Aspiring psychologists who want to help others can make a difference in Connecticut. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8% of Connecticut adolescents have recently tried to commit suicide, surpassing the national average. This number highlights a need for psychologists in the state. However, psychologists must meet educational and licensing requirements before practicing.
This page details the best colleges for psychology in Connecticut. Degree-seekers can review field and education requirements, salary and employment trends, and helpful resources for psychologists.
Why Attend Psychology Colleges and Programs in Connecticut?
Students who attend Connecticut colleges for psychology enjoy many benefits. Resident tuition and fees for Connecticut colleges and universities is lower than resident costs for nearby Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Connecticut also boasts lower out-of-state charges than Vermont. However, the state has a higher student loan default rate than New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Connecticut ranks as the 12th best state for education, according to U.S. News & World Report. The state also ranks third for healthcare, seventh for crime and corrections, and sixth for natural environment. The state boasts a lower unemployment rate than New York, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.
What to Expect in a Connecticut Psychology College Program
In 2018, Connecticut schools conferred 1,857 bachelor's, 370 master's, and 57 doctoral degrees in psychology for a total of 2,284 degrees. This number indicates experienced programs where learners can acquire vital knowledge for psychology professions. However, the number also hints competition for field positions.
Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology often takes four years and addresses introductory concepts like development and research. These programs may include fieldwork. Candidates with an acceptable fieldwork location near their homes can avoid extensive traveling time and cost.
A psychology master's degree often requires 36-60 credits in advanced courses and fieldwork. A doctorate may take five or more years to complete and include a dissertation. Psychology programs may offer concentrations in areas like autism, forensic psychology, child psychology, and mental health. Generally, coursework reflects the specialization. However, basic psychology concepts, such as research methods in the field, surface in curricula for all specializations.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Connecticut?
The best colleges in Connecticut for psychology may offer concentrations that impact curricula. Courses vary by school, but certain class themes appear in most psychology programs.
Introduction to Psychology
Bachelor's programs often require this course, which covers essential psychology concepts. Learners explore development, learning processes, and physiological or environmental reasons for behavior and personality traits. Classes may also address common disorders and research practices in the field.
Students examine different types of development, such as cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic. Courses cover how factors like genetics and environment impact development. Bachelor's and graduate programs may divide these concepts into classes based on stages, such as child development, or cover the whole lifespan in a single course.
This course guides learners on formulating research questions and pursuing answers through research and experimentation. The process involves evaluating source reliability and analyzing findings. Classes may also cover citation and format for the psychology field. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs may require these courses.
Brain and Behavior
Students explore how nervous system and brain processes impact behavior. Courses cover perception and emotion to help learners understand behavioral tendencies. Classes also examine how and why behavior changes in various environments.
Psychology of Personality
Undergraduate and graduate programs explore classic psychological theories that relate to personality development, including existential and Freudian thoughts. These classes incorporate the influence of culture and environment on personality and help degree-seekers apply personality concepts to psychological examinations. Learners also study modern research on personality and psychology.
Education Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Department of Public Health reports that a doctorate in psychology is required for licensure. Although programs should be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), graduates from programs without this accreditation may still qualify after their degrees undergo review. Candidates also need clinical or applied psychology coursework, even if their psychology doctorates do not name these focuses.
Programs must also include at least one year of internship or practicum experiences related to psychological practices.
Licensure calls for classes in specific areas. For instance, applicants must complete at least six credits in research-related classes. Other course subjects include biological, social, and cognitive explanations and influences on behavior in addition to development, personality concepts, and psychological disorders. Applicants who fall short of these requirements may need to complete additional classes before obtaining a license.
Programs must also include at least one year of internship or practicum experiences related to psychological practices. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in psychology may require this type of fieldwork.
Candidates should consider specializations when choosing Connecticut colleges for psychology since these focuses can impact career options. For example, a school psychology specialization requires coursework that prepares for assisting in school systems. Additionally, departments may insist that practicums and fieldwork occur at organizations that reflect specializations.
Connecticut Licensing for Psychologists
States require specific criteria for candidates who want to perform advanced, clinical, or private fieldwork. These requirements ensure that professional psychologists understand disorders, diagnosis, and treatment and have experience applying these concepts in practical situations. Individuals who want to work as psychologists in Connecticut should pursue these credentials by fulfilling education, experience, and exam requirements.
Why Get Licensed in Connecticut?
Psychologist positions in Connecticut require a license. However, candidates may earn recognition as psychology technicians. This recognition does not include a license. These technicians assist with psychological and behavioral tests, but do not assess patients.
The Board of Examiners of Psychologists oversees psychology licensure in Connecticut. In addition to academic requirements, candidates must also complete fieldwork to earn psychologist licenses. This experience can occur before or after earning a doctorate, but may not be part of the doctoral program. Fieldwork must include supervision from a recognized psychologist and face-to-face hours.
