Best Accredited Psychology Graduate Programs and Schools in Washington State

Washington State is a great place to get a graduate education. Not only are there many different graduate psychology programs available, but these programs are offered by many types of schools.

On the one hand, you can study at a large, public university. On the other hand, you can study at a small, private college. Moreover, there are opportunities to study in major urban areas like Seattle or the more rural eastern side of Washington and many points in between.

Often, the most difficult part of deciding where to go to school is simply narrowing down the field of possibilities. This following list does so with a sampling of popular graduate psychology options in Washington.

Psychology Graduate Programs in Washington State

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering psychology graduate programs in Washington State:

  • Capella University
  • Gonzaga University
  • Seattle University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Washington State University
  • Saint Martin’s University

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

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University is a small, private non-profit institution that was founded in 1887 in Spokane. The university has retained its small campus atmosphere over the years – even today, the campus is just 152 acres and has just 7,000 students.

As a student at Gonzaga, you can enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one instruction from your teachers, and explore dozens of student clubs and organizations.

Your graduate studies in psychology will commence with professors who are experts in their respective specialties. Almost 90 percent of Gonzaga’s faculty have a terminal degree or the highest degree in their field.

You can learn and grow in a rich academic environment enhanced by the real-world experience your psychology professors bring to the classroom.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The PsyD in School Psychology from Gonzaga is a professional degree program designed to prepare you for licensure as a school psychologist in Washington. It’s a scientist-practitioner program with opportunities for psychological research and practical application of your knowledge and skills in a school setting.

The program is available to post-baccalaureate and post-masters students. Post-baccalaureate students need about five years to complete the required 109 credits for graduation. Post-masters students need just three years and 51 credits to earn their doctoral degree.

No matter which track you pursue, you will take courses like:

  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Cognitive Bases of Behavior
  • Qualitative Research Methods and Design
  • Psychometric Theory
  • Social Bases of Behavior

Furthermore, this program requires you to complete a professional portfolio in school psychology, a practicum experience, and 1,500 hours of doctoral-level internship experiences in a school setting. Both tracks also require the completion and defense of a dissertation.

You can apply to this program online by filling out an application for admission. You must meet the following requirements to be considered:

  • Post-baccalaureate applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, or counseling from a regionally-accredited college or university.
  • Post-masters applicants must have an Educational Specialist degree (or equivalent) in school psychology from a regionally-accredited college or university.
  • Undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher

Additionally, you must submit the following with your application:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • A resume
  • GRE psychology subject test score

A personal interview may also be required.

Seattle University

Seattle University is a private Jesuit school located in Seattle. Though the school has just over 7,000 students, it’s the largest independent university in the Pacific Northwest. The school’s size is particularly interesting because it boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of just 11:1 and an average class size of just 18 students. These numbers are even smaller for graduate coursework due to the smaller graduate student population.

Despite being a smaller school, Seattle University has a broad spectrum of degrees and programs – over 120, in fact. The university’s programs are organized into eight colleges and schools, each with dedicated and experienced faculty who teach courses.

In fact, all of Seattle University’s courses are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. This ensures you learn from the most experienced teachers that will help you prepare for your career.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Seattle University’s Master of Arts in Psychology is an interdisciplinary degree program combining clinical psychology, the humanities, and philosophy studies. What’s more, the program includes both research and clinical components to provide you with a broad base of knowledge and practice for your career as a clinical psychologist.

The unique curriculum includes 72 credits spanning first-person narratives, philosophical texts, experiential exercises, and phenomenological research. You will take courses like:

  • Culture and Psychotherapy: The Social Foundations of Illness and Healing
  • Listening Skills
  • Therapeutic Communication
  • Ethics and Phenomenology
  • Legal and Professional Ethics in Counseling

In addition to your coursework, you must also complete a 9-12 month clinical internship. The internship requires you to engage in at least 600 hours of supervised practice in the same agency. You will have individual and small group supervision at the clinical site as well as with faculty on campus.

Complete the online application for admission to get the application process started. To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. You must also have taken six prerequisite courses in psychology, including:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental or Lifespan Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Research Methods in Psychology

Additionally, you must submit the following with your application:

  • Transcripts from your undergraduate work showing a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • A list of paid or volunteer experience in human services or counseling (at least 600 hours)
  • A resume
  • A writing sample
  • A personal autobiographical essay
  • Three letters of recommendation

Applicants that reach the final round of consideration must also participate in an in-person or phone interview.

Seattle Pacific University

With just 3,000 students, Seattle Pacific University is one of the smallest schools on this list. Founded in 1891, Seattle Pacific has always been small. It’s a private Christian school originally associated with the Free Methodist Church.

