More than 2,430 psychologists offer behavioral health services in Michigan, assisting individuals with mental health concerns like depression or anxiety or helping individuals with severe mental illness gain independence. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides many mental health services across the state, including operating five inpatient hospitals for individuals with severe mental illness or developmental or cognitive disabilities.
Becoming a psychologist in Michigan requires a commitment to a high-quality educational program, supervised training, and rigorous testing programs. Earning an online psychology degree in Michigan can also lead to exciting careers in social services, education, or business. Use the information in this guide on licensing, common courses, career information, and funding resources to choose among the many psychology colleges in Michigan and launch an exciting, rewarding career.
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How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Michigan Work?
Forty-seven colleges and universities in Michigan offer psychology degrees. Offerings include associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. Many schools offer online learning opportunities, especially for undergraduate degrees. Several schools offer online master's degrees in psychology in Michigan, especially in areas of educational psychology. None of the psychology colleges in Michigan offer an online doctorate.
Students considering a psychology master's programs in Michigan should ensure their program holds appropriate accreditations, such as approval from the National Association of School Psychologists or the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Michigan also accepts degrees that meet specific curriculum standards. Be sure to check licensing regulations to ensure your school meets these requirements.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Michigan?
Psychology colleges in Michigan offer many electives and specialized courses. While specific degree requirements vary, the list below includes a sample of general psychology courses.
This psychology specialty considers how behavioral science applies in the workplace. The theories and principles relate to areas of leadership, management, and human resources. Degree-seekers can examine scientific research to develop research-based approaches to employee hiring, training, and performance evaluations. Course requirements often include reading and responding to research materials and case studies. Students also learn about research design.
This course explores concepts of social, cognitive, and clinical psychology as they relate to our judicial system. Degree-seekers can observe the psychological theories behind laws, policies, and practices to consider the psychological implications for eyewitness testimony, jury selection, trial conduct, and settlement negotiation. Coursework covers criminal law theories like intent or deterrence, and tort law, family law, and anti-discrimination law.
This course explores the theory of brain development and processes on human behavior. It combines cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. Students learn about non-invasive ways to study brain development along with interventions for brain injury or disease. Enrollees can gain an understanding of basic brain anatomy and behavior.
Many psychologists believe studying the behavior of animals can provide information about humans. This course examines theories of natural selection, behavior genetics, and evolution to understand essential behavior in parental investment, mating, and communication. The course incorporates principles of zoology and animal science with experimental psychology using observation and quantitative research methods.
Psychological research has set developmental milestones parents, doctors, and teachers all look for in young children. These milestones include developing language skills and fine motor function, and failure to achieve certain skills often sparks intervention services. This course observes the research behind these developmental milestones and the factors that can cause delays. It also introduces students to intervention strategies.
Becoming a Psychologist in Michigan
Michigan offers psychologist licenses to each individual with a doctorate in psychology or a related discipline who have completed a period of supervised practice and rigorous exams. It also offers a limited license for individuals with a master's in psychology who meet specific educational requirements, supervised practice, and exam scores. Below, we detail the necessary steps to earn a psychology license from the Michigan Board of Psychology.
SpecializePsychology incorporates several disciplines in understanding human behavior. Concentrations allow each student to delve into a particular area to better understand that form of psychology or how psychology relates to a specific population. Examples include school psychology, developmental psychology, or forensic psychology. Many undergraduate programs allow students to take extra classes in a specialization, offering the chance for additional research or practicums that can benefit the student in their graduate and post-graduate coursework.
Earn Your DegreesYour educational path begins by earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, which requires at least four years of study. Once you graduate, you can apply to psychology master's programs in Michigan, which take 1-2 years to complete. Michigan offers limited licenses for individuals with master's degrees in psychology. The curriculum should include a 500-hour practicum and meet the educational requirements of the Michigan Board of Psychology.
While individuals can offer limited psychological services with a master's degree, you must complete a doctorate to qualify for a psychology license. This program should include a practicum and coursework in areas of human development, patient assessment and evaluation, and behavior intervention. While some psychology doctoral programs accept a student with an undergraduate degree, most require completion of a master's program. Your master's degree can also shorten the time necessary to complete a doctorate. Most doctorates require 2-4 years to complete and include a dissertation.
Obtain LicensureAfter completing your degree, you must complete 2,000 hours of supervised clinical practice under the guidance of a licensed psychologist. The state also reviews your transcripts to ensure your curriculum meets the standards set by the state. Once complete, the Michigan Board of Psychologists issues permission to take the examination for professional practice in psychology. This multiple-choice exam costs $600.
Michigan also requires each applicant to undergo a criminal background check, complete training in human trafficking, answer questions regarding moral character, and provide their Social Security number. Fees range from $103 for a temporary license, which allows applicants to complete their supervised practice, to $162 for a psychologist license.
Your online psychology degree in Michigan can also prepare you for other mental health licensing. The examples below require a minimum of a master's degree in psychology or counseling. These careers also allow those without doctoral degrees to help people overcome behavioral or mental health concerns. Each license includes specific limitations on practice, such as diagnostic or treatment methods. These professionals all take a role in the overall mental health care system in Michigan.
