Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Programs in South Carolina [2024 Guide]

As a prospective child psychology graduate student, one of the first things you need to decide is the type of child psychology you want to study. This might be easier said than done because there are so many applications of child psychology, including school psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology specializations working with children.

The next part of your journey includes finding the right program to meet your academic and career goals. If you are in South Carolina, you’re in luck! The state has dozens of public and private institutions, many of which have child psychology-related master’s, doctoral, and specialist programs.

This list includes some of the popular program options. Each one described below prepares you for working specifically with children and adolescents.

Child Psychology Graduate Programs in South Carolina

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

  • University of South Carolina
  • Capella University
  • The Citadel
  • University of South Carolina – Aiken
  • Winthrop University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 in Columbia, the state’s capital. Ever since, the university has led the way in academics and research for the state’s college-aged students. The vast majority of USC’s students are undergraduates. However, of the more than 35,000 students in the University of South Carolina System, about 7,000 are in a graduate program.

USC is a top research institution. In fact, the school has a Carnegie Foundation R1 designation, which means a very high level of research occurs at the school. The R1 distinction is the highest available from the Carnegie Foundation.

In addition to opportunities to conduct research, USC offers a wide selection of degree programs in its 15 schools and colleges. What’s more, there are hundreds of student clubs and organizations you can join to round out your college experience.

Child Psychology Program Information

The School Psychology Ph.D. program from the University of South Carolina is one of just four such programs offered at a Carnegie R1-level school. Since this program is based on the scientist-practitioner model, having ample opportunities to conduct research is extremely important.

This residential program requires about five years of full-time studies on campus in Columbia. During your time in the program, you will complete a curriculum that includes core coursework, a dissertation, and multiple field experiences. The coursework includes the following:

  • Systems and Theories of Psychological Intervention
  • Psychoeducational Assessment of Children
  • Behavioral Assessment and Intervention with Children and Youth
  • Seminar in Professional School Psychology
  • Consultation and Systems Interventions

The dissertation component includes 12 credits of dissertation research plus a defense. Likewise, you will participate in four semesters of school psychology practice and two semesters of internship. These experiences help you develop the necessary scientist-practitioner skills for competent practice as a school psychologist.

When applying, you must submit the following information:

  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Undergraduate GPA and graduate GPA, if applicable
  • Examples of previous research
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • An explanation of prior experience working in applied settings

The Citadel

The Citadel was founded in 1842 in Charleston, South Carolina, as the South Carolina Military Academy. The school got its current name in the early 1900s, and has grown into a large co-educational military college in the years since. The school provides a challenging academic environment in which you can learn critical skills for your future occupation as well as essential leadership skills to be a change-maker in your field.

The Citadel is a small school with around 3,000 students. Approximately one-third of the study body is enrolled in a graduate program. The school has numerous accolades for its academic programs, including from U.S. News and World Report as a top regional institution. Upon graduation, many students accept military officer commissions, though this is not a requirement.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Citadel’s Ed.S. in School Psychology is a specialist program that specifically focuses on training you to be a problem-solver for students. You will learn how to use evidence-based and data-based approaches to inform your practice and guide the programs and services you offer to students.

Typically, graduates of this program work in school settings, though this is not a requirement. In some cases, graduates use their scientist-practitioner skills to work in hospitals, community agencies, and private practice.

No matter your location of employment, you will have that ability to enhance kids’ abilities to succeed in school, help their parents support their academic journey, and devise interventions that assist classroom teachers in providing a developmentally appropriate education to their students.

During your time in this 72-credit program, you will take many different courses, including:

  • Basic Counseling Techniques
  • Psychological & Educational Exceptionalities
  • Advanced Counseling Techniques for School Psychologists
  • Personality, Social, & Emotional Assessment
  • Cultural Issues in Psychological Practice

There is also a 1,200-hour internship during the final two semesters of the program that places you in a school psychology setting where you can work with children under the supervision of an experienced school psychologist.

