Psychology Programs in Arizona
Arizona offers a wide variety of psychology programs at all levels—bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral—in schools both large and small. You can also find programs that can be taken partially or fully online. Read on to learn about some of these programs and how to become a psychologist in Arizona, as well how to qualify for other psychology-related jobs in the state.
Arizona Psychology Spotlight Programs
Psychology programs in Arizona are as unique as the schools that offer them. It’s a good idea to thoroughly research programs and locations before applying. Confirm that any program you are considering is accredited by a regional or national institution. For doctoral programs, accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) is the gold standard.
Arizona State University (locations in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, and Lake Havasu)
ASU is one of the most widely recognized universities in the state, with over 75,000 undergraduate and graduate students across its five campuses. The psychology department offers B.S. and B.A. programs in psychology, alongside Ph.D. studies in six different specialties. There are also six psychology degrees offered entirely online at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Undergraduate online courses cost $530–$728 per credit hour. Graduate courses cost $532–$1,397 per credit hour. On-campus, in-state undergraduate tuition is $10,822 per year, while in-state graduate students pay an average of $11,406 a year (2018–2019 academic year).
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff)
NAU has over 1,400 undergraduates enrolled in B.S. degree programs and 24 master’s students. The school offers a B.S. in psychology and a B.S. in psychological sciences, which is more research-focused. Both degrees give students the chance to complete fieldwork in an internship. At the graduate level, students can enroll in an M.A. in psychological studies or a combined five-year B.S./M.A. accelerated degree. The accelerated path is geared toward the most academically advanced students, with enrollments of just a few students each year. Tuition for undergraduates averages $11,564 a year; graduate tuition averages $9,795 a year (2018–2019 academic year).
Prescott College (Prescott)
Prescott’s B.A. in psychology and human development is offered to undergraduates in both campus and online settings. The program prepares students for five different career pathways: case manager, childcare worker, laboratory assistant, market researcher, or psychiatric technician. Students who continue to a master’s degree can choose from two graduate programs: an M.S. in counseling or an M.A. in critical psychology and services, both offered in a hybrid format with the bulk of schoolwork taking place online. The school encourages students to focus on what interests them most and allows some self-directed curriculum development by students with the help of school advisors. Undergraduate tuition averages $31,485 a year, while graduate tuition starts at $20,976 per year (2018–2019 academic year).
University of Arizona (Tucson)
The UA psychology department offers a B.A. and also a brand-new B.S. in psychology for students who plan to continue their research studies with an advanced degree. Undergraduates can also choose to earn their bachelor’s degree online. The school’s doctoral program offers three tracks (clinical psychology, cognition and neural systems, and social psychology) and also collaborates with the College of Law to offer a joint J.D. / Ph.D. program. Tuition for undergraduate online students is $500 to $610 per credit. In-state annual tuition for undergraduates is $12,467, while tuition for in-state graduate students averages $11,716 (2018–2019 academic year).
How to Become a Psychologist in Arizona
To become a licensed psychologist in Arizona you will need to earn a doctorate, meet additional requirements, and pass the relevant tests. Here are the basic steps:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s in psychology is the first step in the process of becoming a psychologist. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject area, you can usually continue on to graduate study, but you may be asked to complete additional prerequisites first.
- Choose a specialization: When you’re learning how to become a psychologist in Arizona (or any other state) you’ll want to choose your specialization carefully. Your career track options include school psychology, clinical psychology, organizational psychology, and many others. The specialty you choose will set the stage for your career in psychology. Although you should start thinking about what you want to specialize in even before you get your bachelor’s degree, often the undergraduate courses you take will help you make the decision.
- Complete a master’s degree: A master’s degree in psychology alone will not be enough to become a psychologist—you will need a doctorate for that. However, you can stop at the master’s level to pursue a career in counseling or social work. Although most doctoral programs do not require you to have a master’s degree, getting one may help you choose a specialization. Check with your school to confirm requirements and options.
- Complete a doctoral program: To practice as a licensed psychologist in Arizona you’ll need to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. Your doctoral program will include specialized tracks and hands-on fieldwork in the form of a fellowship or internship.
- Become licensed: When you’ve completed your training and met Arizona requirements for licensure, you can apply for a state license to practice psychology. Depending on your specialization, you’ll be asked to fulfill different requirements as well as pass a state board exam.
Arizona Psychology Licensing and Exams
The requirements for psychology licensure in Arizona vary depending on your specialty. However, all candidates seeking licensure through the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners need to fulfill supervised clinical hours with patients and pass a board-approved exam. Here are guidelines for achieving Arizona psychologist licensure in several different specialties.
- Complete a doctorate that fulfills the requirements of the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners. Requirements include completing at least three years of full-time study, taking regular assessments, writing and defending a dissertation, and completing an 18-semester residency.
- Do one of the following:
- Complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience, 1,500 hours of which are completed during an American Psychological Association (APA)-approved program (or completion of a Core Program Requirements document for non-APA accredited programs).
- Complete an Application for Psychologist Licensure by Credential form for those holding credentials from the Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ), the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP), or the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
- Complete a form for Psychological Licensure by Universal Recognition for those with out-of-state licenses.
- Pay the application fee of $350.
- Potential careers: Clinical psychologist, organizational psychologist, developmental psychologist, social psychologist
- Apply for a Standard School Psychologist Prekindergarten–12 Certificate.
- Provide valid background and fingerprint documentation.
- Show completion of a master’s or doctorate program in school psychology/psychology OR a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.
- Complete at least 1,200 hours of supervised experience, with a minimum of 600 hours in a school setting.
- Pass Parts 1 and 2 of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
- Pay the $60 application fee.
- Earn a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy in a Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)-accredited program.
- Provide valid background and fingerprint documentation.
- Complete 300 hours of supervised direct client time plus 3,200 hours of post-graduate supervised hours.
- Pass the MFT National Examination.
- Pay the $250 application fee.
- Complete a master’s or higher degree from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
- Provide valid background and fingerprint documentation.
- Complete at least 3,200 hours of supervised work experience in the practice of professional counseling.
- Pass the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
- Pay the $250 application fee.
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Arizona
A psychologist’s salary in Arizona will vary depending on the specialty and job setting. Below is a sampling of median salaries and expected job growth through 2028 for some common specialties.
|Career ||Median Annual Salary (May 2018) ||Median Salary Per Hour ||% Expected Job Growth in Arizona, 2016 to 2026 |
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors ||$48,300 ||$23.22 ||+17% |
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists ||$61,500 ||$29.57 ||+25% |
|Psychologists—All Other ||$99,080 ||$47.63 ||+6% |
|Licensed Social Worker ||$63,190 ||$30.38 ||+21% |
|Marriage and Family Therapist ||$46,330 ||$22.27 ||+43% |
|Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselor ||$40,440 ||$19.44 ||no available data |
Arizona Psychology Scholarships
The cost of your education will vary depending on the number of years you plan to study. Scholarships are a terrific opportunity to offset your education costs and help you stretch your budget to meet your goals. The good news is that there are many psychology scholarships available for students at all levels of education and within several different specialties.
Scholarships come from a range of places—corporations, government agencies, individuals, and schools. Check out or comprehensive list of nationwide scholarships in psychology as well as the following list of psychology scholarship opportunities specific to students in Arizona.
- Arizona State University Scholarships: ASU offers eight scholarships for its psychology undergraduates. Students can apply to them all using the Undergraduate Scholarship Award Application Form provided by the school. Award amounts range from $100 to over $2500, with an average of about $1,200 per scholarship. Because many of the ASU scholarships are presented at an award ceremony each year in April, applications typically close in February. While eligibility ranges, students need a strong GPA of at least 3.0 and need to be currently enrolled full-time as a psychology major.
- University of Arizona Scholarships: The Psychology department at the University of Arizona offers several funding opportunities for psychology majors. The Alfred W. Kaszniak Graduate Fellowship supports first-year graduate students interested in the neuropsychology of emotion and aging research. There are also three scholarship opportunities for undergraduate psychology students:
- The Villegas-Gold Undergraduate Scholarship supports needs-based first-generation college students interested in pursuing a career in gender issues, sexual trauma, or mental health issues, and is awarded annually.
