If psychology is your calling and you’re ready to advance your career to the next level, a doctor of psychology (PsyD) could be the degree for you. A great alternative to the more research-focused PhD in psychology, PsyD programs in Texas are best suited for those interested in providing psychological services directly to patients and clients. With the different types of PsyD programs out there, however, choosing the right one can be difficult.
This guide showcases the top PsyD clinical psychology programs in Texas currently available to provide you with the information you need to pick the one that best suits your academic needs and career goals. You’ll also find plenty of useful information on program accreditation, the steps you’ll take for obtaining your state psychologist license, the job outlook for Texas PsyD graduates (Hint: It’s good—very good!), and much more. Keep reading to learn all about the best PsyD programs in Texas for 2021.
Best APA-Accredited PsyD Programs in Texas for 2021
Three PsyD programs in Texas currently are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). All three are prime examples of the best PsyD programs available in the U.S. in terms of affordability, curriculum comprehensiveness, access to faculty and student support services, and more. Use these spotlights as a guide of what to look for in as you research PsyD clinical psychology programs in Texas.
Our Lady of the Lake University
University of Houston Clear Lake
How Important APA Accreditation Is for PsyD Programs in Texas
The APA is the primary accreditation body for PsyD degree programs in the United States. APA-accredited PsyD programs in Texas are highly respected, indicating that the programs have met important association-established standards for academic quality. Graduation from an APA-accredited PsyD program in Texas qualifies you for jobs that specifically call for applicants with an APA-accredited doctorate program and may enhance your standing with employers in general.
Not all PsyD programs in the U.S. are APA-accredited. For example, the three Texas PsyD programs spotlighted above are all APA-accredited. However, the fourth PsyD program currently available in Texas (the PsyD in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) is not. And in most states – including Texas – licensure as a psychologist does not require that the applicant earn their psychology doctoral degree from an APA-accredited program. (See the section on Texas psychologist licensure below for more on education requirements for licensure.)
What to Know About Online PsyD Programs in Texas
Distance learning offers tremendous convenience and flexibility to students in practically any degree program, including PsyD programs. At the moment, however, Texas students seeking an online PsyD will have to look out-of-state as all of the PsyD programs currently offered by Texas colleges and universities are campus-based. Online PsyD programs are available, though. Examples include those from nonprofit schools like Meridian University and the University of Arizona Global Campus, and for-profit schools such as Capella University and Walden University.
There are several reasons to be careful when considering an online PsyD program. First, while these programs are described as online, they all include some in-person components like on-campus residencies and partially on-campus courses, as well as in-person practicums and internships that may or may not be available in your area. In addition, it’s critical you verify that any online program you consider will qualify you for licensure to practice in Texas or any other jurisdiction where you may wish to practice.
See the discussion regarding Texas psychologist licensure requirements below. And to learn more about online PsyD programs, visit the STEPS Guide to Earning Your Online Doctorate in Psychology.
FAQs About PsyD Programs in Texas
Financial Aid and Scholarships for PsyD Students in Texas
The two big points to take away from the cost information for the three PsyD programs in Texas listed above are that pursuing a PsyD is an expensive proposition and that Texas PsyD programs go out of their way to provide their students with the funding needed to pay for their degrees. These resources include fellowships and assistantships, stipends for practicum practice hours, and pay for in-person practice with internal and external psychological services agencies and facilities. For PsyD students in further need of financial aid, there are scholarships and grants (like Our Lady of the Lake University’s PsyD Scholarship program), VA benefits (for military vets), and student loans (most often from the federal government). For more on financial aid for Texas college students, visit this Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Paying for College webpage. And be sure to check the STEPS financial aid guide and scholarships guide to learn about resources for funding your PsyD clinical psychology program in Texas.
How to Become a Psychologist in Texas
Earning your PsyD degree is a major step in becoming a professional psychologist, but to practice as a professional psychologist in Texas you’ll need to get a state license through the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (TBHEC). Here’s a look at the specific steps you’ll take to become a licensed psychologist in the State of Texas:
Earn your PsyD degree.
