Online Psychology Degrees in West Virginia

Psychology, counseling, and social work jobs in West Virginia are on the rise. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that in West Virginia, jobs for marriage and family therapists will grow 15%, jobs for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors will grow 16%, and all other psychologist jobs will grow 15%. An online degree in psychology is a step towards a career in one of these fields.
Online psychology degrees in West Virginia are offered by both public and private universities. There are many mental health service providers and professional organizations for career psychologists in the state. West Virginia needs psychologists, as it is dealing with high rates of mental illness, low access to care, and state initiatives related to substance abuse and children’s mental health. West Virginia is a state where a mental health professional can both grow their career and help improve the health of residents and communities.

Mental Health Initiatives in West Virginia

In the Mental Health America state rankings, West Virginia ranks 42nd overall. This low ranking indicates that the state is dealing with a combination of high occurrences of mental illness and less access to mental healthcare. The West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities Office of Adult Services has launched initiatives such as adult crisis response services and the Impaired Driving Unit. The Office of Adult Services is focused on initiatives such as expanding school mental health services. The office is also working on pilot programs related to children’s mobile crisis response and wraparound, which is part of a national initiative to help struggling children and youth remain in their homes and community.

One of the most important mental health issues facing West Virginia is the opioid epidemic. The state leads the United States in overdose death rates. In response, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) is working on treatment that involves both medication and behavioral health services. WVCTSI is educating providers across the state about these treatments.

How do I Become a Psychologist in West Virginia?

While psychologists in all states must obtain a license, specific requirements can vary from state to state. For example, West Virginia is one of the few states that allow master’s degree recipients to pursue a license in psychology, while most states require a doctorate. Other unique requirements might include experience hours required, master’s degree curriculum stipulations, and professional exams.

Choose the Path That’s Right for you: In West Virginia, both master’s and doctoral graduates can pursue a license in psychology, though master’s students are required to complete five years of supervised practice. For areas such as social work, counseling, and therapy, a minimum of a master’s degree is required. Anyone interested in teaching at the university level or working in some medical settings may want to consider a doctorate. Some internships and fellowships are only available to post-doctorate or doctoral students.

Earn Your Degree: Application requirements for psychology programs vary greatly depending on the level of education pursued and the institution. While online programs allow students to maintain a flexible schedule and live wherever they choose, some programmatic accreditation agencies only accredit on-campus programs. Some licensing requirements may also require a certain percentage of on-campus courses. Many graduate programs and subsequent licenses require students to complete in-person clinicals, fellowships, or internships. Degree lengths vary based on the number of credits required and whether a student is full-time or part-time.

Earn Your License: Each psychology and mental health license in West Virginia requires licensees to pass an exam specific to their field. Most of the exams are close to 200 questions in length and exam costs range from $195 to $600. Though graduate psychology courses may have prepared you for the exam content, it is still a good idea to spend several weeks or months studying. Preparation should include learning the exam structure, understanding the type of questions asked, and taking practice exams. Jobs are not automatically given once a license is obtained, but earning a license will drastically improve the chances of employment.

Psychology Licensing in West Virginia

Many prospective psychology professionals are not aware that there are several different state licenses related to the field. Mental health professionals might be licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, or mental health counselors. It is important to determine which license to pursue prior to choosing a program, as licenses often require a specific curriculum or programmatic accreditation. The requirements for West Virginia psychology licenses are below, as well as potential careers and associated fees.

