20 Best Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Graduate Schools

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Updated: April 25, 2024, Reading time: 12 minutes

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Although our efforts in life bring splendid results, we deal with pressure, urgency, tension, and anxiety that can affect our mental and emotional state. Consequently, the world is demonstrating a rising demand for:

Psychology professionals who can assess, interpret, and offer solutions to alleviate mental, behavioral, and emotional problems for people who desperately need them are the key to health and happiness for so many.  

A Doctor of Clinical Psychology is the highest level of education that allows professionals to become experts in the field of mental health and counseling. Let’s explore today’s top PsyD programs.

Quick Audio Summary:


The Clinical Psychology graduate schools and programs are ranked based on institutional prestige, teaching and training standards, and student outcomes. Each program is known for the following features:

Psychologist conducting a Psych test
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Best Doctor of Clinical Psychology Graduate Schools

Xavier University

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Tuition:$893 per credit hour 
Credit Hours:93

Xavier’s PsyD degree aims to equip students with the ability to practice professional clinical psychology in diverse settings. This program offers various internships practical experiences, and customization options. 

There are three interest areas in this PsyD: 

University of California-Los Angeles

University of California

Los Angeles, CA

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$18,136 per year (in-state); $33,238 per year (out-of-state)
Credit Hours:108

UCLA’s research-based doctorate in clinical psychology aims to develop students into experts in advanced psychology research and teaching.

Students who aspire to careers in organizational psychology, industrial psychology, counseling psychology, or forensic psychology are not advised to apply to this program and look for schools that offer PsyD in Psychology instead.

Palo Alto University – PGSP/Stanford University Consortium

Palo Alto University

Palo Alto, CA

PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$17,021 per quarter
Credit Hours:168

This degree is a practitioner-scholar program designed for individuals who aspire to pursue a career providing direct, thorough, and evidence-based clinical psychological services.

The program takes pride in its effectiveness in developing the student’s awareness and skills on the nine Health Service Psychology Profession-wide Competencies like research, ethical and legal standards, assessment, and more. 

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Tuition:$36,310 per year  
Credit Hours:131

Loyola’s PsyD degree develops and prepares students to lead in the clinical psychology profession. This program includes more than 1,500 hours of supervised field experience in any of its 100 externship locations across the Baltimore-Washington, DC region.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University

Los Angeles, CA

PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$1,900 per unit
Credit Hours:82

Pepperdine’s PsyD courses are delivered through a practitioner-scholar method of doctoral training to allow students to understand, absorb, and digest the practical application of the academic and clinical education they receive. This is among the US psychology institutions with a 100% placement rate.

George Fox University

George Fox University

Newberg, OR

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Tuition:$1,120 per credit hour
Credit Hours:125

George Fox’s offers a PsyD program that allows you to earn a non-terminal master’s of Clinical Psychology within your five years of academic and clinical training. This accredited program offers students some of the best and most renowned clinical psychology faculty. Students can focus on one of the following training tracks: 

University of Denver GSPP

University of Denver

Denver, CO

PsyD Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$1,356 per credit hour
Credit Hours:135

The PsyD in Clinical Psychology at DU allows students to apply via Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

This program is known to provide students with a solid background in clinical psychology with various specialization options. Students can focus on any of the following topics: 

The George Washington University

George Washington University

Washington, DC

PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$50,680 per year
Credit Hours:83

This PsyD in Clinical Psychology offers a curriculum that combines extensive practical experience and theoretical knowledge of psychology.

Students will receive mentorship from experienced professionals, clinicians, and researchers with unquestionable authority on cognitive, behavioral, and a host of other psychological disorders. Students will choose one track: 

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (Psy.D.)

Tuition:$586.23 per credit hour (resident); $1,602.45 (non-resident)
Credit Hours:112

UNC at Chapel Hills offers an intensive PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree that combines research and clinical science training. The program offers two clinical tracks:

It’s an extremely competitive program that chooses only eight students from scores of applicants who want to get into the program.

Baylor University

Baylor University

Waco, TX

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$2,285 per credit hour
Credit Hours:99

Baylor’s Clinical Psychology PsyD program equips students with theoretical and clinical competencies through intensive coursework plus 1,000 – 1,200 hours of clinical practice and research experience. With only a 2% acceptance rate, it’s also one of the most competitive PsyD programs.

Yeshiva University – Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology

Yeshiva University - Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology

Bronx, NY

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$2,063 per credit hour
Credit Hours:116

Yeshiva University’s PsyD program is considered one of the best psychology schools in the US. It exposes students to various academic, research, and field training, molding them into excellent practitioners of clinical psychology.

Aside from its Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology offers a Doctor of Psychology in School-Clinical Child Psychology program.

Widener University

Widener University

Chester, PA

Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

Tuition:$1,304 per credit hour
Credit Hours:120

Students of Widener University’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology are guaranteed empirical and practical learning experiences for professional success. Students can pursue certificates in:

In addition, they also have the option to pursue concentrations: 

Long Island University

Long Island University

Brookville, NY

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Tuition:$1,834 per credit hour
Credit Hours:115

This program is designed for those who want to serve underserved populations. It offers a rigorous core curriculum that can provide you with mastery of your courses and allow you to choose two of its major areas of focus:

Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College

Philadelphia, PA

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$1,050 per credit hour
Credit Hours:117

CHC’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology uses the practitioner-scholar model and develops students’ skills as they accumulate theoretical knowledge. It offers optional concentrations:

Students who can meet the optional requirements will be awarded a Certification of Concentration aside from their graduation diploma.