You must earn your PsyD degree through a properly accredited degree program. For the purposes of Texas state psychologist licensure, proper accreditation means that your degree was awarded or conferred by an APA-accredited PsyD program in Texas or an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the United States Department of Education, or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Pass the EPPP.
The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a standardized knowledge-based exam developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and administered in partnership with Pearson VUE. Application for approval to take the exam is made by submitting the Exam Request Form to the TBHEC. Upon TBHEC approval, applicants receive notification for eligibility for the EPPP. Applicants then register to take the exam via the ASPPB Registration Portal. The exam is taken in-person at a Person VUE test center. A passing score of 70% is required. Test results are sent directly to the TBHEC.
Additional information on taking the EPPP along with access to practice exams can be found on this Pearson VUE EPPP webpage.
Take and pass the Jurisprudence Examination.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ Jurisprudence Examination is an online open-book test that assesses the candidate’s knowledge of applicable law covering the practice of psychology in the state. A passing score of 90% is required.
Apply for Licensure and Obtain Your Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status Licensure.
Application is made by submitting this TBHEC Application for Licensed Psychologist form. Along with the results from the EPPP and Jurisprudence Examination, applicants must submit a Self-Query Report from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and pay the application fee. Once the application is received, the applicant will be mailed the instructions and form to obtain the required fingerprint criminal history record check. The application and supporting documentation are then reviewed by the TBHEC, with the review typically taking six weeks or less to complete. Applicants who are determined to have met all application requirements are given their Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status licensure.
Complete 3,500 hours of supervised practice experience and become a fully licensed psychologist.
Once the Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status is obtained, candidates for full licensure must complete a minimum of 3,500 hours of supervised practice experience documented by a licensed psychologist. A minimum of 1,750 of the total 3,500 hours is completed in the formal internship within the candidate’s doctoral degree program, with the remaining 1,750 hours completed following conferral of the doctoral degree. Supervised practice hours may be obtained in another state but must meet the requirements for Texas licensure. Once the 3,500 supervised practice hours are completed, the candidate will submit documentation of their completion along with their Request for License Issuance form to the TBHEC. Applications are reviewed within six weeks. Upon final approval of the TBHEC, the candidate will be issued their full psychologist license.
Maintain your license.
Licensed psychologists in Texas must renew their licenses on a biennial basis. Renewal requirements include completion of a minimum of 40 hours of professional development during each renewal period. At least six of those hours must be in the areas of professional responsibility, rules, and/or ethics, and another six hours must be in the area of cultural diversity.
Job Outlook and Earnings Potential for PsyD Psychologists in Texas
As indicated in the two charts below, the outlook for psychology professionals in Texas is encouraging both in terms of growth and earnings. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Projections Central website, for example, job growth for psychologists in Texas and the U.S overall is expected to remain strong over the next several years.
Earnings estimates for Texas psychologists are also strong, although somewhat lower than those for U.S. psychologists generally. However, this is likely due to the lower cost of living in Texas when compared to the nation as a whole. It’s also important to keep in mind that these are median earnings figures. What you actually make as a psychologist in Texas will depend on several factors particular to you, including your geographic location, level of professional experience, and specific job title and employer.
Job Outlook for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists in Texas
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs Created |
|Job Growth Rate |
|Average Annual Openings |
Source: Projections Central
Annual Salaries for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists in Texas
|10th Percentile||Median||90th Percentile|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||$36,180||$64,060||$81,010|
|Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX||$51,570||$63,590||$74,730|
|College Station-Bryan, TX||$33,320||$49,200||$62,790|
|Corpus Christi, TX||$43,510||$61,320||$75,260|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$54,220||$72,910||$84,830|
|El Paso, TX||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$45,530||$72,780||$82,650|
|San Angelo, TX||$45,620||$60,600||$69,670|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||$53,410||$67,890||$83,390|
|Wichita Falls, TX||$19,320||$61,490||$77,410|
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020