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Psychology Schools in Houston Texas

August 20, 2021 | Staff Writers

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We all have a natural curiosity when it comes to how the human brain works. But when you start developing a deeper interest in why we do the things we do and what makes us do them, you may find yourself interested in studying psychology. 

There are many reasons to study psychology, whether from a career prospect or personal interest, allowing us to understand further human behavior, including how we think, act and feel. And if you’re interested in pursuing psychology as an undergrad or are searching for a graduate program or doctorate, there are few better places to do so than Houston, Texas. 

In this article, we take a look at the best psychology schools in Houston, Texas, including the application process, what you can expect from a psychology school in Houston and what you should look for in a Houston psychology program.

Why Study Psychology in Houston, Texas?

Psychology is a fascinating area of study, which allows you to better understand the mental processes behind human behavior. The study of psychology can help prepare you for work in various workforce positions, with graduates finding work in healthcare, as counselors, in education, human resources, public policy, law enforcement, and more. 

Houston, Texas, in particular, provides psychology students with an opportunity to do research and train in cooperation with some of the largest and most well-known facilities in their respective fields, including the Texas Medical Center, the NASA Space Center, as well as multiple mental health facilities and healthcare systems. 

The University of Houston provides these opportunities for collaboration and is focused on providing these experiences with equality of treatment and opportunity. Houston is a diverse community. The University of Houston prides itself on being ideal for those who wish to experience a safe, inclusive environment, providing equal treatment and opportunity to all of its students. 

What Can You Expect From a Psychology Degree in Houston, Texas?

Students can find several public and private options for universities that offer psychology degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels in the Houston area. When it comes to undergraduate degrees in psychology, four-year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs are available, with research options often included. 

A Master of Arts degree in psychology can be completed in a further two to three years, with another option being a Master of Education in counseling. Masters programs in Houston, Texas, may allow you to participate in a paid internship or work experience, preparing you to seek licensure in clinical psychology after the degree is complete. 

A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology in Houston will take another five years to complete, with some programs including research opportunities.

What Does Houston, Texas Offer College Students?

The Houston area is home to a total of 40 colleges and universities, many with distance learning programs. Houston inhabitants speak over 90 languages, offering its students a culturally diverse learning atmosphere. 

Academic achievement is valued in Houston, with 28.7 percent holding a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which is higher than the state average and slightly higher than the national average. The Houston metro area offers competitive in-state tuition in a mix of urban and suburban settings, with many undergraduate to doctorate programs to choose from. 

Application Process For Psychology Programs in Houston, Texas

So, what can you expect from the psychology program application process in Houston, Texas? While you will find similarities in the application process and academic requirements for each respective level of education, Undergraduate, Masters and Doctorate programs will all present different acceptance requirements.  

Undergraduate Degree Application Process in Houston, Texas

The application process of an undergraduate psychology degree in Houston, Texas, will usually require a completed application, an official post-secondary transcript, and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 to 3.0. A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of St. Thomas Houston also requires a minimum Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of 1140 or a minimum of 23 on the American College Testing (ACT). Students who apply to the University of Houston and do not meet initial undergrad eligibility requirements may be accepted to the Department of Psychology as a Pre-Psychology student. 

In this case, the Pre-Psychology student will be required to complete a predetermined amount of prerequisite psychology courses, as well as meeting the GPA requirement of a 2.0 or higher before they can declare either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Master’s Degree Application Process in Houston, Texas

The application for psychology master’s degree programs may seem like a daunting process and includes paperwork, tests, and graduate-school applications. Master’s degrees in psychology require prospective students to pick a concentration, which includes clinical or cognitive psychology, industrial/organizational, and forensic psychology. 

It’s important to do your research when it comes to selecting a graduate program and carefully evaluate what each program has to offer and where it will take your career. Once a graduate program is selected, further research is necessary to complete your application. The goal of a student who chooses to undertake a master’s degree in Psychology often aims to become a mental health therapist.

