New Jersey offers mental healthcare providers an expanding job market and some of the highest salaries in the nation. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 15% increase between 2016 and 2026 in the employment of mental health and substance abuse counselors in New Jersey. The state ranks third for highest salaries in the entire U.S. for licensed psychologists with clinical, counseling, or school specializations.
Long recognized for its quality postsecondary education, New Jersey offers distance learning psychology programs that lead to certificates, associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees at many of its 60 colleges and universities.
For students interested in earning online psychology degrees in New Jersey, this guide provides information about available programs, licensing requirements, and career and salary prospects.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in New Jersey Work?
Psychology colleges in New Jersey have developed several web-based programs at every degree level, except doctoral. Students who intend to earn an online psychology degree in New Jersey should always check with their intended schools about online course delivery formats to determine if there are any in-person components.
While a few schools offer accelerated online degrees that shorten the time needed to graduate, most distance learners finish requirements in the same amount of time they would spend in a traditional, campus-based program. Online psychology programs at accredited colleges and universities provide the same rigorous academic experience as their campus-based counterparts. Prospective employers view graduates of New Jersey's online and on-campus programs as equally prepared and competitive.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in New Jersey?
Most students begin their psychology training by earning bachelor's degrees, which prepare them for entry-level employment or graduate studies. While each undergraduate program features a distinct curriculum, this list describes some of the most commonly offered courses.
- General Psychology
General psychology is a prerequisite for most courses in the major. It provides students with a basic knowledge of psychology as a natural and social science. The course introduces the major subsets of psychology, including clinical, abnormal, developmental, and neuroscience approaches. Content covers core concepts, such as cognition, sensation, perception, emotion, and personality.
- Clinical Psychology
Designed for students planning to enter clinical practice, this course presents relevant theories and schools of psychotherapy and develops diagnostic, assessment, and treatment skills through role-playing and analysis of case studies. Upon completion of this course, enrollees can write insightful clinical reports based on observation, inference, and interviews.
- Abnormal Psychology
This psychology specialization focuses on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of psychopathological disorders, which are defined as maladaptive or disruptive human behaviors outside the accepted social norm. Coursework explores the major diagnostic categories used in clinical practice to identify abnormal behavior. Students can learn about dissociative disorder, personality and mood disorders, and other types of psychosis.
- Developmental Psychology
Developmental psychology traces physiological, social, emotional, and cognitive changes across the lifespan, including infancy, childhood, adulthood, and end-of-life. This course presents current developmental psychology theories and research, emphasizing the interconnections between heredity and the environment, the role of culture, race, gender, ethnicity, and class, and the influence of these differences on lifespan development.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
This type of psychology examines the ways psychological theories, principles, and applications can increase organizational effectiveness and enhance the well-being of employees. Topics include organizational leadership, group behavior, consumer behavior, workplace culture, and quality of work life. Degree-seekers can learn best practices for personnel recruitment, selection and training, evaluation and assessment, and conflict resolution.
Becoming a Psychologist in New Jersey
Before enrolling in an online psychology degree in New Jersey, you should become familiar with program requirements, specializations, and internships, and learn about licensing regulations for your intended career. Online psychology master's programs in New Jersey can lead to advanced opportunities in clinical practice and counseling not available to bachelor's degree-holders. Graduates of doctoral programs can typically enter well-paying positions in research, education, or clinical practice.
Most online degrees in psychology in New Jersey offer specializations that provide training for professional positions. Students often begin specialties while earning their bachelor's degrees. The most popular specialization, clinical psychology, prepares learners for licensed clinical practice diagnosing and treating patients. Degree-seekers interested in improving organizational effectiveness and the workplace environment for employees may specialize in industrial-organizational psychology.
Earn Your Degrees
The length of time required to complete an online degree in New Jersey depends on program requirements and the number of courses completed each term. Full-time students can typically finish online or campus-based bachelor's degrees in about four years. While some online psychology master's programs in New Jersey offer accelerated formats that lead to degrees in just 12-18 months, most online master's degrees require two years.
Licensed psychologists must hold a doctorate to practice, but psychology colleges in New Jersey do not currently offer online Ph.D. or Psy.D. degrees. Distance learners who want to earn doctorates should plan on fulfilling in-person residency requirements at in-state universities or pursue out-of-state doctoral programs.
Psychologists seeking New Jersey licensure must follow several steps. First, applicants must hold a doctoral degree from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Students typically enter doctoral programs after completing their master's degrees, but some schools allow candidates to begin their doctoral studies directly after completing their bachelor's degrees.
The New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners administers licenses for psychologists. The board requires 3,500 hours of supervised professional experience, including 1,750 post-degree hours, to apply. Once the board approves the application, candidates must pass two licensing exams: the examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP) and the New Jersey jurisprudence exam. Before receiving final licensure approval, candidates must also pay application, examination, and processing fees.
