Earning a doctor of psychology (PsyD) prepares you for a career as a clinical psychologist, working in education, research, healthcare, or private practice. In Georgia, just two schools offer PsyD programs currently, and they each take a different approach: One emphasizes clinical psychology focused on the southeastern region of the U.S. and the other provides more general psychology training.
To help you explore your options, this guide highlights Georgia’s two PsyD programs plus, for comparison, one of Georgia’s best PhD in clinical psychology programs. It also details the psychologist licensing process in Georgia, provides financial aid options, and explores the booming demand and income potential for licensed clinical psychologists in Georgia.
Best APA-Accredited PsyD and PhD Programs in Georgia for 2021
Georgia currently has only two PsyD programs, so in addition to those we’ve highlighted one of Georgia’s top PhD programs to provide a broad picture of the options for anyone interested in a doctorate in psychology. These best PsyD and PhD psychology programs all have the curriculum, American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation, and student support you need to become a licensed clinical psychologist and prepare you for a career in private practice, research, or teaching. Want more? Check back for our full rankings of PsyD programs coming later in the year.
Georgia Southern University
University of Georgia
How Important APA Accreditation Is for PsyD Programs in Georgia
Graduating from an APA-accredited program identifies you as having a sound educational and scientific foundation for a successful career in psychology and is an important credential for potential employers, licensing boards, and the public. Both PsyD programs in Georgia have APA accreditation. Obtaining a PhD in psychology is another potential avenue for becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in Georgia; those programs must be APA certified as well. In addition, you may need internship and practicum hours in psychology fieldwork for licensure.
What to Know About Online PsyD Programs in Georgia
Currently online PsyD programs in Georgia are nonexistent. Since PsyD programs require extensive hands-on learning within cohorts, internships, and supervised work experiences, the curriculum doesn’t lend itself to online learning. Some PhD in psychology programs, like the one at Emory University, offer some online coursework, but they are still billed as on-campus programs. There are several online PsyD programs outside of Georgia, and you can find top programs highlighted in our main guide to online psychology programs. However, these PsyD programs may not meet Georgia’s criteria for licensure as a clinical psychologist. If you plan to obtain a license for clinical psychology in Georgia, check with Georgia’s Board of Psychology before committing to any online PsyD program in Georgia or elsewhere.
FAQs About PsyD Programs in Georgia
Financial Aid and Scholarships for PsyD Students in Georgia
Mercer University’s financial aid options include university, federal, state, and outside scholarships and grants as well as loans, student employment, and fellowships. Georgia Southern University provides similar financial aid and scholarship information. Other financial aid options for PsyD students include funding through organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For those interested in the PhD program at the University of Georgia, check into the possibility of full tuition waivers through assistantships.
Another resource, GAfutures, provided by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, offers a vast amount of information on Federal Aid & Scholarships along with HOPE & State Aid Programs specifically for Georgians. Find additional resources for funding your psychology education through the STEPS financial aid guide and scholarships guide.
How to Become a Psychologist in Georgia
Before beginning your psychology program, make sure you know the specific licensing requirements in Georgia. Becoming a psychologist is fairly similar from state to state, but each has its own specific requirements. Be sure to review those outlined by Georgia’s Board of Psychology. The following step-by-step list familiarizes you with the requirements for becoming a psychologist in Georgia.
Note that, though practicing clinical psychologists in Georgia must be licensed, there are exceptions for those with PsyD or PhD degrees who do not wish to operate in clinical practice. Those exceptions are outlined in the 2010 Georgia Code.
Additionally, Georgia does grant licensure by endorsement in specific situations, including giving a licensed psychologist from another state permission to practice in Georgia. The licensure by endorsement process is similar to that for licensure by examination and is detailed in the General Instructions for licensure provided by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists. These instructions also give information on Licenses of Limited Duration.
Complete the required education, internship, and work experience
Becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in Georgia requires a PsyD or PhD from an APA-accredited program. Programs must include three or more years of graduate education, including a predoctoral internship and 1,500 hours of supervised work experience (SWE) completed over 11-24 months. Note that slightly different qualifications may apply to degrees earned outside the U.S. or in certain specialty areas. Get details regarding the necessary education and training requirements to become a psychologist in Georgia at the state’s Rules of State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
Complete the application for licensure process
When you have completed your SWE or have less than a year before you finish, you can complete the application initiation for licensure. During this process, candidates indicate specialty areas, treatment and assessment competencies, and populations served. In addition to an application initiation form, applicants must also submit a $100 fee, official transcripts, references, and a notarized statement affirming the authenticity of application material and confirming the applicant is a legal citizen and over 18.
After you complete this step, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) will provide information on completing a PLUS application online. This application fee is $200. After it is approved by the ASPPB, you’ll receive notification that you can take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
Pass the EPPP and Jurisprudence and Oral Exams
The first exam, the EPPP, requires $600 for registration. You’ll also pay $87.50 to Pearson VUE to reserve a testing date, time, and location. After you pass the EPPP, you can then take the Georgia Psychology Jurisprudence Examination. This exam, prepared by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists, costs $85 and covers current law, rules and regulations, and general provisions.
The final part of the process is the Oral Examination, which you take after passing the EPPP and Jurisprudence exams. This exam provides an opportunity for the board to learn about an applicant’s expected type of practice and to examine their preparation and readiness to operate as a psychologist within that anticipated practice. You must submit a case study to the board at least seven days before your oral examination, and the exam must be scheduled within two months of satisfactory completion of your SWE.
After passing the EPPP, Jurisprudence Exam, and Oral Exam and completing your SWE, the State of Georgia will grant you a license to practice psychology. You can search for a professional license to verify your licensure through the secretary of state.
See the Licensure by Examination information provided by the State of Georgia for additional details regarding the process for licensure as a clinical psychologist in Georgia.
Keep your license current
License renewal in Georgia costs $250 and occurs every two years. Specifically, your license is current from January 1st of odd-numbered years through December 31st of even-numbered years. You must complete at least 40 continuing professional education credits (CEs) during those two years for your license to be renewed. CEs can be obtained by taking academic courses, teaching, and publishing. At least six of your CEs must be in professional ethics at a workshop you personally attend. Review Georgia’s Continuing Education Requirements and license renewal information for details.
Job Outlook and Earnings Potential for PsyD Psychologists in Georgia
While the median pay for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Georgia is below the median average nationally, Georgia’s demand for clinical psychologists is much higher—and that may lead to higher salaries. The average job growth rate for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Georgia is 32.4%, more than double that of the national rate of 14.7%. This equates to an average of 320 annual openings through 2028.
Even though the median income is lower than national averages, it’s still substantial. For example, the annual median income for clinical psychologists in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area is $76,810, and those in the Augusta-Richmond County area make $74,680. Both are just below the national median income of $79,820 and the Georgia median income of $74,830.
Job Outlook for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists in Georgia
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs Created |
|Job Growth Rate |
|Average Annual Openings |
Source: Projections Central
Annual Salaries for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists in Georgia
|10th Percentile||Median||90th Percentile|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||$38,430||$76,810||$187,200|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||$36,190||$74,680||$110,160|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020