Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Colorado [2024 Guide]

One of the best features of Colorado is its recreational opportunities. Colorado has what you are looking for, whether you enjoy watersports, downhill skiing, rock climbing, or something in between.

But Colorado is much more than high mountain peaks, alpine forests, and foothills. It’s a rapidly growing and diverse state with burgeoning metropolitan areas along the Front Range. In large cities like Denver, small towns like Crested Butte, and points in between, the influx of new residents means more jobs are available to provide services to the increasing number of Coloradoans. This is true of just about every job sector, including psychology.

As a prospective child psychologist in Colorado, you can explore many different employment opportunities across the state. But before you begin your job search, you need to get the necessary schooling by enrolling in a child psychology program. The programs listed below are ideal for preparing for a career in child psychology.

best child psychology programs in Colorado

Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Colorado

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

  • University of Denver
  • University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Capella University
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Denver Seminary
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Grand Canyon University

University of Denver

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. With a Child Psychology Emphasis

The University of Denver’s Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology is a traditional five-year, 120-credit residential program that provides the training necessary to become a licensed clinical psychologist. The program is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The program is built on the clinical science model. This means you’ll participate in colloquia

and other classroom learning while also exploring the scientific underpinnings of psychology. Research can be done in various areas, including health and stress, psychological interventions, and psychopathology.

Some of the courses you might take include the following:

  • Research Design and Inference
  • Programming Psychology: Model-Fitting and Analysis
  • Affective Neuroscience
  • Systems of Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology

This program is structured such that you earn a master of arts degree on your way to completing the Ph.D. The master’s component is 45 credits of coursework, independent research, and independent study components, such as a master’s thesis and defense. In addition to Ph.D. coursework, you must complete a dissertation, oral defense, and clinical training.

The application requirements for this program require you to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. You must submit the following with your application:

  • Transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A 2-3 page personal statement
  • A diversity statement
  • A resume

University of Colorado-Boulder

Psychology and Neuroscience Clinical Psychology Ph.D.

The Psychology and Neuroscience Clinical Psychology program at CU Boulder is a full-time residential Ph.D. program. This is a terminal degree program – a master’s degree is not offered. The program has been accredited by the APA since 1949 and regularly earns accolades as one of the top clinical psychology programs in the country.

This program is based on the clinical science model. As such, you will complete rigorous and advanced coursework, conduct research, and participate in clinical training. The program also uses the mentor model, so you will be paired with a faculty member to conduct psychological research throughout your tenure in the program.

The clinical component of this Ph.D. program exposes you to various psychological approaches for working with clients of all ages, including children and adolescents. You will be trained in couples and family approaches, acceptance-based treatments, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and more.

Moreover, you will receive training in the following areas:

  • Psychological assessments
  • Psychological interventions
  • Multicultural psychology
  • Psychology ethics
  • Psychological statistics

Other components of this program include a comprehensive examination that tests your understanding of clinical psychology topics, a Ph.D. dissertation, and a clinical internship. The internship must occur at an APA-approved site. If not, special permission must be granted by the department after reviewing the internship’s quality of training and supervision.

The application deadline is mid-November for admittance during the following fall term. When applying, you must submit the following:

  • Transcripts from each college and university you have attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • A personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

Relevant research and practical experience in clinical psychology is highly recommended. Applicants that make it to the final rounds of consideration must participate in a Zoom interview.

University of Northern Colorado

Educational Specialist in School Psychology

The University of Northern Colorado’s Ed.S. program in School Psychology is a three-year, 71-credit on-campus degree that prepares you for school psychologist licensure in Colorodo and to work with children specifically in school settings. The program is accredited by the APA and is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

A unique feature of this program is that it’s in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. As such, your school psychology training occurs alongside training in educational psychology, counseling psychology, counselor education, and many other related fields. This broad-based training ensures you exit the program with a large toolkit of skills upon which you can rely to provide students with the best services.

