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Psychology Programs in Idaho

Idaho consistently ranks among the top ten states with the cheapest public college tuition in the country. Job growth for psychologists in Idaho is in the double digits, and median salaries are competitive. Add to this the low cost of living, low crime rate, and friendliness of native Idahoans, and you can’t beat starting your career path as a psychologist or other psychology-related career in Idaho.

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Idaho Psychology Spotlight Programs

Here’s a look at some of the top psychology programs in Idaho, both at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Idaho State University (Pocatello)

Undergraduate psychology students can earn either a B.A. or a B.S. at Idaho State University. There are also options for doctoral students, who can pursue a Ph.D. in either clinical or experimental psychology. Distance learners can earn an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, an online master’s degree as a school psychology examiner, and a doctoral degree in school psychology.

Since 1978, the university has operated the Psychology Clinic, a clinical-services facility that diagnoses and treats a variety of mental health patients from across Southeast Idaho. More than just a treatment facility, however, it’s also the primary training ground for the school’s doctoral students, who complement their academic study by getting hands-on experience with real clients there.

Undergraduate tuition is $3,936 per semester for in-state residents and $12,084 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $4,962 and $13,110.98, respectively.

University of Idaho (Moscow)

The University of Idaho offers both a B.S. and a B.A. in psychology, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology. Both of the graduate programs place an emphasis on the study of human factors. The undergraduate offerings are available completely online.

The university has close relationships with companies and agencies such as Boeing, NASA, and Hewlett-Packard, who offer unique internship opportunities to UI graduate students. The school is also home to many psychology research studies and experiments that students can sign up for and participate in at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Full-time undergraduate tuition for state residents and all online students taking 10 to 20 credits is $4,152. Out-of-state students pay $13,770. Students from states in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) pay $6,228. Full-time in-state graduate tuition (9 to 20 credits) is $4,938. Non-residents pay $14,556.

Boise State University (Boise)

Boise State offers an undergraduate psychology major that culminates in a Bachelor of Science degree. There are also two minors: one in psychology and another in family studies.

Boise is a quintessential college town that offers students both city living and easy access to Idaho’s famous outdoor lifestyle. Boise is growing fast and is consistently ranked as one of the top medium-sized cities in the country.

Tuition for full-time state residents taking between 11 to 16 credits is $4,034 per semester. Non-residents pay $12,494.

Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa)

US News and World Report recently ranked Northwest Nazarene University as the No. 2 college in Idaho. The school offers only one undergraduate psychology degree, a B.A. program, but it’s available in three unique concentrations: pre-counseling psychology, neuroscience/neuropsychology, and scientist/practitioner. There are also several counseling programs and a social work program at the master’s level.

A Christian comprehensive university, Northwest Nazarene was founded in 1913 and is located on a 90-acre campus. All psych majors are invited to join the NNU Psychology Club, which organizes activities throughout the year. The school also has a rich tradition of promoting and publishing student research.

Undergraduate tuition for 12 to 18 credits is $15,275 per semester.

How to Become a Psychologist in Idaho

Before you begin your career as a psychologist in Idaho, you’ll have to complete the necessary education and meet the state’s licensing requirements.

Education Requirements for Idaho Psychologists

You need to earn a doctoral degree to use the title of “psychologist.” However, there are related careers that you can begin with a master’s degree or even an undergraduate degree.

A master’s isn’t usually necessary to get into a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program—many of these programs accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Because jumping into advanced graduate work right from undergraduate school can be a difficult adjustment, however, you might want to consider easing the transition with a master’s degree, even if you don’t have to. Another reason to earn a master’s degree first is that it can help you decide on a specialty.

The APA officially recognizes roughly 20 specialties and proficiencies. Among the most commonly offered in Idaho’s colleges and universities are school psychology, neuropsychology, couple and family psychology, and clinical psychology.

Idaho Psychology Licensing and Exams

After you earn your doctorate, you’re still not qualified to practice in the state until the Idaho Board of Psychologist Examiners awards you a license. To earn your license, you’ll have to show proof of your doctoral degree and meet all the board’s other standards. The board also issues a license to prescribing psychologists, who are psychologists who have completed extra training and education that allows them to prescribe medicine in the state. This responsibility is usually reserved for psychiatrists, who are medical doctors—Idaho is one of only a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medication.