- The John Weiner and Lynne Lehrman Weiner Memorial Scholarship awards $5,000 to third- and fourth-year psychology students who are interested in research and plan to pursue a graduate degree.
- The William Owen Nugent Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in psychology. Selection is made based on excellence in academics and research.
Arizona Internships and Fellowships
In 2001 the Arizona Psychological Association (AzPA) established the Arizona Psychology Training Consortium, an organization that creates, administers, and oversees organized and sequential training for residents. The consortium is a good place to start; below are additional resources.
- Arizona State University Doctoral Fellowships and Awards: This ASU fellowship awards up to $5,000 each semester for master’s or doctoral students across departments. To be eligible, students must first be nominated by faculty in their department, be enrolled at least half time (or 6 semester hours) in an on-campus graduate program, and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The ASU Doctoral Fellowship is a needs-based award lasting for a semester or academic year, and students are eligible for nomination and funding for up to four total semesters.
- Arizona State University Psychology Internships: Undergraduates earning a B.S. or B.A. in psychology at ASU can apply for a semester-long internship as part of course PSY 484 offered during sophomore year. The department works with several pre-approved partners that offer internships across a range of specialties and areas of focus. Students are encouraged to work with a career advisor to better match interests to a partner, and for help with the application and resume process.
- CODAC Community Counseling Services Internships: CODAC Behavioral Health Services is one of the largest non-profit organizations providing mental health and addiction recovery in Tucson, Arizona. They offer several academic internships on a rolling basis to students at all degree levels to fulfill either clinical or administrative internship requirements. Students working at least 60 hours per pay period are eligible for benefits such as health and dental insurance, pension plans, flexible spending accounts, and paid time off.
- Northern Arizona University Presidential Fellowship Program: The Presidential Fellowship Program began in 2015 and offers fellowship opportunities to incoming Ph.D. students across a range of departments at NAU. Students must be nominated by faculty to be eligible and be admitted into a Ph.D. program with a graduate assistantship. Fellows receive a $23,000 stipend, research and materials funding, tuition remission, and healthcare coverage.
- Phoenix VA Health Care System: The psychology internship and clinical fellowship programs through the Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System accept fifteen doctoral interns each year and offer a unique opportunity to work directly with veterans. The internship accepts interns in four specialty areas: PTSD/general mental health, health psychology, neuropsychology, and primary care. The fellowship program offers three areas of focus: mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, and health psychology. Interns and fellows work with patients at the main hospital and also at outpatient clinics, veterans’ centers, and home-based primary care.
- Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS): Similarly, the SAVAHCS offers predoctoral internship and post-doc fellowship positions in several areas of focus. The internship is comprised of four quarters with rotations in areas such as chronic pain, couples therapy, substance abuse counseling, and acute psychiatry. The post-doc fellowship focuses on clinical and group work with an emphasis on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training. Fellows work with patients on related issues such as PTSD and military sexual trauma.
Often your school psychology program will provide internship and fellowship opportunities and help you get placed in positions that match their interests. However, you can also research on your own. Job boards on Indeed and LinkedIn are good places to conduct research and compare positions. Just make sure to check with your academic advisor to ensure that any programs you apply for fit within the requirements of your school.
Arizona Psychology Resources
The following organizations provide education and career information and can help you stay on top of current issues in psychology.
- Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners: This 10-member board, comprised of psychologists and other professionals, regulates the licensing process for psychologists and behavior analysts in the state of Arizona.
- Arizona Psychological Association: The Arizona branch of the national APA is a networking and learning resource for Arizona psychology professions. It holds conferences, highlights recent advancements in the field, and promotes professional development in the field.
- Arizona Psychology Training Consortium: This organization creates and administers internships and fellowships. It is the first place graduates should go to when looking for such real-world training.
- Arizona State Board of Behavioral Health Examiners: This site provides comprehensive licensing information for health professionals in the fields of counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, and substance abuse counseling.
- Southern Arizona Psychological Association: SAPA is a member-driven not-for-profit association that promotes awareness of best practices in psychology. It holds conferences that focus on education and issues in psychology.
- Arizona Association of School Psychologists: AASP is a member-driven organization serving Arizona school psychologists through fostering awareness, research advancement, and professional development.