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Online Psychology Degree Programs in South Carolina

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned a median salary of $79,010 in 2018. Additionally, the BLS projects these positions to grow 14% by 2028 due to an increase in the elderly population and society’s growing interest in mental well-being. These statistics and expectations indicate career options and financial benefits for licensed candidates, particularly since the average income for psychologists is higher than the 2018 average U.S. income of $52,145.

Our guide lays out the steps for becoming a psychologist in South Carolina, along with information on salaries, educational requirements, professional organizations, and accreditation.

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How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in South Carolina Work?

Online psychology degrees in South Carolina call for the same requirements as in-person programs, including identical coursework and field components. However, departments may adjust experiences to fit distance learning. For instance, online learners may complete practicums or internships close to their homes, and virtual courses may include forums in place of class discussions.

Given the similar requirements, online degrees hold the same amount of esteem as their on-campus counterparts, so long as they have received accreditation. Employers hold both types of degrees in high regard, and diplomas generally do not specify the mode of delivery.

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

Coursework in psychology programs varies from school to school, due to factors like specializations and degree level. For instance, an online master’s in psychology in South Carolina requires more advanced classes than a bachelor’s program. Students who pursue psychology credentials, though, often encounter the following courses.

  • General Psychology

    This undergraduate course introduces learners to field terminology and concepts. Students can examine neuroscience and psychological theories that relate to behavior, personality, and general and abnormal development, along with exploring the history of psychology and common research techniques.

  • Cognitive Psychology

    Students explore information processing through topics like memory, perception, problem-solving, and language. Learners can also examine why and how some information is lost over time. Faculty members may address biological and physiological factors that contribute to information processing and explore how age affects these processes.

  • Abnormal Psychology

    Degree-seekers in this course can learn to recognize, categorize, and treat various mental and behavioral disorders. Enrollees examine each disorder’s history and cause and cultural and societal perspectives on abnormal psychology. Similar bachelor’s courses may focus on certain age groups, such as children and adolescents.

  • Social Psychology

    Faculty members cover topics in persuasion, attraction, conformity, and attitude. Specifically, students can examine how group situations and circumstances impact personal behavior, thoughts, and feelings. This course may include a lab and explore theories of social psychology throughout history. Degree-seekers may also learn to research social psychology concepts.

  • Lifespan Development

    Learners can explore cognitive, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and personality development over the lifespan. Faculty may also address abnormal development and illustrate how developmental concepts can shape behavior. Bachelor’s programs often require these classes and focus on particular age groups, such as adolescent development.

Becoming a Psychologist in South Carolina

Earning state licenses in South Carolina requires coursework, fieldwork, and exam scores that reflect the given specialization. The licensure process may also include fees and criminal background checks. The following section addresses education, experience, and licensure requirements for the field.

  • Specialize

    Online psychology degrees in South Carolina offer specializations for specific career fields. A forensic psychology specialization delivers coursework that can lead to criminal justice careers, while educational and school psychologist specializations may focus on relevant concepts for learners and assessment. Other specializations include sports, clinical, health, counseling, and industrial-organizational psychology.

  • Earn Your Degrees

    In South Carolina, an undergraduate student can earn a psychology bachelor’s degree in four years by taking around 120 credits in electives, general education, and major courses. These programs may cover ethics, statistics, research, behavior, and development and can also require seminars, fieldwork, and research projects. Online psychology bachelor’s degrees are common in the state.

    Psychology master’s programs in South Carolina often call for 36-45 credits and include specializations. For these degrees, learners typically must complete fieldwork. A doctoral program can take 4-7 years (or more), commonly requiring a dissertation and field experience. Although the state requires a doctorate for licensure, online graduate degrees do not often surface at psychology colleges in South Carolina.

  • Obtain Licensure

    Each candidate for a South Carolina psychologist license should hold a doctorate with accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). Degrees without this accreditation must be approved by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology. Licensure also calls for at least 3,000 hours of supervised fieldwork. This experience must include post-doctoral work.

    Applicants must pass the examination for professional practice in psychology with a minimum score of 500. This exam covers topics like assessment and behavior in 225 questions and costs $600. The board also requires an oral examination and a $500 application fee.

Other Licenses and Certifications

South Carolina residents can also pursue credentials in social work, marriage and family therapy, and professional counseling. Learners should consider these credentials early to ensure they earn graduate degrees and field experience that relate to the applicable license or certification.

  • Licensed Independent Social Worker - Clinical Practice

    This credential requires a social work graduate degree with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education. Additional requirements include 3,000 hours of supervised fieldwork and the clinical test from the Association of Social Work Boards.

  • Marriage and Family Therapist

    This license calls for an advanced degree related to the field, with courses in categories like theoretical foundations and research. Candidates must also pass the national marital and family therapy examination and participate in supervised fieldwork.

