Overview of Doctorate in Psychology Degree Programs in Alabama
The need for mental health services has become a big issue in the United States, with a shortage of practitioners from rural states like Alabama and South Carolina to metropolitan states like California and New York. Although many states are suffering from a shortage of mental healthcare practitioners, rural states like Alabama tend to be hit the hardest in these times.
When you complete a PhD or PsyD in Alabama, you can meet the qualifications for specific, prestigious career paths. In addition, you can also seek out positions in research, an area of psychology that drives every other specialty forward.
If you plan on going into clinical practice in psychology, a PsyD may prepare you for the licensure process in Alabama. In addition, when compared to Master's-level mental health practitioners, psychologists tend to get significantly more clinical experience and are able to charge higher rates to private insurance companies and Medicaid.
Ready to use your interest in psychology to take the next step in your career? Take a look at the list of doctorate in psychology programs in Alabama below and contact nearby schools to learn more.
Getting Your Doctorate Degree in Psychology in Alabama
Whether you plan on earning a PsyD or PhD, Bachelor's degree graduates should plan on spending between seven and eight years in school to complete a doctorate.
There are some benefits of a PhD that you cannot get with a Master's degree. First off, doctoral students contribute significantly to their schools while they are students. You may be expected to teach courses, conduct research, assist professors, and improve the reputation of the school. Because of how much is expected of PhD candidates, schools typically waive tuition in exchange for an agreed-upon work commitment. Many candidates receive a monthly stipend to cover living expenses.
Generally speaking, a PhD is tailored to students who want to go into research and a PsyD is better for students who want to go into clinical practice. This is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, many Alabama PhD programs aim to prepare students for the scientist/practitioner role, in which you conduct and analyze research while still seeing patients a significant amount of the time. PsyD programs in Alabama do still provide you with research experience.
As a PhD or PsyD student, plan on earning between 80 and 90 credits in courses like:
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Assessment
- Evidence Based Clinical Counseling Psychology
- Applied Health Psychology
- Psychology of Resilience
- Professional Ethics and Practice in Psychology
In addition to your classroom courses, you do have to complete quite a bit of practical experience. PhD and Psy. D programs in AL generally require you to complete a clinical core of classes, a Master's thesis, a year-long clinical internship, and a doctoral dissertation. Since so much of this is individual work, it's extremely important to choose a school where you get to work with an advisor with whom you communicate well.
Working With Your Doctoral Degree in Psychology in Alabama
After completing a doctoral degree, you still have to become licensed psychologist before you begin working. The Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology has quite a few requirements you need to meet, including:
- Degree Validation Form
- Four references
- Psychology specialization and proof of competence
- Passing score on the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology
Once you become a licensed psychologist, you must renew your license by October 15 every year. During each year, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education.
The specialty you choose may determine where you work and how much money you make. Joining a group like the Alabama Psychological Association may help you find out about a greater variety of opportunities.
In Alabama, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an average income of $
Keep in mind that the type of practice you want to have may also impact your earnings. Going into private practice may be more financially difficult in the early years, but your income potential may be higher down the road. If you go into academia, achieving tenure at an institution can significantly boost your income.
If you are ready to take the final step in your psychology education, get started now by contacting doctorate in psychology programs in AL below.