Applicants may finish this fieldwork in less than one year by completing at least 35 hours each week. However, learners may take as many as two years to finish this fieldwork, which must total at least 1,800 hours.
Connecticut does not require varied licensure criteria for psychology specializations. However, fieldwork must occur at settings that reflect career objectives. For example, a health psychologist may need to complete fieldwork at a healthcare organization. Applying for licensure costs $565.
How to Get Licensed in Connecticut
Candidates must earn a doctorate in psychology and complete fieldwork to obtain psychologist licenses in Connecticut. Additionally, individuals must earn a minimum score of 500 on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). The EPPP includes 225 questions on topics like behavior, development, and assessment. To register for the EPPP, applicants must pay a $600 fee. The ASPPB only allows candidates four attempts to pass this exam per year.
Applicants must also take the multiple-choice Connecticut jurisprudence exam, which includes 25 questions. The board requires 18 accurate responses on this exam for licensure. The state offers this test six times throughout the year.
The board does not require a specialization for psychologist licenses or insist that individuals with specializations complete additional application steps. However, candidates with specializations should complete related fieldwork.
All CE experiences must be connected to accredited institutions or organizations like the APA and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Students may complete only half of CE hours online.
Psychologists can fulfill a portion of CE hours by obtaining a credential from the American Board of Professional Psychology or presenting at a recognized psychology event. Classes and workshops may also qualify for CE credit. License renewal costs $570.
Connecticut Psychologist Salaries and Employment Trends
In general, average salaries for psychologists have declined in recent years. Specifically, average income for all U.S. psychologists in 2016 surpassed $94,000. The next year, average salaries declined by more than $1,000. Mean salaries for Connecticut psychologists in 2016 and 2017 reflect similar amounts and decreases.
Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, though, have experienced an increase in average income, with national averages growing nearly $3,000 between 2016 and 2017. For Connecticut, average salaries for these psychologists increased by almost $2,000. Despite this increase, average salaries for these positions in the U.S. and Connecticut still remain lower than the average pay for general psychologists.
When compared to other states, Connecticut offers competitive pay and growth for psychologists.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14.2% increase in jobs for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists by 2026. In Connecticut, general psychologist positions are projected to grow 11.6%, while clinical, counseling, and school psychologist positions are projected to grow 7.4%.
When compared to other states, Connecticut offers competitive pay and growth for psychologists. Some states boast higher pay and growth projections. New York, in particular, provides higher average pay for psychologists, and growth projections for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in New York more than double Connecticut's projections.
Historical Mean Wage for Psychologists
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Connecticut
Psychologists, All Other in Connecticut
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Nationally
Psychology Programs and Licensing in Connecticut Frequently Asked Questions
Is Psychology a Good Major?
A versatile major, psychology addresses concepts that relate to human behavior and consciousness. Learners develop useful research and problem-solving skills that prepare them to work in psychology, market research, public relations, and sociology. Psychology degrees help graduates excel in different careers and graduate programs.
Should I Get a BA or BS in Psychology?
BA and BS programs prepare for similar careers. However, programs may include specializations that reflect career fields, such as health psychology. Learners should consider curriculum, concentrations, and fieldwork when choosing the best colleges in Connecticut for psychology.
Do I Have to Major in Psychology to Become a Psychologist?
Requirements for a psychologist license in Connecticut include a doctorate in the field. However, the state allows some variation on program type. For example, acceptable programs may lack clinical or applied focuses. Programs without APA accreditation may also be accepted after undergoing review.
What is a Good Speciality for Psychology?
Colleges for psychology in Connecticut may offer specializations that address skills and ideas for particular fields. For example, forensic psychology specializations relate to the criminal justice system. Candidates interested in working in marketing may benefit more from a media psychology focus. Overall, students should explore specializations that relate to their desired career field.
Can I Get Licensed If My Degree is from an Unaccredited Program?
Connecticut Psychological Association CPA provides guidance on psychologist licensing and helps professionals network through member forums on clinical, legislative, and business concerns. The group also provides a search engine for psychologists with different specializations.
National Association of School Psychologists NASP offers field resources on topics like self-care and special education. The group also provides school psychologist certification information for different states, including Connecticut. Candidates can take advantage of the association's professional development opportunities, including an annual conference and online learning center.
Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology This society delivers conferences and meetings that address field topics in personality, development, and the impact of technology on psychology. The group provides scholarships for candidates to attend events and offers a mentoring program for beginning professionals.
Connecticut Behavioral Health This organization provides supervised experience for certifications and connects individuals with training for the Registered Behavior Technician credential. Candidates can also work as psychologists for the company in careers related to clinical and forensic practices.
Connecticut State Department of Public Health This department delivers brochures and resources on topics like child development and special needs children. The website offers guidance on obtaining a Connecticut psychologist license and provides links to programs related to subjects like perinatal depression, abuse, and suicide.