[2024] Best Accredited Psychology Graduate Programs in New Jersey (NJ)

Not only is psychology a broad and diverse field, but so are the types of degrees you can get. Studying psychology at a New Jersey (NJ) college or university opens doors to Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Ph.D. programs.

Additionally, some New NJ  schools offer specialist or professional degrees, like a PsyD. These degrees focus less on psychological research (as is often the case with a Ph.D.) and more on the practical application of psychological theories and techniques in a real-world setting.

In other words, you can get the proper training and experience for any type of psychology career in NJ. Check out some of the most popular options below!

Best Accredited Online Masters and Phd Psychology Programs in New Jersey - NJ

Psychology Graduate Programs in New Jersey

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

  • Capella University
  • Montclair State University
  • Rutgers University
  • New Jersey City University
  • Kean University
  • Rowan University
  • Pepperdine University
  • William Paterson University

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

Montclair State University

Founded in 1908 as the New Jersey State Normal School, Montclair State University is now a major institution of higher learning. In fact, Montclair offers more than 300 minors, majors, certificates, and programs for undergraduate and graduate students. And with a student body of more than 21,000 students, the campus is a vibrant and diverse place to learn.

While Montclair State might be a large school, your academic experience will be reminiscent of a smaller college. Montclair offers small class sizes that average 23 students. And with a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1, you’re assured of getting the individual attention you require to be successful in your degree program.

As an added bonus, the bright lights of New York City are just a short train ride away, so you can enjoy one of the most incredible cities in the world, too!

Graduate Psychology Programs

As a graduate student at Montclair State, you can pursue either a Master of Arts in Psychology or a Ph.D. in Psychology. In both cases, you can choose from various specializations.

For example, the Master of Arts offers three specializations:

  • Clinical Psychology: Concentration in Forensic Psychology and in Child/Adolescent Psychology
  • Psychological Sciences
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology

In each case, you will need about two years of full-time, on-campus study to complete the Master of Arts curriculum. The Clinical Psychology option is intended to prepare you for doctoral studies, as the Master of Arts does not qualify you for licensure as a psychologist. By completing a Ph.D., you can apply for state licensure upon graduation.

The Psychological Sciences track focuses on psychological research rather than developing clinical skills. Again, this track is a stepping stone to a doctoral program, though it is preparatory for a research focus and not a clinically-focused Ph.D.

Lastly, the Industrial/Organizational option is a terminal master’s degree that prepares you for a career managing human capital, human resources, and improving business operations for organizations of all sizes. Likewise, this degree track is interdisciplinary, so you’ll have the chance to learn crucial data science techniques you can use to further your skills.

Montclair’s Ph.D. program offers two tracks: Clinical Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. These residential programs require around five years of study after completing a master’s degree. Additionally, both programs offer an array of funding sources for the first four years, including fellowships, teaching assistantships, and graduate assistantships.

Rutgers University

Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, was founded in 1766, making it the eighth-oldest university in the nation. After more than 250 years, the school has grown into one of the largest universities in the nation, with nearly 70,000 students and a presence in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

With a school this size, you can reap benefits that smaller schools simply can’t match. There are 29 schools and colleges where you can pursue more than 150 undergraduate majors and more than 400 graduate programs.

Rutgers has 26 libraries, more than 25,000 courses taught annually, and offers research opportunities at more than 300 institutes and research centers.

Graduate Psychology Programs

The Department of Psychology at Rutgers University offers two graduate degree options: A Master of Science and a Ph.D. However, the Master of Science is not a standalone program. Rather, you enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree and earn a master’s on your way to completing the Ph.D. program.

You can choose from four areas of concentration to work on for your doctorate. These include:

  • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology

While these programs are unique and have a different focus, they share many common features. For example, each option requires five years of studies to complete. Likewise, each of the four tracks requires you to conduct original research.

The topic of your research is up to you and your faculty mentor. You will benefit from their experience and expertise in their respective fields while also benefiting from a long track record of federal and private grants to fund research at Rutgers. Additionally, Rutgers provides opportunities to conduct research in various settings, including:

  • The Brain Health Institute
  • The Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
  • The Institute for Health
  • The Center for Cognitive Science

In addition to your research activities, you will participate in traditional graduate coursework and seminars, elective courses, and a master’s thesis. You must also pass a qualifying exam to graduate from the program.

