Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Degree Programs in Alabama [2024 Guide]

Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate college majors. It makes sense, given that there are so many tracks you can follow with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

One such track is to continue your education in graduate school. Though graduate programs vary from one university to the next, child psychology programs are common. Again, this makes sense because there are so many applications of child psychology – developmental psychology, school psychology, and educational psychology, to name a few.

Most states have multiple child psychology graduate programs, and Alabama is no different.

Child Psychology Graduate Degree Programs in Alabama

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering child psychology graduate programs in Alabama:

  • The University of Alabama
  • Grand Canyon University
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Capella University
  • Auburn University
  • The University of South Alabama
  • University of West Alabama

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is the state’s oldest college. It was founded in 1820 as a seminary school, and in 1831, the school opened its doors. There were just 52 students initially, but in the ensuing decades, the university grew by leaps and bounds. Today, the University of Alabama enrolls nearly 39,000 students.

Not only is the U of A the state’s oldest college, but it’s also its largest. With such a large student body, the school has programs and services that you might not find at other schools. For example, there are hundreds of extracurricular activities and organizations you can enjoy when you aren’t in class.

And when you are in class, you will learn from experienced professors who are leaders in their respective fields.

Child Psychology Graduate Program Information

The University of Alabama’s Clinical Child Psychology graduate program culminates with a Ph.D. The program is specifically designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to work effectively with children of all ages and children with various mental health disorders.

As is the case with most Ph.D. psychology programs, this one takes about five or six years to complete. You will participate in coursework and seminars with classmates and professors, conduct extensive individual research, and complete a master’s thesis as well as a doctoral dissertation.

Your coursework includes classes like Cognition and Learning, Advanced Social Psychology, and Affect and Lifespan Developmental Psychology. You’ll also take research-related courses in statistics, like Multivariate Methods of Analysis or Psychometrics.

In addition to your coursework and research, you must also complete a year-long clinical placement. This clinical placement occurs off-campus and is supervised by a doctoral-level practicing psychologist. The internship is your opportunity to gain relevant practice and work experience before finishing your doctoral program.

You can apply to this program online in anticipation of student selections in the fall of each year. To qualify, you must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. You must also submit the following with your online application:

  • A statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores, as required
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is one of the largest schools in the state. With an enrollment of 21,500 students, UAB isn’t as large as the University of Alabama, but it’s nonetheless a sizable school. A consequence of that is that UAB is extremely diverse, both in terms of the demographics of its student body and the academic and extracurricular programs you can explore.

UAB is a relatively young school, having been founded in 1969. However, despite being a newer institution, UAB is widely respected for its academics. The school has a dozen academic divisions in which you will find almost 150 degrees and programs for undergraduate and graduate students. You will enjoy a rigorous education, too – UAB ranks among the top eight percent of global universities.

Child Psychology Graduate Program Information

The Developmental Psychology graduate program at UAB is a research-based program focusing on the process of human development. Your research training takes place in multiple contexts, including in work, school, and home settings. You will also have the opportunity to work with children in a clinical setting if you choose the Child and Adolescent Development track.

Your research on child and adolescent development can explore any number of topics. This includes:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Youth Violence
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Cognitive Development

Your research is paired with coursework and colloquia that delve into crucial developmental topics. These include Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and Treatment, Adolescent Development, and Cognitive Assessment, to name a few.

This five-year program requires you to study on campus in Birmingham. UAB offers students a generous yearly stipend, free tuition, and free health insurance to help offset the cost of attendance.

To apply, you must submit an online graduate application and a $60 application fee by December 15th to be considered for the following academic year. Additionally, you must submit the following documentation:

  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • A curriculum vitae

Auburn University

When Auburn University was founded in 1856, it was exclusively for male students. However, by 1872, the school changed focus to agriculture and was named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. The school’s name changed a few times after that until becoming Auburn University in 1960. Today, Auburn is the second-largest university in the state.

