Michigan is a big and beautiful state. With abundant mountains, lakes, rivers, and beaches, the state’s residents have many recreational opportunities near where they live.
Though Michigan is an older state – the most recent census shows that nearly 80 percent of the population is over the age of 18 – there are still millions of children in the state, some of whom need mental health services.
As a prospective child psychologist, Michigan presents you with a unique opportunity to get a quality education and find a rewarding career. Using what you learn in a child psychology program, you can help Michigan’s children overcome mental, emotional, behavioral, and psychological difficulties.
This guide outlines some of the best child psychology programs available in Michigan. Use it to explore what you might expect as you pursue higher education.
Child Psychology Programs in Michigan
The University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a top-tier public university located in Ann Arbor. Its campus is expansive and beautiful and offers many opportunities for you to pursue a higher education, social events, and attend cultural and recreational events as well.
Ann Arbor is a vibrant city that is often recognized as one of the best places to live in the nation. In fact, Ann Arbor ranks as the second-most desirable city to live in the country.
Ann Arbor isn’t the only entity that has accolades to its name. The University of Michigan ranks third in the nation among national public undergraduate universities. It also ranks first among public universities in the nation. With 110 different graduate programs that rank in the top 10 in the nation, the University of Michigan is also a great place to attend graduate school.
If you already have a doctoral degree in psychology, this post-doctoral program from the University of Michigan is an excellent choice for furthering your education and expertise.
This program has three primary purposes: to train you in advanced competencies in child psychology; to offer opportunities for advanced clinical research; and to provide further instruction regarding professionalism and ethical conduct.
To do so, you must commit to a two-year, on-campus program. Research mentorships are available in three areas:
- Anxiety/OCD and Eating Disorders
- Perinatal, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
- Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention
This program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is extremely competitive. If chosen, you’ll receive a stipend of $54,840. You’ll also receive various benefits, including sick leave, vacation, health care, and professional development time.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a land-grant institution that has a reputation for being one of the best research colleges in the United States. It also has a reputation for being a very big school – there are nearly 50,000 students, and the campus encompasses 5,300 acres.
Michigan State offers many academic benefits, including small class sizes (16:1 student-to-faculty ratio), hundreds of academic programs and majors, and dozens of top-ranked programs from which to choose.
Additionally, according to U.S. News and World Report, Michigan State has the best study abroad program in the nation. Whether you want to study here at home or abroad, Michigan State will support your pursuit of higher education.
At Michigan State University, you can pursue a doctoral degree in school psychology that enables you to work with children in educational settings. This program offers two tracks: a Ph.D. in School Psychology or an Ed.S. in School Psychology.
The primary difference between these tracks is that the Ph.D. track prepares you to work in a variety of settings – primary schools, universities, or in private practice, to name a few. Meanwhile, the Ed.S. track is specifically for applying school psychology principles in a school setting.
Either way, you will get a master of arts degree as you pursue your doctorate. Doing so helps you maintain continuity between your graduate and doctoral studies while also saving time.
Likewise, you’ll have opportunities in either track to participate in challenging coursework, mentorship with experienced faculty members, and research opportunities that advance your knowledge and understanding of child psychology, developmental psychology, and school psychology.
Wayne State University
With 25,000 students, Wayne State University isn’t the biggest school in Michigan, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of educational opportunities. After all, the university has more than 350 academic programs.
The Detroit-based campus has a lot of activities for you to explore as well. There are hundreds of campus-based programs for students in addition to a city full of cultural significance just beyond the school’s borders. That includes the second-largest theater district in the United States.
You can study at Wayne State on a budget, too – in-state graduate students pay around $730 per credit hour. If you’re an undergraduate student, you’ll pay even less. Tuition for lower-division courses is $431.09 per credit, while upper-division courses are $511.60 per credit for in-state students.
Wayne State University’s Ph.D. in Psychology program has a specific focus on developmental science. By taking a lifespan-development approach to teaching and learning, this program prepares you well for working with children in a range of capacities.
For example, you can specialize in developmental areas such as:
- Language acquisition
- Social-emotional development
You can also choose to focus your studies on a specific period of development, such as infancy, middle childhood, or adolescence, to name a few. Other courses include:
- Attachment Relationships Across the Lifespan
- Developmental Psychology of Adolescence
- Psychology of Infant Behavior and Development
- Social Development Across the Lifespan
You’ll also study parent-child issues that pertain to attachment, parenting styles, and child maltreatment.
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was founded in 1849 in Ypsilanti, a town that now has around 20,000 residents. The EMU campus spreads across 800 acres and includes many miles of walkways and trails where you can enjoy Michigan’s beautiful scenery.
EMU is also an affordable university. Undergraduate tuition is $7,250 for 12-16 credits. Graduate tuition varies from $938.50 per credit to $1,834 per credit, depending on the course level and your residency status.
The University is organized into six colleges, where students can explore many different academic subjects. This includes:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Health and Human Services
- College of Engineering and Technology
Students who haven’t declared a major yet are classified in the College of Academic Affairs.
The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University is a full-time residency that typically takes six years to complete. Upon graduation, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue licensure as a clinical psychologist in Michigan.
As you progress through this program, you’ll have opportunities to learn in classroom and mentorship settings as well as in research settings. If you want to work with children, you can tailor your studies and research opportunities to focus on issues of infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Some of the other areas in which you will focus your education include:
- Psychological assessment and diagnostic techniques
- Psychological interventions
- Clinical supervision
- Psychological statistics
Additionally, you’ll work with professors and mentors to develop a better understanding of the professional duties of psychologists and what you need to do to practice in an ethical manner.
Work Opportunities in Michigan
As noted earlier, Michigan’s demographics skew towards people over the age of 18. But the most recent census shows that millions of children call Michigan home. Among them are children that have adjustment disorders, developmental delays, and family issues. These children need the assistance of qualified mental health professionals – something you’ll be after graduating from one of the programs discussed earlier.
As a child psychologist, you have the opportunity to help guide, direct, and shape the lives of young people by helping them get on a healthier life track.
Whether that’s designing interventions for a child to improve their social skills, working with parents to provide improved social-emotional support to their children, or providing counseling services to families to improve their functioning, your expertise can quite literally make all the difference in a child’s life.
In Michigan, you can provide these services in a number of ways. You might work for a public school district and provide clinical psychology services to students.
Conversely, you might work for state or local government agencies to help devise broad-based interventions that address common childhood issues like hunger and access to suicide prevention intervention. Another option might be to work in private practice and provide counseling services to children and their families.
You can pursue these and many other child psychology-related jobs in a wide range of settings, too. You might live and work in rural Michigan, in one of the state’s large cities (e.g., Detroit), or in a suburban setting.
Whatever the case, the education you get in the child psychology programs described above will prepare you well for working with children of all ages.