Online Psychology Degree Programs in Mississippi

Psychology is an engaging, popular major that offers transferable skills and opens a range of attractive career options to graduates. Earning an online psychology degree in Mississippi provides graduates with a flexible, convenient, and affordable route toward advanced and lucrative career paths in many specializations in psychology, including clinical mental health, counseling, research, teaching, psychopharmacology, and public service. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D in psychology in Mississippi can choose among several rigorous doctoral programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). If your career aspirations include Christian ministry or private practice in pastoral counseling psychology, you will find many educational and employment options well suited to your career path in the state. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists are ranked among the top 100 occupations in Mississippi in average earnings, with an average hourly wage of $35.16, and an average annual salary of $73,130.

Mental Health Initiatives in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) oversees a network of state, regional, and private nonprofit programs providing services in mental health, substance abuse treatment, and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Components of these programs include residential behavioral health service providers, psychiatric hospitals providing inpatient services, community based drug and alcohol services, and mobile crisis response teams. The DMH 2016 annual report details current initiatives, including certification of peer support specialists, employment for people with mental illness, and evidence-based prevention programs. Through a collaborative effort with other public and private contributors, the DMH also trains, counsels, and educates care providers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The DMH has also been selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to receive funding for a service program to address the housing and support needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness with substance use or mental health disorders.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Mississippi?

In most states, candidates for professional careers in psychology must proceed through similar processes of education and licensing: earn a graduate degree, complete a supervised internship, pass a background check, and pass state and national licensing exams. Note, however, that there are some unique details for Mississippi’s procedures and costs.

Choose the Path That’s Right for you: Most career paths in psychology require a doctoral degree at minimum, particularly for the more advanced and lucrative positions. Students interested in research, clinical work as a licensed psychologist, or teaching psychology to postsecondary students can select among the handful of psychology Ph.D programs in Mississippi with career advancement in mind. Those who plan to practice psychotherapy but do not need the psychologist title can opt for a master’s in psychology online in Mississippi.

Earn Your Degree: Most doctoral programs in psychology require four to seven years to complete. You may be able to take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of online study to reduce your degree completion time. Some programs require specific course prerequisites or prefer students with previous graduate school experience, so be sure to check each program’s requirements. Internships are required for psychology students, and Mississippi is one of a few states that requires internships to be accredited by the APA.

Earn Your License: Licensing as a professional psychologist in Mississippi requires a doctoral degree, two years of supervised work experience, and passing scores on licensing exams. The Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) is a three to five hour test, with fees just under $700; plan for four to six months of preparatory study time. The board considers each candidate individually, so licensure is not guaranteed, but attending APA-accredited psychology programs in Mississippi increases your chances of success in exams and employment.

Psychology Licensing in Mississippi

Licensing possibilities for counselors and psychologists are many, and it pays to choose carefully since your license will shape your career. Most psychology students with career goals in research or full-time postsecondary teaching pursue the licensed psychologist credential. Any of the licenses in the table below will permit clinical practice, and all licensees can diagnose and treat mental health disorders. The table below details prerequisites, career options, and fees for psychology licenses in Mississippi.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites:
Requires a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in psychology, a one-year supervised internship (2000 hours), one year of supervised postdoctoral work experience (2000 hours), passing scores on the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), and an oral exam.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Research psychologist
  • School psychologist
  • Psychology professor
  • Counselor or therapist

Total Fees: Exam fee: up to $700


Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Prerequisites:
Requires a master’s in social work, a background check, two years (3,000 hours) of supervised social work experience, and a passing score on an exam through the Association of Social Work Boards.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical social worker
  • Mental health counselor or therapist

Total Fees: Exam fee: $230-$260


Marriage & Family Therapist

Prerequisites:
Requires a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy including a one-year practicum, three letters of reference, a background check, and a passing score on the National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Psychology instructor
  • Mental health counselor or therapist

Total Fees:

  • Exam fee: . $355
  • Application for licensure fee: $100
  • Initial license fee: $200 (may be prorated)
  • Total fees: $655


Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Prerequisites:
Known as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Mississippi. Requires a master’s degree in counseling or psychology (at least 60 semester credits), two years (3,500 hours) of supervised clinical experience, a background check, and a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor or therapist
  • Psychology instructor
  • School counselor

Total Fees:

