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Online Psychology Degree Programs in Connecticut

Psychology is the study of human behavior from a scientific standpoint, with professionals working in clinics and counseling, in schools, or in research and education. According to projections central, this field will grow 7.4% between 2016 and 2026 in Connecticut. Mental health advocates in the state continue to push for expanded access to clinical specialists, while schools need the skills of trained psychologists to serve their special-needs students.

This page offers a variety of resources to help you plan your education and prepare for a career in psychology, with information on career paths, certification, and state licensure. Read on to learn more about online psychology degree programs in Connecticut and how to stay on track to reach your career goals.

How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Connecticut Work?

Individuals seeking online psychology degrees in Connecticut can explore many options, including two-year associate degrees, graduate degrees in applied psychology, and clinical counseling programs. These courses of study prepare graduates for careers in the field and continued study in psychology.

Online programs make it easy for Connecticut students to get an education while staying close to home. However, students may need to complete some courses on campus. Clinical psychology programs usually include internships, which allow students to work with qualified psychologists and provide patient services.

Connecticut licensing regulations require psychologists to hold doctorates in psychology from accredited schools. While the American Psychological Association (APA) offers limited accreditation for online programs, Connecticut’s educational standards offer a path to licensure for individuals completing doctoral degrees in psychology at regionally accredited universities.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Connecticut?

Courses in psychology introduce degree-seekers to theories of human behavior and the impact of biology, cognitive function, and cultural influence on mental health. Specific curricula vary depending on the specialization chosen and the interests of the faculty.

  • Biological Bases of Behavior

    This course examines the biological processes that influence human behavior. Students can learn about neurotransmitters, neural conduction, and cortical functioning. They can also explore how brain disorders interrupt these processes and how that can impact behavior. The course also covers methods for studying brain function and available treatments for brain disorders.

  • Adult Psychopathology

    This course looks at specific psychological disorders to understand the symptoms, underlying causes, and possible treatments. Exploring adult psychopathology can help students learn to evaluate adult patients for disorders and plan for treatment, along with developing empathy and compassion for patients and their families.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapies

    Enrollees in this course explore common cognitive behavior therapies for various psychological disorders, including reviewing scientific data on treatment effectiveness. Students learn how to develop and administer a treatment plan and monitor patient progress. The course combines clinical experience with an understanding of evidence-based strategies and psychotherapy treatments.

  • Neuropsychological Assessment

    Students explore the theory and research behind several standard neurophysical assessments. These tests measure cognitive function in areas of attention, language, spatial reasoning, memory, and executive functions and help in the diagnosis of brain injury or disorder. Degree-seekers can practice administering and scoring tests such as the neuropsychological assessment battery and Halstead-Reitan battery, along with interpreting the results.

  • Professional Ethics

    Psychologists must hold themselves to a high standard of professional ethics or face repercussions that can jeopardize their careers. This course discusses psychological ethics in clinical practice and professional research, including issues such as patient confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and informed consent. Students also discuss the importance of self-care.

Becoming a Psychologist in Connecticut

Connecticut requires individuals offering psychological services to meet strict educational, training and testing guidelines. Governed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, psychologists must demonstrate their ability to serve clients effectively while adhering to professional, legal, and ethical standards. The section below details the steps necessary to gain and keep a psychologist license in Connecticut. It also covers other career opportunities for individuals completing online psychology degrees in Connecticut.

  • Specialize

    Clinical psychology includes multiple subspecialties, such as educational psychology, child psychology, and forensic psychology. Students should determine their specialties as early as possible so they can tailor their coursework, internships, and research toward that area of specialization. Certain specialties also offer fellowship or scholarship opportunities not available to general psychology students.

  • Earn Your Degrees

    An individual pursuing an online psychology degree in Connecticut should begin with a bachelor’s degree. This four-year degree provides a foundation for advanced study and introduces degree-seekers to the theories and practices of psychology. A general education curriculum prepares learners for professional communication, research, and cultural understanding.

    Because Connecticut requires a doctorate to become a licensed psychologist, students may seek admission to a Ph.D. program immediately after completing their bachelor’s degrees. These graduate programs provide 4-7 years of study, research, and clinical practice. Students planning to work with patients after graduation should seek programs with robust internship opportunities. Individuals pursuing school psychology specializations may only need a master’s degree for state certification.

  • Obtain Licensure

    After graduating from a doctoral program in psychology, the Connecticut Department of Public Health requires applicants to complete 1,800 hours of supervised work experience. The state also requires that individuals pass the examination for professional practice in psychology, which measures their knowledge across eight content areas. The multiple-choice test includes 225 items. Applicants must also take a test in Connecticut jurisprudence.

    The Department of Public Health will evaluate transcripts from applicants, especially if students did not attend an APA-accredited undergraduate program. It will also verify work experience and complete a background check. The application includes a fee.