Social workers provide holistic services to their clients, including diagnosing and treating mental illness. They may work in government or nonprofit agencies or through hospitals, helping to coordinate patient care.
These counselors can diagnose and treat patients with many different mental health conditions, including bouts of depression or anxiety to long-term chronic conditions or substance abuse. Counselors may work in hospitals or mental health outpatient facilities, in community mental health centers, or operate private practices.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Michigan
Michigan offers residents a growing economy with opportunities in many different industries. The state's location along the Great Lakes makes it a hub for manufacturing and agriculture. Still, most professionals work in trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, and health and education. U.S. News & World Report ranked the state's economy at 19th, with high marks in growth and business environment.
More than 2,430 psychologists work in areas of clinical, counseling, and school psychology. While the BLS reports a median income of $83,210 for psychologists in Michigan, wages range from $46,590 in the bottom 10th percentile to upwards of $127,360 in the 90th percentile. The state expects employment of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists to increase by 13.5% through 2026, with about 290 annual job openings and 2.2% growth for the employment of other psychologists. The growing need for trained psychologists also increases the demand for postsecondary psychology teachers.
Michigan at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 1.14%
Population Growth Rank: 42
Source: United States Census Bureau
|Mean Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth (2016-26)|
Source: BLS, Projections Central
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary||General Unemployment Rate||Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth|
|Kalamazoo - Portage||$101,390||3.8%||0.0%|
|Detroit - Warren - Dearborn||$90,970||4.5%||-1.2%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in Michigan -- Frequently Asked Questions
Students can choose from more than 45 psychology colleges in Michigan, and each individual school may offer different degrees and specializations. Before choosing your school, consider the questions below to determine which program best meets your educational and career needs.
You can complete the requirements to become a psychologist in Michigan in eight years. You need four years to complete an undergraduate online psychology degree in Michigan, followed by two years for a master's program. You must complete 2,000 hours of supervised psychology service over the next two years. An individual looking to become a licensed psychologist also needs a doctoral degree, requiring an additional 2-4 years of school.
Only a handful of psychology colleges in Michigan offer online psychology degrees, but many schools offer a selection of online courses. Online courses meet the rigorous academic standards of on-campus programs. These classes often do not require scheduled attendance, so students need self-discipline and time management skills to ensure they complete assignments on time.
Psychologists bring a scientific approach to behavioral health. Students need good observational and communication skills to carry out psychological assessments and analytical skills to interpret their evaluations. Problem-solving skills allow psychologists to develop treatment plans for often complex mental health issues. Psychologists also need compassion and empathy for their patients and families.
With 47 psychology colleges in Michigan, students can consider many options for their education. Begin by choosing schools with regional accreditation and, when applicable, programmatic accreditation for psychology. Consider each school's available concentrations and electives. Many schools also offer psychology research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
The ideal degree depends on your interests and educational goals. The BS offers a greater emphasis on science and statistical analysis. These courses can help prepare students for the research focus of doctoral programs. A BA allows students to incorporate more liberal arts courses, providing an interdisciplinary curriculum.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Michigan
University and college accreditation are an independent quality check of academic programs. Most undergraduate psychology programs may feature regional or national accreditation, such as the Higher Learning Commission. Accredited online psychology degrees in Michigan offer a high-quality education and ensure that graduate programs accept these bachelor's degrees. While the U.S. Department of Education doesn't offer official accreditation, it does maintain a database of recognized accrediting agencies.
While regional and national accreditation certify a college or university, specialized accreditation ensures a program provides a rigorous curriculum in areas necessary to succeed in a career. Doctoral psychology programs often seek accreditation from the APA.
The APA also accredits doctoral-level internships and post-doctoral residency programs. Master's programs may seek accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. Michigan requires applicants for licensure to complete educational requirements from accredited programs.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Michigan
Internships and fellowships can enhance a student's learning experience. Michigan's licensing requirements include a supervised internship in psychology, and the experience may be paid or unpaid. Fellowships may also include more lengthy work requirements, along with offering a salary and benefits, tuition waivers, or living stipends. Some fellowship programs even support student research programs or provide funds to travel to professional conferences.
Students can find internships and fellowships at mental health centers, hospitals, or physician groups. Many nonprofit organizations or government agencies also provide internship, fellowship, and supervised practice opportunities. Try to align your internship experience to your area of specialization, such as educational psychology or child psychology. Below, learn more about a few of the behavioral health providers in Michigan.
Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services offers in-patient and out-patient care for those with mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction. Providers work in more than a dozen locations throughout Detroit and southeast Michigan. The Perfect Depression Care program developed at Henry Ford has been recognized by the Joint Commission's Ernest Amory Codman Award and led to a reduction in suicide among patients.
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services operates inpatient and outpatient facilities throughout Michigan. The nonprofit organization serves all ages with general mental healthcare and specialized clinics. Pine Rest has also joined with other mental health providers and public health advocates to evaluate barriers to accessing behavioral health. The organization opened a new 26-bed psychiatric unit in 2016 to serve an additional 1,200 patients each year. Pine Rest has also expanded access to care through telemedicine.
