Students seeking a profession in psychology combine a rewarding career choice with lucrative earnings and professional flexibility. The BLS projects job growth in the sector to rise 14%, twice the national career average. Kansas reflects similar positive trends, with multiple specialized careers in psychology projected to grow more than 13%. As the state's focus on mental health intensifies, the demand for psychologists in Kansas should continue to thrive.
The fact that psychology is one of the top five most popular degree options in the country is unsurprising. This is why many of the 71 higher education institutions in Kansas offer psychology degrees designed to qualify students to enter the psychology profession.
Mental Health Initiatives in Kansas
Kansas' mental health initiatives reflect the country's growing concern for mental health issues. With more than 130,000 Kansans receiving mental health services, good care and quality programs are in demand. While Kansas' numbers match the national average for the health providers-to-person ratio, nearly 100 statewide areas experience mental health professional shortages. To address this, the state introduced the Governor's Mental Health Task Force, an group charged with revaluating the state's mental health system.
As part of the Healthy People 2020 effort, Healthy Kansans 2020, improves the state's mental health system through prevention, enhanced care access, and mental health services and program development. Similarly, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas is a coalition of healthcare providers, businesses, and social service organizations expand KanCare medical coverage for all Kansans. Lastly, some mental health initiatives in Kansas are established by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).
How do I Become a Psychologist in Kansas?
Psychologist licensing in Kansas mirrors the rest of the country. Would-be psychologists must graduate with a doctorate in psychology, complete two years of supervised work experience, pass the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), and apply for licensure with the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.
Choose the Path That's Right for You: Psychology offers several career and educational paths. Becoming a psychologist in Kansas requires a doctoral degree in psychology (PsyD) or a research-based Ph.D. Degree concentrations and advanced training tracks allow psychologists to focus their learning. Candidates hoping to work as a child psychologist, a sports psychologist, or an educational psychologist, for example, typically earn the same degree with different concentrations.
Earn Your Degree: While the prerequisites vary between schools, most Ph.D. programs require a master's degree in psychology for admission, including any master's in psychology online or in Kansas. Some psychology doctoral degree programs permit bachelor's degree graduates admission. Clinical experience also plays a role, specifically in PsyD programs with an emphasis on clinical work. One of the primary differences between these two degrees lies with completion length: PsyD degrees typically take between four and six years and the Ph.D. takes five to seven years.
Earn Your License: After completing the degree, psychologist candidates must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), this 225-question exam determines a candidate's overall knowledge of psychological concepts. The exam ensures that passing applicants possess entry-level field knowledge, but it does not guarantee employment. Registrants are allowed just over four hours to complete the EPPP. Applicants should register for the exam once prepared; however, the American Psychological Association warns against over-studying, suggesting that more than 200 hours might be detrimental. Practice exams, workshops, and study materials are available through the ASPPB and many other third-party organizations.
Psychology Licensing in Kansas
Many different licenses exist for psychology graduates. Several concentrations, professional tracks, and electives are available to students preparing to enter a psychology specialization. The following table lists some of these licenses, the requirements to obtain them, and their corresponding career paths.
Doctoral degree in psychology, two years of supervised clinical experience, and a passing grade on the EPPP.
Careers Available With This License: Psychologist, sports psychologist, and child psychologist
Total Fees: $225
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Master's degree in social work or a related field, 4,000 hours of postgraduate clinical work experience, and a passing grade on the clinical competency exam.
Careers Available With This License: Social worker and child development practitioner.
Total Fees: $100
Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)
Master's degree or doctoral degree in psychology or a related field, two years of experience, and a passing grade on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board (AMFTRB) Examination in Marital and Family Therapy.
Careers Available With This License: Marriage counselor and family therapist.
Total Fees: $100
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
Master's degree in counseling or psychology and a passing grade on the National Counselor Examination.
Careers Available With This License: Mental health counselor and social worker
Total Fees: $100
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Master's degree in counseling or a psychology-related degree, completion of the required supervised hours, and a passing grade on the National Counselor Examination.
Careers Available With This License: Mental health counselor, family counselor, and social worker.
