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Online Psychology Degree Programs in North Carolina

Online psychology degrees in North Carolina can offer learners a flexible, accessible path to higher education. Psychology programs explore topics in human behavior, often including courses in developmental, cognitive, and abnormal psychology. Students also delve into biology, examining the effects of substances on human behavior, and pharmacological treatment options for mental illnesses.

North Carolina is home to many colleges and universities that offer psychology degrees at all levels. The state has options for students at all stages of their psychology careers, including lower-cost, affordable tuition rates at some institutions. Read on to learn more about earning an online psychology degree in North Carolina.

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Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in North Carolina Work?

Psychology colleges in North Carolina offer different types of online programs, including fully online and hybrid options. Hybrid programs generally require some on-campus visits and may include whole courses that students must complete in-person. Fully online programs allow degree-seekers to complete their psychology degrees without ever setting foot on campus.

Online programs in psychology typically take the same amount of time to complete as their on-campus counterparts. They include the same coursework, and students must complete the same rigorous degree requirements.

Employers and licensing boards in the field recognize accredited online psychology degrees as legitimate and equal to accredited on-campus options.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in North Carolina?

The curriculum in online psychology programs in North Carolina covers many topics and subject areas, including cognitive, behavioral, and abnormal psychology. The courses below are typical of psychology bachelor’s programs in North Carolina.

  • Abnormal Psychology

    This course examines influences on human behavior and the factors that can contribute to different types of psychological disorders. Students can gain an understanding of the social and biological factors that contribute to mental disorders, exploring assessment, diagnosis, and treatments for these illnesses.

  • Human Growth and Development

    Students often take multiple courses in this area, with each focusing on a different life phase, such as birth to adolescence. Learners can explore research methods and theories frequently employed to study human development across cultures and the lifespan.

  • Statistical Analysis

    This course examines statistical methods commonly employed by researchers in psychology. Enrollees can engage with current research and conduct their own, as well. The course may include a general survey of statistical methods in quantitative research or take a more focused approach.

  • Research Methods in Psychology

    This course provides a general overview of quantitative and qualitative methods typically used in psychological research. Students can read and analyze studies to gain an understanding of common research methodologies. This often includes statistics and different forms of narrative inquiry.

  • Drugs and Behavior

    This course explores substances, both prescription and illicit, that can affect a person’s behavior. Students can gain an understanding of drug classifications and examine the ways different types of drugs interact with brain chemistry. The course also explores prescription psychiatric drugs and how they work to treat symptoms of mental illness.

Becoming a Psychologist in North Carolina

To practice psychology clinically in North Carolina, prospective psychologists must meet the minimum licensing requirements as set by the state’s psychology boards. This generally includes minimum education requirements, supervised clinical practice hours, and passing state-mandated exams. The section below outlines the steps to becoming a licensed psychologist in North Carolina.

  • Specialize

    Depending on your career goals, you can choose to specialize your psychology degree toward the type of practice you wish to pursue. This might include specializations in addiction and rehabilitation, counseling psychology, school psychology, or child psychology. Pursuing a specialization allows you to focus your studies in the specific area you hope to practice.

  • Earn Your Degrees

    Prospective psychology students can pursue online degrees at three levels: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Generally, a student must progress through each level and earn each degree before moving to the next, but some accelerated programs allow students to pursue dual degrees in less time.

    Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes 3-4 years to complete, a master’s takes 2-3 years, and a doctoral degree can take as many as four additional years. To practice psychology clinically in North Carolina, each professional must obtain a doctoral degree. Some schools in the state offer fully online doctoral degrees, but most doctoral-level programs require some on-campus work. Generally, graduate programs in psychology require internship or clinical practice hours, which often leads to licensure.

  • Obtain Licensure

    You must hold a clinical license through the state’s psychology board to practice psychology clinically in North Carolina. Each applicant must submit proof of a doctoral degree in psychology, pass a background check, and get fingerprinted. Additionally, each candidate must take the national examination for professional practice in psychology, a state-based exam covering North Carolina policies, and an oral exam.

    Before earning licensure, an applicant must complete a minimum of 3,000 supervised practice hours over at least two years. Half of these hours must take place in a postdoctoral setting. Each applicant must pay a $100 application fee.

Other Licenses and Certifications

Even without a doctorate, there are other avenues for practicing therapy and psychology in North Carolina. Those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in psychology may choose to pursue careers in counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy. These available licenses and certifications are detailed below.

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Licensed Clinical Social Worker

This license requires a minimum of a master’s in social work. These social workers provide counseling and mental health therapy in settings like social work firms and university health centers.

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Marriage and Family Therapist

This license requires a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, a concentration commonly offered in psychology programs. MFTs work with couples, children, and families to assist in managing issues and negative group dynamics.

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Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed professional counselors in North Carolina must hold at least a master’s degree from an accredited university. These professionals practice general counseling with all kinds of patients, including children and adults.

Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in North Carolina

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has limited data for general psychologists practicing in North Carolina, PayScale reports professionals working in the state’s capital earn an average salary of $61,000. The city-specific nature of this data skews it against the statewide averages offered by BLS, but it is significantly higher than the state’s median income of $29,560.

North Carolina’s Greensboro-High Point metro area boasts the highest average salaries for clinical counselors and school psychologists. However, the Asheville area is expected to see a higher job growth rate in the coming years for these professions.

Overall, U.S. News & World Report ranks North Carolina as the 18th “best state,” with high marks in fiscal stability and economy. Of the state’s more than 10.2 million residents, 41% hold a college education, with North Carolina’s higher education system also earning high attributes in the ranking.

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North Carolina at a Glance

Population: 10,383,620

Population Growth (2010-2018): 8.90%

Population Growth Rank: 13

Source: United States Census Bureau

Mean Annual SalaryProjected Job Growth (2016-26)
North CarolinaN/A7.1%
South Carolina$92,5605.3%
Virginia$97,20013.6%
Tennessee$87,2604.3%
Georgia$95,9409.5%
National Average$95,61010.3%

Source: BLS, Projections Central

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist SalaryGeneral Unemployment RateEducation and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth
Greensboro – High Point$95,0104.6%-0.4%
Asheville$91,1003.5%7.1%
Wilmington$77,9203.9%-2.5%
Charlotte – Concord – Gastonia$77,5303.9%3.4%
Myrtle Beach – Conway – North Myrtle Beach$77,4503.7%N/A

Source: BLS

Psychology Degrees and Careers in North Carolina — Frequently Asked Questions

Students pursuing online psychology degrees in North Carolina typically have many questions about their education, such as program length, classes, and degree options. Read on for some common concerns below.

  • How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in North Carolina?

    The time it takes to become a psychologist in North Carolina depends on factors like degree type, education level, and specialization. Some positions require candidates to earn master’s degrees, which takes fewer years than earning doctoral degrees.

  • Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?

    Online psychology classes in North Carolina typically comprise a mix of classwork and clinical hours, so students who excel at time management typically do well. Online learning requires planning and the ability to self-start, focus, and stay organized. Some synchronous courses require students to log on at specific times, while asynchronous classes allow for more flexibility.

  • What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?

    Psychologists generally must possess strong listening skills, making sure to listen attentively and form thoughtful responses for patients or clients. Time management and organization skills are crucial, especially for those who practice privately and must manage their own client base. Psychologists must also possess critical-thinking skills

  • What Schools Are Best for Psychology in North Carolina?

    To earn licensure in North Carolina to practice psychology, each prospective psychologist must earn a degree from a properly accredited school. In addition to regional university accreditation, psychology doctoral programs may hold programmatic accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). Graduating from an APA-accredited program streamlines the licensure process and properly prepares students for required exams.

  • Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?

    Depending on your career goals, a BA or a BS in psychology may better suit you. The BA curriculum centralizes around psychology courses, often emphasizing the liberal arts in the general or core courses. This track best prepares students for graduate study and careers in psychology. The BS track emphasizes science and math courses, and may better suit a student considering psychiatry or more science-based graduate studies and careers.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in North Carolina

Accreditation ensures that an institution meets rigorous academic standards. Colleges and universities may receive accreditation from agencies on the national, regional, and programmatic levels. The Council for Higher Education oversees accrediting bodies at every level, working with government bodies to create and maintain academic and professional standards. National accreditation is typically granted to for-profit and vocational schools, while regional accreditation typically holds more prestige.

The Southern Association for Colleges and Schools oversees regional accreditation in North Carolina. Psychology students should also familiarize themselves with the APA, the most influential professional organization of its kind in the United States. The APA works to legitimize certain fields of psychology and promotes excellence by funding research, connecting professionals, and hosting conferences.

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in North Carolina

Psychology requires hands-on experience to develop competency and mastery of the field, typically in the form of internships and fellowships. An internship is a paid or unpaid exchange of a student’s work for experience and can be pursued at any degree level. Fellowships, usually paid and reserved for graduate or doctoral enrollees, allow students to conduct the research necessary for a thesis or dissertation.

Psychology master’s programs in North Carolina generally require an internship or fellowship to complete supervised practice hours. Fortunately, students in the state can take advantage of internship and fellowship sites that offer psychological services. The list below details some of these options and provides some resources for locating internships.

Southeast Psych

This private mental health facility staffed by experienced and renowned specialists provides services like group therapy; chemical dependency counseling; and personalized therapy for children, couples, and families.

Daymark Recovery Services

Offering support and treatment for those suffering from substance abuse, depression, and general anxiety, Daymark provides programs for patients of all ages, including day treatment and intensive in-house care.

North Carolina Community Health Center Association

As a coalition of health providers, the NCCHCA connects patients with resources and services that best fit their needs. The association has a strong behavioral health program to help those with related challenges.

The North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center

Working to educate and improve the lives of community members with mental health and substance abuse issues, the NCPRC partners with organizations in the state to pursue research and enact policy changes.

The Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center

As part of North Carolina State University, the CCERC conducts research with the aid of students to improve the health of individuals in the state, making the center a great place to seek out internships and other work opportunities.

Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals

Joining professional organizations offers students resources and opportunities for professional growth. Even after graduating, many professional associations provide continuing education and professional development opportunities for practicing psychologists. The list below includes a few organizations serving psychology students and mental health professionals in North Carolina.

  • North Carolina Psychological Association The North Carolina Psychological Association advocates for psychologists in the state and aims to further the profession through research and high standards of professional practice. NCPA provides useful links and resources for psychology students, and members can take advantage of continuing education opportunities.
  • American Psychological Association As the foremost organization for psychologists in the country, the APA offers many resources for students and professionals alike. In addition to an annual conference, the APA also provides educational resources, scholarly publications, and access to research databases.
  • North Carolina Mental Health Counseling Association For mental health counselors in the state, NCCA offers advocacy and promotes research to further the profession. Members may take part in an annual conference, professional development courses, specialized organizations and divisions, and a research publication.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA offers student and professional memberships. Members can receive benefits like legal guidance and discounted liability insurance, continuing education opportunities, discounted conference registration fees, and subscriptions to research journals and newsletters. The association offers several membership levels, including clinical, associate, and student.
  • North Carolina School Psychologist Association Prospective and practicing school psychologists in the state may benefit from joining NCSPA. This association offers a wide variety of membership levels, including options for undergraduate and graduate students. Members can view employment and internship resources, take part in events and conferences, and explore research publications.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in North Carolina

  • William Vatavuk Scholarship

    In memory of its donor, this scholarship assists a deserving high school senior who plans to attend a two- or four-year degree program.

    • Amount Offered: $800
    • Scholarship Deadline: April 6
    • Eligibility Requirements: State residents with minimum GPAs of 3.0 may apply. Each applicant must submit a 400-600 word essay.

  • Morehead-Cain Scholarship

    This generous and competitive scholarship provides University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) students with full funding over four years. Candidates can also build professional skills and connect with a vast network of alumni and partners.

    • Amount Offered: Full tuition and additional financial support
    • Scholarship Deadline: October 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: Students attending UNC-Chapel Hill may apply.

  • Business and Professional Women of Raleigh Scholarships

    These awards are offered to North Carolina women pursuing college degrees or professional training within the state. Applicants should demonstrate a dedication to giving back, particularly to other women.

    • Amount Offered: $1,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: March 19
    • Eligibility Requirements: Women currently enrolled in an accredited North Carolina college degree program may apply.

  • North Carolina Hispanic College Fund Scholarship

    This scholarship assists Hispanic students in North Carolina to earn their college degrees.

    • Amount Offered: $500-$2,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: January 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must be a North Carolina resident who graduated high school in the past two years with a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit a letter of recommendation.

Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in North Carolina

Finding the psychology programs in North Carolina that fit your schedule, experience, and professional goals can be challenging. The database below helps with this process by displaying all accredited online programs in the state, vetting them with considerations like cost, academic quality, popularity, and the academic and professional resources available to distance learners.

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Mental Health Initiatives in North Carolina

In North Carolina, state officials have implemented mental health initiatives aimed at improving the lives and overall well-being of residents. In response to the growing opioid crisis, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services created an opioid action plan, which includes increasing access to recovery care for substance abuse.

According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), North Carolina beats national averages for access to mental health care services, but it has a lower overall penetration rate for people served in mental health programs.

The state also provides services for those with mental health issues, including programs aimed specifically at children and young people. North Carolina is home to public and private resources for mental health treatment, such as hospitals, treatment facilities, and community-based programs.

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