Best Psychology Graduate Programs in Maryland [2023]

Psychology Graduate Programs and Schools in Maryland

Psychology is one of the most popular majors for undergraduate students in the United States. And while there are many jobs for which a bachelor’s in psychology is a good start, a graduate degree in this field opens many more doors.

For example, graduate training in this field allows you to specialize in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and even forensic psychology. You can get a master’s degree or go on to get a Ph.D. or PsyD for an even deeper level of education.

What makes Maryland so attractive for graduate studies in psychology is the wide selection of programs available. You can study in a small, private college setting, at a large public university, and even online.

Below is a list of some of the popular graduate psychology programs you might consider in Maryland.

Johns Hopkins University

Located in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University was established in 1876 as a private university. While Johns Hopkins is still a private school, it has grown exponentially and become one of the top-ranked research universities in the United States. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Johns Hopkins seventh among national universities. The school also has top-10 rankings for value and innovation.

Johns Hopkins offers a small campus environment – it’s just 140 acres. With just 6,000 or so undergraduates, you might think that Johns Hopkins is a small school. However, with nearly 26,000 graduate students, you’ll find the campus to be a vibrant, lively, and bustling place. As a graduate student, you’ll learn from some of the brightest minds in psychology and have the opportunity to conduct research in some of the finest psychology labs in the nation.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The first psychology laboratory was founded by G. Stanley Hall in 1883. His lab was at Johns Hopkins. This school’s long-standing tradition of psychological inquiry makes it a prime option for pursuing your graduate studies.

Johns Hopkins offers a single graduate program in psychology – a five-year residential Ph.D. program. As you might expect, this program heavily focuses on psychological research. In fact, you will begin your research from the start with a first-year research project. Likewise, you will participate in research seminars throughout your course of study.

Other opportunities for research occur later in the program. You must complete a master’s thesis and a doctoral dissertation as part of the graduation requirements, both of which require extensive original research. Additionally, you can work as a research assistant alongside faculty members to get additional experience and pay for your studies.

This program requires you to complete a literature review suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In some cases, the literature review is part of the master’s thesis. However, you can prepare a literature review on a separate topic if you like.

A final component of this program is an Advanced Examination that assesses your degree of expertise in your area of concentration. The exam is proctored during the third year of the program and includes an oral defense and a multi-day written exam as well.

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland is a good choice if you want to study at a small, private Jesuit school. One of the advantages of studying at Loyola is the low student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. With such small class sizes, you’re assured of having the most meaningful interactions with your classmates and professors.

But, don’t think that because Loyola is a small school, it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of academics. There are more than 40 bachelor’s degrees and many graduate and doctoral programs, including several graduate psychology programs that prepare you for work as a licensed mental health worker.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Loyola University Maryland offers two graduate degrees in psychology: A Master of Science in Clinical Professional Counseling and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology.

The Master of Science option is a 60-credit program that takes a little over two years to complete. The curriculum includes advanced coursework in topics like:

  • Principles and Practices of Psychotherapy
  • Diversity Issues in Psychology
  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling & Psychology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy

In addition to these and other courses, you will take part in a sequence of practicum and externship experiences that give you real-world training in counseling techniques. The 100-hour practicum occurs at the end of year two. Two 300-hour externship experiences occur during the third year – one in the summer and the other in the fall.

The PsyD option, on the other hand, is a terminal degree that requires 131 credits to graduate. This residential program takes about five years to complete. This includes a host of coursework focusing on the following:

  • Psychological Measurement
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Personality Assessment
  • Professional, Legal & Ethical Issues
  • Clinical Applications: Group Counseling

Furthermore, you will complete psychological research and a dissertation, which you must defend prior to matriculating out of the program.

You will gain clinical experience during more than 1,500 hours of clinical placements. Most of these hours are completed through the Loyola Clinical Centers. However, you’ll also have the chance to work with clients off-campus at one of Loyola’s more than 100 externship partners in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Towson University

Towson University was founded in 1866 as Maryland’s first college for teachers. In the ensuing years, the school has grown into a large, nationally-recognized university that provides its students with a rigorous education and opportunities to learn and grow both in and out of the classroom.

The university’s location just north of Washington, D.C., and three hours south of New York City, gives you a chance to have social, recreational, and educational experiences that many college students don’t have. What’s more, the close proximity of large businesses and organizations makes Towson uniquely positioned to help you get the real-world education and training you need to be a successful psychologist.