A standard license requires you to complete 2,000 hours of supervised experience during a two-year period, one year and 1,000 hours of which must be completed at the post-doctoral level. You’ll also have to take and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a national exam that tests your skills and knowledge. Most states require you to pass a second exam that covers state laws and ethics codes, but Idaho does not.

After you receive your license, you have to keep it in good standing by getting it renewed every year. This renewal period is uncommon—most states call for renewal every two years. To earn a renewal, you have to complete 20 hours of continuing education credits.

Fees include $150 for the original application, presuming you choose license by examination, and then $250 for annual renewal. Licensure by endorsement costs $250. There’s also a $25 administration fee. You have to pay to take the exam as well, but that fee varies depending on when and where you take it. You’ll also likely have to pay for a required background check.

Psychology Specializations in Idaho That Do Not Require a Doctorate

As previously stated, you can begin a career in several psychology specializations without earning a doctorate. For all of them, however, you have to earn a license before you’re qualified to begin work—and the process is similar to that for psychologists. You have to apply for a license, prove you’ve met the educational standards, meet the requirements for supervised experience, take exams, pay fees, and keep your license in good standing with periodic renewal and continuing education.

Each specialty has its own licensing board. The Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists licenses professional counselors, clinical practice counselors, marriage and family therapists, and associate marriage and family therapists. Professional counselors must earn a master’s degree, and clinical practice counselors must earn a license as a professional counselor and also complete 2,000 supervised experience hours. Both marriage and family therapist licenses are awarded only to candidates with master’s degrees.

Social workers are governed and licensed by the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners. It licenses social workers at both the baccalaureate and master’s levels. It also licenses clinical social workers as specialists within the field of master’s social work.

  • Professional counselor: Professional counseling is a broad field that serves a wide variety of populations. These counselors might work as school, vocational, or substance abuse counselors. They might work in nursing homes, prisons, state agencies, or hospitals. They work with all kinds of clients, both individually and in groups.
  • Marriage and family therapist: Marriage and family therapists specialize in identifying and mitigating behavioral, emotional, and social problems relating to household dynamics. That might include therapy with individual family members, couples, siblings, or entire families.
  • Social worker: Social workers counsel and advise their clients, but they also act as liaisons between the people they serve and the social services they need. Social workers help people who have experienced personal crises, including substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness, and poverty.

Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Idaho

Salaries and job growth projections in Idaho are impressively high in some specialties. Here’s a look at median wages and 10-year projections in some of the most popular areas in the field.

Career2018 Median Salary Median Wage Per HourExpected Job Growth (2016 – 26)
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$66,140$31.8016%
Psychologists—All Other$95,370$45.8514%
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors$40,880$19.6616%
Licensed Clinical Social Worker$75,820$36.456%
Marriage and Family Therapists$53,370$25.6613%
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors$46,130$22.18no data available

All data from CareerOneStop, 2020

Idaho Psychology Scholarships

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, you can likely offset the cost of your education by applying for scholarships. Unlike student loans, scholarships don’t have to be paid back. These awards are sometimes based on merit, sometimes on need, and sometimes they’re reserved for specific populations such as women or rural students. Visit our general scholarship page for information about a wider variety of scholarships from many states and for many kinds of learners.

In many cases, colleges and universities award their own scholarships, like these Idaho schools:

  • Idaho State University: ISU offers many lucrative scholarship packages at all levels, including for incoming freshmen and transfer students, both residents and non-residents, graduate students, and international students. Non-resident tuition waivers are available, as are need- and merit-based awards of varying amounts.
  • Boise State University: Boise State, too, offers a wide variety of scholarships to most learners, including incoming and transfer residents and non-residents, current students, and international and graduate students. They, too, come with varying awards and have various application requirements.
  • University of Idaho: There are six scholarships and awards specific to psychology at the University of Idaho. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Some scholarships issue multiple awards, and others issue just one.

In other cases, outside organizations that aren’t affiliated with individual schools sometimes award scholarships of their own.

