Psychologists earn a median salary of $79,010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, certain types of psychologists can take home even higher salaries. Industrial-organizational psychologists, for example, earn a median salary of $97,260, with the highest-paid 10% earning nearly $200,000. The BLS also projects 12-15% g
The demand for licensed psychologists continues to grow as more Americans look to address mental health, substance abuse, and other challenges. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights a 14% projected job growth for psychologists between 2018-28, which is much higher than the 5% average growth rate for all occupations.
Those planning to pursue psychology careers in Kansas may choose some of the state's top-ranked online programs for their added flexibility. The University of Kansas makes the U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best psychology programs, ahead of some of the nation's best psychology schools such as Columbia University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Rutgers. Kansas State University and Wichita State University also make the list of top psychology schools.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Kansas Work?
A select number of psychology schools in Kansas offer programs fully online. While colleges may not advertise hybrid programs, an increasing number of colleges allow students to take some general education courses online. In general, online psychology degrees in Kansas take the same number of years to complete as their on-campus counterparts.
Some may even offer accelerated options. The University of Kansas (KU) features a fully online degree-completion bachelor's in general studies with a major in psychology. Since faculty members deliver the program only as a degree-completion option, students can finish their programs more quickly by transferring in credits.
The benefit of distance learning lies in the flexibility to asynchronously view lectures at convenient times and complete assignments within specific timeframes. The online MA in applied behavioral science at KU incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous formats, so learners should always read the fine print when pursuing online programs.
With more Americans choosing online learning, employers hold online learning in the same esteem as on-campus learning, as long as a regionally accredited college awards the diploma.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Kansas?
Psychology courses vary depending on the degree level and specific program. Below, we have listed some common undergraduate classes offered by most colleges and universities.
- Developmental Psychology
Enrollees can examine the works of key psychologists like Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud as they learn how early childhood experiences and biological factors can affect the development of intellect, personality, and behaviors.
- Abnormal Psychology
This entry-level course surveys disorders like psychopathology, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mood disorders. Faculty members provide an overview of different psychological perspectives to understand and treat these psychological disorders.
- Perception and Behavior
Degree-seekers can examine the main senses humans use to experience the world. Faculty members teach students how the sensory systems work together and how the brain builds perception from outside factors, such as light and sound.
- Brain, Mind, and Behavior
Faculty delve into the inner workings of the brain for learners to understand how the brain functions during processes like learning and memory, the acquisition of language, and dreaming. Students can also learn about a malfunctioning brain as they examine the neurological basis for diseases, such as Parkinson's and schizophrenia.
- Forensic Psychology
The rise in the popularity of TV law and detective programs has helped to make forensic psychology a popular undergraduate program. Degree-seekers can learn how to apply psychology in the law and legal system in practical areas like interviewing witnesses, providing expert testimony, and assessing competency.
Becoming a Psychologist in Kansas
Those interested in pursuing careers as psychologists in Kansas must follow specific steps, beginning with educational requirements, practicum experience, and obtaining licensure. The following section offers a review of each step.
At the American Psychological Association (APA), the leading organization representing psychologists in the U.S., students can access a lot of the information they need as they decide which specialization to pursue in psychology. The APA manages 54 divisions, including clinical, social, and experimental psychology. In addition to specializations, learners can review special interest areas like human factors, trauma psychology, and rehabilitation psychology.
Students should explore specializations as early as possible in their collegiate careers. A degree-seeker interested in neuroscience will, at some point, need to enroll in different courses than learners pursuing school psychology.
Earn Your Degrees
Each aspiring psychologist can begin their training with a bachelor's degree, which typically takes four years. Some schools, such as KU, allow students to finish degrees faster by transferring credits into programs.
Once an enrollee completes their bachelor's degree, they can enroll in an online master's in psychology in Kansas, which typically takes 18-24 months to complete. Before enrolling in a master's program, a student should choose their specialization area. This is important to ensure that they can find their ideal program, as each psychology school's faculty members specialize in certain research areas. For instance, KU only offers an MA in applied behavioral science online.
KU does offer a dual master's/doctoral degree in clinical, cognitive, quantitative, or social psychology, but students must attend classes on campus. Fort Hays State University (FHSU) operates a robust virtual college with undergraduate and graduate psychology degrees. Students will not find online doctoral degrees at colleges like KU, FHSU, and Wichita State University.
