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Florida Psychology Programs

Florida needs more mental health workers. In 2019, the Florida Education Association proposed an expansive plan to hire more school psychologists and social workers. That dovetails with a statewide initiative to teach students about mental health issues in the wake of deadly school shootings. Suddenly, teenagers are getting access to mental health services.

At least that’s the goal.

Before the initiative, the Bureau of Labor Statistics already anticipated a 14% rise in clinical, counseling, and school psychologist positions by 2028, which is higher than the national rate. There are lots of jobs to fill. To be considered for one of them, you’ll need to choose from among the many psychology programs in Florida. This page details a few, plus touches on scholarships and fellowships to help you get to the finish line. It also gives the lay of the land by explaining the different mental health careers available and state licensure requirements for each.

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How to Become a Psychologist in Florida

In Florida, you may be able to start a career in mental and behavioral health with just a bachelor’s degree. With a master’s, the list of possible professions expands to include mental health counselor. You can only be a psychologist, though, once you’ve earned a doctorate. Here are the steps:

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree. Grad schools and doctoral programs look for evidence of undergraduate coursework in the field. You don’t have to earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology, but you will need some kind of bachelor’s in order to become a psychologist. If you want to stay close to home for your first two years, Florida has 28 community colleges. If you have a GPA, there’s no need to do so for financial reasons, though: The Bright Futures Scholarship can cower your tuition up to 100%.
  2. Go to grad school (optional). You could skip the master’s degree in psychology and go straight to a doctorate – if you want to be a licensed psychologist, that is. But taking time to earn a master’s can qualify you for jobs in mental health counseling in Florida.
  3. Get a terminal degree. All psychologists in Florida must have earned a doctoral degree in psychology to practice, whether that’s a Ph.D., a Psy.D., or an Ed.D. in psychology. Out of the 4,000 supervised clinical hours required for licensure, 2,000 are from the doctoral program.
  4. Do a post-doc. Here’s where the other 2,000 supervised hours come from. (You can actually sit for the exam before you complete the post-doctoral experience, but you won’t get your license until you do both.)
  5. Pass the licensure exam. In brief, any psychology program worth its salt should prepare you to meet licensing requirements in the state, but it’s up to you to pass two exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Florida laws and rules examination. (There are alternative paths to Florida licensure for people educated abroad, who hold licenses in other states, who have 20 years of experience, or who are diplomates with the American Board of Professional Psychology.)

Once you have your license in hand, you’re free to practice. Hopefully, you’ve been thinking before this point about what sort of psychology you’d like to specialize in.

Florida Psychology Licensing & Exams

To find psychologist jobs in Florida, you’ll need a license. Each career in behavioral and mental health has its own licensing requirements. But, lucky for you, you’ll have to take a test, no matter the credential.

Licensed Psychologist

  • A doctoral degree from an APA-accredited program
  • 4,000 hours in supervised internships, 2,000 each from a doctoral program and a post-doc internship
  • A minimum score of 500 (out of 800) on the EPPP
  • A score of 32 (out of 40) on the Florida laws and rules exam
  • $305 in application, initial licensure, and unlicensed activity fees
  • Potential careers: school psychologist, clinical neuropsychologist, forensic psychologist
  • More info

Provisional Psychologist

  • A doctorate in psychology from an APA-accredited program at a school that was accredited at the time of enrollment
  • $505 in application, initial licensure, and unlicensed activity fees
  • Potential careers: postdoctoral fellow or intern
  • More info

Limited License Psychologist

  • Ten years of licensure from somewhere within the U.S.
  • Plans to retire from active practice within six months
  • Agreement to only practice at 501(c)(3) institutions and for underserved, poor, or other populations in critical need of care
  • A fee of $30 for employees or $5 for volunteers
  • Potential careers: psychologist at a public agency or nonprofit
  • More info

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • A master’s degree in Social Work from a CSWE-accredited school (or equivalent program outside of the U.S. or Canada)
  • 24 semester credits in clinical courses, including at least one psychopathology course
  • A supervised practicum or internship during the master’s program
  • Two years of post-doc supervised practice, which includes 1,500 hours of client work
  • A passing score on the Association of Social Work Boards exam
  • Completion of three separate courses in Florida laws and rules, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence from a provider approved by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
  • $180 in application, initial licensure, and unlicensed activity fees
  • Potential careers: child and family social worker, school social worker, healthcare social worker, substance abuse social worker
  • More info

