Approximately 590 psychologists work in Nebraska to provide mental health services to the state's 1.9 million residents. As recognition of the need for increased access to mental and behavioral health services grows, along with the need to provide additional community interventions, opportunities for new psychologists will continue to emerge.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in the state to increase by 11.3% between 2016 and 2026. This guide can help you plan your educational path, from your undergraduate degree to your post-doctoral fellowship, and provides resources to help grow your career.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Nebraska Work?
With more than 20 psychology colleges in Nebraska, students can choose from many programs and concentrations. Many colleges and universities offer online learning options, especially at the undergraduate and master's degree levels. These courses offer the same academic rigor as on-campus programs, with added scheduling flexibility.
Graduate and doctoral programs often incorporate clinical practice within their curricula. Many schools offer these programs primarily on campus, though some classes may permit distance learning. Accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA), which only accredits doctoral programs, requires the bulk of the curriculum to take place on campus.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Nebraska?
Schools offer many different psychology courses, depending on the available specializations. The courses below provide a sampling of foundational classes and special topics students may study as part of their online psychology degrees in Nebraska.
- Social and Political Psychology
Social psychology often impacts political decisions. In this undergraduate course, students can explore theories and principles of social psychology to evaluate and assess political life. Learners approach political events with a research perspective to better understand ideology and public opinion; morality and political attitudes; stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; polarization and intergroup bias; and political violence.
- Cognitive Psychology
This branch of psychology uses empirical research into cognitive function to understand how humans learn, store knowledge, and recall it. Topics include attention, memory, reasoning, and the basic principles of cognitive neuroscience, including how cognitive impairment affects learning or thought processes and intervention strategies.
- Theories of Personality
Psychologists can use several theories to evaluate personality, such as psychoanalytic, biological, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic theories. This undergraduate course asks students to perform personality analysis, including preparing diagnoses and treatment plans for personality disorders. To succeed in this course, students must understand research methods in psychology.
- History and Systems of Psychology
While new findings continue to expand psychologists' understanding of human behavior, but psychology has a long history. This undergraduate course examines key figures in the development of psychology as a scientific area of study. The course includes a review of major psychological principles, such as behaviorism, structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience.
- Mindfulness and Meditation
This course explores traditional theories and modern scientific research into various practices in introspection and meditation. The undergraduate course observes historical origins of mindfulness practices and how they can overlap with psychology, especially in behavioral intervention or psychotherapy. Students may also take part in mindfulness or meditation exercises.
Becoming a Psychologist in Nebraska
Nebraska offers licensing for psychologists and psychologist assistants, with rigorous educational standards, supervised practice, and exam requirements. Your online psychology degree in Nebraska is the first step on your career path. Read on to learn more about relevant educational standards and the steps for gaining state licensure from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Psychology has a broad field of subspecialties and interdisciplinary concentrations. While a general degree can prepare you for academic study and research, choosing a specialization early can help with tailoring your education to your career goals. Taking a few electives within a specialization also helps determine if you want to pursue that field.
Earn Your Degrees
Begin by earning an undergraduate degree in psychology from a regionally accredited college or university. This four-year degree sets the foundation for your continued study and ensures you understand key principles, such as qualitative or quantitative data analysis. If possible, take advantage of practical learning opportunities through your school or volunteer with service providers in your community.
Next, earn your master's degree in psychology from a regionally accredited school. Your coursework should provide opportunities to choose a specialization. For example, individuals interested in becoming school psychologists should consider specialized programs in that field. Nebraska offers a psychologist assistant license for individuals with master's degrees. These trained professionals can administer, score, and interpret psychological assessments under the supervision of licensed psychologists. Most master's programs require 1-2 years of study.
Nebraska requires licensed psychologists to complete a doctorate in psychology from a school accredited by APA or that meets APA's academic standards. Curriculum should include an extensive internship. Most doctorates also require students to write dissertations that explore original research. Enrollees typically need 5-7 years to graduate from a doctoral program.
Nebraska requires a two-step licensing process for psychologists. Graduates must apply for a provisional license once they complete their doctorates. This application reviews their transcripts and requires a one-year internship. Each applicant must also provide proof of citizenship or legal residency, a background check, and an application fee.
A provisional license allows an aspiring psychologist to work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist for at least 1,500 hours over the next two years. Once complete, applicants can seek permission to take the examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP) and the Nebraska jurisprudence exam. Nebraska charges an application fee to upgrade the provisional license to a full license.
