Psychologists study the brain, mind, and their inner workings to dissect the cognitive, emotional, and social processes that affect human behavior in everyday life. Florida offers some of the best psychology programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Their ranking includes several of the state's colleges for the best psychology schools in the nation. The top 100 features the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Miami, and the University of South Florida.
This page provides those seeking to earn online psychology degrees in Florida with a map of what they can expect, including typical courses, licensure requirements, salary and job outlook, and support organizations for psychologists in the Sunshine State.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Florida Work?
Online psychology degrees in Florida can give students more flexibility than on-campus learning. While online and in-person programs typically take the same number of years to complete (four years for a bachelor's and two years for a master's), learners can typically choose when to sign on to view online lectures and complete assignments. In many instances, however, online programs allow a student to apply what they've learned in a supervised practicum.
Most of the time, the same faculty who deliver on-campus coursework teach online programs. Therefore, students sacrifice nothing in quality when they choose distance learning.
Those interested in pursuing online psychology degrees in Florida can choose from a select number of schools that offer programs in a fully online or hybrid format. At the University of Florida, students can earn BAs in psychology fully online. A degree-seeker looking to earn an applied behavior analysis specialization can pursue an MA in applied behavior analysis fully online at the University of South Florida.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Florida?
Online psychology degree courses differ depending on enrollment level. Below, we list five courses that online psychology programs commonly offer at the bachelor's level.
Students can learn the most recent research and theories in developmental psychology and their implications in the social and intellectual development of childhood. Faculty members acquaint learners with luminaries like Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Urie Bronfenbrenner.
Abnormal PsychologyA fundamental course in any undergraduate program, abnormal psychology delves into what constitutes abnormal behavior through an examination of the theoretical definitions and the practical manifestations of affiliated disorders. These include psychopathology, dissociative identity disorders, criminal behavior, and clinical approaches to treatment.
Perception and Behavior
Enrollees can examine the senses humans use to experience their world. The course explores how the sensory systems work together and how the brain builds our perceptual experience from external factors, such as light and sound.
Psychology of Personality
Faculty members give students an overview of personality theories, including psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic. Degree-seekers can examine personality disorders using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–V) criteria.
This course has seen a recent surge due to the popularity of police and detective TV programs. Enrollees can examine how to apply psychology to law and the legal system with topics in expert testimony, strategies for interviewing witnesses, helping witnesses recover memories, and clinical assessment of competency.
Featured Online Psychology Bachelor's 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.
Becoming a Psychologist in Florida
This section outlines the steps individuals must take to train for a career as a psychologist in Florida. Learners find information about the typical length of programs, degree requirements, specializations, and the licensure requirements mandated by the state.
SpecializeThe American Psychological Association (APA), as the leading organization representing psychologists in the U.S., manages 54 divisions that include subdisciplines in clinical, social, and experimental psychology. This should give learners an idea of available specializations, such as gerontology, trauma psychology, and rehabilitation psychology.
Students should choose a specialty as early in their education as possible since each specialization requires its own course of study. Learners can explore options when they visit the APA website and review its many resources.
Earn Your DegreesStudents generally begin their training with a bachelor's degree in psychology or another major in the behavioral sciences. Participants can typically complete their bachelor's degrees in four years, though they may accelerate degree completion by transferring credits or an associate degree to meet general education requirements.
The online master's in psychology in Florida typically takes 18-24 months, which often includes time spent applying theoretical learning to practical contexts during practicum or internships. Institutions like the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, and the University of South Florida all offer online programs in psychology. However, students interested in pursuing online doctorates will find few options.
Obtain LicensureAll states require psychologists and other mental health professions to obtain licensure to practice. The Florida Board of Psychology provides licenses for psychologists in the state. For eligibility, each candidate must possess a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. in psychology from a program accredited by the APA. Each aspiring professional must demonstrate a total of 4,000 hours of supervised experience, and the board counts 2,000 hours of doctoral-level psychology internship as part of that required experience. Candidates' post-doctoral supervised experience fulfills the remaining hours.
Once candidates fulfill these requirements, they submit their credentials to the board to determine their eligibility to sit for the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which comprises 225 multiple-choice questions. Candidates must pass both the EPPP and the Florida laws and rules examination for licensure. The EPPP, administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, costs $600. The computerized Florida laws and rules examination comprises 45 questions and costs $115.
Other Licenses and Certifications
Not everyone interested in a career as a mental health professional plans to pursue a doctoral degree. With a master's degree and specialized training, individuals can pursue psychology careers as licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors. Below, we list three careers and the certification requirements in Florida.
