Are you interested in human behavior and helping people better understand themselves? If so, you might want to consider a career in psychology. To work as a psychologist in Connecticut you need a doctorate in psychology. Connecticut is an excellent state in which to pursue an online psychology degree. The state is home to nineteen accredited colleges or universities with psychology programs, including many online programs. Earning your psychology degree online might be a good idea if you want geographic freedom and need a flexible schedule. You can continue to work full-time while logging on to work on your psychology degree whenever is most convenient for you.
Connecticut is a particularly good place to study psychology and begin your career as a psychologist because the state prioritizes mental health, ranking ninth in the nation for mental health spending per capita. And, psychology as a whole is an excellent field to work in, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job opportunities for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists will grow 19.6% by 2024, which is a much higher than average rate.
Mental Health Initiatives in Connecticut
Connecticut is working on numerous mental health initiatives designed to improve the mental and emotional wellbeing of its residents. One such project, the Disaster Behavioral Health Initiative, is organized by Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in partnership with the University of Connecticut’s Health Center. The initiative consists of a network of mental health service providers who respond to the needs of Connecticut residents in the event of manmade or natural disasters.
Like the rest of the country, Connecticut is suffering from the opioid crisis and resulting deaths due to overdose. In response to the crisis, Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services organized the Opioid Overdose Prevention/Naloxone (Narcan) Initiative. The initiative includes many different measures intended to save the lives of people experiencing overdose from opioids. Other major initiatives include a project to increase cultural competency among mental health service providers, a youth suicide prevention initiative, and a co-occurring disorders initiative.
How do I Become a Psychologist in Connecticut?
Psychologists in Connecticut go through much of the same process to become licensed as psychologists in most other states. That includes earning a degree, completing a certain amount of supervised working hours in the field, and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). However, Connecticut does have some specific procedures and fees to keep in mind.
Choose the Path That’s Right for You: You’ll generally need a Ph.D in psychology to work as a licensed psychologist, although some therapist and counselor jobs may only require a master’s degree. If you plan to work as a licensed psychologist or teach psychology to college students you will need your doctorate. There are some psychology Ph.D programs in Connecticut if you have decided that you want to take that path. However, if you are interested in starting with your master’s in psychology online, Connecticut also offers a variety of options.
Earn Your Degree: If you want to get your online psychology degree, Connecticut is an excellent option. Prerequisites for psychology graduate programs vary, but most require substantial undergraduate work in psychology. Some also require research experience. If you choose to earn your master’s or Ph.D, you must complete an internship in the field, which usually consists of 1,000 to 3,000 hours of work over a period of one to two years. How long it takes to complete your degree also depends on other factors, such as if you will be a full- or part-time student and if you have any transfer credits. Master’s programs generally take about two years, while Ph.D programs take four to seven years.
Earn Your License: Once you have your degree, you will need to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Your degree should prepare you to take the licensing exam, but you will still need to spend time studying, particularly if you are unfamiliar with any content areas that the test covers. Practice tests are available online to help you prepare. The test consists of 225 multiple-choice questions, and you will have four hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam. It costs $450 for the exam itself and there is a $65 testing center fee as well. You won’t automatically be given a job once you are licensed, but it is a necessary step in the path to getting hired.
Psychology Licensing in Connecticut
There are a variety of different licenses you can earn to practice psychology and counseling in Connecticut. The type of license you choose to earn will have an important effect on the possibilities for your career. For example, the requirements to become a licensed psychologist are different than the requirements to work as a licensed family and marriage therapist. Because the different requirements for licenses can be confusing, the table below outlines the prerequisites and fees required for different licenses in Connecticut, as well as some careers available to graduates with each license.
Completion of a doctoral degree in psychology from an approved program, one year (or 1,800 hours in 24 consecutive months) of supervised work experience, EPPP score of at least 70%, passing score on the Connecticut jurisprudence examination
Careers Available With This License: Psychologist; counselor; therapist; researcher
Total Fees: $565
Completion of a master’s or doctoral degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program, completion of 3,000 hours of post-master’s social work experience with at least 100 hours under the supervision of a licensed social worker, and a passing score on the Clinical Level Examination of the Association of Social Work Boards
Careers Available With This License: Social worker; researcher; counselor
Total Fees: $315
Completion of graduate degree at an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy-approved program with a specialization in marital and family therapy (or completion of a program that meets the requirements described Connecticut’s regulations in section 20-195a-2) and at least 1,000 hours of postgraduate supervised work experience involving direct care and 100 hours of clinical supervision over the course of a year
Careers Available With This License: Marital therapist; family therapist
Total Fees: $315
Completion of a master’s degree or higher in psychology, counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, or another mental health field from an accredited university, completion of at least 60 graduate credit hours in counseling, 3,000 hours of counseling experience after completion of the master’s degree, and a passing score on either the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) or the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)
Careers Available With This License: Counselor; therapist
Total Fees: $315
Completion of a master’s degree in counseling, completion of 3,000 hours of work experience (including at least 100 hours of supervision) in 24 months, and a passing score on the NCMHCE or the NCE
Careers Available With This License: Counselor; community manager
Total Fees: $335
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Connecticut
The state of Connecticut offers numerous psychology internships and fellowships to students and recent graduates. Internships can be paid or unpaid work experiences related to a student’s studies and are often completed in exchange for academic credit. Fellowships are more commonly offered to postgraduates and almost always include a stipend. Fellowships help graduates gain on-the-job skills that may be difficult to pick up in school. The following fellowships and internships are available to psychology students in Connecticut.