Psychology Graduate Programs

One of Towson’s three dozen graduate programs is a Master of Arts in Psychology. There are four tracks to choose from:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • School Psychology

The Clinical Psychology track is a 48-credit program that prepares you to become a licensed clinical professional counselor. You will take courses on psychopathology, multicultural counseling, cognitive therapy, and ethics, among many others. Additionally, you must complete a 500-hour internship to graduate. Depending on your future occupational goals, you can choose between a clinical or a research internship.

Like the Clinical Psychology track, the Counseling Psychology option requires you to complete 48 credits to graduate. Once you do so, you will be prepared to pursue licensure as a clinical professional counselor. Your coursework focuses on personal health, interpersonal relationships, and development across the lifespan. There is also a strong focus on multiculturalism. Practicum and internship experiences are required as well.

The Experimental Psychology track is advisable if you intend to work in the research field or if you want to continue your studies in a doctoral program. You must complete 39 credits to graduate, most of which are related to research, statistics, and experiential design. However, a thesis and an independent psychology investigation are required as well.

The final psychology graduate degree option Towson offers is in School Psychology. At 66 credits, this program takes about three years of full-time studies to complete. In addition to courses in intelligence assessments, functional behavioral assessments, and school interventions, you’ll also complete courses for a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is one of the largest and most recognizable public universities in the eastern United States. The school has more than 41,000 students and offers hundreds of majors and programs for undergraduate and graduate students alike. In fact, with 12 academic colleges and schools, Maryland gives you ample opportunities to explore a wide range of topics during your collegiate career.

No matter if you study at one of the university’s multiple physical campuses or its online campus, you will participate in rigorous studies recognized as among the best in the nation. U.S. News and World Report ranks in the top 15 best global schools and is the 19th-best national public university in the country as a result of its premier academic offerings.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The University of Maryland offers two graduate degrees in psychology: A Master of Psychological Science and a Ph.D.

The Master of Psychological Science offers two concentrations: Clinical Psychological Science and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In both cases, these MPS degrees require about five terms and 15 months to complete.

The Clinical Psychological Science track focuses your learning on clinical issues like interventions, therapeutic techniques, and ethical issues in psychology. You will learn how to work with children, adolescents, and adults, and you will also learn how to treat various mental health disorders.

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology track trains you to apply your understanding of psychological principles in a workplace environment. Your coursework might include investigations of human resources, talent management, and leadership issues. Likewise, you will hone your analytical and problem-solving skills, learn how to conduct organizational change, and develop performance management systems.

The Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland offers even more pathways for specialization:

  • Clinical
  • Cognitive and Neural Systems
  • Counseling
  • Developmental
  • Social, Decision, and Organizational Science

Each of these specialties provides you with a broad array of learning opportunities that help you develop competence in your chosen field. Each specialty also focuses on psychological research and scholarship, with requirements to conduct original research as a requirement for graduation.

The University of Maryland’s Ph.D. program follows the scientist-practitioner model. In addition to research, you will also have ample coursework and seminars to help you develop crucial psychology-related skills pertaining to your chosen specialty.

This five-year residential program requires you to attend classes and conduct research during the daytime. Students are only permitted to work off-campus if the work offers educational value.

Bowie State University

Founded in 1865, Bowie State University is the oldest historically black college/university in the state. In fact, it’s one of the oldest HBCUs in the entire nation. Bowie State began as a small school and continues to offer an intimate campus environment for your learning. There’s fewer than 6,500 students on campus, which means you’ll study in small classes and have opportunities to work more closely with your professors.

Bowie State offers around two dozen undergraduate majors and more than a dozen graduate programs that help prepare you for your future career. The school also offers a variety of certificate programs and two doctoral programs as well. Since Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland, the courses you take at other member institutions are easily transferable to Bowie.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Bowie State has two Master of Arts programs in psychology: Counseling Psychology and School Psychology.

The Counseling Psychology option is a 48-credit program that focuses on theoretical counseling approaches that you can use in private practice, community mental health, residential mental health, and other applications. Some of the courses you will take include:

  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Adlerian Theory and Other Theories
  • Drug and Alcohol Counseling
  • Appraisal, Assessment, and Evaluation

This track also requires you to complete practicum and internship experiences. The practicum is 100 hours of supervised observations and experiences in a counseling setting, while the internship is a 600-hour placement.

The School Psychology option is a three-year program with extensive coursework and internship learning opportunities. Coursework includes topics on school psychology, developmental psychology, and educational interventions, among others. You’ll utilize your learning in these classes during two internship experiences during the program’s third year.

Likewise, you will receive training in working with students’ families, administrators, and other mental health professionals. You’ll study legal and ethical issues, how to plan effective school psychology interventions, and become proficient in multicultural counseling.

Bowie State also offers several related programs in counseling, including a Master of Education in School Counseling, a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology.

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