Online Psychology Degrees in Alaska

Earning an online psychology degree in Alaska provides a diverse setting for mental health students to explore the evolving field of psychology and engage in research in both city and remote, rural settings. Alaska is one of the nation’s leaders in annual earnings for psychologists, and mental health providers employed in this state have access to cutting-edge research facilities, generous grant opportunities, and the potential for professional advancement as they gain experience working with Alaska’s culturally diverse populations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mental health counselor positions in Alaska are projected to increase by 11.4% over the next several years. Students interested in earning their online psychology degree in Alaska can browse the following information, which highlights the many benefits of joining the mental health field in Alaska.

Mental Health Initiatives in Alaska

Alaska’s mental health initiatives continue to expand as more communities demonstrate need for effective and affordable treatment. The Alaska Psychiatric Institute is an organization within the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services that offers safe locations throughout the state for individuals experiencing mental distress. In addition to providing immediate inpatient treatment, patients also receive referrals for continued therapy. The institute’s complex behavior collaborative is a statewide initiative that addresses the needs of Alaskans suffering from severe mental illness, intellectual disability, and/or brain injury. Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health teaches communities prevention strategies to combat underage drinking and opioid use by providing a variety of training resources for practitioners and community leaders. In addition to the state department’s numerous initiatives, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority provides funding for small projects and partnerships, assisting individuals suffering from mental disorders.

How Do I Become a Psychologist in Alaska?

The following steps detail the key elements a student should consider before pursuing an online psychology degree in Alaska. While prospective students face similar licensure requirements throughout the nation, each state has its own specific process. The list below describes procedures unique to Alaska as well as some of the factors that influence various occupational paths.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: A psychologist typically earns a doctorate degree in psychology or counseling psychology. However, some jobs, such as school psychologist or industrial organizational psychologist, only require a master’s degree for entry level-positions. When selecting an online psychology degree in Alaska, prospective students should consider the type of career they want to obtain. For students interested in gaining advanced skills in a specific area of psychology, a doctoral program is the best fit. Additionally, students need a doctoral degree to practice as a licensed clinical psychologist.

Earn Your Degree: Electing to pursue an online degree is usually the most convenient choice for working adults. Requirements for earning an online psychology degree in Alaska vary depending on the program, although most graduate schools expect applicants to have undergraduate training in psychology. Students who majored in a different area may be required to complete prerequisite courses. Full-time students typically earn their master’s degree in three years, while full-time doctoral students complete their program in an average of five years. Both levels of graduate training require field experience.

Earn Your License: Graduates of psychology Ph.D programs in Alaska must pass two exams to receive state licensure. First, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) consists of 225 multiple choice questions that must be answered within four hours and fifteen minutes. This exam costs $687.50. It is recommended that students spend several weeks studying for this test. Second, students must also pass the two-hour Alaska State Law and Ethics Supplemental Examination. This test is available through the Alaska Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners. Interested students can obtain a study guide from the board. Licensure is a critical step in this field, but it does not guarantee employment.

Psychology Licensing in Alaska

When pursuing work in the field of mental health, you must consider licensure requirements. A license is often required for employment by mental health organizations, providing evidence of a graduate’s ability to effectively implement therapeutic interventions, conduct research, and advocate for the profession. The following table includes the Alaska licensure requirements for five mental health occupations, as well as the accompanying costs and potential careers that licensing affords.

Licensed Psychologist

To become a licensed psychologist in Alaska, applicants must have a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally-accredited college. They must also pass two licensing exams: the Examination for Professional Practice and the State Law and Ethics Examination. Doctoral curriculum should include a practicum, internship, and coursework in methodology and theoretical & clinical foundations. After passing their exams, applicants must engage in supervised practice for a year.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Psychological services director
  • Researcher
  • College instructor

Total Fees: $1,500

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

To become an LCSW in Alaska, applicants must have a master’s degree in social work and at least two years of full-time professional experience under the supervision of a licensed social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Applicants who do not meet this requirement must complete a minimum of 3,000 supervised hours of work within two years of graduating. Applicants must pass the clinical exam offered by the Association of Social Work Boards.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Case manager
  • Program director
  • Social services coordinator

Total Fees: $760

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Applicants must have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy (or a related area) and have completed coursework in marital and family studies, therapy, human development, legal and ethical issues, and research. After passing the National Marital and Family Therapy Examination, applicants must complete 1,500 hours of supervised work to become licensed. Applicants must also have at least six hours of domestic violence training.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Community health services worker

Total Fees: $1,355

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

To become a licensed professional counselor in Alaska, applicants must earn a 60-credit graduate degree in counseling or a similar field. Graduates of a CACREP-accredited program do not need to document their coursework, while graduates of an unaccredited program must provide evidence of coursework in several areas (e.g., group and individual therapy, orientation to the profession, and multicultural counseling). Applicants must have 3,000 hours of supervised practice. A passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification is also required.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • School counselor
  • Community health services worker