However, the school now has associations with more than four dozen Christian denominations, allowing students from many backgrounds to get a graduate education while also considering their personal religious beliefs.

Despite being a small school, Seattle Pacific offers dozens of degrees and programs. In fact, you can choose from 70 bachelor’s degrees, more than two dozen graduate degrees, and several doctoral programs as well.

Programs at all levels boast small class sizes, expert faculty, and rigorous curricula that prepare you well for future studies or a career.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology from Seattle Pacific University is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. During the course of the program – which is full-time and five or six years long – you will participate in a scientist-practitioner curriculum that prepares you for licensed clinical practice in Washington State.

More specifically, the program is delivered from a biopsychosocial perspective that examines human behavior through the lens of biological, psychological, and social factors, and how those factors are interrelated.

To complete this degree, you must take 195 quarter credits. This includes courses like:

  • Neurological and Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Personality Theory and Research

In addition, you must complete 18 credits of practicum experiences and 16 credits of clinical internship. A dissertation and a satisfactory score on a comprehensive examination are also required to graduate.

You can apply online if this program sounds like a good fit. To apply, you must:

  • Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher in the last 45 credits of undergraduate study, including in statistics or tests and measurements and coursework in five of the following domains:
    • Abnormal psychology
    • Developmental psychology
    • Experimental psychology
    • Physiological psychology
    • Social psychology
    • Learning psychology
    • Motivation
    • Personality
  • Have a passing score on an entrance exam

Additionally, you must provide the following:

  • A $75 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement

Washington State University

Washington State University (WSU) is by far the largest school on this list. With 31,000 students, WSU gives you the “big school” experience but does so in a rural setting in the mid-sized city of Pullman.

As a student at WSU, you can participate in hundreds of student organizations and activities, including honor societies, service organizations, sororities, and fraternities.

The university was founded in 1890, and over the last 130-plus years, it has continually grown and added additional degrees and programs. Today, the school has over 100 undergraduate degrees, almost 80 graduate programs, and five dozen doctoral programs.

As Washington’s land-grant college, WSU offers courses in practical subjects like education, science, and business. WSU also has a robust psychology program.

Psychology Graduate Programs

At Washington State, you can enroll in a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program that adheres to the scientist-practitioner model that’s so popular for graduate psychology studies. You will have opportunities to conduct research, gain clinical practice, and integrate various psychological theories and techniques. Doing so prepares you to be a competent practitioner upon graduation.

The program is multifactorial in its approach. As such, you will have experiences that build expertise in the areas of:

  • Psychological research
  • Professional ethics
  • Individual and cultural diversity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Psychological assessment
  • Psychological interventions

Moreover, you will gain real-world experience by participating in clinical practicum experiences that begin the program’s second year and continue through the fourth year. At that point, you will begin a 12-month internship. The practica and internship components help you build competency in supervision, consultation, and clinical practice.

Unlike other programs, you can choose the summative experience for your program. You can complete a dissertation, doctoral research, or take a comprehensive examination.

Start the application process for this program by completing the online application. In addition to the application, you need to submit the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • A summary of clinical research or teaching experience

To be eligible to apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher. This must include at least 18 hours of psychology or 12 hours of psychology and six hours in a closely related field, as well as a statistics course.

Saint Martin’s University

An intimate learning experience awaits you at Saint Martin’s University. This school has just 1,300 students, approximately 250 of which are working towards a graduate degree. The small student body translates into small class sizes that average 12-14 students. And with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1, you’re assured of having plentiful opportunities to learn directly from your professors.

Saint Martin’s offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. This includes nearly two dozen bachelor’s degrees and graduate programs in six distinct fields, including counseling.

The university offers many certificate programs, too, which give you another course of study to get the education you need to advance your career.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Saint Martin’s University’s Master of Arts in Counseling is a licensure track program that prepares you for a career as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

In both cases, you will learn in environments that include dyadic learning, small group work, lectures, and discussions. Additionally, faculty use role-playing, introspection, and psychodrama to help you tap into the therapeutic experience as a counselor and as a client.

Your coursework is diverse and includes classes like:

  • Foundations of Couple and Family Counseling
  • Crisis, Trauma, Violence, Abuse
  • Impacts of Addictions
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Applied Group Work

This program also includes a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship, during which you will have opportunities to work in varied counseling settings. You will do so in a supervised arrangement with an experienced counselor who can provide you with appropriate feedback regarding your counseling skills and techniques.

The curriculum is flexible if you work full time in that courses are offered during afternoons and evenings and meet just once per week. Internship classes are on Saturdays.

Fill out an online application to get started. You must submit the following in support of your application to the program:

  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (or two letters and a professional reference)
  • A personal statement
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

Saint Martin’s University does not require the GRE as part of graduate school admissions.

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