Online Psychology Degree Programs in Texas

Psychologists study the human mind and help patients address mental health issues. Many respected universities host psychology programs in Texas. Online degrees enable students to earn valuable academic credentials and gain specialized training in psychology subfields while maintaining a flexible schedule. Public universities including the University of Texas, Texas State University, and Texas A&M now offer psychology courses in online formats. Top private educational institutions such as Baylor University also provide online psychology degrees in Texas.

For students interested in psychology, Texas presents attractive career opportunities. There are many treatment and research facilities in this large state and demand for trained psychologists remains strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that clinical, counseling, and school psychologist jobs will increase 20.9% by 2024 in Texas, faster than the 19.6% average for the entire United States. Several respected professional organizations related to psychology operate in Texas, providing robust support networks for graduates pursuing careers in various psychology subfields.

Mental Health Initiatives in Texas

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division (MHSA) of the Texas Department of State Health Services oversees mental health initiatives in the state. MHSA maintains a database of best practices in mental health to give local mental health service providers, patients, and families access to information about care standards. MHSA funds grants to improve behavioral care infrastructure in Texas and ensures that facilities follow evidence-based approaches to mental health treatment. The division also coordinates with local health authorities to give Texans access to behavioral health resources such as counseling during natural disasters.
Like other states in the region, Texas struggles with opioid and methamphetamine addiction crises. MHSA researches the relative costs and benefits associated with treatment and incarceration, and coordinates with state criminal justice institutions to ensure incarcerated addicts receive addiction abatement counseling. The division also grants money to local mental health facilities that provide detoxification and counseling services for people struggling with substance abuse problems.

How do I Become a Psychologist in Texas?

Employees in many psychology subfields work with sensitive populations and must obtain state licenses to ensure that they can safely provide care to the public. Most psychology-related jobs have similar licensing requirements and procedures. However, fees and specific steps vary for different occupations.

Choose the Path That’s Right for You: Understanding sophisticated research literature requires extensive academic preparation. Most psychologists therefore hold doctoral degrees such as those available through psychology Ph.D programs in Texas. Candidates wishing to fill advanced mental healthcare roles or teach psychology to college students also need Ph.Ds. However, some jobs in psychology hire candidates with master’s degrees. Students who complete their master’s in psychology online in Texas may be eligible for certain jobs in counseling or therapy.

Earn Your Degree: Online psychology degrees in Texas are a flexible way for students to earn an education while working full or part time. Bachelor’s programs take four years of full-time study and normally accept applicants with strong high school academic records and standardized test scores. Master’s programs usually require two additional years of study. Competitive psychology master’s programs accept students with undergraduate GPAs of 3.0 or better and strong GRE scores and may also require previous psychology coursework. Ph.D programs accept academically accomplished candidates with master’s degrees. These programs take at least two years of additional study. Professional psychology licenses require supervised work experience, which candidates typically gain through internships and fellowships.

Earn Your License: Candidates must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) to earn psychology licenses in Texas. This rigorous exam, issued by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and administered by Pearson Vue, takes 255 minutes to complete and costs $600. The exam tests knowledge of psychological theories and practical applications. Though psychology programs help prepare candidates for the exam, most students need to study for several months to pass. Passing the EPPP allows candidates to receive licensing, but does not guarantee employment.

Psychology Licensing in Texas:

Psychology job candidates must obtain licenses appropriate to their specific field of work. License types vary by career, and separate state agencies issue different licenses. Choosing which form of licensing to pursue therefore matters a great deal to professionals hoping to build careers in psychology-related fields. The following table describes the steps and fees related to specific license types.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites:

  • Ph.D in psychology
  • Two years of supervised work experience, at least one of which is completed after graduation from a doctoral program
  • Provisional licensure ($340)
  • Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology ($600)
  • Jurisprudence exam ($200)
  • Oral Exam ($320)
  • Licensure ($180)
  • Criminal history evaluation ($50)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical or counseling psychologist
  • Mental health counselor
  • School psychologist
  • Child psychologist

Total Fees: $1,690


Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in social work
  • 3,000 hours of supervised experience
  • Association of Social Work Boards exam ($230)
  • Jurisprudence exam ($200)
  • Application ($111)
  • Criminal history evaluation ($50)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical social worker
  • Government social worker
  • School counselor or social worker
  • Intake assessor
  • Substance abuse social worker

Total Fees: $591


Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree in family therapy or related psychology subfield
  • 3,000 hours of supervised work experience completed over three years
  • Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board exam ($350)
  • Jurisprudence exam ($200)
  • Criminal history evaluation ($50)
  • Application ($137)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Child therapist
  • School therapist
  • Career coach
  • Medical family therapist

Total Fees: $737


LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

Prerequisites:

  • Master’s degree related to counseling
  • 300 hour practicum as part of degree
  • 3,000 hours of supervised work experience
  • Temporary license ($200)
  • National Counselor Examination ($275)
  • Jurisprudence exam ($200)
  • Criminal history evaluation ($50)
  • License upgrade ($98)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Behavioral health counselor
  • Career or life coach