  • Licensed Professional Counselor

    Applicants must take the national clinical mental health counseling examination or the national counselor examination for licensure and certification. Each candidate must also hold a graduate degree and perform supervised fieldwork

Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in South Carolina

On average, South Carolina psychologists earn $92,560, which falls just under the national average. The neighboring Georgia and Tennessee boast similar average salaries for psychologists. The state’s average pay for psychologists, though, more than triples South Carolina’s median income of $27,909 for all residents.

Certain South Carolina metropolitan areas offer average salaries for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists that surpass the state’s average pay for all psychologists. In particular, the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, and Augusta-Richmond County areas offer average pay for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists that exceeds $70,000.

South Carolina psychologist positions should grow 5.3% in the coming years. This increase is fortunate since the U.S. Census Bureau projects nearly 10% growth for South Carolina’s population. As the population grows, career opportunities should grow as well.

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South Carolina at a Glance

Population: 5,084,127

Population Growth (2010-2018): 9.92%

Population Growth Rank: 11

Source: United States Census Bureau

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

Source: BLS, Projections Central

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist SalaryGeneral Unemployment RateEducation and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth
Charlotte – Concord – Gastonia$77,5303.9%3.4%
Myrtle Beach – Conway – North Myrtle Beach$77,4503.7%N/A
Augusta – Richmond County$76,0603.9%1.2%
Spartanburg$69,5202.7%N/A
Columbia$69,3502.8%-4.0%

Source: BLS

Psychology Degrees and Careers in South Carolina — Frequently Asked Questions

Candidates interested in online psychology degrees in South Carolina may have questions about available programs and careers. This section of frequently asked questions addresses some common concerns.

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

    Each candidate for a psychologist license in South Carolina must hold a doctorate. When added to time expectations for a bachelor’s and master’s degree, this education can take over 10 years. Licensure also calls for a minimum of one year of experience after earning the doctorate. In total, learners can invest 10-15 years in the credential.

  • Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?

    Courses for online psychology degrees in South Carolina prepare students to assist with various mental and behavioral problems. This preparation requires complex coursework related to neuroscience, research, development, and assessment.

  • What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?

    Psychologists should be compassionate, patient individuals who excel at problem solving. These candidates should think creatively and boast strong observational skills for determining each client’s needs and building unique treatment plans. Organizational skills can also help with maintaining records, and research abilities allow psychologists to explore treatment options for different patients.

  • What Schools Are Best for Psychology in South Carolina?

    The University of South Carolina ranks among the top 200 psychology programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. However, this school does not offer an online psychology degree. Online students can consider psychology schools in South Carolina like Limestone College and North Greenville University.

  • Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?

    A BA or BS should qualify graduates for the same field positions, due to similar coursework and experience required for the degrees. The APA advises students to consider concentrations and courses, rather than degree title, when choosing online psychology degrees in South Carolina since these factors can have a greater impact on professional opportunities.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in South Carolina

All students should consider the accreditation status of their prospective schools. Accreditation comes in two forms. Accrediting bodies grant regional accreditation, the most popular and rigorous form, to schools and programs within specific areas of the United States. South Carolina schools, for example, receive regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Public institutions in the state are also monitored by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. It is important to ensure that both of these governing bodies have approved any schools you consider.

National accreditation is typically reserved for vocational and for-profit schools. Some colleges and universities won’t accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools, so always ensure that your program is regionally accredited.

In psychology, the most desirable programmatic accreditation is awarded by the APA. This association only grants accreditation to doctoral-level psychology degree programs and only works with regionally accredited schools. An APA-accredited degree is not strictly mandatory to practice psychology in South Carolina, but it does reduce the number of steps a student must take to obtain licensure.

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in South Carolina

Internships and fellowships can help students gain clinical experience and determine which areas of the field to target after graduation. Internships typically see students exchanging work for experience or school credit, while fellowships tend to be full-time positions that exchange advanced-level research from a doctoral student or postgraduate for a salary or stipend.

Psychology colleges in South Carolina may require field experience, particularly for graduate degrees. This experience can occur at healthcare settings and centers. Students can also pursue on-campus internships or apply for the Psychology Internship Training Program from the Columbia VA Healthcare System. The following organizations may provide information on other opportunities.

Rebound Behavioral Health

Rebound Behavioral Health assists with addiction and other behavioral health illnesses. This in-patient hospital is located on a 50-acre estate just outside Charlotte.

Prisma Health

Prisma Health, a comprehensive healthcare system with many services and programs, offers a behavioral care program, and addiction services. Its parent company, Palmetto Health, employs professionals in child psychology, chemical dependency, and addiction recovery.

Morris Village Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Center

As a member of the Division of In-Patient Services of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Morris Village assists people with addiction and mental illness.