- Pediatric Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowships: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center/Hartford Hospital in partnership with the Institute of Living psychiatric hospital offers three full-time one-year fellowships focused on pediatric psychology. The available positions are: pediatric consultation consultation/liaison, pediatric hematology/oncology, and pediatric pain and palliative medicine.
- Yale Doctoral Internship in Clinical & Community Psychology: Yale University’s internship program includes a position focused on clinical and community psychology that accepts 15 interns, which they call psychology fellows, each year. Psychology fellows are placed in positions at Connecticut Mental Health Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System Fellowships: Connecticut’s VA has a psychology fellowship program with numerous concentrations, including clinical psychology, integrated care addiction, and clinical neuropsychology. Fellowships are located throughout the state, and applicants can apply through the VA website.
Psychology Careers in Connecticut
Psychology careers in Connecticut mirror that of many other states, with psychologists finding work as school psychologists, clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, and various positions in psychological research. Psychologists that specialize in treating individuals with substance abuse and addiction problems are likely to find numerous career opportunities, as Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services devotes substantial resources to combating the state’s opioid epidemic through initiatives such as the Opioid Overdose Prevention/Naloxone (Narcan) Initiative. Careers in clinical psychology tend to have the most entry-level openings for recent psychology graduates in Connecticut.
How Much do Psychologists Make in Connecticut?
You might be wondering how much you can expect to make as a psychologist working in Connecticut. The salary a psychologist earns depends on numerous factors, including their experience, education, and credentials. Geographic location also has a substantial impact on how much money an individual can expect to make in their field. Psychologists in Connecticut make a significantly higher hourly and annual mean wage than the national average.
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Mental Health Service Providers in Connecticut
While you are still a student, it is a good idea to look for mental health service providers in Connecticut. That way, you will know where to look for jobs after you graduate, particularly if you are planning to work as a counselor or in a similar capacity at a mental health service organization.
- Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.: Advanced Behavioral Health manages substance abuse and mental health services. The group also consults with healthcare providers and contractors and offers a wide range of services and programs, including behavioral health recovery, multidimensional family therapy, and specialized crisis intervention for young adults.
- Hartford HealthCare Behavioral & Mental Health: Hartford HealthCare provides both residential and outpatient mental health and addiction services for families, children, and adults. The organization offers wellness, prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
- Wheeler Clinic: Wheeler offers behavioral and primary health services, including treatment for depression, addiction, and substance abuse. The clinic treats 30,000 people each year in Connecticut.
- Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA): CMHA is a behavioral health and integrated healthcare system with clinics in northwest and central Connecticut. Serving children and adults, CMHA’s programs include child and family counseling, outpatient services, and a jail diversion project.
- Connecticut Mental Health Center: Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry and the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services run this community mental health center, one of the oldest in the United States. It provides mental health services focused on recovery to 5,000 people in the New Haven area each year.
Mental Health Research Centers in Connecticut
By familiarizing yourself with the mental health research centers in Connecticut while you are still in school, you’ll know where to look for jobs after you graduate. This will make it easier to find a job if you decide you want to work as a researcher or in a similar career. These organizations often offer training programs and fellowships that can help you gain experience in the field and boost your marketability to employers.
- Yale Department of Psychiatry: The Department of Psychiatry at Yale University houses a research center that focuses on psychopharmacology, brain imaging, and genetics. Recent research topics include substance abuse, molecular psychiatry, and schizophrenia.
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Research Division: This state-run research division partners with Yale University and other institutions of higher learning to study mental health and addiction-related issues. Research topics include indicators of mental health service quality and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.
The Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center: Olin researchers study brain disorders, including depression, manic-depressive illness, and Alzheimer’s disease. They use a variety of research techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electrophysiology.
Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals
It can be rewarding for psychology students and recent graduates to join professional organizations in the field. Benefits of membership in professional groups include networking opportunities, career services and job boards, and discounted rates to annual conferences and continuing education programs. Membership in professional organizations also demonstrates your commitment to your profession and helps you stay abreast of new developments in the field.
- Connecticut Psychological Association (CPA): The CPA is Connecticut’s affiliate of the American Psychological Association. Members benefit from the group’s advocacy for the profession of psychology, professional assistance, legal consultation, networking, and reduced fees for continuing education opportunities.
- Connecticut Association of School Psychologists (CASP): CASP is an organization for school psychologists in Connecticut. The group advocates for its members and the profession, as well as hosting conferences and offering continuing education opportunities. Members also receive a publication and access to the organization’s members-only listserv.
- The New England Psychological Association (NEPA): NEPA represents and advocates for psychologists in several New England states, including Connecticut. Members of the group benefit from a newsletter, networking opportunities, an annual conference, and the organization’s advocacy for the profession.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Connecticut
The CPA’s Ethnic Diversity Task Force offers a scholarship to ethnic minority psychology students that includes a free membership to the CPA and mentoring help from members.
- Amount Offered: Free one-year student CPA membership and mentoring
- Scholarship Deadline: October 6
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a minority psychology student.
This University of Connecticut doctoral scholarship is awarded to students focusing on educational psychology (among other subjects). Students with exceptional academic records have priority.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: February 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut, demonstrate financial need, and have a record of academic excellence and leadership.
The University of Connecticut offers this scholarship to a promising psychology major who is a junior or senior. Priority will be given to students from underrepresented groups who have dealt with socio-economic hardship.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: March 6
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time undergraduate student at UConn majoring in psychology, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have completed nine psychology credits.
Eastern Connecticut State University faculty members from the Psychology Department organized this scholarship in memory of a professor who was a clinical psychologist and taught at ECSU. The scholarship is for psychology majors with financial need.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time psychology student at Eastern Connecticut State University with demonstrated financial need and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The American Psychological Foundation awards this scholarship to graduate students doing work related to the stigma of mental illness. Drs. Violet and Cyril Franks fund the scholarship.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a graduate student at an accredited university, have a commitment to understanding issues related to stigma, and have Institutional Review Board approval if needed.
The Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Scholarship supports graduate research into child psychology. The support lasts for one year and is designed to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the research area.
- Amount Offered: $25,000
- Scholarship Deadline: November 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Must have completed doctoral candidacy, have Institutional Review Board approval if needed for research project, and prove research competence.
Established in 1995, the National Association of School Psychologists – Education and Research Trust Minority Scholarship Program helps graduate students who are minorities receive training in school psychology. The program supports future diverse school psychologists who plan to serve diverse school populations.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline:October 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a minority graduate student enrolled in a school psychology program, be a NASP member, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be a U.S. citizen.
The APA awards this grant to graduate students completing innovative psychology research projects that promote diversity. The grant can be used for dissertation, thesis, or other research.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: December 5
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a psychology or neuroscience graduate student and a APA of Graduate Students (APAGS) member.
These grants provide financial support to graduate students for research projects that involve LGBT family psychology and therapy. Dissertation candidates receive preference. Applicants from all fields of social and behavioral sciences can apply.
- Amount Offered: $11,000
- Scholarship Deadline: November 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a graduate student, be committed to LGBT issues, and receive Institutional Review Board approval for project.
The APA offers this award to the winner of its graduate student essay writing contest. Applicants must write an essay about ethics and psychology.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: January 10
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be an APAGS member, graduate student in psychology, and submit a paper on psychology and ethics.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Connecticut
If you decide to get your online psychology degree, Connecticut has many accredited schools with psychology programs. It is important to attend an accredited school. When a college or university is accredited, it means that it has undergone an evaluation process proving that it meets standards agreed upon by the larger educational community. When you choose an accredited school you can be sure that your education that will leave you prepared to work in your field upon graduation.
Schools can either be regionally or nationally accredited. Regional accreditation is more popular and prestigious. National accreditation is less common and is typically used by for-profit or vocational schools. Often, other schools do not accept transfer credit from nationally accredited schools. When choosing an online school in Connecticut, look for schools accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. When looking for psychology programs in Connecticut, also make sure that your academic program is separately accredited by the American Psychological Association. Many states require that you have a psychology degree from an APA-accredited school in order to become a licensed psychologist.
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Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Connecticut
Students who decide to get their online psychology degree in Connecticut have numerous program options to choose from, including master’s and Ph.D programs. The database that follows includes all of the accredited psychology programs available online in Connecticut. Please use this resource to find the online psychology program in Connecticut that is right for you.