Washington D.C. Master’s in Psychology Programs and Resources

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Updated on October 24, 2023
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Washington D.C. is a great place to pursue a master’s degree in psychology for those who want to make a bigger impact and earn higher income. With an extensive understanding of human motivations and behaviors gained through the psychology master’s program, students become highly desirable candidates for various jobs, both within and outside the mental health field.

If becoming a licensed psychologist is your ultimate goal in Wisconsin, the state provides extensive resources and support to help you get there. If you want to make an influence in the field of psychology, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist. Washington DC is home to a thriving psychological community, making it a desirable place for students and professionals alike.

Washington D.C. Master’s in Psychology Programs

Looking to pursue a career in psychology? Interested in deepening your knowledge and honing your skills in this fascinating field? Washington D.C. might just be the place for you! With a wide range of Master’s in Psychology Programs available, you can choose a program that aligns with your needs and interests.  It also provides Doctorate and Ph.D. programs in psychology for those who want to advance their careers in the field.

Join us as we explore some of the top Master’s in Psychology Programs offered in Washington D.C. and discover the perfect program that aligns with your interests and career goals.

Master’s in Psychology

American University – Master’s in Psychology

The Master’s in Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), which is a well-respected accrediting body for psychology programs in the United States. With the option to choose from three different tracks of specialization (general psychology, clinical science, or cognition, learning, and neuroscience), you can tailor your program of study to fit your individual interests and needs. You can pursue a thesis or non-thesis option for your degree, and with small and intensive classes, you will receive personalized attention and mentorship from faculty who are innovative researchers and scholars.

The MA in Psychology program at Washington DC offers a flexible curriculum consisting of 33 credits, ensuring a personalized education with excellent results. Meanwhile, the other two tracks allow for a deeper exploration of your chosen area of specialization, while still providing a solid foundation in general psychology, research, and statistics.

  • Location:  Washington, D.C
  • Us News Ranking: 72 in National Universities 
  • Cost per credit: Tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year are set at $1,866 per credit. Most 2-year master’s degree programs typically require students to complete between 30-39 credits.

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

George Washington University – M.A. in Forensic Psychology

The MA in Forensic Psychology program at George Washington University is a fully accredited program by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Forensic Psychology Education Accreditation Council (FPEAC). Their program in Forensic Psychology spans over two years and comprises 36 credit hours. 

Some of the core courses in the program include Introduction to Forensic Psychology, Criminal Behavior, Psychological Assessment in Forensic Settings, and Psychology and the Law. In addition, students are required to complete a practicum and a research thesis in their area of interest. 

To be considered for the MA in Forensic Psychology program at George Washington University, there are several preferred qualifications that applicants should meet. A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is expected, as well as a Verbal General GRE Test score in the 50th percentile or higher. Along with these academic qualifications, a strong statement of purpose and a recommendation letter are also important. Meeting these preferred qualifications can increase an applicant’s chances of being accepted into the program and succeeding in their studies.

  • Location: Washington, D.C
  • Us News Ranking: 62 in National Universities
  • Cost per credit: The tuition fee for the Forensic Psychology program at this institution is $1,480 per credit hour, and it is charged on a per-credit basis.

Click here for Masters in Forensic Psychology programs in the state of Washington DC.


Master’s in School Psychology and Counseling Services

Howard University – Master’s in School Psychology and Counseling Services

Howard University’s Master’s in School Psychology and Counseling Services program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Master’s in School Psychology and Counseling Services program at HU offers a unique opportunity for students to specialize in one of three professional content areas: Clinical Mental Health, School Counseling, or School Psychology. This combined program provides both clinical and professional tracks that lead to a terminal Master’s degree, aimed at producing entry-level clinicians in their respective areas.

Coursework covers topics such as child and adolescent development, counseling techniques, crisis intervention, and assessment and evaluation methods. Students also gain hands-on experience through supervised practicum and internship placements in schools and other educational settings.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Us News Ranking: 89 in National Universities
  • Cost per credit: According to estimates, the cost of tuition per credit hour is $1,748.00.

Master of Arts in Psychological Science

Catholic University of America – Master of Arts in Psychological Science

The Master of Arts in Psychological Science program at the Catholic University of America is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). This thesis-optional degree is awarded after completion of 31 credit hours of coursework that includes required courses in statistics and research methodology, as well as several areas of psychology, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, neuroscience, and social psychology.

