Online Psychology Degree Programs in Colorado

Psychologists study human behavior and cognitive processes, help people understand their own behavior, and identify and treat mental disorders. If you are a good listener, naturally inquisitive, and want to help other people, psychology might be the right field for you. Psychologists generally need a doctoral degree and significant supervised clinical experience; however, some positions only require a master’s degree. If you are considering getting an online psychology degree, Colorado offers many different programs. Earning a psychology degree online is attractive because it gives distances learners the flexibility to complete coursework at their convenience without having to attend campus. The per capita amount spent by Colorado on mental health issues is on par with other states. Career opportunities for trained psychologists are expected to expand more rapidly than the average profession in the U.S., with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting 19.6% long-term growth for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.

Mental Health Initiatives in Colorado

Mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention make up one of Colorado’s 10 Winnable Battles. Issues addressed by this initiative include promoting policies to help the social and emotional health of mothers, fathers, and children; reducing stigma and improving screening for depression, especially in pregnant women; and preventing the abuse of prescription drugs. This initiative is organized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. One of the state’s other major initiatives is the Colorado Crisis Services program, which is a statewide mental health initiative offering 24/7 hotline help and walk-in crisis centers with trained counselors. Coloradans can use these services to combat substance abuse and a variety of mental health and emotional issues, including bullying, suicidal thoughts, depression, and family crises. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that Colorado spent $856,280,541 on direct services for mental health in 2016.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Colorado?

The process for becoming a licensed psychologist in Colorado is very similar to the requirements found in other states. It involves earning your psychology degree, accumulating enough hours of experience in the field, and passing an exam. However, Colorado’s specific licensing procedures and costs are unique to the state and may vary slightly compared to other places.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: Working as a psychologist requires many years of education. The first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree, during which time students learn the fundamentals of human behavior. By continuing on and pursuing a master’s degree, students learn the basics of psychology and can work in the field as case managers or counselors. If you want to pursue a master’s in psychology online, Colorado offers several programs. However, most states require individuals to hold a PhD to become a licensed clinical psychologist; many also require at least one additional year of postdoctoral training. Most individuals who work as practicing licensed psychologists or teach psychology at a college earn a doctorate degree. Students interested in this career path will find many psychology Ph.D programs in Colorado.

Earn Your Degree: If you want to earn an online psychology degree, Colorado provides numerous options. The prerequisites required at the graduate level typically include undergraduate coursework in general psychology. Nearly every psychology program requires students to complete an internship that includes clinical practice prior to graduation. The length of time required to earn your degree depends on numerous factors, including previous coursework or transfer credits, whether you attend school part-time or full-time, and the specific requirements of your program.

Earn Your License: The final step to earning your psychology license is to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This computer-based test includes 225 multiple-choice questions; test-takers have four hours and 15 minutes to finish. To pass the test, you need to answer about 70% of the questions correctly. The test costs $450 plus a $65 fee paid to the testing center. Your degree should prepare you for the licensing exam, but you may still want to devote significant time to studying. Your study schedule should depend on your confidence in the test’s eight content areas. You can also take practice tests. Although receiving your license doesn’t guarantee you a job, it is a necessary step that must be completed before you can obtain employment.

Psychology Licensing in Colorado

Professionals can earn many different types of licenses to practice psychology and counseling. The type of license or certification you earn will significantly impact your career. Because so many types of licenses exist, we created the chart below to explain some of the differences between psychology licenses in Colorado. The prerequisites, fees, and career opportunities vary depending on the license you obtain.

Licensed Psychologist

Doctorate from an APA approved program, 1,500 hours of experience and 75 hours of supervision over 12 months, pass the EPPP, pass a jurisprudence exam

Careers Available With This License: Psychologist, therapist, counselor

Total Fees: $757

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Master’s in social work from a CSWE-approved program, 3,360 hours of experience over 24 months and 96 hours of supervision over 24 months, pass the Association of Social Work Boards exam, pass a jurisprudence exam

Careers Available With This License: Social worker, community worker, therapist

Total Fees: $330

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Master’s or doctorate degree from a COAMFTE-approved program, 2,000 hours of experience and 100 hours of supervision over 24 months for post-master’s individuals or 1,500 hours of experience and 75 hours of supervision over 12 months for post-doctoral individuals, pass the LMFT exam, pass a jurisprudence exam

Careers Available With This License: Social worker, community worker, therapist

Total Fees: $330

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Master’s or doctorate degree from a COAMFTE-approved program, 2,000 hours of experience and 100 hours of supervision over 24 months for post-master’s individuals or 1,500 hours of experience and 75 hours of supervision over 12 months for post-doctoral individuals, pass the LMFT exam, pass a jurisprudence exam