Other Licenses and Certifications
An aspiring psychologist without a doctorate can still find ample professional opportunities. A bachelor's degree can lead to entry-level employment while providing a foundation for graduate study. Earning an online master's in psychology in New Jersey is the minimum educational qualification for a licensed professional counselor or marriage and family therapist. Many undergraduate degree-holders in psychology pursue a master of social work in preparation for a career as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
The LCSW credential requires a master in social work, 3,000 supervised experience hours, and a criminal background check. Candidates must pass the clinical exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards, which includes an exam fee.
Marriage and Family Therapist
MFT candidates must hold a master's in marriage and family studies, psychology, or a related field and pass the national exam administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. New Jersey requires three years of supervised professional experience, including one year in counseling.
Licensed Professional Counselor
An LPC candidate must complete a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours in a master's or doctoral program in counseling and fulfill three years of full-time counseling experience. Candidates can receive their licenses after successfully passing the national counselor examination.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in
New Jersey boasts a strong economy and thriving job market for mental healthcare professionals. According to rankings compiled by U.S News & World Report, New Jersey ranks 12th overall in the nation on key economic and social indicators and sixth in healthcare access, quality services, and public health. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects an annual increase in healthcare employment of 1.5% between 2016 and 2026.
New Jersey's licensed psychologists can expect significantly higher salary ranges than the rest of the country. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn a mean annual salary of $98,470 -- much higher than the national mean of $85,340 for this occupation. New Jersey is the third top-paying state for this popular psychology specialization.
Although opportunities for licensed psychologists, counselors, and therapists vary by credential, type of employer, and work experience, New Jersey's proximity and easy commute to metropolitan areas in New York and Philadelphia expand employment and salary prospects beyond the state borders.
New Jersey at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): 1.38%
Population Growth Rank: 40
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|
|New York - Newark - Jersey City||$99,610||3.9%||3.6%|
|Allentown - Bethlehem - Easton||$86,220||4.5%||2.4%|
|Vineland - Bridgeton||$83,030||5.1%||7.4%|
|Philadelphia - Camden - Wilmington||$81,560||4.3%||1.8%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in New Jersey -- Frequently Asked Questions
Before enrolling in an online psychology degree in New Jersey, find out as much as you can about the field of psychology and how online programs work. Make sure to research what kind of degree will best prepare you for your intended career. Below, you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about online psychology colleges in New Jersey.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in New Jersey?
Students can generally complete campus-based and online degrees in New Jersey in the same amount of time. While some online programs offer accelerated formats, distance learners planning to become licensed psychologists and counselors may spend ten years or more completing their educations, starting at an undergraduate program and finishing with a doctorate. Fulfilling practicum and thesis requirements can also lengthen the time needed to earn a master's or doctorate.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Students who choose web-based programs should not expect to sail through easy classes. An online psychology degree in New Jersey granted by an accredited institution must meet the same educational standards as an on-campus program. Distance learners typically find their courses are as academically rigorous as those taught in a traditional setting, while also requiring discipline to work independently.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
Psychologists need thorough academic preparation in their specialties and the tools to apply this knowledge in clinical practice and research. Psychologists apply research findings in their work, so they must also develop observational skills, statistical proficiency, and computer literacy. Professionals working in clinical settings must be able to understand the needs of diverse groups and communicate effectively with vulnerable individuals.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in New Jersey?
There are 26 psychology colleges in New Jersey. They provide several options for online learners to pursue associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees. Determining which school is best for you depends largely on how a specific program helps to achieve your educational and professional goals. Before entering an online psychology degree program in New Jersey, make sure to thoroughly investigate program costs, curriculum requirements, available specializations, and online formats.
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?
Students who have not yet decided on a specific career often choose a BA to acquire comprehensive knowledge of the liberal arts, along with credits in the psychology major. A BS places more emphasis on science and math requirements by focusing on research methods and statistics. This degree fits the needs of students who have already decided to pursue research-focused graduate degrees and want a head start on building those skills.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in New Jersey
Today, on-campus and online psychology degree programs provide the same rigorous level of education. It is imperative, however, that the school you select is fully accredited. In the past, New Jersey has had problems with "diploma mills," or unaccredited schools that take advantage of naive students. Before you send any school money, make sure it's recognized by a reputable accrediting agency -- preferably a regionally accredited one.
In New Jersey, the best colleges and universities carry regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Some schools have national accreditation -- a designation that usually covers trade and vocational schools, for-profit institutions, or institutions that prepare 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 accreditation status.
Students enrolling in psychology doctorate programs in New Jersey should also look for additional accreditation from APA. The APA seal guarantees that a psychology doctorate is of the highest caliber, and many states will only grant licenses to graduates with APA-accredited doctorates.
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 New Jersey requires documented proof of a completed practicum for psychologist licensure. Some schools also require internships, which are typically unpaid practicums where students can get a feel for a career. Others require fellowships, which are specialized, paid jobs in the industry that fulfill specific curriculum needs. Internships and fellowships in psychology are widely available in New Jersey.
