West Virginia contains several two- and four-year schools, offering learners many options for earning an online psychology degree. Psychology programs in West Virginia prepare students for careers in psychology and mental health. Students earning an online psychology degree in West Virginia master topics in cognitive, social, and emotional behavior and development, and often pursue specializations in a variety of concentration areas.
This page details how to earn an online psychology degree in West Virginia. Prospective students can obtain information on how online programs work, the degree types available, and state licensure requirements.
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in West Virginia Work?
Online psychology degrees in West Virginia offer flexible, accessible pathways to earning degrees at all levels. Students in West Virginia can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology entirely online. Many online psychology programs in West Virginia require few or no campus visits while others take a hybrid approach, offering some courses on campus and some online.
Generally, online psychology programs have the same requirements and curricula as their on-campus counterparts, and take around the same amount of time to complete. Degree-seekers typically take four years to earn a bachelor's, 2-3 years for a master's, and four or more years for a doctorate. Fortunately, employers recognize online psychology degrees as legitimate and competitive in the field.
What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in West Virginia?
Online psychology programs in West Virginia offer a variety of core and specialized courses, giving learners a strong foundation in the field. Psychology students often take courses like those outlined below, though actual course offerings vary by school.
- Introduction to Psychology
This introductory course provides a broad overview of the psychology field. Students explore a variety of topics and concentration areas, emphasizing basic psychological theories and principles. The course prepares learners for more detailed future studies in psychology, biology, and physiology.
- Personality Theory
In this course, degree-seekers apply basic psychological concepts and theories toward a deeper understanding of human personality. Students examine topics and theories in psychoanalysis, humanism, biology, and behavioral science, considering the various influences on personality and personality-based disorders. The course also covers topics in physical science and anatomy and considers the cultural and social impact on personality.
- Research Methods in Psychology
Psychology programs, especially at graduate levels, feature a lot of field research. This course introduces the various methods used to conduct psychological research, emphasizing common methodologies and their rationales. Degree-seekers explore topics in quantitative methods and statistics, as well as qualitative methods and case studies.
- Developmental Psychology
Using basic psychological theories and principles, students gain a deeper understanding of human psychological development. This course covers developmental psychology from birth to late adulthood, examining the various influencing factors on psychological well-being and developmental phases. The course often includes close analysis of case studies and longitudinal research.
- Behavior Disorders
This course explores myriad psychological disorders, examining their development, causes, and treatments. Degree-seekers learn how to diagnose and evaluate behavioral and mental disorders and the physiological impact those disorders have. The course also examines treatment options, case studies in treatment, and pharmacology.
Becoming a Psychologist in West Virginia
Individuals need the appropriate licensure to practice psychology in West Virginia. Earning the right degree is the first step to licensure. In West Virginia, psychologists need at least a master's degree. The steps below outline how to earn licensure in West Virginia, including information on alternative licensure and career options.
Many psychology programs in West Virginia allow students to specialize their degrees. With a specialization, learners can focus their degrees toward their interest areas. Specialization options include addiction studies, forensic psychology, and organizational psychology.
Earn Your Degrees
Individuals need at least a master's degree to practice psychology in West Virginia. Before earning a master's, students must complete their bachelor's. Some psychology master's programs in West Virginia require students to hold a bachelor's in psychology while others allow a bachelor's in any area. Typically, learners can earn a bachelor's in 3-4 years and a master's in 2-3 additional years.
Many psychology programs in West Virginia allow students to complete the degree fully online or through a blended on-campus and online format. Most doctoral programs require some on-campus components. Psychology graduate programs often require some form of internship or supervised practice, which degree-seekers can complete in their local communities.
The West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists handles licensure for psychologists in the state. Individuals need at least a master's degree for licensure in West Virginia. Applicants must have completed at least 50 credits of graduate study, and at least 80% of coursework must have taken place on campus to meet board standards.
Prospective psychologists must also pass the examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP) and sit for an oral exam. Psychologists may take the EPPP at any point during their first year of supervision. After five years of supervised work, psychologists may take the oral exam and earn full licensure.
Other Licenses and Certifications
Many opportunities exist outside of clinical psychology. Those with a psychology degree can work as clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional counselors. The list below details specific licensure and certification requirements for each career path.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
West Virginia's Level C social work license requires a master's in social work and two years of post-master's supervised practice. Applicants must pass the Association of Social Work Board's advanced generalist exam.
Marriage and Family Therapist
To practice marriage and family therapy in West Virginia, applicants need at least a master's. Master's-level applicants must complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience and pass the board exam.
Licensed Professional Counselor
These counselors need a master's degree in counseling or psychology with at least 60 graduate credits. Applicants must pass the national counselor exam.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in West Virginia
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that job growth for psychologists, counselors, and therapists in West Virginia in the coming years will increase. The state's Department of Commerce also projects job growth for marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.
Unfortunately, West Virginia is among the nation's hardest-hit states in the opioid crisis, increasing the need for psychologists and substance abuse and addiction counselors. West Virginia offers a slightly lower mean salary for these particular counselors compared to surrounding states.