  • Idaho Opportunity Scholarship: The Idaho Legislature and governor established this scholarship, which is open to students at nearly a dozen schools in the state. It’s open only to Idaho residents who have a GPA of 2.7 or above. The award is worth $3,500 and is renewable for up to four years.
  • Pride Foundation Scholarship: Idaho’s LGBTQ+ psychology and counseling students and their allies in the straight community are eligible for ten different scholarships from the Pride Foundation. Application details and requirements are different for each, and the maximum award is $10,000.
  • Idaho Psychological Association (IPA) Scholarship: This award is open to full-time psychology students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Pre-doctorate interns are also eligible, as are those completing post-doctorate supervised hours before they earn a license. Some of the funds may be used to satisfy IPA membership dues.

Idaho Internships and Fellowships

Unlike scholarships, which are awards, internships and fellowships are positions that often come with financial incentives such as salaries and stipends. Internships are required for doctoral psychology work as well as for licensure and tend to focus on professional experience. Fellowships, on the other hand, are opportunities for academic growth or conducting research.

Sometimes colleges and universities offer their own internships and fellowships, which they organize, sponsor, and fund.

  • Boise State University Dean’s Graduate Fellowship: Boise state has as many as six graduate assistantships open in this fellowship program, which pays a salary of $15,000 and comes with paid tuition, fees, insurance, and benefits. The award pays for a full nine-month school year and is reserved for historically underrepresented ethnic and racial groups.
  • Boise State University Counseling Center Internship: This opportunity, which is sponsored by the Idaho Psychology Internship Consortium, pays a stipend of $26,000 to $28,600 and includes paid time and other benefits. Interns will work in a unique mixed setting alongside an integrated team of wellness, psychiatry, medical, and counseling professionals. The program lasts for one year.
  • Idaho State University Family Medicine Residency/State Hospital Internship: This position is also part of the Idaho Psychology Internship Consortium, and it, too, pays a $26,000 to $28,600 stipend and runs for one year. Likewise, it takes place at an interdisciplinary facility that integrates psychology training with that of related fields. The experience is designed to train students for the doctoral-level practice of clinical psychology.

In other cases, fellowships and internships are organized by outside organizations that partner with colleges and universities but aren’t directly affiliated with them.

  • Boise VA Medical Center Doctoral Internship Program: This APA-accredited program is open only to doctoral candidates with at least 1,000 hours of practicum training. It comes with a salary of $26,166 and a full benefits package, paid vacation, and dissertation time off.
  • Boise VA Medical Center Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: This APA-accredited program currently has three positions open, each of which runs for one year. One position is in post-traumatic stress disorder, and two are for primary care–mental health integration. It comes with a stipend of $46,102 and a full benefits package with paid time off and insurance.

There are a number of general resources that can help you find current internships and fellowships. For internships, you can look at job sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed. You can search for internships and fellowships at the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) database.

Idaho Psychology Resources

While you’re in school and throughout your entire career, organizations like the ones profiled here can help you become the best mental health professional or student you can be. Some represent students and professionals, some regulate them, and others organize on their behalf or provide resources, information, and ways to connect with other professionals and students.

  • Idaho Psychological Association: This membership organization represents Idaho’s psychologists. It offers news and updates, networking platforms and events, and continuing education. It also organizes and advocates on behalf of the profession.
  • Idaho Board of Psychologist Examiners: This organization is responsible for licensing psychologists in Idaho and for renewing their licenses throughout their careers. It’s the agency that sets the standards for becoming a psychologist and regulations they must follow for the entirety of their careers.
  • Idaho Counseling Association: The ICA represents human development and counseling professionals across the state. Their members work in government, healthcare, schools, businesses, and community agencies.
  • Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association: This organization provides continuing education, student mentoring, professional networking, and industry advocacy. It also sponsors scholarships and contests.
  • Idaho Society for Clinical Social Work: This group represents social workers specifically, providing training seminars, videos, and free quarterly training. Members can receive up to eight free CEUs per year.
  • Idaho School Psychologist Association: Representing the state’s school psychologists, the ISPA hosts membership events and networking opportunities, including an online forum.
  • School Social Work Association of Idaho: Social workers can join this organization to receive reduced rates on workshops and other training events, information on best practices, laws, and ethics, as well as networking opportunities with other professionals or students.
  • Idaho School Counselor Association: This organization provides similar resources—training, education, information, networking, and other membership benefits—for the state’s school counselors.