Psychologists play an integral role in helping Americans address mental health disorders, trauma, and addiction. The demand for their services continues to grow as more Americans seek help to address these and other challenges. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% job growth rate for this profession between 2018-28, far greater than the 5% average growth rate for all occupations.
Learners interested in rewarding careers as psychologists in Missouri must meet licensure requirements, which begins with sound education and training. The Show-Me State offers some of the best psychology schools in the nation. On a ranking of more than 200 psychology programs by U.S. News & World Report, Washington University in St. Louis ranked 13th, far ahead of some of the nation's best colleges. The University of Missouri (Mizzou), University of Missouri Kansas City, St. Louis University, and University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) all make the list.
This page provides learners with information about pursuing online psychology degrees in Missouri, along with coursework, state licensure requirements, and the employment outlook in the state.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Missouri Work?
Online programs can provide students with flexible learning methods and more control of their education. Psychology colleges in Missouri offer fully online and hybrid degrees, depending on the institution. Some schools offer asynchronous programs that require no set time for students to view classes. Others offer synchronous programs with established log-on times.
Washington University offers a fully online BS in integrated studies with a concentration in psychology. A degree-seeker may even begin to specialize by using required professional studies credits to include a certificate in forensic psychology. Mizzou, a leader in distance learning in the state, offers a fully online BA in psychology. UMSL offers a blended BA and a BS in psychology. Students should research universities in the state to identify online programs that align with their aspirations.
Whichever schools they choose, learners can rest assured that online programs offer the same rigorous education as their on-campus counterparts if the school holds regional accreditation. When colleges and universities issue diplomas, they do not make a distinction between online and on-campus learning. As more learners choose this mode of delivery, employers value online degrees from reputable schools.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Missouri?
Coursework in psychology colleges in Missouri varies depending on the level of education. Students can expect to complete general education and upper-level psychology courses in undergraduate programs, along with more specialized coursework at the graduate level. The following list includes some common undergraduate courses in psychology programs.
Students can examine psychodynamic and humanistic personality theories, along with how psychologists apply them in clinical contexts. Faculty members introduce learners to some of the pioneering psychologists in this subdiscipline, such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Isabel Briggs Myers.
In this course, enrollees can explore how early childhood experiences and other factors help to develop a person's personality, intellect, and behavior. This course introduces degree-seekers to classical and recent theories in developmental psychology and the psychologists who helped develop them, such as Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Mary Dinsmore Ainsworth.
This course introduces students to abnormal psychology and behaviors. Enrollees can learn about classical and contemporary theories and research, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and some of the disorders in the DSM-5, such as psychopathology and schizophrenia.
An increasing number of colleges offer positive psychology courses as more Americans use the subdiscipline's concepts to help improve their lives. This course outlines the evidence of positive psychology's effectiveness in improving mental and physical health. Faculty members introduce students to pioneers in this field, such as Martin Seligman and Carol Dweck.
Enrollees in this course can explore forensic psychology applications in the legal system. They learn how forensic psychologists use their knowledge to explain criminal behaviors, assess a witness's competency and weigh in on child custody evaluations. This course introduces learners to pioneers like Wilhelm Wundt, Hugo Munsterberg, Elizabeth Loftus, and Ronald Roesch.
Becoming a Psychologist in Missouri
Most states require psychologists and other mental health professions to obtain licensure to practice in the state. In Missouri, students must meet educational and post-doctoral requirements. The following outlines how to qualify for licensure in the state.
SpecializeAs students plan their education in psychology, they should choose specialties as early as possible. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes 54 divisions that include subdisciplines in clinical, social, clinical neuropsychology, and pediatric psychology. A specialization plays an important role in what courses students should begin to take and college options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Faculty members at psychology colleges in Missouri have different areas of research specialization, which can affect program availability.
Earn Your DegreesDegree-seekers can begin their education in psychological science by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program, which typically take four years to complete. Schools like Mizzou, UMSL, and Washington University offer online baccalaureate programs in psychology. They may administer generous transfer policies to allow students to finish their degree more quickly.
The master's degree usually takes two years to complete if students enroll on a full-time basis. This often includes practicum/internship requirements that students fulfill at organizations in their communities. Students choose a specialization at the graduate level if not earlier. Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a fully online master's in industrial-organizational psychology. Students should research other graduate schools for online options in their specialization. However, they will find few options for online doctorates in psychology in Missouri.
Obtain LicensureThe Committee of Psychologists (SCOP) administers the licensing process for psychologists in Missouri. Each candidate must hold an APA-approved doctoral degree or one from a program accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association or Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System.
The program must include 1,500 hours of internship experience. Since Missouri requires a total of 3,500 hours of supervised professional experience, candidates can satisfy the remaining hours through post-internship hours, post-doctoral work, or other approved professional experience.
