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Psychology Programs in Connecticut

The state of mental health services in Connecticut became a topic of conversation in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And since then, experts have continued to advocate for increased mental health screenings and services to the state and country as a whole. The state of Connecticut has been listening: in 2020, Mental Health America ranked Connecticut eighth in the country in providing its residents with access to mental health care.

In addition, psychologists in Connecticut are handsomely compensated, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting annual salaries are significantly above the national average. For all these reasons, if you are considering becoming a psychologist, Connecticut may be the perfect place to launch your career.

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How to Become a Psychologist in Connecticut

All psychologists in Connecticut need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, though some counseling positions may require only a master’s degree. Connecticut has specific requirements for its licensed psychologists, including passing scores on both state and national exams. If you want to become a psychologist in Connecticut, you will need to complete these steps:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree: Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, whether a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), will typically take students four years. Undergraduate degrees in psychology equip students with a fundamental understanding of psychology that sets the foundation for advanced degrees in the field.
  • Earn a master’s degree: While you can’t become a full-fledged psychologist with a master’s, there are jobs for those who earn this degree. For those interested in a counseling career such as marriage and family counseling or substance abuse counseling, a master’s degree in psychology may be required instead of a doctorate.
  • Earn a doctoral degree: All licensed psychologists must earn either a Psy.D. or a Ph.D. in psychology from an accredited program. These doctoral degrees usually take between five and seven years. They are designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in the psychology field, including those in clinical, academic, and research settings.
  • Select a specialty: Psychologists in Connecticut need to decide in which area of the field they will work. Clinical psychology, school psychology, counseling psychology, and organizational psychology are among the options available.
  • Meet licensure requirements: Connecticut has specific requirements for its psychologist license, including an accredited doctoral degree, supervised work hours, a criminal background check, and passing scores on both state and national psychology examinations. More information about these requirements is below.

Connecticut Psychology Licensing & Exams

To become a licensed psychologist in Connecticut, you must meet the following requirements. All transcripts and relevant application material must be submitted to the Connecticut Department of Mental Health Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section.

  1. Obtain a doctoral degree: Your degree should be from an APA-accredited psychology program. Graduates of non-accredited programs may request an individual review to see if the program meets all other requirements.
  2. Supervised work experience: Applicants must complete a minimum of one year of supervised work experience at the pre- or post-doctoral level. Work experience gained from an internship required to complete your doctoral degree cannot be counted toward meeting this requirement.
  3. Pass the EPPP Examination: You must pass the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP).
  4. Pass the Connecticut jurisprudence examination: You must achieve a score of at least 18 out of 25 on this multiple-choice exam.
  5. Apply: Applications must be submitted online with a fee of $565.

Job Growth & Psychologist Salary in Connecticut

Psychologists are paid well in Connecticut, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting average salaries of $90,870, significantly higher than the national average of $85,340. Job growth is steady for psychologists as well as other mental health professions. In fact, jobs for rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut are expected to grow by a whopping 17% (BLS, 2018).


CareerMean Annual Salary (2018)Average Mean Wage Per HourExpected Job Growth (2018-28)
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors$65,510 $31.50 8%
ClinicalCounseling, and School Psychologists$90,870 $43.69 7%
Rehabilitation Counselor$44,450 $21.4117%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers$69,520 $33.42 8%
Marriage and Family Therapist$61,750 $29.69 No data available
(22% nationally)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers$63,290$30.4313%
Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselor$52,070$25.04 No data available
(23% nationally)

Salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020). Job growth data from O*Net (2020).

Recognized Mental Health Specializations in Connecticut

Several mental health specializations and careers in Connecticut do not require a doctorate. These mental health professions are recognized by the Connecticut Department of Health Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section and have their own individual sets of rules and educational requirements.

  • Professional Counselors: Licensed professional counselors provide direct services to clients experiencing behavioral, mental, and emotional disorders and problems. The Connecticut Department of Health now recognizes two tiers of licensed professional counselors, licensed professional counselors (LPCs), and licensed professional counselor associates (LPCAs).
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor: These counselors, sometimes called Substance Abuse Counselors, offer individual and group therapy to clients suffering from alcohol and/or drug addiction. The goal of these addiction professionals is to help clients take control of their cravings and dependencies and ultimately live more rewarding lives.
  • Marital and Family Therapist: MFTs provide direct services to clients to address mental health challenges that interfere with the clients’ interpersonal relationships. Examples of mental health challenges addressed by MFTs include anxiety, depression, childhood behavior, eating disorders, and divorce adjustment. Connecticut recognizes both Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Marital and Family Therapist Associates.
  • Social Workers: Social workers match clients with outside resources to improve their lives, which may be challenging due to poverty or other issues. Connecticut recognizes both Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Master’s Level Social Workers.

