Psychology Programs in Kentucky
Working as a psychologist or mental health provider in Kentucky gives you the opportunity to help people during times of crisis and improve their lives. Whether you plan to work in clinical, research, or academic positions, this field can be extremely meaningful for you and the individuals you serve. Approximately 18,250 psychologists, counselors, therapists, and social workers were employed in Kentucky as of 2018, with each of these roles expected to see growth over the coming years.
No matter if you want to become a licensed psychologist, therapist, substance abuse counselor, or social worker, plenty of psychology programs in Kentucky can help you achieve that goal. This page details Kentucky psychologist licensure requirements, different specializations you can pursue, job growth, salaries, available internships, and colleges for psychology in Kentucky.
How to Become a Psychologist in Kentucky
The Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology doesn’t make it all that easy to receive licensure, and for good reason. Psychologists are expected to be knowledgeable and trained experts in their chosen field. They must go through years of education and supervised work experience before demonstrating their preparedness for licensure. Below is the recommended path you’ll need to take in order to become a licensed psychologist in Kentucky.
- Pursue a bachelor’s degree: While it’s not necessary to pursue a bachelor’s specifically in psychology, these four-year programs can help set the foundation for future study and confirm that you’re on the right educational path.
- Complete a master’s degree, if required: If you plan to work as a marriage and family therapist, school counselor, or other position that doesn’t require a doctorate, you may want to pursue a master’s degree. Unlike other states, Kentucky does allow people to practice as licensed psychological practitioners with a master’s degree.
- Earn a doctorate: While Kentucky does not require this degree level to work as a licensed psychologist, if there is even a small chance of you ever moving to another state, you should pursue your doctorate; most states require this level of education. These programs usually take between four and seven years, depending on the degree.
- Identify a specialization: Psychology covers a wide spectrum of topics and approaches, making it imperative for students to select a specialization such as developmental, experimental, clinical, or behavioral psychology.
- Obtain licensure: When seeking a psychology license in Kentucky, you typically need to demonstrate satisfactory completion of all educational requirements, take part in pre- and post-doctorate supervised experiences, and pass any required examinations.
Kentucky Psychology Licensing and Exams
Requirements for licensure as a mental health professional vary significantly in Kentucky based on several factors. We take a look at the steps particular to individuals seeking to work as a licensed psychologist below.
- Meet educational requirements: To work as a psychologist in Kentucky, you must earn your degree from a recognized institution and write a dissertation or thesis depending on your degree level. Doctoral candidates must complete at least three years of study, with one year of residency, while master’s candidates need to have earned at least forty-five semester hours of coursework.
- Complete all supervised work experience: The Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology mandates that all doctoral candidates complete at least one three graduate semester hour practicum, while master’s candidates must experience at least 600 hours in relevant field experience.
- Turn in application and fee: The Application for Licensure as a Psychological Practitioner must be filled out and turned in to the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology along with a $200 application fee, three letters of reference, and official transcripts from any educational institutions attended.
- Take and pass mandated examinations: Licensees in Kentucky must pass both the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Kentucky structured examinations for licensure (focusing on Kentucky’s relevant laws, principles, and practices). The EPPP must be taken on a computer and the applicant must earn a scaled score of at least 500; failure requires re-applying to the board and, if approved, again paying all relevant fees, and sitting the exam a second time. The Kentucky structured exams are oral and proctored by two board-approved, licensed psychologists. Failure results in applicants reapplying with an improvement plan.
- Maintain licensure: Psychologist licenses must be renewed every three years in Kentucky. To qualify for renewal, you must demonstrate completion of at least 39 continuing education credits over that time period.
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Kentucky
Before pursuing a career in psychology, make sure the job provides both a salary that meets your living requirements and isn’t expected to become obsolete in the coming years. We highlight a few common job titles in Kentucky to help you ascertain this information, but be aware that these are not all the options available in your state.
Mental Health Careers and Job Growth in Kentucky
|Career||Average Salary||Average Wage Per Hour||Expected Job Growth|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$58,770||$28.25||11%|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$64,330||$30.93||13%|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$42,240||$20.31||N/A|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||$35,600||$17.12||16%|
|Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselors||$42,240||$20.31||25%|
Recognized Psychology Specializations in Kentucky
Individuals pursuing a career in psychology or a related field can follow several specialized paths depending on their particular interests. We take a look at some of the most common jobs in this sector below, but this is by no means an exhaustive list of available titles.
