Online Psychology Degree Programs in Michigan

Psychologists help people manage mental illness or developmental disabilities, conduct research on human behavior, and work with governments and industries to develop methods for influencing human behavior. The field offers exciting opportunities to work with individuals one-on-one, to conduct group therapy in clinical settings, and to research and study patterns of behavior. School psychologists, for example, focus on educational and developmental disorders to help students reach their full potential. Overall, a master’s degree may be sufficient for some psychology fields, but students who plan to treat patients must complete a psychology Ph.D program.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects increased demand for clinical psychologists, with a 14% growth in employment projected through 2026. The agency also projects a 16% growth in the number of postsecondary psychology teaching positions in Michigan through 2026. Clinical psychologists assist an aging population with the mental and physical limitations of growing older, help veterans adjust after returning from war, assist families and individuals with autism, and counsel individuals who have experienced trauma. Colleges and universities who offer online psychology degrees in Michigan offer opportunities to explore various career fields and participate in hands-on internships, research projects, or clinical practice. Many universities also offer access to cutting-edge research in areas of depression or child development, and mental health providers give students valuable work experience in any field.

Mental Health Initiatives in Michigan

Lawmakers in Michigan recognize the connection between mental well being and physical health. In 2016, the legislature passed a bill directing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop pilot and demonstration programs to integrate physical and behavioral health services, with the goal of expanding these pilot programs throughout the state. The initiative brings together community health centers, mental health advocates, researchers, and primary care and mental health providers to overcome barriers people may encounter when seeking mental health services. Another initiative focuses on the needs of citizens with developmental disorders. The MDHHS Self-Determination Initiative provides patients greater flexibility in selecting appropriate behavior and life support, offers support arranging for assistance, and ultimately helps those with developmental disabilities find their place within their communities and experience greater freedom and responsibility.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Michigan?

Psychologists and counselors hold a position of trust with their patients, and the state of Michigan requires these practitioners be licensed. The journey toward becoming a licensed clinical psychologist, however, begins with selecting an accredited psychology program in Michigan. Coursework often includes studying human brain development, interpreting statistical data, and developing observational skills.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: Michigan requires licensed psychologists to complete a doctorate before practicing in the state. A doctorate of psychology degree prepares graduates to enter research or academic fields. When evaluating on-campus and online psychology degrees in Michigan, you should ensure your prospective schools are accredited by the American Psychological Association. Most clinical psychology graduate programs only offer a doctorate, but school psychology students may pursue a master’s in psychology online from Michigan universities.

Earn Your Degree: Before earning their master’s in psychology online in Michigan, students must first complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field, and then take the Graduate Record Exam to qualify for admission. Many schools ask applicants to also share information on their career goals and what attracted them to psychology through personal essays and interviews. While many online psychology degrees Michigan schools offer educational flexibility, applicants should also consider their specialty when selecting a graduate school. Hybrid programs allow for both on-campus and online coursework, and may provide opportunities to take part in research. Online students should also assess their learning styles, as well, to ensure they can maintain the motivation and discipline necessary to complete course requirements remotely.

Earn Your License: Psychology graduates have additional hurdles to clear before being granted their Michigan psychologist license. The state requires all psychologists complete at least 2,000 hours of supervised patient counseling during a two-year period, with applicants earning high marks and recommendations from their supervising psychologists. Students must also pass the Examination for Professional Practice (EPPP) in Psychology. The four-hour exam covers areas of ethical issues, research methods, cognitive-affective behavior, and treatment and intervention. The EPPP uses multiple choices questions, and students often spend months in preparation for the exam.

Psychology Licensing in Michigan

Michigan regulates many types of mental health providers, from clinical psychologists to social workers or marriage counselors. Each form of license authorizes the practitioner to see clients or patients with specific needs, though Michigan does not permit psychologists to prescribe medication or administer electroconvulsive therapy. The Michigan Board of Psychology is responsible for overseeing the psychology licensing process, ensuring providers adhere to state ethics laws and continuing education requirements. Alternatively, the Michigan Board of Counseling administers counseling licenses. Each board ensures licensed practitioners meet all continuing education requirements for renewing licenses. These boards also investigate complaints against providers and impose sanctions, if necessary.

