Although it is one of the smallest states geographically, Delaware has a flourishing economy and a growing population. Students interested in earning online psychology degrees in Delaware will find quality academic programs and a healthy employment outlook. Delaware's eight accredited colleges and universities have begun to expand their online psychology offerings. The state also authorizes out-of-state schools to grant online psychology degrees to its residents.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that degree-holders in clinical, counseling, and school psychology can expect an almost 12% increase in demand for these specialties between 2016 and 2026. Employment projections for the same period indicate a 17% increase in the demand for postsecondary psychology teachers.
This guide provides information about the different psychology degrees and types of licensure available in Delaware. Aspiring psychologists can learn about internships, scholarships, career and salary prospects, and professional resources.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Delaware Work?
Despite the relatively small number of online psychology programs in Delaware, distance learners will find undergraduate and graduate programs with flexible course delivery options and many specializations to fit their personal needs and career goals. In addition to web-based courses, students enrolled in an online psychology degree in Delaware should expect to take some hybrid courses with in-person components or required on-campus residencies.
While some programs offer accelerated or part-time formats, students can typically complete online degree requirements in approximately the same amount of time that on-campus programs take. Diplomas do not distinguish between online and campus-based degrees, and employers and graduate admissions officers view both kinds of degrees as academically legitimate.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Delaware?
The coursework included in a psychology degree depends on the academic level. This list describes some of the most common courses offered in an undergraduate general psychology program.
- General Psychology
This lower-division course is required of all psychology majors and provides an overview of the field of psychology, grounded in the natural and social sciences. Course content covers the major theories, concepts, principles, and applications for the study of human behavior. Students can learn about psychological approaches to cognition, emotion, motivation, and personality.
- Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology examines how the brain processes and retains information. Students in this course explore how humans think, perceive, learn, and solve problems. Unlike the behavioral approach, which focuses only on observable actions, cognitive psychology studies internal human thought processes and mental states, including conceptualization, knowledge representation, language acquisition, and imagery.
- Abnormal Psychology
The study of abnormal psychology examines the criteria used to identify abnormal behavior in relation to mental disorder classification in clinical practice. Case studies and readings introduce undergraduate students to the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathological behaviors. The course examines anxiety, dissociation, and mood and personality disorders, as well as schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis.
- Psychology of Addiction
This elective class highlights trends and research on types of addictive behaviors, from drug and alcohol abuse to gambling and eating disorders. Students can examine the physical, social, and emotional causes of addiction, how to classify and assess addictive disorders, and common treatment methods. The course also explores policy and legal issues related to addiction and provides an overview of community resources.
- Developmental Psychology
Developmental psychology explores the physiological, social, emotional, and cognitive changes during human growth and development across the lifecycle. Undergraduate students can gain an understanding of the ways humans mature and adapt from infancy through adulthood and end-of-life care. Coursework explores the role of heredity and environment on human development and the impact of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and culture.
Becoming a Psychologist in Delaware
Earning an online psychology degree in Delaware clears a pathway to a rewarding career as a psychologist, counselor, or therapist. This section provides information on degree requirements and specializations necessary for a career in mental health. If you plan on entering clinical practice as a licensed psychologist or counselor, make sure to investigate degree requirements for your intended career in order to obtain licensing.
Even as undergraduates, students enrolled in online psychology degrees in Delaware should focus on specializations that align with their professional interests. For example, degree-seekers interested in applying their psychological knowledge to criminal justice systems should investigate specializations in forensic psychology. If you want to use your psychological training to address issues related to human resources and business efficiency, you should consider a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology.
Earn Your Degrees
An online bachelor's provides a strong foundation for graduate training or for entry-level positions in social services and counseling that do not involve direct services. Most undergraduate degrees require four years of full-time study. While some schools permit part-time students to take 1-2 courses per term, others offer accelerated formats that enrollees can finish in three years or less.
An online master's in psychology is the minimum educational qualification for most advanced positions in psychology and typically requires two years of full-time study. A licensed psychologist must hold a doctorate, which can take more than five additional years to complete. Distance learners have several options for online psychology master's programs in Delaware, but the state does not currently offer online doctorates in psychology. Students should explore online Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs available at out-of-state schools.
The Delaware Board of Examiners of Psychologists requires aspiring professionals to follow several steps toward licensure. Candidates must first complete a doctorate accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System and complete 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience. The first 1,500 hours must be completed as a predoctoral internship.
After receiving the doctorate and before starting the second 1,500 hours, candidates must apply for a psychological assistant license. Applicants must also pass the examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP) before receiving their full licenses from the board. EPPP test-takers must pay a fee, and processing for the assistant license and psychology license also have associated costs.
Other Licenses and Certifications
A licensed psychologist in Delaware must have a doctorate to practice, but master's degree-holders can obtain other types of licenses and certifications. National licensed counselors, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed mental health counselors can qualify for licensing with a master's by completing supervised experience hours and the appropriate exams.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
An LCSW in Delaware must hold a master's in social work and complete 3,200 hours of supervised practice. All candidates must pass the Association of Social Work Board clinical examination. Applications must include a processing fee.