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

  • A master’s in MFT or an emphasis in MFT
  • 36 graduate credits with three semester credits each in 10 different areas
  • A supervised practicum with 180 hours of direct MFT work during the master’s
  • Two years of post-doc supervised practice, which includes 1,500 hours of client work
  • A passing score on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards exam
  • Completion of three separate courses in Florida laws and rules, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence from a provider approved by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
  • $180 in Application, initial licensure, and unlicensed activity fees
  • Potential careers: therapist, counselor, advanced clinical specialist, psychotherapist
  • More info

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

  • A master’s in a CACREP-accredited mental health counseling program or a master’s in a related program and 1,000 hours of supervised practicums as part of the degree
  • Two years of post-doc supervised practice, which includes 1,500 hours of client work
  • Passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination
  • Completion of three separate courses in Florida laws and rules, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence from a provider approved by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
  • $180 in application, initial licensure, and unlicensed activity fees
  • Potential careers: Behavior analyst, correctional counselor, mental health specialist, behavior support specialist
  • More info

Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC)

  • A high school diploma/GED and 6,000 hours of related work experience, an associate degree and 5,000 hours, a bachelor’s degree and 4,000 hours, or a master’s degree and 2,000 hours
  • 270 hours of training distributed across nine areas within the last decade from an education provider approved by the Florida Certification Board
  • 300 supervised hours for high school graduates, 250 for associate degree-holders, 200 with a baccalaureate, or 100 with a master’s
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam from the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium
  • A $150 application fee
  • Potential careers: substance abuse counselor, behavioral disorder counselor, prevention specialist
  • More info

To get a Florida psychologist license, you must pass two exams:

  1. The EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology) is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. Test-takers have 4 hours and 15 minutes to answer 225 multiple-choice questions. The questions are divided into eight areas. The maximum score is 800. The passing score in Florida is 500. Total fees are $687.50.
  2. The Psychology Laws and Rules Examination is administered by the Florida Department of Health. You are allowed one hour to answer 45 multiple-choice questions. Of these, 40 are scored — you must correctly answer 32 of them to pass. The questions are divided into seven parts covering different sections of the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code. It costs $115 to take the exam.

Job Growth & Psychologist Salary in Florida

Recognized Psychology Specializations in Florida

  • Psychologist: Psychologists can conduct research or work directly with patients. In the former role, you’ll be observing people’s behavior to better understand how people act. In the latter, you’ll be diagnosing and treating mental disorders.
  • Clinical Social Worker: You’ll work with individuals, families, or other groups to connect them with appropriate services and help them navigate personal challenges.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist: 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce. As an MFT, you’ll work to help partners communicate better and build stronger partnerships. You’ll also assist all family members with properly expressing their needs and desires.
  • Mental Health Counselor: Whether they’re in prisons or residential treatment centers, people need help processing anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues. As a mental health counselor, you’ll provide treatment and support.
  • Addiction Counselor: Substance abuse and mental disorders often go hand in hand. As an addiction counselor, you may work with court-ordered clients or people who have decided on their own to stop abusing drugs or alcohol.

Florida Psychology Spotlight Programs

The following schools have some of the most prominent psychology programs in Florida.