Licensed Psychologist

Michigan requires licensed psychologist applicants to hold a doctorate degree from a school accredited by the American Psychological Association or listed on the National Register of Health Service Providers. In addition, the educational program must include an internship. Applicants must also complete 2,000 hours of supervised psychology experience and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Child psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist

Total Fees: $751.50

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Applicants must complete a master’s degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, perform 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised work experience, pass the clinical or advanced generalist exam of the Association of Social Work Boards, and pass a criminal background check.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Social worker
  • Children’s services worker
  • Medical social worker

Total Fees: $301.60

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Applicants must earn a master’s or doctorate degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Education, or complete specific graduate coursework in family therapy. Michigan requires applicants to complete 1,000 hours of supervised client therapy after graduation and pass the National Marital and Family Therapy Exam. Fingerprinting and a criminal background check is also required.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Couples therapist
  • Marriage and family therapist

Total Fees: $435.85

LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

Applicants must earn a minimum of a master’s degree in a counseling field, complete up to 3,000 hours of supervised counseling practice, and pass the National Counselor Exam or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Exam. Michigan requires all license applicants to complete a criminal background check.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Pastoral counselor
  • Addiction counselor

Total Fees: $394.60 to $519.60

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

This voluntary certification does not take the place of state licensing. It does, however, demonstrate a high level of education, training, and experience. Applicants must have earned a master’s degree in counseling from a regionally accredited school, complete supervised counseling experiences, and pass national industry examinations.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Certifications available in school counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Mental health counseling

Total Fees: Fees vary based on exam and certification sought.

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Michigan

Both internships and fellowship enhance a student’s learning experience. In fact, many online psychology degrees in Michigan require students to complete internships as part of their curriculum. Michigan’s licensing requirements also include completion of a supervised internship in psychology. Internships develop career-specific skills, and the experience may be paid or unpaid. Fellowships also include work requirements — usually longer than an internship — and offer 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.

  • Pediatric Psychology Fellowship: Offered by the University of Michigan’s Department of Pediatrics, the psychology fellowship accepts one to three fellows each year. Applicants must have completed their doctorate in psychology. The program meets requirements for postdoctoral supervised training in clinical child psychology or clinical health psychology and may last for one or two years. Fellows must complete a scholarly activity during the program, working with a mentor and an oversight committee. Fellows receive a stipend and university benefits.
  • Clinical Psychology Internship: DMC Children’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan offers an APA-accredited internship in clinical psychology for doctoral students. The year-long program includes rotations at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the outpatient specialty center and Children’s Center of Wayne County. Interns work with patients exhibiting a range of psychological needs, from helping young patients cope with chronic illness to evaluating developmental or psychosocial disorders, such as autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The internship works with a multidisciplinary team to provide the best possible patient outcomes.
  • Pine Rest Psychology Internship: Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services’ psychology internship program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1982. Located in Grand Rapids, Pine Rest uses the Practitioner-Scholar Model, with clinical training in all nine APA competencies. Interns work with multidisciplinary teams to provide a continuum of care to patients. The full-time internship program accepts applicants from doctoral psychology students and offers a living stipend and book allowance.

Psychology Careers in Michigan

Students with online psychology degrees find employment in federal or state government, the offices of healthcare practitioners, and outpatient mental health facilities. A student’s psychology specialization — such as child psychology or forensic psychology — also determines where students find work following graduation and licensure. Clinical psychology, for example, offers the most employment flexibility with the most job openings reported. Further specialization, however, can lead to even higher earnings and greater career satisfaction. Child psychologists may work in schools developing educational programs for students with developmental disabilities, or in private practice helping patients with issues of trauma or severe mental illness. Forensic psychologists often work with the courts or social service agencies, developing psychological profiles of suspects or recommending sentencing and/or therapy programs.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Michigan?

Psychologists enjoy high earning potential in Michigan, about $19,000 above the national mean salary. Earnings may be impacted by location, with metropolitan regions offering higher wages to offset a higher cost of living. A psychologist’s specialty, academic background, and experience also significantly impact wages, as well. Nationally, psychology salaries range from $65,000 for an entry-level psychologist to more than $98,000 for a psychologist with 20 or more years of experience, according to Payscale.com.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Michigan 270 $39.36 $92,880
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Michigan

While many psychologists work in private practice, new psychologists may benefit from working with a network of providers as they launch their careers. Mental health providers also offer opportunities to complete the post-doctoral supervised practice licensing requirements. Often, the mental health professionals employed in these counseling centers or mental health facilities provide valuable career advice and mentorship.

  • Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital: Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital provides inpatient services to adults in need of voluntary or involuntary treatment. Practitioners in the Psychology Department assist in patient assessment, conduct individual and group therapy sessions, and develop a psychosocial plan of services. Therapy options include music, occupational, and recreational therapy, with a multidisciplinary team that includes psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers.
  • Central Michigan Psychology Training and Consultation Center: An outreach clinic of the Central Michigan University Psychology Department, the center provides outpatient mental health services to residents of the mid-Michigan region. Doctoral students offer one-on-one patient care under faculty supervision, treating common illnesses such as depression, anxiety, stress, or relationship problems, with additional assistance for substance abuse. Specialty programs include the Trauma and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, the Center for Children, Families, and Communities, the Learning Acceleration Clinic, the School Psychology Clinic, and the Neuropsychology Clinic.
  • Center for Forensic Psychology: Located in Saline, MI, the Center for Forensic Psychiatry provides a 210-bed psychiatric unit specializing in diagnostic and treatment services for the criminal justice system. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services operates the hospital, which serves criminal defendants found not guilty of a crime due to mental illness or defect.
  • Henry Ford Health System: Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services offers inpatient and outpatient care for patients 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, with a goal of serving an additional 1,200 patients each year. Pine Rest has also expanded access to care through telemedicine.

Mental Health Research Centers in Michigan

Universities host many of the psychology research centers in Michigan. Students interested in a research career may find research assistant positions at these schools. Not only does a research assistant gain valuable hands-on experience in research methodology, these assistantships often include tuition waivers and living stipends, which help to finance the cost of a psychology Ph.D program in Michigan.

  • University of Michigan: Researchers at the University of Michigan conduct a variety of behavioral and statistical research projects through the psychology department. The school hosts laboratories for biopsychology, clinical science, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, general psychology, gender psychology, personality and social contexts, and social psychology. Many of the labs offer interdisciplinary research activities, drawing upon the expertise of other departments at the school. Past research projects include a study of the effects of television violence on children, women and depression, and the value of volunteering.
  • Central Michigan University: Central Michigan University offers doctorates in applied experimental psychology, clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and school psychology. Faculty oversee research in several laboratories, including the CHARGE Lab, which studies the genetic, biological, and environmental factors found in children with CHARGE syndrome. Other research activities include interviewing children; neuroinflammation, aging, and Alzheimer’s; eye tracking; and deteriorative brain disease.
  • Eastern Michigan University: Eastern Michigan University’s psychology department operates labs for the study of behavior analysis, eating and addictive behaviors, fear studies, neuroscience, parenting project, and pediatric psychology. While much of the research is conducted by faculty and graduate students, the school offers research opportunities to undergraduate students with interest in experimental psychology.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Michigan requires all licensed psychologists to complete continuing education courses to keep their licensing current. Professional organizations can meet this need as they organize and host continuing education seminars, workshops, and conferences. Professional psychology associations also lobby lawmakers on important public health legislation, such as the Michigan initiative to integrate physical healthcare with mental healthcare, or ensuring new psychologists meet minimum professional standards. Michigan associations publish the names of members in an online directory of psychology providers, share job openings, and provide discounts on software.

  • Michigan Association of Professional Psychologists: The Michigan Association of Professional Psychologists lobbies state and national legislators on mental health policy issues, keeps members up-to-date on psychological treatment or research, and hosts events to network with other mental health professionals. Master’s-level licensed psychologists enjoy discounts on conference registration, inclusion in the referral network, and access to a resource bank of internship opportunities.
  • Michigan Psychological Association: The Michigan Psychological Association (MPA) includes more than 1,000 psychologists practicing in the state. The organization advocates for public health legislation and initiatives, and operates a statewide referral service. The annual conference and regularly scheduled workshops allow practitioners to meet ongoing education requirements. Outreach efforts include providing emergency services to victims of disasters or trauma.
  • Michigan Association of School Psychologists: The Michigan Association of School Psychologists provides specialized educational opportunities for school psychologists via its publications and professional development conferences. Members receive discounts on conference registration fees. Practicing school psychologists and students enrolled in school psychology graduate programs may join, with additional membership categories for early career psychologists, retired psychologists, and school administrators. The organization provides input on state and national legislation — such as high stakes testing in public schools — and educates members and the public on the role of psychologists in school systems.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Michigan

Michigan Psychological Association Foundation

The Michigan Psychological Association Foundation grant supports doctoral research dissertations in multicultural psychology. The award supports a student’s research activities and provides an opportunity to present their work at the annual Michigan Psychological Association conference.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: December 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Student committees must approve the research proposal before the student applies for grant funding. Applicants must be student members of the association and sponsored by a member.

