Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Minnesota [2024 Guide]

Minnesota’s population has seen modest growth in recent years, with about 400,000 new residents during the last ten year. And while growth hasn’t been rapid, something of interest about Minnesota’s population is that nearly one-fourth of its residents are under the age of 18.

What’s more, nearly six percent of Minnesotans are under the age of five. With so many young people in the state, the need for qualified child psychologists is high. Of course, you must get the appropriate education to become a child psychologist first.

Minnesota has various child psychology-related graduate programs that can prepare you for a long career in this field. Rather than outlining all the possible programs you might consider, we have narrowed the list down to popular options.

Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Minnesota

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

  • University of Minnesota
  • Capella University
  • Minnesota State University Mankato
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • University of St. Thomas

University of Minnesota

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota was established to provide educational opportunities, scholarship, and outreach for students throughout the Badger State. Over the course of its history, the university has fulfilled this mission by developing a network of campuses in all corners of Minnesota. What’s more, the university has established a wide variety of programs to address the academic interests of students.

For example, the University of Minnesota is one of just five colleges that offer veterinary medicine, medicine, law, engineering, and agriculture as on-campus programs. Moreover, the university has state-of-the-art research facilities where you can conduct psychological research and develop a broader understanding of child psychology. You can also help the community – the University of Minnesota places a strong emphasis on volunteerism.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Minnesota is the nation’s top-ranked program, according to U.S. News and World Report. As the best program in the nation, you can expect to learn from top faculty and participate in a rigorous curriculum. You will also receive funding for five full years of study if accepted to the program.

You can choose from one of two tracks: developmental science or developmental psychopathology and clinical science. The former focuses on the process of human development across the lifespan and prepares you for a research-based or academic-based career. The latter combines research and clinical practice that prepares you to conduct psychological research or work as a clinical psychologist.

This program is offered by the Institute of Child Development. There, you will participate in critical coursework and seminars, conduct research, and gain real-world experience in field placements. You will do so within the context of a tight-knit learning community that strives to advance knowledge and understanding of human development.

This program’s application window is in the fall, with applications due by December 1st. When applying, you must include the following:

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

Minnesota State University Mankato

Mankato Normal School was founded in 1868 with only 27 students. From these humble beginnings grew Minnesota State University Mankato, a public four-year university with more than 14,000 students. As part of the student body, you can study alongside a large contingent of minority and international students that enhance your understanding of the world in which we live. What’s more, the school is about 1.5 hours from the Twin Cities and all the cultural experiences it offers.

MSU Mankato has a beautiful 300-acre campus that looks over the Minnesota River Valley. The location offers easy access to many different recreational opportunities you can enjoy outside of class. While in class, you can learn from faculty with extensive expertise that helps you develop the skills and knowledge required to become a competent child psychologist.

Child Psychology Program Information

The School Psychology Doctoral program at Minnesota State University Mankato is a five-year, full-time residential program that follows a cohort format. That is, you will begin the program with a small group of students, progress through the program together, and graduate together.

The cohort model is often used in psychology programs to help facilitate collegiality between students. Once you graduate, you will have a ready-made network of peers you can rely on as you begin practicing school psychology.

During your time in the program, you will take a variety of courses, including:

  • Standards and Ethics
  • Child Psychopathology
  • Special Education Law
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Adolescent Psychology

This program also includes coursework in Academic Problem Solving, Child Mental Health, and Behavioral Interventions. You can hone your skills as a school psychologist in various practicum experiences and an 8-credit internship. A doctoral dissertation is also required to graduate.

You can apply to MSU Mankato as a graduate student. You must provide the following when you apply:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • A writing sample
  • Contact information for three references

Minnesota State University Moorhead

With fewer than 6,000 students, Minnesota State University Moorhead is one of the smallest schools on this list. As a result of the small student body, you can enjoy small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 18:1 during your undergraduate studies. Your graduate program will have even fewer students, as the bulk of programs at the school are for undergraduates.

For example, MSU Moorhead offers 76 undergraduate majors and 55 different undergraduate options and emphases. By contrast, the school has just 14 graduate programs, one of which is the School Psychology Master of Science, discussed below. And with more than 300 scholarships available from the school, MSU Moorhead might be an affordable choice for getting your education, too!

Child Psychology Program Information

The Master of Science and Specialist in School Psychology from MSU Moorhead is a dual degree program. After completing the first 33 credits, you will earn a Master of Science degree. You will then complete another 35 credits to earn a terminal Specialist degree in School Psychology.

This program, which is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, takes about three years to complete. During that time, you will participate in rigorous coursework, three practicum experiences, and one year-long internship.

The coursework you will complete includes the following:

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Methods for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Neuroscience
  • Children’s Thinking and Learning
  • Issues in the Practice of School Psychology

Additionally, you must complete a specialist portfolio in school psychology that demonstrates your mastery of crucial skills in this field.

To start, you will need to submit an online graduate application. You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to qualify. Your degree need not be in psychology, but you must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. In addition, you must submit the following:

  • A resume
  • A letter of intent
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A completed background check

University of St. Thomas

Unlike the other schools on this list, the University of St. Thomas is private. But it isn’t just any private school – it’s the largest private college in the state and one of the largest private Catholic colleges in the nation. The university has eight schools and colleges and more than 9,000 students, all of whom get an education that’s intertwined with faith and reason.

At St. Thomas, you will learn from faculty – not teaching assistants. You can draw on the expertise of seasoned professors who have real-world experience in your study area. Speaking of real-world experience, you can study abroad to expand your horizons and learn from others in another part of the world.

Nearly half of St. Thomas’ students take advantage of this option to get an education abroad in more than 50 countries.

Child Psychology Program Information

St. Thomas’ Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology prepares you for working with children in a variety of contexts. As a counseling psychologist, you can specialize in providing psychological services to children, adolescents, or both.

St. Thomas also gives you the option of specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. Doing so requires you to enroll concurrently in the Counseling Psychology and Family Psychology Concentrations, and you must complete an additional 18 credits on top of the 48 credits needed for the master’s degree.

This program also provides multiple tracks for earning additional degrees or obtaining licenses. For example, you can prepare to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), complete your master’s and gain direct admission to a PsyD program, or go the Family Psychology route noted earlier.

Whatever option you choose, you will be well-equipped to provide services to children after completing courses in:

  • Theories of Counseling and Personality
  • Psychopathology
  • Physiological Bases of Behavior
  • Learning and Behaviors Change in Counseling Psychology
  • Ethics and Professional Issues

To enroll, you must first apply to the university. Admissions requirements are as follows:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Submit official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Provide two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Provide a statement of purpose

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in Minnesota

The work opportunities available to you as a child psychologist in Minnesota depend in large part on your education and training. Generally speaking, with a license to practice, you can specialize in whatever aspect of child psychology you like.

On the one hand, you could go into private practice and work exclusively with children who have oppositional defiant disorder. In this context, you would provide interventions for the child, consult with the child’s family, and might even consult with the child’s teachers and other educational providers.

On the other hand, you might use your education and training to go into the field of child psychology research. You might explore how child psychological disorders develop, work with researchers on developing a new ADHD medication, or devise educational materials for parents whose child has a mental disorder.

Many people who specialize in child psychology also work in public and private school systems. School psychology is a very popular field of graduate study, though educational psychology is another option. In any case, as an employee of a school, your job would focus on various aspects of supporting a child’s academic, social, and emotional growth.

The specific work opportunities might vary from one location in Minnesota to the next. However, no matter the specific job title or setting, the expertise you gain in one of these child psychology-related programs can help you have a significant positive effect on the lives of children and their families.

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.