  • Florida Atlantic University: Spread across three campuses in Palm Beach and Broward counties, the FAU Department of Psychology offers onsite programs at three levels. For undergrads, there’s the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Behavior. The Master of Arts in Psychology is not a clinical or counseling degree. Neither, really, is the Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, which has four specializations: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and social/personality psychology. Florida undergrads see a sticker price of $6,039; nonresidents can be billed $21,595. Floridian and non-Floridian graduate students pay a per-credit rate of $369.82 and $1,024.81, respectively.
  • Florida Institute of Technology: Yes, FIT has a school of psychology. Undergraduate degrees include a B.A./B.S. in Psychology with concentrations in forensic psychology and applied behavior analysis. (A Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology is offered online.) The school also enrolls students in the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The average cost is $4,687 per term for residents and $10,427 for nonresidents. Psy.D. students pay $29,430.
  • Florida International University: FIU’s Miami campus hosts a diverse set of degrees. At the top level, there are five separate doctoral programs: a Ph.D. in Clinical Science in Child and Adolescent Psychology, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, a Ph.D. in Developmental Science, a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Legal Psychology. The psychology department also runs a Master of Science in Professional Counseling Psychology and a Master of Science in Organizational Science. Graduates are charged $455.64 in tuition and fees if they are from Florida and $1,001.69 if they are not. And, of course, undergrads can enroll in the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, which is offered both on-campus and online. The full-time online program costs $7,185.37 a year in-state and $10,697.17 from outside of it. The traditional program charges $205.57 or $618.87 per credit.
  • Florida State University: The research-focused FSU Department of Psychology runs doctoral programs in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience. As of 2019, all of these on-campus programs cost $479.32 per credit for Floridians and $1,110.72 per credit for nonresidents. The department’s two undergraduate majors – a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A./B.S. in Psychology – run $215.55 and $721.10 per unit for residents and nonresidents, respectively.
  • University of Central Florida: UCF Psychology enrolls undergrads into a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The in-state rate is $212.28 per credit; out-of-state students pay $748.89. Undergrads who want to trim costs can enroll in the online B.S. in Psychology. The cost for that is $179.19 per credit for residents and $715.80 for out-of-state students. Graduates choose between the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and the Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Doctoral candidates can continue their studies by pursuing Ph.Ds. in either area. They can also apply for a Ph.D. in Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology. Graduate tuition rates are $369.65 and $1,194.05 per credit for residents and nonresidents, respectively.
  • University of Florida: The University of Florida Department of Psychology offers an on-campus Bachelor of Science in Psychology with three tracks: general psychology, behavior analysis, and behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. There’s also an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology for folks outside of Gainesville. Though the school doesn’t run standalone master’s programs, you can go for a Ph.D. in Psychology (with specialization in behavior analysis, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, or social psychology). As of 2019, undergrad tuition is $6,380 for residents in on-campus programs and $3,876 online. In-state graduate students pay $12,740.
  • University of Miami: Undergrads in Miami’s psych department can study toward a B.A./B.S. in Psychology or a B.S. in Neuroscience. Miami is a private university, so tuition for residents and nonresidents alike is $50,400 a year before financial aid. The sole standalone master’s, which is in applied behavior analysis, runs $37,800 per year. That cost holds for the two doctoral programs. The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology has you take practicums in one of four areas: adult, child/family, pediatric health, or health. The Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences features three clinical tracks: developmental; evolution, cognition, and behavior; and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. A separate area – behavioral medicine – is non-clinical. All programs are offered in person.
  • University of South Florida: Graduates of USF’s psychology department earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. If you already have a baccalaureate, you can get a Ph.D. in one of three concentrations: clinical psychology; industrial and organizational psychology; or cognition, neuroscience, and social psychology. If you’re looking for something between a bachelor’s and doctorate, the online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis is a clinical program. Tuition for the on-campus baccalaureate is $6,410/$17,324 for residents/nonresidents. At the graduate level, it’s $7,840/$15,864. Online master’s students pay a slightly higher rate.

Florida Psychology Scholarships

Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship takes care of 100% of tuition and fees at public universities for undergrads with a 3.5 GPA. Those who get a 3.0 can cover 75% of their expenses. If you’re attending a private university or pursuing graduate studies, however, you may need some financial aid in the form of student loans or scholarships. Check out the OPD scholarship page to get more information.

  • College of Psychology Doctoral Alumni Scholarship Fund: This is one of 17 scholarships Nova Southeastern University provides to graduate students in the College of Psychology. It goes to clinical psychology students.
    • Award amount: varies
    • Degree level: Graduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: multiple
    • GPA requirements: varies
    • Renewable: varies
  • FIU Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Fellowship: MSW students get premium placement in a practicum and a nice financial assist.
    • Award amount: $10,000 stipend and tuition waiver
    • Degree level: Graduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: multiple
    • GPA requirements: 3.25
    • Renewable: No
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program: Open to all Florida residents heading to a college in the state, including aspiring psych majors, this program pays between 75% and 100% of undergraduate tuition and fees at a public school (or can be applied to private tuition).
    • Award amount: 75% of tuition and fees for Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) and 100% for Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)
    • Degree level: undergraduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: as many as qualify
    • GPA requirements: 3.0 (FMS)/3.5 (FAS)
    • Renewable: yes (automatically)
  • Jacquelin Goldman Dissertation Fellowship: This award from the University of Florida goes to doctoral students in developmental psychology.
    • Award amount: $23,000 for research plus stipend
    • Degree level: doctoral
    • Number of scholarships awarded: multiple
    • GPA requirements: N/A
    • Renewable: no
  • PAR Scholarship for Excellence in Psychology: Continuing psychology majors with strong academic records can apply to this award from the University of South Florida.
    • Award amount: $5,000
    • Degree level: undergraduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: 1
    • GPA requirements: high GPA
    • Renewable: no
  • PRIME Summer Research Scholarship: If you’re planning to get a Ph.D., you may be able to get 10 weeks of research paid for as an undergrad in the University of Miami Department of Psychology.
    • Award amount: N/A
    • Degree level: undergraduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: multiple
    • GPA requirements: 3.0
    • Renewable: no
  • Professor Charles D. and Carol Spielberger Endowed Fund Award: Incoming grad students in the USF psych department can apply for this award, which prioritizes the fields of emotions, personality, clinical, and health psychology.
    • Award amount: $5,000
    • Degree level: graduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: multiple
    • GPA requirements: GPA a consideration
    • Renewable: no
  • UCF Psychology Department Scholarship: Every little bit helps, and psych students don’t have to compete across departments for this award.
    • Award amount: $1,000
    • Degree level: undergraduate or graduate
    • Number of scholarships awarded: 1
    • GPA requirements: unknown
    • Renewable: no