Marlene O’Neil Scholarship

Awarded by the Michigan Psychological Association, the scholarship supports graduate psychology students with high academic performance and a commitment to community service. Recipients accept the award during the association’s spring banquet.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students may apply for the award if they are enrolled in a master’s or doctorate psychology program at a Michigan school. Students must be a student member in good standing and sponsored by a professional member of the Michigan Psychological Association.

Cereta Perry Scholarship

The Michigan School of Professional Psychology awards this scholarship in honor of Cereta Perry, Ph.D, who helped found the school in Farmington Hills, Michigan. First-year master’s students may apply for $1,000 while continuing students may be awarded $2,000 tuition waivers. The scholarship program supports a diverse student body, with awards reserved for students of ethnic, cultural, religious, or sexual identify minority groups.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000-$2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: August 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be accepted to or enrolled in graduate study at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. The application requires a one-page essay. Students may renew the scholarship if they attain satisfactory academic progress.

Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship

Available to doctoral students at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology, the Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship honors the school alumnae and former librarian. The scholarship committee considers academic achievement and commitment to humanistic psychology along with advocacy for the school.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 20
  • Eligibility Requirements: Application includes a two-page essay describing the impact the scholarship will have on the student’s academic pursuits as well as student involvement in humanistic psychology. One faculty recommendation must also be submitted.

Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award

The Michigan School of Professional Psychology created the Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award in 2004 to support a doctoral student committed to issues of diversity and social justice. Though not required, the scholarship selection gives preference to underrepresented ethnic, racial, or cultural minorities.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 20
  • Eligibility Requirements: The criteria considers the promotion of diversity issues and advocacy for underserved populations. Applicants must include a personal essay and faculty recommendation.

Anne Miller-Quimper Scholarship

Central Michigan University awards the Anne Miller-Quimper Scholarship to support dissertation research of graduate students in school psychology. The award considers the research project, with preference to those proposals with a high probability of publication.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: January 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Proposals must involve empirical research in areas of early childhood, diverse backgrounds, or students with low incidence of disabilities. Applications must include a recommendation from the faculty research sponsor.

Wilber Wright Scholarship

Central Michigan University awards the Wilber Wright Scholarship to a junior or first-semester senior student in psychology to support first-generation college students. The $100 award helps pay for books or other school-related expenses.

  • Amount Offered: $100
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 14
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must maintain full-time enrollment in the psychology program and meet a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Anne Rudo Memorial Scholarship

The University of Michigan offers the need-based Anne Rudo Memorial Scholarship to undergraduate students in psychology and biology. The scholarship’s namesake passed away during her senior year at the University where she had studied psychology with a minor in biology. She planned to study medicine at the graduate level and volunteered in the medical field.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 3
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must submit two letters of recommendation and provide a personal statement highlighting academic and volunteer work, career goals, and interest in psychology, biology, and medicine.

Barbara A. Oleshansky Memorial Fund

The Barbara A. Oleshansky Memorial Fund supports outstanding women graduate students with financial need. Students may only receive the award once during their graduate training. Oleshansky’s family established the award with the goal of providing students the funds necessary to complete her studies.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: December 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: The area chair may nominate one student for the award. Students should provide the chair with a two-page research proposal that includes a specific research question and a record of the student’s academic history. The PSychology SAA Committee selects recipients.

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 Higher Learning Commission or the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accredited online psychology degrees in Michigan offer a high-quality education, while ensuring graduate programs accept the bachelor’s degree. While the United States Department of Education doesn’t offer official accreditation, it does maintain a database of recognized accrediting agencies.

While regional and national accreditation certifies a college or university, specialized accreditation ensures a program provides a rigorous curriculum in areas necessary to succeed in a career. Doctorate psychology programs often seek accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA also accredits doctoral-level internships and postdoctoral 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 an accredited program.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Michigan

Students ready to begin their journey to a rewarding career in psychology will find all accredited online psychology programs in Michigan in the following database. Students should evaluate each school’s course offerings and opportunities for hands-on learning through practicums, clinical internships, or research assistantships, to ensure the program will meet their career goals and licensing requirements.