Psychology Schools and Colleges in Rhode Island (RI)

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There were just over a million people in Rhode Island in 2015, according to recent U.S. Census estimates. Of those million people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counts only about 600 psychologists across all disciplines of the field, despite the fact that Rhode Island ranked among the top 10 states in the country for average psychologist salary.

Here's some more data for prospective students of psychology schools and colleges in Rhode Island:

  • School, counseling, and clinical psychologists earned a mean annual wage of $79,930 in 2015 in Rhode Island, according to BLS data — nearly four thousand dollars more per year than the national average psychologist salary
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports in 2016 that eight of the state's institutions operate psychology schools or colleges in Rhode Island, most with multiple individual degree programs
  • The National Register of Health Service Psychologists mentions two specific doctoral psychology programs in Rhode Island that meet its criteria for recognition

There's also good news for scholars looking to ply their trade as faculty at psychology colleges and schools in Rhode Island — the BLS reports that schools in the Ocean State paid their university-level psychology professors a higher average salary than all states but two in 2015.

RegionCareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Median Wage
Providence-Warwick, RI-MAMental Health Counselors$980$30920
Providence-Warwick, RI-MAClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$650$74250
Providence-Warwick, RI-MAPsychologists, All Other$60$100370
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Rhode Island psychology licensing requirements

Licensing of psychologists in Rhode Island is handled by the Board of Psychology of the Rhode Island Department of Health. Here's a quick rundown of the requirements for a Rhode Island psychologist license, according to the Department of Health and last revised in 2011:

  • A Ph.D. or PsyD from a regionally accredited school whose doctoral program is also accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) OR a degree determined upon review by the board to deliver equivalent preparation
  • Documentation of supervised experience, including at least 1,500 hours of supervised internship in the latter half of doctoral study and at least 1,500 more hours of supervised post-doctoral clinical experience
  • Satisfactory completion of the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) as described by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)

Licensees are required to complete at least 24 credits of continuing education every two years. The license renewal deadline also comes up biannually, on the first day of May in every even-numbered year.

Candidates for Rhode Island psychology licenses who had previously been licensed in a foreign country or a separate U.S. state or territory may be exempt from furnishing the full slate of application materials typically required of first-time applicants, provided the Board finds the foreign licensing process substantially equivalent to its own.

Featured psychology schools in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a deep-rooted academic tradition, and some of its top schools have had their psychology programs recognized by national organizations in the field or ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report:

University of Rhode Island

Two doctoral degrees from The University of Rhode Island are accredited by the APA — the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in clinical psychology and school psychology — and its ranking on the U.S. News list of best psychology graduate programs fell just shy of the top 100 in the country. On top of that, the Kingston school's Master of Science (MS) and Ph.D. degrees in school psychology are also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). There are also Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programs for undergraduate students, and non-degree certificate programs in substance abuse counseling and applied behavioral psychology.

  • Department: University of Rhode Island Department of Psychology
  • Location: Kingston, Rhode Island
  • Online options: The URI e-Campus doesn't list a psychology degree among its study plans, but several individual psychology courses are available to be taken online.

Brown University

Ivy League schools are known for their dedication to academic life, and Brown University is no different. U.S. News ranked its graduate psychology programs in the top 30 nationwide for 2016, and students at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level have a range of specialties toward which they can focus their studies. Although the university offers no graduate study in clinical, counseling, school or applied psychology, Ph.D. candidates and bachelor's degree students alike can choose among cognitive science, linguistics and general psychology as their degree concentration.

Roger Williams University

Students at Roger Williams University, or RWU, have some interesting options when it comes to psychology degrees. The subject matter of the undergraduate program is restricted to general psychology, but enrolled students have the option to meld their upper-division bachelor's degree work with graduate-level study and earn both their bachelor's and Master of Arts (MA) degrees in just five years. This plan, known as the Psychology 4+1 Program, currently leads to a master's in forensic psychology. A standard MA degree plan in clinical psychology is also available.

