Psychology Programs in Kansas
The National Institute of Mental Health gave over $9.9 million in research grants to Kansas colleges and organizations between 2015 and 2019. That’s serious money for a smaller state.
But even if you’re not headed to one of its major research universities or interning at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas is worth considering as a place to become a psychologist or to join the mental health services profession with another credential. The state features a master’s level license that is a stepping stone to full licensure. Moreover, the state has signaled since 2018 that it needs many more school psychologists, especially in rural areas.
Kansas Psychology Spotlight Programs
Kansas gives out more than its share of bachelor’s and doctoral degrees, thanks to a network of small, private colleges and a stable of large public universities. Though not exhaustive, the list below provides information about psychology programs in Kansas.
All tuition costs are from 2020 and do not include any applicable discounts to enrollees from nearby states via the Midwest Student Exchange Program or other university-specific initiatives (such as Gorilla Edge at Pittsburg State or Shocker Select at Wichita State).
Kansas State University (Manhattan)
The K-State Department of Psychological Sciences has been running the Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity since receiving a $10.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2017. The department’s Ph.D. program boasts four concentrations: behavioral neuroscience/animal learning, cognitive/human factors, social/personality, and industrial-organizational psychology. There’s also a terminal master’s degree in the latter, which is in a blended learning format. Students in the baccalaureate psychology program can specialize in any of the four areas or in clinical psychology.
Undergraduate in-state tuition costs $9,375 per year, $25,251 for most nonresidents. Graduate students pay $425.50 to $960.40 per credit, depending on their residency status.
Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg)
Pittsburg State University is the only university in Kansas that combines its psychology and counseling programs, which it believes creates a more holistic experience for students. The Department of Psychology and Counseling runs degree programs at multiple levels. Undergrads can choose between a B.A. or a B.S. in psychology, each with six available emphases: legal issues, the military, developmental disabilities, human factors, human resource development, and substance abuse services. The M.S. in psychology has three possible emphases: general, clinical, or behavior analysis. The school also offers an Ed.S. in school psychology.
Annual undergrad tuition is $7,338 for residents and $18,682 for nonresidents. Resident and nonresident grad students pay $8,322 and $19,154, respectively.
University of Kansas (Lawrence)
U.S. News & World Report has ranked University of Kansas’s psychology program among the top 50 in the country, the highest spot for a Kansas school. KU’s Department of Psychology offers Ph.D.s. in three areas: clinical psychology; brain, behavior, and quantitative science; and social psychology. All doctoral programs lead first to master’s degrees. The department also co-facilitates a clinical child psychology Ph.D. along with the Department of Applied Behavioral Science. Undergrads can seek out a B.S. in behavioral neuroscience or a B.A. or B.G.S. in psychology. Students transferring in with an associate degree can complete the B.G.S. degree online.
Tuition for full-time undergraduates from Kansas is $10,182, and for nonresidents it’s $27,050. Graduate residents pay $419.20 per credit, while nonresidents pay $1,000.95 per credit.
University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth)
USM is a Catholic liberal arts college that advertises small classes and practical degrees that lead to jobs. Students interested in attending courses at USM’s Overland Park campus can enroll in the terminal Master of Arts in Psychology there or the bachelor’s degree completion program in applied psychology. The main campus in Leavenworth offers a bachelor’s in psychology.
Tuition at the private college is $14,430 per semester at the main campus. Overland Park students pay $398 per credit for degree completion and $640 for M.A. credits.
Washburn University (Topeka)
Students in Washburn’s graduate psychology program can practice providing community mental health at the Washburn University Psychological Services Clinic, which has separate wings for anxiety and depression. In addition to a master’s degree, the Topeka school’s Psychology Department runs onsite and online B.A. programs in psychology.
Washburn tuition for residents is $8,594 per year for its undergrad program and $9,306 for its graduate program. Nonresidents pay $19,346 and $18,788.
Emporia State University (Emporia)
The psychology department at Emporia has an interesting array of undergraduate programs. In addition to a minor in general psychology, the school offers three bachelor’s degrees: a B.A., which is a general degree for those who might want to apply psychology to other disciplines; a B.S., which is geared for students who want to go on to a graduate program; and a Bachelor of Science in Education, a program that prepares students to teach psychology in middle and high school. At the graduate level, students can get a master’s in clinical psychology and school psychology. There is also an Ed.S. program in school psychology and a graduate certificate program in the Psychology of Learning and Exceptionality.