Other Licenses and Certifications

While a psychology license requires a doctorate, Connecticut offers other career paths that require only a master’s degree. While there are some limitations on the type of care each professional offers, these fields allow practitioners to work directly with clients to overcome mental health concerns without the focus on research.

Social workers can assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with mental illness. They often provide a holistic approach to treatment, helping clients overcome other barriers to a healthy lifestyle by connecting them with appropriate community and government assistance programs. This licensure requires at least a master’s degree in a social work program, passing the Association of Social Work Boards clinical exam, and completing 3,000 hours of supervised social work.

Marital and family therapists provide counseling services for couples and families. Therapy may include individual or group counseling for mental illnesses or behavioral problems. Connecticut requires each applicant to have a master’s degree approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, 12 months of supervised work experience, and a passing score on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards exam.

Professional counselors may diagnose and treat individuals with mental illness, substance abuse, or other behavioral health disorders. Connecticut requires applicants for this license to have master’s degrees in counseling, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, or a related field followed by 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. Applicants must also complete the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination or National Counselor Examination for Licensure.

Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Connecticut

Connecticut has a strong economy with a median income of $42,029. Almost half of the population holds a college degree, and the state boasts two dozen colleges and universities, including Yale University. Several Fortune 500 companies choose the state for their corporate headquarters, and more than 1,200 digital media businesses call Connecticut home. The state’s economy ranks 30th among the 50 states, but high marks in healthcare and education and low crime rates moved the state to 21st overall in U.S. News & World Report’s Best States ranking.

While the projected job growth for psychologists is lower than nearby New York, Connecticut compares favorably to other New England states and the national average. The average psychologist also earns more than double the state’s median income. The New Haven metropolitan area offers one of the highest concentrations of psychologist employment, though Hartford, Springfield, Waterbury, and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro areas all provide competitive salaries.

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Connecticut at a Glance

Population: 3,572,665

Population Growth (2010-2018): -0.04%

Population Growth Rank: 49

Source: United States Census Bureau

 Mean Annual SalaryProjected Job Growth (2016-26)
Connecticut$96,18011.6%
New York$99,64018.2%
Massachusetts$83,55011.0%
Rhode Island$73,08011.1%
National Average$95,61010.3%
Source: BLS, Projections Central
 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist SalaryGeneral Unemployment RateEducation and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth
Harford$97,1803.7%1.6%
Springfield$95,7903.7%5.1%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk$90,1003.6%1.2%
Waterbury$86,2504.4%2.9%
New Haven$89,0703.6%6.3%
Source: BLS

Psychology Degrees and Careers in Connecticut — Frequently Asked Questions

Your degree is a commitment of time and effort. Many prospective students wonder about which degree they should seek and the rigors of online learning. We cover some of these common questions below.

  • How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Connecticut?

    State rules require your doctoral program to include at least three years of graduate-level courses. However, most doctorate programs 5-7 years. After graduation, you must complete one year of supervised work before applying for your license. Some psychology doctorate programs admit students with bachelor’s degrees, though most students earn a master’s degree first.

  • Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?

    Online courses offer the same rigor as campus-based courses. Online classes often include assigned readings followed by online discussions, individual research projects, and collaborative presentations. Because most online classes do not include specific class times, students need excellent time management skills and discipline to complete their assignments on time.

  • What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?

    Psychologists need keen observational skills to evaluate and assess their clients, patience and compassion to help individuals dealing with difficult situations, and strong communication skills. They also need analytical skills to carefully evaluate patients’ needs to draw logical conclusions and develop treatment plans.

  • What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Connecticut?

    Twelve universities offer a master’s or advanced psychology degree in Connecticut. When choosing one, consider the academic program offered, any specializations available, and the affordability of the school. Always ensure your school holds regional accreditation. Also, look for programmatic accreditations in school psychology, education, or general psychology.

  • Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?

    Again, the degree you choose will depend on your interests and goals. A BA provides a greater focus on liberal arts and social science, while a BS will integrate more math, statistics, and science. The BA offers more opportunities to take electives in areas of social work, child development, or law. Both degrees require about four years to complete.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Connecticut

Connecticut has many accredited schools with psychology programs. When a college or university is accredited, it ensures that the institution has undergone an evaluation process proving that it meets standards agreed upon by the larger educational community. Choosing an accredited school ensures that your education qualifies you for work after graduation.

Schools can receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation is reserved for liberal arts schools and generally considered more prestigious. National accreditation is less common and typically used by for-profit or vocational schools. Often, other schools do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools. When choosing an online school in Connecticut, look for schools accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

When looking for doctorate psychology programs in Connecticut, also check if your program is separately accredited by the APA. Many states require that you have a psychology doctorate from an APA-accredited school to become a licensed psychologist.

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 an enrollee’s studies, and they often earn academic credit. Fellowships, which typically include a stipend, are more commonly offered to postgraduates to help them gain on-the-job skills that may be difficult to pick up in school.