Marriage and Family Therapist
A candidate for the MFT license must complete a master's in marriage and family therapy or a related field and receive a passing grade on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board exam. There is also a processing fee for the exam.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Employment as a licensed mental health counselor in Delaware requires a master's degree that includes at least 60 credits in clinical mental health counseling and 3,200 hours of post-master's supervised counseling experience. A processing fee must be submitted with the application.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Delaware
Delaware ranks as the ninth-richest state in the U.S., boasting a strong economy and an unemployment rate well below the national average that continues to decline. Education, healthcare, and government sectors supply the most job growth in the state, creating opportunities for psychology professionals in many settings.
Depending on the type of employer, licensure level, and years of experience, Delaware's psychology professionals earn roughly the same annual salary as the national average, and in some cases more. Licensed psychologists in clinical, counseling, and school specialties earn a mean annual salary of $79,000 -- just about on par with the national average for this occupation. Postsecondary educators, especially those with doctorates, receive the highest salaries among Delaware's psychologists, earning $94,220 annually, compared to the national mean of $85,050 for this occupation.
Delaware's cost of living has risen above the national average but remains significantly lower than other states along the east coast. The metropolitan areas surrounding Wilmington, Dover, and Salisbury house most of Delaware's population of 976,000. These urban centers offer the best career prospects and most competitive salaries for licensed psychologists and mental health counselors.
Delaware at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 7.71%
Population Growth Rank: 16
Source: United States Census Bureau
|Mean Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth (2016-26)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary||General Unemployment Rate||Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in Delaware -- Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right online psychology degree in Delaware can be confusing. This section answers some of the common questions posed by prospective students about degree requirements for psychology and how distance learning programs work.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Delaware?
Most online and campus-based programs take roughly the same amount of time to finish, although some schools offer accelerated formats or part-time options that can impact the time to degree completion. A bachelor's in psychology requires about 120 credits, typically completed within four years of full-time enrollment. A master's requires 45-65 credits and takes another two years, and a doctorate can take 5-7 years.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Students should not expect online courses to be any easier than those taken in person. Most distance learners report spending as much time on their online classes as their on-campus counterparts, and sometimes need even more self-motivation and discipline. Web-based degrees offered by accredited institutions meet the same rigorous academic standards as campus-based programs, and prospective employers view the degrees as comparable.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
Many psychologists conduct original research and apply their findings to their own practices. These professionals need a sound knowledge of research methods and observational techniques. Much of their work also requires computer literacy and statistical analysis skills. Psychologists working in every specialty need good communication skills and the ability to empathize. Because they provide direct clinical services to vulnerable groups, psychologists must also develop a strong sense of ethics.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Delaware?
Students may pursue online psychology degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels at seven of Delaware's colleges and universities. A distance learner planning to earn a doctorate in psychology will have to find an approved program from an out-of-state school. Consult our rankings to compare online psychology degrees, program costs, specializations, and course delivery formats and find the best program that best fits your personal needs and professional aspirations.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?
Undergraduate students should confer with their advisors to help them decide if a BA or BS degree fits best with their career goals. A psychology BA includes core courses in liberal arts and sciences, including foreign language. This degree can prepare graduates for entry-level employment in the helping professions and provides a sound background for graduate study in psychology and related fields. Undergraduates who want to earn their master's and doctoral degrees in psychology often choose a BS for its emphasis on natural science, math, research methods, and laboratory training.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Delaware
Delaware offers several accredited programs to students pursuing online psychology degrees. Accreditation indicates that the academic standards of a school or program have been verified by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The ED and CHEA recognize six regional accreditation bodies, which award regional accreditation.
Online degree programs are eligible to receive the same regional accreditation as on-campus programs. In addition, psychology students should look for accreditation from APA. Some states even require candidates for psychology licensure to have graduated from APA-accredited doctoral programs. Search the APA database to determine whether your program is accredited by APA. Note that APA does not accredit undergraduate or master's programs.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Delaware
Earning an online psychology degree in Delaware can open doors to internships and fellowships. Internships are paid or unpaid experiences meant to round out classroom studies, while fellowships are paid work experiences available to graduates. Fellows can gain practical experience, which makes them more attractive candidates for employment.
Several organizations and university-sponsored initiatives throughout the state offer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to acquire practical professional experience as a part of their degree programs. The list below describes some of the mental healthcare and counseling centers in Delaware that provide resources for online learners seeking internships and fellowships.
Delaware Guidance Services
Founded by the Junior League of Wilmington in 1952, this organization cares for young people suffering from substance abuse, attention disorders, and divorce-related problems, along with physical and sexual assault.
As the state's first private psychiatric facility, Rockford Center treats children, adolescents, and adults with subacute disorders, meaning disorders that began suddenly. This often includes addiction and substance abuse, so the center maintains a social services department with certified alcohol and drug counselors.
