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Best Psychology Schools in Vermont in 2021

September 20, 2021 | Staff Writers

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you considering attending a psychology program in Vermont? If so, you’re in luck. Vermont is home to numerous schools that offer psychology degrees at the associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral level. Vermont is also one of the most beautiful states in the country, which makes it ideal for any outdoor enthusiasts.

There is also a growing demand for mental health professionals, not just in Vermont but across the country. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for mental health counselors is expected to grow by 25% over the next ten years.

So, if you have a desire to help others, a keen interest in human behaviors, or you are interested in entering the school psychology field, obtaining a degree at a college or university in Vermont is a great first step.

This guide will provide more information about psychology programs available in Vermont and how to choose the right option for you.  

Reasons to attend a psychology program in Vermont

Vermont is one of the smallest states in the country with a population of nearly 624,000 residents. Despite its small size, there are several great reasons why you should attend a psychology program in Vermont, including:

Small town atmosphere

Vermont is a state full of small towns and rural areas. Even its largest city of Burlington has a population of just over 42,000 residents and the state capital of Montpelier has just over 7,800 residents. In fact, the University of Vermont is the only college or university in the state that has a student population of over 10,000.  This factor makes Vermont an ideal spot for students looking for a small-town experience.

Outdoor activities

Known as the Green Mountain State, Vermont is home to majestic mountains and stunning lakes. Thanks to the area’s snowy winters and mild summers, students can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, and skiing, all year long. If you’re the type of person who enjoys exploring the great outdoors when you’re not studying, then attending school in Vermont is the perfect choice for you.

Variety of options

Although Vermont is small in size, it still offers a variety of psychology programs. Students can find both undergraduate and graduate programs in the state, including a doctoral program. Vermont colleges and universities also offer specialty degrees in psychology, including forensic psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, social psychology, school psychology, and general/experimental psychology, as well as various concentrations and minor programs, such as art therapy, sexual orientation, neuroscience, and spiritual counseling.

Education is a priority

Another great reason to attend school in Vermont is the fact that the state prioritizes education. Out of its population of nearly 624,000 residents, 38% have some type of undergraduate or graduate degree. The state also ranks fifth for having the best high schools in the country as well as an over 90% graduation rate among high school students. As you can see, this is a state that takes education seriously, even at the higher education level.

Psychology career options

There are 7,460 professionals in the psychology field working in Vermont, including:

Rehab counselors

Number employed: 500

Average salary: $46,380

Substance abuse and mental health counselors

Number employed: 1,580

Average salary: $43,920

Counselors (other)

Number employed: 60

Average salary: $37,190

Social workers

Number employed: 1,150

Average salary: $54,030

Mental health social workers

Number employed: 590

Average salary: $48,000

Social service assistant

Number employed: 3,200

Average salary: $35,720

Psychologists

Number employed: 80

Average salary: $188,220

Psychologist assistant

Number employed: 300

Average salary: $40,560

Licensing requirements

Vermont has some of the most stringent requirements in the country for those seeking a professional license in psychology. This factor may make it easier to transfer your credentials to another state. For example, Vermont is one of the few states that meet all the requirements to obtain a license to practice in the state of Massachusetts.

The Board of Allied Mental Health Practitioners is responsible for licensure for psychology-related professions in the state of Vermont. There are a number of professional licensing options available for students graduating from a master’s or doctoral degree program, including:

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)

To become licensed as an LCMHC professional, you must first complete an accredited graduate program in psychology at the master or doctoral level and complete 2 years (3,000 hours) of supervised professional work experience that includes 2,000 hours of direct services. At this point, you can apply for and take the National Counseling Examination (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHC) to secure your professional license.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Those wanting to earn a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist must first complete a graduate program in psychology as well as the required number of work experience hours. Once these requirements are met, students can sit for the National Marriage and Family Therapy Examination to earn their licensure.

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADC)

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors must also complete a graduate-level program in psychology and complete 270 training hours. They must also successfully pass the IC&RC Advanced Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor examination before earning their licensure.

School counselor

School counseling licensure is managed by the Vermont Agency of Education. You must first obtain a master-level school psychology program and complete 600 hours of supervised training before obtaining a license in school counseling. Vermont is part of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement reciprocity program, which allows school counselors to transfer their professional licenses to nearly every other state in the country.

School psychologist

To earn a license as a school psychologist, you must first obtain a doctorate degree in school psychology and complete the required work experience. You can then take the National School Psychology Examination to obtain your licensure.

Licensed psychologist

To become a licensed psychologist in Vermont, you must first complete a doctorate-level program in psychology. Once this degree program is completed, you must complete 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience before taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. After successfully completing this examination, you can become a licensed psychologist.

What to expect from a Vermont psychology college program?

Schools in Vermont are very similar to colleges and universities throughout the country. They offer both undergraduate and graduate-level options. All degree programs are based on credit hours, with most classes ranging from three to four credits. The number of credit hours you must complete depends on the type of program. Here’s a closer look.

Undergraduate programs

There are two types of undergraduate programs in Vermont, including an associate and a bachelor level program.

