Online Psychology Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

Opportunities abound for those pursuing careers in psychology in Pennsylvania. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a long-term job growth of 15.7% for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Pennsylvania, a higher rate than other careers statewide. For mental health counselors in Pennsylvania, the growth rate is even higher at 16.7%.

In this favorable market, Pennsylvania is a great place to start your psychology career. Earning your master’s in psychology online has many potential benefits, including flexibility with work schedules, convenient class times, and the ability to take courses from any location. An online master’s program allows you to choose the psychology program that best fits your career goals and scheduling needs.

Mental Health Initiatives in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania hosts a variety of mental health initiatives designed to improve the wellbeing of its residents. The state offers most mental health services through county Mental Health and Developmental Services offices. The Community Support System, a coalition of people affected by mental health issues, works to make it possible for individuals with serious mental illnesses to live successfully in the community. Components of the system include peer support and psychiatric rehabilitation. Another major project in Pennsylvania is the Positive Practice Resource Team, which helps individuals with dual diagnoses of mental illness and intellectual disability. Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s Behavioral Health Initiative works to create a plan to end mental health disparities in northeastern Pennsylvania.

How Do I Become a Psychologist in Pennsylvania?

Each state has specific rules and procedures for psychology licensing in careers like clinical social work and family therapy. The following list shows the path toward becoming a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: To work as a clinical psychologist or teach psychology at a college level, you will need to earn a Ph.D in psychology. However, some careers in counseling and therapy may only require a master’s degree. Pennsylvania offers several psychology master’s degree programs online to suit your specific career goals.

Earn Your Degree: If you choose to get your online psychology degree, Pennsylvania offers many great options for your school choice. Most graduate programs in psychology require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in psychology or substantial psychology coursework. Students also spend about 3,000 hours working at an internship or fellowship throughout degree completion. It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn a master’s degree and anywhere from four to seven years to get a Ph.D.

Earn Your License: To earn your license, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The exam lasts four hours and fifteen minutes and costs around $515. Pennsylvania also requires you to pass the Pennsylvania Psychology Licensing Exam (PPLE). Licensure does not guarantee a job, though many employers require applicants to obtain proper licensing for consideration.

Psychology Licensing in Pennsylvania

Different licensing requirements exist for psychologists, clinical social workers, and therapists depending on the state. The following chart matches careers with psychology licenses available in Pennsylvania.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites: Ph.D from an American Psychological Association (APA)- or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)- accredited program, or a Ph.D from an Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register Designation Project psychology program; 1,750 hours of supervised work experience; pass the EPPP and PPLE.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Psychologist
  • Researcher
  • Counselor
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $792

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites: Master’s in social work from a Council on Social Work Education-approved school; hold social work licensure; 3,000 hours of work experience in a two-year period; pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical social worker
  • Counselor

Total Fees: $255

Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites: 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate coursework in marriage and family therapy or a master’s degree; 3,000 hours of supervised work experience; pass the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) exam; three hours of child abuse training.

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage therapist
  • Family therapist
  • General therapist

Total Fees: $400

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Prerequisites: 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate coursework or a master’s degree in counseling; 3,000 hours of supervised work experience; Pass one of the following: The National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE), The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Exam, The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) Certification Exam, The Board Certification Examination given by the Certification Board of Music Therapists, the Advanced Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Counselor Examination (AAODA), The Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC), or the practice test of psychological knowledge from the North American Association of Master’s in Psychology (NAMP).

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Therapist

Total Fees: $45 plus exam fee (varies based on test)

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Prerequisites: Master’s degree in counseling; 3,000 hours of work experience over two years; pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) or the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE).

Careers Available With This License:

  • Counselor
  • Researcher

Total Fees: $335

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Pennsylvania

Students and recent graduates can find numerous psychology internships and fellowships in Pennsylvania. Internships and fellowships provide valuable experience under the mentorship of psychology professionals. Students can participate in both paid and unpaid internships in exchange for academic credit. Fellowships usually apply to recent graduates at the post-master’s or postdoctoral level, often with pay, and closely resemble entry-level psychology jobs. The following list includes internships available to psychology students in Pennsylvania.

  • Clinical Psychology Intern: Pennsylvania offers a clinical internship program for postdoctoral students. Licensed psychologists supervise the program, and interns’ work counts toward the supervised hours needed for licensure.
  • Public Health Internship: Qualitative Emphasis: The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers internships in Harrisburg to students studying psychology. The exact nature of the internship will depend on the student’s interests and skills.
  • Adult Diversion and Stabilization Internship: Wesley Family Services offers this internship in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. The intern gains experience in direct care to adult patients dealing with psychiatric emergencies. The internship is for bachelor’s level psychology students.

Psychology Careers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state in the country, which means plenty of people need psychological services and care. If you want to work as a clinical, counseling, or school psychologist, Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country for highest employment level in these occupations.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Pennsylvania?

Psychologists’ salaries vary based on factors, such as experience level, educational background, credentials, and geographic location. Pennsylvania psychologists earn close to the national average. Competitive wages, paired with Pennsylvania’s lower-than-average cost of living, make this a great state to start your psychology career.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Pennsylvania 5,480 $38.28 $79,635
United States 122,310 $38.77 $80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in Pennsylvania

Mental health service providers offer many counseling opportunities for students and graduates of an online psychology degree Pennsylvania. Familiarizing yourself with these providers will help you as you seek internship opportunities or begin your job search.

