Online Psychology Degree Programs in Arizona

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects more than 22,000 psychology positions will be created between 2014 and 2024, including a 10% increase in the state of Arizona alone. With an estimated population of more than six million, Arizona is home to a growing number elderly residents, minorities, and impoverished families. The state’s evolving social landscape drives the need for mental health practitioners and researchers. The demand for skilled rehabilitation psychologists and geropsychologists is also rising as the baby boomer generation ages.

An online psychology degree in Arizona allows students to pursue a variety of specializations, such as cognitive, social, or industrial psychology. Arizona offers several mental health initiatives, research facilities, and treatment centers that provide career opportunities for emerging professionals. Read on for a more detailed discussion of the benefits of pursuing an online psychology degree in Arizona.

Mental Health Initiatives in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) conducts ongoing research on the health practices of its residents. The ADHS 2015 report showed that 5.2% of the state’s surveyed population reported heavy drinking and 11.2% reported frequent mental distress. Numerous research facilities and treatment centers operate in Arizona to alleviate the detrimental effects of substance dependency. The Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership works towards substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery through community programs, group training, and grants. Other Arizona programs that assist individuals and families impacted by this growing epidemic include the Arizona Addiction Recovery Center and the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority Institute.

Students earning their master’s in psychology online in Arizona have the opportunity to learn from faculty members who work in tandem with Arizona government programs. Arizona’s public research institutions produce large bodies of mental health research, including the topics of traumatic stress and adolescent marijuana use.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Arizona?

While licensure requirements share similar features throughout the nation, the following information highlights the licensure process specific to the state of Arizona. In addition to meeting licensure field experience and professional supervision requirements, psychology graduates take an exam that assesses their knowledge of key areas in the practice of clinical psychology. The steps below outline the typical route taken to launch a career as a licensed psychologist.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: Psychology programs in Arizona are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. A master’s degree is required to work as a school psychologist. A doctorate degree is required to pursue a career as a licensed psychologist or a tenured psychology professor. Students who wish to specialize in a specific area, such as the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in veterans, pursue advanced training through a doctoral program and often engage in post-doctorate fellowships to continue their training in the field.

Earn Your Degree: Many working professionals choose to pursue an online degree, which allows them to flexibly complete coursework while maintaining their current profession. Most graduate psychology programs in Arizona require prospective students to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related subject from an accredited university. A master’s degree in psychology takes full-time students approximately three years to complete, while a doctorate degree takes five to seven years. Both degrees include field experience as part of the curriculum.

Earn Your License: Psychology students must complete the examination for professional practice in psychology as part of the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners licensure requirements. While a doctorate degree in psychology equips students with critical knowledge and skills, the Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences nevertheless recommends studying 20 hours per week for three months prior to taking the exam. The exam costs $687.50, and test-takers have four hours and 15 minutes to complete 225 multiple choice questions. Although licensure does not guarantee employment, it significantly increases marketability.

Psychology Licensing in Arizona

Most mental health occupations require professional licensure to ensure that consumers receive evidence-based services from ethical professionals. In Arizona, licensure requirements vary based on the type of graduate degree a student earns. For example, mental health counselors who graduated with a master’s degree in counseling must pass the National Counselor Examination, which has a number of eligibility requirements. Please review the table below to see a comparison of common licenses held by mental health professionals in the state of Arizona.

Licensed Psychologist

To be eligible for Arizona’s psychologist licensure exam, applicants must have a doctorate degree in psychology from an American Psychological Association-accredited program or meet core program requirements. Applicants take the examination for professional practice in psychology and complete a self-query administered through the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Mental Health Director
  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Professor

Total Fees: $1,457

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Applicants pursuing social work licensure in the state of Arizona must have a master’s degree earned from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program. Other eligibility requirements include Arizona residency, documentation of supervised work experience, official transcripts, a passing score on the Master’s in Social Work clinical exam, and the completion of the National Practitioner Data Bank’s self-query.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Corrections Social Worker
  • Community Mental Health Service Provider

Total Fees: $550

Marriage & Family Therapist

Eligibility requirements for Arizona state licensure include the completion of a master’s degree in behavioral health, 300 practicum hours supervised by a licensed marriage and family therapist, and documentation of legal Arizona residence. Official transcripts should provide evidence of the completion of the following courses: marriage and family studies, marriage and family therapy, human development, professional studies, and research. Applicants must pass the marriage and family therapy licensure exam and complete the federal data bank self-query.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker
  • Consultant

Total Fees: $645

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Arizona requires LMHCs to have a master’s degree in counseling from a Council for Accrediting Counselling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)-accredited program with core coursework in professional ethics, counseling theories, and research methods. Applicants for Arizona professional counselor licensure must provide evidence of 3,200 hours of work experience and 100 supervision hours. The state requires applicants to pass the National Counselor Exam.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker
  • Consultant

Total Fees: $910

National Certified Counselor

Eligible applicants have a master’s degree in counseling from a regionally accredited program. The degree must be at least 48 credits with coursework in nine foundational areas, including professional orientation, helping relationships, and assessment. Applicants who did not graduate from a CACREP-accredited program must have 100 hours of documented counseling supervision post graduation and 3,000 hours of supervised work experience.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker

Total Fees: $310

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Arizona

Internships and fellowships provide students with opportunities to gain practical skills in professional environments. Internships allow students to work with an organization for a brief period of time, often to meet degree requirements. A fellowship is typically pursued by students near the end of their graduate training or by recent graduates. A fellowship provides emerging professionals with additional training in a specialized area and often includes a stipend. The following list highlights fellowships and internships available for psychology students in Arizona.

  • Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System : The VA healthcare system in southern Arizona offers internship and fellowship opportunities. The internship program is available to doctoral students. The postdoctoral fellowship provides advanced training in the treatment of PTSD in veterans and accepts graduates with a doctorate degree in psychology or clinical counseling. Students submit their application online through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.
  • Northern Arizona University’s Counseling Services: The counseling center at Northern Arizona University features a full-year paid internship in health service psychology. Eligible applicants are currently enrolled in an accredited doctoral program in psychology or counseling psychology and must have at least 450 hours in supervised clinical service. Students apply online through the university’s human resources department website.
  • Avondale Elementary School Psychology Internship: This elementary school internship prepares students for Arizona psychologist licensure and school psychologist certification. Applicants must be doctoral-level students, preferably enrolled in an American Psychological Association-accredited program with a school psychology emphasis. To apply, students contact the exceptional student services’ director of training.

Psychology Careers in Arizona

The state of Arizona offers numerous avenues for professional advancement in psychology. Not only do students pursuing their online psychology degree in Arizona enroll in programs that allow them to specialize in growing areas such as gerontology and addiction treatment, they have the opportunity to work as researchers or consultants with some of Arizona’s cutting-edge mental health facilities found throughout the state. According to the BLS, the psychologist profession is projected to grow 14% by 2026. This is significantly faster than the national average. Furthermore, Arizona has one of the highest rates of employment for metropolitan areas in the nation.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Arizona?

The next table relies on data from the BLS to document the hourly and annual earnings of psychologists in the state of Arizona. Psychologists employed in Arizona bring home slightly higher earnings than the national average. In addition to location of employment, factors that influence a psychologist’s salary include specialized training and years of experience in the field.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Arizona 270 $41.71 $86,750
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Arizona

The following facilities illustrate Arizona’s commitment to addressing the mental health needs of its residents. When considering an online psychology degree in Arizona, students should explore job opportunities that will be available to them upon graduation. The mental health service providers highlighted below offer potential career paths for aspiring therapists.

  • CODAC Behavioral Health Services: CODAC Behavioral Health Services has 11 locations and provides services for women, men, and children. This nonprofit organization equips clients with the skills needed to manage mental illnesses in an environment that promotes diversity, creativity, and acceptance.
  • Mohave Mental Health Clinic Incorporated: Mohave Mental Health Clinic features outpatient clinics in Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, and Kingman. The organization operates two group homes and a 24-hour crisis hotline. The clinics serve children, families, and individuals.
  • Oasis Behavioral Health: Located in Chandler, Oasis Behavioral Health is a psychiatric hospital that provides acute care and residential treatment. The hospital specializes in the treatment of co-occurring disorders and serves the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Sovereign Health’s Women Only Rehab Center: Serving the needs of women ages 18-65 in the greater Phoenix area, this rehabilitation center provides a trauma-informed approach to therapy. The center offers four levels of care ranging from outpatient to residential.
  • Stonewall Institute: This drug and alcohol treatment center offers a variety of clinical services, including evaluations, substance abuse treatment, DUI-related services, and aftercare for individuals in recovery. Stonewall Institute offers an inclusive environment, and its staff is trained to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ clients.

Mental Health Research Centers in Arizona

The following research centers are examples of some of Arizona’s leaders in mental health innovation. Graduates of psychology programs in Arizona who are interested in pursuing careers in research have ample opportunities to participate in new and ongoing projects. Familiarity with the state’s current research initiatives prepares students for the transition into professional roles.

  • Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC): Located in Phoenix, SARRC is a nonprofit organization that serves those impacted by autism. SARRC offers a variety of services, including clinical workshops for practitioners. The organization’s research focuses on the examination of genetic factors associated with autism.
  • The University of Arizona: One of the nation’s top research schools, the University of Arizona’s health sciences department conducts a number of research projects specific to mental health. Examples of current research topics include traumatic stress and light exposure, and the use of psilocybin in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • The Institute for Mental Health Research (IMHR): This nonprofit organization emphasizes the collaboration between researchers and practitioners to examine pertinent mental health issues. Located in Phoenix, IMHR currently conducts research with partners from the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University, and the Sun Health Research Institute. The organization’s research focuses include childhood anxiety disorders and substance dependence.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Joining a professional organization is an excellent way to establish a professional identity and stay up to date on current research in psychology. Students and recent graduates who join professional organizations, such as the ones listed below, have access to unique opportunities including collaboration with established professionals and access to annual conferences. Most professional organizations also offer their members job forums and career development resources.