Licensed Psychologist

Prerequisites:

  • Pass $600 EPPP exam and pay $50 admin fee
  • Pass $350 oral exam
  • $100 application fee
  • $350 license fee

Additionally:
Master’s Level Licensure

  • MA or MS from department containing the word “psychology”
  • Master’s degree from regionally accredited institution
  • 50 hours of graduate-level coursework
  • 80% of coursework must be earned on campus
  • Coursework earned in 10 different areas
  • Five years of supervised practice
  • Mid-term review halfway through supervised practice

Doctoral Level Licensure

  • Ph.D, Psy.D, or Ed.D in clinical type of psychology earned from department containing the word “psychology”
  • Doctoral degree from regionally accredited institution
  • Coursework earned in 10 different areas
  • Pre-doctoral internship of 1,800 hours OR one year of supervision with APA-approved internship OR two years of supervised practice

Careers Available With This License:

  • Psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Therapist
  • School counselor
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counseling psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Industrial organizational psychologist

Total Fees: $1,450


Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Prerequisites:

  • Pass $260 ASWB Advanced Generalist exam
  • $100 license fee
  • Master’s in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program
  • Two years post-master’s work experience

Careers Available With This License:

  • Clinical social worker
  • School social worker
  • Government social worker
  • Geriatric social worker
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse social worker

Total Fees: $360


Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)

Prerequisites:

  • Pass $350 AMFTRB exam
  • $250 license fee
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a regionally accredited institution or a program accredited by COAMFTE or CACREP
  • 60 semester hours of graduate coursework
  • Graduate program in marriage and family therapy must have recognized curriculum and faculty
  • Coursework must include one three-hour course in each of eight areas and four courses in marriage and family therapy
  • Minimum 12 months of supervised practicum (300 hours), 150 hours must have couples and families present
  • Master’s degree holders must earn 3,000 hours postgraduate supervised experience; doctoral degree holders must earn 1,500 hours postgraduate supervised experience
  • Two professional recommendations
  • Three personal references

Careers Available With This License:

  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Child therapist
  • School counselor

Total Fees: $600


LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

Prerequisites:

  • Pass certification exam (NCE, CRC, or NCMHCE) and pay $195 for exam
  • $250 license fee
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in counseling from a regionally-accredited institution or a program accredited by CACREP, CAEP, or CORE
  • 60 semester hours of graduate coursework
  • Minimum three hours of coursework in each of 14 areas
  • Master’s degree holders must earn 3,000 hours postgraduate supervised experience; doctoral degree holders must earn 1,500 hours postgraduate supervised experience. At least 50% of hours must be in providing direct counseling to clients.
  • Two professional recommendations
  • Three personal references

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Career counselor
  • School counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Behavioral health counselor

Total Fees: $445


National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Prerequisites:

  • Pass $195 NCE or NCMHCE exam
  • Master’s degree in counseling from a regionally accredited program
  • 48 semester hours of graduate education in counseling
  • Curriculum must include six supervised credit hours of field experience
  • Curriculum must include coursework in each of nine areas
  • Professional recommendation
  • 100 hours of postgraduate supervised counseling (waived for graduates of CACREP accredited programs, doctoral degree holders, and state licensed counselors)
  • 3,000 hours of postgraduate work experience (waived for graduates of CACREP accredited programs and state licensed counselors)

Careers Available With This License:

  • Mental health counselors
  • Career counselors
  • Behavioral health counselors
  • School counselors
  • Substance abuse counselors

Total Fees: $195

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in West Virginia

Internships and fellowships are useful for many reasons, including meeting licensing requirements, learning more about a sub-field of psychology, and potentially receiving a job offer after the assignment is complete. Internships often occur while still in college and interns usually perform tasks for college credit or experience. Some internships might be paid. Fellowships often occur at the master’s or doctoral level or immediately after graduating. Fellows often receive a stipend and benefits. Fellowships might involve working directly with patients or performing academic research.

  • WVU Psychology Internship Training Program: This psychology internship at the Morgantown campus allows interns to choose from two tracks, adult and behavioral medicine or neuropsychology. Interns gain experience in areas including intervention, assessment, and working with underserved populations. Applicants must have a master’s degree in psychology and have completed a minimum of three years of graduate work.
  • WVU Clinical Psychology Internship: Located at the Charleston campus, this year-long program admits three interns who receive a stipend and benefits. The internship includes required and optional rotations in a medical environment. Applicants must have a master’s degree before the internship begins.
  • WVU Medicine: University Healthcare Psychology Internship: This year-long doctoral internship training program, located on the eastern campus in Martinsburg, provides experience in six different areas, including assessment, treatment, and intervention. Areas of emphasis in the internship include family and child services, behavioral medicine, and learning disability and assessment.