Associate degree

Associate degree programs typically take two years of full-time studies and the completion of 60 credit hours. Most students take an average of 15 credit hours of classes over the course of four semesters. Students can expect to take a mixture of general education and psychology-related courses, such as an introduction to psychology and human behaviors.

Experts recommend that students at the associate level commit at least two hours of studying a week per credit. This fact means that the average student should plan at least 30 hours of studying per week if they are taking 15 credits. Students with an associate degree may find an entry-level position in the psychology field, but most employers prefer at least a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s degree

Students can obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree. A bachelor-level program takes an average of four years of full-time studies and the completion of 120 credit hours. As with the associate degree program, students can expect to take a combination of general education and psychology-related courses, such as developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and human biology. Undergraduate students may also be required to complete a practicum or internship program.

Students should expect to spend two to three hours per credit hours studying and completing assignments. While Vermont requires a graduate degree in order to obtain a license in psychology, there are still plenty of job opportunities for those with a bachelor’s degree, such as a case manager, psychiatrist technician, social worker, and probation officer.

Graduate programs

Students wishing to obtain a graduate degree must first complete a master-level program and then pursue a doctorate degree if they desire.

Master’s degree

Master’s degree programs vary from school to school, but most students can complete the program in two to three years. These programs typically require the completion of 36 to 54 credit hours, which equates to about 12 to 18 different classes. At this level, students can expect to take only psychology-specific courses, such as forensic psychology, ethics, cognition and learning, and assessment and evaluation. Most programs also require the completion of a research project, internship program, or both.

These classes are intense and will include a combination of papers, projects, and examinations. The amount of study time needed to complete this program varies by class, but students should anticipate several hours of studying time per week for each class they take.

Some specialty programs are available at this level, such as a degree in forensic psychology, organizational psychology, and mental health counseling. As a graduating psychology student, you can work towards becoming a licensed counselor, by completing the set number of supervised work hours and passing the examination.  

Doctorate degree

Graduates of a master’s degree program can also pursue their doctorate degree in psychology. In Vermont, students have two doctorate degree program options, including a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in General Experimental Psychology. Doctorate degree programs are very intense and require the completion of 90 to 120 credit hours. It can take students anywhere from three to five years or longer to complete a doctoral program.

These programs often require the completion of a thesis paper, a set number of supervised experience hours, and a number of advanced psychology courses, such as biobehavioral psychology, social psychology, and research competencies. Graduates of a doctorate program can move forward to become Licensed Psychologists by completing 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience and passing the national exam.

Financing options for a Vermont psychology program

Unfortunately, Vermont has some of the highest tuition costs in the country. However, this should not deter you from attending school in the state because there is a variety of financing options available. It’s important to start financial aid planning as soon as possible. Here’s a look at several financial options in Vermont.

Federal Student Aid (FSA)

No matter what state you are considering for college, your first step should be to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application helps to determine if you are eligible for any type of support from the federal government to help offset the costs of college. You must complete and submit this application by June 30 prior to the year you are planning to attend college.

Eligibility is based solely on income guidelines. The current maximum grant amount is $6,345; however, most students do not earn the entire amount. Completion of the FAFSA application is also required for those seeking undergraduate or graduate student loan options.

State grants

Vermont offers a variety of state grant programs, including the Vermont Incentive Grant for both full-time and part-time students, which can provide up to $12,500 in grant money. If you are a resident of Vermont, you must complete the Vermont Grant Application, which is available at the Vermont State Assistant Corporation (VSAC) website. State grant money does not need to be repaid.

Scholarships

Some colleges in Vermont, including Bennington College, Norwich University, and Middlebury College, require students to complete a CSS (College Scholarship Service) profile. This should not be confused with the FAFSA application. Students attending these schools must complete both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.

The CCS Profile is managed by the College Board, which is the same organization that handles college entrance exams. Students provide income, personal, and career information and the College Board uses that data to connect students with non-federal financial aid funding options that match their profile. They send this information to the student-selected school to determine eligibility.

Whether you are required to complete a CSS Profile or not, it should not deter you from seeking out additional scholarship opportunities. There are literally thousands of scholarships available. Some are based solely on financial needs, while other use academic accomplishments, sports abilities, community service, career objectives, and other factors to select winners. For example, there are specific scholarships available for students entering into a counseling psychology program, while other scholarships are specifically for those pursuing a career as a social worker.

Despite there being thousands of scholarships available, it can still be difficult to find the right ones. Start by contacting your local high school to determine if you are eligible for any local scholarships. Then, contact that college or university you will be attending to inquire about their scholarship options. You can also use several online platforms to find scholarships that are right for you.

Student loans

Students who cannot secure enough funding by other means may need to take out a student loan. Unlike grant and scholarship money, student loans must be repaid after graduation. Once you complete your degree or unroll from school, the loan company will set up a repayment plan with you.

Those who meet income requirements may be eligible for federally backed student loans. While these loans must still be paid back after graduation, they do not require any type of credit check or collateral. Additionally, federally backed student loans typically have lower than average interest rates.

Students who don’t qualify for federal student loans may still be eligible for student loan options through a local bank. It’s best to compare rates to lower your repayment amount.

Work study opportunities

Many colleges and universities also offer work-study opportunities. These programs work by allowing students to work at the school, such as at the student union building, cafeteria, or bookstore. In exchange, the school covers a part of the student’s tuition and pays them a small stipend.

If you are interested in a work-study program, it’s vital that you contact your school as soon as possible. These programs are very popular among students and spots can fill up quickly. The earlier you apply for this program, the higher chance you have of qualifying for the program.

Tuition reimbursement

Depending on your workplace, you may also qualify for tuition reimbursement. For example, if you’re a teacher but want to become a school psychologist, your school may cover a portion of your tuition costs. Typically, employees are not required to repay tuition reimbursement funds. However, some employers do require employees to remain with the company for a set number of years after obtaining financial support for schooling. Always be sure to check out these requirements prior to accepting funds.

Best schools with psychology programs in Vermont

Vermont is home to 17 colleges and universities, of which 10 offer exceptional undergraduate or graduate psychology programs. Below is a look at the top colleges and universities in Vermont with the best psychology programs.

Community College of Vermont

This is the only community college in the state of Vermont and is ideal for students wishing to start their educational track by earning associate degrees. While the Community College of Vermont doesn’t offer a degree program in psychology, it does offer an Associate of Science in Behavioral Science. Since this program is compatible with psychology, graduates can go move forward to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

The Community College of Vermont also partners with several universities throughout the state, including Northern Vermont University and Castleton University. This partnership guarantees students the ability to transfer credits earned at the community college to a bachelor’s degree program. Best of all the behavioral science program can be completed online without any on-campus classes required. However, students must complete professional field experience at an approved facility.

University of Vermont

Location: Burlington, VT

The University of Vermont is the largest Vermont college with just over 13,000 students. It’s also the only university in the state to offer a doctorate program for psychology students. Undergraduate students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology degree program. The school also offers an accelerated master’s degree program with concentrations in clinical psychology or general/experimental psychology.

Saint Michael’s College

Location: Colchester, VT

Saint Michael’s College is a Catholic school that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology. Undergraduate students can also select various minors, including gender studies and religious studies. Graduate students must complete an internship program and research project to earn a Master of Art in Clinical Psychology degree.

Castleton University

Location: Castleton, VT

Castleton University offers several degree program options, including a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Science, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology as well as an accelerated program that allows students to obtain their bachelor’s degree faster. Students have the opportunity to present their research projects on a national or international platform. It is also the only college in Vermont to offer a Master of Art in School Counseling degree.

Norwich University

Location: Northfield, VT

Norwich University is a military academy located in Northfield. It offers a bachelor’s degree program in psychology. All students must complete an internship program as well as a research project. It also offers a minor in neuroscience.

Goddard College

Location: Plainfield, VT

Goddard College offers both Bachelor of Art and a Master of Art in Psychology programs. Students enrolled in the graduate program can choose from a variety of concentrations, including spiritual care and counseling, human-animal interaction studies, expressive art therapy, and sexual orientation.

Middlebury College

Location: Middlebury, VT

Middlebury is a privately run institution that offers a comprehensive undergraduate degree program in psychology. While this school only offers a bachelor’s degree program, its staff can help students find an appropriate graduate program after graduation.

Champlain College:

Location: Burlington, VT

Champlain College is another privately run institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree. The school maintains a neuroscience lab and gives students opportunities for both internships and studying abroad. Students can choose one of several minors, including family studies and human resource management.  

Northern Vermont University

Location: Johnson and Lyndonville, VT

This public university maintains campuses in both Johnson and Lyndonville. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program with concentrations in sports and health psychology and applied psychology. The university also offers two graduate programs, including a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Landmark College

Location: Putney, VT

Landmark College is a unique school that is designed specifically for students who struggle with some type of learning disability, such as ADHD, dyslexia, and autism. It offers a wide range of services to help students flourish in a college setting. The college offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program.

How to choose the right school

With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which psychology program is right for you. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

BA vs BS degree program

The first step is to determine if you want to earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. A Bachelor of Arts program is a liberal arts program that is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in counseling, social work, or other direct client services. On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science degree is more science-based and is ideal for students who want to pursue a career in research and development or who want to obtain a doctorate degree in psychology. The same is true at the master’s degree level.

Minors and concentrations

Once you know what type of degree program best matches your career goals, you want to consider what types of minors and concentrations each school offers. For example, if you are considering a career as a forensic psychologist, you want to look for a school that offers this type of program or at least offers a minor in criminal justice. However, if you’re considering a career as a counselor, you should look for a clinical mental health counseling program.

Online vs traditional classes

Whether you’re a Vermont resident or not, you should determine if you want to attend a traditional, on-campus program or an online program that can be completed at home. While both options have a list of pros and cons, online schooling can be ideal for students who want to save money, must continue working while going to school, or have personal, at-home responsibilities that would make moving a hardship.

Research and internship opportunities

Most programs require the completion of a research or internship program or both. It’s important to fully understand these requirements prior to enrolling in any psychology program. You also want to ask each school what types of research projects, internships, or supervised experience former students have completed. This information may help you determine if this is the right school for you or not.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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