Psychology Doctoral Programs in Virginia

Doctoral programs in Psychology in Virginia are among the most sought after in the nation. Virginia’s universities and colleges have continuously ranked among top-tier institutions for academic excellence. The state also boasts innovations in health care – specifically in the areas of endocrinology and infertility. Virginia successfully accomplished the first in-vitro fertilization birth and continues to lead the country in groundbreaking research. Residents of this coastal region are also high achievers in the area of disaster preparedness with a perfect score nationwide. The universities listed below are among the most desirable in Virginia for advanced degree programs in Psychology.

George Mason University

College of Humanities and Social Science

With a #1 ranking for “up and coming” universities in the United States, George Mason University is a destination location for students from across the world. It is the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, has a modern, high-tech campus and is located just 15 miles outside of Washington, D.C. It boasts close to 80 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs. It also has respected opportunities in research and internships, hundreds of social organizations and successful athletic teams.

Clinical concentration in the Ph.D. in Psychology

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ PhD in Psychology program offers a concentration area in clinical psychology with unique perspectives – contextual and social psychological. The contextual approach identifies and considers social and cultural impacts on individuals while the social psychological perspective utilizes traditional theory and research to understand mental function. Additionally, students are introduced to psychodynamic, humanistic and existential perspectives with an objective to train clinical psychologists to be both innovative and integrative in practice. Research components commence in the first year and continue throughout the program. The clinical concentration requires 76 graduate credits related to doctorate coursework plus 12 dissertation research credits.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

4400 University Drive, 3A3
College Hall, Room C100
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 993-8720
[email protected]
Program Website

James Madison University

College of Health and Behavioral Studies/Department of Graduate Psychology

Nestled between the mountains and farmland of the Shenandoah Valley, James Madison University presents the perfect backdrop for educational awareness and the desire to reach for the stars. Eight colleges – College of Science and Mathematics; College of Arts and Letters; College of Education; College of Health and Behavioral Studies; College of Business; College of Visual and Performing Arts; College of Integrated Science and Engineering; The Graduate School – offer a total of 115 undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and educational specialist degrees. JMU has consistently ranked high on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s top 100 lists – with the “2014 Best Values in Public Colleges” category recognizing its exceptional graduation rates and low tuition costs.

Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology (C-I Psy.D.)

The C-I Psy.D. program at James Madison University prepares students to provide comprehensive psychological care for all age groups and diversities. Students should already posses a master’s degree in clinical, school or counseling psychology. The program is designed to be completed within four years which includes a one-year internship. Upon degree conferral, graduates are eligible for licensure as both a clinical and school psychologist.

Five key goals have been identified with fundamental learning objectives:

-Broad and general knowledge of the science and practice of Psychology.
-Effectively diagnose, assess and treat patients with mental health issues in an ethical manner.
-Foster the practice of Psychology through research and scientific inquiry.
-Cultivate a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and its influence on psychological processes.
-Produce leaders in the field of mental health with an objective toward lifelong learning and community enhancement.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact Information

800 S. Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
(540) 568-6211
Program Website

Radford University

Colleges of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences/Department of Psychology

As a midsize public institution of higher learning, Radford University prides itself on creating strong relationships between faculty and students, its technological savvy and use in learning, and opportunities for student involvement on campus and off. The campus is located along the banks of the New River and inspires students to explore its beautiful surroundings. Originally founded in 1910 as The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford as a teacher preparation facility, RU has expanded its course offerings to its 9,900 students for 150 undergraduate and graduate programs in a multitude of contemporary majors.

Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.)

With an emphasis on rural mental health, cultural diversity, social injustice and evidence-based practice, the Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology program at Radford University prepares specialists to assist patients in under-served locales. The APA-accredited curriculum provides training in counseling, psychological assessment and therapy. All applicants must have earned a Master’s degree in human services and provided counseling services prior to enrollment. A total of 2,000 internship hours are a requirement for degree conferral.