Connecticut Psychology Spotlight Programs

While Connecticut is a small state, it delivers several robust educational options for students seeking to become psychologists. Because Connecticut requires its psychologists to graduate from an APA-accredited doctoral program in psychology or apply for an individual review by the state board, the schools featured here are all accredited by the American Psychological Association. (Note: The APA does not currently accredit any online-only doctoral programs.)

University of Hartford (Hartford)

The Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology at the University of Hartford offers this Psy.D. program in clinical psychology. It is currently the only Psy.D. program to earn accreditation by the APA in the state. The program provides an elective track in child and adolescent proficiency with a corresponding practicum experience with children and adolescents. Tuition at this private university costs $28,965 a year.

Yale University (New Haven)

The clinical psychology program at Yale is focused on providing its doctoral students with a research-oriented background that trains them for careers as academic and research psychologists. Ph.D. students here develop their own independent lines of research under faculty supervision and frequently publish their research in scholarly journals. Tuition here is at no cost, as all students are awarded a full-tuition remission for five academic years and an internship year, and a 12-month stipend paid for five years.

University of Connecticut (Storrs)

The school psychology program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut offers both master’s degrees and Ph.D.s in school psychology. The program is based on a scientist-practitioner model. Tuition costs $940 per credit hour for in-state students and $2,157 per credit hour for non-residents. Non-state residents are encouraged to apply for residency after a year. Students are offered graduate assistantships that come with tuition remission and stipends of approximately $24,000 to $28,000.

Connecticut Psychology Scholarships

After choosing a doctoral program in psychology, the next question many students ask is: How will I pay for all this schooling? Fortunately, there are a number of options for students in Connecticut.

Students should explore scholarships, many of which are available to students residing in any state. Individual schools often offer their own scholarships, so be sure to check the financial aid website of your chosen school.

Connecticut Internships and Fellowships

Graduate students in Connecticut pursuing doctoral degrees in psychology are required to complete year-long internships as a requirement for their graduation as well as state licensure. Some schools offer their own psychology internships, and there are also opportunities at other agencies throughout Connecticut.

  • The Village for Families and Children: Interns at this non-profit mental health agency are trained in providing psychological testing and outpatient services for children and families from vulnerable and at-risk backgrounds in the Hartford area. The internship emphasizes culturally informed assessment and intervention of the clients served. Many of the agency’s clients are from underserved populations whose experiences may include trauma.
  • State Department of Veterans Affairs Psychology Training: The VA’s Connecticut Healthcare System offers several internship opportunities for doctoral students in psychology, and all of the internships (as well as the postdoctoral fellowships) are APA-accredited. Interns can be matched to specific specialty tracks, including post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, and clinical neuropsychology.
  • University of Connecticut Health Service Psychology Internship: Doctoral students work at the university’s Counseling and Mental Health Services Clinic in Storrs as part of their internship experience. Students participate in intake assessments, individual and group therapy, crisis evaluation, consultation, and outreach as part of their 2,000 hours of training at this APA-accredited internship.
  • Yale Child Study Center: Interns here follow a two-year training program: an APA-accredited internship and a non-accredited postgraduate fellowship in clinical psychology. Interns are placed in clinical settings such as an urban child guidance clinic and a university teaching hospital with medical, surgical, and psychiatric services for children. All the interns continue on to the fellowship program, with half their training focused on hospital evaluation and treatment of children with severe psychiatric illnesses. The other half focuses on the individual intern’s specializations from the internship year.

In addition to the above internship opportunities, students should also consult with local universities, government sites, and job boards.

Connecticut Psychology Resources

Connecticut has several resources for psychologists and mental health professionals who work in the state. These may be useful whether you are just starting out in your educational career or have already launched your professional journey.

  • Connecticut Association of School Psychologists: In addition to advocating for its members and offering networking opportunities, CASP routinely sponsors conferences, especially for school psychologists in Connecticut.
  • Connecticut Counseling Association: The CCA offers professional development and career resources to its members and works to promote the counseling profession in Connecticut. The CCA also advocates for legislation that benefits Connecticut counselors.
  • Connecticut Department of Public Health: The Health Care Practitioner Licensing and Investigation Section is operated by the DPH in Connecticut and is in charge of licensing and license renewal for psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals.
  • Connecticut Psychological Association: The CPA works to represent the interests of psychologists in Connecticut. Its member benefits include advocacy, networking, and professional development.