Online Psychology Degree Programs in Arkansas

Psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders and help patients maintain good mental health. A career in psychology involves rigorous training, and many positions require a Ph.D in psychology. As demand for mental health professionals increases across the country, job opportunities for trained psychologists in Arkansas are growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of jobs for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Arkansas will grow 13.6% from 2014 to 2024.

For students interested in pursuing an online psychology degree, Arkansas has several reputable programs. Some of the most respected universities in the state offer advanced online psychology degrees, so students can obtain specialized training that is time-efficient and cost-effective. The University of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas offer several specialized psychology programs for master’s and doctoral students. Professional organizations and research institutions support the state’s psychologists, making Arkansas an excellent place to launch a psychology career.

Mental Health Initiatives in Arkansas

The Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS), part of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, sponsors mental health initiatives to improve the psychological well-being of Arkansas residents. Homelessness associated with mental illness is as a major problem in Arkansas, so DBHS trains caregiving facilities to assess housing status when interviewing new patients and connects hospitals with housing resources. The division also provides access to disability programs for people who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to mental health issues.

Substance abuse, particularly abuse of opioid painkillers and heroin, is also a high-priority mental health issue in Arkansas. DBHS oversees a voucher program to get addicted individuals into treatment care facilities. DBHS seeks to destigmatize mental health treatment; the division partners with the Arkansas Studies Institute to collect oral histories from people who have benefitted from mental care in Arkansas.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Arkansas?

Graduates of psychology programs pursue a variety of professional roles, many of which require licensure. The Arkansas Psychology Board oversees licensing for most psychology professions in the state. Though applicants for most psychology-related licenses follow similar processes, specific procedures and costs vary.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: Practicing psychologists in the U.S. normally hold Ph.D degrees in psychology, which take four years of full-time graduate study to acquire. Counseling and social work professionals often hold master’s degrees, which take two years to earn, but advanced roles typically require doctoral degrees. Psychology professionals who plan to teach college-level counseling, psychology, or social work will need a Ph.D.

Earn Your Degree: Many Arkansas universities offer online psychology programs. Admissions requirements for advanced psychology degrees vary, but most programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and at least a 3.0 GPA. Some programs require undergraduate psychology coursework. Online programs provide cost-effective graduate training in the psychology field. Most master’s programs take two years to complete, and Ph.D programs normally last four years. Psychology students typically participate in internships and fellowships, as licensure often requires supervised work experience.

Earn Your License: Psychologists must obtain professional licenses, which involves passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The test takes over four hours to complete and costs $600. While all psychology programs prepare candidates for the EPPP, most candidates need three months of additional study time to pass the rigorous test. Although obtaining licensure is a necessary step to beginning a career in psychology, passing the EPPP does not guarantee a job, as employers set their own hiring standards.

Psychology Licensing in Arkansas

The broad field of counseling and psychology encompasses a variety of positions. Since most of these jobs involve public health issues and deal with sensitive populations, candidates must typically obtain state licenses. In Arkansas, the Arkansas Psychology Board regulates licenses for psychology occupations; the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board oversees licensing for social work jobs; and the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling issues counseling licenses. The following chart shows the types of licenses required for professionals in psychology-related occupations.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites:

  • Ph.D in psychology
  • One year of supervised postgraduate training
  • Passing score on the EPPP
  • State and federal background checks

Careers Available With This License:

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

Total Fees: $1,091

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in psychology or social work
  • Two years of supervised postgraduate training
  • Passing score on the Association of Social Work Boards exam
  • State and federal background checks

Careers Available With This License:

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

Total Fees: $371

Marriage & Family Therapist

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in psychology or social work
  • Three years of supervised work experience
  • Passing score on the National Counselor Examination
  • State and federal background checks

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker
  • Consultant

Total Fees: $516

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in psychology or counseling
  • Three years of supervised work experience
  • Passing score on the National Counselor Examination
  • State and federal background checks

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker
  • Consultant

Total Fees: $516

National Certified Counselor

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
  • Two years of supervised work experience
  • Passing score on the National Counselor Examination
  • State and federal background checks

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Worker

Total Fees: $516

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Arkansas

Internships and fellowships provide students and recent graduates with practical experience. Interns may be paid or unpaid and have some but not all the responsibilities of full-time employees. In contrast, fellows perform all duties expected of regular employees and earn pay similar to that of entry-level workers. Fellowships typically last for predetermined durations. Both internships and fellowships are valuable opportunities for individuals launching a psychology career.