Rural Practice Concentration – The population base in these areas require assistance in handling mental health issues related to low incomes and high poverty rates, high unemployment, inadequate or no health insurance, aging, relationships, culture and diversity, alcohol and drug dependency, and the stigma associated with mental health care.

Cultural Diversity Emphasis – The issues related to cultural diversity and rural focus overlap, and therefore, both curricula integrate multicultural and rural components. Counseling techniques are paired with faculty membership in organizations such as the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. Collaborative associations with culturally diverse groups such as Radford University Safe Zones, Center of Gender Studies, Appalachian Regional Studies Center and Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley all provide significant insight into mental health concerns related to these demographics.

Social Justice Specialization – With a goal of exposing students to injustice and oppression worldwide, training is structured to address issues of equality, privilege, oppression and equity and their affects on patients. By understanding the cause and effect of human suffering, students will be better prepared to intervene to support human rights and a better quality of life.

Evidence-Based Practice – Students utilize both clinical expertise and research techniques to better define patient culture and characteristics for improved understanding and treatments.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

801 East Main Street
Radford, Virginia 24142
(540) 831-5000
Program Website

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Regent University

School of Psychology & Counseling

Regent University provides students with an education based on Christian values. RU offers 59 degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels through seven schools – School of Business & Leadership, School of Divinity, School of Law, School of Education, School of Psychology & Counseling, and Robertson School of Government. Innovative class scheduling is available with flexibility in mind. Most classes are available online, on campus or hybrid formats that include both. Regent has consistently ranked among top universities by national agencies – Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree Program, Top Online Christian University and special “A” rating by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni as a top-tier Christian university.

Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

The School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University has designed a Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology as a combined master’s and doctoral program. Four years of coursework must be completed at the Virginia Beach campus as well as a one-year internship prior to completion of the program. Students will achieve proficiency as a Clinical Psychologist through scientific and professional study and integrates biblical principles into coursework. The graduate degree curriculum is accredited by the American Psychological Association and prepares students for licensure.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(844) 242-2511
Program Website

University of Virginia

College of Arts and Sciences/School of Psychology

The University of Virginia has the distinct history of being founded by Declaration of Independence author, Thomas Jefferson. In 1819, the third President of the United States established an institution to develop leaders who could mold the future of the country and possibly the world. This discerning, private institution accepts only those students with exceptional promise as envisioned by the University of Virginia’s originator. Eleven schools prepare students for scholarship and leadership through 56 bachelor’s degrees, 79 master’s degrees, 54 doctoral degrees in hundreds of fields. U.Va. has the distinguishing honor of placing No. 1 or No. 2 among the best public universities in the United States in each of the 14 years that college rankings have been categorized.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Students of the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program gain expertise as a clinical scientist. The curriculum is designed for full-time, on-campus study over four years plus a one-year internship. Students actively participate in research, assessment and treatment techniques that include therapy for individuals, couples and families. Graduates will function well in both scientific and practitioner roles so will be prepared for careers as a Clinical Psychologist, administrator or researcher.

Ph.D. in Social Psychology

The Doctorate degree program in Social Psychology is a multi-faceted series that studies the social dynamics of relationships and how people cope. Groundbreaking research is being done in this field with emphasis on the following areas:

-Forecasting, unconscious and cognitive re-framing.
-Social emotion.
-Social neuroscience including gene expression.
-Judgment and Decision-making.
-Law and Psychology – the correlation between evidence and reasoning.
-Values versus Practices.
-Improved Research Methods.
-Cultural Psychology.
-Subjective Well-Being – understanding by others.

Combined Clinical/School Psychology (Psy.D.)

The Combined Clinical/School Psychology graduate degree breaks down social and cognitive development from birth to adulthood. Fundamental research begins with how children learn and progresses through development to sexual orientation, developmental neuroscience and early moral development. Coursework is split between the School of Psychology and the Curry School of Education.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)
  • Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)

Contact Information

102 Gilmer Hall
PO Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Program Website

Virginia Commonwealth University

Graduate School

Established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is the most diverse public university in Virginia. By embracing different perspectives, cultures and experiences, academic opportunities are enriched and expanded for a well-rounded, creative education. As a premier institution of higher learning located in Richmond, Virginia, its 32,000 students are the beneficiaries of attending a nationally ranked facility with access to a leading medical center. Groundbreaking innovations are part of the fabric of the university and the medical center. VCU is home to the first School of Social Work in the South and the VCU Medical Center performed the first liver, kidney and heart transplants in the nation.