Salve Regina University

This Catholic institution in Newport offers a BA in general psychology and a psychology minor for undergraduates, as well as a master's degree and certificate program that cater to an emerging field of psychological interest. Applied behavior analysis has been making waves among psychologists and educators, and students at Salve Regina University interested in the subject will find a full-fledged graduate degree program and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program in the discipline. An undergraduate certificate for assistant behavior analysts, designed to qualify students to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst exam, is also available as a non-degree path of study.

  • Department: Salve Regina University Department of Psychology
  • Location: Newport, Rhode Island
  • Online options: The rehabilitation counseling program offered at Salve contains some courses that may be completed online, but there were no full psychology degree plans available in the virtual classroom as of Fall 2016.

Rhode Island College

This relatively small public school in Providence offers a few stimulating opportunities for undergraduate psychology students, such as a behavioral neuroscience minor and a concentration in chemical dependency and addiction studies. Graduates at Rhode Island College may take on a dedicated MA program in general psychology or take a shorter sequence of courses for a non-degree graduate certificate in health psychology. No Ph.D. or PsyD programs are currently active at RIC, but there is a psychology department honors program in place for bachelor's and master's students hoping to work on independent research projects with a faculty mentor.


  1. QuickFacts, Rhode Island, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed May 10, 2016, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/44
  2. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed May 10, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=RI&p=42
  3. Psychologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed May 10, 2016, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
  4. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed May 10, 2016: Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm; Psychologists, All Other, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm; Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251066.htm;
  5. Department of Health, State of Rhode Island, accessed May 18, 2016: Psychology Licensing, Board of Psychology, http://health.ri.gov/licenses/detail.php?id=241; Rules and Regulations for Licensing Psychologists, http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/6303.pdf;
  6. U.S. News & World Report, accessed May 17, 2016: Graduate School Search, Clinical Psychology Programs, Rhode Island, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-psychology-schools&specialty=&name=&zip=RI&program_rank=Any&sort=&sortdir=; Brown University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/brown-university-3401; Rhode Island College, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rhode-island-college-3407;
  7. School pages, accessed May 18, 2016: Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Brown University, http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/; Graduate Programs in CLPS, Brown University, http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/graduate; Undergraduate Programs (CLPS), Brown University, http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/undergrad; Online Learning, Brown University, https://www.brown.edu/academics/online-learning; Academics, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, http://web.uri.edu/psychology/academics/; Online Learning, University of Rhode Island, http://web.uri.edu/learningonline/programs/; Class Search, University of Rhode Island, https://appsaprod.uri.edu:9516/psp/sa_crse_cat/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/COMMUNITY_ACCESS.CLASS_SEARCH.GBL; Undergraduate, Psychology, Roger Williams University, http://www.rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/fcas/degree-offerings/psychology/undergraduate; Graduate, Psychology, Roger Williams University, http://www.rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/fcas/degree-offerings/psychology/graduate; Course Lookup, Online Psychology Courses, Roger Williams University, https://webadvisor-prod.rwu.edu/WASEC/WASEC?TOKENIDX=864602738&SS=2&APP=ST; Psychology, Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/undergraduate/psychology; Applied Behavior Analysis, Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/graduate-studies/applied-behavior-analysis; CAGS in Applied Behavior Analysis, Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/graduate-studies/applied-behavior-analysis/cags-applied-behavior-analysis; Assistant Behavior Analyst Certification, Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/undergraduate/psychology/assistant-behavior-analyst-certification; Online Studies, Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/graduate-studies/online-studies; Psychology Department, Rhode Island College, http://www.ric.edu/psychology/; Graduate Studies in Psychology, Rhode Island College, http://www.ric.edu/psychology/psychMA.php; Psychology Honors Program, Rhode Island College, http://www.ric.edu/psychology/honors.php