Psychology Programs in Maine
For people who want to improve their communities through careers in psychology, few places offer more opportunities than Maine. The most rural state in the country, Maine embodies the mental health care disparity that exists throughout rural America. The state is in dire need of good psychologists and other mental health or behavior professionals, particularly in its schools. Those who heed the call will find excellent colleges and universities and a network of committed professional colleagues who are committed to using their skills and training to make Maine a leader in mental health.
Maine Psychology Spotlight Programs
Maine has an impressive list of highly rated schools and programs for psychology students. Here are a few of the most popular and unique.
The University of Maine (Orono)
There’s an undergraduate psychology program at The University of Maine that focuses on understanding the science of behavior. There’s also a Ph.D. program offered through a clinical psychology track and a psychological sciences track. The psychological sciences option—which focuses on cognition, social, and biological psychology—is also offered as a master’s degree with a required thesis.
The university’s Psychological Services Center, which serves patients throughout Central Maine, is the primary site for U Maine’s APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral training. It’s just one part, however, of a sprawling and world-renowned culture of research that spans many fields and departments. In 2019, the university’s research expenditures were nearly $138 million.
In-state undergraduate tuition is $9,000 per academic year. Non-residents pay $29,310. For graduate students, it’s $8,100 and $26,338, respectively.
University of Southern Maine (Portland)
Undergraduates at the University of Southern Maine can earn a B.A. in psychology or take psych as a minor. For graduate students, there’s a Psy.D. in school psychology.
The university has a long and proud history of research conducted in partnership with, and often for the benefit of, the local community. The Cutler Institute is home to 10 research and training facilities on its own, and the Research Service Center serves as a home base for students, faculty, and staff engaged in externally funded research.
Undergraduate tuition is $281 per credit for in-state residents and $739 for non-residents. Graduate students pay $421 and $1,141, respectively.
Bowdoin College (Brunswick)
Undergraduate students at Bowdoin College can take psychology as a major or minor, or they can pursue a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. The school is listed by U.S. News as the No. 6 liberal arts college in the entire country.
Bowdoin was founded in 1794, which makes it 26 years older than the state of Maine itself. The school is both small and selective, both for students and instructors—99% of Bowdoin’s faculty have earned the highest degree in their fields.
Tuition is $55,822 per academic year, but half the students receive non-loan, grant-based aid packages worth an average of $47,500.
Husson University (Brunswick)
Husson University offers undergraduates a B.S. in psychology. They can tailor the degree to their own interests or pursue a path that qualifies them for the mental health rehabilitation technician/certification (MHRT/C), a state credential needed to conduct most entry-level mental health work in Maine. Students can also earn the B.S. online in a program that transfer students with 60 to 90 credits can complete in just 24 months. At the graduate level the school offers master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling.
Husson stands out as being the lowest-priced accredited, private, four-year institution in Maine. It awards $16 million in scholarships and institutional grants per year. Tuition is $18,972 per academic year for undergraduates and $642 per credit for master’s programs. Online tuition is $360 per credit hour, a significant reduction from the $612 that traditional learners would pay.
Colby College (Waterville)
According to U.S. News, Colby College is tied for the No. 11 spot among all liberal arts colleges in America. The undergraduate psychology major is offered with a concentration in neuroscience. The program is rigorous. It prepares students for advanced work in collaborative research, and students are required to maintain C grades or better in several critical courses to continue through the program.
The program also fosters collaborative research between faculty and staff that is quite intense for the undergraduate level. Students will work with state-of-the-art equipment while conducting research and taking several upper-level courses.
In terms of tuition, Colby lists only a “comprehensive fee” of $72,000 per academic year, but that includes room, board, and activities.
How to Become a Psychologist in Maine
You have to complete all the educational requirements and then earn a license to work as a psychologist in the state of Maine.
Education Requirements for Psychologists in Maine
You can only claim the title of “psychologist” after you earn a doctorate. There are many related fields, however, that you can enter with a lesser degree, including even an associate degree, in some cases. Some of those fields are described late in detail.