Greenville Health System

Greenville’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health cares for people of all ages with many types of emotional and psychological disorders. The hospital offers in-patient and out-patient programs.

Institute for Mind and Brain at the University of South Carolina

This institute focuses on the cognitive processes of the brain. Staff members focus their research on brain functions, such as memory, perception, attention, and language. Researchers also explore cognitive impairments, such as strokes, head injuries, and developmental disorders.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina

MUSC researches addiction and alcoholism. The department also runs clinical trials on brain diseases, mood disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals

Professional organizations commonly offer continuing education opportunities for psychologists renewing their credentials, along with webinars and in-person events. Groups may also examine field topics and concerns in publications, blogs, and annual conferences. Members can benefit from job banks, networking opportunities, and discounts on materials through psychology organizations.

  • South Carolina Psychological Association SCPA offers an Academic Day with a keynote speaker, and also delivers events on topics like professional ethics. Candidates can pursue continuing education credit through group activities. The site provides a searchable psychologist directory and connects members with career and licensure resources.
  • American Psychological Association APA participates in events that include webinars and the National Council for the Social Studies. The group’s website on relevant news for the field and provides resources for K-12 and college classrooms. Members can explore available jobs, along with career tips on networking and opening an independent psychology practice. APA also publishes journals, books, reports, and videos on field topics.
  • South Carolina Counseling Association The group delivers an annual conference and publishes a newsletter. Members can have their books showcased on the website’s bookstore and view relevant news through the website. Additional benefits from this association include information on available jobs and in-person and online continuing education opportunities.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association Candidates can earn continuing education credit through AMHCA. The association also hosts the AMHCA Annual Conference and publishes the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. Member benefits include access to job listings, liability insurance, and discount rates on continuing education and study materials through the Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences.
  • South Carolina Association of School Psychologists SCASP participates in the Read to Succeed Course with the South Carolina Department of Education. The group also offers a list of available positions and resources by geographic region. Members may earn the School Psychologist of the Year award for making significant advancements in the field.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in South Carolina

  • SC Tuition Grants Program

    The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission established these grants to help students from South Carolina pay for their first degrees at South Carolina institutions.

    • Amount Offered: Varies
    • Scholarship Deadline: June 30
    • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be South Carolina residents with financial need who plan to attend South Carolina colleges or universities.

  • Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program

    The South Carolina Department of Education established this program in honor of South Carolina’s first poet laureate. Scholarships are given to students who deliver the most impressive artistic presentation.

    • Amount Offered: $2,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: Feb. 4
    • Eligibility Requirements: South Carolina high school students who plan to attend in-state schools may apply.

  • First Choice by Select Health of South Carolina Scholarship

    Established to help First Choice members finance their education, this scholarship aims to empower members and reward academic proficiency.

    • Amount Offered: Varies
    • Scholarship Deadline: March 5
    • Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must be a South Carolina resident and a member of First Choice. They must also have earned a 2.0 GPA in high school or a 2.5 GPA in college.

  • South Carolina State University General Scholarship

    South Carolina State University awards this scholarship to incoming first-year students who demonstrated academic excellence in high school. The award is only available to South Carolinians, which encourages more residents to stay and study in their home state.

    • Amount Offered: Varies
    • Scholarship Deadline: Oct. 1
    • Eligibility Requirements: Each applicant must possess a minimum GPA of 3.25 and an 1100 on the SAT (or 24 on the ACT).

  • Top Scholars Awards

    The University of South Carolina awards these three scholarships to South Carolina resident students who demonstrate the highest levels of academic excellence.

    • Amount Offered: $10,000-$20,000 annually
    • Scholarship Deadline: Nov. 15
    • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and community involvement and leadership.

Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in South Carolina

Many institutions offer online psychology degrees in South Carolina, which can make the process of choosing a program seem daunting. We’ve compiled a database of every accredited online psychology program in South Carolina, which should help you find the school that best fits your academic and professional goals.

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Mental Health Initiatives in South Carolina

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the national penetration rate (23.69), which represents every 1,000 citizens, surpasses South Carolina’s (17.36). SAMHSA further reports that national rates for all noted age groups are higher than South Carolina’s, though some categories reflect smaller differences. For instance, South Carolina’s penetration rate for ages 13-17 (43.3) is only one point lower than the national rate.

Funding for South Carolina mental health care comes from sources like the Mental Health Block Grant and Medicaid.

South Carolina embraces initiatives, programs, and departments that assist with in-state mental health care. For instance, the state offers the Behavioral Alliance of South Carolina, which encourages better teaching techniques for students with behavioral and emotional problems. Mental Health America of South Carolina seeks to advance mental health treatment in the state, and the South Carolina Behavioral Health Coalition works with state groups to increase residents’ ability to receive mental health care.

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