This is a full-time, residential degree. You must attend classes and conduct research on campus. Online or distance studies are not part of the program.

New Jersey City University

What is known as New Jersey City University today was established as a teacher training school in 1927. Instead of focusing on teacher training, the university now offers a diverse collection of more than 50 undergraduate majors and 30 graduate programs.

These degrees and programs are organized into the university’s four schools and colleges, including Arts & Sciences, Education, Business, and Professional Studies.

New Jersey City University is a diverse campus, too – which is a reflection of the area around it. Its location in Jersey City and close proximity to New York City means that the school has large percentages of minority students. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, the university ranks seventh in the nation in ethnic diversity and first in New Jersey on the same measure.

Graduate Psychology Programs

There are three graduate programs in psychology available at New Jersey City University. They include a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, a Certificate in School Psychology, and a combined program in which you earn an M.A. in Educational Psychology and a Professional Diploma in School Psychology.

The Master of Arts program requires the completion of 36 credits to graduate, which takes about two years to complete. This professionally-focused degree was designed for students with experience in the human services field. Likewise, this program prepares you to enter a doctoral program for further education and training.

You can apply to the Certificate in School Psychology program if you already have an undergraduate degree and have completed at least nine undergraduate credits in psychology. This program requires you to complete more than 70 credits of courses in psychology, education, and special education. This includes a 1,200-hour clinical externship requirement necessary for licensure as a school psychologist in New Jersey.

The final option from New Jersey City University is the Master of Arts and Professional Diploma program. This is a 74-credit degree during which you will complete advanced coursework, 300 hours of field experiences, and a 1,200–hour externship, which serves as the program’s culminating experience.

You will learn skills specific to working with urban youth and have the knowledge to apply for licensure and certification as a school psychologist.

Kean University

Like several other schools on this list, Kean University started as a teachers’ college. And while the school is still well-known for its teacher education programs, the university offers many more programs today. In fact, you can choose from more than 50 undergraduate degrees, 70 graduate programs, and half a dozen doctoral programs.

You will experience a vibrant and diverse campus life, too. In addition to having students from around the nation and the world, Kean offers more than 130 student organizations, including those related to academic interests, professional pursuits, and philanthropy. And when in class, you will learn from faculty that are distinguished in their fields and have earned accolades for their service and scholarship.

Graduate Psychology Programs

Kean University offers a Master of Arts program in Psychology that puts your specific needs and occupational goals first. You can tailor your program of study to fit your interests by enrolling in one of three MA programs. These include tracks in

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology

The Forensic Psychology track prepares you for a psychology career in correctional, law enforcement, and court settings. The program qualifies you for master’s-level positions but also prepares you for pursuing advanced training in a doctoral program in psychology or law. With studies of abnormal behavior, personality assessments, and criminal behavior, you’ll be well-positioned to build a career in forensics.

The Marriage and Family Therapy track focuses on building therapeutic skills necessary for working as a licensed marriage and family therapist. You’ll take classes in counseling techniques, therapeutic interventions, and psychology. You will also participate in a two-semester internship during which you get 500 contact hours with clients and 100 hours of supervision with a licensed therapist.

The Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology track also culminates with a Master of Arts. The knowledge and skills you learn in this program will help you develop into a competent behavioral scientist who can help individuals, groups, and organizations maximize their potential. You will learn about human resources, behavior modification, motivation, and many more topics applicable to workplace settings.

Additionally, Kean offers a Professional Diploma in School Psychology. The curriculum prepares you to work with students from ages 3-21. You will do so by taking a wide range of school psychology courses and participating in an externship experience during which you practice your craft under the supervision of a licensed school psychologist.

This program requires the completion of 66 credits and is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Rowan University

From its humble beginnings in 1923 as a teacher’s college, Rowan University has grown into a Carnegie-classified research institution with a comprehensive slate of undergraduate and graduate programs. In fact, Rowan’s degrees and programs have been recognized time and again for their quality, innovation, and affordability.

