Online Psychology Degree Programs in North Carolina

It may surprise you, but accredited and well-regarded online psychology programs in North Carolina abound, from those in small private universities like Wesleyan and St. Andrews, to programs in large public institutions like the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. Prospective students will find flexible academic options at all degree levels, as well as ample financial assistance to help pay for your higher education.

The Tar Heel State is experiencing a resurgence in economic prosperity and job opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects long-term growth in several psychology career fields, with exceptional increases for clinical psychologists, mental health counselors, and substance abuse and healthcare social workers that average 25% — well above national averages. This boon, coupled with the state's affordable cost of living, makes it an ideal time to work and earn your online psychology degree in North Carolina.

Mental Health Initiatives in North Carolina

Through concerted efforts from businesses, schools, communities, and government organizations in North Carolina, the national mental health crisis is being tackled head-on. Programs like the School Mental Health Initiative seek to ameliorate these challenges among K-12 students through support and resources from universal screenings and family services, to staff education and the promotion of a healthy school environment. Other initiatives, like the NC Crisis Solutions, work to create this kind of network of support for all state residents, particularly those in at-risk or underserved populations like the homeless or the incarcerated.

North Carolina's willingness to seek solutions through education, funding, and program development is reflected in the steep growth of career openings in the psychology field. These efforts are paying off. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that in 2016, overall positive reactions to services and treatment programs among adult and child patients were higher for North Carolina than the national average.

How do I Become a Psychologist in North Carolina?

Professionals seeking to become licensed practicing psychologists in the U.S. go through approximately the same four-step process of (1) attaining a doctorate degree, (2) completing the required supervised professional experience hours, (3) passing the national exam, and (4) applying for state licensure. Though the process is highly regulated and standardized due to the complex skills and in-depth knowledge required, certain factors, including costs, may vary from state to state.

Choose the Right Path for You: To become a licensed psychologist, you must earn a degree from one of psychology Ph.D programs in North Carolina or elsewhere. This is often a long process that should involve careful planning and considerations to what subfield you want to work in — healthcare, educational, or business psychology, for example — and what career you want to pursue. Those wishing to become college instructors should focus attention and research on academic areas like pedagogy and analytics.

Earn Your Degree: Earning an online psychology degree in North Carolina takes about the same time as it would in other states: five or six years to earn a bachelor's and master's, three to five years to earn your doctoral degree, and approximately another two to complete the required supervised professional experience through an internship or fellowship. Distance education makes this lengthy process more manageable, enabling you to work, go to school, and manage other aspects of your life at the same time. Though prerequisites can differ by program, all students must complete an introduction to psychology course before taking more advanced classes.

Earn Your License: Upon earning your doctorate degree and finishing approximately two years' worth of assistant work, prospective licensed psychologists must take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a 4 hours and 15 minutes, 225 multiple-choice test created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards which costs $600. Though it may seem daunting, all your academic and professional experience to this point will have prepared you well for the EPPP. All that's left is to dedicate some regular study time for two or three months before taking the exam. Receiving your license does not guarantee you the job of your dreams, but it will enable you to confidently pursue these positions.

Psychology Licensing in North Carolina

After years of studying and training, licensed psychologists are near-experts in the field and get paid the part. This is not the only work you can pursue in the field, however. Many fulfilling and well-paying jobs are available and only require completing a master's in psychology online North Carolina program. The table below aggregates information on licenses available to psychology professionals as well as their costs and the positions available therein.

Licensed Psychologist


  • Doctorate degree
  • 1,750 hours of supervised professional experience
  • Pass the EPPP
  • License Application

Careers Available With This License:

  • Psychology professor
  • Lab director
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Health psychologist

Total Fees: $700

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)


  • Master's degree
  • 3,000 post-degree employment hours
  • Pass the ASWB exam
  • License application

Careers Available With This License:

  • Substance abuse social worker
  • LGBT+ advocate
  • Family social worker
  • Social services director

Total Fees: $375

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)


  • Master's degree
  • 1,500 of supervised experience
  • Pass the MFT national exam
  • License application

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage counselor
  • Mental health specialist
  • School therapist
  • Veterans' health advocate

Total Fees: $550

LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)


  • Master's degree
  • 3,000 supervised experience hours
  • Pass the NCMHCE
  • License application

Careers Available With This License:

  • Intervention specialist
  • School counselor
  • Mental health outreach coordinator
  • Mental health counselor

Total Fees: $513

National Certified Counselor (NCC)


  • Master's degree
  • 2,000 contact hours
  • Pass the NCE
  • License application

Careers Available With This License:

  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Child counselor
  • Couple's counselor
  • University instructor

Total Fees: $513

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in North Carolina

Psychology is a field requiring lots of hands-on experience to develop competency and eventually mastery. Internships and fellowships are important — and often required — in most programs. An internship is the exchange of a student's work for experience and can be pursued at any degree level. Internships can be paid or unpaid and often yield college credit. Fellowships are usually reserved for graduate and doctoral students. Entrenched in academia and lab or field work, a fellowship allows students to conduct the research necessary for a thesis or dissertation.

  • Karen M. Gil Internship: Offered to undergraduate students, this comprehensive internship places interns at a worksite in the Chapel Hill area where they get hands-on skill training and professional experience. Interns also take a specialized psychology course and receive a stipend.
  • Southeast Psych Student Internship: This internship is for undergraduates and enables them to learn and work in a private mental health facility. Interns are assigned tasks and get to network with professionals in and outside the clinic.
  • UNC Postdoctoral Fellowship: Facilitated by the university's Center for Counseling & Psychological Services, this fellowship offers the opportunity to get supervised professional experience towards licensure. Fellows are also expected to pursue their own research in the community.

Psychology Careers in North Carolina

Though all fields of psychology are growing in North Carolina, the state's drive to provide counseling and treatment to K-12 students means that school psychologists enjoy the highest rate of long-term growth — 24% according to the BLS. Clinical and counseling psychology are projected similarly. Other fields are available to psychologists in the state, including those in sports, forensic science, and business and organizational development. Professionals seeking to directly help their communities can become health, child, or educational psychologists, with specializations in Alzheimer's, eating disorders, chemical dependency, and learning disabilities.

How Much do Psychologists Make in North Carolina?

The BLS data below reflects a disparity between what psychologists are paid in North Carolina versus the national average. The difference is not large, and based on the demand for and rapid growth of jobs in the field, it can be reasonably deduced that the state will catch up quickly. Additionally, a licensed psychologist salary is also based on their specific area of work, location, and their experience level.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
North Carolina 3,400 $37.54 $78,087
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in North Carolina

Many career opportunities open to psychological professionals in North Carolina are in mental health counseling and related positions. It's important that you locate and communicate with service providers that interest you quickly because it's in these clinics and facilities that you'll likely find an internship during your studies and a job after graduation.

  • Southeast Psych: A private mental health facility staffed by experienced and renowned specialists, Southeast Psych provides services including group therapy, chemical dependency counseling, and personalized therapy for children, couples, and families.
  • Carolina Partners in Mental Health: CPMH offers counseling, education, and treatment for all types of patients in its 35 North Carolina locations. The organization is also on the cutting edge of mental health service and support with specialized testing programs and web-based consultations and therapy sessions.
  • North Carolina Community Health Center Association: 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.
  • Daymark Recovery Services: Offering support and treatment for those suffering from substance abuse, depression, and general anxiety, Daymark offers programs for patients of all ages, including day treatment and intensive in-house care.
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health: Located in Winston-Salem, this hospital facility is among the biggest in North Carolina. Wake Forest offers inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization options for those with Alzheimer's, dementia, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury.

Mental Health Research Centers in North Carolina

Regardless of which specialization or career you train for, all psychology students need to conduct research and most start as early as at the undergraduate level. Unsurprisingly, mental health research centers are great places to do this as they not only have the necessary tools and facilities, but also often provide funding and faculty guidance for degree and postdoctoral research work.

  • The North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center: Working to educate and improve the lives of community members with regards to mental health — specifically substance abuse — the NCPRC partners with organizations in the state to pursue research and enact policy changes.
  • North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center: Funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the NCRHRPAC brings together researchers and activists to tackle the complex issues affecting health in rural and underserved areas, particularly dealing with medicare and Medicaid.
  • The Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center: As part of NC State, 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 Mental Health Professionals

In addition to providing options for your online psychology degree, North Carolina also houses several professional organizations dedicated to serving the field and the professionals within it. Every psychological professional knows — and is probably a member of — the APA, but state organizations also exist that facilitate research projects, host conferences and social events, and connect you with peers and potential employers. Get to know these organizations and more importantly get involved so that you become an important part of the psychology community in North Carolina and the U.S.