  • Exam fee: $275
  • Application for licensure fee: $100
  • Total fees: $375


National Certified Counselor

Prerequisites:
Elective certification, requires a master’s degree in counseling (a minimum of 48 credits), including one course in orientation to professional counseling and six credits of supervised field experience, 3,000 hours of postgraduate experience, professional endorsement, and passing exam score. Mississippi requires the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor or therapist
  • Psychology instructor
  • School counselor

Total Fees: Exam fee: $275

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Mississippi

Candidates for licensure as professional psychologists must complete two years of supervised work experience meeting Mississippi Board of Psychology standards, including a one year pre-doctoral internship and one year of postdoctoral experience. Internships are supervised pre-doctoral training opportunities for graduate students, while fellowships are supervised post-doctoral professional positions. Internships are required for all psychology students while pursuing an online psychology degree; Mississippi offers several options. The following organizations offer APA-approved internship opportunities for psychology students in Mississippi.

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center: The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers one year clinical and research psychology internships in the department of psychiatry and human behavior. To apply, complete an Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (AAPI) application online.
  • Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System: Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System offers internships in Biloxi for doctoral students in psychology, with emphasis on developing generalist skills in the field. Application requirements include an AAPI online application, four letters of recommendation, and an interview.
  • North Mississippi Regional Center (NMRC): Operating under supervision of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the NMRC is a care facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Internships are arranged collaboratively with the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University.

Psychology Careers in Mississippi

Graduates of psychology programs in Mississippi pursue a variety of clinical, counseling, research, and teaching careers. Recent Mississippi Department of Mental Health initiatives indicate employment possibilities for psychologists who specialize in behavioral health, forensic work, treatment of dementia, substance abuse disorders, services for at-risk youth, and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to data from the BLS, projected long term employment growth in Mississippi is 17% for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, 19.6% for psychology teachers at the postsecondary level, and 22.2% for industrial-organizational psychologists.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Mississippi?

Salaries for psychologists in Mississippi vary based on industry, professional experience, company size, credentials, and location. In addition to base salary, other factors that may be relevant include health benefits, bonuses, and commissions. According to data from the BLS, the hourly mean wage for practicing psychologists in Mississippi is $35.16 and the annual mean wage is $73,130, which is slightly lower than the national averages for the field.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Mississippi 70 $35.16 $73,130
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Mississippi

After you graduate with your online psychology degree, Mississippi offers a variety of opportunities to ease your way into employment. If you’re interested in a career in mental health counseling, it’s a good idea to investigate potential employers and service providers such as psychiatric facilities, therapy offices, and hospitals in advance.

  • Oxford Counseling Center: Oxford Counseling Center is a private office offering affordable and confidential therapy specializing in couples and family therapy, sex and intimacy therapy, treatment of anxiety and depression, and military therapy, including online counseling sessions.
  • Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare: Brentwood is a centrally located behavioral health center providing acute inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services. Services include adult clinical trials, a substance abuse intensive outpatient program, and support services for children and adolescents.
  • The Cornerstone Group: The Cornerstone Group is a private office offering Christian marital and family counseling, business and life coaching, and business and parenting consulting. Counselors streamline their therapeutic approach to create attainable goals and practical action plans.
  • Mississippi State Hospital: This publicly funded program of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health offers hospital beds, nursing home beds, and substance use treatment. Individuals are treated by an interdisciplinary team of professionals, including psychologists.
  • Anxiety Specialists Counseling Center: The ASCC is a private center offering cognitive behavioral therapy, stress reduction, mindfulness, relaxation, health coaching, wellness workshops, and treatment of anxiety and depression with a solution-focused therapeutic approach.

Mental Health Research Centers in Mississippi

For inquisitive graduates interested in pursuing careers in research after earning their online psychology degree, Mississippi offers a variety of local opportunities. Prospective researchers would be wise to investigate research centers in the state with an eye toward selecting the right place to apply their skills and pursue professional ambitions after graduation.

  • Mississippi State University Psychology Clinic: The Mississippi State Psychology Clinic is a nonprofit research and training center operated by the department of psychology at Mississippi State. Staffed by graduate students, the clinic offers mental health services including psychological assessments, therapy, and parent education.
  • Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience: The Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary research group affiliated with the University of Mississippi medical center. The center studies the relationship between neuroscience and clinical psychiatry to improve understanding of the biological components of psychiatric illness.
  • Precise Research Centers: Precise Research Centers is a research group serving the central Mississippi region by conducting inpatient and outpatient clinical studies with investigative medications for treatment of substance abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other disorders.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Organizations for mental health professionals offer a host of impressive member benefits for students, recent graduates, and professionals in the field. Most organizations offer continuing education, which serves the field well since licensed mental health professionals in Mississippi must complete continuing education at regular intervals in order to renew their licenses. Other common members-only benefits include legislative advocacy, professional liability insurance, annual conferences, online discussion forums, member discounts, specialist credentialing programs, and research funding grants.