Tuition (including fees) is $3,404 per semester for residents and $10,357 for nonresidents. Graduate tuition rate is $266.41 per credit hour, not including fees.
Wichita State University (Wichita)
The Wichita State University Psychology Department is one of the larger psych departments in the state. It sports 14 research laboratories and clinics. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, it also supports three Ph.D. options: community psychology, clinical psychology, and human factors psychology. Separately, the Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology Department runs an M.Ed. in educational psychology, an Ed.S. in school psychology, and an educational psychology track as part of its Ed.D. in educational leadership.
Standard in-state tuition is $223.62 per credit for undergrads and $301.94 for grad students. Nonresident tuition goes up to $529.68 and $741.55.
How to Become a Psychologist in Kansas
Becoming a psychologist is about more than just earning a degree. The licensure component is crucial. The two elements work hand in hand to ensure that practicing psychologists are experienced mental health professionals.
Education Requirements for Psychologists in Kansas
The only way to become a fully licensed psychologist in Kansas is to first get a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in a psychology field. However, in Kansas, getting a terminal master’s degree can lead to opportunities in psychology as well. The state has two psychology licenses that allow master’s degree holders to practice—with limitations. And Kansas also licenses therapists and counselors without doctorates.
Even if you plan to bet a Ph.D. or Psy.D., getting a master’s first can help you decide on a specialization or career track. Indeed, there are 17 specializations recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA). Kansas schools feature a number of them, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and school psychology.
Kansas Psychology Licensing and Exams
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board is charged with issuing licenses and renewals to psychologists and other mental and behavioral health professionals. Kansas has three types of licenses for psychologists:
To become an LMLP, candidates must be 21 and have a graduate degree in the field. Once they have earned a score of 60% or above on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), they may apply for the LMLP. The application asks for basic details such as academic history, confirmation of a 750-hour practicum, and professional references. The EPPP costs $600 to take. The license application fee is $50, and the actual license is $150. Licenses must be renewed every 24 months and cost $100 to renew.
The application includes sections affirming the applicant has the appropriate education credits, took at least 24 credits in residence, and satisfactorily completed their postdoctoral residency. Applicants must also include professional references and release their academic and other records. The application fee is $175, and the license is $50.
Psychologists from outside Kansas can seek licensure if they’ve been practicing for at least the past five years or practice in a state with similar licensure requirements.
To renew their license, every two years psychologists must demonstrate they have completed 50 continuing education credits and pay a $150 fee. Most of the organizations at the end of this page offer continuing education.
Psychology Specializations in Kansas That Do Not Require a Doctorate
Perhaps you don’t want to go through the years of doctoral research and training necessary to become a psychologist but do want to help people with mental disorders or emotional difficulties. It’s possible to do so with a master’s degree. The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board licenses five careers that don’t require a doctorate:
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Kansas
Kansas boasts one of the lowest costs of living in the United States. Thus, even though psychologist salaries in Kansas tend to be below the national average, those salaries can stretch further. While job growth across the board is mixed, there are areas that are projected to have faster-than-average job growth.
|Career||Kansas Median Annual Salary |
|Median Salary Per Hour||% Expected Job Growth (2016 to 2026)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$58,900||$28.32||+9%|
|Other Specialties in Psychology|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$48,130||$23.14||+9%|
|Licensed Clinical Social Workers—All Other||$46,900||$22.55||–5%|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$44,140||$21.22||No data available|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors||$40,050||$19.26||No data available|
All data from CareerOneStop
Kansas Psychology Scholarships
In 2019, in-state and out-of-state tuition at Kansas public universities was lower than the national average. And, as of 2018, private schools in the state were nearly $10,000 less expensive than their out-of-state counterparts. Even so, paying for college isn’t always easy. Getting a scholarship is one way to offset the costs of your education. A number of schools and organizations in Kansas provide such awards for psychology students.
Kansas Internships and Fellowships
There are two types of paid experiences aspiring licensed psychologists typically go through. The first is a doctoral internship that helps get them the 1,800 required hours for graduation. The second is a postdoctoral fellowship that helps get them the 1,800 hours needed to qualify for licensure.
You can search for Kansas-based fellowships and internships at the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) database. Program directors are also often good resources, in part because many bigger schools run their own internships or fellowships. Here are some other offerings.
The Sunflower State has a healthy number of non-university fellowships and internships, depending on your specialty:
Other internships may pop up from time to time. To make sure you have a full view of what’s available, head to Chegg Internships or create a saved search on LinkedIn, Indeed, or another job site.