These mental health professionals serve a vital role in providing counseling services for issues like substance use and trauma. The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling requires that each licensure candidate holds a CSWE-accredited master's in social work. The degree must include a supervised practicum with direct clinical services. A candidate must also possess two years of post-master's supervised experience and apply to take the national clinical-level examination established by the Association of Social Work Boards.
These therapists focus on issues related to marriage and family systems. The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling requires each candidate to hold a 36-credit master's degree in MFT or a related major. The degree's practicum or internship must include 180 direct client hours in an MFT environment. The candidate must also have at least two years of post-master's supervised experience before applying to take the national exam administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.
These mental health professionals hold at least a 60-credit master's degree in mental health counseling accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Each aspiring professional must have at least 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practicum and at least two years of post-master's supervised experience before applying to take the national clinical mental health counseling examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Florida
Those interested in pursuing careers in psychology can enjoy encouraging job prospects, with the BLS projecting an 8% average growth rate for the profession between 2020 and 2030. In May 2020, psychologists around the country made an annual median wage of $82,180.
The BLS notes that Florida ranks first with the highest employment level in the field. The state boasts 1,100 psychologists who make an average wage of $97,940. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach regions come in seventh in the BLS ranking of metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest employment level of psychologists.
Florida also ranks 10th overall on the U.S. News & World Report's best states list. The state comes in at third in education, eighth in economy, and 25th in healthcare, indicating great career and earning prospects for aspiring psychologists in the state.
Florida at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2020): 14.6%
Population Growth Rank: 2
Source: United States Census Bureau
|Mean Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth (2018-28)|
Source: BLS, Projections Central
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary||General Unemployment Rate||Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth|
|Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater||$87,120||3.4%||4.2%|
|Orlando - Kissimmee - Sanford||$79,800||3.9%||7.0%|
|Palm Bay - Melbourne - Titusville||$62,820||3.4%||4.6%|
|Pensacola - Ferry Pass - Brent||$80,520||3.5%||2.9%|
|Miami - Fort Lauderdale - West Palm Beach||$77,170||3.7%||2.6%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in Florida — Frequently Asked Questions
The following section answers common questions regarding the degree requirements and process for obtaining licensure in Florida.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Florida?
Those interested in pursuing careers as psychologists can expect to spend 10-12 years completing the educational requirements for licensure. Each aspiring professional can begin with earning a bachelor's degree, which takes four years on average, before completing a master's degree, which typically takes two years. The Psy.D. takes an average of 4-6 years, while the Ph.D. requires 5-7 years, and the Ed.D. takes 3-5 years.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Students can expect to engage with theoretical and practical coursework in psychology programs, with coursework complexity increasing as they advance through degree levels. Some of the most difficult courses include research methodology and advanced statistics, so interested learners should plan accordingly.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
Psychologists must master communication skills to facilitate successful interactions with clients. A psychologist should possess effective critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to accurately interpret and address complex issues. Effective listening skills can help a psychologist understand underlying problems, and possessing a strong sense of ethics ensures professional communication with clients.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Florida?U.S. News & World Report includes some of Florida's schools among a ranking of the best psychology programs in the country. Included in the ranking are the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Miami, and the University of South Florida.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?A student planning to pursue graduate studies in psychology should opt for a BS in psychology for its focus on scientific content. Learners should always consult with college advisors as they make these important decisions.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Florida
You can build on your studies in psychology by participating in an internship or fellowship. An internship can be either paid or unpaid and typically complements your degree program, while a fellowship is generally for graduate students and is almost always a paid position. Florida offers many internships and fellowship opportunities for those looking to gain experience in psychology.
Internships provide learners with the practical experience required for educational and career development, often counting toward licensure requirements. Internships or fellowships offered at organizations like the Mental Health Center of Florida and Behavioral Medicine Research Center (at the University of Miami) may include paid or unpaid opportunities. Below, we list a sampling of organizations for those seeking to acquire experience in psychology.
Chrysalis offers care for people with mental health disorders and substance use problems through a team of dedicated therapists. Additionally, Chrysalis provides child welfare services, such as counseling for those who have suffered abuse.
Center for Discovery
Serving people with eating disorders, substance use, and mental health disorders, the Center for Discovery provides residential treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. It also serves those who inflict self-injury or self-harm.
