Online Psychology Degree Programs in Kentucky

With more than 4 million residents, Kentucky offers a variety of educational and job opportunities for psychologists, with dozens of psychology programs and mental health centers across the state. In terms of employment outlook, it's an ideal time to pursue a career in psychology in the Bluegrass State; the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for psychologists in Kentucky will grow 15.2% from 2014 to 2024 — a rate that's far above the national average. If you're looking to earn a degree without putting your life or career on hold, an online psychology degree in Kentucky might be the right choice for you, but the state has options for students of all types. The information on this page gives you an idea of what to expect when pursuing a career in this important and engaging field, whether you're interested in a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree in psychology in Kentucky.

Mental Health Initiatives in Kentucky

Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services oversees many of the state's mental health and human services agencies, including the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), the Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DDID), and the Division of Program Integrity (DPI). The DBH operates federally funded treatment services, including adult and children's mental health and recovery services, adult substance abuse treatment and recovery services, and behavioral health prevention and promotion. The DDID focuses on support for Kentucky residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities, operating three branches: clinical services, community support, and supports for community living waiver. Finally, the DPI ensures proper regulation of the state's human services programs, managing both legislative functions and training support for mental health professionals and other human services professionals.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Kentucky?

While Kentucky's licensure process is similar to most other states, certain details vary, such as licensing costs and application procedures. The following steps outline the general process to pursue a doctorate or master's in psychology online in Kentucky and obtain licensure, along with important considerations to keep in mind along the way.

Choose the Path That's Right for You: Before pursuing an online psychology degree in Kentucky, it's important to outline your professional goals and determine the level of education you need to accomplish them. Different career paths have different educational and licensure requirements — licensed psychologists and tenured professors, for example, need to hold doctorate degrees, while certain types of counselors and social workers may only need master's degrees. Narrowing down your career aspirations is the first step to selecting a program that will help you achieve them.

Earn Your Degree: Even after you determine your desired career, there will likely be several different schools, degrees, and program formats to choose from. Finding the best degree is a matter of figuring out what best suits your needs, from scheduling to curriculum requirements. For example, an online program gives you greater flexibility to complete assignments but less contact with other students and faculty. It's also important to consider a program's prerequisites, the degree completion time, and any required internships or clinical experiences.

Earn Your License: While completing a degree is the first step to becoming a psychologist, puzzling out all the requirements for licensure can be an involved process. Depending on what type of license you're pursuing, there are different requirements in graduate credits, clinical experience hours, exam procedures, and exam costs. It's important to make sure your degree adequately prepares you for your chosen licensing exam, and to consider what the job market will look like after you earn your license.

Psychology Licensing in Kentucky

Even if you've earned your doctorate from one of the psychology Ph.D programs in Kentucky, acquiring a professional license can be a confusing process. A degree may qualify you for several different licenses, all of which have different requirements and application processes. The following table presents information for some of the most popular psychology licenses in Kentucky, including educational requirements, exam fees, and potential career paths after licensure.

Licensed Psychologist

Doctoral degree in a clearly identified psychology program and one-year internship at approved program site totaling at least 1,800 hours of experience, with at least 100 hours of supervisory sessions (optional "Health Service Provider" designation requires an additional 3,600 hours of postdoctoral experience)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Rehabilitation Psychologist
  • Research psychologist
  • School psychologist

Total Fees: $200

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Master's or Doctoral degree in social work or psychology and successful completion of Association of Social Work Boards Exam

Careers Available With This License:

  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Research social worker
  • Community health worker

Total Fees: $225

Marriage & Family Therapist

Master's degree in psychology or marriage & family therapy, at least 1,000 client contact hours as a marriage & family therapy associate, and at least 200 hours of clinical supervision

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage & family therapist
  • Relationship counselor

Total Fees: $225

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Master's degree in a counseling or psychology program, 4,000 hours counseling experience, and proof of passing national exam scores

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Residential counselor Mental health therapist

Total Fees: $150

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Kentucky

The terms “internship” and “fellowship” are often used synonymously, as both offer opportunities for students to augment their academic work with professional experience. However, there are differences between the two: while internships are typically available to both undergraduates and graduate students, fellowships are usually reserved for advanced students at the graduate or doctoral level. Internships may be paid or unpaid, while fellowships typically include a stipend.

  • Lovick C. Miller Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program: Offered through the University of Louisville School of Medicine, this fellowship involves clinical and applied research in children's health. Eligible applicants hold a doctoral degree in pediatric psychology and have previously completed a professional internship.
  • Jefferson County Internship Consortium: Sponsored in collaboration between Centerstone Kentucky, Central State Hospital, and the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, this pre-doctoral internship requires applicants to have at least four years of graduate psychology experience and at least 500 hours of therapeutic intervention practice.
  • University of Kentucky APA-Accredited Psychology Internship Program: Offered through UK's Counseling Center, this internship is open to Clinical and Counseling Psychology Ph.D or Psy.D students with at least 500 total hours of direct contact intervention practice.

Psychology Careers in Kentucky

Psychologists in Kentucky are able to pursue a wide selection of career paths depending on their educational background, and all the major areas of psychology are represented in the state's employment makeup. In total, Kentucky employs more than 1,000 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, and while that number may not seem large, it's proportionally higher than many states in the region. Other specialized career paths, such as forensic psychology or industrial-organizational psychology, are also available in Kentucky, though these particular jobs are more limited given the state's relatively small population.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Kentucky?