  • Arizona Psychological Association: Established in 1950, the Arizona Psychological Association is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Psychological Association. Student members have access to the organization’s annual convention where they can present research posters. Other membership benefits include networking opportunities, and access to educational programs and business development tools.
  • Arizona Association of School Psychologists: With an emphasis on research-based practice, this organization promotes academic environments that nurture emotional and cognitive growth. Members receive access to professional development programs, including regional workshops and conferences, at a reduced cost.
  • Southern Arizona Psychological Association: Serving the greater Tucson area, this organization encourages networking between professionals and students to develop collaborative mentoring relationships. The organization’s continuing education programs address a variety of mental health topics, including dialectical behavior therapy and anger management.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Arizona

Arizona Business & Professional Women’s Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by the Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes the advancement of working women through financial support and research.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be women who are 21 and older and returning to school to advance their current career or pursue a new career. Applicants must be enrolled in an Arizona community college.

Flinn Foundation Scholarship

Founded in 1965 by Arizona cardiologist Robert S. Flinn and his wife, the Flinn Foundation promotes the advancement of Arizona bioscience research, community leadership, and arts and culture.

  • Amount Offered: $115,000 or greater
  • Scholarship Deadline: Mid-October
  • Eligibility Requirements: This merit-based scholarship is available to high school seniors. Eligible applicants are U.S. residents who have resided in Arizona for at least two years. A minimum high school GPA of 3.5 is required, and students must be in the top 5% of their class. Students must score at least 29 on the ACT or 1360 on the SAT.

Dorrance Scholarship

Established by Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance in conjunction with the Arizona Community Foundation, this scholarship program supports first-generation students attending Arizona’s public universities.

  • Amount Offered: $12,000 annually with an option for renewal
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be first generation high school seniors with financial need. Other requirements include a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, SAT score of 1120 or ACT score of 22, and admittance to one of the following public Arizona universities: Arizona State University-Tempe, Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff, or the University of Arizona-Tucson.

College Success Arizona Scholarship

Through a combination of scholarship programs and mentoring services, College Success Arizona provides low-income students with access to higher education in Arizona. The organization has provided students with more than $16 million dollars in scholarships since its establishment in 2005.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000-$3,000 per semester for a maximum of four years
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 10
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be members of and recommended by one of College Success Arizona’s college access partner organizations. Eligible applicants are Arizona high school graduates with significant financial need.

University of Arizona Transfer Tuition Scholarship

Offered by the University of Arizona, this scholarship provides financial assistance to community college transfer students enrolling in their first bachelor’s degree.

  • Amount Offered: $3,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Transfer students must have a minimum of 36 credits completed at a community college and be pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.

The Northern Arizona Native-American Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is offered by the the Northern Arizona Native-American Foundation, an organization that assists Native American students in the pursuit of higher education.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Eligible candidates are Arizona residents who identify as Native American. Applicants must be high school seniors admitted to any of Arizona’s colleges or trade schools.

Focus to the Finish Scholarship

The University of Phoenix’s Focus to the Finish scholarship assists undergraduate and graduate students with degree completion by providing 11 applicants with full-tuition coverage.

  • Amount Offered: Full-tuition
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 9
  • Eligibility Requirements: Eligible students are currently not attending school and plan to enroll in a University of Phoenix degree. Applicants have completed at least nine credits and are in good academic standing.

Louis H. and Betty J. Quayle Scholarship

Offered through Northern Arizona University’s scholarship department, this scholarship assists graduate students who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe.

  • Amount Offered: Up to $15,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full- or part-time graduate students attending Northern Arizona University who identify as Native American and are part of a federally recognized tribe or nation.

Phil Mickelson Award for Excellence in Psychology

Available to senior psychology students attending Arizona State University, this merit-based award was established by former psychology major and current professional golfer, Phil Mickelson.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Eligible recipients must be full-time students in their final year of Arizona State University’s psychology program with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Arizona

Accreditation is an important feature to seek when choosing an online psychology degree in Arizona. Not only does accreditation play an important role in the regulation of a university’s quality and integrity, it often impacts a student’s ability to pursue licensure and continuing education programs. The primary types of accrediting agencies in the U.S. are regional and national. Most colleges have regional accreditation and fall into one of six regions. The regional accrediting body for Arizona is the Higher Learning Commission, which replaced the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 2014.

National accreditation is not limited by geographic region, and three major national accreditors operate in the U.S. that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Nationally accredited colleges traditionally focus on vocational training or distance education. In addition to regional and national accreditation, students considering psychology Ph.D programs in Arizona seek degrees that are accredited by the American Psychological Association, which regulates program standards, including learning outcomes, faculty performance, and student services.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Arizona

The following database includes all accredited online psychology programs in Arizona. Students interested in pursuing their online psychology degree in Arizona may rely on the above information when choosing a program from this database. With the foundational knowledge of accreditation, professional organizations, and potential career paths, students can find an online psychology degree in Arizona that fits their goals.