One of the advantages of studying psychology in Georgia is that your fieldwork puts you front-and-center with potential employers upon your graduation. So, if you want to build your career and life in Georgia, it makes sense to get your graduate education there, too.
And psychology-related jobs are plentiful in the Peach State. At the time of writing, there are nearly 900 psychology job listings in Atlanta alone – and that’s just on one jobs site! Not all of these positions are worthy of a graduate education, but it still demonstrates the high need for psychology workers in the state.
The question is, where will you go to get the proper education for practicing psychology?
Georgia has many different psychology graduate programs available, from traditional on-campus degrees to online programs with greater flexibility for completing your studies. Below are some of the top schools and programs you can choose from in Georgia.
Psychology Schools & Graduate Programs in Georgia
The University of Georgia (UGA)
Many colleges and universities in the United States have a long and rich history. Few are as old as the University of Georgia, though. The University was founded after the Revolutionary War in 1785. Over the years, UGA has seen many changes, from the inclusion of female students to integration of minority students to groundbreaking research in health sciences.
Today, the University of Georgia is a large, public, doctoral-level university that’s well-regarded for its academics. For example, UGA ranks 16th among top public schools and 49th among national universities, according to US News and World Report.
There are around 31,000 students at UGA who take courses in many different subjects, from law to education to art. In fact, UGA has 18 schools and colleges, each of which offers a unique blend of traditional and non-traditional degree programs.
The University of Georgia’s Department of Psychology offers one master’s degree and three doctoral degrees that prepare you for different types of work in this field. The master’s degree is in industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology and focuses on building relevant skills for applying psychological principles in the workplace.
This two-year program is unique because it’s designed specifically for working psychology professionals. Though you are required to attend classes on campus, there are only five weekend sessions per semester, which helps minimize the impact of your studies on your work and home life.
Alternatively, you can pursue one of three doctoral programs in industrial-organizational psychology, behavioral and brain sciences, or clinical psychology.
All three doctoral programs require on-campus residency and focus on coursework and research opportunities. Like the master’s program in I-O psychology, the doctoral degree in I-O psychology also includes interdisciplinary studies and internship opportunities.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University is a well-regarded public institution in Atlanta. The school has six campuses in the Atlanta area, where more than 52,000 students pursue degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
The student body at Georgia State is highly diverse. There are more than 3,600 students from over 100 nations around the world. Georgia State also has a large population of minority students. This school actually graduates more African-American students than any other school in the U.S.
Georgia State is recognized for quality academics and an environment that sparks innovation. US News and World Report ranks GSU second in the nation among the most innovative schools, 21st for social mobility, and 118th in the nation among top public schools.
At Georgia State University, you have the benefit of exploring eight different concentrations for your Ph.D. This includes clinical psychology, cognitive science, and clinical neuropsychology. Moreover, you can choose among the remaining concentrations, which include:
- Developmental Psychology
- Community Psychology
- Clinical Community Psychology
- Community Psychology and Public Health dual degree
- Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
- Clinical Neuropsychology
Regardless of the specific track you choose, you will complete a set of core psychology courses, a general exam, and a master’s thesis. Upon successfully completing those components, you will move on to your doctoral studies, where you will take specialized coursework, participate in training specific to your area of specialization, and complete a dissertation.
Completing one of these Ph.D. tracks will take most students 4-5 years to complete. This is a residential program, so you must attend classes on campus at Georgia State University.
The Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech as it’s commonly called, is one of the top research universities in the nation. Its programs in computing and engineering are some of the largest and most respected in the country.
But Georgia Tech isn’t just about computers and engineering. Its programs in liberal arts, business, sciences, and other fields – including psychology – are well regarded, too. No matter your major, your education will focus on improving the human experience and advancing technology.
The University has about 40,000 students between its main campus and satellite campuses in France and China. Georgia Tech also has a robust online college for distance learning. No matter where you study from, you will take part in programs that are recognized as being some of the best in the nation.
The Department of Psychology at Georgia Tech is unique in that it’s in the College of Science. As such, the doctoral programs at Georgia Tech have a particular focus on science and technology and their relationship to psychology.
Georgia Tech does not offer a terminal master’s degree in psychology. Instead, you are expected to complete the program and graduate with a Ph.D. Doing so will take at least 5 years of coursework, research, and practical application of your knowledge in the field. The first three years are needed to complete the master’s degree portion of the program, with the final two years needed to complete doctoral studies.
Like other schools on this list, Georgia Tech gives you the opportunity to specialize your studies. Options include:
- Quantitative Psychology
- Cognitive Aging
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Cognition and Brain Science
- Engineering Psychology
You can also choose from two interdisciplinary programs: Human Computer Interaction or Quantitative Biosciences.
Georgia Southern University
Originally founded in 1906 as an agricultural school, Georgia Southern University is now a public, co-ed, four-year college with nearly 150 majors and programs for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students. One of the most popular programs on campus is psychology.
Georgia Southern isn’t the largest university in the state, but it’s still a large school with more than 27,000 students. With representation from a majority of U.S. states and dozens of nations abroad, the student body is diverse and inclusive.
This school is also known for being affordable compared to other universities. Undergraduate studies cost less than $7,000 for in-state students. Out-of-state students pay significantly more at $20,816.
The Master of Science program in experimental psychology at Georgia Southern University prepares you to conduct psychological research in the private and public sectors. You’ll do so in a 36-credit program that requires two years of full-time study to complete.
The primary coursework in this program revolves around psychological statistics, advanced research methods, and theoretical and empirical content. This includes taking courses in:
- Biological Psychology
- Affective and Cognitive Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
You will also select elective psychology courses that allow you to specialize your studies further. For example, you might take courses in psychopathology to learn more about the etiology of common psychological disorders. You might also take electives in psychological research. These are especially helpful if you intend to continue your studies in a Ph.D. program.
How to Become a Psychologist in Georgia
Georgia offers multiple pathways for becoming a licensed psychologist in the state. The most common pathway is licensure by examination, which is required if you have never been licensed as a psychologist or taken the national licensure examination for psychologists.
You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this type of licensure to officially become a psychologist:
- Hold a doctorate in applied psychology from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or from an approved international program or industrial-organizational program.
- Completion of an internship at an APA, CPA, or Association of Psychology and Internship Centers-approved location.
- Completion of 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised work experience.
- Submit a completed application.
- Pass the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) exam.
- Pass a written Jurisprudence Examination on current laws and regulations that govern the practice of psychology.
- Pass an oral examination proctored by the Georgia Board of Examiners or representatives of the board.
Other methods by which you can become a licensed psychologist in Georgia include:
- By endorsement, which is reserved for practicing psychologists with a license from another state.
- By exam waiver, which is for applicants that have never been licensed but have passed all exam requirements as outlined above.
The state also allows for temporary and provisional licensure in special circumstances.
A full, unencumbered license is good for two years, expiring on December 31st of even-numbered years. A non-refundable fee of $250 is required for renewal.