  • American Mental Health Counselors Association: The AMHCA provides recognition of expertise in clinical mental health counseling and offers opportunities to qualify for specialist credentials. Member benefits include continuing education, legislative advocacy, an annual conference, community forums, and discounted liability insurance.
  • Mississippi Psychological Association: The Mississippi Psychological Association advances psychology through contributing to scientific knowledge, educating the public, and promoting health through applications of knowledge in the field. Member benefits include continuing education, grants for scientific research, and networking opportunities.
  • Mississippi Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: A division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, this association offers training and advocacy for marriage and family therapists in Mississippi. Member benefits include therapist referral, legal consultation, continuing education, and professional liability insurance.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Mississippi

Larry and Elizabeth Payne Scholarship

Offered to up to six incoming freshmen majoring in education or psychology, this scholarship may be renewed for up to four years. Dean of the College of Education and Psychology is responsible for the selection process.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Preference is given to Mississippi residents demonstrating financial need.


Zed Houston Burns Award in Psychology Endowment

This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student in psychology on awards day through the College of Education and Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a USM student.


Luther and Myrtis Flurry Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a full-time student in education or psychology. The student selected receives biographical information about the scholarship founders.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Preference is given to students who intend to teach in rural schools in Mississippi and must provide a description of teaching plans.


Altra Howse Hamman Scholarship

This endowed graduate scholarship is awarded to a full-time graduate student majoring in child development or family life.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a native-born citizen of the U.S., must be what the school deems “of high moral character”, with no grades below a B and one semester of graduate work with a GPA of 3.75.


University of Southern Mississippi

This award is for outstanding graduate thesis or dissertation research in psychology.

  • Amount Offered: Not specified
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: All graduate students are eligible and must provide a 500 word summary of the research project.


Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant

This scholarship provides financial assistance to Mississippi residents who do not already benefit from aid based on financial need. May be renewed for up to eight semesters.

  • Amount Offered: $500-$1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: September 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a legal resident of Mississippi for one year prior to application and a full-time student with a minimum GPA of 2.5.


Janie G. Rugg Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student in a doctoral program in counseling.

  • Amount Offered: $2,750
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be an active current member of Mississippi Counseling Association and must receive a recommendation from a major professor.


June Comola Scholarship

A memorial scholarship fund for counseling students that is awarded annually at the fall conference of the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association (MLPCA). The award must go toward tuition, conference expenses, or research.

  • Amount Offered: $750
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a member of the MLPCA with at least 24 completed credits in a master’s program in counseling at a regionally accredited school.


Martha Garrett Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student to support research in counseling.

  • Amount Offered: $750
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a member of Mississippi Counseling Association and Mississippi Graduate Student Counseling Association and must receive a recommendation from a major professor.


Charles Scott Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in counseling, or a degree as an educational specialist.

  • Amount Offered: $750
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be an active, current member of Mississippi Counseling Association and must receive a recommendation from a major professor.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Mississippi

As you consider options for earning an online psychology degree in Mississippi, be sure to verify that schools and programs of interest are properly accredited. Accreditation is a process of external peer review to ensure prospective students that an institution or program has met rigorous standards of quality and commitment to continuous improvement. Consider all three types of accreditation: regional, national, and field-specific. Regional accreditation is awarded by one of six accrediting bodies according to geographic region; it is a respected and widely held status.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the applicable regional accreditation agency for Mississippi. National accreditation agencies operate across the U.S., and typically accredit religious, technical, or for-profit schools. Credits earned at nationally accredited programs often do not transfer to other institutions and are not eligible for some financial assistance. The American Psychological Association, the largest professional and scientific organization for psychologists in the U.S., is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to provide field-specific accreditation for psychology programs.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Mississippi

As online education continues to gain prominence, it’s important to do your homework to find schools that will meet your needs and provide the educational foundation for your career aspirations. Our database is a great place to start; here you’ll find listings for all accredited online psychology programs in Mississippi.