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Psychology Schools in Virginia

Nicknamed the “Old Dominion”, Virginia is officially known as the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia is known for its vibrant economy and offers a number of opportunities for higher education as well. Ranging from healthcare to criminal justice, education to arts, there are numerous learning pathways that students can choose from. Those with an interest in psychology can also find academic programs that may help them acquire skills and knowledge essential for a career in the field. Psychologists basically study the human behavior and brain function. They also gather information through interviews, observations, and surveys and identify behavioral or emotional patterns. According to the statistics by O*NET OnLine, demand for clinical psychologists in the state of Virginia is likely to grow in future.

Psychology Schools in Virginia

Pursuing psychology programs in Virginia can be a suitable option for students who wish to study the mind and behavior of people. They may enroll in the undergraduate programs or graduate programs at several traditional and online schools in the state. Clinical, counseling, and research psychologists generally need a doctoral degree. School psychologists, on the other hand, require a specialist degree, doctoral degree in school psychology, or a master’s degree. While the master’s degree may take 1-2 years to complete, the doctoral programs can be completed in 5-6 years depending on the enrollment status of the students.

Graduate schools in Virginia for psychology provide opportunities to explore clinical psychology, counseling psychology, health psychology, and experimental psychology. The emphasis is placed on biopsychology, developmental psychology or social psychology with each program enlightening students in a particular area of the field. Students will learn how to design, plan, and conduct research in addition to learning how to address psychological issues. The biopsychology program is designed to give students a broad experience with techniques and issues in a number of areas of the field. The clinical psychology program, on the other hand, offers specialized tracks in clinical health psychology and child/adolescent clinical psychology. The social psychology program provides students with the theoretical background in addition to basic and applied research skills, required to study the social behavior.

Online Psychology Programs in Virginia

In addition to traditional schools, some online schools also offer degrees in psychology. These programs allow students to take most classes on the web but students may also need to complete an in-person residency requirement that may involve spending time on campus. Students may also be required to complete an internship as a part of their program. The online psychology classes are mostly self-paced and therefore can be a suitable option for those who are working.  Students can study from any location using online learning materials and lectures, chat forums, online libraries, video conferencing and emails.


Ranging from basic psychology to behavior therapy, students in the psychology degree programs explore numerous areas and acquire analytical and problem solving skills. Some of the topics of study may include social psychology, biological psychology, child psychology, and pathology and personality disorders. Graduate students need to complete a dissertation in addition to classroom-based coursework.

School psychology degree programs may include instruction in areas such as psychological assessment, ethics and professional conduct. Coursework may include topics in psychology, special education and quantitative research. Students also learn methods of research analysis and gain an understanding on how students learn more effectively.


Students who wish to enroll in the psychology colleges in Virginia must:

  • Hold a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree
  • Complete coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics
  • Submit GRE scores
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Submit a statement of purpose

Career Prospects

As mentioned earlier, the O*NET OnLine predicts an increasing demand for psychologists in Virginia in the coming years (2012-2022). These professionals may work in numerous settings including:

  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Community and mental health centers
  • Private research organizations
  • Community treatment centers

Schools, colleges and universities, as well as some government agencies, also hire psychologists.

People will continue to need the services of psychologists for the treatment of their psychological conditions. An ageing population and the veterans suffering from war trauma will need the help of these professionals as well. Besides, the healthcare industry is expected to need more psychologists. Students with special needs, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities will need school psychologists.

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