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New York Psychology Programs

We won’t lie: becoming a psychologist in New York takes a lot of hard work, focus, and dedication. From 2014 to 2018, the state’s Board of Psychology issued an average of just 523 new licenses each year. While those numbers may seem daunting, research shows that openings for psychologists are actually on the rise: jobs in this field are set to far outpace average growth for all occupations in the coming years.

Whether you dream of working as a psychologist or are interested in pursuing one of the many other careers in the mental health services field, this guide provides all the information you need to make an informed and confident step towards achieving those goals. You will discover information about New York psychology license requirements, job growth, salaries, colleges in New York for psychology, available internships, scholarship programs, and helpful resources.

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How to Become a Psychologist in New York

Psychology is a broad field that offers many different paths for prospective students. If you want to work as a mental health counselor, prepare to earn a master’s degree. If you want to use the title of “psychologist,” you must acquire a doctorate degree. In this section, we take a look at the steps required to move from student to licensed psychologist.

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree: While you may not need a bachelor’s degree specifically in psychology, graduate-level programs may expect you to take additional courses if your undergraduate program didn’t have any emphasis on psychological topics.
  2. Pursue a master’s degree: If you want to work as a psychologist, master’s degrees in psychology are typically not a prerequisite of doctoral programs. These degrees best serve those looking to work in mental health counseling roles.
  3. Complete doctoral requirements: To use the title of psychologist, you must complete a doctorate in psychology. This shows employers you are an extremely qualified individual.
  4. Choose a specialization: There is a wide variety of specializations in psychology; choosing the right one for you helps determine the type of licensure you seek. We go into more detail about available specializations in New York later in this guide.
  5. Receive licensure: Receiving a New York psychology license involves meeting several requirements revolving around education, supervised experience, and examinations.

New York Psychology Licensing and Exams

Because so many jobs in psychology and mental health services exist in New York, licensing requirements vary significantly by career type and specialization. To help you understand each license more thoroughly, we break down some of the most popular careers requiring licensure and provide step-by-step guidelines on how to qualify.

Licensed Psychologist

  • Graduate from a doctoral degree that meets educational requirements set forth by the New York Board of Psychology
  • Pay the licensure fee of $294
  • Demonstrate completion of 3,500 hours of supervised experience taken at an approved facility
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) after completing at least half of your supervised hours
  • Be at least 21-years-old and of good moral character
  • Potential careers: clinical psychologist, research scientist, university professor


  • Complete the application and pay the licensure fee of $317
  • Demonstrate completion of a master’s or doctorate degree in psychoanalytical study. This program should be recognized by the State Board of Psychology as either being accredited by the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis or otherwise qualified for licensure.
  • Complete 1,500 supervised contact experience hours in an approved setting
  • Pass the New York State Case Narrative Examination given by Castle Worldwide, Inc.
  • Undergo training in child abuse offered by an approved provider
  • Potential careers: psychoanalyst, researcher, mental health director

Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Submit an application and pay the registration fee of $300
  • Complete a Certification of Professional Education to demonstrate graduation from a master’s degree program or higher – the degree mandated by the State Board of Psychology for licensed behavior analysts
  • Provide a report of professional experience documenting the completion of at least 1,500 hours of full-time supervised experience – a minimum of 150 must have been undertaken while still in school
  • Pass an exam administered by the State Board for Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Take part in child abuse training
  • Demonstrate you are at least 21-years-old and attest to being of good moral character
  • Potential careers: certified behavior analyst, licensed behavior analyst, behavior specialist

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • Apply and pay a registration fee of $294 to the State Board of Psychology
  • Demonstrate completion of a master’s degree in social work which includes at least 12 credits focused on clinical coursework
  • Possess at least three years of supervised experience focused on assessment-based treatment planning, diagnosis, and psychotherapy gained after completing a master’s degree
  • Participate in a child abuse training course
  • Pass the clinical examination given by the Association of Social Work Boards
  • Be at least 21-years-old and of good moral character
  • Potential careers: pediatric social worker, inpatient social worker, clinical manager of social work