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
Devereux is one of the state’s most comprehensive child welfare and behavioral health organizations, providing services to young people with developmental disabilities and related challenges. The facility offers inpatient psychiatric care, case management, and community programs in more than 25 counties.
Behavioral Medicine Research Center
Located at the University of Miami within its Department of Psychology, this center leads funded research to understand the biomedical, psychosocial, and sociocultural aspects of behavioral health with an interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations can provide psychologists and students studying psychological science with support and access to experts and a network of peers. They also give members access to the latest research, conferences, professional development, and discounted student membership.
- American Psychological Association As the leading organization representing psychologists in the U.S., this association's membership consists of 118,000 clinicians, educators, researchers, and students. APA provides support and resources for psychologists in 54 divisions. Member benefits include access to professional development, research, liability insurance, and tuition refinancing.
- Florida Psychological Association FPA boasts a membership of 1,200 psychologists across the state. The organization works to advance psychology as a science and practitioners' standards of ethics, conduct, education, and achievement. Membership benefits include legislative advocacy, publications, marketing opportunities for practitioners' services, continuing education workshops, and networking events.
- Florida Counseling Association As an affiliate of the American Counseling Association, FCA promotes the counseling profession in the state and manages seven divisions, including child and adolescent counseling and career development. Membership benefits include networking opportunities, advocacy, an online job bank, webinar library, and discounted student conference fees.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association This national organization establishes the professional standards of practice for counselors to effectively meet the needs of their clients. Membership benefits include advanced training, publications, continuing education, job postings, and member discounts.
- Florida Association of School Psychologists Members of this organization specialize in promoting the mental health and educational development of the state's students, youth, and their families. FASP works to advance school psychology. Membership benefits include access to regional workshops, FASP publications, crisis resources, and the Summer Institute.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Florida
College Fund of Pinellas County Grant
This fund provides renewable grants to residents of Pinellas County who demonstrate significant financial need in addition to a federal Pell grant.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: Spring
- Eligibility Requirements: An applicant must provide a permanent address in Pinellas County, proof of U.S. citizenship, at least a 3.0 high school GPA or at least a 2.0 college GPA, full-time college enrollment, and proof of receiving a Pell grant.
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties Scholarships
These scholarships support local students in Palm Beach and Martin Counties pursuing higher education, with over 1,500 young people receiving a total of $6.1 million in financial support for their college studies since 1983.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: January 22
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must be a high school graduate of either Palm or Martin Counties who demonstrates financial need, maintains full-time college enrollment, and can provide evidence of academic achievement.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
Florida Bright Futures provides this automatically renewable scholarship for students who maintain the required GPA and complete the Florida Financial Aid Application by August 31.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: TBA
- Eligibility Requirements: A Florida high graduate enrolled in either a public or independent postsecondary institution for at least six non-remedial semester hours may apply.
Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund, Inc.
This scholarship provides support for either the dependents or descendants of workers killed during employment who received benefits through the Florida workers' compensation law.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: February 28
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must have earned at least a 2.7 high school GPA or a 3.0 college GPA with a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
Right Fit $5,000 Scholarship
Right Fit offers this one-time, non-renewable scholarship for a middle-income student enrolled in an accredited college or university who resides in Hillsborough, Pinellas, or Pasco Counties.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 30
- Eligibility Requirements: A U.S citizen in high school in Hillsborough, Pinellas, or Pasco Counties with a 3.0 GPA may apply.
Salute to Education
The Miami-Dade and Broward County Ford and Lincoln Dealers and Ford Motor Company provide these funds, which have totaled more than $3.8 million to date.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: January 31
- Eligibility Requirements: An applicant must maintain enrollment in either a Miami-Dade or Broward County public or private high school with a 3.0 GPA.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in Florida
Digging deeper into U.S. News and World Report's best states ranking, Florida comes in at 25th in healthcare, but the state climbs to 13th in public health and 18th in healthcare quality. This puts Florida above many states in the nation when it comes to the statewide healthcare system. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, notes that on the Florida 2018 Mental Health National Outcome Measures, the state clocks in a 10.41 treatment rate per 1,000 population, compared to the 23.69 U.S. rate.
Florida is one of 50 states actively conducting the CDC-sponsored Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. This project monitors Floridians age 18 and older for individual risk behaviors and preventive health practices related to morbidity and mortality in the United States. Those seeking treatment for substance use or mental health challenges can turn to Florida's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program.
The national SAMHSA provides a free, 24/7 referral service for people with addiction and mental health challenges. SAMHSA also provides an online behavioral health treatment facility locator.