The university is organized into eight colleges and nine schools offering nearly 100 bachelor’s degrees, 50 master’s degrees, two professional degrees, and nine doctoral degrees. As the third-fastest growing research university in the country and an institution with more than 22,000 students, Rowan has much to offer you as a prospective psychology student.

Graduate Psychology Programs

Rowan University offers three graduate-level programs in psychology, each of which offers a different focus area.

The Master of Arts in School Psychology is a 33-credit program that includes psychology, counseling, and special education coursework. In addition, you will participate in field experiences during which you can apply the skills you have learned in a school setting. If you aspire to get a professional or doctoral degree, this program will prepare you for advanced levels of scholarship in the Ed.S. program outlined below.

The Educational Specialist in School Psychology builds on your studies in the MA program and helps you develop a larger toolkit of skills for making assessments, designing interventions, and providing consultations about children in a school setting. You will do so by taking a wide range of courses, participating in a practicum experience, and completing an externship.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible for certification as a school psychologist in New Jersey. Additionally, you can apply for national certification through the NASP.

Another option is to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. This is a 93-credit program that requires four years of studies and a one-year clinical internship to graduate. The focus of the program is on health psychology and integrated healthcare.

You will also learn about evidence-based assessments, empirically-based treatments, and the value of psychological research. This program requires a dissertation, which you must complete and defend before a degree is conferred.

The admissions requirements for Rowan’s graduate psychology programs vary. You can apply to one of these programs by completing Rowan University’s online graduate application.

William Paterson University

Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

At William Paterson University, the Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology is designed for your professional advancement in counseling, assessment, and mental health research. You will receive comprehensive education in theories and interventions, preparing you for a range of roles in mental health, academia, and research settings.

To accommodate your schedule, especially if you work during the day, the program offers both in-person and evening online synchronous classes via Zoom. While the program enhances flexibility for nontraditional students through online classes, your participation in in-person classes during the Fall and Spring semesters is also required. In your second year, the clinical practicum experience will involve in-person service provision at sites within New Jersey or nearby areas.

For those enrolled in the Summer Practicum course, expect a scheduled Zoom class weekly, though other summer session classes are delivered in an online, asynchronous format.

The program emphasizes clinical skills, ethical responsibility, cultural and self-awareness, and a thorough understanding of the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of practice.

You will be prepared for careers as Master’s level mental health counselors, researchers, or human services professionals. Additionally, the program lays a unique foundation for doctoral-level studies. This program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC).

The program offers two tracks:

  • The Non-Licensure track (48 credits) requires Practicum I and II but excludes summer courses needed for the licensure track.
  • The Licensure track (60 credits) qualifies you to apply for licensure as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) in New Jersey, leading to potential licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) after accumulating 4,500 supervised clinical hours.

You are automatically enrolled in the 60-credit Licensure track, with an option to switch to the 48-credit track before your first summer or later. The program can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in three to five years, with graduation requiring 600 hours of practicum experience tailored to your interests.

Program learning goals include developing skills in clinical interviews, interventions, psychotherapy theories, psychopathology, diagnostic systems, treatment modalities, psychological testing, career development, group interventions, scientific methods, and integrating research into clinical practice.

Practicum experiences offer the chance to develop practical clinical skills by putting academic knowledge into practice. During two semesters, you will serve as clinicians under the guidance of supervisors in authorized clinical environments.

You will be paired with a licensed mental health supervisor on-site, who will organize and oversee your clinical training. The nature of the clinical tasks can vary based on the agency’s objectives but often encompasses individual therapy, group therapy, assessments, participation in case conferences, completing documentation and reports, and receiving individual supervision hours.

Admission requirements for the program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Official transcripts from all attended colleges, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Prerequisites in General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Research Methods/Statistics, and Abnormal Psychology.
  • A personal statement detailing your motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and program fit.
  • A current resume or CV highlighting your clinical, research, and/or human services experiences.
  • Three recommendation letters from individuals familiar with your academic and clinical capabilities.
  • An interview with M.A. Program Faculty, by invitation.

Selective Graduate Assistantship (GA) awards provide a tuition waiver and stipend in exchange for 20 hours of work per week at the university, supporting various departments or programs with administrative or research tasks.

Related Reading

Copyright © 2024 PsychologySchoolGuide.net. 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.