Best Clinical Psychology Programs in Texas [2023]

Study Clinical Psychology in Texas

Clinical psychology is a highly rewarding career that allows you to help people through difficult times. Whether you work with children with autism, adults with personality disorders, couples struggling with conflict, or something in between, you can make a positive difference in your clients’ lives.

Of course, you must get the proper clinical psychologist training first!

Many clinical psychology doctoral programs across the United States are well-regarded for their curricula, faculty, and clinical internship opportunities. This includes many different programs in the Lone Star State.

If you have set your sights on getting a degree in clinical psychology and want to do so in Texas, consult this list of five top-notch programs.

Listed below are the top 5 clinical psychology programs in Texas based on the U.S. News (Best Graduate Clinical Psychology Programs) rankings.

Top Clinical Psychology Programs in Texas

University of Texas – Austin

School Information

When people think of colleges in Texas, many probably think first of the University of Texas (UT) – Austin. Deservedly so, too! UT – Austin is the flagship institution in the University of Texas system and is one of the largest colleges in the country, with nearly 52,000 students.

As a student at UT – Austin, you have a wealth of academic programs at your disposal. There are more than 150 undergraduate majors, nearly that many graduate programs, and almost 100 doctoral programs as well. These academic pursuits are organized into 18 colleges and schools. This includes UT – Austin’s highly-regarded doctoral program in clinical psychology offered by the College of Liberal Arts.

Clinical Psychology Program Information

The clinical psychology doctoral program at UT – Austin serves several purposes for you as a student. This is an excellent program if you want to use your education to advance research. Likewise, many graduates go into education and serve as psychology professors at the collegiate level. If clinical work is your passion, this degree prepares you for that line of work as well.

The ability to provide varying career paths is due in part to the program’s emphasis on the scientific underpinnings of psychology. Whether you are on a research or clinical track, you will learn about empirical research and clinical techniques alike. What’s more, you can focus your studies on a number of clinical psychology specialties, including:

  • Addictions
  • Neuropsychology
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Behavioral genetics
  • Cognitive psychology

You will participate in a spectrum of training opportunities and research experiences to enhance your understanding of basic and specialized psychological principles. This includes lab-based research, clinical psychology internship placements, training in assessments and diagnoses, and the like.

This program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. As such, it’s held to high standards of rigor. Likewise, the program is designed to prepare you for competent work in psychology, whether you envision a career in research, clinical practice, or both.

Admission to the program is based on numerous factors, including letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and upper-division coursework. Likewise, you must submit a personal statement to the admissions committee.

University of Houston (UH)

School Information

The University of Houston is a public research university with campuses in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, and Technology Bridge. All told, UH has over 47,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Even with such a large student body, UH is still only the third largest institution of higher learning in the state, with Texas A&M and UT – Austin being the two larger schools.

The University of Houston is known as a hub of research and innovation. You can pursue cutting-edge studies in many different fields – more than 275 programs are offered between the four in-person campuses and UH’s online platform. Of those, more than 100 are graduate programs, including the clinical psychology program discussed below.

Clinical Psychology Program Information

One of the unique features of UH’s clinical psychology doctoral program is that you can specialize in one of three areas: clinical psychology, clinical child psychology, or clinical neuropsychology. Whichever track you choose, you should expect to spend five to five and a half years in the program.

Throughout your time at UH, you will have many opportunities to advance your understanding of psychology in collegial settings. This includes:

  • Scientific lab work
  • Detailed psychological research with faculty
  • Clinical practice placements
  • Traditional classroom studies and seminars

As you progress through these and other learning experiences, you will learn about various research, clinical, and theoretical approaches. This multi-modal approach ensures that you have a well-stocked toolkit on which to rely when you begin your clinical psychology career. This includes gaining proficiency in crucial areas of clinical psychology, such as psychometrics, psychological interventions, and psychological assessment.

This program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. As such, it’s held to high standards of rigor. Likewise, the program is designed to prepare you for competent work in psychology whether you envision a career in research, clinical practice, or both.

You must complete the following steps to apply to this program:

  • Fill out an online graduate school application
  • Submit official transcripts from each college you’ve attended
  • Submit relevant test scores
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae or resume, and a 2-3 page career statement

Texas A&M University – College Station

School Information

Texas A&M University was founded in 1876 in Brazos County, Texas. Over the years, A&M garnered a reputation for academic excellence that caused rapid growth of its campus and student body.

Today, A&M is one of the largest universities in the United States, with an enrollment of almost 70,000 students. It’s also a Tier 1 research university – just one of three such institutions in the state of Texas (UT – Austin and Rice University are the others).

Texas A&M’s size enables it to offer unique experiences for students. The campus, which covers about 5,200 acres, is home to hundreds of student organizations, clubs, and sports teams.

Likewise, the university offers an incredible variety of academic programs. This includes more than 130 undergraduate majors, nearly 200 master’s degree programs, and around 100 doctoral degrees. The school’s commitment to rigorous research also means that your studies in clinical psychology will be challenging and informative for your career.

Clinical Psychology Program Information

The clinical psychology PhD program at Texas A&M University offers a comprehensive education that adheres to the two prevailing methods of clinical psychology teaching: the scientist-practitioner model and the clinical-scientist model.

Unlike some programs that focus on one of these models, the Texas A&M program blends the two together. As a result, you will graduate from this program with the skills needed to pursue a career in academics, research, or clinical practice.