Total Fees: $823


National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Prerequisites:

  • Pass $195 NCE or NCMHCE exam
  • Regionally accredited master’s degree in counseling
  • Curriculum must include 48 graduate-level credits in counseling including six credits of supervised field experience and coursework in nine content areas
  • Professional recommendation
  • 100 hours of postgraduate supervised counseling (waived for doctoral-degree holders)
  • 3,000 hours of postgraduate work experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • School counselor
  • Career counselor
  • Family therapist

Total Fees: $195

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Texas

Professionals in psychology-related fields normally need supervised work experience to qualify for state licenses. Internships and fellowships both give candidates opportunities to gain experience. Internships involve limited work responsibilities, and interns may be paid or unpaid. Fellows perform job duties akin to normal employees. Fellows normally receive pay equivalent to other entry-level workers in the field. The following list introduces internships and fellowships available to psychology students in Texas.

  • Baylor College of Medicine Psychology Fellowship: Baylor University organizes this respected fellowship program. Fellows gain experience working with children and adults undergoing inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. Candidates should contact the fellowship director.
  • Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Psychology Internship: Located in Temple, this internship gives doctoral students experience providing behavioral care to veterans. Interns learn to assess and treat psychological disorders in large clinical settings. Candidates can apply via the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System website.
  • Federal Correctional Institution Psychology Internship: This program gives interns experience providing behavioral healthcare to incarcerated individuals. The internship takes place at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Worth. Candidates apply through the USAJOBS website, as those participating in this internship must receive permission to work for the federal government.

Psychology Careers in Texas

For students completing online psychology degrees, Texas affords many different career choices. According to the BLS, most psychologists in Texas work in clinical, counseling, and school settings. Job growth for this career remains stronger in Texas than nationally. Clinical psychologists assess and treat people suffering from mental health issues in inpatient and outpatient settings. Counseling psychologists help clients overcome behavioral health challenges and reach life goals. School psychologists provide mental health assistance and counseling in educational settings. Forensic psychologists provide mental health expertise to the criminal justice system, and receive higher compensation than many other kinds of psychologists. Students who complete an online psychology degree in Texas are eligible for all of these occupations as long as they receive relevant licensing.

How Much do Psychologists Make in Texas?

Psychology graduates may pursue several different career paths. Although all psychologists earn comfortable professional salaries, pay rates differ by specialization. Psychologists with higher levels of education and more work experience make more than their counterparts with less education and time on the job. Pay also varies by location. For instance, the BLS reports that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn $65,310 per year on average in Texas, less than the national average salary. All other psychologists in Texas earn an annual wage of $90,570.

Mental Health Service Providers in Texas

Although demand for trained psychologists remains strong, jobs in specialized psychology-related roles can be challenging to locate for new graduates. Students can increase their chances of finding employment upon graduation by gaining familiarity with the largest mental health institutions in Texas. Large facilities hire most often and offer the best opportunities for career advancement.

  • Austin State Hospital (ASH): ASH provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral healthcare for children, adolescents, and adults at its facility in central Austin. ASH specializes in assessment, treatment, and coordination of social work resources to benefit released patients.
  • Central Texas Veterans Health Care System: Based in Temple, this large medical institution provides a full range of hospital services, including psychological care, to military veterans. The center specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, substance abuse counseling, and homelessness prevention.
  • Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center: Heart of Texas Region MHMR provides inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment at its Waco facility. The center specializes in early childhood interventions for patients with intellectual disabilities. Heart of Texas Region MHMR also treats adolescents and adults with mental health and substance abuse problems.
  • North Texas State Hospital Vernon Campus: North Texas State Hospital’s branch in Vernon provides forensic psychology support for the state’s criminal justice system. A maximum security facility, the Vernon hospital treats incarcerated adults and adolescents with severe mental health problems.
  • Waco Center for Youth (WCY): WCY provides residential care for Waco-area adolescent mental health patients. The center treats young people with severe emotional disturbances and substance abuse problems. Facility staff coordinate with area schools to ensure patients have access to appropriate educational opportunities.

Mental Health Research Centers in Texas

As an emerging social science, psychology depends on innovative research to shape policies and practices. All Texas psychology professionals benefit from studies happening at the largest research facilities in the state. Identifying large psychology research institutions particularly helps new graduates, as these facilities hire often and offer chances for new professionals to further their careers in the psychology field.

  • Center for Forensic Psychology: This research center, hosted by the University of Houston, advances scientific understanding in forensic psychology and promotes awareness of the legal implications of psychological issues. Staff provide expert testimony for attorneys and courts throughout Texas.
  • Children’s Research Center (CRC): Part of the University of Texas psychology department, this Austin-based research center specializes in issues of childhood mental development. CRC researchers further scientific understanding of cognition, language learning, and social awareness in children.
  • Neuroscience Research Center (NRC): Part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, NRC furthers interdisciplinary understanding of the human brain. NRC researchers study cognition and behavior, neurological disorders, and brain trauma.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

Several psychology-related professional organizations exist in Texas to help employees in mental health roles. Some offer scholarships and research grants and arrange internships and fellowships. Certain organizations maintain scholarly journals where psychologists can publish articles about experimental findings. Many groups hold regular meetings and conferences and the networking opportunities that take place at these can lead to valuable job opportunities. Below are a few of the psychological professional organizations in the state.