A master’s degree application at the University of Houston will require the following:

  • A completed graduate studies application
  • An official transcript from each institution attended
  • One official copy of your general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A career statement, which includes two faculty members with whom you wish to work during your graduate school process

Ph.D./Doctorate Degree Application Process in Houston, Texas

While many doctorate degree programs in psychology require applicants to have a master’s degree in psychology or a related field of study, a bachelor’s degree with work experience is often also acceptable. 

It is typical for applicants to require a GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as a combination of the following documents: 

  • Submission of GRE scores
  • A personal essay or portfolio
  • A personal statement of intent
  • 3-5 letters of recommendation
  • Candidates may also be required to participate in an interview process

How to Choose a Psychology Program in Houston, Texas

With so many options for psychology degrees and programs in Houston, Texas, how do you choose a psychology program in Houston, Texas? When trying to find the best psychology program to suit your needs, it’s important to go through the proper steps when researching each school. 

Several factors may be of relevance to you outside of how great the actual program is itself. For example, when choosing an undergraduate psychology program, it’s important to compare minimum post-secondary graduation requirements to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before entering. 

Other factors that must be taken into consideration are available concentrations, tuition, additional costs, program, and school accreditation, whether internship opportunities are available, and how many students are admitted into a program per term. 

It may also be important to you whether or not your psychology program of choice offers at least a portion of their courses entirely through distance learning, with online psychology degrees sometimes available.

What Should You Look For in a Houston Psychology Program?

When it comes to a Houston psychology program, it’s important to have at least an idea of where you would like your career to go, starting with your undergraduate degree. While undergraduate degrees do not allow you to specialize, you can apply for either a Bachelor of Science in Psychology or a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. 

When considering either option, it’s important to consider whether you are interested in more of a humanities-based or science-oriented curriculum, but also what your future goals may be. For example, for those who plan to go to a graduate school in a non-psychology field such as social work or counseling, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will be the most ideal path. However, if you are looking to earn a graduate degree in psychology, then a Bachelor of Science degree will be the better option for you. 

What Specializations Do Houston Psychology Programs Offer?

Houston psychology students that have chosen a specific career path will benefit from attending a program that offers a concentration in their chosen area of interest. As mentioned, bachelor’s degrees are not often specialized. 

However, students looking to pursue a master’s in psychology will nearly always have the option to choose a graduate program that allows them to specialize in their degrees. When selecting a psychology school in Houston, Texas, it’s important to consider which schools offer a graduate program in your chosen area of interest. This should be one of the most critical factors in determining the best school to meet your academic needs, as well as future goals. 

Houston psychology programs offer a variety of graduate specializations in the field of psychology, including the following:

Clinical Psychology

The University of Houston offers a graduate program in clinical psychology, one of the largest psychology fields. Clinical psychologists find work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, counseling centers, and group practices, and work at assessing and treating mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. This pathway is ideal for those who are interested in behavioral psychology

Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychologists utilize numerous techniques to help people recognize their strengths, focusing on interactions between people and their environment and finding resources to cope with everyday problems and adversity. 

Counseling psychologists find work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, researchers and service providers, and independent practices, where they provide counseling, assessment, and consultation services to individuals, couples, families, and organizations. University of St. Thomas Houston offers a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counselling.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychologists study cognitive, physiological, and social changes in human development. A profession in developmental psychology can include specialization in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and geriatric study. Developmental psychologists find work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, government agencies, health care facilities, and centers for the homeless.

Educational Psychology

The University of Houston offers a graduate program in Educational Psychology. This psychology specialization focuses on working with families, children, groups, agencies, and/or organizations, which is not the same as a school psychologist, who primarily works with just children in an academic setting. An Educational Psychologist may also be required to train teachers and students how to use educational technology within the classroom. 

Forensic Psychology

A career in forensic psychology means focusing on the study of crime prevention, rehabilitation programs, the psychology of law, and courtroom dynamics. Forensic psychologists specialize in applying psychological knowledge to legal matters, both in the criminal and civil arenas. With a graduate degree in this field, students can find work in academia, public service, and the private sector.

