Psychology Programs in Pennsylvania

Hunt Library at Carnegie Mellon University
Hunt Library at Carnegie Mellon University, Creative Commons license

If you are looking for choices in your psychology education as well as a great place to get started within the profession, Pennsylvania is the proverbial jackpot. Here, you will find more than 100 schools offering accredited programs in psychology as well as two of the more heavily populated metropolitan areas in the country for better job possibilities.

In addition to its excellent educational options, Pennsylvania is centrally located with easy access to several major cities. You can enjoy all four seasons, and much of the state features lush forests and plenty of green space.

Whether you seek a bustling city life, low-key suburban campus, or quiet rural community, Pennsylvania has you covered. If you hope to stay on after graduation, you may also be surprised at the opportunities awaiting you!

Why Choose to Study Psychology in Pennsylvania?

For psychology students, having access to experts, internships, and fellowships is an important consideration. If you also want campus size and setting choices, you may want to consider psychology schools in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is one of the best states for opportunity as far as affordability and equality goes, and that translates into its educational prospects. You can’t drive far in Pennsylvania without stumbling across an institute of higher learning. While it’s true that the midwest has dozens of colleges, you can find more than 300 postsecondary institutions across the Keystone State.

One of the best benefits of attending psychology schools in Pennsylvania is the variety of opportunities available. You can pursue niche studies, like forensic psychology and neuropsychology at many of the higher education institutions, which usually involve real-world experiences that you can’t find elsewhere.

Pennsylvania boasts a wide range of community colleges, private and public institutions, and even an Ivy-league school. There is something for every budget and interest, including those hoping to pursue psychology degrees.

For a doctorate degree, which you will certainly need if you want to make a career of psychology, universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, Duquesne, La Salle, Lehigh, Lincoln, Penn State, Temple, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh are just a few of the best.

Top Psychology Schools in Pennsylvania

Topping the impressive list of Pennsylvania schools is the University of Pennsylvania, commonly called UPenn. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, it’s no surprise that UPenn offers a variety of majors, including psychology. You can even participate in research studies and internships as an undergraduate student.

Carnegie Mellon University may be an excellent option for those seeking a smaller, private college with stellar academics. The Department of Psychology has a long and storied history at Carnegie Mellon, and you have plenty of hands-on opportunities thanks to the proximity to Pittsburgh.

Rounding out the top three psychology schools in Pennsylvania is a small institution near Philadelphia. Haverford College may not be the first school that pops in your mind, but they offer something special for psychology majors. Embrace the family-like setting that allows you to connect with your professors and participate in cutting-edge research. Plus, they participate in an educational consortium that gives you access to classes at three other colleges.

Job Prospects in Pennsylvania for Psychology Professionals

The median pay for psychologists is just over $82,000 per year, and the field expects to see growth over the next several years. Given that this is the national average, it helps to dig a little deeper into Pennsylvania’s numbers.

First, Pennsylvania’s average annual salary for psychologists falls slightly lower than the national average at about $80,000 per year. However, the cost of living in Pennsylvania is notably cheaper than the national average, especially for housing and utilities.

Given that almost one-third of psychologists are self-employed, operating your own business is more affordable in Pennsylvania as opposed to other states. If setting your work hours doesn’t appeal to you, there are several elementary and secondary schools, healthcare, and government agencies in Pennsylvania that employ psychology graduates.

Pennsylvania Psychologist Licensing and Certification Requirements

Pennsylvania’s licensing and certification guidelines for psychology take between eight and twelve years. Your course depends on your specialization and how fast you complete the educational requirements, but there are some steps you cannot expedite.

Educational Requirements

The first step toward licensure in Pennsylvania is completing the required education. A bachelor’s degree is generally insufficient to practice in most psychology fields. You can choose to pursue a master’s degree or enroll directly in a doctoral program that includes the master’s level work. Most areas of practice require a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree.

Applications and Examinations

The Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology manages all licensing for psychologists in the state. You must submit an application and pass a background check with the state. The Board may request additional forms or information. Further, there is an additional licensing fee of $105.

Pennsylvania requires two separate examinations for psychologists. You must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Pennsylvania Psychology Law Examination (PPLE).

Experiential Learning

Once you complete your doctoral degree and application process, you need to complete one year of supervised experience. You may complete between 15 and 45 hours per week to reach a total of 1,750 hours in one year.

Continuing Education and Renewal Process

Psychologists in Pennsylvania must renew their licenses every two years. The process entails completing a renewal application and submitting a $300 payment for fees. Additionally, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education as part of your license renewal. At least three of your 30 hours must concern ethics-related issues.

Where in Pennsylvania do You Want to Study?

Pennsylvania Psychology Resources

From educational options to helpful resources, these sites may help as you navigate psychology schools in Pennsylvania and start your new career.

Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology – This board regulates and oversees licensure and practices of psychologists throughout the state of Pennsylvania. They can determine whether to issue, suspend, deny, revoke, restrict, or renew licenses for psychologists.

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards – The ASPPB is an association that is determined to “support member jurisdictions in fulfilling their responsibility of public protection.” Aside from providing support and study tools, the board handles registration for your EPPP examination.

Pennsylvania Psychological Association – The PPA built its roots in 1933 and developed into the third-largest state association affiliated with the American Psychological Association. Explore professional development options and resources to help you prepare for and maintain your licensure in Pennsylvania.

Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania – The MHAPA is a nonprofit organization that aims to aid in the best practices in order to promote a healthy society. This site is a veritable wealth of knowledge with connections to helpful resources and advocacy groups.

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