Best Psychology Graduate Programs and Schools in New York [2024]

A bachelor’s degree in psychology allows you to work in many different fields, from corrections to marketing to computer science. However, some career pursuits require a master’s degree or higher in psychology. A graduate degree is an excellent option to expand the job opportunities before you.

As a student in New York, there are a wealth of graduate programs in psychology from which to choose. You can study in New York City, a smaller city like Albany, or a rural area like upstate New York. Likewise, you can get your graduate psychology degree online or in person, from a public or private school.

Best Psychology Graduate Programs in New York

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering psychology graduate programs in New York:

  • City College of New York
  • Capella University
  • Monroe College
  • Columbia University
  • Pace University
  • Stony Brook University
  • NYU Steinhardt

To find out how we select colleges and universities, please click here.

City College of New York (CCNY)

Founded more than 175 years ago, the City College of New York has a long history of academic excellence. The school was originally founded as the Free Academy by Townsend Harris. However, over the years, the school evolved into what it is today – a large, comprehensive public institution with programs available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

In fact, CCNY offers more than 70 bachelor’s degrees and nearly 50 master’s degree programs. Ph.D. programs are also available in a variety of disciplines, including engineering, biology, psychology, and physics, to name a few.

All told, CCNY is home to nearly two dozen research institutes where you can participate in psychological studies as part of your master’s degree program.

Psychology Graduate Programs

CCNY’s graduate degree in psychology provides you with broad-based training in general psychology that you can use in various career pursuits. Though many graduates of this program go on to get a doctorate, your graduate-level education can also be used to enhance your current job or help you find a new one.

This program offers two tracks: a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The thesis track requires 31 credits to graduate. These credits are divided among coursework and research required for the thesis.

Alternatively, the non-thesis track is 40 credits of intensive coursework that takes an additional semester to complete. Either way, you must take courses in Advanced Experimental Psychology and Statistical Methods in Psychology to graduate.

Classes are typically 15-25 students and occur in a seminar format. This small class environment fosters strong learning communities and enables your professor to give you and your classmates the individual attention you need to succeed.

You must complete an online application and submit the associated application fee to apply. Likewise, you must submit the following with your application:

  • Transcripts from each college or university you have attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement

Monroe College

Monroe College is headquartered in the Bronx, but it has other physical locations and an online campus that allows you to get your education in person, online, or a combination of both. The school is small – around 8,000 students – which means class sizes are also small. The student-to-faculty ratio reflects this – it’s just 18:1.

You can pursue nearly 40 different areas of study at Monroe College. And since the college operates on a trimester schedule, you can attend school year-round and finish your degree faster. Where a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete, it requires just three years at Monroe.

Psychology Graduate Programs

There is just one master’s program in psychology at Monroe College – an MS in Forensic Psychology. However, the program is offered in person, online, and in a hybrid format, so you can learn in a way that fits your learning style and needs.

As a 42-credit program, this master’s degree is longer than most. However, you will gain a deep level of understanding of psychology and its applications in the criminal justice system. For example, you will take a course entitled Forensic Mental Health in the Courts. You will also learn about the psychopathology of serial offenders.

Additional courses explore topics such as:

  • Ethics
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology Theory
  • Forensic Psychology

A further requirement for graduation is that you complete a capstone seminar. The capstone experience is a way for you to integrate your learning and explore how to use your skills in a real-world situation. Think of it as a practice run of working as a forensic psychologist before you enter the workforce.

You can apply to this program by fulfilling the following requirements:

  • Submit an online application and the $50 application fee
  • Submit a 500-word essay
  • Provide transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • Provide a current resume
  • Submit two letters of recommendation

Monroe College also requires you to sit for an interview with the dean of the graduate school. This interview can be done in person, via phone, or online.

Columbia University

Columbia is one of the finest colleges in New York and the entire nation. According to US News & World Report, it ranks among the top 20 national universities. The school also boasts a variety of programs that also rank in the top 20 in the country. Because Columbia is so well regarded academically, admission is highly competitive. In fact, just four percent of applicants gain admission to the university.

As a student at Columbia, you will join a rich heritage of academics. The school was founded in 1754 as King’s College, with Columbia College, its oldest undergraduate college, founded the same year.