Some doctoral programs accept only candidates who have already earned a master’s degree, but many do not. In most cases, you can start working toward a doctorate right after you complete your undergraduate degree, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. A master’s can serve as an excellent stepping-stone between a bachelor’s degree and the advanced work required to complete a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program. It can also help you decide on a specialty.
The American Psychological Association (APA) currently recognizes 17 specialties and proficiencies in psychology. Among those that Maine’s colleges and universities commonly offer are clinical neuropsychology, clinical child psychology, and group psychology and group psychotherapy.
Maine Psychology Licensing and Exams
Although a doctorate earns you the title of “psychologist,” it doesn’t qualify you to begin working in the field. You can’t do that until the state governing body, the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists, awards you a license.
To apply for a license, you’ll have to show that you earned a doctorate from an accredited program. You also must first complete “at least two years of experience in psychology of a type considered by the board to be qualifying in nature.” That includes at least 3,000 supervised hours, which are split evenly with 1,500 required at each of the pre-doctorate and post-doctorate levels.
You’ll also have to take and pass the Examination for the Practice of Professional Psychology EPPP, the national examination that tests your skills and knowledge. On top of that, you must also pass the Maine Jurisprudence Exam, which focuses more on state-specific concepts such as ethics, laws, and regulations.
The state also issues temporary and conditional licenses that cannot be renewed. To keep a standard license in good standing, however, you’ll have to renew it every year on or by April 30. That’s relatively unique—the renewal period is every other year in most states. To be granted that annual renewal you’ll have to complete 40 credits of continuing education.
There are several fees as well, including $250 for the license application itself. The required criminal background check costs $21, the annual renewal fee is $125, and you have to pay to take both required tests, although those fees vary depending on when and where you take them.
Psychology Specializations in Maine That Do Not Require a Doctorate
As discussed in the previous section, Maine recognizes several specialties in the field of psychology that don’t necessarily require a doctorate. You can begin some of these careers with a master’s, a bachelor’s, and, in a few cases, even an associate degree.
They all have their own licensing boards, but the general concept remains the same. You have to earn a license to work, and you have to complete the educational requirements and satisfy the board’s standards, including completing supervised hours, passing exams, paying fees, and periodically renewing your license by completing continuing education credits.
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Maine
The many different specialties and licensures in the field of psychology all come with different salaries and potential for job growth. Here’s a look at median wages and growth projections for some of the most popular careers in the field.
|Career||2018 Median Salary||Expected Job Growth (2016 – 2026)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$72,200||5%|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$51,080||3%|
|Licensed Clinical Social Worker||$48,810||0%|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$86,060||no data available|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors||$47,990||no available data|
All data from CareerOneStop, 2020
Maine Psychology Scholarships
You can lower the cost of education by applying for scholarships, which, unlike student loans, don’t have to be paid back. Some are based on need or merit, and some are designed for specific student populations, such as women or Native Americans. Below is a list of Maine scholarships. Also visit our general scholarship page for information about awards for many types of learners from all over the country.
In many cases, it’s the individual schools themselves that provide scholarships in Maine, including:
In other cases, organizations that aren’t affiliated with colleges or universities offer scholarships of their own, including:
Maine Internships and Fellowships
Internships and fellowships are both real-world work experiences that often come with salaries and stipends. Although the two are similar, internships provide opportunities to get work experience, whereas fellowships focus more on professional development.
Like scholarships, individual schools often place their own interns and fellows.
Here, too, organizations and agencies that aren’t directly affiliated with colleges and universities also host their own fellowship and internship programs.
You can search for Maine-based fellowships and internships at the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) database. For internships, check with familiar job sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed, as well as Chegg Internships.
Maine Psychology Resources
The following organizations provide resources and support to both students and mental health professionals alike. Some are state agencies that regulate psychologists, others are nonprofits that represent them, but all offer valuable information, networking opportunities, updates, and news.
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