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

  • Submit an application and pay the registration fee of $371
  • Possess a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy OR hold a master’s or doctoral degree from a program in an allied mental health field that receives approval from the Board of Mental Health Practitioners
  • Complete at least 1,500 hours of client contact in MFT undertaken through a limited permit
  • Pass the Examination in Marital and Family Therapy administered through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards
  • Be at least 21-years-old and of good moral character
  • Potential careers: marriage and family therapist, couples counselor, relationship coach

Creative Arts Therapist

  • Apply for licensure and pay the accompanying $371 fee
  • Demonstrate completion of a qualified master’s or doctoral program in creative arts therapy that either receives approval from the Board of Mental Health Practitioners or is accredited by the American Art Therapy Association
  • Complete 1,500 hours of supervised experience after graduating and while holding a limited permit
  • Pass examinations leading to board certification by the Art Therapy Credentials Board of the Certification Board for Music Therapists OR pass the New York State Case Narrative Examination
  • Be of good moral character and over the age of 21
  • Potential careers: art therapist, music therapist, writing therapist

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

  • Apply for licensure and pay the fee of $371
  • Show evidence of holding a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling from a school that is either recognized by the Board of Mental Health Practitioners or is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Counseling Related Education Programs
  • Complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised mental health counseling after graduating from a graduate program
  • Pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination given by the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Demonstrate good moral character and show proof of being over 21-years-old
  • Potential careers: clinical counselor, mental health clinician, residential counselor

Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor

  • Possess at least a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18-years-old
  • Supply three evaluations of competency and ethical conduct from individuals with direct knowledge of your work experience. These individuals must meet specific qualifications as outlined by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Complete at least 6,000 hours of supervised, full-time experience in an approved work setting with the main body of work focused on alcoholism or substance abuse counseling
  • Complete at least 350 hours of training and education programs focused on chemical dependency counseling
  • Potential careers: alcohol counselor, substance abuse counselor, inpatient treatment facility coordinator

School Counselor

The Office of Teaching Initiatives maintains two paths for school counseling certification to serve both former teachers and those with no teacher preparation credentials.

Path 1: Approved Teacher Preparation Program

  • Complete a New York State registered program in school counseling
  • Supply a statement from your college demonstrating it received approval as a preparation program
  • Participate in a workshop on the Dignity for All Students Act
  • Receive fingerprint clearance

Path 2: Individual Evaluation

  • Demonstrate completion of a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree with at least 30 credits devoted to school counseling
  • Participate in a college-supervised practical experience in a K-12 school setting
  • Complete workshops on child abuse identification, school violence intervention and prevention, and the Dignity for All Students Act
  • Receive fingerprint clearance
  • Potential careers: K-12 counselor, counseling supervisor, school counselor administrator

To work as a licensed psychologist, candidates in New York must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. This test consists of 225 multiple choice questions taken over 255 minutes via computer. Applicants must pay $450 to take the exam and answer approximately 70% of the questions correctly to pass.

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Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in New York

CareerNew York Median Salary (2018)Average Salary Per Hour% Expected Job Growth
Licensed Psychologist$99,640$47.9016%
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$99,610$47.8916%
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists$119,700$57.55N/A
Mental Health Counselor$42,070$20.2325%
Licensed Clinical Social Worker$62,130$29.879%
Marriage and Family Therapist$68,120$32.7524%
Substance Abuse Counselor$50,350$24.2129%

 Recognized Psychology Specializations in New York

  • Clinical Psychologist: works across the lifespan to help clients address a number of behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues that arise.
  • Psychoanalyst: helps clients tap into both conscious and unconscious experiences in an effort to fully and effectively treat mental health problems.
  • Applied Behavior Analyst: focuses on analyzing and addressing specific behavioral problems in communication, emotional management, social interactions, and other components to improve those behaviors.
  • Social Worker: helps clients of all ages and backgrounds address problems arising in their lives. They work with clients to discuss emotional and psychological components while also connecting them to resources.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist: works with individuals, couples, children, and other family members to address relational issues arising within these structures.
  • Creative Arts Therapist: uses art, music, writing, and other creative outlets to help their clients process emotions around anger, grief, loss, mental disorders, and other life transitions.
  • Mental Health Counselor: assists clients by talking them through common mental health concerns. However, they cannot introduce a medical course of treatment.
  • Substance Abuse Counselor: helps clients who are abusing alcohol, narcotics, or other substances address addictions, improve their lives, and find better coping methods.
  • School Counselor: works with K-12 and postsecondary students to address common issues arising in their personal and academic lives.

