Best Child Psychology Programs

According to the QS World University Ranking 2020 for Psychology, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, and MIT, among many others, are some of the best universities in the US that offer a degree in Child Psychology. For example, the Department of Psychology at Harvard, Yale, and UC Berkeley offer a degree in Psychology at the following levels.

  • Undergraduate-Bachelor’s
  • Graduate-Doctoral

These universities offer this degree with various concentrations at both undergraduate and graduate levels including Child Psychology, commonly known as Developmental Psychology.

What Is Child Psychology?

UC Berkeley’s Department of Psychology defines it as a complex scientific discipline with a goal to define, comprehend, and foresee the behavior of children in various situations. This field of study accepts the fact that various factors in our environment influence our moods and behaviors. These factors include the role of genetics, sensory experiences, social/cultural environments, complex reasoning, as well as the processes that can answer early childhood behavior, and so on.

What Can You Do with a Child Psychology Program?

The salary details of the careers described below are taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data was reported in 2019 and BLS states that some of these careers require at least a bachelor’s degree whereas, others require a doctoral degree in Child Psychology.

Psychologists- Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

You need at least a doctoral degree if you want to work as a Clinical Psychologist. However, you need at least a master’s degree with field experience if you want to be employed as a School Psychologist. Clinical Psychologists diagnose and treat patients with learning disabilities, cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems, or mental disorders. They provide treatments by using therapies in one on one or group sessions.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $78,200
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 14% (Psychologists)
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $87,450
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 California 16,960
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 Oregon $112,010


Postsecondary Teachers – Postsecondary Psychology Teachers

Without a relevant doctoral degree, you cannot become a Postsecondary Psychology teacher. People in this line of work typically teach courses in psychology including psychological counseling, clinical, child and developmental psychology, etc. They teach and also carry out research work in this field.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $76,620
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 11% (Postsecondary Teachers)
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $87,530
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 California 4,980
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 California $116,330


Social Workers-Child, Family, and School Social Workers

To become employed in this career, you need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology. These Social Workers are supposed to provide social services to children and their families in order to improve their social and psychological functioning. They also assist parents in arranging adoptions or in finding foster homes for abandoned or abused children. Those employed in school settings help resolve teenage pregnancy, misconduct, and absence issues.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $47,390
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 11% (Social Workers)
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $51,030
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 California 32,630
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 District of Columbia $71,590


What to Expect from a Child Psychology Program?

A program in Child Psychology can help you prepare for any of the careers mentioned above. The level of degree (i.e., bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) depends on the type of career you aim for. All degree levels have different variations in their curriculum. Let’s take a look at the research intensive Developmental Psychology Graduate Program – Doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. Its research themes include,

  • Cognition, Perception, and Language
  • Culture, Education, and Learning
  • Emotion, Stress, and Risk Taking
  • Identity, Family, and Peers
  • Neurodevelopment and Neurobiological Bases of Development

For details on the curriculum of a particular degree or university, kindly visit their official website.

How to Choose a Child Psychology Program?

Before enrolling in any degree at a particular university, it is better to consider the following features;

  • The suitability of the curriculum with your desired career
  • The versatility of the faculty
  • The ranking of the university
  • The accreditation of the program
  • The duration of the program
  • The admission and graduation requirements etc.

Child Psychology Program Admission Requirements

Every university and department has its own requirements for admission. For example, if you want to apply for the Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley, you must submit;

  • A complete online application set with the following documents,
  • Transcripts from all previous schools
  • A statement of purpose
  • A personal history statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • Official GRE Test scores
  • IELTS/TOEFL (for non-English speakers)

For further details, please visit the official website of your chosen university.