Florida Internships and Fellowships

After earning your doctorate, you’ll need 2,000 hours of supervised practice to get your license. Here are some well-paid options for postdoctoral fellowships and internships, as well as one predoctoral internship.

  • Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Postdoctoral Fellowship: Bay Pines advertises multiple one-year fellowships to cover the 2,000 necessary hours of postdoctoral training. It looks for applicants specializing in PTSD, sexual trauma, or substance abuse. The $45,102 stipend comes with substantial leave and sick time.
  • Bureau of Prisons Psychology Service Internship Program: Once you’ve finished your doctorate, you can apply to be a psychology intern at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, where you’ll complete intake interviews, handle at least 10 clients, and lead group sessions. The stipend is $53,154.
  • Mayo Clinic Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship: This two-year postdoctoral program in Jacksonville exposes one fellow to patients across the lifespan with a variety of diseases, including epilepsy and autoimmune syndromes. Annual stipends start at $57,653, with 15 days of leave per year.
  • Miami-Dade County Psychology Internship: This predoctoral psychology internship is for participants who have completed (or have nearly completed) an accredited master’s program in psychology. It goes to four applicants per year and pays $19,000.
  • North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Postdoctoral Fellowship: The VA system based out of Gainesville looks for applicants interested in PTSD, substance abuse, and geriatrics. Exclusively for doctors in clinical or counseling psychology, the program provides stipends worth $46,553 and follows the federal calendar, meaning participants receive federal holidays off.
  • UF Department of Clinical and Health Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Department of Clinical and Health Psychology opens up six to eight postdoctoral fellowships each year across three areas: clinical child-pediatric psychology, clinical health psychology, and clinical neuropsychology. Fellows spend at least 50% of their week in clinical service and up to 50% on research. They receive $50,000 in stipends, plus a small amount to attend conferences or workshops.

Florida Psychology Resources

Here are a few of the boards and associations you may become familiar with as you work toward a doctorate.

  • American Board of Professional Psychology: The ABPP oversees 15 specialty boards spanning everything from forensic psychology to psychoanalysis. Licensed psychologists can pursue certification through any of the boards to boost their professional prospects.
  • American Psychological Association: The APA is the official word on the field of psychology in the U.S. Its website provides a breakdown of specialties in the field. Also, you can use its accreditation database to ensure your school is on it.
  • Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling: This board runs the exam for several mental health professions that require a master’s degree. Counselors can use the site to record their continuing education credits.
  • Florida Board of Psychology: As the licensing body for the state, the Florida Board of Psychology facilitates initial license requests and renewals. Its website also fields exam FAQs and links to Florida laws you’ll need to know to work as a psychologist in the state.
  • Florida Certification Board: If you’re looking to work in a behavioral health role that doesn’t require a doctorate, you’ll likely need to get a credential from the FCB.
  • Florida Counseling Association: The FCA is the Florida branch of the American Counseling Association. The membership organization focuses its networking and lobbying efforts around six areas, including LGBT issues and child counseling.
  • Florida Mental Health Counselors Association: The FMHCA separated from FCA in 1997. Like FCA, it focuses on public education and lobbying around mental health issues in the state.
  • Florida Psychological Association: The FPA admits licensed psychologists from the state into its ranks. Its main role is hosting events that fulfill continuing education credits, which you’ll need in order to maintain your license.

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