Online Psychology Degree Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico is a land of opportunity for psychologists; the state currently suffers from shortages of mental healthcare providers, and the need is only growing. New Mexico has some of the highest rates of suicide and substance abuse in the nation, and it has not produced enough counselors and behavioral health specialists to keep pace with the demand. This makes it a particularly good time to get an online psychology degree New Mexico, as both salaries and job openings for psychologists are higher than the national standard. In fact, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job market to grow by almost 20%.

New Mexico is a remarkably beautiful place, and it has a variety of on-campus and online programs in psychology, mental health, social work, and the behavioral sciences. It boasts several fine universities, state-of-the-art research centers and clinics, and the state has made a commitment to improving its mental health services — all of which makes it an attractive place for an aspiring psychologist.

Mental Health Initiatives in New Mexico

The State of New Mexico is currently pursuing several mental health initiatives. In 2004, the state established a cabinet-level Behavioral Health Collaborative to promote the mental health and wellbeing of its residents, and the 15-member group proposed a variety of changes. For example, because the state has long suffered from one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, New Mexico developed screening programs that link primary care providers with mental health specialists to catch problems with depression earlier.

New Mexico is also transitioning to a single, statewide behavioral-health delivery system that focuses on recovery and rehabilitation, community integration, and substance-abuse prevention while being mindful of regional, rural, and cultural sensibilities. Like so many other places, the Land of Enchantment has made it a goal to treat the health of the mind the same as the health of the body, and worked to remove the stigmas of mental illness.

How do I Become a Psychologist in New Mexico?

The licensing process for psychologists is nationally standardized, and graduates of psychology programs in New Mexico follow the same career path by psychologists across the country. Like their colleagues across the country, New Mexico psychologists must pass the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. There are however, a few steps unique to the Land of Enchantment.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: To become a fully-licensed psychologist in the Land of Enchantment, you need to first complete a graduate degree in psychology. A psychology Ph.D. program in New Mexico is will prepare you for full licensure and to sit for the EPPP exam. If you prefer to teach or conduct certain types of counseling, you may only need to earn a master’s in psychology online in New Mexico. In other words, because psychology is such a broad industry, determining your professional goals is key.

Earn Your Degree: The state offers several places to earn an online psychology degree, and an array of on-campus options. Students typically first enroll in a bachelor’s degree, which may or may not require an internship or field practicum. Prerequisites are generally modest, and are easily handled during freshman and sophomore years. At the graduate level, schools almost always have some sort of clinical or field requirements, which can help degree candidates acquire the necessary hours needed for the EPPP exam. Most students, even in accelerated psychology programs in New Mexico, will spend the better part of a decade earning their doctorate.

Earn Your License: With a diploma in hand, aspiring psychologists must then pass the EPPP ($687), a standardized test of more than 200 questions used to determine whether applicants are ready to practice as psychologists. According to test administrators at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, candidates with a doctorate tend to find the test easier than those with a master’s.

Many people find the sample exam useful, others prepare with 30-day courses. New Mexico requires that prospective psychologists pass the EPPP with a minimum score of 70. They also must get at least a 75 on the state’s own jurisprudence exam ($75). Once these have been successfully completed, candidates must send their transcripts, test results, proof of requisite supervised professional work experience, background check information ($44), and the $300 initial application fee to the New Mexico State Board of Psychologist Examiners. Even finishing that daunting course of hurdles, however, doesn’t guarantee a job. It’s just the beginning.

Psychology Licensing in New Mexico

Psychologists practice their trade in any number of ways: some teach, some have private counseling practices, others do social work. Some psychologists work in prisons, some do research, and others counsel marriages and families. Like doctors, psychologists tend to specialize, and there are several fields available. Most specialties require additional licensing or certification.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites: Doctorate, 1-year postdoctoral supervised work experience, passage of EPPP exam.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Most professional psychology jobs

Total Fees: $1,106

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work, pass board-approved exam, pass jurisprudence exam, meet New Mexico cultural requirements, two years and 3,600 hours of supervised practice.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Social work
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $305

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites: Master’s or doctorate with at least 45 hours of coursework and at least 300 hours of field practicum experience, two years of supervised work experience, passage of the National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $430

LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

Prerequisites: Master’s degree, two years of supervised work experience, passage of the National Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $350

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Prerequisites: Master’s degree, two years of supervised work experience, passage of the National Counselor Examination.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $350

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in New Mexico

Like other doctors, psychologists complete extensive hours in the field during the course of their education; it’s how they gain the necessary experience to step into their practice. College and university programs require it, and the state’s licensing board does, too. Many students can meet these requirements through available internships and fellowships. Internships put students in jobs with related companies or organizations — often unpaid — that allows them to get a feel for a position. Fellowships, on the other hand, tend to be with research or university facilities and set up like grants, and usually carry a stipend. The internships and fellowships that follow are available to psychology students in New Mexico.

  • New Mexico VA Health Care System Fellowship: A program of the Veterans Administration, these fellowships are for doctoral students who have completed at least 500 hours of practicum experience. The VA gives preference to students who have finished their dissertation and have a background in research. Apply at the site.
  • UNM Clinical Psychology Internship: The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque offers one-year internships at its Health Science Center School of Medicine. These predoctoral positions work in pediatric psych, and applicants can choose from tracks in child health, early childhood, neuropsychology, and neurodevelopmental disorders. UNM provides a competitive stipend. Apply at the site.
  • New Mexico Department of Health Social Work Internship: Run by the state’s Developmental Disabilities Support Division, these positions give interns an opportunity to work with people suffering from mental health issues. Interns process screened candidates, participate in evaluating illness, collect and enter data, and maintain client contact information. Bachelor’s and master’s candidates only. Apply at the site.

Psychology Careers in New Mexico

Graduates of online psychology degree programs in New Mexico will find many career paths to choose. The Land of Enchantment unfortunately ranks among the highest in the nation for suicide, and as a result, counseling positions are widely available. Many in the state also struggle with substance abuse — New Mexico has the second-highest mortality rate in the nation for drug overdoses and the highest alcohol-related death rate, according to the Sage Clinic. These statistics demonstrate the need and opportunity for mental health providers. According to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for clinical mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, and psychologists are expected to grow by almost 20% in New Mexico over the next decade.

How Much do Psychologists Make in New Mexico?

Psychologists in New Mexico can earn more than the national average for the industry. Salaries always depend on experience, credentials, location, and the type of practice, but generally speaking, the Land of Enchantment tends to pay psychologists quite well.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
New Mexico 90 $39.66 $82,490
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in New Mexico

Once you earn an online psychology degree in New Mexico, the all-important next step is to find work. But where to begin? One of the best places for psychology grads to look is at large mental-health service providers. These facilities typically hire entry-level workers, and they provide a pathway for advancement if you enjoy this type of setting. Many have training programs and opportunities for continuing education, as well.

  • New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute: This large facility in Las Vegas, NM, is the only state-run psychiatric hospital in the Land of Enchantment. NMBHI has six units and provides an array of services to adults, taking in more than 1,000 patients per year.
  • Sage Neuroscience Center: This Albuquerque institution is the premier mental health clinic in New Mexico. A private facility, it offers substance abuse help, depression counseling, child and adolescent therapy, and psychiatric services.
  • Eating Disorders Institute of New Mexico: Based in Rio Rancho, the institute focuses on eating disorders, body image distress, and obesity. The clinic’s staff uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help people improve their emotional and physical health.
  • Turning Point Recovery Center: An Albuquerque rehab center for those suffering from substance abuse, Turning Point offers detox, individual and group counseling, family support, and long-term care.
  • Peak Behavioral Health Services: a full-service mental health hospital in Santa Teresa, Peak provides child, adolescent, adult, senior, and military services, including substance abuse counseling, individual therapy, and residential treatment.

Mental Health Research Centers in New Mexico

Research centers also tend to employ recent graduates, and they are ideal for new psychologists who are considering further study. Because many of these centers are affiliated with universities, they offer opportunities for conducting cutting edge research.

  • Center for Psychiatric Research: On the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the center specializes in addictions, schizophrenia, brain imaging, mood disorders, and neurodevelopment.
  • Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research: The institute is a project of New Mexico State University designed to address health issues along the border with Mexico, including mental health and substance abuse.
  • Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest: Set in Albuquerque, the center is an affiliate of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and specializes in adolescent health, substance abuse, clinical trials, cross-cultural healthcare delivery, and behavioral health policy.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

With networking opportunities, continuing-education programs, career services, job boards, mentors, and annual conferences, professional organizations are a boon to newcomers in any industry. They are terrific resources for the latest information, camaraderie, and career advancement, and they’re particularly useful for psychologists. The profession is one in which new studies and standards are always changing, and licensure demands continuing education.

  • New Mexico Psychological Association: The largest organization of its kind in the Land of Enchantment, the NMPA offers many benefits to members, including Friday Forums, discounted workshops, special-interest divisions, newsletters, referrals, a conference, advocacy, and more.
  • New Mexico Association of School Psychologists: The state affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists, NMASP disseminates information pertinent to the industry, hosts conferences, seasonal events, and a job board, and helps establish standards for the profession.
  • Behavioral Health Providers’ Association of New Mexico: A nonprofit association of behavioral health providers, the NMBHPA allows members to share expertise and answer questions, raise issues, and support one another. Advocacy is a major component.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in New Mexico

Church’s Chicken Scholarships

Sponsored by Church’s Chicken restaurants, these scholarships help graduating New Mexico high school seniors pay for two- or four-year schools.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be graduating from a New Mexico high school and planning to attend a college, university, or vocational school, and have a minimum 2.7 GPA.

New Mexico Higher Education Department
Legislative Lottery Scholarship

Sponsored by the state, these scholarships go to students at New Mexico universities and community colleges.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must take at least 15 credits per semester at a New Mexico university or 12 credits at a community college. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA or better.

New Mexico Scholars Program

The program provides monies for students to attend the College of Santa Fe, St. John’s College, or the College of the Southwest.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be in the top 5% of their class and attend college full-time as undergraduates by their 21st birthday.

New Mexico Student Incentive Grants

Administered by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education these scholarships go to students from the Land of Enchantment only for use at a New Mexico public school.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be enrolled at least half time at a public university or tribal college.

Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarships

Sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, these grants are awarded to full-time undergraduates.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must have completed one year of college, demonstrate need, maintain a GPA of 2.5, be a member of the Presbyterian Church, and remain active with the church during school.

Sussman-Miller Scholarship

Named for educational advocate Shirley Sussman Spiewak, the Sussman-Miller scholarship goes to undergraduates studying full-time at public or nonprofit universities.

  • Amount Offered: $500-$2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 27
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be New Mexico residents who receive financial aid.

Carl F. Scott Scholarship Fund

Administered by the Albuquerque Community Fund, the Scott scholarships are based in both merit and financial need and go to students attending public or nonprofit universities.

  • Amount Offered: $1,200-$2,400
  • Scholarship Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be the children of a member of the Tucumari Lodge No. 27 AF&AM or a graduate of a public or charter school in Quay County.

Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program

Intended to give a helping hand to underprivileged students, these scholarships go to students who have spent at least a year in foster care in New Mexico.

  • Amount Offered: Up to $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 22
  • Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be undergraduates between the ages of 17 and 21 with a GPA of 2.5 or better.

Rae Lee Siporin Scholarship for Women

Siporin was a first-generation college student and her scholarship helps women like herself pay for continuing-ed programs and get back into college after years away.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be female New Mexico residents, attending school in state, who have completed freshmen, sophomore, or junior years in college.

Manuel Lujan Excellence in Education Scholarships

A fund established in honor of U.S. Congressman Manuel Lujan, these grants help students attend university in New Mexico.

  • Amount Offered: $500, renewable over four years.
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: The awards go to students from one of 24 central New Mexico high schools who are attending a New Mexico school full time and holding down a 2.5 GPA or better.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in New Mexico

Perhaps the single-most important consideration for anyone selecting a college program is accreditation. Without the approval of a reputable accrediting agency, a college diploma is virtually worthless in the pursuit of a psychology license. State licensing boards require that the degree programs of candidates be accredited. Most of the best schools in New Mexico carry accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, a regional board approved by the United States Department of Education. Despite its name, regional accreditation is generally considered the preferred type of accreditation, and it typically applies to the finest colleges and universities. Alternatively, national accreditation usually recognizes vocational and technical colleges, and schools that prepare students for a single type of industry.

Psychology students should also look for accreditation by the American Psychological Association. Programs with the APA seal will be among the highest caliber available.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in New Mexico