  • Clinical Psychology Internship: This internship with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatric Research Institute in Little Rock offers pre-doctoral students hands-on experience in clinical psychology. Interns may focus on child psychology, adult psychology, or neuropsychology. More information and application materials are available online.
  • Psychology Internship Program: The Arkansas Department of Human Services recruits interns to work in the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, one of the largest psychiatric care facilities in the region. Interns gain experience delivering psychological services to child and adult patients. Find more information on the department’s website.
  • Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment: This fellowship with the South Central Department of Veterans Affairs in North Little Rock provides emerging psychology professionals opportunities to learn about mental health issues affecting military veterans. Apply through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Psychology Careers in Arkansas

Advanced psychology degrees prepare candidates for a variety of professional roles. Those with Ph.Ds often work as clinical, counseling, or school psychologists, who diagnose and treat mental disorders in clinical settings or help students thrive in educational settings. According to the BLS, these professionals account for the largest number of psychologists in Arkansas.

A growing number of trained psychologists pursue careers in industrial organizational psychology. These professionals optimize hiring, training, and workflow in large companies. Candidates who are interested in criminal justice often pursue careers as forensic psychologists, assessing mental disorders in court settings and treating incarcerated individuals with mental disorders.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Arkansas?

The academic field of psychology informs a diverse set of professions, and graduates of psychology programs in Arkansas have several career options. Salaries vary by specialization and experience; in most cases, professionals with higher academic qualifications and more years of work experience earn higher salaries.

Pay also varies by location. For example, the average salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists throughout the country is $78,690, but these professionals earn an average of $64,480 in Arkansas. However, the cost of living in Arkansas is lower than other areas of the United States.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Arkansas 530 $35.27 $73,360
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Arkansas

For graduates who have earned a master’s in psychology online, Arkansas offers several rewarding career paths. Due to the specialized nature of psychology professions, however, jobs may be challenging to obtain. Graduates greatly increase their chances of gaining employment by identifying the largest mental health service providers in the state, as these employers hire large numbers of psychology professionals and offer opportunities for advancement.

  • Arkansas Psychiatric Clinic: This private clinic in Little Rock treats psychiatric problems including addictions, child and adolescent disorders, PTSD, and women’s issues. The clinic also conducts clinical trials of experimental treatment options.
  • Arkansas State Hospital: This hospital in Little Rock provides dedicated inpatient care for adolescent and adult mental health patients. Overseen by the Division of Behavioral Health services, the hospital also serves as an important educational and training facility for mental health professionals in Arkansas.
  • Rivendell Behavioral Health: Rivendell provides behavioral and psychiatric health solutions at its inpatient facility in Benton. The hospital treats child, adolescent, and adult psychiatric disorders and provides addiction counseling services to adolescents.
  • Riverview Behavioral Health: Located in Texarkana, Riverview provides inpatient treatment to children, adolescents, and adults. The clinic focuses on disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and works with area schools to help children succeed after discharge.
  • Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Health System: This nonprofit clinic in Pine Bluff serves five counties in southeastern Arkansas. The clinic provides outpatient care and advocates for individuals experiencing mental health crises.

Mental Health Research Centers in Arkansas

The field of psychology relies on research to inform evidence-based treatment practices. All psychology professionals should be updated on the latest research developments. For graduates with an online psychology degree, Arkansas offers rewarding job opportunities with large employers. Graduates can increase their chances of finding employment by becoming familiar with the largest and most prestigious research institutions in the state.

  • Arkansas Public Policy Panel: This public policy research institution provides evidence-based advocacy for people in the Arkansas prison system who suffer from mental illnesses. This research organization analyzes the costs and benefits of diverting prisoners with mental health issues to care facilities.
  • Minority Research Center: This research and educational organization at the University of Arkansas studies the impacts of tobacco and other addictive substances on minority populations throughout the state. Researchers disseminate information about best practices in substance abuse prevention.
  • Psychiatric Research Institute: Located at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, this institute conducts research and provides evidence-based care to children, adolescents, and adults. Researchers focuses on addiction, health services, women’s mental health, and brain imaging.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations offer valuable resources for current psychology students and graduates of psychology programs in Arkansas. Many professional organizations offer scholarships, arrange internships and fellowships, and publish journals in which students can present research findings. Some organizations offer continuing education programs that allow members to learn new skills and advance their careers. Professional organizations also hold conferences to allow members to meet peers from across the state, and these networking opportunities often lead to employment.

