What Are the Top Schools for Clinical Psychology Master’s Degrees?
A master’s degree in clinical psychology can lead to a career in social work, mental health counseling or community relations. It can also prepare you for study at the doctoral level. Keep reading to learn about the top three graduate schools in the United States offering master’s degrees in clinical psychology, based on national and regional school rankings and program offerings. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
How to Select a Good Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology
Students hoping to pursue clinical psychology at the master’s or doctorate level should consider a variety of factors when selecting a program. The student’s professional goals will help in the selection process. Whether a student wishes to work with patients in a counseling setting or pursue research will help determine what program they choose, as doctorate programs are typically more research-oriented. Students who hope to become practicing clinical psychologists should look for programs that offer clinical experience and training.
Three Top Clinical Psychology Master’s Programs
Loyola University Maryland
The Department of Psychology at Loyola University in Maryland offers two choices for students pursuing a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology. If your plans include earning a Ph.D. in this field, you can select the thesis track, which focuses on client-based theories and research methods. Or if you plan to seek a position as a hospital clinician or psychological associate working under direct supervision, you can pursue the practitioner track of the M.S. program. The practitioner track can also prepare you for a Doctor of Psychology program.
The university also offers Master’s Plus and Certificate of Advanced Study programs for students who already have master’s degrees, in addition to a doctoral program in clinical psychology. While earning a master’s degree at Loyola, you can expand your practical knowledge by working at the school-sponsored Loyola Clinical Centers, which provides psychological, educational and counseling services to the community. Loyola tied for third in 2016 U.S. News World Report ‘s list of best schools in the North.
- Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (Practitioner or Thesis track)
- M.S./Certificate of Advanced Study in Clinical Psychology
- Masters Plus in Clinical Psychology
University of Indianapolis
The master’s program in clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis lets you choose from four tracks, including a mental health counseling track, a mental health and addictions counseling track, a research track and a foundational track. The research track requires a thesis and a 225-hour practicum and is designed for students who want to continue on and earn a Ph.D. The foundational program is for students who plan to earn Doctor of Psychology degrees. The mental health tracks both offer a child and adolescent concentration. Both mental health counseling tracks require a 1,000-hour practicum and prepare students for licensure.
Ranked 30th among universities in the Midwest in 2016 by U.S. News World Report. University of Indianapolis’ graduate psychology program features classes with fewer than 25 students and offers a variety of practicum sites for students, including counseling centers, hospitals and addictions support centers. The university’s psychological sciences department also has a Psychological Services Center where graduate students can get hands-on experience helping clients.
- Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
The Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University confers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. The curriculum focuses on modern practices in psychotherapy and is designed to prepare students for licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT). This program includes supervised clinical experience, and you have the option of pursuing a focus in serving Latino communities.
Both day and evening formats are available for the master’s program. Students completing the clinical psychology program also will have met prerequisites to apply to Pepperdine’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program. Additional training opportunities are available through the university’s Clinic Advancement, Research and Training program and the Pepperdine Applied Research Center. U.S. News World Report ranked Pepperdine 52nd among national universities in 2016.
- Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology