Online Psychology Degrees in New Jersey

The Garden State leads the nation in salaries for mental health professionals. Graduates of web-based psychology programs, especially psychology Ph.D. programs in New Jersey, earn more than psychologists in other states by a wide margin. This is only expected to grow; the state’s Department of Health has launched several initiatives in behavioral health, substance abuse, and wellness and recovery, and opportunities in the state abound. New Jersey isn’t currently graduating enough professionals to fill all the available positions, but fields of psychology and mental health continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the labor market for mental health counselors to expand by more than 17% in New Jersey in the coming years. The state boasts exceptional on-campus and online programs, a thriving job market, and a commitment to the wellbeing of its residents, making it a great time to enter the field in New Jersey.

Mental Health Initiatives in New Jersey

In October 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health absorbed the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which demonstrates how the state has changed its view of mental health. Like so many other places, New Jersey is treating the health of the mind no differently than the health of the body. The integration of behavioral health and primary care is one of several major initiatives the department is pursuing.

Other areas of focus include community building, wellness and recovery, opioid prevention, suicide prevention, mental health trauma related to disaster recovery, and workforce development among mental health and addiction counselors. New Jersey has made a firm commitment to the wellbeing of its residents, spending dramatically more than other places on state hospitals and community mental health, according to the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

How do I Become a Psychologist in New Jersey?

New Jersey psychologists are credentialed just like psychologists across the country. While the Garden State has its own wrinkles to entering the field, the process is largely the same as other states, which includes passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: The state requires applicants to have a doctorate in the field and two years of supervised work experience before putting in for licensure. Once licensed, psychologists can teach, work in a lab, or administer therapy. Some counseling professions only require a master’s degree, but they require additional certification or licensure of their own.

Earn Your Degree:Whichever direction you choose, you have to first earn your degree. The Garden State is home to a wealth of psychology programs, both on-campus and online, at the baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The typical path for psychologists in New Jersey begins in a bachelor’s program, where many schools begin specialization. A master’s in psych follows, typically lasting at least two years, with practicums and internships as necessary parts of the curriculum. These graduate-level programs also allow students to concentrate in fields like school counseling, marriage and family therapy, and sports psychology.

Finally, students enroll in a doctoral program. Some schools encourage degree candidates to enter a doctoral program after they finish their undergraduate studies, which can be a quicker route to a Ph.D. or Psy.D., shaving the usual seven years down to approximately four. Both the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) and the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) programs generally require students to complete clinical work. In total, you can expect your education to last at least a decade.

Earn Your License: After earning a graduate degree, you can then apply for licensure. New Jersey’s licensure process has several steps. The state requires a background check, and the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners also mandates that license candidates complete two years of supervised work in the field, with at least half coming post degree. Applicants must submit educational transcripts, including a copy of a student’s dissertation, proof of work experience, two certificates of “good moral character,” background check information, and the $125 application fee for approval. Only then is a candidate eligible to sit for the national standard Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a $687 test administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

Once passed, the student must also successfully complete a written jurisprudence exam covering the rules and regulations specific to New Jersey within 90 days. Work experience and most degree programs are great preparation, but it’s also a good idea to take the EPPP practice test to see how much additional studying may be needed. Exam fees are $100.

Receiving the news that you’ve passed your licensure exams may be a fantastic feeling, but it does not guarantee you a job. However, with the current shortage of counselors in the Garden State, it is an ideal start.

Psychology Licensing in New Jersey

Counseling is a diverse field. Like other doctors, psychologists typically specialize their practice and they often need additional certification or licenses to work in particular areas. For example, New Jersey requires marriage counselors to have a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license. Psychology grads can even earn some of these licensures before they earn their doctorate. The following table breaks down licensing in the Garden State.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites: Doctorate, two years of supervised experience, and passage of the EPPP exam and the New Jersey state jurisprudence exam.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Any professional practice in psychology

Total Fees: $912

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites: A master’s degree, background check, two years of subsequent work experience, and passage of the Association of Social Work Boards clinical examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical social worker
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $295

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites: A master’s degree, background check, two years of supervised work experience, and passage of national licensure exam administered by the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage counselor
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $295

LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

Prerequisites: Master’s degree, background check, 4,500 supervised hours of work experience, passage of the National Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • School counselor
  • Drug counselor
  • Career counselor

Total Fees: $350

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Prerequisites: Master’s degree, background check, 4,500 supervised hours of work experience, passage of the National Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Therapist
  • School counselor
  • Addiction counselor
  • Gerontological counselor
  • Career counselor

Total Fees: $350

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in New Jersey

Practical experience is crucial in a field like psychology; it’s a major requirement of many graduate programs and the state demands it is documented for licensure. Some schools require internships, typically unpaid practicums where students can get a feel for a career. Others require fellowships, which are often research projects or specialized jobs in the industry that fulfill very specific curriculum needs and carry stipends. Both internships and fellowships in psychology are widely available in New Jersey.