Over the course of your five years in the program, you will complete academic tasks that range widely. The program’s first two years are primarily spent completing the required coursework, including psychological science, research methods, and statistics. Moreover, you will take core clinical courses that develop your skills related to psychological assessment, psychopathology, and psychosocial interventions.

Likewise, the first two years are spent in research supervised by a faculty member. You will complete research requirements and conduct independent research for your master’s thesis during this time before moving into doctoral work in years three through five. The final year of the program is dedicated to a doctoral-level clinical internship.

Texas A&M offers many financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of your studies and fund your research. Doctoral candidates can utilize scholarships, fellowships, and campus employment to help pay for academic expenses. Student loans are also available.

You can apply to this program by completing the following steps:

  • Submit a completed Texas A&M graduate studies application
  • Submit relevant test scores and official transcripts from any colleges you’ve previously attended
  • Submit a statement of purpose, a resume or curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation

University of North Texas (UNT)

School Information

Located in Denton, just north of Dallas-Fort Worth, the University of North Texas was founded in 1890 as a teacher’s college. Today, UNT is a major public research university with more than 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees from one of ten colleges. The student body size ranks among the top 40 in the nation, yet UNT is just the fifth-largest school in Texas!

UNT’s mission is to develop innovative leaders of tomorrow amidst a caring and creative academic community. As a clinical psychology doctoral student, you will be challenged to conduct rigorous research, develop essential clinical skills, and draw upon the expertise of the clinical psychology faculty to become a well-rounded doctoral candidate.

Clinical Psychology Program Information

UNT’s clinical psychology PhD program boasts a unique curriculum that blends instruction in clinical research and scientific practice. What’s more, the curriculum is sequential and grows in complexity with each year in the program. Most students need five years to complete the program, though additional time might be awarded, as needed.

The first year of the program focuses on foundational coursework to build your competency of essential aspects in clinical psychology. Year two builds on that foundational work with advanced studies in topics like psychopathology, psychological assessment, and professional ethics. Likewise, year two includes a practicum experience that focuses on clinical practice.

This program’s third and fourth years again become more advanced and complex. Year three includes more educational and training opportunities, including a psychotherapy practicum during which you will work with a supervisor to hone your therapeutic skills.

Your fourth year of studies revolves around an external practicum experience, studying for and passing the qualifying examination, and working on a dissertation.

The fifth year (and subsequent years, if needed) you can continue advanced training or begin the pre-doctoral internship. This internship is a full 12-month residential training experience during which you’re expected to demonstrate advanced clinical psychology skills in both scientific and clinical settings.

Applications to this program must be submitted by December 1 of the academic year prior to your desired enrollment. In addition to the application, you must submit official transcripts from each college you’ve attended and letters of recommendation.

Baylor University

School Information

Baylor is a private Christian university located in Waco, a mid-sized city in central Texas. The rolling plains, the abundance of trees, and plentiful recreational opportunities make this both a beautiful and an exciting place to live.

Baylor’s campus – which is nestled on 1,000 acres along the Brazos River – certainly makes it an attractive school. With state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and learning, you can enjoy a top-tier education with your classmates and instructors.

Baylor was founded in 1845, making it the longest continually-running university in the state. Today, the university boasts nearly 21,000 students, most of whom hail from Texas, though a large number of out-of-state and international students make their way to Baylor’s campus for their college education.

Baylor offers hundreds of degrees and programs for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in its 11 schools and colleges. This includes the well-respected clinical psychology Ph.D. program discussed below.

Clinical Psychology Program Information

The PsyD program at Baylor was developed with a practitioner-scientist model in mind. This is different from the more common scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes the science of psychology over the practice of psychology. However, at Baylor, you will learn how to be an effective practitioner of psychology with a strong foundation of psychological science to inform your work.

This five-year program focuses on your development as a competent clinician. The program’s first four years are dedicated to coursework, seminars, and research. The fifth year of the program is a three-term clinical internship. Coursework includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Psychological Assessment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social-Organizational Psychology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Psychological Treatment of Children and Adolescents

To help guide you through your studies, you will work with clinical psychology professors that are themselves psychology practitioners. Each faculty member has thorough experience in clinical, academic, and other professional psychology applications. Likewise, the clinical psychology faculty actively engage in scholarship and research.

Applying to this program is a straightforward process:

  • Submit an online application to Baylor’s graduate school
  • Submit unofficial transcripts from each university from which you have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Submit three letters of reference

Requirements to Become a Clinical Psychologist in Texas

Clinical psychology licensure in Texas is overseen by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. The board issues three types of psychology licenses, including Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Psychological Associate, and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology.

As a graduate of one of the clinical psychology programs, you should meet the basic requirements to apply for licensure as a Licensed Psychologist in Texas. To do so, you must:

  • Have a doctorate in psychology (which includes at least 1,750 hours of supervised clinical practice)
  • Complete at least 1,750 hours of post-doctoral supervised clinical practice
  • Achieve a passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology
  • Pass the Jurisprudence Examination

Applicants that have practiced psychology in another state for at least five years may qualify for a supervised hours waiver. Moreover, if you hold a current Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology, you meet all requirements for licensure apart from having to take the Jurisprudence Examination.

Applicants with an active specialist certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology need only to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and the Jurisprudence Examination.

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