Each state requires mental health professionals to obtain licensure to practice. The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board oversees the licensure of psychologists in the state. The board requires each candidate to hold a doctorate from an APA-accredited program or demonstrate that the degree meets established requirements.
Each candidate should have at least two years of supervised experience, which must primarily include providing psychological services. The candidate must then submit all of their credentials to the board to determine eligibility to sit for the national examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP). The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards administers the EPPP, which costs $600 in Kansas. Each candidate must also pay a $175 application fee.
Other Licenses and Certifications
Some individuals interested in careers as mental health professionals may not want to pursue doctorates. Below, we list three roles that do not require a doctorate for licensure in Kansas.
Licensed Master Social Worker
Licensed by the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB), LCSW candidates must hold a CSWE-accredited master's degree or one earned at a program accredited by another national accrediting agency. Once candidates register with BSRB, they can sit for the master's-level competency exam, which is administered by the Association of Social Work Boards. Those pursuing licensed specialist clinical social worker credentials must each possess 3,000 hours of supervised experience.
Marriage and Family Therapist
BSRB also licenses MFTs. Each candidate must hold a master's degree that includes a practicum with at least 300 hours of client contact hours from a COAMFTE-accredited school. Candidates apply to the BSRB to determine eligibility to sit for the national MFT examination.
Licensed Professional Counselor
BSRB requires each candidate for the LPC or licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) credential to hold a 60-credit CACREP- or CORE-accredited master's degree in counseling that includes a practicum or internship. BSRB determines eligibility to sit for the national counselor exam, and LCPC candidates must also sit for the national mental health counselor examination.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Kansas
The BLS projects a favorable 14% growth in national employment for psychologists between 2018-28 and that about 120 psychologists practice in Kansas, making an annual mean wage of $102,910. Kansas ranks third for top-paying states for this occupation after California and Maryland.
Kansas ranks 22nd overall in the U.S. News & World Report's rankings of best states to live. The Sunflower State comes in at 33rd for healthcare and 36th for its economy, putting Kansas ahead of many states in the nation. Kansas also ranks 24th in healthcare access and 27th for public health. Psychologists typically find more job opportunities in metropolitan areas, such as Kansas City and Lawrence.
Kansas at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 2.05%
Population Growth Rank: 38
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 Kansas -- Frequently Asked Questions
Prospective students may have questions about psychology colleges in Kansas and how to earn online psychology degrees in the state. Read on for some common concerns.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Kansas?
The training for a career as a psychologist begins with a bachelor's degree, which typically takes four years to complete. Students can accelerate degree completion by transferring credits to meet general education requirements. The master's degree usually takes two years, though some programs may offer accelerated options that learners can complete in 16-18 months. The Psy.D. takes 4-6 years; the Ph.D. takes 5-7 years; and the Ed.D. takes 3-5 to complete.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
The study of psychology becomes more difficult as students progress from lower-level to upper-level coursework and onto graduate studies. Enrollees can complete theoretical and practical coursework, with practicum experiences commonly required at the graduate level. The more difficult courses for some include research methodology and advanced statistics.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
Well-honed communication skills can help psychologists effectively interact with clients and peers in the field. Since problem solving lies at the heart of psychology, psychologists must possess effective critical-thinking skills to help clients understand and address complex issues. Psychologists must possess superb listening skills to establish meaningful therapeutic relationships with clients.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Kansas?
U.S. News & World Report includes the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University on a ranking of the top psychology schools in the nation. Students should also explore other colleges, such as Fort Hays State University (FHSU) and Benedictine College, which all offer strong psychology programs. Notably, FHSU operates a strong virtual college with a BA/BS in psychology and master's degrees in counseling and school psychology.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?
A BS in psychology provides learners with a strong science background that can prepare them for advanced study in psychology. The curriculum of a BA leans more to the liberal arts rather than the sciences. Therefore, psychology students can expect more laboratory work, experiments, and research in a BS. However, students should always consult with college advisors as they chart their academic studies.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Kansas
Many states require each psychologist to possess a doctoral degree from an accredited school and program. In Kansas, regional accreditation for higher education comes from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This body oversees each school within its jurisdiction and each of the programs within that school.
For psychology Ph.D. programs in Kansas, the key national accreditation comes from the APA. This association accredits doctoral degree programs in psychology regionally accredited schools. While this accreditation is not always necessary to practice psychology, many states require it.
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 can receive 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.
