Popular Accredited Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs in Colorado [2024]

Clinical psychology is a popular and worthwhile major. After all, mental health problems are common across the United States and around the world, and qualified clinical psychologists are needed to attend to these needs.

While you can prepare for a career in clinical psychology in any state, Colorado is the top choice for some graduate students, given its many amenities. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with skiing, hiking, climbing, and other sports readily available within a short distance of most cities.

What’s more, Colorado’s natural beauty is supplemented by exciting social activities in cities like Denver, opportunities to escape the hubbub of daily life by exploring millions of acres of forests, and a higher education system that offers endless possibilities for learning your craft.

Clinical Psychology Programs in Colorado

Below is a list of some of the popular schools offering clinical psychology graduate programs in Colorado:

  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Grand Canyon University
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • Capella University
  • University of Colorado at Denver
  • University of Denver
  • Southern New Hampshire University

University of Colorado at Boulder

The University of Colorado at Boulder is the state’s largest institution of higher learning, with more than 66,000 students. CU Boulder is the flagship institution in the University of Colorado System and, as such, is the most prestigious member.

In fact, CU Boulder’s prestige extends beyond the borders of the state – it’s a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), of which there are just 36 public universities counted as members.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student, you can choose from thousands of courses. CU Boulder offers more than 4,000 classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, allowing you to explore many different topics of study during your time there as a student. On top of that, CU Boulder is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation!

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Information

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at CU Boulder is a five-year residential program with deep roots in clinical research. As such, you will participate in original research on a topic related to clinical psychology. You will do so with the approval of the clinical faculty, who also provide mentorship for your research.

Research isn’t the only feature of this program, though. You will take a host of clinical psychology courses throughout the program, including:

  • Behavioral psychology
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Mindfulness therapy

This program also fosters the development of crucial clinical understanding that you can apply in treating clients. You will learn how to apply science-based interventions, conduct psychological assessments, and support client growth in a way that’s respectful of their race, culture, and beliefs.

To apply, you should have a moderately high GPA (e.g., 3.3 or above). However, the clinical psychology program considers much more than GPA in determining which applicants are admitted. You will also be evaluated on your research interests and experience as well as your experience in clinical psychology. Additionally, you need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

When applying, you must submit the following:

  • A $60 application fee
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores if English is not your native language

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

One of UC Boulder’s sister schools is the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. UCCS got its start as a satellite campus to serve a few hundred students in the Colorado Springs area. However, the school now has more than 12,000 students and is the fastest-growing institution in the University of Colorado System.

Today, UCCS is a fully-functioning public institution with dozens of undergraduate and graduate program offerings. Like UC Boulder, UCCS has a gorgeous campus in one of the most beautiful areas of the state, so you can study amongst the beauty that Colorado has to offer.

The school’s reputation for strong academics combined with its location has made it a popular school for a wide range of students. UCCS has students from each U.S. state and more than 80 nations worldwide.

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Information

UCCS offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology that focuses on training you to provide clinical services to adult clients. The program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model, so you will have ample opportunities to conduct psychological research while also gaining real-world supervised experience in a clinical setting.

However, this is not a licensure program. Instead, this program exists to prepare you for the rigors of clinical psychology studies at the doctoral level. You are readied for advanced scholarship in this field by taking courses like:

  • Research Statistics and Methodology
  • Advanced Psychopathology
  • Clinical Interviewing and Personality Assessment
  • Professional Development – Ethics & Standards of Practice
  • Cognitive  Assessment

Furthermore, you are required to complete multiple practicum experiences in psychological research and clinical psychology. This program further requires students to complete a master’s thesis.

You can specialize your studies even more by selecting one of two sub-fields: trauma psychology or geropsychology. Selecting one of these areas necessitates that your practicum experiences align with the specialty. Your thesis must also be in the sub-specialty.

Fill out the UCCS online application for graduate admission to get the process started. You will need to submit a $60 application fee and unofficial transcripts from each college you’ve attended. You will also need the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement that describes your background and interest in the program
  • A resume or curriculum vitae

University of Colorado at Denver

Yet another school you might consider in the University of Colorado System is the University of Colorado at Denver. CU Denver was founded in 1973 as a center for urban education. Its focus on urban education has resulted in the development of more than 100 degree programs that revolve around urban issues. These programs are only available at the CU Denver campus.

One of the unique founding principles of CU Denver is its focus on experiential education. The school requires all students to participate in research, apprenticeships, or internships as a means of connecting classroom learning with the application of that learning in a real-world environment.

CU Denver has formed partnerships with dozens of local organizations to facilitate these experiential learning opportunities.

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Information

CU Denver is unique among the programs on this list in that its Ph.D. focuses on Clinical Health Psychology. This specialization enables you to combine an understanding of health psychology and a mastery of clinical techniques to provide clients with proven behavioral health interventions.

To prepare for working with clients, you will take part in classroom studies, psychological research, and field-based clinical experiences. This includes taking courses like:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Health Psychology
  • Ethics and Professional Issues
  • Clinical Research Methods
  • Advanced Cognition and Emotion

Moreover, you are required to complete a master’s thesis as well as a doctoral dissertation. These summative learning experiences allow you to integrate your learning throughout the program and demonstrate a deep understanding of clinical health psychology techniques.

Your understanding of these concepts will be further developed by taking part in several practicum experiences and an internship.

You can apply to this program online. You must submit the following as part of your application:

  • A personal statement
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • A $50 application fee

University of Denver

The University of Denver was founded in 1864, making it the oldest private research-based university in the state of Colorado. In fact, it’s the oldest such university in the entire Rocky Mountain region. Today, the school remains small, with just over 8,000 total students. However, an interesting feature of this school is that graduate students outnumber undergraduates.

The long history of this institution includes a solid reputation for academics. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. and also ranks highly (67th) in the nation for its online bachelor’s degree programs.

The school’s emphasis on rigorous academics means you will take part in challenging coursework, meaningful research, and field experiences that prepare you for entering the world of work.

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program Information

The University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology was one of the first in the nation to offer a PsyD. That program, a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, is a top choice for psychology graduate students in the state.

This program’s curriculum is diverse and offers opportunities to specialize your training. Your base coursework focuses on clinical psychology’s scientific, professional, and ethical considerations. You will also learn about critical clinical psychology interventions, techniques, and assessments.

Your specialized studies can be done in any number of areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Behavior Medicine
  • Military Psychology
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Treatment of Women

Another unique feature of this program is that you begin your clinical work during the first semester in the program. Typically, clinical experiences are reserved for the last year of a doctoral program.

Along with your application, you must provide the following documents:

  • Responses to two essay prompts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from each college or university attended
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A $65 application fee

International students must also submit TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores.

Clinical Psychology Work Opportunities in Colorado

As noted in the introduction, mental health problems are a concern throughout the U.S., including in Colorado. With children, teens, adults, and older adults all suffering from common problems like anxiety, depressive disorders, and mood disorders, there are ample opportunities for clinical psychology work in this state.

The need for qualified clinical psychologists is evident in the number of job openings in Colorado. At the time of writing, there are nearly 700 clinical psychology-related jobs in the Centennial State. These jobs are available in all corners of the state and in many different settings.

For example, with a graduate degree in clinical psychology, you can work in inpatient or outpatient clinical settings, community mental health, or for state agencies, such as in the corrections system.

Additionally, Colorado presents opportunities to work in private practice. You can establish a practice in urban areas like Denver or Fort Collins, or rural areas of the state on the Western Slope or in the eastern portion of the state.

Wherever you work, though, the skills and training you acquire in your graduate program will be crucial for helping Coloradoans of all types with their mental health needs.

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