Total Fees: $1,100

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

NCCs must pass the National Counselor Examination or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination. Requirements to sit for exams include a professional endorsement and a master’s degree in counseling from a regionally-accredited program that consists of at least 48 credit hours. Graduates who did not earn a degree from a CACREP-accredited program must also have 100 hours of supervision and 3,000 hours of work experience.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Assessment therapist

Total Fees: $310

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Alaska

Psychology internships and fellowships help students gain practical experience prior to beginning their professional careers. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, some differences between the two positions do exist. Psychology Ph.D programs in Alaska require students to complete internships; in these roles, students engage in hands-on training while earning their degree. Alternatively, fellowships typically involve more advanced field experience in a specialty area; these positions tend to be filled by postgraduate students. The following internships are available to students earning an online psychology degree in Alaska.

  • Alaska VA Healthcare System: The Alaska VA hospital offers internships to students enrolled in APA-approved psychology programs. Internships prepare students for generalist roles and provide training in areas such as assessment and intervention.
  • Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association: This association provides behavioral health services to the communities of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands. Interns conduct therapy in face-to-face and virtual settings. Students must pass a background check prior to beginning their internship.
  • Hope Counseling Center: Located in Fairbanks, Hope Counseling Center offers Christian-oriented counseling and conducts a variety of assessments. Interns gain skills related to the clinical treatment of individuals and families.

Psychology Careers in Alaska

According to the BLS, psychology careers in the U.S. have a projected growth that is twice as high as the national average for all occupations. This indicates that there should be ample opportunities for employment for students who earn a doctorate or master’s in psychology online in Alaska. The detrimental impact of underage drinking in the state continues to affirm the need for culturally sensitive professionals with expertise treating addiction and co-occurring disorders. Furthermore, Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health is implementing several initiatives to address the state’s high rate of traumatic brain injuries. As rehabilitation facilities continue to open, more health psychologists with knowledge about the cognitive and emotional effects of head trauma are needed.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Alaska?

Annual earnings of psychologists vary depending on their location, employer type, and level of experience. The national average salary for psychologists is $80,640, while the average salary in Alaska for this position is approximately $5,000 higher. The BLS data featured in the table below shows mean employment numbers in Alaska and the U.S. for clinical, school, and counseling psychologists. Psychologists employed in Alaska make about 6% more per hour than the national average.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Alaska 270 $41.12 $85,540
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Alaska

Residents of Alaska have access to a variety of mental health treatment approaches, including nonprofit community organizations and private practice facilities. Students pursuing an online psychology degree in Alaska should familiarize themselves with the state’s service providers to learn about potential employment opportunities in the field of mental health. The following list features several mental health service providers in Alaska.

  • Access Alaska: This nonprofit organization provides mental health services to individuals suffering from mental and/or physical disabilities that inhibit their ability to live independently. It conducts community programs to decrease barriers to mental health resources and has locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, and Mat-Su.
  • Alaska Neuro/Therapy Center, LLC: Through its Anchorage-based facility, this center offers psychological services that incorporate Jungian analysis and neurophysiology.
  • Anchorage Community Health Services, Inc.: The state’s largest mental health provider, ACMHS offers several mental health programs and services, including the Alaska Child Trauma Center, emergency treatment, and therapy for families and individuals.
  • North Star Behavioral Health: NSBH has locations in Anchorage and Palmer. This mental health facility treats children and adolescents and assists veterans and military personnel at the Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital.
  • Providence Medical Group Behavioral Health Services: Part of a network of nonprofit Catholic hospitals, this mental health clinic provides treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. Examples of services include outpatient therapy for adults, crisis recovery, and adolescent inpatient treatment.

Mental Health Research Centers in Alaska

Individuals considering psychology programs in Alaska may also be influenced by the type of work being undertaken at nearby research centers. Students can gain a better understanding of the potential research opportunities available to them after graduation by acquainting themselves with current mental health research projects in Alaska. The following list highlights some of the research initiatives in the state.

  • Alaska Department of Health and Social Services: Alaska’s Division of Public Services is operated by the state health department and features a variety of programs and services to help Alaskan residents adopt healthier lifestyles. The organization conducts research in several areas, including youth risk behavior and family violence prevention.
  • Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services: Part of the University of Alaska’s college of arts and sciences, this organization examines key issues in the field of mental health, such as youth suicide prevention and the mental health of inmates.
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium: This nonprofit organization assists Alaska Natives and American Indian residents of Alaska with their comprehensive healthcare needs. The organization’s behavioral health department provides substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and conducts ongoing research to better understand the needs of indigenous communities.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations provide invaluable opportunities to students and professionals, helping them start or bolster their careers. From access to online publications and research material to continuing education workshops and job listings, mental health professional organizations promote the advancement of the field. Becoming a member of a professional organization helps students pursuing their online psychology degree in Alaska connect with professionals in the state and remain informed about current practices and state legislature impacting the field.