With its emphasis on research and practical training, the program prepares students for a variety of careers in the field of psychology, including research, teaching, and clinical practice. The program is taught by experienced faculty members who are experts in their respective fields, and students benefit from individualized attention and mentorship.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Us News Ranking: 176 in National Universities
  • Cost per credit: For all programs under Masters in Philosophy, the tuition fee for part-time graduate students is calculated on a per-credit-hour basis, and the cost per credit hour is set at $2,015.

Master of Arts in Human Factors

Catholic University of America – Master of Arts in Human Factors

The Master of Arts in Human Factors program at Catholic University of America provides students with the opportunity to select a minor area of concentration and conduct research within that field. Moreover, it is important to note that the program has been accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES).

There are currently three minors available: Engineering Psychology, Applied Cognitive Science, and Methodology. Students gain research experience by working in on-campus laboratories or with off-campus employers.

The program requires 32 credit hours of coursework (including research experience), successful completion of a comprehensive exam, and defense of a master’s thesis. Students must also complete six credits of approved coursework in their concentration areas. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a Master of Arts in Human Factors.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Us News Ranking: 176 in National Universities
  • Cost per credit: The tuition fee is charged on a per-credit-hour basis, with a cost of $2,015 per credit hour.

Washington D.C. Psychology Licensing and Resources

Having a clear understanding of licensing requirements and available resources is crucial to succeeding in the field of psychology. Luckily, Washington D.C. provides numerous opportunities for psychologists, including a variety of licensing options and professional organizations that offer support and aid in growth and development.

With the resources available in the D.C. area, you can achieve your aspirations, whether you’re interested in becoming a licensed clinical psychologist or pursuing a career in research.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: As the leading national association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families affected by psychiatric disorders, the AACAP provides numerous resources to help psychologists in their work with young patients. These resources include access to the latest research and best practices in child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as advocacy efforts aimed at improving mental health policies and services for children and families.

Moreover, the AACAP offers continuing education opportunities and professional development resources to help psychologists stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

American Psychiatric Association: The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is a leading professional organization of psychiatrists committed to advancing mental health and well-being as an essential aspect of overall health. With over 37,000 members, including those in psychiatric practice, research, and academia, the APA represents the diversity of patients for whom they care.

For psychologists, the APA can be a valuable resource for collaboration, as psychiatrists and psychologists often work together to provide comprehensive care for patients with mental health and substance use disorders.

Washington DC Psychologist License Lookup: The Washington DC Department of Health provides an online license lookup service for individuals to search for licensed psychologists in the District of Columbia. This service allows individuals to verify the current licensure status of a psychologist, including their license type, license number, and expiration date.

To use the license lookup service, individuals can visit the Department of Health’s website and enter the last name and first name of the psychologist they are searching for. They can also search by license number or by city.

American Psychiatric Association Publishing: The American Psychiatric Association Publishing is a leading publisher of books, journals, and multimedia on psychiatry, mental health, and behavioral science. Their materials provide reliable and current information for psychiatrists, mental health professionals, psychiatric residents, medical students, and the general public.

While their focus is on psychiatry, the materials published by the APA are also useful for psychologists who work with patients with mental health and behavioral issues. They provide valuable resources for professionals looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of the field, as well as resources for patients and their families seeking information about mental health conditions and treatments.

APA Find a Psychiatrist:APA Find a Psychiatrist is an essential resource that can help psychologists in need of referring their patients to qualified psychiatrists. This valuable directory enables psychologists to search for psychiatrists according to location, specialty, insurance accepted, and other relevant criteria. This is particularly beneficial for psychologists working in private practice or those who do not have a psychiatrist on staff.

With APA Find a Psychiatrist, psychologists can be confident that their patients receive top-quality psychiatric care from trained professionals. The directory also provides an opportunity for psychologists to create a network of trusted professionals in their area for collaboration and referrals.

Washington DC Board of Psychology Licensing: The Washington DC Board of Psychology Licensing plays a critical role in regulating and overseeing the practice of psychology within the District of Columbia. The board is responsible for evaluating the qualifications of applicants, administering exams, recommending standards and procedures, and issuing licenses to eligible psychologists.

Composed of four licensed psychologists and one consumer who is also a DC resident, the Board ensures that the psychologists have at least three years of practice experience before their appointment. The Board’s primary objective is to protect the public by ensuring that only qualified and competent professionals are licensed to practice psychology in the District of Columbia. This, in turn, helps psychologists to maintain the highest level of professional standards and provide quality services to their clients.

Jung Society of Washington DC: Founded in 1989, the Jung Society of Washington DC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and his followers.

The Jung Society offers an open forum for people to explore and understand the human psyche. They organize various events and activities such as lectures, workshops, study groups, and film screenings that focus on topics like dream interpretation, archetypes, and individuation. Through these events, people can learn about Jungian psychology and how to practically apply it in their daily lives.