These placements provide valuable practical and research training to both undergraduate and graduate students supervised by experienced professionals. This list describes some of the state's public, private, and university-run facilities that offer internships or fellowships, giving students the chance to work in real-world settings such as community-based mental health, forensic psychology, neuroscience, and substance abuse counseling.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
As New Jersey's largest public psychiatric hospital, Morris Plains-based Greystone is a 450-bed facility that provides long-term mental healthcare and short-term substance-abuse counseling and therapy.
State of New Jersey Department of Corrections
The DOC is one of the largest employers in the Garden State, hiring graduates of online psychology degree programs to rehabilitate inmates and provide substance-abuse counseling in the state's jails and prisons.
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
Kessler runs multiple facilities at locations across New Jersey to research physical and cognitive disabilities. The foundation currently runs 45 major research initiatives, studying neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, human performance, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
Montclair State University Research Labs
The psychology department at Montclair sponsors many 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.
Rutgers University Research Labs
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.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations provide licensing information and educational and networking opportunities for psychology practitioners. Undergraduate and graduate students who join these associations benefit from career guidance and the chance to connect with other students and psychologists working in their specialties. Students often receive discounted membership fees and gain access to internship and financial aid resources and employment listings through these organizations.
- New Jersey Psychological Association For over 80 years, NJPA has protected, promoted, and enhanced the psychology profession in New Jersey. As a major advocacy group for psychologists in the state, the association monitors and shapes mental health policies. Members can take advantage of its client referral network, which helps members build their practices. Student members also receive information about awards and grants, internships, and research opportunities.
- American Psychological Association APA is the most prominent scientific and professional organization for psychologists. Its membership of over 130,000 includes clinicians, researchers, educators, and students. APA administers accreditation for psychology doctorate programs, provides licensing and continuing education information, and maintains an employment center. Resources for student members include graduate education and career guidance, scholarship listings, and internship opportunities.
- New Jersey Counseling Association NJCA, a state branch of the American Counseling Association, represents the interests of counselors practicing in the state and promotes public awareness and recognition of the profession. The association sponsors annual conferences, provides networking opportunities, and monitors legislative policies and regulations. Graduate students may apply for reduced membership rates and participate in mentorship programs.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA represents the interests of clinical mental health counselors across the U.S. The association focuses primarily on the establishment and promotion of rigorous standards for mental health counseling education, clinical practice, and professional ethics. Members receive discounts on continuing education courses for license renewals and can participate in health insurance and liability coverage plans designed for counseling professionals.
- New Jersey Association of School Psychologists Organized in 1958 for New Jersey's school psychologists, NJASP hosts annual conferences, publishes newsletters, and maintains a listserv to inform members about legislative updates relevant to school psychologists. The website offers members information about current job opportunities, a list of mental health service providers, and a lending library. NJASP sponsors the Graduate Undergraduate Students Organization, which promotes networking and professional development.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in New Jersey
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: Applicants must reside in Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, or Salem counties to qualify.
Lew Williams and Leila Sulkes Scholarships
The Freehold branch of the American Association of University Women awards 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. Candidates need a "B" average and must 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 for undergraduate and vocational students who are returning to school or changing careers.
- Amount Offered: $2,000
- 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: Graduating seniors from New Jersey enrolling full-time in university programs may apply. Candidates 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 extracurricular activity.
New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant
The Higher Education Assistance Authority grants these scholarships to students attending New Jersey community colleges or universities.
- Amount Offered: Varies, up to the cost of tuition
- Scholarship Deadline: April 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be New Jersey residents and demonstrate financial need. Applicants enrolled in divinity or theology programs are ineligible.
Luther and Mary Ida Vandross Scholarship
Established in memory of the singer's mother, the Vandross scholarship helps residents of New Jersey who attend a historically black college.
- Amount Offered: $500-$6,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be in their third, fourth, or fifth year of undergraduate study at a historically black college, possess a 2.5 or better GPA, and maintain residency in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Delaware.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in New Jersey
This database of all accredited online psychology programs in New Jersey will help you choose the best school for your academic and career goals. Use this list to compare costs, degree requirements, specializations, and online delivery formats.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in New Jersey
New Jersey maintains a strong commitment to providing mental healthcare for its population of close to nine million. The state ranks eighth in the nation for providing access to mental healthcare services and spends more than other states on state hospitals, clinics, and community treatment facilities.
New Jersey's Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) funds several initiatives for prevention, early intervention, and treatment and recovery. These programs address the integration of primary care and behavioral healthcare, disaster recovery, and trauma-informed care integration. The State Targeted Opioid Response Initiative offers treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder. This program also provides outpatient care, case management services, and peer recovery support services.
The state has implemented a strategic plan for improving behavioral health across the state that focuses on community integration of services, expanded managed care, and workforce development. As part of this initiative, the DMHAS website provides access to searchable directories to help New Jersey residents locate alcohol and drug abuse treatment services.