Clinical Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Clinical Psychology emphasis of the Doctor of Philosophy program prepares students through a scientist-practitioner model. Specialty tracks in behavioral medicine psychology as well as child and adolescent psychology. Training opportunities are available through a campus-based agency for graduate students. Laboratory research is available in areas of behavioral assessment, social perception, social influence, psychophysiology, psychotherapy process and behavioral pharmacology. Graduates qualify for positions in universities, medical schools, counseling centers, hospitals, mental health agencies and other health care facilities.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

Blair House
408 W. Franklin St.
P.O. Box 843051
Richmond, VA 23284-3051
(804) 828-1675
[email protected]
Program Website

Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

The Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology is a collaboration of three universities – Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University – that functions as one inter-institutional department. By utilizing the best resources, faculty and facilities of all three institutions, students achieve professional expertise and are well-prepared for success as clinical psychologists.

East Virginia Medical School (EVMS) was uniquely formed by the community for which it serves and is focused on preparing the best-trained health care providers for improved health and quality of life for the residents of Hampton Roads.

Norfolk State University is committed to incorporating its core values into every aspect of student life – academic excellence, student-centered learning, diversity, integrity and collegiality and engagement.

Old Dominion University was established in 1930 as an extension of the College of William and Mary for the education of teachers and engineers. Today, ODU is a top-tier, four-year institution that serves as a model nationwide for its research excellence.

Clinical Psychology Ph.D.

The Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology provided through the Virginia Consortium Program is designed to prepare professional clinicians and research-driven professionals in the field of Psychology. The curriculum balances science and practice with a thorough training model. Students obtain proficiency in theory, research and practice through classroom instruction, hands-on clinical experiences and production of practical research early in the program.

Structured as a full-time, five-year program, students follow a curriculum that incorporates two years of didactic, a year of advanced clinical training, a dissertation element and a one-year clinical internship. Learning outcomes include competency in psychological science, individual and cultural diversity, delivery and evaluation of psychological services, and generation of new knowledge through research and experience. Graduates are qualified to assume health organization leadership roles as a Clinical Psychologist or provide academic instruction through an institution of higher learning.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

Norfolk State University
700 Park Avenue/MCAR-410
Norfolk, VA 23504
(757) 451-7733
Program Website

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

College of Science/Psychology Department

Virginia Tech is a public, comprehensive university and premier research organization. As a land-grant institution, it follows a fundamental mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technology with an ultimate goal of creating jobs for the citizens of commonwealth. Established in 1872, total student enrollment now totals over 31,000 and provides academic opportunities through more than 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Among is numerous accolades, Virginia Tech is now listed among the “Top 25 Public Colleges” by both Forbes and Money 2014 magazine rankings.

Clinical Psychology Ph.D.

The Doctorate degree program in Clinical Psychology at the College of Science at Virginia Tech is dedicated to producing competent clinical practitioners and research professionals. The program emphasis promotes adaptive performance through understanding, expert assessment, intervention, prevention methods and application of knowledge for improved quality of life. As students progress through the full-time, five-year program, standards and milestones are recorded through an annual Student Activities Report to evaluate and support a standard of excellence as dictated through the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation.


  • American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA)

Contact Information

109 Williams Hall
Blacksburg VA 24061
(540) 231-6581
Program Website

More than ever, today’s citizens are under mounting stresses and pressures in their work environments and everyday lives. To maintain a strong emotional foundation, it is often necessary to rely on professional intervention. Doctoral programs in Psychology in Virginia provide practitioners and researchers with the proficiency needed in this high-demand health care field.

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