  • Bayway Family Success Center: Based in Elizabeth, Bayway offers community-based counseling to local families and sponsors two internships each year. These unpaid positions typically run during the winter semester, and students gain experience in community organizing, social work, family health, and elementary education. Bayway gives preference to bilingual applicants. Apply at the link.
  • Audrey Hepburn Children’s House at the Hackensack University Medical Center: The AHCH offers postdoctoral fellowships in clinical forensic psychology. Fellows work with an investigator to explore maltreatment of children. The position boasts a competitive salary. Application details at the link.
  • Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey: This counseling center hires post-doc fellows to help provide therapy in a clinical center to people suffering from a variety of anxiety disorders. Fellows acquire the necessary experience to sit for their licensing exams. Apply at the link.

Psychology Careers in New Jersey

As a densely populated state with top-level educational and research facilities — and a demonstrated commitment to mental health — the Garden State is fertile ground for psychology careers. An online psychology degree New Jersey opens an array of opportunities. Graduates of psychology programs in New Jersey can move into education, marriage and family counseling, individual and group therapy, occupational counseling, and gerontological therapy. They can also step into positions like addiction counseling, teach at the college level, or do research that sets the psychological standards of the future.

How Much do Psychologists Make in New Jersey?

New Jersey psychologists make a fine living. The Garden State leads the nation for the annual mean wage of psychologists in clinics, counseling, and schools, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages are always dependent upon experience, credentials, and location, but New Jersey as a whole outpaces the nation.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
New Jersey3,700$44.88$93,365
United States122,310$38.77$80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in New Jersey

Graduates of online psychology degree programs in New Jersey know that some of the best places to look for work are large mental health service providers. These might be private therapy offices, state institutions, large hospitals, or huge psychiatric facilities. Because they’re the largest, they also tend to hire the most recent grads.

  • New Jersey Department of Corrections: The DOC is one of the largest employers in the Garden State, hiring grads of online psychology degree New Jersey programs to rehabilitate inmates and provide substance-abuse counseling in the state’s jails and penitentiaries.
  • Trinitas Health and Regional Medical Center: A large hospital in Elizabeth, Trinitas specializes in behavioral health and was recently awarded a sizable federal grant to expand its operations in the area. As a Catholic teaching hospital, the facility offers an array of counseling services.
  • St. Joseph’s Health: Many consider St. Joseph’s, a big medical center based in Paterson, one of New Jersey’s best hospitals. It partners with Trinitas to offer a comprehensive set of behavioral health services.
  • Kennedy Health: A member of Jefferson Health, Kennedy is the largest mental health provider in South Jersey. The hospital works closely with Rowan University to serve its client base with state-of-the-art psychiatric services, including counseling, adult and adolescent therapy, intervention, wellness, and education.
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital: New Jersey’s largest public psychiatric hospital, Morris Plains-based Greystone is a 450-bed facility that provides long-term care to mental health patients, as well as short-term substance-abuse counseling and therapy.

Mental Health Research Centers in New Jersey

Research centers offer graduates with a master’s in psychology online another exceptional avenue for finding work. Psychology is a field that relies heavily on the latest research, and universities and commercial labs hire many entry-level psych majors, giving them valuable experience and a taste of what it’s like to get paid to study.

  • Kessler Foundation: Kessler runs multiple facilities at locations across New Jersey, conducting research in physical and cognitive disabilities. The foundation currently has 45 major research initiatives underway, studying neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, human performance, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
  • Rutgers University: Rutgers staff and students conduct much of their psych research at its Aresty Research Center, Pediatric Research Lab, and at Armitage Hall in Camden. Studies include cognitive development, personality and moral development, and emotional exploration.
  • Montclair State University Research Labs: The psychology department at Montclair sponsors an array of research programs, each with its own lab. The school has explored fields such as adolescent decision making, cognitive disorders, language development, and forensic mental health.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations are a great resource for professionals in any field, and especially to those just starting out. These membership groups help new graduates in any numbers of ways, but particularly with networking; those new to the field will find a network of likeminded professionals for advice, mentorship, or to learn about job opportunities. These organizations often sponsor helpful conferences, share the latest information, offer continuing education, and have career services and job boards.

  • New Jersey Psychological Association: Based in West Orange, the NJPA offers a wealth of benefits to members, including consultations, referrals, advocacy, and the NJ Psychologist newsletter. The organization sponsors educational opportunities and hosts a job board on its site.
  • Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey: Formerly the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey, the LMHA is a professional organization of psychologists who support the wellbeing of the state’s Latino community. It sponsors events, holds and annual conference, and provides mentorship and advocacy. Membership is open to all psychology professionals.
  • New Jersey Association of School Psychologists: A non-profit membership organization, the NJASP holds winter and spring conferences, has a network of regional meetings and workshops, offers consultations, and disseminates the latest info in its quarterly newsletters.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in New Jersey

Villa “I Matter” Scholarship

Available to New Jersey students enrolling in undergraduate programs, the “I Matter” scholarships take into consideration a student’s educational record, history of community service, and need.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000-5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must hail from a community with a Villa store, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and be accepted as a full-time student in an accredited undergraduate program.

AAA South Jersey Scholarship

AAA sponsors annual scholarships to help local students migrate into two- and four-year undergraduate programs.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must reside in Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester or Salem counties.

Lew Williams & Leila Sulkes Scholarship

The Freehold branch of the American Association of University Women awards two scholarships to female students in graduate or undergraduate programs.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: July 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be women, 25 or older, from Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro, or Morganville. They must have a B average and have completed at least 60 credits of an undergrad program or six credits toward a graduate degree.

Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

The chamber offers scholarships to undergraduate and vocational students who are returning to school or changing careers.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must live or work in the chamber’s service area or have the backing of a member of the chamber.

Janet Logan Daily Foundation Scholarship

Granted once annually, the Daily Foundation scholarship is dispersed across four years of collegiate study.

  • Amount Offered: $10,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be graduating seniors from New Jersey enrolling full-time in a university program. They must have worked at least 30 hours a week during the summer, since the age of 16, have a 2.5 GPA, and participate in at least one extra-curricular activity.

New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund

The state of New Jersey offers grants to economically disadvantaged Garden State graduate students who are planning to attend college in the state.

  • Amount Offered: $200-$4,350
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be residents of New Jersey, full-time graduate students at participating New Jersey universities, and demonstrate need.

New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant

The Higher Education Assistance Authority grants these scholarships to students attending a New Jersey community college or university.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be New Jersey residents and demonstrate financial need. Applicants enrolled in divinity or theology programs are ineligible.

Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program

Sponsored by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, the scholarships are awarded to students from heavily populated parts of the state. They are renewable for up to four years.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be from Asbury Park, Camden, East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Lakewood, Millville, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Plainfield, Roselle, Trenton, or Vineland City. They must be in the top 5% of their class and have a 3.0 or better GPA.

New Jersey STARS

This grant covers full tuition at a New Jersey community college and can lead to study at one of the state’s four-year universities through NJ STARSII.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be New Jersey residents in the top 15% of their class.

Luther and Mary Ida Vandross Scholarship

Established in the memory of the singer’s mother, the Vandross scholarship helps residents of New Jersey attend a historically black college.

  • Amount Offered: $10,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be in their third, fourth, or fifth year of undergraduate study in a historically black college, have a 2.5 or better GPA, and be from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Delaware.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in New Jersey

In today’s educational landscape there is little difference between an on-campus and online psychology degree program — both will get you where you want to go. It is imperative, however, that the school you select is fully accredited. In the past, New Jersey has had problems with “diploma mills,” unaccredited schools that take advantage of naive students. Before you send any school money, make sure it’s recognized by a reputable accrediting agency, either regional or national. In New Jersey, the best colleges and universities carry accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Some, however, claim national accreditation, a designation which usually covers trade and vocational schools or institutions that ready students for careers in one particular field. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education both maintain databases that make it easy to check a school’s status.

Students enrolling in online psychology degree New Jersey programs should also look for additional accreditation by the discipline-specific American Psychological Association (APA). The APA’s seal guarantees that a psychology program is of the highest caliber.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in New Jersey