Kentucky Psychology Spotlight Programs
In Kentucky, numerous public and private schools offer psychology programs at all academic levels. When looking at potential options, don’t forget to find an accredited college or program. At the bachelor’s level, look for a regionally accredited school. At the master’s or doctoral level, look for programs recognized by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, Kentucky)
EKU’s Department of Psychology serves learners at every academic level with both in-person and online degree paths. The B.S. in psychology offers a variety of concentrations such as general psychology, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, forensic psychology, child and family psychology, and psychiatric rehabilitation. Students seeking a master’s program can choose from studies in general experimental psychology or industrial and organizational psychology, while doctoral candidates can pursue a Psy.D. in clinical psychology. Undergraduate residents pay $4,633 per semester while out-of-state undergrads pay $9,699. Residents pursuing a master’s pay $550 per credit and out-of-state master’s students pay $775 per credit. Doctoral students pay $81,000 per year regardless of their residency. All accepted doctorate students receive funding through assistantship positions and tuition waivers.
Morehead State University (Morehead, Kentucky)
Morehead State University offers both a B.A. and B.S. in psychology. Master’s students can choose from programs in clinical or counseling psychology. All psychology degrees are taught on campus. Students are encouraged to participate in several research opportunities through grants and the Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Undergraduate residents pay $4,485 per semester, while non-residents pay $6,778 per semester. Grad students, regardless of residency, paid $570 per credit.
Spalding University (Louisville, Kentucky)
Spalding University offers myriad learning options to help students seeking flexibility find the program they need. Students can take traditional, evening, weekend, or online classes. The B.A. in psychology offers tracks in general psychology, pre-clinical/pre-counseling, or organizational psychology. Learners also participate in a senior capstone or an applied internship to build real-world skills. Spalding introduced one of the first Psy.D. programs in the nation and has maintained American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation since 1989. Specializations include adult psychology, child/adolescent/family psychology, forensic psychology, or health psychology. Undergraduate students pay $12,900 per semester while doctoral students pay $1,020 per credit.
University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
The College of Arts and Sciences oversees the Psychology Department at UK and offers bachelor’s and doctoral degrees. The department is large—with currently more than 1,000 undergraduate students. Learners can choose from a general or honors curriculum and work with faculty specialized in a variety of research areas. Students can also earn an undergraduate certificate in social science research. Doctorate candidates can pursue research degrees in clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or developmental, social, and health psychology. Concentrations in neuropsychology and health psychology are also available. Undergraduate residents pay $6,180 per semester and non-residents pay $15,340. Graduate students receive funding from teaching or research assistantships that provide full tuition, a stipend, healthcare, and benefits.
University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky)
The University of Louisville offers a B.A. in psychology both on campus or online, and a B.S. that can only be taken on campus. They also offer Ph.D. programs in clinical or experimental psychology. The experimental psychology pathway offers specializations in cognition, development, vision, hearing, or neuroscience. The department provides multiple ways to get involved, including research opportunities, the psychology honors program, Psi Chi International Honor Society, and several scholarships. Undergraduate residents pay $11,732 annually and out-of-state students pay $27,758. Online students pay $539 per credit regardless of where they live. Resident grad students pay $6,500 per semester while non-residents pay $13,557.
Kentucky Psychology Scholarships and Grants
Even though the cost of earning a college degree continues to rise year after year, you can still reduce your financial burden by applying for funding. Scholarships and grants are great options to consider, with both psychology-specific and general scholarships available from colleges and universities, professional associations, nonprofits, and private foundations. Individual schools may offer scholarships so check with your chosen university’s financial aid website.
Kentucky Internships and Fellowships
As discussed earlier, individuals working toward careers in psychology and mental health must gain supervised work experience prior to being licensed. Many opportunities for internships, fellowships, and practica exist throughout the state depending on individual student interests. Aside from opportunities listed in this section, check out sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed to find more positions.
Kentucky Psychology Resources
Whether you’re a student, recent licensee, or industry veteran, plenty of resources exist to help you develop contacts, keep up with continuing education credits, and expand your expertise.
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