New York Psychology Spotlight Programs

  • Binghamton University: Operating as part of the SUNY system, BU offers at their campus a bachelor’s in psychology alongside doctorates in clinical psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and cognitive brain sciences. At the undergraduate level, expect to pay $7,070 in tuition each year as a New York resident or $24,660 as a non-resident. Graduate residents pay $6,797 per year and out-of-state learners pay $12,692.
  • Columbia University in the City of New York: As one of the preeminent colleges in New York for psychology, Columbia University serves undergraduates with a bachelor’s in psychology and graduate students with M.A. and M.Phil. programs. Graduate students spend their first two years meeting M.A. requirements and their last two years working towards the M.Phil. Baccalaureate-seeking students pay $54,504 per academic year; graduate learners pay $49,868. Substantial funding exists for both levels of study, especially for students from families earning less than $60,000 annually. These degree seekers can attend with the tuition completely waived.
  • Cornell University: Cornell University is one of the oldest psychology departments in the country, and its programs are respected around the country. They offer a bachelor’s degree and doctoral programs in behavioral and evolutionary neuroscience, perception, cognition and development, or social and personality psychology. You’ll need to enroll at the campus in Ithaca to take classes, as the degrees are not offered online. Residents of New York pay $37,880 per year; those coming from out of state pay $56,550.
  • Fordham University: If enrolling at Fordham, you can take advantage of their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Master’s students can select from applied psychological methods or clinical research methods. The Ph.D. pathway includes concentrations in clinical psychology and psychometrics/quantitative psychology. While some courses exist online, you’ll need to visit campus to complete degree requirements. Undergraduates pay $1,766 per credit while graduate students pay $1,516.
  • University of Rochester: If you live in or near Rochester – or have an interest in relocating – the school offers an undergraduate major alongside three M.A./Ph.D. combined programs in areas of clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and social-personality psychology. An interdisciplinary program in human motivation also exists. Regardless of residency status, all bachelor’s students pay $55,040 in tuition for each academic year. Graduate learners pay approximately $40,328 per year.
  • Hofstra University: Regardless of the type of psychology that interests you most, Hofstra University tries to provide a comprehensive foundation to build advanced knowledge. The institution provides a B.A. and a B.S. in psychology alongside an M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology, a Ph.D. in applied organizational psychology, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and a Psy.D. in school-community psychology. You can also take advantage of a postdoctoral specialization in clinical or school psychology. Bachelor’s programs cost $46,450 per academic year while graduate programs are charged at $1,398 per credit.
  • New York University: Undergraduates can choose from focus areas in clinical psychology, cognition, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, perception, personality psychology, and social psychology. At the master’s level, a general psychology program is taught, while doctoral options exist as Ph.D. programs in cognition and perception and social psychology. All programs are currently taught at the NYC campus. Undergraduate tuition is charged at the rate of $1,493 per credit; graduate students pay $1,856 per credit.
  • Stony Brook University: The Department of Psychology at SBU, which was founded in 1965, provides bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Learners can choose from a B.A. or B.S. in general psychology, an M.S. in general psychology, or a Ph.D. in integrative neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, or social and health psychology. All of these programs must be taken at the Stony Brook campus rather than online. New York undergraduates pay $295 per credit in tuition; non-residents pay $1,031. At the graduate level, learners pay $471 and $963, depending on whether or not they meet residency requirements.
  • Syracuse University: This well-regarded university prides itself on offering research opportunities for psychology students at all levels. This commitment begins with the B.A. and B.S. in psychology programs and carries through to the doctoral programs in clinical psychology; cognition, brain, and behavior; school psychology; and social psychology. The institution works with doctoral candidates to provide four years of financial support in the form of free tuition and an $18,000 stipend. Those in the bachelor’s program pay $52,210 per year.
  • University at Buffalo: Another member of the SUNY system, the Buffalo campus offers a B.A. and a B.S. in psychology, an M.A. in general psychology, and Ph.D. programs in behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and social-personality psychology. The school also provides certificates in developmental science and data analysis for learners looking to supplement their psychology learning. The psychology department does not offer any online degrees at this time. Full-time undergraduates who are NYS residents pay $3,535 per semester in tuition; non-residents pay $12,370. Resident and non-resident graduate students pay $5,655 and $11,550 per term, respectively.