Psychology Careers in West Virginia

Mental health initiatives in West Virginia relate to several areas of psychology, including substance abuse and child psychology. As the state is dealing with the opioid epidemic, one area of expertise to consider within counseling psychology is substance abuse and addiction. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for mental health and substance abuse social workers will increase 9% and jobs for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors will increase 16%. The state is also working to address the mental health of children and youth, so a specialization in child psychology may be beneficial. The BLS projects that jobs for all other psychologists will increase 15% and jobs for mental health counselors will increase 12%. Pursuing an online psychology degree in West Virginia can lead to a career in this growing field.

How Much do Psychologists Make in West Virginia?

There are 720 psychologists in the state of West Virginia, including 610 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. The salary psychologists earn can vary depending on a person’s experience, education, and the cost of living in the city and state where they reside. Since West Virginia has a lower cost of living than the average in the United States, psychologists in the state earn lower wages. The table below lists average wages for psychologists in West Virginia and the United States.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
West Virginia720$32.44$67,480
United States122,310$38.77$80,640

Source: BLS

Mental Health Service Providers in West Virginia

Mental health service providers in West Virginia treat adult, senior, child, and adolescent patients for multiple issues including behavioral health, substance abuse, and mental health. These service providers offer employment opportunities for West Virginia online psychology degree students considering work as counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists.

  • Prestera Center: Prestera Center offers behavioral health and substance abuse programs through outpatient and residential treatment. Adults, children, and adolescents can all find treatment at Prestera, which is the largest behavioral health service provider in the state.
  • Seneca Health Services, Inc.: Seneca is a behavioral health facility with 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.
  • Westbrook Health Services: This facility serves over 7,000 people per year through addiction services, mental health services, and developmental disability services. Mental health programs include family and group therapy, psychiatric care, and inpatient crisis services.
  • Highland Hospital: Located in Charleston, West Virginia, Highland Hospital offers both outpatient and inpatient programs for behavioral health and substance abuse. Treatment is available for children, adolescents, and adults.
  • River Park Hospital: This Huntington facility works with 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.

Mental Health Research Centers in West Virginia

Some West Virginia online psychology degree graduates may choose to work for research centers in the state. Research centers like those listed here work to advance the physical and mental health of citizens and communities in West Virginia. If you’re interested in working in research, these centers provide resources for future employment and internship opportunities.

  • 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. The HRC is located within the School of Public Health and focuses on improving the health of West Virginia communities.
  • West Virginia Rural Health Research Center: One of six Rural Health Research Centers in the country, the RHRC works to improve the health of rural West Virginians. Research is policy-related and focused on issues related to rural healthcare.
  • CAMC Institute: The Charleston Area Medical Center has partnered with WVU-Charleston to conduct research into health issues. There are around 450 studies currently underway. Areas of research include women’s health, cancer, and behavioral health.

Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals

There are numerous mental health professional organizations that West Virginia online psychology degree students should consider joining. Joining as a student has many advantages, including discounted membership rates, access to professional events for information and networking, and career-related resources and job boards. Many psychology licenses require students to maintain a certain number of continuing education credits, often available through professional organizations. If you are an undergraduate, doctoral, or master’s in psychology online West Virginia student, joining an organization will keep you abreast of professional news and connect you with peers.

  • West Virginia Psychological Association: WVPA is the state branch of the American Psychological Association. Membership benefits include access to continuing education events throughout the year, listing in the member directory, newsletters, and career resources.
  • West Virginia Association of Professional Psychologists: WVAPP is a professional organization focused on promoting affordable psychological services for all West Virginia residents. Members receive discounts on the yearly conferences and students can take advantage of a special $20 membership rate.
  • West Virginia School Psychologists’ Association: WVSPA members have access to events, the latest news in the profession, and continuing education. The organization focuses on school psychology advocacy and leadership.