Other Licenses and Certifications
Your psychology education can also prepare you for other mental health positions. The three examples below all require a master's degree in counseling, psychology, or a related discipline. While each includes a more narrow scope of practice than a psychologist, they offer the chance to begin working sooner, without the need to earn a doctorate.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
These professional counselors often work in government or nonprofit agencies. They provide holistic client services, including mental health diagnosis and treatment. They often help their clients access other needed services, like housing or healthcare.
Marriage and Family Therapist
MFTs work in private practices, as part of a group of therapists and behavioral health professionals, or through integrated healthcare organizations, such as hospitals or physician groups. They help couples and families to manage conflicts or behavioral concerns.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed counselors can establish a private practice, work as part of a group, or work in a nonprofit, for-profit, or government mental health agency or hospital. They help clients with mental health concerns, including substance abuse, depression, and chronic mental illnesses.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Nebraska
Nebraska offers strong educational programs, a growing economy, and fiscal stability, earning it ninth place in the U.S. News & World Report annual best states list. Individuals choose Nebraska for its high-quality schools, as the state also ranks ninth in pre-kindergarten through high school education and seventh for higher education. Living in Nebraska is also affordable, with a cost of living index of 94.7 and a poverty rate below the national average.
While the average salary for psychologists in Nebraska is lower than the surrounding states, wages range from $32,700 in the bottom 10th percentile to upwards of $103,250 in the 90th percentile. The BLS projects job growth of 11.3% for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Nebraska. Job growth remains strong for other psychology fields as well, with 8.3% growth for postsecondary psychology teachers and 11.1% growth projected for all other psychologists.
Nebraska at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 5.64%
Population Growth Rank: 22
Source: United States Census Bureau
|Mean Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth (2016-26)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary||General Unemployment Rate||Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth|
|Omaha - Council Bluffs||$68,500||3.0%||1.6%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in Nebraska -- Frequently Asked Questions
Before choosing a psychology college in Nebraska, consider the following common questions related to your undergraduate and graduate program. Take the time to ask questions at each school that interests you and, when possible, talk with advisors and other students for additional insight.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Nebraska?
The education for psychologists in Nebraska requires a minimum of eight years to complete, followed by at least one year and 1,500 hours of supervised practice. An individual with an online master's in psychology in Nebraska may qualify for other mental health licensing options or for work as a psychology assistant.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Online courses use many instructional methods to introduce academic concepts to students, such as recorded lectures, independent reading assignments, and online discussion boards. Faculty members hold distance learners to the same rigorous academic standards found in on-campus courses. Assessments can include research papers, group projects, and exams. Students need excellent time management skills to stay on track with online courses.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
Psychologists help their patients overcome behavioral health conditions, so they need a caring demeanor and excellent communication skills. They actively listen to clients and carefully observe behavior and actions to correctly diagnose conditions. Psychologists must use problem-solving skills to develop comprehensive treatment plans and organizational skills to track client progress.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Nebraska?
Eighteen colleges and universities offer an undergraduate degree in psychology in Nebraska, while seven schools offer advanced degree opportunities. When evaluating each institution, consider the type of degree you need, the available specializations, and the school's accreditation status. Other items to consider include school cost, on-campus requirements, and scholarship or funding opportunities.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?
BA and BS degrees in psychology will both prepare you for continued study in graduate school. The BS incorporates more analytical and scientific courses, which is especially helpful for individuals planning to take on research work. The BA offers an interdisciplinary approach, with more courses in the social sciences, language, and history. Either degree prepares you for applying to psychology master's programs in Nebraska.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Nebraska
Accreditation is one of the most important qualifiers when researching psychology programs in Nebraska. When a school or program is accredited, they have met specific academic standards and guidelines set forth by an accrediting agency. Without accreditation, the credits you earn may not be transferable to other institutions, and a degree earned from a non-accredited institution may not be recognized by employers or licensing boards.
Regionally accredited institutions usually only accept credits from schools with regional accreditation, while nationally accredited schools often accept credit on a national or regional level. National accreditation is typically reserved for trade schools or for-profit colleges.
Most schools in Nebraska receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Outside of regional and national accreditation, some programs may be accredited by major-specific agencies. Psychology doctorate programs, for example, should be accredited by APA. Many state licensing boards require APA-accredited degrees.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Nebraska
Internships can be paid or unpaid, and they help students earn career experience and course credit while still in school. Fellowships are generally held by graduate or postgraduate students, who are usually paid for their work. This helps with research projects and graduate studies.
Hospitals, nonprofit agencies, and for-profit companies all offer internship and fellowship opportunities. The list below provides a starting point for aspiring psychologists seeking practical learning opportunities. Learners should try to tailor their internships or fellowships to their specializations. Some organizations may have a competitive application process.
Lasting Hope Recovery Center
Counselors in this in-patient center help people with long-term and acute mental health issues, such as mental illnesses and substance abuse struggles. Counselors and health providers follow a "trauma-informed care" model of treatment.