Social Psychology

Social psychologists study interactions between people and their social environment, allowing us to better grasp how group dynamics influence our choices and actions. Social psychologists often find work in academia, consulting firms, marketing offices, and systems design.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Rice University offers a 2-year master’s program that offers students graduate-level training in this high-demand field. In the field of industrial-organizational psychology, students are provided with scientific and practical knowledge about the nature of the psychology of work and the workplace. 

They examine the future of work, as well as develop a deep set of methodological and statistical skills. Graduates of this program will find work in a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit, and government settings, focusing on medical safety and promoting inclusive cultures.

Why is it Important to Choose an Accredited Houston Psychology School?

When choosing a psychology school in Houston, Texas, it’s important to make sure that the school you are applying to is accredited. Accreditation is a form of educational validation for universities and colleges, ensuring that your education will cover the requirements necessary to enter your chosen career field post-graduation successfully. 

Accreditation standards are set by peer review boards composed of faculty members from a number of accredited institutions. Institutions that are accredited are considered more esteemed than unaccredited institutions, with graduates and students from accredited schools being more likely to be admitted by other accredited institutions.

The necessary qualifications for accreditation of specific schools and programs may vary by region, so it would be beneficial to research whether each Houston psychology school you apply to has been accredited. 

The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral degrees and welcomes questions from prospective students about its school’s accreditation. 

In the case of schools that offer online degrees, most schools follow the same curriculum and are taught by the same faculty. In this case, most online and on-campus programs will receive the same accreditation for their school. However, it’s still important to ensure that any given online program is accredited prior to enrollment.

Best Schools with Psychology Programs in Houston, Texas

Looking for more information on the best psychology programs in Houston, Texas? Let’s take a look at some of the top choices for psychology students regarding bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degree programs in Houston.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Houston, TX

Bachelor’s degree programs are generally offered on a full-time basis, with a curriculum spanning four years. A Bachelor’s degree in psychology may be offered as a Bachelor of Arts, offering a humanities-based curriculum, or as a Bachelor of Science, offering a science-based curriculum. Each type of bachelor’s degree will determine the type of graduate programs that the student is eligible for.

University of Houston

The University of Houston offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science program in psychology. This school’s psychology programs offer their students a broad education in human beings’ study, their cognitive and emotional growth, and how they interact with their environment. 

Students that graduate from the University of Houston’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology are prepared for a career in social services, service-oriented industries, and for a variety of positions in the private and public sectors, while graduates of the Bachelor of Science program prepare students for work combining psychology and computer technology, as well as positions in medicine and industry. Both degree paths give options to finish your psychology degree online.

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology
  • Program Length: Four years of full-time studies
  • Tuition: $8,913 for in-state and $21,273 for out-of-state students per year 
  • School Type: Four-year, public; student population of approximately 46,324 

Rice University

Rice University is a private option for post-secondary education that offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in psychology. This program prepares students to describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology, as well as understand research methods and how to develop and apply research skills. This program requires a total of 120 hours of coursework, with 35 credit hours of non-elective major courses and 12 credit hours of psychology electives. 

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology
  • Program Length: Four years of full-time studies
  • Tuition: $47,350 per year 
  • School Type: Four-year, private; student population of approximately 7,124

Master’s Degree Programs in Houston, TX

Master’s degree programs are generally offered on a full-time basis, with a curriculum spanning two to three years. A Master’s degree in psychology provides training for licensed employment in a variety of applied settings, with students finding work as therapists, child welfare workers, school counselors or administrators, or testing and assessment psychologists.

University of Houston

The University of Houston’s Master of Education in Counselling is offered through its College of Education. The coursework of this graduate degree program teaches students how to interact with clients and includes counseling theories, skills, and techniques for diverse populations with various counseling issues or needs, knowledge of legal, ethical, and moral responsibilities related to the practice of professional or school counseling, and the application of relevant empirical research to broaden the knowledge and delivery of school psychology counseling services. Students will be prepared upon graduation to work in a school setting or private practice.

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Master of Education in Counseling
  • Program Length: Two years of full-time studies
  • Tuition: $8,214 for in-state and $8,214 for out-of-state students per year 
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
  • Admission Requirements: Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores, resume, goal statement, and interview
  • School Type: Four-year, public; student population of approximately 46,324 

Houston Baptist University

Houston Baptist University is a private university that offers its students the opportunity to master psychology skills through three Master of Psychology program tracks: Master of Arts in Psychology-General, Master of Arts in Psychology: Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, and Master of Arts in Christian Psychology. 