Scholarships for Online Psychology 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 16
  • Eligibility Requirements: Student must be in the final year of a graduate social work program or doctoral clinical psychology program and 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.


Marshall University Dr. Madeleine Hoffman Feil Scholarship

This faculty-recommended scholarship is for a psychology graduate student at Marshall University.

  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must have completed at least 24 credits in the psychology program and be recommended by psychology faculty.

  • Philip A. Haddad Scholarship

    These two scholarships are for students who are members of an Orthodox Church in West Virginia. This scholarship is managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

    • Amount Offered: $1,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant can be attending any institution but must demonstrate financial need. Applicant must be a member of an Orthodox Church in West Virginia.


    Stuart & Lucille Armstrong Scholarship

    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: N/A
    • 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

    Five scholarships are available for undergraduate or graduate students who are Fayette county residents or graduates. This scholarship is managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

    • Amount Offered: $1,500
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be graduates or residents of Fayette county, be undergraduate or graduate students, and demonstrate financial need. Scholarship is renewable


    R. Ray Singleton Scholarship

    This scholarship is given to residents of Lincoln, Kanawha, Fayette, Putnam, Clay, or Boone counties. Three awards are available.

    • Amount Offered: $1,600
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be undergraduate or graduate students at an institution in West Virginia, show academic excellence, demonstrate financial need, and be residents of an eligible county.


    Charleston Vandalia Rotary Club

    The two available 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. This scholarship program is managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

    • Amount Offered: $1,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Students must be residents of an eligible county and demonstrate financial need.


    Leff Moore Scholarship

    This scholarship is for any West Virginia democratic student attending an institution in the state. The scholarship is managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

    • Amount Offered: $460
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Student must demonstrate financial need, be a resident of West Virginia, be a democrat, and attend an institution in the state.


    SCHOLARSHIP

    West Virginia Golf Association Scholarship The West Virginia Golf Association provides two scholarships to students who play golf or are employed in a golf-related job in West Virginia. The scholarship is managed by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

    • Amount Offered: $1,000
    • Scholarship Deadline: N/A
    • Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have played golf in the state or be employed in a golf-related job in West Virginia. They submit a reference from an employer, golf professional, or coach and submit an essay describing the impact the sport has had in their life.

    Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in West Virginia

    Psychology programs and departments may be accredited by programmatic accreditation agencies who specialize in psychology, social work, and counseling education. Many different accreditors exist for this field including: the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (CAOMFTE); the American Psychological Association (APA); and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Some programmatic accreditors only accredit graduate or doctoral programs. Some licensing requirements will stipulate that a degree must be earned from a program that holds one of these accreditations.
    Many psychology licenses require that a degree be earned from an institution that is regionally accredited. Unlike programmatic accreditation, regional accreditation applies to an entire college or university. The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accreditor for West Virginia, as well as several other states. Regional accreditation is very standardized and is highly regarded, so some institutions may only accept credit transferred from regionally accredited institutions. A psychology Ph.D program in West Virginia may require applicants to have earned prior degrees from a regionally accredited college. Federal financial aid is also available at regionally accredited universities, as well as institutions that are nationally accredited. National accreditors usually focus on vocational, religious, or trade schools. However, their standards are not always as high as regional accreditation agencies. Always ensure that your prospective college or university, whether online or on-campus, holds the institutional or programmatic accreditation that you will need to gain your license and advance in your career.

    Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in West Virginia

    Psychology programs in West Virginia can have many differences including the degrees offered, credits required, tuition costs, and prerequisites. Finding the degree that best fits with your goals can sometimes seem overwhelming given the number of online degrees available. Start your degree search with the database below, which includes all online accredited psychology programs in West Virginia.