Omni Inventive Care
With locations in Beatrice, Omaha, and Lincoln, this large provider is affiliated with the University of Nebraska (NU) Department of Psychology. Counselors and mental health professionals at these facilities specialize in eating disorder therapy, individual counseling, and substance abuse recovery.
This research group recruits patients willing to participate in trials and experiments for mental health and psychology studies. Patients are compensated for volunteering.
Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation
Housed in the University of Nebraska Medical Center, students and full-time faculty at this facility conduct research on pediatric behaviors, autism, and communication disorders.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Psychologists must continue learning after graduation. Continuing education and professional development can ensure that psychologists remain current on best practices and treatment methods. Professional development is also part of the licensing renewal process. The professional organizations below can help psychologists earn required continuing education credits while also providing networking opportunities.
- Nebraska Psychological Association This statewide organization formed in 1951 as an affiliate of APA. Members enjoy inclusion in the association directory, access to the professional listserv, and access to the online resource library. Other benefits include reduced fees and guaranteed registration for continuing education workshops and conferences, peer consultations for ethical issues, and updates on legislative changes that affect psychologists and their clients.
- American Psychological Association This national organization provides members with free continuing education credits each year, along with access to professional publications and discounts on books, DVDs, and conference registration. New psychologists can receive access to business services as they build their practices. APA also offers more than 54 divisions related to psychology specializations.
- Nebraska Counseling Association This statewide affiliate of the American Counseling Association welcomes professional, retired, and student members. Members can receive discounts on training sessions and the annual fall conference. They also gain access to members-only resources and publications, in addition to leadership and advocacy opportunities. The organization offers scholarship opportunities and professional award programs.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association This national organization helps connect counselors with other professional counselors in their areas of specialization. The website includes a members-only online community. Members can also access webinars and home study programs for continuing education. The organization provides liability insurance, a digital newsletter, and a quarterly professional journal.
- Nebraska Association of School Psychologists School psychologists can access discussion forums to share best practices and network with others. They also enjoy discounted conference fees and the opportunity to attend workshops and continuing education sessions during the year. The organization provides resources, newsletters, and an online job board.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Nebraska
Community College Gap Assistance Program
This program is available to students below the poverty income level who attend Nebraska community colleges and are otherwise ineligible for federal aid. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in specific studies, such as health services.
- Amount Offered: Varies
- Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility Requirements: Nebraska residents taking courses at state community colleges may apply.
UNO Graduate Dissertation Scholarship
This scholarship is available to graduate students who are enrolled full-time at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), are taking dissertation hours, and require extra funds.
- Amount Offered: Depends on funding
- Scholarship Deadline: Second Friday in November
- Eligibility Requirements: Enrollees at UNO currently writing dissertations may apply.
UNO Summer Graduate Scholarship
This scholarship is available to graduate students enrolled in at least three graduate hours at UNO who have also shown academic excellence. Applicants admitted as candidates for doctoral programs may also apply.
- Amount Offered: Depends on funding
- Scholarship Deadline: First Friday in March
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in at least three graduate hours at UNO and have a minimum 3.75 GPA.
Regents Tuition Waivers
This tuition waiver benefits graduate students in the NU system who have earned at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Amount Offered: Varies, pays in-state tuition costs
- Scholarship Deadline: First Friday in March
- Eligibility Requirements: Graduate students enrolled in the NU system with a 3.0 GPA for two years of study may apply.
Filipino American Psychology Scholarship
This scholarship program aims to increase the number of Filipino Americans entering the field of psychology through research, education, or clinical practice. The award includes mentorship opportunities.
- Amount Offered: $500
- Scholarship Deadline: February 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be undergraduate seniors planning to pursue a graduate degree, or they can be first- or second-year graduate students studying psychology.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Nebraska
Now that you have a better sense of the various psychology degrees offered in Nebraska, you can seek out the ideal program for your academic needs. The following database includes all accredited online psychology programs in Nebraska.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in Nebraska
Nebraska has created unique public and private organization partnerships to address the mental health needs of its residents. A statewide initiative reported more than 600 at-risk youth benefited from Behavioral Health System of Care, which provides early intervention services at the community level. Other programs help educate the public on how to respond to a mental health emergency, reduce the incidence of suicide, and address the opioid addiction crisis.
Nebraska struggles with issues of access to mental health services. A 2018 report found provider shortages in 88 of 93 counties in Nebraska. This lack of providers leads to long waits for service. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported Nebraska residents utilized mental health services at roughly half the utilization rate of the United States in general, with 12.96% of residents in Nebraska seeking services.