Online Psychology Degree Programs in Louisiana

According to a 2015 study by Mental Health America, Louisiana is among the states with the highest prevalence of mental illness and the least access to care. Louisiana needs graduates of psychology programs to improve the state’s mental health services. Government initiatives to address the prevalence of mental health problems include identifying underserved areas and providing federal help and issuing block grants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alexandria, Louisiana has the highest concentration of psychologists in the nation. Along with positions in metropolitan areas, Louisiana psychologists also find work in rural areas, addressing the mental health needs of underserved populations.

Mental Health Initiatives in Louisiana

Louisiana’s recent mental health initiatives focus on decentralizing services and moving the responsibility of caring for Louisianans with behavioral needs out of Baton Rouge and into individual areas. This large shift sparked the creation of the Office of Behavioral Health, which oversees the allocation of resources. According to a study by Mental Health America, Louisiana ranks 47th in the nation for the delivery of mental health services. Louisiana residents have some of the greatest mental health needs in the country and some of the least access, partially due to a shortage of a mental health professionals in the state.

The Bayou State’s mental health initiatives prioritize substance abuse treatment, move special needs patients out of hospitals and into residential treatment centers, improve treatment plans for emotionally disturbed children, and address domestic and child abuse. Louisiana’s shortage of providers makes these goals more difficult to accomplish; for graduates with an online psychology degree, Louisiana provides opportunities to secure employment and improve the lives of state residents.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Louisiana?

The licensing process for psychologists is different in every state, but all candidates for psychology licensure in the U.S. must pass the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). Costs and procedures following the exam vary by state.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: The first step for prospective psychologists is identifying their professional interests, such as counseling, teaching, or research. Different psychology professions require different degrees. Licensed psychologists must have a doctorate, but marriage and family therapists need only a master’s.

Earn Your Degree: Louisiana institutions offer a variety of psychology programs, both on-campus and online. For students earning an online psychology degree, Louisiana programs allow busy students to balance professional and personal obligations with education. However, required practicums and internships may be easier to arrange for on-campus students. Earning a Ph.D is a long-term commitment; most psychology students require about ten years total to obtain the degree.

Earn Your License: Administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, the EPPP is the national standard exam for psychologists. The 225-question test takes more than three hours to complete and costs $687. Although psychology programs, especially psychology Ph.D programs in Louisiana, prepare students for the exam, most candidates dedicate additional study time to practice tests and prep courses. Passing the EPPP and obtaining licensure does not guarantee a job, but they are necessary to become qualified for psychology positions.

Psychology Licensing in Louisiana

Graduates of online psychology programs in Louisiana enter a variety of professions. The field of psychology is broad and diverse; graduates of psychology programs in Louisiana teach college, counsel elementary school students, and work in gerontological facilities. After earning a master’s in psychology online, Louisiana graduates may run private marriage and family counseling practices or conduct laboratory research. Several paths available to psychology graduates require licensure, so students should become familiar with the steps required to achieve their career goals.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites:

  • Ph.D
  • Background check
  • EPPP
  • At least two years of supervised experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Teacher
  • Clinician

Total Fees: $885

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree
  • Background check
  • Association of Social Work Boards exam
  • 5,760 hours of practice
  • 3840 hours of work experience
  • 96 hours of supervised experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $335

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree
  • Background check
  • 3,000 hours of supervised work
  • Two years of professional experience
  • National Marriage and Family Therapy exam

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Family therapist

Total Fees: $555

LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree
  • Background check
  • 3,000 hours of supervised work
  • Two years of work experience
  • National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification or National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Family therapist

Total Fees: $475

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Louisiana

Psychology professions have rigorous field experience requirements; many students in online psychology degree programs in Louisiana meet these requirements through fellowships or internships. Internships are typically unpaid positions that provide students with practical experience. Fellowships are usually affiliated with universities or research centers. Fellows work on grant-funded projects and often receive stipends.

  • Louisiana State University Psychology Internship: LSU interns accrue supervised hours needed for licensure. Internship tracks include caring for children, adults, and infants. Apply on LSU’s website.
  • Southwest Louisiana Psychology Consortium Internship: Interns in this one-year post-practicum program spend at least 25% of their time working directly with clients at hospitals, outpatient clinics, and detention and intervention centers. The internship includes a competitive stipend. Apply online.
  • Southwest Louisiana Veterans Health Care Internships: Students in these predoctoral positions with the Veterans Administration work at the VA facility in New Orleans. Interns help to assess, treat, and rehabilitate patients, and receive a stipend. Apply online.

Psychology Careers in Louisiana

The field of psychology includes many professions and countless specialties. Graduates of psychology Ph.D programs in Louisiana become marriage and family therapists, behavioral therapists, mental health clinicians, researchers, forensic examiners, and substance abuse counselors. The prevalence of mental illness and the widespread substance abuse in Louisiana drive demand for qualified counselors in those areas.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Louisiana?

Salaries for psychologists vary widely by profession. Counselors in penitentiaries earn different salaries than private practice clinicians. A professional’s earning potential also depends on experience, credentials, and geographic location. Generally, psychology professionals in Louisiana earn slightly less than the national average; however, the cost of living in Louisiana is also slightly less than the national average.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Louisiana 220 $31.64 $73,520
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Louisiana

After earning an online psychology degree in Louisiana, graduates often find jobs at the state’s large mental health service providers. Large public and private facilities hire more entry-level employees and offer opportunities for advancement.