Candidates must apply to SCOP to sit for the national examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP), administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The 225-question computerized EPPP costs $600. Each candidate must also pass the jurisprudence exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering Missouri's Psychology Practice Act and Rules, with a particular emphasis on ethics.
Other Licenses and Certifications
Not everyone interested in a career in the mental healthcare profession will pursue a doctoral online psychology degree in Missouri. Some may begin their professional lives with a master's-level career, finding work as licensed clinical social workers or other roles in the field. We have included a few roles below that do not require a doctoral degree.
The Missouri State Committee for Social Workers licenses LMSWs in the state. Each candidate must hold a Council on Social Work Education-accredited master's degree and apply to the committee to take the master's-level Association of Social Work Boards exam, which consists of 170 multiple-choice questions. Once a candidate passes the exam and receives the license, they can begin the process of completing their necessary 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work experience.
The Missouri Committee of Marital and Family Therapists licenses MFTs in the state. Each candidate must possess a 48-credit, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education-accredited (or other approved) master's degree in MFT or mental health discipline. The candidate must also hold at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience, 1,500 of which must be in direct contact. Once the committee approves eligibility, candidates must take the national MFT exam developed by the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.
The Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors licenses LPCs in the state. Candidates must hold at least a 48-credit master's degree accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs in counseling or another mental health discipline. The candidate should also have at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience, including 1,200 hours in direct-client MFT contact. Once the committee approves the applicant's eligibility, each candidate must take the national counselor exam developed by the National Board for Certified Counselors, along with the state jurisprudence exam.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Missouri
With a 14% job growth rate and a median wage of $79,010, the national data from the BLS points to a bright outlook for psychologists. About 190 psychologists work in Missouri, according to BLS, making an average mean wage of $86,730. The average mean wage for psychologists in Missouri is competitive when compared to neighboring states like Illinois ($87,410) and Arkansas ($83,030), but much less than Kansas where psychologists earn an average mean wage of $102,910.
The best metropolitan areas for psychologists to find jobs in Missouri include Kansas City and Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers. Missouri ranks 28th on a U.S. News & World Report's list of the best states to live in the nation. The state's economy continues to thrive, ranking 23rd overall and taking 14th for best business environment. The state also boasts a strong education system that ranks 27th in the nation. Individuals who complete online psychology degrees in Missouri can enter the workforce supported by a promising economy.
Missouri at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 2.30%
Population Growth Rank: 35
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|
|Fayetteville - Springdale - Rogers||$82,180||2.6%||3.8%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in Missouri -- Frequently Asked Questions
Prospective students for psychology colleges in Missouri may have questions about coursework, how long programs last, and which schools provide the best online psychology degrees in the state. The following list provides some answers to these questions.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Missouri?A student must complete a Psy.D. or Ph.D. for licensure as a psychologist in Missouri. Degree-seekers can typically complete a bachelor's degree in four years. A master's degree takes about two years, with accelerated programs sometimes available. The Ph.D. takes 5-7 years to complete, and the Psy.D. takes 4-6 years.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Students engage in a challenging mix of theoretical and clinical coursework in psychology degree programs. The program's difficulty increases as students advance from lower-level to upper-level coursework and onto graduate studies. Some areas of study, such as research methodologies, may provide a significant challenge for some students.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?A successful therapeutic relationship between psychologist and client/patient depends on the practitioner's ability to listen attentively and communicate effectively. Psychologists must also have problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to get to the heart of the client's problem and determine an effective course of action. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders helps practitioners to make the right diagnosis and implement appropriate treatment plans.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Missouri?
Students can enjoy access to great online psychology degrees in Missouri. They include Washington University's fully online BS in integrated studies with a concentration in psychology, Mizzou's fully online BA in psychology, and the blended BA and BS in psychology at UMSL. Learners should investigate other online colleges for more options.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?A student interested in pursuing an online master's in psychology in Missouri often enrolls in a BS to receive a strong science background. Graduate schools do accept a BA or bachelor's degree with a concentration in psychology, but a BS provides more practical experience, such as laboratory work and research experience. Degree-seekers should consult college advisors to devise academic and career plans.
Online Psychology Degree Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Missouri
Each student must earn their online psychology degree in Missouri from an accredited institution to receive approval from state and national licensure boards. Accrediting bodies evaluate the academic programs at higher education institutions to ensure their rigor and ability to prepare aspiring professionals for their respective fields.
Regional accreditation is the most prestigious evaluation standard, and the Higher Learning Commission supervises Missouri institutions. Regional accreditation offers favorable advantages in funding and credit transfer, making credits easily transferable to other regional or national institutions. Regionally accredited schools also receive federal grants and scholarships.
Typically, vocational and technical schools receive national accreditation. These schools are evaluated every 3-5 years by different national accrediting bodies. Psychology programs undergo specialized accreditation through the APA or the American Association of State Psychology Boards. Specialized accreditation prepares students to take rigorous licensure exams and practice psychology in their state.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Missouri
To complete an online psychology degree in Missouri, students can participate in internships or fellowships. Undergraduate or graduate students complete internships, while doctoral and post-doctoral students can apply for fellowships. Internships usually last for 3-6 months, the average length of a school semester. Fellowships, on the other hand, are typically year-long assistantships that include a monthly or yearly stipend equivalent to an annual salary. Fellows work under the guidance of licensed psychologists to execute research projects.
As part of many undergraduate programs, students can complete paid or unpaid internships at mental health organizations. Read on for a list of relevant institutes that may offer internships.
Family Guidance Center of Alabama
Headquartered in St. Joseph, MO, the Family Guidance Center operates facilities in Maryville and Cameron. Centers coordinate treatment for children, adolescents, and adults, and services range from substance abuse counseling to psychiatric assessment.
Swope Health Services
Located in the greater Kansas City area, Swopes has been working in the community since 1969. They provide behavioral health outpatient and community services, such as in-home consulting, psychiatric evaluation, and domestic violence intervention.
Clark Community Mental Health Center
Clark Center provides service to residents in Lawrence, Dade, and Barry counties. The center handles child and adult case management, which includes a 24-hour crisis hotline. They hire licensed professional counselors, psychologists, and mental health nurse practitioners.
Institute for Public Health
The Institute is an extension of Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The interdisciplinary institute attracts members from the life and health sciences. The Institute also offers a sexual violence assessment initiative to deal with issues victims of sexual violence face.
Missouri Institute of Mental Health
This center works to improve public policy and treatment through brain research. Researchers at the institute work closely with the Mental Health First Aid teams.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations can give practitioners and students the support they need for professional success and continuing education. Most of these organizations also serve as advocates for their members and psychology or mental health counseling as a science. The following list includes some organizations in Missouri.
- Missouri Psychological Association For more than 60 years, MOPA has represented psychologists and psychology in Missouri. As a state-affiliate of APA, MOPA offers members access to continuing education and conferences, listserv membership, referral services, a career center, and relevant news updates.
- American Psychological Association APA is the largest organization representing psychology and psychologists in the nation. The organization consists of 118,000 members, including students, who reside and practice across the nation. APA offers a comprehensive repository of information, along with membership benefits like liability insurance, professional development, job listings, and networking events in each division.
- American Counseling Association of Missouri ACAM counseling professionals work in areas like healthcare, community agencies, residential care, and private practice. In addition to providing advocacy, ACAM offers members access to networking events, a newsletter, and legislative information.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA is a national organization with four regions: Midwest, North Atlantic, Southern, and Western. AMHCA, which oversees the standards of practice for clinical mental health counseling, also provides advocacy in affiliated states. Other member benefits include continuing education, publications like The Advocate, health and wellness benefits, and networking events.
- Missouri Association of School Psychologists MASP works to enhance the practice of school psychology and expand students' access to psychological services. The organization partners with many organizations to ensure better outcomes for children and families in the state. MASP manages four regions in Missouri and offers member benefits like advocacy on practitioners' behalf, access to conferences, and awards and scholarships.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Missouri
This scholarship is open to Missouri State University students pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Each applicant must take at least six credit hours per semester and submit a statement of their career objectives.
- Amount Offered: $2,000
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher.
The scholarship is based on an endowment provided by the Schulte family to Missouri State University. Applicants must be graduate students pursuing a master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology.
- Amount Offered: $1,275
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: A candidate must complete general and departmental scholarship applications and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
This need-based scholarship assists students working to put themselves through college. An applicant must maintain at least part-time enrollment with a participating Missouri institution.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: August 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit their current FAFSA information. Students cannot be enrolled in work-study programs.
This award is dedicated to graduate students pursuing a degree in neuropsychology and working on research dissertations. Learners may be invited to present their dissertations at the annual APA conference.
- Amount Offered: $1,250
- Scholarship Deadline: November 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Each candidate must maintain Division 40 membership as a full-time graduate student in an APA-approved program.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Missouri
The following database features information about accredited online psychology programs in Missouri. We've reviewed undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs to find the best options for distance learners. This comprehensive resource details program requirements and deadlines for applications. Contact information for the admissions department is included in each profile.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in Missouri
Many states develop initiatives to address the mental health needs of their citizens. In Missouri, the Department of Mental Health's Division of Behavioral Health oversees prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services available to citizens with mental health challenges.
Those in need of mental health care can access services for crisis intervention, community mental health centers and liaisons, outpatient community services, day treatment/partial hospitalization, and children's programs and services. Residents on Medicaid, employer-based, or private insurance can use some or all of these services. They can begin by going online to find a behavioral health treatment service locator.
Those with addiction challenges can also take part in services that target adults, adolescents, women, and those with opioid dependence. With all of these services, the state still lags in treating patients with mental health challenges. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a national agency, Missouri has a 12.5 treatment rate per 1,000 people, as compared to the 23.69 U.S. rate.