But the Jung Society is more than just a place for intellectual exploration. It’s also a supportive community for individuals who are on a journey of self-discovery. Members can participate in discussion groups and social gatherings, where they can connect with like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships.

Washington Psychiatric Society: One of the most prominent professional medical organizations in the Washington DC region is the Washington Psychiatric Society (WPS). With over 900 psychiatrists in their membership, the WPS is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to ensuring access to effective treatment and humane care for individuals with mental illnesses.

As the voice and conscience of psychiatry in the region, the WPS can be a valuable resource for collaboration and interdisciplinary work with psychiatrists. The organization provides a platform for psychologists and psychiatrists to connect and share knowledge, which can ultimately lead to improved patient care. The WPS also offers insights into the latest developments in psychiatric treatment and public policy changes that may impact psychologists’ practice.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Washington DC: If you or a loved one are dealing with mental illness in Washington DC, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a valuable resource to consider.

NAMI DC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Psychologists can refer their patients to NAMI DC for education and support groups, peer-led programs, and other community resources. Alongside peer-led programs, NAMI DC offers advocacy and public policy initiatives to promote better mental health care and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

DC Psychological Association: The DC Psychological Association (DCPA) is a leading professional organization for psychologists practicing in the Washington DC area. Its main mission is to promote the practice, teaching, and science of psychology, and to advance psychology as a means of improving human welfare.

The DCPA provides a range of benefits and services to its members, including opportunities for professional development, advocacy, and networking. Psychologists can attend various events hosted by the DCPA, such as conferences, workshops, and social gatherings, which are great platforms for connecting with colleagues and building meaningful relationships.

DC Mental Health Counselors Association: The DC Mental Health Counselors Association (DCMHCA) is a unique organization that caters to the professional needs and interests of mental health counselors in the Washington DC region. Psychologists can benefit from the DCMHCA by connecting with fellow mental health professionals, including counselors, to build relationships and collaborations for research or clinical work.

Moreover, the DCMHCA offers continuing education opportunities, conferences, and workshops that can provide psychologists with the latest knowledge and developments in the mental health field. The association also advocates for public policies that promote mental health and support access to quality mental health services for all individuals in the DC area.

Washington Society of Psychoanalytic Psychology: The Washington Society of Psychoanalytic Psychology (WSPP) is an organization that focuses on the study and practice of psychoanalytic psychology in the Washington DC area. Their main goal is to promote the understanding and application of psychoanalytic theory and practice in the treatment of mental health disorders. Psychologists who are interested in learning more about psychoanalytic theory and its practical applications can benefit from the resources that WSPP has to offer.

Furthermore, WSPP provides a supportive community for psychologists to engage in professional networking and connect with colleagues in the field. Through meetings and events, psychologists can exchange ideas, collaborate on research, and develop meaningful professional relationships. This can be especially helpful for psychologists who are new to the field or who are looking to expand their professional networks.

Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis: For those interested in studying psychoanalysis in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas, the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis (WBCP) is a valuable resource. The WBCP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and advancement of psychoanalysis as a means of understanding the human mind and treating mental health disorders.

Through participation in these programs, psychologists can expand their knowledge of psychoanalysis and its applications in clinical settings, which can ultimately lead to more effective treatment outcomes for their patients.

Washington D.C. Data and Mental Health Statistics

Regardless of your interest in the field of psychology, it is essential to understand the current state of mental health in the Washington D.C. area. The data and mental health statistics provide insight into the challenges faced by the community and the need for qualified professionals to address these issues. 

By exploring the data and mental health statistics, you can gain a better understanding of the demand for mental health services in the D.C. area and the importance of pursuing a career in psychology.

  • According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year.
  • The Washington, D.C. Department of Behavioral Health reports that the prevalence of mental illness among adults in the district is higher than the national average, with over 21% of adults experiencing a mental health disorder in a given year.
  • In 2019, the American Psychological Association found that D.C. has a shortage of mental health professionals, with only 9.4 providers per 10,000 people.
  • The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in 2019, 9.8% of adults in the district reported having a substance use disorder in the past year, higher than the national average of 7.7%.
  • Based on data from the D.C. Department of Health, mental health outcomes differ among racial and ethnic groups in the district, with Black and Hispanic residents having higher rates of mental health disorders compared to White residents, indicating the presence of disparities.
  • In 2019, the suicide rate in D.C. was 7.5 per 100,000 population, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which was lower than the national average of 13.9 per 100,000 population.

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