Psychology Programs in Iowa
Now is a great time to pursue a career in psychology in Iowa, with job growth rates in multiple occupations trending higher than those nationally. Along with good job prospects, psychologists in Iowa have the opportunity to use a more extensive array of professional skills than those in many other states–in 2016, Iowa became the fourth state to allow psychologists prescribing authority with the appropriate post-doctoral training. This guide provides information on pursuing psychology-related education and careers in Iowa.
Iowa Psychology Spotlight Programs
Iowa offers a variety of fantastic programs in psychology at all levels. Here are a few schools around the state.
Iowa State University (Ames)
Iowa State is a top-tier research institution that prides itself on student-centeredness. The school’s Department of Psychology offers both a B.A. and a B.S. in psychology as well as doctoral-level psychology programs in cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, and social psychology. Additionally, the department offers a certificate in quantitative psychology and a psychology-law concentration for students in the social psychology or cognitive psychology doctoral programs.
Undergraduate tuition in 2019–2020 was $4,021 per semester for Iowa residents and $11,615 for non-residents. All graduate students accepted to doctoral programs in psychology receive assistantships or other job opportunities that help pay for their educations. Assistantships come with a full-tuition waiver of $10,505 for in-state residents and $24,766 for non-residents as well as a stipend.
University of Iowa (Iowa City)
The University of Iowa’s Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences takes an interdisciplinary approach to modern psychology. The department offers bachelor’s programs in both psychology and neuroscience as well as doctoral programs in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, clinical science, and cognition. For students who want to tailor their degree to their interests, the department also offers an individualized graduate training track.
Undergraduate tuition in 2019–2020 was $9,830 per year for Iowa residents and $31,793 for non-residents. All admitted Ph.D. psychology students are guaranteed five years of tuition funding, which includes an annual stipend and summer support.
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls)
The College of Behavioral Sciences’ Department of Psychology at UNI helps prepare students for work in human services, healthcare, business, and education. The department offers a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree with concentrations in either clinical science psychology or social psychology, and certificates in both military psychology and industrial and organizational psychology.
Undergraduate tuition in 2019–2020 was $8,938 per year for Iowa residents and $19,480 for non-residents. In-state graduate tuition was $509 per credit hour.
Loras College (Dubuque)
This Catholic liberal arts college focuses on creating graduates who engage with the world reflectively, ethically, and responsibly. Loras offers a bachelor’s program in psychology and master’s degrees in general psychology, counseling, and school counseling.
Full-time undergraduate tuition for 2020–2021 was $33,500 per year, and graduate student tuition was $720 per credit hour.
Drake University (Des Moines)
Drake University offers bachelor’s programs in psychology and neuroscience that are designed to prepare students for graduate study. Drake puts a heavy emphasis on experiential learning through hands-on research and encourages students to collaborate with faculty on research projects. Students can even earn credit for their research work. This experiential learning is complemented by coursework in psychology and neuroscience theory.
Undergraduate tuition for the 2020–2021 academic year is $22,094 for the year.
Buena Vista University (Storm Lake)
Buena Vista University’s psychology program is an excellent option for students seeking a flexible bachelor’s degree. Not only is the bachelor’s in psychology available 100 percent online as well as on campus, but students can also take classes at partnering community colleges that may be more convenient to them. Furthermore, BVU’s psychology degree has only four required courses; the rest are chosen based on your interests in the field. The degree program culminates with a research project that students present at professional conferences.
Full-time undergraduate tuition in the 2019–2020 academic year was $13,530 per year.
How to Become a Psychologist in Iowa
Becoming a licensed psychologist anywhere in the United States can be a long process, and the system in Iowa is no exception. However, your hard work can result in a range of highly fulfilling careers. These are the steps to become a psychologist in Iowa.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree: While you don’t necessarily need to earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology, it can put you on a more direct path to becoming a psychologist.
- Pursue a master’s degree: A master’s degree is required to qualify for doctoral candidacy in psychology and can be where you identify your specialization. Many doctoral psychology programs include the path to a master’s degree.
- Complete a doctoral degree: A doctoral degree in psychology is required in all states to become a psychologist. According to the Iowa regulations for psychologist licensure (240.3, page two of the document), your degree must be from an institution that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or an equivalent accrediting body. Your program must also be accredited or designated by one of the agencies or organizations deemed acceptable by the Iowa Board of Psychology.
- Submit licensure application: After completing all of the post-doctoral training necessary and passing the national exam, send all required documents and fees to the Iowa Board of Psychology to apply for licensure.
Iowa Psychology Licensing & Exams
Licensure requirements can vary by career in Iowa. This list gives guidance on how to become licensed in various psychology-related fields.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Mental Health Counselor
Job Growth & Psychologist Salary in Iowa
Psychology and counseling-related careers in Iowa are on the rise. Here we break down salaries and job growth data in Iowa for a variety of those careers.
Mental Health Careers and Job Growth in Iowa
|Mean Salary (2018)
|Average Salary Per Hour
|Expected Job Growth (2016 – 26)
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
|Clinical , Counseling, and School Psychologists
|Social Workers (all other)
|Marriage and Family Therapist
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
|Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselor
Recognized Psychology Specializations in Iowa
The following specializations are recognized by the state of Iowa and have their own licensure requirements.
Iowa Psychology Scholarships
Most schools offer scholarships to their students at all levels. Information on these scholarships can often be found on the school’s financial aid webpage. Additionally, many programs provide generous graduate assistantships, which come with tuition waivers and stipends. Most doctoral students are guaranteed assistance upon acceptance. You can also learn more about how to find and win scholarships here. Here are a few other scholarships to check out.
Iowa Internships and Fellowships
Internships and fellowships are often required for psychology licensure. Many programs have internal programs that help you find sites and experiences. For pre-doctoral internships especially, job search sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed can also be helpful in your internship or fellowship search. Check out our psychology internship page to get additional guidance through the internship search process. Here are a few post-doctoral opportunities in Iowa:
Iowa Loan Repayment Programs
Iowa offers a loan repayment program for those who work in primary care in medical, dental, and mental health in rural areas in Iowa. The Primary Care Recruitment Retention Endeavor (PRIMECARRE) provides between $30,000 and $50,000 for a two-year commitment to a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) community in Iowa.
Iowa Psychology Resources
Here are a few resources as you learn more about pursuing a career in psychology in Iowa.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia