Online Psychology Degree Programs in Missouri

Do you enjoy observing patterns of human behavior? Are you fascinated by the structure and inner workings of human brains? The field of psychology offers plenty of opportunities to work closely with people to identify and treat psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues, and develop corresponding treatment plans. Psychologists also immerse themselves in the latest scientific research to better diagnose issues and educate others.

While psychologists work in fields as varied as industry, private practice, and criminal justice, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 14% increase in clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, specifically, over the next decade. With 13 public universities and 24 colleges — and several million dollars in funding allocated to mental health initiatives — the state of Missouri is a top-notch choice for students seeking a graduate education in psychology.

Mental Health Initiatives in Missouri

In 2013, the state's Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and Drug/Alcohol Abuse departments combined to form The Division of Behavioral Health. With a team social workers, substance abuse counselors, and psychologists, the department launched the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) to provide 24/7 outpatient services to mentally ill community members. Employees work in a patient's home to treat psychotic disorders and help them with daily activities. ACTT is also an extension of the mental health prevention, education, and treatment programs for residents.

2013 was also the start of the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative. Organizers created community mental health liaisons (CMHL) to work as go-betweens for residents and law enforcement agencies. CMHL's help law enforcement officials locate behavioral health treatment services for involuntary and voluntary commitments. They also educate court officials on dealing with mentally ill patients and coordinating care. Additional Initiative programs include Mental Health First Aid and a 12-step program for the loved ones of the mentally ill.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Missouri?

Missouri psychologists must earn a doctoral or postdoctoral degree in psychology before qualifying for certification. The Division of Professional Registration and Committee of Psychologists only approves programs accredited by the American Psychological Association. Students must also complete at least 1,500 hours of supervised clinical work before registering for the exam.

Choose the Path That's Right for You: A licensed clinical psychologist must complete a doctoral degree in psychology. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and pass a background check. For those who wish to teach at the postsecondary teachers must obtain a valid Missouri teaching license in addition to a doctoral degree. Secondary level teachers can teach psychology with a master's degree, but only after receiving proper student-teacher training.

Earn Your Degree: Modern technology enables students to complete an online psychology degree in Missouri no matter where they live. Many online psychology programs also employ on-campus teachers to lead distance learning classes, ensuring online students receive the same rigorous coursework. To apply for an online bachelor's program, students must follow the general admission requirements of the school. Master's and doctoral students must follow the application guidelines of the school's psychology department more specifically. Students also should expect to complete internships or fellowships to satisfy the clinical training and research requirements needed to graduate.

Earn Your License: A student's coursework and clinical experience serve as a foundation for licensing exams. Graduates must complete national examinations to receive full licensure in Missouri. Tests are based on state laws, ethics, and competency, and a jurisprudence exam focuses on the Missouri Psychology Practice Act and Rules. The exam includes 100 questions and usually takes three hours to complete. Licensure doesn't guarantee a job, but it is a requirement to be employed as a psychologist in Missouri.

Psychology Licensing in Missouri

Licensure requirements differ for psychologists, counselors, and social workers, however all licensed mental health workers must complete at least 1,500 of supervised clinical training. Social workers and counselors must have a minimum of a master's degree in counseling or psychology, while clinical psychologists must earn a doctoral degree before registering with the state. Choosing a degree track or profession can be overwhelming, and the table below outlines some of the requirements.

Licensed Psychologist

Doctoral degree, 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Therapist

Total Fees: Examination for Professional Practice in Missouri: $600 testing fee; $60 computer registration fee

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Master's degree or doctoral degree in social work, master social work licensure, 3,000 hours of clinical experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Substance abuse counselor

Total Fees: Association for Social Work exam $230-260

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Master's degree in marriage and family therapy, 3,000 hours supervised clinical experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Professional counselor
  • Licensed psychologist/clinical social worker
  • Psychiatrist

Total Fees: Association of marital and family therapy regulatory boards: $350

LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

Master's degree in psychology or social work, 3,000 hours of supervised clinical work

Careers Available With This License:

  • School counselor

Total Fees: National counselor exam: $185; registration fee: $75-100

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Master's in counseling psychology, 3,000 hours of supervised experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Licensed professional counselor
  • Provisional licensed professional counselor

Total Fees: National counselor exam: $275

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Missouri

To complete an online psychology degree in Missouri, students complete an internship or fellowship. Undergraduate or graduate students complete internships, while doctoral and postdoctoral students apply for any number of fellowships. Internships usually last for three to six months, the average length of a school semester. Fellowships, on the other hand, are year-long assistantships that include a monthly or yearly stipend equivalent to an annual salary. Fellows work under the guidance of a licensed psychologist to execute a research project.

  • St. Louis Psychology Internship Consortium: The consortium internship is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Interns coordinate inpatient and outpatient services within individual and group settings. Interns are trained by faculty designated by the Consortium to supervise the program.
  • Fulton State Hospital: Fulton State Hospital hosts a doctoral internship program broken into two groups: general treatment and forensic evaluation. Each track lasts for six months. The hospital also has two year-long mini-rotations in program evaluation and psychological assessment.

Psychology Careers in Missouri

Within the last decade, Missouri invested millions of dollars into various mental health initiatives. Psychologists, substance abuse counselors, and social workers participate in these programs by working as liaisons between mentally ill patients, law enforcement, and the general public. Psychology graduates lead mental health first aid training courses and the crisis intervention team created to help law enforcement de-escalate situations. Community mental health liaisons work directly with the court system to rehabilitate people dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Missouri?

A psychology student's salary largely depends on their education, location, and experience. Psychologists account for just 0.6% of Missouri's workforce, but the state is making strides to improve psychiatric care and attract more psychology teachers. A little over 100,000 U.S. residents work as psychologists, so the field is small nationwide. At minimum, a master's in psychology online Missouri is a requirement for counselors working directly with patients, but research psychologists can forego licensure in some instances. The table below highlights average salaries and employment statistics for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.\

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Missouri 1,590 $31.04 $64,550
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Missouri

Mental health service providers range from small private practices to large-scale psychiatric facilities. Mid-sized facilities make up the bulk of Missouri's mental health centers, providing inpatient services to patients that require hospitalization for an extended period, or outpatient services for local residents. New graduates are most likely to find employment at a mid-tier facility like these below.

  • Family Guidance Center: 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/testing, and domestic violence intervention.
  • Clark Community Mental Health Center: Clark Center services residents in Lawrence, Dade, and Barry counties. The center provides child and adult case management which includes a 24-hour crisis hotline. They hire licensed professional counselors, psychologists, and mental health nurse practitioners.
  • Tri-County Mental Health Services: Tri-county services over 8,000 people in Platte, Ray, and Clay counties. The Adult Day program offers recreational and educational activities to adults with mental health disorders.
  • New Horizon Community Support Services: New Horizons has been working diligently in Cole and Boone counties since 1977. The center received certification from the Department of Health and funding from several agencies including medicare.

Mental Health Research Centers in Missouri

Local research centers provide students with many internship and fellowship opportunities. Students that intern at a research center are more likely to receive a fellowship or job offer from the center after completing their assistantship. Most centers provide inpatient/outpatient services in addition to research studies, making them suitable choices for many psychology graduates.

  • Psychiatric Care and Research Center: The O'Fallon center conducts research on common mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. The chief researcher screens patients to participate in voluntary studies.
  • 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 boasts a relationship and sexual violence assessment initiative to deal with issues victims of sexual violence face.
  • Missouri Institute of Mental Health: The center works to improve public policy and treatment through brain research. They also offer professional training to employees to assist them in earning accreditation. Researchers at the institute work closely with the Mental Health First Aid teams.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Students enrolled in psychology Ph.D programs in Missouri should join a professional association to expand their contacts and stay abreast of new developments in the industry. Associations provide members with access to continuing education materials and special conferences. Students shouldn't wait until after graduation to join an organization; many associations accept students or support a sister organization for undergraduates. Professional organizations also provide graduates with career services to help with job placement after school.

  • Missouri Mental Health Counselors Association (MMHCA):The MMHCA works exclusively with licensed professional counselors in Missouri. Members receive access to continuing education courses and discounts for conference tickets. The association also advocates for new legislation regarding mental health policies and workers.
  • American Counseling Association of Missouri (ACAM): ACAM accepts counselors from every industry, including education and corporate America, and host the annual ACAM conference.
  • Committee for Professional Counselors: The committee is the foremost authority on psychological licensure and registration in Missouri. The governor appoints members and they work closely with the Division of Professional Registration to review legislature, budgets, application requirements, and handle complaints.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Missouri

Jennifer L. Stewart Memorial Psychology Scholarship

Open to Missouri State University students pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Applicants must take at least six credit hours per semester. They must also submit a statement of their career objectives

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must maintain a 3.25 or higher GPA

Mary C. Schulte Scholarship

The scholarship is based on an endowment provided by the Schulte family to Missouri State University. Applicants must be graduate students pursuing master's degree in industrial organizational psychology.

  • Amount Offered: $1,275
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Student must complete General and Departmental scholarship application and submit a FAFSA

Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship

Need-based scholarship for students working to put themselves through college.Student must be enrolled at a participating Missouri institution. Students must also be enrolled at least part-time in a degree program.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: August 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Student maintains a 2.5 GPA or higher and submit current FAFSA information. Students cannot be enrolled in a work-study program

Kids' Chance Scholarship

This grant provides financial assistance to a child with a parent that has suffered a work-related injury or death in the state of Missouri. The accident must be recognized by Missouri's Division of Worker's Compensation

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be the child of an injured worker and maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA

Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Div 40) Dissertation Award

Dedicated to graduate students pursuing a degree in neuropsychology and working on a research dissertation.Students may be invited to present their dissertation at the annual APA conference

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: Jan 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Student must be a member of Division 40 and a full-time graduate student in an APA-approved program

William L. Clay Scholarship

Awarded to Missouri high school students interested in attending a four year institution to pursue the degree of their choice. Scholarship amount varies and sometimes covers the entire cost of tuition and fees.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a high school senior attending a four-year institution

ALLEMANN: Clyde R. Allemann Memorial Scholarship

Created for current college graduates from Greene County, MO, pursuing a postdoctoral degree in medicine. Students submit a one page essay and a letter of recommendation from a professor.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 16
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must attend an accredited medical/graduate school and demonstrate financial need

Ann and Doug Sickles Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship dedicated to southwestern Missouri residents, specifically residing in Lawrence County, attending an accredited Missouri higher education institution. Applicants must be nontraditional students majoring in the social sciences.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 10
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be full-time student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher

Bill & Betty Kimberling Ed Scholarship

Student must attend a SGF institution — such as Missouri Southern State University or Drury University — and major in psychology or social work. Only applicable to college juniors and seniors.

  • Amount Offered: $500
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 16
  • Eligibility Requirements: Submit 400-word statement and two letters of reference

Gabby Girls Scholarship

Created for Missouri women enrolled at an accredited four-year institution. Applicant must be a college junior or senior and submit their financial information for consideration.

  • Amount Offered: $500
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 10
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Missouri

Students must earn their online psychology degree in Missouri from an accredited institution to receive approval from state and national licensure and examination boards. Accrediting bodies evaluate the academic programs at a higher education institution to ensure their rigor and ability to prepare students for their respective fields. Regional accreditation is the most prestigious evaluation standard, and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 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 three to five years by different national accrediting bodies. Psychology programs undergo specialized accreditation through the American Psychological Association or American Association of State Psychology Boards. Specialized accreditation prepares students to take rigorous licensure exams and practice psychology in their state.

Program Database of Online Psychology 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.

Program Database

School Degree Levels State