Columbia College is just one of 20 schools and colleges on campus, though. With so many areas of inquiry and accolades from national publications, it’s no wonder Columbia is part of the prestigious Ivy League.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The Department of Psychology at Columbia offers a graduate program that trains you for research and teaching. As such, this is not a clinical program, and graduates are not qualified to provide psychological counseling services.

Instead, your time in the program will focus on areas of scholarship, including perception, behavioral neuroscience, cognition, and social-personality psychology, to name a few. In amongst your studies in these and other areas, you will work closely with psychology faculty to conduct research in an area of interest to you.

Unlike many degrees that reserve research for the latter years of the program, this one allows you to start original research during your first year. This allows you to conduct research throughout the program and develop a robust level of experience in the field.

Moreover, this program prepares you for high achievement in the field of psychology by broadening your understanding of the science of psychology, including its theories, methodologies, and applications in everyday life.

In addition to research, you will complete regular coursework, participate in research seminars, and attend colloquia. You will do so with a small number of other graduate residents as well as a dedicated and experienced faculty.

To apply, you must submit a completed application and a $120.00 application fee. Additionally, you must submit the following:

  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of academic purpose
  • GRE scores

Pace University

Pace University is a private college headquartered in New York City. The school was founded in 1906 as the Pace Institute, which focused solely on business preparatory courses. However, as the school grew, additional areas of study were added. Today, the school offers more than 100 majors distributed among six colleges and schools.

With nearly 14,000 students, Pace University is a mid-sized school that has a large graduate student population of more than 5,300. The school is highly diverse, with students from 49 states and 120 countries.

Moreover, Pace has large minority populations, including Hispanic, Black, Asian, and multiracial students. Roughly 18 percent of enrollees are international students as well.

Psychology Graduate Programs

You can pursue one of two psychology master’s programs at Pace University: a Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology or a Master of Science in Education (MSED) with an emphasis in School Psychology.

The MA program is available for part-time or full-time study. You can choose from three different emphases, including:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
  • Global Psychology Research
  • Industrial Organizational Psychology Research

Each specialization requires taking slightly different courses. However, common coursework for all three specializations includes:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Research and Design Statistics
  • Neuropsychology
  • Multicultural and Gender Issues in Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology

This 36-credit program takes about two years of full-time study to complete or about three years of part-time study. Once you complete the program, you can pursue master’s-level work in a field like psychological research, or you can continue your education in a doctoral program.

The school psychology option is a three-year, full-time program requiring 69 credits to graduate. With an emphasis on school psychology, you will take courses like Advanced Developmental Psychology, Tests and Measurements, and Psychopathology in Childhood and Adolescence.

In addition to coursework, you must complete the required practicum and internship experiences, a mandatory requirement if you are planning to become a school psychologist in New York. The practicum component is split between four different experiences during the first four semesters of the program. Meanwhile, the internship occurs during the program’s final two semesters. You must accumulate 1,200 hours of supervised fieldwork.

You can apply to either of these programs by submitting an online application. Along with your application, you must submit the following:

  • A $70 application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System. It’s a large school with nearly 26,000 students, of which there are more than 17,500 graduate students. Stony Brook was founded in 1957, but despite its relatively short life, it has grown to be one of two flagship institutions in the SUNY system.

Stony Brook has much to offer you as a student. Its location just six miles east of New York City means you have easy access to all the amenities of the big city. The beaches of Long Island are even closer!

What’s more, the school offers a wide range of academic programs in 12 different colleges and schools. With more than 60 majors and 80 minors to choose from, you can pursue a degree that precisely fits your interests.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Stony Brook offers a unique Master of Arts in Psychology that requires just one year to complete. You will begin your studies during the summer session, then continue through the program in the fall, spring, and subsequent summer for four semesters of study.

During your time in the program, you will take a wide variety of psychology courses. This includes:

  • Graduate Statistics
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Integrative Neuroscience

Additionally, you have the opportunity to participate in psychological research if so desired. All research takes place under the mentorship of the faculty in the psychology and psychiatry departments.

Another area of inquiry available to you is participating in field experiences. Internships occur during the fall or spring semesters and are worth three credits toward graduation. In total, you need just 30 credits to graduate, making this program the shortest on this list.

To apply, you must submit an online application for admission along with a $100 application fee. You must additionally provide unofficial transcripts and have the authors of your letters of recommendation upload their letters through the online application.

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