Auburn has more than 31,000 students and is a public, co-ed institution. Most students at Auburn are undergraduates, but there is a robust graduate school on campus with well over 5,000 students. All told, Auburn has 15 schools and colleges, so the academic possibilities you can pursue are virtually endless.

Child Psychology Graduate Program Information

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Auburn is a unique program in that it focuses on clinical and educational services. As a graduate of this program, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to work with an array of clients, from children with autism to families with a developmentally-disabled child to pediatric psychiatric patients.

Though this program requires slightly more credits than most graduate degrees – 45 credits are needed to graduate – there is no thesis. During your studies, you will examine topics like:

  • Autism and Intellectual Disabilities
  • Methods for Studying Individual Behavior
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Ethical and Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Principles

You will also participate in several practicum experiences during which you can observe behavioral analysts in the workplace and assist them in working with their clients. This program also requires that you complete a summative capstone project.

Once enrolled, you will need to complete six consecutive semesters of coursework and practicum experiences to graduate. If you study year-round, you can complete the degree in two years. If not, you’ll likely need two-and-a-half to three years to finish the graduation requirements.

You can apply to this program, provided you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. You must also have a 2.75 GPA or higher for your undergraduate studies or a 3.0 GPA or higher at the graduate level. A satisfactory GRE score might be used in lieu of GPA requirements.

You must also submit the following:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A referral for admission by the graduate faculty
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores, if English is not your native language
  • Other documentation, as requested by the program

The University of South Alabama

Like UAB, the University of South Alabama is a relatively young school. It was founded in the early 1960s to provide improved access to education for Alabama’s residents. Initially, USA remained quite a small school, but as the years have passed, the institution has grown to have around 14,000 students on campus.

As one of the smaller schools on this list, USA also has some of the smallest class sizes. Additionally, the university boasts a student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1. With classes that small, you’re assured of getting the individual attention you need to succeed in your degree program. Speaking of degrees, there are dozens of options in the university’s ten colleges and schools.

Child Psychology Graduate Program Information

The University of South Alabama’s Clinical and Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program is a terminal degree that allows you to tailor your studies to your specific interests. This joint program in clinical and counseling psychology follows the scientist-practitioner model, so you will gain skills associated with clinical work and psychological research.

Your program of study includes a breadth of psychology and counseling courses, including:

  • Diagnostic Interviewing
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Social and Personality Psychology
  • Applied Health Psychology
  • Psychology of Resilience and Response to Trauma

If you begin this program with a bachelor’s degree, you will complete a master’s degree and a Ph.D. However, if you enter the program having already completed a master’s program, you will earn a Ph.D. only. Either way, you must complete the necessary training, including coursework, research, practicum experiences, and an internship, to graduate.

Your field experiences during the third and fourth years of the five-year program are where you can specialize your training. For example, you can focus on child welfare, working with disabled children, or working with children in the juvenile court system. You can also be placed in area schools and mental health clinics.

To apply to this program, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in psychology. You must also submit the following materials:

  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • A curriculum vitae or resume

You must also identify a prospective faculty mentor to work with you in your specific area of research interest.

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in Alabama

As noted earlier, the beauty of majoring in psychology is that there are so many areas in which you can focus. As a graduate of a master’s or doctoral program in child psychology, you can enjoy continued choices regarding where you work and the work you do.

For example, some child psychology graduates in Alabama work in community mental health settings. In many cases, you can specialize in working with a particular age group, such as children under five years of age, children in late adulthood, or adolescents. You might also work with families rather than counseling just the child.

As another example, graduate studies in child psychology or related fields might qualify you to work in academic settings. School psychologists and educational psychologists work in schools throughout the state and help children with academic, social, and emotional problems to be more successful in school.

Yet another career path you might pursue is to open a private practice. As a self-employed licensed child psychologist, you have the greatest degree of choice in where and how you work. You can pick the hours you work, the number of clients you see, and you can accept or reject clients as you see fit (with the client’s best interests in mind, of course).

Ultimately, no matter what specific job you have, your training in child psychology can help you drastically improve how children and adolescents live their day-to-day lives.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.