Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Massachusetts [Updated for 2024]

When you think of Massachusetts, you likely think of Boston, Cape Cod, and a rich history as one of the birthplaces of American Revolutionary thought. And while these are certainly prominent symbols of the Bay State, it has much more to offer.

In Massachusetts, you can enjoy recreational opportunities ranging from swimming and fishing to skiing and hiking. You can enjoy varied environments, too, from the wind-swept beaches of the Atlantic coast to the rolling hills and dense forests of the Berkshire Mountains.

Additionally, Massachusetts offers ample opportunities to get your child psychology graduate degree. Colleges and universities big and small offer programs in child psychology, school psychology, clinical psychology, and other areas that are in demand.

This article provides you with insights into the types of programs available and the general requirements you must meet to be admitted.

Child Psychology Programs in Massachusetts

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

  • The University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Tufts University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • The University of Massachusetts at Boston
  • Capella University
  • Suffolk University
  • Sacred Heart University

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Nestled in rural western Massachusetts is the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Its idyllic setting amongst forests and mountains is enhanced by the young, vibrant city of Amherst – a city that is often at or near the top of lists for the best college town in the nation.

But, the beautiful setting isn’t the only benefit you get from attending UMass Amherst. As the largest public research university in New England, UMass has more than 200 degree options available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. If you join the more than 28,000 students, you will find that you learn in rich classroom settings, have access to rigorous research opportunities, and learn from professors who are at the top of their fields.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UMass Amherst offers a PhD program with a Clinical Child Psychology concentration that focuses on three areas: clinical research, assessment, and intervention.

This program prepares you to contribute to the body of knowledge in child psychology by focusing on academic applications. Many graduates of this program go on to teach at the college or university level, while others work for government or private policy agencies. To prepare for these roles, you will take courses like:

  • Assessment, Psychopathology, and Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Families
  • Human Development
  • Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy
  • ADHD Assessment
  • Neuropsychological Assessment

In addition to coursework, you will participate in practicum and internship experiences in clinical and research settings. This includes conducting three or more child assessment cases during the assessment practicum. You will also complete an empirical dissertation as part of the requirements of graduation.

You can apply to this program through December 1st for consideration for admission during the following academic year. You must already possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. You must also submit the following:

  • A personal statement
  • Unofficial or official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A faculty selection form indicating which faculty members you’re most interested in working with

You must also participate in an interview if you’re in the final round of prospective applicants.

Tufts University

Tufts University was founded in 1852 as a small nonsectarian college. It remained a small school until the 1970s when the school pivoted to academic research. Once that happened, Tufts grew quickly, and today is one of the premier research universities in the nation. In fact, Tufts is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, which is a collection of the best research universities in the country.

While Tufts was once just a single campus, today, it includes four different campuses, each with its own unique identity. You can learn in urban or rural environments while enjoying hundreds of student-centered programs. As a graduate student, you can even participate in more than two dozen clubs and professional organizations specifically for graduate students.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Master of Arts in Child Study and Human Development at Tufts offers both thesis and non-thesis tracks. What’s more, you can choose from three concentration areas:

  • Clinical-Developmental Health and Psychology
  • 21st Century Literacies: Media and Technology
  • Identity in Global Context

In each case, you must complete at least 32 credits of graduate studies. If you choose the thesis track, you will spend two semesters working on your research, which you must defend to your thesis committee. If you choose the non-thesis track, you will complete a yearlong internship and seminar that includes a capstone project and paper requirement.

The rest of the non-thesis and thesis tracks are similar with required courses like:

  • Advanced Intellectual Development
  • Infancy: Prenatal to Age Three
  • Applied Developmental Science
  • Adolescent Development and the Transition to Adulthood
  • Language Development

You need a bachelor’s degree to apply to this two-year program. You must also submit the following:

  • Transcripts from each college or university you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A supplemental essay that explains how the program’s mission resonates with you
  • A list of faculty members with whom you wish to conduct research

The University of Massachusetts at Boston

Boston is a vibrant and eclectic city. It’s no wonder, then, that the University of Massachusetts at Boston is one of the most diverse in New England. There are students from all over the United States and more than 130 countries around the globe. In all, UMass Boston has more than 16,000 students.