Internships can provide undergraduate and graduate psychology students with hands-on experience at organizations that deliver mental health services. These organizations may offer compensation for students' time. Fellowships, on the other hand, usually focus on post-doctoral students who engage in supervised training to hone skills in their specialization. The following list includes several organizations that may offer these opportunities.
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.
Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center
The Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center focuses on outpatient psychiatry, chemical abuse counseling, therapy and consultations, physical healthcare coordination, and 24-hour crisis intervention.
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.
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.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Students in psychology programs, psychologists, and other mental health professionals can join professional organizations to receive professional development, support, networking, and other member benefits. Some of these organizations offer student membership discounts.
- Kansas Psychological Association Founded in 1930, KPA continues to grow as the organization advocates and advances psychology as a science and profession in the state. Member benefits include legislative advocacy, continuing education, a professional network, and a licensed psychologist referral service.
- American Psychological Association As the leading organization for psychologists in the U.S., APA lauds a membership of 118,000 researchers, clinicians, educators, and students. APA manages a significant repository of resources, such as publications and databases that members use for professional development. Other member benefits include continuing education opportunities, tuition refinancing, professional liability insurance, and a job listing.
- Kansas Counseling Association This branch of the American Counseling Association is the main voice of career, education, and mental health counseling in the state. KCA oversees six regions and nine divisions in counseling in Kansas. Member benefits include continuing education opportunities, professional development events, and networking.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association MHCA is a national organization devoted to maintaining the highest standards for practice, research, and ethics in mental health counseling. Member benefits include professional liability insurance, continuing education, publications, and the AMHCA Career Center.
- Kansas Association of School Psychologists KASP, an affiliate and one of the founders of the National Association of School Psychologists, is divided into four regions as the main provider of low-cost and free professional development for school psychologists in the state. Other member benefits include access to regional meetings, conferences, and online training.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Kansas
KASP Minority Graduate Student Scholarship
KASP awards this scholarship to two graduate psychology students for up to two years of funding. The award supports promising students and current or future KASP members.
- Amount Offered: $500 per year
- Scholarship Deadline: September 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must be a minority student enrolled in a Kansas psychology program and a member of KASP.
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. Each applicant must be a Kansas student and 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 state awards this grant to students who demonstrate financial need.
- Amount Offered: $200-$3,500 (private) or $100-$1,500 (public)
- Scholarship Deadline: April 1
- Eligibility Requirements: An applicant must demonstrate financial need and current enrollment in one of the universities or colleges listed.
Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship
This award identifies and supports exceptional Ph.D. students in the sciences and beyond.
- Amount Offered: Covers tuition and fees and provides research assistance support (more than $180,000 over four years).
- Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must demonstrate excellence in leadership.
The University of Kansas 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 from the department, submit a clear research plan, and demonstrate academic excellence.
APF Graduate Student Scholarships
The American Psychological Foundation and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology provide this award to graduate students in psychology who demonstrate the ideals of the sponsors and the APA.
- Amount Offered: $2,000-$5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be graduate students in psychology.
The American Psychological Foundation awards the Benton-Meier Scholarship to graduate students studying neuropsychology who demonstrate leadership and research excellence.
- Amount Offered: $2,500
- Scholarship Deadline: June 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must have completed their doctoral candidacy, demonstrating competence and a commitment to research.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Kansas
The list below highlights each of the accredited online psychology degrees in Kansas. Students should be aware of the traveling distance to these programs in cases where an on-campus element is present.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in Kansas
The Behavioral Health Services Commission works with 26 community mental health centers to provide services throughout Kansas. The commission, which also oversees substance abuse and prevention programs, manages the state's two psychiatric hospitals. Its Behavioral Health Indicators map serves as one of the state's most recent initiatives to address the mental health challenges of Kansans.
The map outlines county- and state-specific data for behavioral health incidents like suicide, opioid prescriptions, student alcohol use, and treatment options for problem gambling. Those afflicted with mental health challenges can benefit from access to many services. This includes an online directory of mental health providers and information about community mental health centers, the community support medication program, a positive behavior support program, and psychiatric residential treatment facilities.
Kansas outperforms the national average when it comes to reaching people with mental health challenges. The national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helps to support the commission's work. SAMHSA notes in the Kansas 2018 Mental Health National Outcome Measures that the state had a 48.27 treatment rate per 1,000 population, more than double the 23.69 national rate.