New York Psychology Scholarships

In addition to student loans, you can take advantage of many public and private scholarships that lower the cost of higher education. You can find out more by reading our guide on psychology scholarships. Although psychology salaries in New York may be higher than the national average, saving money in school helps avoid substantial student loan debt later on.

  • Award for Academic Excellence in Psychology: Senior-level psychology undergraduates can apply for this award if they possess a minimum major GPA of 3.9 and attend the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
  • James F. Reville Scholarship: This $3,000 scholarship exists for students who plan to use their degree in psychology to address intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. It is nonrefundable and awarded in two payments.
  • John W. Perry Endowed Scholarship in Psychology: Awarded by Stony Brook University’s Department of Psychology, this $600 award is bestowed on undergraduate psychology majors who demonstrate service and academic need.
  • Jonathan Weingold Scholarship: The Arc New York provides this $3,000 award to Arc employees interested in using their knowledge of psychology to support individuals with intellectual disabilities. They must work full-time at the Arc to be eligible.
  • Presidential Psychology Scholarship: Maria College covers 50% of tuition during the freshmen and sophomore years and 100% of tuition during the junior and senior years for undergraduate psychology majors maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

New York Internships and Fellowships

  • Central New York Psychiatric Center Internship: This doctoral-level internship focuses on instilling clinical skills around topics such as forensics, corrections-based operations, and sex offender treatment. Accepted applicants spend a year completing rotations in supervised individual and group services.
  • Montefiore Medical Center Psychology Internship: Partnered with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, this internship helps doctoral students working towards degrees in health service or professional psychology gain the training they need to qualify for licensure.
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel Clinical Psychology Internship: Offered via the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, this internship is approved by the Accreditation Council of the American Psychological Association. Applicants must go through the Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers Matching Program to receive consideration.
  • Pilgrim Psychiatric Center Internship: Learners selected for this opportunity take part in a 12-month doctoral internship focused on clinical psychology. They receive a salary of approximately $35,075 alongside other benefits. Areas of focus include intellectual disabilities, forensics, substance abuse, major mental disorders, and personality disorders.
  • Rikers Island Mental Health Services Internship: The New York City Health and Hospitals Department works alongside the Division of Correctional Health Services to provide this year-long, pre-doctoral psychology internship working with inmates of Rikers Island. Students participate in three clinical rotations lasting four months each.

New York Psychology Resources

  • New York State Psychological Association: The NYSPA furthers the work of New York-based psychologists by providing advocacy programs, continuing education, a career center, publications, internships and externships, and a full calendar of events.
  • New York State Psychology, Office of the Professions: This office oversees licensure for psychologists in the state, provides details on requirements, and offers steps for applying. The group also verifies licenses of practicing psychologists and works with those trying to cross state lines.
  • Manhattan Psychological Association: MPA acts as a professional community for psychologists in the tristate area who want opportunities for networking, skills-building, continuing education, advocacy, and leadership roles.
  • New York Metropolitan Association of Applied Psychology: METRO serves applied psychologists statewide by offering monthly events, social hours, career days, sponsorship, and other opportunities for students to get involved.
  • Psychological Association of Western New York: PAWNY supports members in the eight counties making up WNY by providing a psychologist directory, workshops, networking programs, meet and greets, and discussion groups.

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