Careers Available With This License: Marriage therapist, family therapist

Total Fees: $73

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Master’s degree or higher in counseling, 3,000 hours of experience and 100 hours of supervision over 24 months, pass either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), pass a jurisprudence exam

Careers Available With This License: Counselor, therapist, researcher, community or social worker

Total Fees: $335

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Colorado

Students and recent graduates have access to numerous psychology internships and fellowships in Colorado. Internships provide real-world experience and can be paid or unpaid; students tend to complete internships in exchange for academic credit. Alternatively, fellowships are almost always paid and typically filled by recent graduates of master’s or doctorate programs. Fellowships allow individuals to gain work experience they might not be able to get through academic training alone. Psychology students in Colorado can apply for the positions listed below.

  • Doctoral Psychology Internship Program: Denver Health offers a psychology internship program to doctoral students. This internship includes clinical training and supervision in tracks such as women’s care, adult psychology, and child/adolescent psychology. Refer to the program brochure for application information.
  • HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce Education and Training Internship Program: Health Services and Resources Administration interns at Denver Health receive clinical training in behavioral health and other areas. Interns choose from an adult or child/adolescent track, with a focus on the opiate epidemic. Applicants can read the program brochure for information about applying.
  • Aurora Mental Health Center Internship Program: The Aurora Mental Health Center offers part-time, unpaid internships for psychology students, where interns receive clinical training and direct experience working in the mental health field. The program includes an APA-accredited psychology internship program. Visit their website for application information.

Psychology Careers in Colorado

Prospective psychologists have access to many types of careers in Colorado, including work as clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, and school psychologists. The BLS reports that Colorado has one of the highest concentration of jobs in the U.S. for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, with 2.5 to 3.5 psychologist jobs per 1,000 jobs. In fact, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area ranks among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country for employment of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Colorado?

The expected salary range for psychologists depends on several factors, including work experience, academic and professional credentials, and where a worker lives. Psychologists with many years of experience and advanced credentials tend to earn significantly more than less experienced, less educated individuals. Psychologists in Colorado make very close to the national average among professionals in this field.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Colorado 3,090 $38.00 $79,035
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Colorado

Psychology students should investigate mental health service providers in Colorado while still enrolled in school. This enables learners who want to pursue counseling or related careers to familiarize themselves with organizations they are likely work with after graduation.

  • Colorado Mental Health Institute Pueblo: This 449-bed hospital is one of the largest employers in the city of Pueblo. It provides behavioral health services to adolescents and adults and is operated by the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health.
  • Aurora Mental Health Center: The Aurora Mental Health Center provides many mental health programs and services, including individual, group, and family therapy; day treatment; vocational support; behavioral health screenings; psychological testing and evaluation; preventative and early intervention services; and other specialized services.
  • Colorado Mental Health Institute Fort Logan: This state-run psychiatric hospital is located in Denver and provides 94 beds for inpatient behavioral health treatment. The hospital treats adults referred from community health centers in Colorado.
  • Mental Health Center of Denver: The MHCD provides mental health services to 45,000 adults, teenagers, and children each year at Denver-area community sites and schools and through community partnerships. The center also offers workforce training, healthy living classes, and suicide prevention aid.
  • Colorado Mental Wellness Network: The CMWN is a statewide, nonprofit, peer-operated group that helps people living in recovery and educates the public about mental illness. The network trains individuals to go out into their community and work in mental health treatment facilities to provide support, advocacy, and mentoring to people in recovery from mental health or substance abuse disorders.

Mental Health Research Centers in Colorado

Colorado has many mental health research centers, including the ones listed below. It is important for students and recent graduates to look into research centers in the state; these sites provide a large number of psychology jobs in Colorado.

  • Pediatric Mental Health Institute: Children’s Hospital Colorado operates the Pediatric Mental Health Institute, which offers clinical services and conducts interdisciplinary research in the areas of child and adolescent mental health. This center focuses on conditions such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • The Institute for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Colorado: Kaiser’s Institute for Health Research participates in evaluation research and clinical trials, publishing and disseminating their findings. Current mental health research projects include studies into depression and suicide prevention.
  • National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research: The Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado operates this research center focused on minority health. The center’s goal is to promote Native American mental health through research projects, continuing education, and technical assistance.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations for psychologists and other mental health professionals provide immense value for students and recent graduates. By becoming a member of a professional organization in the field of psychology, you can gain access to networking opportunities with other mental health professionals and organizations, continuing education workshops and classes, and discounted admission to conferences. Members also have free access to career services, like resume help and job boards, which are not open to the general public.