  • North Carolina Psychological Association: Affiliated with the APA, this organization is the biggest in the state and serves students, the community, and its members through research and continuing education. The NCPA also hosts yearly conferences and networking events.
  • North Carolina Psychiatric Association: The NCPA serves the professional needs of its members through funding, networking, and career assistance, while also advocating for mental health treatment and resource accessibility in North Carolina.
  • National Association of Social Workers-North Carolina Chapter: As part of a national community of professionals, the N.C. chapter advocates for and empowers social workers through continuing education, research, and career assistance. Members enjoy lower registration fees for conferences and malpractice insurance among other benefits.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in North Carolina

North Carolina Community Foundation Scholarships

In support of North Carolina students, the NCCFS provides hundreds of scholarships every year for those who want to get job training, seek a degree, or pursue research that empowers the local and national communities.

  • Eligibility Requirements: North Carolina resident
  • Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarships

    Available to high school seniors from 14 counties across North Carolina, these generous scholarships help students pay for their higher education regardless of major or career goals.

    • Amount Offered: $12,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: Jan. 31
    • Eligibility Requirements: North Carolina high school senior with a 2.75 GPA attending a participating state college or university

    Jagannathan Scholarships

    This renewable scholarship is funded by the industrialist N.S. Jagannathan and facilitated by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority is open to all North Carolina students

  • Scholarship Deadline: Feb. 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: A state resident attending a school within the University of North Carolina system
  • North Carolina Student Incentive Grant

    A scholarship for North Carolina students who demonstrate financial need, this award is open to all majors and may be renewed based on the availability of funds.

    • Amount Offered: $700
    • Scholarship Deadline: March 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: North Carolina resident attending a college or university within the state

    Oliver Joel & Ellen Pell Denny Healthcare Scholarship

    This award is offered to North Carolina students pursuing a degree in a health-related field like mental health counseling, psychology, and healthcare advocacy.

    • Amount Offered: $3,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: Aug. 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: A state resident seeking an associate or bachelor's degree in a health-related field from a state college or university

    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. Application materials include a 400-600 word essay.

    • Amount Offered: $800
    • Scholarship Deadline: April 6
    • Eligibility Requirements: A state resident with a 3.0 GPA

    Morehead-Cain Scholarship

    This generous and competitive scholarship provides students attending UNC-CH full funding over four years. Students also gain the opportunity to build professional skills and connect with a vast network of alumni and partners.

    • Amount Offered: Full tuition and additional financial support
    • Scholarship Deadline: Oct. 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: Attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Business and Professional Women of Raleigh Scholarship

    This award is offered to North Carolina women pursuing a college degree or professional training within the state. Applicants should demonstrate a dedication to giving back, particularly to other women.

    • Amount Offered: $1,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: April 5
    • Eligibility Requirements: Currently enrolled in an accredited North Carolina college degree program

    Crumley Roberts Founder's Scholarship

    Offered to any high school senior enrolled in a four-year institution, this scholarship is inclusive of all backgrounds and career goals. Applicants must submit an essay and two letters of recommendation.

    • Amount Offered: $2,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: Feb. 1
    • Eligibility Requirements: A North Carolina student with a 3.2 GPA attending a four-year college or university

    North Carolina Hispanic College Fund Scholarship

    As it names suggests, this scholarship provides assistance to Hispanic students in North Carolina, so they can earn their college degree. Letters of recommendation and a personal statement are needed to apply.

    • Amount Offered: $500-$2,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: Jan. 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: A North Carolina resident who graduated high school in the past two years with a minimum 2.5 GPA

    Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in North Carolina

    Two main types of accreditation exist for college degree programs and you should only seek out the ones that hold both because it reflects the institution's validity in the eyes of the national and state government as well as potential employers. National accreditation, the more popular of the two due to its ubiquitous nature, is granted by a private organization called the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), with works with government bodies to create and maintain academic and professional standards. CHEA also advocates for aspects of higher education through research, funding, and professional events. The Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS), an organization similar to CHEA, oversees regional accreditation in North Carolina.

    Psychology students should also familiarize themselves with the American Psychological Association (APA), the most influential professional organization of its kind in the U.S. The APA not only works to legitimize certain fields of psychology and related professions, but also promotes excellence in the field by funding research, connecting professionals, and holding conferences and other important events.

    Program Database of Online Psychology 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.

    Program Database

    School Degree Levels State