Internship and fellowship sites include community-based mental health agencies, inpatient treatment centers, and research-focused organizations. While many internships and fellowships strive to offer students practical learning experiences, degree-seekers may work with their site coordinators to tailor the experience to their career and education goals. The sites below offer opportunities for psychology students.

Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.

This company manages substance abuse and mental health services. ABH also consults with healthcare providers and contractors to offer services and programs, including behavioral health recovery, multidimensional family therapy, and specialized crisis intervention for young adults.

Connecticut Mental Health Center

This community mental health center is one of the oldest in the United States. It is run collaboratively by Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry and the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The center provides mental health services to 5,000 people in the New Haven area each year.

Community Mental Health Affiliates

CMHA is a behavioral health and integrated healthcare system with clinics in northwest and central Connecticut. Serving children and adults, its programs include child and family counseling, outpatient services, and a jail diversion project.

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.

Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

Olin researchers study brain disorders, including depression, manic-depressive illness, and Alzheimer’s disease. They use many research techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electrophysiology.

Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals

Each new research breakthrough can affect long-held understandings of human behavior and psychological treatment. Ongoing professional development and continuing education ensure that psychologists and other mental health professionals stay informed on changes in the field. Professional organizations publish the latest research, organize professional development sessions, and offer networking and professional recognition within the industry.

  • Connecticut Psychological Association This statewide organization brings together psychologists and students to promote the psychology profession. Members receive discounts on its high-quality continuing education programs, which include online webinars, quarterly workshops, networking events, a spring retreat, job listings, and a fall convention. CPA also offers a Legal Consultation Plan for access to legal assistance related to professional practice.
  • American Psychological Association APA represents more than 118,000 psychologists working in research, education, and clinical practice. While its website offers resources for the public on the importance of psychology, members can enjoy exclusive content, including a subscription to the association’s monthly magazine and discounts on books. APA offers access to liability insurance, online tools to build your business and manage student loans, and continuing education programs.
  • Connecticut Counseling Association This organization offers networking and professional development opportunities for mental health providers in Connecticut. It also features several groups for counselors serving specific populations. Members receive a monthly newsletter, inclusion in a referral directory, and access to members-only social media groups.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association This organization welcomes clinical, student, and associate members with discounts on professional liability insurance, free legal guidance, and subscriptions to association publications, including the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. Members can also access free continuing education programs and take advantage of learning and networking opportunities at conferences.
  • Connecticut Association of School Psychologists New and veteran school psychologists benefit from the networking and peer support available through this statewide organization. The conferences and regional events offer networking opportunities, and the association listserv connects members to job opportunities, referrals, case studies, and professional development. As an affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists, the organization can offer continuing professional development opportunities.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Connecticut

  • Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

    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: Applicants must be graduate students at accredited universities who are committed to understanding issues related to stigma. Some candidates may need institutional review board approval.

  • Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student

    The Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Scholarship supports graduate research into child psychology. The support lasts for one year and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in developmental psychology.

    • Amount Offered: $25,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: November 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must have completed doctoral candidacies, have institutional review board approval for research projects, and have established research competence.

  • The NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program

    Established in 1995, the National Association of School Psychologists – Education and Research Trust Minority Scholarship Program helps minority graduate students receive training in school psychology. The program supports the development of school psychologists who plan to serve diverse school populations.

    • Amount Offered: $5,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: October 30
    • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, NASP members, and minority graduate students enrolled in school psychology programs with minimum 3.0 GPAs.

  • Psychological Science Research Grant

    The APA awards this grant to graduate students completing innovative psychology research projects that promote diversity. The grant can be used for research for dissertations, theses, or other academic projects.

    • Amount Offered: $1,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: December 5
    • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be psychology or neuroscience graduate students and American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) members.

  • Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grants

    These grants provide financial support for graduate students conducting research projects that involve LGBTQ+ 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: Applicants must be graduate students committed to LGBTQ+ issues with institutional review board approval.

  • Graduate Student Ethics Writing Prize

    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: Candidates must be graduate students in psychology with APAGS memberships, and they must submit a paper on psychology and ethics.

Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Connecticut

Below is a list of all accredited online psychology programs in Connecticut, chosen with careful consideration for factors like cost, popularity, academic rigor, and professional opportunities afforded to online students.

Explore Psychology Careers

Mental Health Initiatives in Connecticut

Mental health professionals in Connecticut continue to grapple with the national opioid crisis. The number of individuals dying due to heroin usage increased 100% over the past five years. The state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has launched several programs to help fight the opioid addiction crisis, including medication-assisted treatment, walk-in assessment centers, and a 24-hour addiction treatment hotline.

Other initiatives focus on eliminating suicide for individuals under the care of behavioral health or medical practitioners and enhancing cultural training as part of the faith initiative. That initiative also recognizes the role faith leaders can play in mental health assessment and treatment and offers them additional training.

Connecticut served more than 93,000 individuals with mental health services in 2018. Most of those individuals — 82.2% of adults and 78% of children and families — reported a positive outcome, while 75.7% of adults and 91.6% of children and families reported a change in social connectedness.

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