  • Arkansas Counseling Association: A state branch of the national American Counseling Association, ARCA provides resources for counseling professionals, hosts online and in-person continuing educational events, and provides networking opportunities.
  • Arkansas Psychological Association: ArPA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the advancement of psychology as a science and profession. ArPA connects mental health patients with treatment resources, and it offers members continuing education opportunities, chances to network, and assistance with professional licensing.
  • Arkansas School Psychology Association: ASPA helps current and future school psychologists understand emerging best practices in this specialized field. The organization holds conferences and advocates for school psychologists by lobbying state government entities.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Arkansas

Alfred Leymer Educational Trust Fund

This fund, administered by the Arkansas Community Foundation, supports students pursuing graduate degrees in Arkansas. This scholarship typically goes to residents of Pulaski County, but other Arkansas residents may apply.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be an Arkansas resident pursuing a graduate degree. Preference is given to residents of Pulaski County.

Arkansas Service Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship from the by the Arkansas Community Foundation supports children of Arkansas residents who died in service of the United States, Arkansas, or their local community.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be the child of an Arkansas resident who died in service

Arkansas School Psychology Association Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to students pursuing degrees related to school psychology who articulate exemplary career goals.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: September 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The student must be pursuing a degree related to school psychology and must demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to a psychology organization.

Emerging Graduate Scholarship

This scholarship supports new graduate students at Arkansas Tech. Candidates submit essays describing career goals and detailing financial need.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be an incoming ATU graduate student, must have at least a 3.5 GPA, and must submit recommendation letters from professors or employers.

Harold Thomas Scholarship

This scholarship, offered through the Arkansas Rehabilitation Association, supports graduate students studying rehabilitation counseling or a related field.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a full-time graduate student at an Arkansas institution and must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship

This national scholarship from the Melanie Foundation supports graduate students pursuing degrees related to mental health professions. Candidates must be nominated by peers or professors.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 6
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled in a graduate program related to mental health, must have a history of extracurricular involvement, and must demonstrate commitment to relieving suffering due to mental illness.

R. Preston Woodruff, Jr. Scholarship

This scholarship, offered by the Arkansas Student Loan Authority, helps Arkansas residents attend higher educational institutions throughout the state.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be an Arkansas resident and must submit an essay on a specified topic.

Student Research Grant

This national scholarship from the American Psychological Association supports students researching issues related to military psychology. Additional funds may be available to help the recipient attend the annual APA conference.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled in a psychology program and must be an APA Division 19 student affiliate.

University of Central Arkansas Assistance Program for Students with Exceptional Circumstances

This program supports University of Central Arkansas students who demonstrate academic excellence and who would be unable to continue studying without assistance.

  • Amount Offered: $3,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: July 15 and December 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Arkansas

Students planning to enter psychology professions must earn a degree that is respected by others in the field. Accreditation is the process by which external agencies ensure that colleges and universities uphold academic standards. In the United States, academic institutions receive accreditation from regional or national accrediting agencies. Academically oriented institutions, including those offering online psychology degrees in Arkansas, usually receive regional accreditation. National accreditation is typically reserved for career preparatory colleges. Of the two, regional accreditation traditionally commands the most respect.

Programs may also receive specialized accreditation from field-specific accrediting agencies. Highly regarded psychology programs hold accreditation from the American Psychology Association, an organization that furthers psychological research and professional practice in the United States. A degree from an APA-accredited institution is often required to obtain a professional psychology license.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Arkansas

For individuals pursuing an online psychology degree, Arkansas offers diverse educational options to suit various career goals. Many of the state’s most prestigious universities offer master’s programs that allow students to specialize in psychology subfields. Online psychology Ph.D programs in Arkansas are available from select institutions. Learn about educational opportunities by exploring the following list of all accredited online psychology degrees in Arkansas.