As a public research university, UMass Boston has tremendous research facilities – 50 separate research centers are on campus. On top of that, the university has eight colleges and schools that offer a diverse range of programs. In fact, the university has more than 200 degrees and programs available for undergraduate and graduate students.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Master of Education in School Psychology from UMass Boston prepares you to work with children in an academic setting. Your training also prepares you to work with parents, guardians, and other family members, as well as teachers, administrators, and other school-based personnel.

As is the case with many programs in this field, you will complete an array of coursework. Some of the classes you will take include:

  • Behavioral Counseling
  • Collaborative Consultation in Schools
  • School-Based Interventions and Data-Based Decision Making
  • Emotional and Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
  • Issues and Ethics in School Psychology

This program also has a robust field experience component. There are two practicum experiences during which you will observe experienced school psychologists as they work in an academic setting.

The practicum experiences are followed by two internships, each one semester in length. During the internship, you will be much more involved in working directly with students, though you will do so under the mentorship of a licensed Massachusetts school psychologist.

You must have a bachelor’s degree with at least five psychology courses to apply to this program. You must also have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Additionally, you must provide the following in support of your application:

  • Transcripts from each college and university you’ve attended
  • A statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official scores for the reading and writing components of the Massachusetts Educator Licensure Test (MTEL)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not your native language)

Suffolk University

Suffolk University is a small school in Boston that was founded in 1906. Initially, the school was exclusively for law students, but today, degrees are granted in the fields of law, business, and arts and sciences. The faculty at Suffolk are experts in their fields. Most are full-time professors, 87 percent of whom have a terminal degree.

As a small school – there are fewer than 7,000 students – Suffolk offers the advantage of small class sizes. The school also has a 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio, which is far below what many large universities provide. Class sizes are typically even smaller at the graduate level, so you can expect even fewer students in your graduate courses in psychology.

Child Psychology Program Information

Suffolk University’s Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology focuses on the entirety of the lifespan, not just on child development. You will learn about critical issues that people face at all points in their lives, with a particular emphasis on social justice issues. As such, the curriculum explores topics like:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Migration, Acculturation, and Development
  • Social & Developmental Aspects of Behavior
  • Research Methods and Ethics
  • Cognition and Affect: An Integrated Approach

Research is also a central component of this program. You will take multiple courses in statistics, research methods, and psychological writing. To supplement this coursework, you can participate in research at Suffolk’s Social Development and Social Issues Lab or Early Childhood Risk and Resilience Lab. Other research labs are available to expand your understanding of human development as well.

This 72-credit program takes about five years of full-time study to complete. This includes the time necessary to complete doctoral research and a dissertation. This program also prepares you for psychology licensure in Massachusetts.

You can apply to Suffolk’s graduate school online. To do so, you must first have an undergraduate degree that includes at least five psychology courses. Additionally, you must submit the following materials:

  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement

You may also be invited to a required on-campus interview.

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in Massachusetts

As in other states, Massachusetts offers a wealth of employment opportunities for qualified child psychologists. The jobs available to you depend on your specialty area and your education level, though.

For example, many academic positions in child psychology at four-year universities require that you have real-world field experience and a doctorate. This would be the case at institutions like Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. However, teaching positions at community colleges and other two-year institutions usually require just a master’s degree and represent a good first step in starting your career in academics.

Graduate-degree-level child psychologists can also find employment in psychological research. For example, you might be employed by an educational consulting company that’s conducting research on innovative new interventions for children with behavioral or mental disorders.

Of course, child psychologists in Massachusetts can specialize in a private practice setting. For example, you might work specifically with children on the autism spectrum or children with oppositional defiant disorder. As another example, you might work exclusively with children and families that have experienced some sort of trauma.

On the one hand, it’s unfortunate that so many children require psychological services. But on the other hand, with the appropriate training and education, you will be well-equipped to provide those services to the children of Massachusetts.

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.