Foster Care Counseling Project (FCCP)
  • Group Psychotherapy Services
  • NJ Couples Clinic
  • The LifeSPAN ASD Lab
  • The Tourette Syndrome Clinic
  • Women Helping Women
  • Youth Anxiety and Depression Clinic

Biggest Cons

Of course, not every school is right for everyone. So what are some of the less-attractive aspects to pursuing your Psy.D. degree at Rutgers?

Cost

Top of mind for almost any student is how much a program will cost. While Rutgers is a top-notch and incredibly well-regarded center for the study of clinical and school psychology, there’s no doubt that students will pay a pretty penny for it.

With a per-credit cost for part-timers of more than $900 and a 93-credit requirement for the clinical Psy.D. (and even more for the school Psy.D.), the typical student will spend between $85,000 and upwards of $120,000, depending on how long they spend in the program.

Limited online options

Rutgers isn’t alone in this, but the program offers very few options for online education. Neither of the Psy.D. degrees offered at the GSAPP can be completed online, though working professionals who need to earn continuing education degrees may be able to complete some of that work online.

SEE ALSO: 5+ Accredited Online PsyD Programs

Narrow research scope

If your interests lie outside a few areas — primarily applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorders and addiction — you might find other programs to be more up your alley, particularly those with a more diverse set of Psy.D. and other psychology degrees.

The Bottom Line

So what does this mean for you? Every person’s needs and educational journey are different, but here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide if the Rutgers Psy.D. program is right for you.

Is Rutgers PsyD Program Right For Me?
Question/concern Yes No
I need to take my classes online x
I’m interested in clinical psychology x
I’m interested in applied psychology x
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychology x
I have a very limited budget for a Psy.D. program x
A well-established program is important to me x
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projects x
I don’t want to take the GRE x*
* Applicants for school psychology Psy.D. aren’t required to provide GRE scores

Conclusion

For students who want the prestige of earning their Psy.D. from one of the oldest and most established institutions in the field of psychology, Rutgers’ Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology is perhaps the most logical choice.

SEE MORE: 5+ New Jersey Psychology Doctorate Programs

Additional Resources

PSYD, PHD, MASTERS PROGRAMS