These programs include counseling and psychotherapy theories, individual psychological evaluation, and methods of group therapy and research techniques. Graduates of these programs are then eligible to apply for licensure from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAP); Master of Arts in Psychology (M.A.); Master of Arts in Christian Psychology (MACP)
  • Areas of Study: M.A.: Licensed psychology associate or licensed professional counselor
  • Program Length: MAP: 37 credit hours, M.A.: 60 credit hours, MACP: 72 credit hours
  • Tuition: $10,000 per year
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree in psychology
  • Admission Requirements: GRE scores, current resume, and two letters of recommendation
  • School Type: Four-year, private; student population of approximately 3,432 

Doctorate/Ph.D. Degree Programs in Houston, TX

If you’re looking to take the final step in your education, students interested in research and clinical practice may wish to consider a doctorate/Ph.D. in psychology. A doctorate degree will allow students to qualify for a greater range of jobs than those who hold a master’s degree, with the highest pay of working professionals in the field of psychology.

Rice University

Rice University offers a private, five-year Ph.D. program that focuses on research and collaboration. Rice University’s doctoral program provides an opportunity for both faculty and graduate students to come together and work in Research Interest Groups (RIGs), which allows for tailor-made programs based on shared research interests. 

As a result, this unique opportunity encourages long-lasting mentor/student interactions. While Rice University does not offer a master’s degree program in psychology, you can earn a master’s degree as you work toward your doctorate.

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology
  • Program Length: Five years of full-time studies
  • Tuition: $37,855 per year
  • Prerequisites: Minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Admission Requirements: GRE scores
  • School Type: Four-year, private; student population of approximately 7,124

University of Houston

The University of Houston offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, allowing students to specialize in one out of the following disciplines: Clinical Psychology, Developmental, Cognitive, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Social Psychology. This doctorate program is composed of coursework, examinations, research projects, and teaching experiences. It provides students with the opportunity to conduct research independently and with faculty members in various departmental labs and clinics.

Program Information:

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology
  • Specializations: Clinical Psychology, Developmental, Cognitive, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Social Psychology
  • Program Length: 72 credit hours
  • Tuition: $8,214 for in-state and $17,463 for out-of-state students per year
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
  • Admission Requirements: GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a career statement
  • School Type: Four-year, public; student population of approximately 46,324

How Much Can You Make with a Psychology Degree From a Houston School?

How much money you can make from a psychology degree in Houston, Texas, largely depends on the level of education of the individual and skill level, and years of experience. As of March 20, 2021, the average annual pay for those who hold a bachelor’s degree In Psychology in Houston is $43,602 a year. This works out to be approximately $20.96/hour, $839/week, or $3,634/month. Top earners in the 90th percentile are reported as making $86,697 annually in Houston.

The average pay range for both a master’s degree and a Doctorate in Psychology also varies greatly. For those who hold a master’s degree in Psychology, the average reported earnings is $59,468 per year in Houston, Texas, with top earners in the 90th percentile earning $111,963.  

Those who hold a Doctorate in Psychology and hold licensure in Houston report average earnings of $107,601, with top earners in the 90th percentile earning $132,894.

Although you can earn a high salary due to a psychology degree, prospective students may find the initial investment of tuition fees daunting. It’s important to remember that student aid is offered in Houston, Texas, with an application available for financial aid, scholarships, and grants.

Why Attend a Psychology School in Houston, Texas?

Houston, Texas, is home to several colleges and universities that provide numerous study options for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. level degrees. While Houston has much to offer its in-state students, international students who are coming to Houston will enjoy the opportunity to join various student organizations and engage in creative social, extracurricular activities in a culturally diverse community. 

Whether public or private, Houston’s psychology schools are dedicated to offering their students a complete and fulfilling study experience that goes beyond the minimum to thoroughly prepare graduates for a career in the field of psychology. 

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