Total Fees: $100
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Kansas
The difference between internships and fellowships amounts to the education level of the student. Interns working on a bachelor's degree are offered credit hours in exchange for services. Fellows working on graduate degrees, however, focus on research and clinical experience in exchange for compensation or tuition benefits. Below is a list of the best internships and/or fellowships available to a student in an online psychology degree in Kansas.
- Kansas University Medical Center – Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Hosted at the Kansas University Medical Center, this postdoctoral fellowship is available to doctoral degree holders in psychology. Graduates satisfy their supervised work component for licensure and deliver specialized training in areas like onco-psychology, neurorehabilitation psychology, and advanced clinical psychology. Applicants should apply through the psychology division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Kansas University.
- Psychology Internship at KCVA: Accredited by the American Psychological Association, this psychology internship is held at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. Interns gain experience and training at the mental health center. Applicants should be within one year of completing a Ph.D. or a PsyD; applications should be sent directly to the Kansas City VA Medical Center.
- Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship Program at Children's Mercy Kansas City: Provided by Children's Mercy Kansas City, this fellowship offers graduates with a doctoral degree in psychology training in several professional disciplines, including assessment, treatment, and consultation. Applications can be sent to Children's Mercy Kansas City or to the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.
Psychology Careers in Kansas
While positions for clinical and school psychologists are projected to grow at a slower rate than the national average, other psychology fields, such child psychology, sports psychology, and forensic psychology, are projected to be very strong. As state health departments expand disability and mental health services, the diversity of the psychology field should grow.
How Much do Psychologists Make in Kansas?
Salaries earned by psychologists in Kansas depend largely on experience, education, licenses, and location. Psychologists in Kansas earn just under $85,000 on average, more than the national average. Given that Kansas' cost of living is 10% lower than the national average and its housing costs are 22% lower than the national average, the above-average salary for psychologists in Kansas bodes well.
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Mental Health Service Providers in Kansas
Graduates of psychology programs in Kansas can search for jobs at the state's largest mental health providers. These organizations seek out new graduates and offer positions to people with varying levels of experience. Below is a list of some of Kansas' largest and most reputable mental health facilities.
- Valeo Behavioural Health Care: Valeo Behavioural Health Care provides services in mental health, addiction treatment, and substance abuse for adults. Child and adolescent care is available at the Family Service & Guidance Center. Valeo also has a community residence program, 24-hour crisis service, area hospitals, and a rescue mission team.
- KVC Hospitals: KVC Hospitals have two psychiatric hospitals for children and adolescents. They help with depression, trauma, anxiety, and substance abuse. KVC also offers consulting services to organizations in the state.
- South Central Mental Health Counseling Center: The South Central Mental Health Counseling Center provides psychological health services to community members. Programs include community support, substance use and abuse treatment, group therapy, and crisis services.
- Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center: The Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center focus on outpatient psychiatry, chemical abuse counseling, therapy and consultations, physical healthcare coordination, and 24-hour crisis intervention.
- Johnson County Mental Health Center: The Johnson County Mental Health Center delivers care for mental illness to Johnson County residents. Services include substance use and abuse treatment, prevention services, psychiatric medication services, and mental health services for all ages.
Mental Health Research Centers in Kansas
The mental and behavioural health industry relies on research centers to ensure that advancements are made within the field. Because of their experience and familiarity with current research standards and processes, online psychology degree Kansas graduates make ideal candidates for these positions. The following list contains some of the most prevalent mental health research centers in Kansas.
- Research Psychiatric Center: The Research Psychiatric Center delivers comprehensive inpatient care to its patients, and its programs and services are evaluated and adjusted based on response and effectiveness. The hospital also has two outpatient clinics and a 25-bed psychiatric unit at the Research Medical Center.
- The Center for Mental Health Research and Innovation: The Center for Mental Health Research and Innovation designs and tests new and developing health practices and technologies. The center also provides workshops, training sessions, and conferences to disseminate research results.
- Saint Luke's Health System: Saint Luke's Health System develops and advances essential innovations in various fields, especially cardiology and neurology.
Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations and associations in mental health provide valuable resources to industry professionals and graduates. They offer networking opportunities, professional development courses and programs, and access to industry resources. For newcomers, they offer career services assistance, research tools, and access to industry events.
- Kansas Psychological Association: The Kansas Psychological Association aims to improve psychology as a science and profession. Members gain access to continuing education opportunities and networking events.
- Kansas Counseling Association: As a branch of the American Counseling Association, the Kansas Counseling Association advances the state of mental health through educational opportunities and career counseling. Members have access to events, career opportunities, and professional development programs.
- Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas: The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas provides mental health services and opportunities to mental health professionals, such as career development and networking opportunities. The association advocates for improved access to care and enhanced services within the profession.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Kansas
KASP Minority Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to two graduate psychology students for up to two years of funding. The award supports promising students and current and/or future KASP members.
- Amount Offered: $500 per year
- Scholarship Deadline: September 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be a minority student enrolled in a Kansas psychology program and be a member of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists.
Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship
This scholarship helps minority students in need of financial aid. It awards academically competitive students who are members of underrepresented groups.
- Amount Offered: $1,850 per year
- Scholarship Deadline: May 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Academic requirements vary depending on student level. Applicants must be Kansas students and must be part of a select minority group.
Kansas Comprehensive Grant
Available to Kansas students enrolled full-time at one of the selected in-state universities or colleges. The grant is funded by the state and is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.
- Amount Offered: $200-$3,500 (private) or $100-$1,500 (public)
- Scholarship Deadline: April 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Demonstrate financial need and enrolled in one of the universities or colleges listed.
Kansas State Scholarship
This award is given to students who are designated as state scholars (in the top 20%-30% of high school students).
- Amount Offered: $1,000 annually
- Scholarship Deadline: May 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Must be designated as a state scholar by the board of regents and demonstrate financial need.
Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship
This award identifies and supports exceptional Ph.D. students in a variety of programs including the sciences.
- Amount Offered: Covers tuition and fees and provides research assistance support (in excess of $175,000 over four years).
- Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility Requirements: Must demonstrate excellence in leadership.
Summer Research Scholarship
Awarded by the Office of Graduate Studies at Kansas University, this scholarship is given to underrepresented doctoral students with excellent academic performance and a research plan.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: February 26
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be part of an underrepresented group, have a nomination/reference from the department, have a clear research plan, and demonstrate academic excellence.
Graduate Studies Diversity Scholarship
Awarded by the Department of Graduate Studies at Kansas University, this scholarship is given to underrepresented graduate students within their discipline. Applicants/nominees should also demonstrate academic excellence.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 29
- Eligibility Requirements: Have outstanding academic achievements and be part of an underrepresented group within the discipline.
The John H. Nelson Scholarship
This award is given to Kansas University recruits who demonstrate academic excellence. Preference is given to graduate students, but all students are eligible.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 29
- Eligibility Requirements: Demonstrate academic excellence.
APF Graduate Student Scholarships
Sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology, this award is given to graduate students in psychology who demonstrate the ideals of the sponsors and the American Psychological Association.
- Amount Offered: $1,000 - $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be graduate students in psychology.
The Benton-Meier Scholarship is awarded to graduate students studying neuropsychology who demonstrate leadership and research excellence. The scholarship is sponsored and funded by the American Psychological Foundation.
- Amount Offered: $2,500
- Scholarship Deadline: June 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate competence and commitment in research and have completed their doctoral candidacy.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Kansas
Many states require psychologist to have a doctoral degree from an accredited school and program. In Kansas, regional accreditation for higher education comes from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This body oversees each school within its jurisdiction as well as each of the programs within that school.
For psychology Ph.D programs in Kansas, the key national accreditation to look for comes from the American Psychological Association. The APA accredits both doctoral degree programs in psychology and programs from regionally accredited schools. While this accreditation is not always necessary to practice psychology, many states do require it.
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Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Kansas
The list below highlights each of the accredited online psychology degrees in Kansas. Students should be cognizant of the traveling distance to these programs in cases where an on-campus element is present.