Complete the online graduate application to get the process started. When applying, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including those showing the completion of a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A completed admissions questionnaire

University of South Carolina – Aiken

The University of South Carolina – Aiken was founded in 1961 with three full-time faculty members and 139 students. Though USC-Aiken has grown substantially since then, it’s still a small school with fewer than 4,000 students, the vast majority of whom are undergraduates. In fact, there are only about 150 postgraduate students at USC-Aiken.

Despite being a small school, USC-Aiken offers dozens of academic majors and programs, as well as dozens of student life organizations. The school is consistently recognized for its academic quality, too. USC-Aiken ranks third among regional comprehensive public colleges in the south, according to U.S. News and World Report. It’s also one of the top military-friendly institutions in the nation, according to Military Times.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Master of Science in Applied Clinical Psychology from USC-Aiken is a generalist degree that prepares you for providing mental health care for clients of all ages, including children. You will take part in a curriculum that includes classes in applied clinical psychology as well as counseling. Additionally, you will take courses in the following:

  • Psychopathology
  • Advanced Topics in Applied Psychology
  • Learning, Cognition, and Behavior
  • Psychotherapy in a Multicultural and Diverse Society
  • Career and Lifestyle Development

Further requirements include a two-semester practicum and an internship that gives you 700 clock hours of real-world experience. A research-based thesis is also required to graduate. In all, you will complete 60 credits of graduate coursework.

This is a highly competitive program with many more applicants than spots. To increase the likelihood of being accepted, you should exceed the following requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least 15 credits of psychology coursework
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A 3.0 GPA or higher for all undergraduate work

Select applicants will be invited to participate in an interview with a member of the admissions committee.

Winthrop University

Winthrop University is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on a beautiful 425-acre suburban campus. The school was founded in 1886 and has since grown into a comprehensive public university with undergraduate and graduate programs among its offerings.

Many students study on campus in Rock Hill, though the school also offers a large selection of online courses and degree programs that allow students to learn from anywhere in the world.

Today, Winthrop has just over 5,000 students, of which about 1,200 are graduate students. The school offers 46 undergraduate majors and 23 graduate programs and certificates. You can join one of more than 100 student organizations on campus and enjoy classes that average just 18 students. Winthrop also has a very low student-to-teacher ratio of just 12:1.

Child Psychology Program Information

WInthrop’s School Psychology program is unique in that it’s a combined master’s and specialist degree. After completing two years of full-time studies, you will receive a Master of Science degree. This is just an interim degree, though. You must complete a third year of full-time training to receive the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree.

This campus-based program requires 72 credits to graduate. Among them are classes in the following areas:

  • Behavior Analysis and Change
  • Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology
  • Advanced Studies in Human Development
  • Advanced Therapeutic Psychology: Techniques for Mental Health Services in the Schools
  • Therapeutic Psychology: Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy

A 12-credit internship that takes place over four individual courses is also required to graduate. After graduation, you will have the skills and knowledge to work in a variety of settings, including public and private elementary, middle, and high schools.

Admission to this program is extremely competitive. To get started, fill out an online application and submit the following:

  • A professional resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A personal statement
  • A supplemental questionnaire

You must also participate in a personal interview.

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in South Carolina

In South Carolina, One of the most popular work opportunities for child psychologist is working as a school psychologist. As mentioned earlier, most school psychologists work in school settings in both public and private schools. However, some work as school psychologists in other settings.

For example, some South Carolina school psychologists work for local and state education agencies and help educators devise developmentally-appropriate, inclusive, and multicultural school programs. As another example, some school psychologists work in private practice with children and their parents on a myriad of academic, social, and behavioral issues.

You can also pursue employment in community mental health. For example, with a degree in child psychology and the appropriate licensure, you could specialize your work with a specific group of children, such as adolescents, or those with a specific mental health disorder, like ADHD.

In some cases, people with a background in child psychology work in the medical field. Hospitals, for example, often employ mental health professionals to provide services to children with severe illnesses in the hospital setting.

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.