By population, Texas is a big state, the second most populous in the U.S. by the latest census report, which counted over 25 million people in the Lone Star State in 2010. Where there are lots of people, you might think there would be big demand for psychological services, and in this case, it's true: Texas came in third in terms of overall employment of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' May of 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.
- There were 5,550 psychologists employed in Texas in May of 2015, roughly half that of New York and less than a third the number of those employed in the nation's most populous state, California.
- Texas has just over 100 colleges and universities with psychology programs, 53 of which offer graduate degrees in psychology.
- The state also boasts 13 doctoral programs in psychology at schools approved by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.
Texas is also a big state in terms territory — the largest in the 48 contiguous states. So, average salaries for those who have earned a doctoral degree and been licensed to practice as professional psychologists vary across the state:
- $59,770 in Austin
- $65,960 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region
- $70,980 in the greater Houston metropolitan area
The same data from the BLS indicates that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists across the state of Texas earned an average of $64,130 as of May 2015.
Texas psychology licensing requirements
Texas has a tiered system for licensing in psychology. The state allows students who have earned a master's degree to apply for a Psychological Associate license. Prior to becoming fully licensed to practice, candidates who have finished a doctoral degree but have not yet completed the necessary hours of supervised experience for licensure as a psychologist, can secure a provisional licensed.
To do so, applicants must pass the nationally standardized Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the state's own Jurisprudence Examination, which tests candidates' knowledge of Texas laws that pertain to the practice of psychology. Indeed, for those aiming to practice psychology in Texas, one advantage to attending a psychology school in state is that these programs are more likely to include preparation for the Jurisprudence Examination and an additional oral examination that are a necessary part of the process of licensure. The basic steps are as follows:
- Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
- Apply for a provisional psychologist license through the State Board of Examiners.
- Pass the EPPP and the state's Jurisprudence Examination.
- Submit to a criminal background check.
- Complete the required 3,000 hours, or two years, of supervised clinical experience, half of which must be completed after the doctoral degree is conferred.
- Pass an oral examination given by a senior psychologist appointed by the Texas Board of Examiners.
- Texas has a separate track for school psychologists, which allows for licensing to candidates with a doctoral degree who pass all three exams and complete 1200 hours of supervised experience, 600 of which must be in a public school.
Licensing for all psychologists in Texas is handled by the Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Application forms for licensing in the state are available at the Texas Board of Examiners website, as are other materials and resources for those aiming to practice psychology in Texas.
The Texas Board of Examiners requires psychologists to renew their licenses every year. The process is fairly straightforward, but it does require the licensee to demonstrate that he or she has complete 20 hours of professional development in the year leading up to renewal. In most cases, the renewal process can be completed online.
Featured psychology schools in Texas
The top ranking psychology schools and colleges in Texas, according to an assessment by U.S. News & World Report, are listed below:
University of Texas at Austin
In addition to being ranked at No. 14 among more than 200 psychology graduate programs in the country, UT Austin's clinical psychology department placed even higher, at number 8. The graduate program in psychology includes concentrations in behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, individual differences and evolutionary psychology, perceptual systems, and social psychology. The university recently invested in building a new 52 million dollar, state-of-the-art psychology research and training facility.
- Department: University of Texas at Austin Department of Psychology
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Online options: UT Austin doesn't offer any online degrees in psychology per se, but it is part of the University of Texas System Online Consortium, which does include a bachelor of arts in psychology degree program.
Texas A&M University
The second-highest ranked psychology program in the state is housed in Texas A&M University, at No. 67 on the US News list. TAMU's Department of Psychology has six areas of specialization: behavioral and cellular neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience psychology, developmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and social and personality psychology. The psychology program also includes four additional areas of specialized research: affective science, diversity science, neuroscience, and personality and individual differences.
- Department: Texas A&M University Department of Psychology
- Location: College Station, Texas
- Online options: Texas A&M has a number of online degree options in the field of psychology, including a master's degree programs in school counseling, cognition and creativity, and educational technology. However, the doctoral degree program in psychology is campus based.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University is home to the school's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. And, Baylor's psychology program is known for its focus on the neuroscience. The school offers both a PsyD in psychology for those aiming to work in a clinical setting, and a Ph.D. in psychology, which is tailored to teaching/research and applied positions in universities, hospitals, industry, or government. In addition, Baylor's School of Education offers two terminal graduate degrees in educational psychology, an EdS degree, which is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.
- Department: Baylor University Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and School of Education
- Location: Waco, Texas
- Online options: While Baylor does offer online courses, it does not have online degree programs in psychology
University of Houston
The University of Houston is in the process of constructing a new, state-of-the-art Health and Biomedical Sciences facility that will house its College of Pharmacy, an ambulatory care center, and clinical services in psychology, health and human performance, nutrition counseling, social work, educational psychology and communication disorders. The university's Department of Psychology has four basic tracks for Ph.D.s in psychology: clinical psychology, developmental cognitive neuroscience, industrial/organizational psychology, and social psychology
- Department: University of Houston Department of Psychology
- Location: Houston, Texas
- Online options: The University of Houston offers distance learning options for a BA and a BS in psychology
University of Texas at Dallas
Once known as the research wing of Texas Instruments, UT Dallas has one of the world's best audiology research and doctoral programs housed in its School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. That's also where you'll find the university's active psychology, which boasts bachelor's programs in child learning and development, cognitive science, and neuroscience; master's degrees in applied cognition and neuroscience, human development and early childhood disorders, and communication disorders; and doctorates in psychological sciences, communication sciences and disorders, and cognition and neuroscience.
- Department: UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Location: Dallas, Texas
- Online options: UT Dallas is also part of the University of Texas System Online Consortium, which offers a bachelor's degree in psychology.
1. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, "How to Become Licensed," visited March 27, 2016; http://www.tsbep.texas.gov/how-to-become-licensed
2. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, "Renewal of License," visited March 27, 2016; http://www.tsbep.texas.gov/renewalsonline-renewals-and-professional-development
3. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, "Master's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by field of study and state or jurisdiction: 2011-12," visited March 25, 2016; https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_319.40.asp
4. National Register of Health Service Psychologists, All Approved Doctoral Programs Listed by Jurisdiction, visited March 26, 2016; http://www.nationalregister.org/resources-links/doctoral-programs/approved-doctoral-programs-by-jurisdiction/
5. National Association of School Psychologists, NASP-Approved Programs, visited March 26, 2016; http://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/graduate-program-approval/nasp-approved-programs
6. U.S. News & World Report, Education Rankings, Psychology Schools, visited on March 25, 2016; http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/psychology-rankings
7. School pages: University of Texas at Dallas, http://www.utdallas.edu/; University of Houston, http://www.uh.edu/; Baylor University, http://www.baylor.edu/; The University of Texas at Austin, http://www.utexas.edu/; Texas A&M, https://www.tamu.edu/