  • Dallas Psychological Association (DPA): DPA represents psychology professionals in the Dallas area. DPA provides members with career development and networking opportunities through regularly held events. Dallas psychology professionals can also advertise their services through DPA’s list of member psychologists, making this local association a valuable resource for attracting new clients.
  • Texas Association of School Psychologists (TASP): TASP advocates for school psychologists in Texas. The association provides members with professional development resources and information about legislation. TASP holds regular events where Texas school psychologists can meet their peers who work in other schools.
  • Texas Psychological Association (TPA): TPA brings together psychology graduate students and professionals to promote integrity in psychology professions in Texas. TPA provides members with continuing educational opportunities, legislative advocacy, and expert advice about mental health best practices and laws. The association also publishes a quarterly journal.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Texas

Aimee Melissa Davis Memorial Scholarship

The Austin Community Foundation provides this scholarship to graduating high school seniors in Travis, Williamson, or Hays Counties living with diabetes. Applicants must plan to attend college in the fall and demonstrate financial need.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 7
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students graduating from Travis, Williamson, or Hays County high schools living with Type I diabetes may apply.


Association of Texas Leaders for Education Scholarship

This scholarship supports full-time undergraduate students at Texas colleges and universities. Texas high school graduates with GPAs of 3.0 or better who demonstrate commitment to community service qualify for this award.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: April 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Texas high school graduates with GPAs of 3.0 or higher attending college or university full-time in the state may apply. Applicants must submit school references.


Century Scholars Program

Texas A&M and select Texas high schools collaborate to organize this competitive scholarship. The program funds outstanding Texas A&M freshmen from underrepresented high schools. Candidates must graduate from participating high schools and demonstrate academic excellence.

  • Amount Offered: $20,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: December 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Outstanding students from the 108 participating high schools may apply.


City of Houston Public Service Recognition Week Scholarship Essay Contest

The Houston city government hosts this essay contest as part of its annual Public Service Recognition Week. High school students from the greater Houston area submit essays about how city employees can improve Houston. Contestants can win up to $2,000 for college tuition.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 20
  • Eligibility Requirements: High school students in the Houston area may submit essays.


Distinguished Young Bobcat Award

The Stelos Foundation awards this scholarship to promising incoming Texas State University freshmen. Applicants must have GPAs of 3.5 or better and demonstrate strong commitment to community service.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 29
  • Eligibility Requirements: High school students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher planning to attend Texas State University may apply. Applicants should be committed to community improvement.


Fahringer-Fox Scholarship

This scholarship, honoring a former psychology department faculty member, supports psychology undergraduates at Texas State. Applicants must have 3.0 GPAs and prove full-time enrollment in the psychology program.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 2
  • Eligibility Requirements: Full-time undergraduates in the Texas State psychology department with GPAs of 3.0 or better may apply.


Fort Worth Scottish Rite Foundation Scholarship

This Fort Worth-based Masonic organization provides scholarships for graduating Texas high school students attending colleges and universities in the fall. The foundation makes award decisions based on academic merit.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: March 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Texas high school seniors with competitive GPAs may apply.


Kappa Zeta's Fairrilla E. White Scholarship

This Dallas-based sorority awards scholarships to female students beginning their studies at Texas colleges and universities.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: January 16
  • Eligibility Requirements: Female Dallas county high school seniors with outstanding academic records may apply.


Pickard Scholarship

This scholarship, awarded by the Dallas Foundation, benefits African-American male students from Dallas. The award normally goes to candidates demonstrating financial need.

  • Amount Offered: $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: Male African-American students who attend high school in Dallas may apply. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Texas

Psychology students should select accredited programs to ensure they can transfer credits and receive professional licenses. Accreditation is the way outside agencies verify that colleges and degrees meet quality standards. Colleges and universities receive institutional accreditation from regional and/or national accreditation bodies. Specific departments and programs can also seek programmatic accreditation as a further form of quality verification.
Institutional accreditation comes from regional and national agencies in the United States. Regional accreditation is typically considered more prestigious because it comes with a higher set of standards. Most major universities in Texas hold accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Career preparatory colleges often hold national accreditation. Programmatic accreditation comes from relevant academic or professional organizations. For instance, top psychology programs often receive accreditation from the American Psychology Association, a group that promotes psychology as an academic subject and profession. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, representing psychology professionals in the United States and Canada, sometimes accredits psychology programs as well.

Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Texas

For candidates interested in online psychology degrees, Texas universities offer many educational options. Several undergraduate and graduate online psychology programs now exist in the state and prospective students can choose specializations that best match their educational and career goals. Candidates can explore these options via the following database of all accredited online psychology programs in Texas.