Several factors determine a psychologist's average salary, including education, experience, industry, licensing credentials, and location. The chart below compiles employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for psychologists in Kentucky, including employment figures, average hourly wages, and average annual wages. While psychologists in Kentucky earn less than the national average, it's important to keep in mind that the state also has a much lower than average cost of living.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Kentucky 1060 $31.64 $65,810
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Kentucky

Kentucky is home to hundreds of mental health service providers, including clinics, health centers, and private practices. The following list details some of the state's many mental health service organizations, which may provide internship or job opportunities for psychology students after graduation.

  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Psychiatric Center Hazard: ARH's Psychiatric Center in Hazard offers full inpatient behavioral and mental health services to a 21-county region in Eastern Kentucky.
  • Centerstone Kentucky: One of the largest not-for-profit community healthcare providers in the country, Centerstone focuses on mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and developmental disabilities for both children and adults.
  • The Adanta Group: Based in and around central Kentucky, Adanta provides clinical, human development, and regional drug prevention services, including mental healthcare, child and family services, substance abuse treatment, and developmental disability treatment.
  • The Pennyroyal Center: Established in 1967, Pennyroyal is a community healthcare organization that serves eight Western Kentucky counties, offering mental health services, crisis and emergency management, substance abuse counseling, and intellectual and developmental disability services.
  • Bluegrass: Founded in 1965, Bluegrass is the oldest community mental health center in Kentucky. The center provides inpatient and outpatient mental health, substance abuse, and developmental counseling.

Mental Health Research Centers in Kentucky

Kentucky is also an active state for mental health research, and several major universities perform important work in a variety of specialty areas within psychology. The following list details some of the most prominent research institutions in the state, which can provide ample opportunities for internships, fellowships, and employment.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Psychology is a constantly changing field, and psychologists and other mental health workers depend on professional organizations to keep them up to date on the latest developments in research and methodology. These organizations also serve students of all levels, offering networking and professional development opportunities, scholarships, research opportunities, and mentorship programs. The following list compiles some of the top professional organizations for psychologists along with a brief description of membership benefits.

  • Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA): Founded in 1932, KPA provides psychological services to the state community and advises the local government on mental health issues. Comprised of both students and professionals, the organization hosts an annual conference that provides support and networking opportunities for the psychology community.
  • Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association (KMHCA): Serving licensed counselors throughout the state, the KMHCA dedicates its energy to advocacy, education, awareness, and the promotion of quality mental health services. Membership is available to counselors, students, and retirees.
  • Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA): The state branch of the American Counseling Organization, KCA hosts professional and educational events around the state, including an annual conference that draws hundreds of participants.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Kentucky

Jaggers-Cave Scholarships

Named for psychology professors C.H. Jaggers and Mary Lourine Cave, Western Kentucky University offers this scholarship to in-state undergraduate psychology majors.

  • Amount Offered: Varies based on financial need
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Junior or senior standing at WKU, Kentucky residency, strong academic standing

Dotson Graduate Scholarship

Named for Western Kentucky University psychology professor Dr. Elsie Dotson, this scholarship supports graduate psychology students on the basis of academic merit and financial need.

  • Amount Offered: $600
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Incoming or current graduate psychology student status, demonstration of academic merit and financial need

Jaggers-Cave Graduate Scholarship

Awarded to second-year graduate students at Western Kentucky University, this scholarship honors former psychology professor Lourine Cave and former department head, C.H. Jaggers.

  • Amount Offered: Varies based on financial need
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Kentucky residency, second year standing as a graduate student in WKU's Department of Psychology Ed.S or MA programs, demonstrated academic merit and financial need

American Psychological Foundation (APF) Graduate Student Scholarship

The APF awards this scholarship to graduate or doctoral students pursuing any area of psychology, primarily on the basis of student research.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000 to $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Graduate or doctoral student standing, submission of research proposal

Benton-Meier Scholarships

Offered by the APF, this scholarship awards two graduate students with an interest in neuropsychology.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Completed doctoral candidacy, demonstrated research in the area of neuropsychology

Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

This scholarship awards graduate students whose work focuses on the stigma attached to mental illness and the barriers it presents to effective mental health treatment.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Graduate standing, demonstrated commitment to issues of mental illness stigmatization

Beth Rom Rymer Scholarship

Offered by the APF to graduate psychology students enrolled in psychopharmacology programs, this program encourages recipients to become prescribing psychologists.

  • Amount Offered: Up to $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Graduate student standing and proven enrollment in a psychopharmacology program

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Kentucky

Whether you're considering a bachelor's, a master's, or a doctorate, when choosing an online psychology degree in Kentucky it's vital to ensure that a school has proper accreditation. Accreditation is the process by which a school's educational programs are assessed and legitimized by government and industry agencies. Typically, schools receive regional accreditation, while individual programs receive accreditation from a specific governing agency. For psychology programs, the gold standard is accreditation from the American Psychological Association, though the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards is also reputable. In most instances, these organizations accredit only doctoral programs. For master's programs, there are a variety of other accrediting organizations, many of which are divided by area of practice. Accrediting organizations to look for include the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs, the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Kentucky

The following database serves as a complete listing of online psychology programs in Kentucky, making it simple to find and compare degrees. Note that every institution included in the list is accredited and offers degrees either fully or partially online.

Program Database

School Degree Levels State