  • Colorado Psychological Association: The CPA represents professional psychologists in Colorado from all areas of the field. Member benefits include access to APA resources, a bi-monthly newsletter, a listserv, help with ethics questions, and member discounts to CPA events.
  • Colorado Counseling Association: The CCA represents mental health workers in Colorado and is the state’s branch of the national American Counseling Association. Members benefit from CCA’s advocacy efforts, which help workers in the mental health profession, and a variety of educational opportunities.
  • Colorado Psychological Association of Graduate Students: This professional organization represents graduate students pursuing psychology degrees in Colorado. Membership perks include discounts to all CPA programs, newsletters, ethics help, and networking opportunities.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Colorado

Annual Imogene Jacobs Scholarship

This scholarship is given to a psychology student at CU-Boulder who is in their junior year of study. This is awarded based on merit alone.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 18
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be in the psychology department at CU-Boulder.

Samuel Priest Rose

These scholarships honor Dr. Rose, who taught psychology at CU-Denver. Preference is given to applicants who are juniors or seniors and express interest in pursuing graduate study in psychology.

  • Amount Offered: $1,200
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a full-time undergrad at the University of Colorado at Denver. They must also be majoring in psychology, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate financial need.

Marc-U-Star Awards

CU-Denver offers these awards to underrepresented undergraduate students in the behavioral and biomedical sciences with the goal of increasing diversity.

  • Amount Offered: 60% of tuition for the final two years of school, stipend, and more
  • Scholarship Deadline: Unknown
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be honors students majoring in biomedical or behavioral sciences and have an interest in pursuing post-graduate education.

The Sabine Scholarship in Psychology Award

Cornelia Sabine was a longtime supporter of the department of psychology at Colorado College. The school offers this scholarship to one of its psychology students each year.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Unknown
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a psychology major at Colorado College.

Dr. Laurie F. Michaels Counseling Scholarship in Psychology

Colorado State University offers this scholarship to a psychology graduate student pursuing a career in counseling.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a graduate student enrolled at CSU in the department of psychology’s counseling program and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program

The National Association of School Psychologists created this program to support minority students who want to become school psychologists. The program includes mentorship opportunities.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be an ethnic minority in one of the following groups: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, or Hispanic. Must also be a full-time or part-time student, a U.S. citizen, and be an NASP member with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled in an NASP-approved psychology program.

Point Foundation LGBT

The Point Foundation offers numerous scholarships to students who have experienced marginalization because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Applicants fill out one application to become eligible for a series of scholarships.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: January 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a student who has been marginalized because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Specific eligibility varies by scholarship.

Walter Katkovsky

The American Psychological Foundation’s Walter Katkovsky scholarships offer financial aid to licensed psychologists early in their career (no more than 10 years out of school) to obtain training in psychopharmacology.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: December 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have applied to a psychopharmacology program accredited by the the APA, be an early-career psychologist, and have experience with research-based intervention as well as patients who have medical and psychological problems.

Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student

The APA offers this award to graduate students conducting research related to child psychology. The goal of this program is to encourage young scholars to pursue careers in child psychology.

  • Amount Offered: $25,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: November 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have finished their doctoral candidacy, show competence in conducting research, and receive IRB approval before funding will be provided.

Early Career Psychologists Credentialing

These scholarships are offered by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists to help licensed psychologists early in their careers by paying for application fees so they can become credentialed as health service psychologists.

  • Amount Offered: The cost of the application fee needed to become credentialed as a health service psychologist
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 16
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have graduated with a PhD in the last 10 years from an ASPPB/National Register-designated or APA/CPA-accredited program and be a licensed psychologist.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Colorado

Once you begin searching for online psychology programs in Colorado, it is essential to make sure you pick a school that is accredited. Accreditation ensures that a school or program meets specific academic standards. Two kinds of accreditation exist: national and regional. Generally speaking, you should pick a school that is regionally accredited; this type of accreditation is more widely accepted and considered to be more prestigious. Alternatively, national accreditation tends to be used by for-profit schools and is not typically as meaningful as regional accreditation. Online schools in Colorado receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It is also important to check that your psychology program has subject-specific accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). To be licensed in Colorado, and most other states, your degree needs to come from an APA-accredited program.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Colorado

If you know that you want to pursue an online psychology degree, Colorado offers numerous programs to choose from. The following database includes all of the accredited online psychology programs in Colorado. This resource makes it easier to find the online psychology degree in Colorado that best fits with your academic and career goals.