  • Alaska Psychological Association: In addition to networking and research collaboration opportunities, this APA affiliate provides members with free ethics consultations and access to continuing education programs in the state.
  • Alaska School Psychologists Association: This organization promotes child and adolescent mental health and academic success in school settings. Members can attend the organization’s annual conference and peruse numerous resources for school psychologists.
  • Alaska Addiction Professional Association: Affiliated with the Association for Addiction Professionals, this organization promotes collaboration between addiction specialists and provides tools for students and professionals, including free online webinars and discounted costs for publications and conferences.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Alaska

Art Jess Scholarship

This scholarship was established by the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation in memory of longtime resident Art Jess. Alaska Natives or American Indians are given preference.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: September 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: This scholarship is open to residents of Alaska pursuing a post-secondary education. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

JJ Klein Scholarship

Founded by Alaska residents Joyce and Jerry Klein, this scholarship supports students with average academic performance. Students with a GPA greater than 3.5 are not eligible.

  • Amount Offered: $10,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 28
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be graduates or seniors of an Alaska high school with a GPA of 2.0 to 3.2. Recipients of the scholarship must have financial need and be accepted to one of Alaska’s colleges or vocational schools.

The Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Dr. Thorpe, the executive director of the Murdock Charitable Trust, this scholarship is available to students attending one of the 14 qualifying colleges. First-generation college students are preferred.

  • Amount Offered: $7,500 annually for up to five years
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 28
  • Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be Alaska residents who earned their high school diploma (or equivalent) in Alaska.

Norton Sound Health Corporation Scholarship

Sponsored by the Norton Sound Health Corporation, this scholarship supports tribes of Alaska’s Bering Straits region.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Graduating seniors: April 30; Spring semester college students: December 31; Fall semester college students: June 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: This scholarship is open to Alaska high school seniors and students currently enrolled in an Alaska college. Preference is given to students earning a health-related degree and tribal members.

Alma J. Murphy Scholarship

Offered through the University of Alaska, this scholarship assists students who demonstrate community engagement and leadership qualities. Female students with financial need are given preference.

  • Amount Offered: $500 annually
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be students at the University of Alaska Anchorage currently taking at least six credits. Undergraduate students must have a GPA of at least 2.0 and graduate students must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Benjamin B. and Virginia M. Talley Scholarship

This scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It provides tuition assistance to students who demonstrate strong leadership skills.

  • Amount Offered: $500 annually
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and graduate students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students from Homer, Anchor Point, and Nikolaevsk are preferred.

Dr. Jon Baker Scholarship

This award honors the memory of Dr. Baker, a licensed psychologist who founded the Anchorage Mental Health Clinic.

  • Amount Offered: $500 annually
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time students at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Psychology majors are preferred. Undergraduate students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better and graduate students must have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Michael Baring-Gould Scholarship

A former sociology professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Michael Baring-Gould’s academic career focused on rural sociology; this scholarship honors his commitment to that field of study.

  • Amount Offered: $500 annually
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time social science students at the University of Alaska Anchorage with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or a graduate GPA of 3.0.

Dr. John Halligan Scholarship

This scholarship was established to assist students pursuing careers in medicine.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: November 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be graduates of an Alaska high school and enrolled in a health sciences program full-time at a University of Alaska campuses. High school seniors who have been accepted to the University of Alaska can also apply.

Everette K. Wagner Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is available to full-time undergraduate students attending the University of Alaska Anchorage.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500 annually
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Working psychology students with financial need are preferred. Applicants must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits and have a GPA of at least 3.0

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Alaska

Accreditation, through regional and/or national accreditors, safeguards students from enrolling in a substandard academic program. The most common type of accreditation is regional. Divided by geographical location, these prestigious accrediting agencies provide the standard for academic quality in the U.S. Many graduate programs only accept students with degrees from regionally-accredited schools. The regional accreditor for the state of Alaska is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. National accrediting organizations adhere to a different set of guidelines that are generally considered to be less rigorous. Nationally-accredited colleges typically offer vocational programs while regionally-accredited schools tend to emphasize a more well-rounded education. A national accreditor that students should search for when selecting an online program is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

In addition to regional and national accreditation, the top online psychology programs in Alaska feature accreditation from the American Psychological Association. This long-standing organization ensures that psychology programs in Alaska prepare students for the rigors of clinical therapy and research.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Alaska

The database below features all of the accredited online psychology programs in Alaska. While the process of selecting a degree can feel daunting, familiarizing yourself with this information should make it easier to find the program that best fits with your academic and professional goals.