  • Wesley Family Services: This nonprofit organization works with adults, children, and families, providing more than 65 behavioral health programs. Services include therapy, rehabilitation, in-home care, and a mobile psychiatric team.
  • Magellan Healthcare of Pennsylvania: Magellan provides behavioral health services to Pennsylvania residents, including inpatient psychiatric healthcare, behavioral health rehabilitation, a variety of drug and alcohol treatments, and crisis intervention.
  • Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute: This institute offers behavioral health services to people dealing with psychiatric illnesses in Central Pennsylvania. Adults, adolescents, and seniors receive treatment at this 74-bed hospital that includes outpatient services.
  • Community Care: Community Care provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services to Pennsylvanians of all ages. The organization’s Recovery Institute offers services for psychiatric patients.
  • Pennsylvania Comprehensive Behavioral Health: This service provider offers a wide variety of mental health services, including psychiatric evaluation, medication management, art therapy, group therapy, functional behavioral assessments, and neuropsychological testing.

Mental Health Research Centers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to a variety of mental health research centers that hire psychology professionals. The following list includes a few of Pennsylvania’s reputable mental health research centers.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Professional psychology organizations provide an opportunity for students and recent graduates to network with other professionals, access continuing education programs, get discounted rates on annual conferences, and take advantage of career services or job boards. Most professional organizations offer a discounted rate to students.

  • Pennsylvania Psychological Association: The PPA is the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Psychological Association, the leading professional group for psychologists in the United States. Membership benefits include access to a community network, discounts on continuing education events, free legal assistance, and insurance at reduced cost.
  • The Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania: ASPP is the professional organization for school psychologists working in Pennsylvania. Members receive reduced fees for workshops, current information about the profession, and professional advocacy. ASPP also links its members to the national association.
  • Central Pennsylvania Psychological Association: CPPA represents psychologists and psychology graduate students in the central Pennsylvania area. Membership benefits include networking with other psychology professionals in the region.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Pennsylvania

Clarkston Scholars Program

Clarkston Consulting offers a scholarship program for undergraduate students majoring in a life science. This award also includes mentoring and enrollment in Life Sciences Pennsylvania events.

  • Amount Offered: $10,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: January 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a sophomore at an accredited university in Pennsylvania; a minimum 3.0 GPA; U.S. citizenship or permanent residency

The Sister M. Bernardina McAndrew, IHM Scholarship

Marywood University offers this scholarship to a graduate student majoring in psychology. The student must demonstrate financial need and academic merit.

  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a graduate psychology student at Marywood University

Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation's
Student Education Awards

The Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation distributes scholarships as part of its mission to financially support graduate students in psychology. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, community service, and academic merit.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time graduate student of psychology in Pennsylvania or a resident of Pennsylvania studying out-of-state

The Shipley Prize

Temple University offers the Shipley Prize each year to a psychology graduate student to help fund their research. It can be used for travel or data collection.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a graduate psychology student at Temple University and submit an excellent research proposal

The Bersh Award

Temple University presents the Bersh Award to a psychology graduate student for research. The money can be used for travel or data collection.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a Temple University graduate student in psychology

Annette Urso Rickel Foundation Dissertation Award for Public Policy

The American Psychological Foundation provides this financial award to doctoral students working on their dissertation research dealing with public policy. The research should be designed to improve the psychological lives of children and families.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time graduate student in the U.S. or Canada; IRB approval if needed; completed doctoral candidacy; demonstrate competence in psychological research

The Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Fellowship Program

The American Psychological Foundation runs this fellowship program providing financial support to graduate students researching issues in child psychology. Financial support lasts for one year.

  • Amount Offered: $25,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: November 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a postdoctoral student; obtain IRB approval if needed; provide proof of research competence

The Lizette Peterson Homer Memorial Injury Research Grant

This award from the American Psychological Foundation is intended for students and faculty researching psychological factors related to injury prevention in children and adolescents. It is given in honor of Lizette Peterson Homer who dedicated her life to helping children.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: October 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a student at an accredited school; have IRB approval if applicable; show research competence

Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark Fund

The Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark Fund provides financial support to early career psychologists doing research that will help people understand the relationship between academic achievement and self-identity in children.

  • Amount Offered: $10,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be an early career psychologist; obtain IRB approval if applicable; be familiar with the Clarks’ work

Ungerleider/Zimbardo Travel Scholarships

The APA Science Directorate awards these travel scholarships to help seven graduate students present their research papers at the annual APA convention.

  • Amount Offered: $300
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time graduate student at an accredited school in the U.S. or Canada and be a member of the APA. Preference is given to students from underrepresented groups

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Pennsylvania

When choosing a school for your online psychology degree in Pennsylvania, look for institutions with proper accreditation. A regionally accredited institution meets strict educational standards decided upon by the larger educational community. Most often used by for-profit colleges and universities, national accreditation is less prestigious than regional accreditation, and credits are less likely to transfer from nationally accredited schools. Make sure to look for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as your regional accrediting agency for Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

Subject-specific accreditation may also apply to psychology Ph.D programs in Pennsylvania. To ensure that your degree qualifies you for licensure, choose a program accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania colleges and universities offer many degree options online for students and graduates to consider. The following database includes all of the accredited online psychology programs in Pennsylvania.