West Virginia University Medicine is the state's largest employer, with several hospitals and medical centers filling the top five spots. Many psychologists and mental health professionals benefit from this, with ample employment opportunities within these health systems.
West Virginia at a Glance
Population Growth (2010-2018): -2.55%
Population Growth Rank: 51
Source: United States Census Bureau
|Mean Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth (2016-26)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary||General Unemployment Rate||Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth|
|Washington - Arlington - Alexandria||$88,980||3.2%||2.3%|
|Hagerstown - Martinsburg||$70,760||3.7%||3.1%|
Psychology Degrees and Careers in West Virginia -- Frequently Asked Questions
Many prospective students have questions about earning an online psychology degree in West Virginia. They often want to know the length of degree programs, the difficulty of psychology courses, and which degree type they should pursue. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about this profession.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in West Virginia?
The time it takes to become a psychologist in West Virginia depends on a variety of factors. The state requires a master's degree at minimum to practice, which requires first earning a bachelor's. Aspiring psychologists may need six or more years to earn those degrees, and then they must meet supervised practice hour requirements in the years prior to licensure. This time frame is longer for those pursuing a doctorate.
Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?
Online psychology courses require just as much effort and hard work as on-campus courses. Course rigor and work expectations vary by class and instructor, and often intensify during graduate study. Like any college course, students should expect to be challenged.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?
For licensure, West Virginia requires a minimum of 50 graduate credits. Within those 50 credits, curriculum must cover topics in core areas such as individual psychotherapy, psychopathology, diagnosis and treatment, and clinical interviewing. Psychologists need strong skills in active listening, critical thinking, organization, and time management.
What Schools Are Best for Psychology in West Virginia?
West Virginia's psychology board requires prospective licensees to graduate from a regionally accredited institution. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the regional accrediting agency for higher education institutions in West Virginia. Students pursuing a doctorate should choose a psychology program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?
Some West Virginia colleges allow students to pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in psychology. The BA emphasizes a core general education curriculum in liberal arts while the BS includes more courses in biology, mathematics, and other sciences. Students who hope to pursue graduate studies in psychology may benefit from the BA's liberal arts approach, while those pursuing research careers should earn a BS.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in West Virginia
Psychology programs may have programmatic accreditation from agencies that specialize in psychology, social work, and counseling education. Many accreditors exist for this field, including the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, APA, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Some programmatic accreditors only accredit graduate or doctoral programs.
Most psychology licenses require that individuals earn a degree from a regionally accredited institution. Unlike programmatic accreditation, regional accreditation applies to an entire college or university. HLC is the regional accreditor for West Virginia and several other northeastern states. Regional accreditation is standardized, and most institutions only accept credit transferred from regionally accredited institutions. For example, a psychology Ph.D. program in West Virginia may require applicants to hold prior degrees from a regionally accredited college.
National accreditors usually focus on vocational, religious, or trade schools. However, their standards are not always as high as regional accreditation agencies. Degree-seekers should ensure that their chosen schools hold the appropriate institutional or programmatic accreditation.
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in West Virginia
Through internships and fellowships, degree-seekers can meet licensing requirements, learn more about a subfield of psychology, and potentially receive job offers. Students usually complete internships while still in college, working in exchange for college credit or experience, although some internships are paid. Fellowships usually occur at the master's or doctoral level or immediately after graduation. Fellows often receive a stipend and benefits. Fellowships might involve working directly with patients or performing academic research.
Some of West Virginia's top employers are health providers and hospitals, and the state offers psychology students a variety of internship and fellowship opportunities within these health systems. The health centers, organizations, and hospitals below may offer internships and fellowships that students can purse.
This center offers behavioral health and substance abuse programs through outpatient and residential treatment. As the state's largest behavioral health service provider, Prestera treats adults, children, and adolescents.
Seneca Health Services, Inc.
This behavioral health facility offers four locations in West Virginia. The center serves adults, adolescents, and children through substance abuse programs, outpatient services, mental health treatment, and treatment for developmental disabilities.
Located in Charleston, this facility offers both outpatient and inpatient programs for behavioral health and substance abuse. Children, adolescents, and adults can receive treatment at this facility.
River Park Hospital
This Huntington facility serves seniors, children, adolescents, and adults. The hospital offers four residential programs for youth, including Barboursville School, which provides behavioral health services and education for ages 12 to 18.
The Health Research Center
West Virginia University's HRC was founded in 2005 with the merging of two centers: Addictions and Psychiatric Medicine Research and the Health Behavior Research Center. HRC is located within the School of Public Health and focuses on improving the health of West Virginia communities.
Charleston Area Medical Center Institute
CAMC has partnered with West Virginia University-Charleston to conduct research into health issues. Approximately 450 studies are underway in areas including women's health, cancer, and behavioral health.
Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
While earning an online psychology degree in West Virginia, students may benefit from joining professional organizations. These organizations provide valuable resources, including networking opportunities, career planning assistance, conferences, and scholarly publications. The organizations below specifically serve psychology students and professionals.
- West Virginia Psychological Association This association is the state's chapter of APA. The group serves practicing psychologists and mental health counselors in West Virginia along with students earning their degrees. Members enjoy access to a conference, continuing education opportunities, and networking programs.
- American Psychological Association The country's largest organization of its kind, APA is the programmatic accreditation agency for psychology doctorate programs. The website offers a searchable database of these programs. APA also offers events around the country, including professional development, web training, and networking opportunities for practicing professionals.
- West Virginia Counseling Association An affiliate of the American Counseling Association, WVCA aims to promote best counseling practices in the state. The association provides a state-based yearly conference, legal advice for practitioners, training and continuing education, and networking opportunities. The website also offers information on advocacy and licensure for West Virginia counselors.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association This group aims to further the counseling profession by giving counselors tools to meet healthcare needs. Members gain access to discounts on professional liability insurance, continuing education courses, subscriptions to scholarly publications, and health and wellness benefits.
- West Virginia School Psychologists' Association This association serves West Virginia school psychologists, aiming to encourage competent practices and ensure the well-being of children. The group offers leveled memberships for practicing psychologists and students. Members gain access to a job board, student resources, and information on legislation affecting school psychologists.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in West Virginia
CFWV Health Sciences Service Program
The College Foundation of West Virginia awards scholarships to incentivize health science students to work in underserved communities in the state.
- Amount Offered: $15,000
- Scholarship Deadline: October 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be in their final year of a graduate social work program or doctoral clinical psychology program. They must agree to the equivalent of two years of full-time work in an underserved area of West Virginia.
CFWV PROMISE Scholarship
The merit-based College Foundation of West Virginia's PROMISE scholarship awards money to cover tuition and fees at accredited institutions in West Virginia.
- Amount Offered: $4,750
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be legal residents of West Virginia. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, complete the PROMISE scholarship application, submit the FAFSA, and submit high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.
Philip A. Haddad Scholarship
These two scholarships are open to students who are members of an Orthodox Church in West Virginia. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation manages the awards.
- Amount Offered: $1,750
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants can attend any institution but must demonstrate financial need. Applicants must be a member of an Orthodox Church in West Virginia.
Stuart & Lucille Armstrong
This scholarship is for a student who is an Episcopalian in the West Virginia Diocese. The scholarship, managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, can be applied to any institution.
- Amount Offered: $1,250
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA, qualify as Episcopalian in the West Virginia Diocese, and demonstrate financial need.
Michael W. McDaniel Scholarship
This scholarship is available to undergraduate or graduate students who are Fayette county residents or graduates. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation manages this scholarship.
- Amount Offered: $1,700
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be graduates or residents of Fayette county, be undergraduate or graduate students, and demonstrate financial need.
Ray Singleton Scholarship
This scholarship is given to residents of Lincoln, Kanawha, Fayette, Putnam, Clay, or Boone counties. Three awards are available.
- Amount Offered: $2,000
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be undergraduate or graduate students at an institution in West Virginia who show academic excellence, demonstrate financial need, and are residents of an eligible county.
Charleston Vandalia Rotary Club
These two scholarships are awarded to students who are residents of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Boone, Mercer, Cabell, Nicholas, Fayette, Mingo, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Wyoming, Putnam, or Wayne counties. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation manages this scholarship program.
- Amount Offered: $1,200
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be residents of an eligible county and must demonstrate financial need.
Leff Moore Scholarship
This scholarship is open to any West Virginia democratic student attending an institution in the state. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation manages this scholarship.
- Amount Offered: $500
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, reside in West Virginia, be a democrat, and attend an institution in the state.
West Virginia Golf Association
This association provides two scholarships to students who play golf or are employed in a golf-related job in West Virginia. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation manages this scholarship.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: TBD
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must have played golf in the state or work in a golf-related job in West Virginia. They must submit a reference from an employer, golf professional, or coach and submit an essay describing the sport's impact on their life.
Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in West Virginia
Psychology programs in West Virginia differ in terms of available degrees, required credits, tuition costs, and prerequisites. To help find the best degree for your goals, browse the database below, which includes all online accredited psychology programs in West Virginia.
Explore Psychology Careers
Mental Health Initiatives in West Virginia
West Virginia offers a variety of mental health and psychological initiatives to promote residents' mental well-being. West Virginia's Office of Adult Services, a division of the state's Bureau for Behavioral Health, provides services and mental healthcare initiatives that allow adults and young people with mental illnesses to thrive in their communities.
Some of these initiatives and programs include Adult Crisis Response Services, Complex Support Services, Co-Occurring Disorder Transitional Living programs, and Behavioral Health Outpatient Services. The Office of Adult Services also promotes culturally conscious care and recovery from mental illness and addiction.
According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, West Virginia's mental health services reports higher rates than the national average for adult access to services, outcome of services, and general satisfaction with care.