As a student in this program, you will take courses like:

  • Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • School-Based Psychological Consultation
  • Advanced Psychopathology
  • Social and Behavioral Assessment in the Schools
  • Legal and Professional Foundations of School Psychology

You will also get training in the evaluation of psychological services in the school setting.

The University of Northern Colorado is the primary education training center for teachers and related educational personnel. As such, this program has more stringent admissions requirements than other programs in the state. To apply, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution and have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits of undergraduate work.

You must also submit the following:

  • Transcripts from every college or university you have attended
  • Official GRE Scores
  • A written statement
  • A curriculum vitae

Finalists for admission will be asked to participate in an onsite interview as well.

Denver Seminary

Master of Arts in School Counseling

Yet another option for getting relevant training in child psychology is the MA in School Counseling from the Denver Seminary. This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and it leads to licensure as a school counselor in the state of Colorado.

This program has a clinical focus that seeks to train you in the latest mental health counseling techniques. Specifically, Denver Seminary relies on the School of Counseling Mental Health Initiative to inform the development of this program’s curriculum. The initiative relies on school-based research to identify and address new trends in school-based counseling programs.

While in this 64-credit program, you will take courses like:

  • Counseling Theories
  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • Research and Evaluation in Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Assessment and Measurement in Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Groups in Counseling

In addition to counseling coursework, you must also pass a comprehensive exam and participate in a school counseling internship. Since a seminary offers this program, religious courses are part of the curriculum as well.

To apply, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 2.5 GPA or above. You must submit the following with your application:

  • Transcripts from every college or university you have attended
  • A biographical questionnaire
  • Three references

Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Child Psychology and Development

Southern New Hampshire’s MS in Child Psychology and Development is a good option if you need or want to get your degree online. Though this is not a licensure track program, the knowledge and skills you gain can be used to enhance your performance as an already-licensed psychologist or educator.

This 36-credit program can be completed in about 1.5 years of full-time study. You can transfer up to 12 credits to help reduce the time you need to complete the degree. While you are in the program, you will study topics like:

  • Psychological treatment strategies
  • Cultural considerations in psychology
  • Psychology research methods
  • Developmental psychology
  • Psychological assessment

A capstone project is also required as part of the program’s curriculum. The capstone serves as a summative assessment that enables you to integrate your learning and apply it to a science-based, experimental problem that applies to child psychology and development.

You can apply to this program online at any time. To do so, you must submit undergraduate transcripts showing the completion of an undergraduate degree in psychology. You might also be admitted if you have an undergraduate degree in another field but have coursework in Introduction to Psychology, Social Science Statistics, and Research Methods in Social Science.

top child psychology degrees in Colorado

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in Colorado

As noted earlier, the Front Range area of Colorado has exploded in growth over the last couple of decades. With this influx of people has come the need for child psychology services to address the needs of Colorado’s growing population of children and adolescents.

With a growing number of children in the state, a popular career track for child psychologists is to pursue school psychology. As a school psychologist in Colorado, you will have many different responsibilities that include providing individual and group counseling for students, designing and implementing school-wide counseling programs, and collaborating with teachers and administrators to develop classroom-based learning activities that support the social, emotional, and academic growth of all students.

If working in a school setting doesn’t appeal to you, you might consider working for a state agency, like the Colorado Department of Human Services. In this context, you might provide parenting training and other resources that support the growth and development of children in the family. For example, you might teach new parents effective strategies for communicating with their children. As another example, you might provide needy families with resources to find healthy food or safe shelter.

Private practice in Colorado is an option for you as well, once you become a licensed child psychologist. In private practice, you can choose your specialization and the types of clients you work with. For example, you might specialize in providing family therapy for blended families or families with a child that has a diagnosed mental health condition. The advantage of working in private practice is that you’re your own boss and can decide what hours you work and which clients you accept.

Regardless of the setting in which you work, your job as a child psychologist can be extremely rewarding. With the skills you gain in your graduate program, you will be equipped to make a positive and long-lasting impact on families, and in particular, children and adolescents that need direction.

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