  • Central Louisiana State Hospital: CLSH is a state-run, 196-bed psychiatric facility in Pineville. The hospital offers individual and group therapy, nutritional counseling, and recreational and occupational therapy.
  • Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System: ELMHS is an integrated, state-run system of mental health services with more than 450 inpatient beds. The system provides residential treatment, jail evaluations, forensic evaluation, and mental health eval and treatment.
  • Magellan of Louisiana: Magellan is a member of the Coordinated System of Care. Magellan Health provides care for children with severe behavioral health challenges.
  • Northwest Louisiana Human Services District: NLHSD provides mental health and addictive disorder services and works to increase public awareness of behavioral health and developmental disabilities.
  • Vermillion Behavioral Health System: Based in Lafayette, Vermillion treats individuals suffering from mental health and addiction disorders. The system offers inpatient and outpatient services to adolescents, adults, and military personnel.

Mental Health Research Centers in Louisiana

Like other forms of healthcare, psychology is very dependent upon research and new findings, and many young psychologists find their first jobs at mental health research centers. Often affiliated with universities, these facilities can give newbies a comfortable introduction to the profession in a setting they’re familiar with.

  • LSU Health: Louisiana State University’s health center researches topics such as post-disaster mental health, intervention strategies, and depression.
  • LSU Psychopharmacology Research Unit: On LSU’s Shreveport campus, the PRU has conducted clinical trials for twenty years, in areas such as anxiety and mood disorders, depressive disorders, impulse control, panic, and PTSD.
  • Lake Charles Clinical Trials: Lake Charles conducts clinical trials for new medications, which often treat behavioral disorders. Current studies focus on postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, autism, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations offer invaluable resources for recent graduates of psychology programs in Louisiana. Members connect with like minded individuals through professional networking, mentoring, and job referrals. Organizations often sponsor workshops, seminars, and continuing education opportunities to help members launch and grow their careers.

  • Louisiana Psychological Association: LPA is the Louisiana chapter of the American Psychological Association and offers access to continuing education, speaker’s forums, and conferences. The organization promotes networking among the state’s psychologists.
  • Louisiana School Psychological Association: This nonprofit organization comprising school psychologists offers workshops and professional development opportunities. The association sponsors an annual conference, advocates for psychology professionals, and conducts research.
  • Louisiana Counseling Association: LCA serves as the voice of professional counselors in Louisiana. The organization hosts an annual conference, organizes continuing education events, and maintains a leadership and mentoring institute.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Louisiana

Associated Grocers-Sam S. Politz Scholarship

This annual scholarship is awarded in honor of Sam Politz, former president of Associated Grocers, to Louisiana high school students.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000 per semester for eight consecutive semesters
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, must have taken honors or AP classes, and must plan to attend an accredited university on a full-time basis.

Karen E. Domingue-Maillet and Solvay/Eco Services Scholarship

This scholarship supports residents of East Baton Rouge Parish and is awarded to a graduate of Glen Oaks, Baker, Scotlandville, or Istrouma High School.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be of good character and in the upper half of their graduating class.

Roger J. Clouatre Memorial Fund

This scholarship goes to a student from Ascension Parish who has a record of achievement and who demonstrates good character.

  • Amount Offered: $500
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must show leadership qualities, must have a 3.0 GPA or better, and must be involved in their community.

Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship

These scholarships are awarded annually in honor of Cheryl Conkling, who graduated summa cum laude despite serious hearing difficulties. The scholarships support students who have overcome hardship to excel academically.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500 per semester, up to $12,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need. Preference is given to students from East Baton Rouge Parish.

Louisiana Go Grants

These renewable awards help needy Louisiana residents attend Louisiana colleges and universities.

  • Amount Offered: $300–3,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a Louisiana resident attending an eligible school on at least a half-time basis and must demonstrate critical need.

Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Scholarships

Patrick Taylor believed in the concept of “paying it forward,” and his foundation distributes more than a dozen scholarships in his honor.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a Louisiana resident who enrolling as a first-time freshmen and must have a 2.5 GPA.

TOPS Opportunity Fund

The Taylor Foundation awards scholarships to support Louisiana students attending Louisiana colleges.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must meet the Louisiana TOPS residency requirements and must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Twiley, Marie and Bringier Barker Scholarship Fund

Named after educational pioneers from Washington Parish, this scholarship supports students from specific Louisiana areas.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants are judged based on academic performance and financial need.

Tiger Excellence Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to outstanding freshmen at Louisiana State University.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have a 3.0 GPA and a 1310 SAT score.

President’s Distinguished Scholarship

These scholarships are awarded to exceptional students at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

  • Amount Offered: $11,000–12,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 23
  • Eligibility Requirements: The student must have at least a 3.0 GPA and an SAT score of 1450 to 1600.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Louisiana

Attending an accredited institution is crucial to earning a valuable degree. Most licensing agencies require candidates to hold a degree from an accredited program. The most common types of accreditation are regional and national. Regional accreditation is the most common and the most highly regarded. National accreditation is usually reserved for vocational and technical schools. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation maintain databases of all accredited U.S. schools.

Psychology students should also look for accreditation from the American Psychological Association. APA-accredited programs meet high standards and will be recognized by licensing agencies and employers.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Louisiana

For students pursuing an online psychology degree, Louisiana offers many reputable programs. Research each potential program’s course requirements, scheduling options, and available concentrations to find the best psychology program to fit your goals and lifestyle. The list below includes all accredited online psychology programs in Louisiana.