Eastern Michigan University Psychology Department Research Lab
Researchers at the University of Michigan conduct behavioral and statistical research projects through the psychology department. The school hosts laboratories for biopsychology, clinical science, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, gender psychology, social psychology, and more. Past research projects include studies on the effects of television violence on children, women and depression, and the value of volunteering.
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University's psychology department operates labs for the study of behavior analysis, eating and addictive behaviors, fear studies, neuroscience, and pediatric psychology. While much of the research is conducted by faculty and graduate students, the school offers research opportunities to undergraduate students who show an interest in experimental psychology.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
After you gain your state license, you must continue your education and professional development. Michigan requires 30 hours of continuing education every two years to renew a psychology license. Professional organizations help providers access high-quality, relevant, continuing education programs. These groups also bring together professionals for networking and advocacy, provide opportunities for civic and community service, and offer the chance for professional recognition.
- Michigan Psychological Association Members of this state affiliate of the APA enjoy access to continuing education programs throughout the year. The annual conference provides education and networking opportunities, as well. Members can receive free consultations on issues of insurance, licensing, and legal services, with discounts on practice management software and insurance services. The organization also honors psychologists through their MPA Awards and Fellows programs, with an annual Distinguished Psychologist Award and service award.
- American Psychological Association This national organization promotes the science of psychology in all areas of society. Members can access professional development and continuing education programs, including public speaking training. New psychologists can benefit from guidance on managing student loans and establishing their practice, with discounts on liability insurance and risk management services. The organization offers 54 divisions that focus on special topics in psychology or psychology specialties.
- Michigan Counseling Association This nonprofit organization began serving professional counselors in the state in 1965. Members may attend networking events with mental health professionals and the opportunity to take on professional leadership positions. The organization welcomes professional counselors, along with closely related professionals, retired counselors, and students. The site provides resources on Michigan counseling laws and professional development resources.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association This organization promotes clinical mental health services from highly trained counselors through advocacy, research, and training. Members can receive a subscription to the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and The Advocate Magazine, including a collection of white papers, clinical practice briefs, and blogs. Members can take part in continuing education programs with discounts on conferences and webinars.
- Michigan Association of School Psychologists This organization supports school psychologists with resources related to the needs of schools and educators. Examples include best practices for active shooter drills in schools and frameworks for safe schools. Michigan currently needs more school psychologists, and the organization has lobbied for legislative changes to address this need. The organization also helps school psychologists complete their professional development credits and connect with peers.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Michigan
The Andert family established this fund to honor Norman J. Andert, a music educator, and Irene E. Andert, a healthcare professional. Applicants must graduate from Lakeview High School and plan to study fine arts or healthcare, including psychology. Managed by the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the award considers student character, citizenship, leadership, and financial need.
- Amount Offered: $250-$2,000
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must submit two recommendation letters and an essay.
Named in honor of Kalamazoo resident, this award helps high school graduates continue their education in psychology, business, science, law, education, or medicine. The Kalamazoo Community Foundation administers the award, which may be renewed up to three times. The application includes an essay and two letters of recommendation.
- Amount Offered: $250-$7,500
- Scholarship Deadline: Dec. 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Residents of Kalamazoo County for 12 months or graduates of Kalamazoo County high schools with demonstrated citizenship, high moral character, and potential for academic success may apply. Each applicant must demonstrate financial need and possess a 3.0 GPA or better.
The Sault Tribe Education Division offers several scholarships to members of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The award supports students seeking an undergraduate degree in social services at any accredited college or university.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 1
- Eligibility Requirements: An applicant must complete an essay, fill out the application form, submit a copy of their tribal card, and provide a W-9 form.
The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools launched this scholarship program in 1980 to help high school students achieve their educational goals. The award seeks to honor students with academic achievement who demonstrate community involvement and economic need.
- Amount Offered: $2,000
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: The scholarship accepts applicants with GPAs of 2.5 or higher from public and private Michigan high schools. Each candidate must also complete an essay.
This professional organization serving Michigan psychologists awards this grant to doctoral students at Michigan universities. The application includes a research project proposal, budget, and timeline. Students should plan to present their research results at the annual conference.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: Dec. 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must maintain current membership to the association and submit a letter of support from their dissertation chairperson.
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Mental Health Initiatives in Michigan
Michigan continues to struggle with access to mental health services. A July 2019 report funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund found that only 62% of residents experiencing mental illness receive treatment, and only 20% of individuals with a substance abuse history receive treatment. Barriers to care include a shortage of mental health and behavioral health providers, the cost of care, and patient reluctance to seek treatment.
The study spotlights the need for the state to recruit and retain more mental health providers. Other efforts by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services include a pilot program to integrate behavioral health services with physical health under the state's Medicaid program. The state hopes the program will expand access to mental health services.
Michigan has also expanded community treatment opportunities and created grant opportunities through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which supports mental health research programs.