Dover Behavioral Health System
With facilities in Kent and Sussex County, Dover Behavioral Health System provides inpatient and outpatient care for adolescents and adults. The clinic treats patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and substance addiction.
Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research
This facility studies learning and memory, brain disorders in animal models, and neural development and plasticity. Housed within the University of Delaware, this center's research supports the state's neuroscientists.
Center for Training, Evaluation, and Community Collaboration
Located at the University of Delaware, C-TECC conducts research and evaluation in collaboration with community agencies. The center advances clinical science in academic and public settings and strives to develop the next generation of mental health professionals.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations provide many benefits to undergraduate and graduate student members. Membership connects you with a network of professional psychologists and provides tangible assets for entering the workplace or exploring opportunities for advanced training and licensing. Many psychology associations offer reduced membership rates for students, providing them with scholarship opportunities, career guidance, and access to job boards.
- Delaware Psychological Association This state affiliate of the APA promotes the discipline of psychology and the professional interests of psychologists in Delaware. DPA offers reduced rates to its members for networking events and professional education programs and administers APA-approved continuing education credits for renewal of Delaware psychology licenses.
- American Psychological Association APA advances the field of psychology as a science, administers accreditation and professional development programs, and maintains a major employment center. As the most respected scientific and professional organization for psychologists, APA represents over 118,000 members. Resources for student members include graduate education and career guidance, scholarships, and internship opportunities.
- Mental Health Association in Delaware The Mental Health Association in Delaware is an affiliate of the National Mental Health Association and represents the interests of professionals and citizen volunteers, promoting awareness of mental health issues throughout the state. MHA focuses on education, support, and advocacy through three programs: human relations in the classroom, mental health in industry, and service to hospitalized patients.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association Established in 1976, AMHCA represents the interests of community- and agency-based clinical mental health counselors. The organization maintains rigorous standards for training, practice, and professional ethics in clinical mental health counseling. AMHC lobbies on behalf of mental health counselors and monitors upcoming legislation affecting the profession. Membership benefits include access to employment listings and discounts on continuing education and health and liability insurance.
- Delaware Association of School Psychologists DASP promotes the work of school psychologists, advocates for best practices in Delaware schools, and supports educational and mental health services for the state's children and their families. Students may join at a discounted membership rate that includes a bi-annual newsletter and professional development opportunities.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Delaware
Delaware State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
This program supports health professionals by paying off qualified education loans in exchange for two years of service in a public or nonprofit facility in underserved communities in Delaware.
- Amount Offered: $30,000-$100,000
- Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens who have completed accredited graduate training programs, have active Delaware licenses, and are committed to working full time in a Health Resources and Services Administration-eligible field for two years.
Korean American Scholarship Foundation
This annual scholarship is for Korean-American, full-time students who are residents of one of the eligible states, including Delaware.
- Amount Offered: $500-5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time students who demonstrate high academic achievement, a history of community service, and financial need.
Diamond State Scholarship
This essay scholarship for academically achieving high school graduates can be renewed up to three times if the recipient earns at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Amount Offered: $1,250
- Scholarship Deadline: February 28
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time students with a combined SAT score of at least 1290.
Fresh Start Scholarship
This program supports women returning to school to improve their quality of life and pursue fulfilling careers.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: May 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be female U.S. citizens who are at least 20 years old and have had at least a two-year break in education. They must also be recommended by a social service agency, have at least a 2.0 GPA if currently enrolled in school, and must not have previously earned a bachelor's degree.
Joseph and Marion Greenbaum Scholarship Fund
Offered through the permanently restricted endowment of the Jewish Fund for the Future at the Jewish Federation of Delaware, this scholarship supports undergraduate students.
- Amount Offered: $500-$3,000
- Scholarship Deadline: March 31
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled at accredited institutions.
Wilbur E. Postles Scholarship
PNC Bank Delaware awards this scholarship to academically achieving Delaware students pursuing undergraduate degrees.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: April 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must have been Delaware residents for at least four years, rank in the top 20% of their high school classes, and possess a combined SAT score of at least 1120.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Delaware
The database below includes information to help you research psychology programs in Delaware. The database includes all online accredited psychology programs in the state. For each potential program, make sure to review details such as course offerings, typical completion time, cost, and in-person requirements to determine which psychology program is best for you.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in Delaware
Statistics provided by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal that Delaware residents experience an overall lower rate of mental illness compared to other states. Adults and children in Delaware also report a higher rate of access to care.
The state's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) maintains a strong commitment to the well-being and mental health of residents, offering opportunities for licensed psychologists, counselors, and therapists to provide accessible treatment and support for diverse groups across the state.
Community Mental Health and Addiction Services -- a division of the DHHS -- administers several statewide mental health programs. The Delaware Psychiatric Center is the state's only public psychiatric hospital for adults. It provides acute care to treat severe behavioral symptoms.
The state also operates several 24-hour crisis intervention services to assist residents with severe personal, marital, or family issues. Services provide support and treatment for conditions like depression, paranoia, substance use disorders, and anxiety stemming from life changes, including divorce and unemployment.