University of Indianapolis

University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

Clinical Psychology Doctorate (Psy.D.)

Tuition:$1,052 per credit hour
Credit Hours:111

UIndy exposes PsyD students to more advanced course content and allows them to master an area of focus like:

The university has more than 40 quality practicum sites and over 75 placements, including in:

Biola University Rosemead School of Psychology

Biola University Rosemead School of Psychology

Mirada, CA

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$1,250 per credit hour
Credit Hours:123

This PsyD in Clinical Psychology delivers its curriculum through rigorous academic training, aiming to equip students with outstanding abilities to provide professional services. The university integrates science with Christian theology to mold students into God-ordained practitioners of Clinical Psychology.

University of Washington

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Tuition:$18,633 per term
Credit Hours:Information N/A

UW’s clinical psychology doctorate is a research-based program designed for individuals who want to pursue advanced education in psychology with scientific, academic, and professional training.

The department offers research mentorship, evidence-based clinical training, and opportunities for specialized training in diverse science, data science, and quantitative methods. 

Students can choose between the General and Child Track.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (Ph.D.)

Tuition:$12,252 per semester (resident); $25,578 per semester (non-resident)
Credit Hours:100

UW Madison’s PhD in Clinical Psychology employs the scientist-practitioner method as its training model. It uses a mentor model for research training, integrating theory and practice through closely aligned research interests, coursework, and clinical practicum experiences, with financial support for all students.

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)

Tuition:Information N/A
Credit Hours:98

Stony Brook’s intensive PhD in Clinical Psychology aims to produce clinical scientists who are qualified and skilled to assess and analyze psychological problems from a scientific, evidence-based perspective.

Students participate in a research lab, complete two projects, and present papers at conferences. The program is highly competitive, accepting only four to eight out of over 300 applicants.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University

Piscataway, NJ

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D)

Tuition:$12,528 per semester (resident); $20,892 (non-resident)
Credit Hours:81

The PsyD program at Rutgers offers a Clinical Psychology specialization that equips future psychologists with a solid foundation in clinical practice, incorporating diverse theoretical orientations and individual differences.

Additionally, students will face new knowledge and clinical needs for practical learning experiences. It strongly emphasizes clinical values and knowledge-based practice for lifelong development and leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree?

A Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) degree is a doctorate in scientific psychology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis, qualifying for a licensing exam. Various US universities now offer it in fields like:

Doctoral degrees in Psychology include:

Psy.D. prepares individuals for a career as a clinical psychologist, allowing them to take a licensing exam and work directly with clients with emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems.

Meanwhile, Ph.D. provides training in research and teaching. It prepares students for a career in academia or a business organization where knowledge of psychology is needed.

How do I choose between a Ph.D. and a Psy.D. program?

The difference between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. can be confusing, but choosing the right program depends on your career goals. Ph.D.s are best for academic settings or experimental studies, while Psy. D.s are ideal for practicing with patients.

What should I consider when choosing a Psy.D. program?

Consider these six factors when choosing a Psy.D. program:

What are the different types of Psy.D. degrees?

Some present-day schools have made it possible for students to earn a Psy.D. degree with a specialized or highly focused degree. This led to the emergence of four other Psy.D. specializations. Let’s identify the most popular of them:

Clinical Psy.D* Aimed at students who want to apply for clinical specialties in the legal or court system
* Focuses on Psychology and courses unique to the field of Law
School Psy.D.* Aimed at students who want to apply for clinical specialties in the legal or court syste
* Focuses on Psychology and courses unique to the field of Law
Counseling Psy.D* Equips individuals with skills to assess and counsel individuals with chronic behavioral problems
* Focus on abusive relationships and human sexuality as potential causes of emotional disorders
Forensic Psy.D.* Aimed at students who want to apply for clinical specialties in the legal or court system
* Focuses on Psychology and courses unique to the field of Law
Correctional Psy.D.* Focuses on Criminal Justice 
* Ideal for students seeking psychological assistance in correctional institutions
* Coursework covers psychology, the penal system, and correctional institutions

What are the disadvantages of Clinical Psychology?

Every job comes with a few disadvantages, right? Here are a few to consider in the field of Clinical Psychology:

What can I do as a Doctor of Clinical Psychology?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics explained the demand for clinical psychology jobs is likely to grow by 6% from 2022 to 2032 and will provide 12,000 job openings each year for the same period.

One of the many benefits of completing a doctorate in clinical psychology is its potential to open doors for you in several careers in psychology.

Here are some of the most probable jobs you can get with a doctorate in clinical psychology:

Key Takeaways

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs further your career in the field of mental health. Students are taught advanced psychological theories, research methods, and scientific knowledge.

Licensed clinical psychologists offer psychological services, develop treatment plans, and provide guidance in mental wellness practices. They work in mental health centers, sports psychology, forensic psychology, organizational leadership, or other clinical settings.

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