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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.

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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.

  • Professional counselor: The Board of Counselors issues licenses to professional counselors, clinical professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, and registered counselors. All require a master’s degree, although most offer several different pathways to licensure. Counselors provide mental health services to a broad range of clients facing an equally broad range of problems and obstacles. They work with both adults and children, with groups and individuals. Some specialize in specific populations, such as prisoners or the LGBTQ+ community, while others provide general counseling services.
  • Alcohol and drug counselor: The Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors also issues several licenses. You can earn a license as an alcohol and drug counseling aide, a certified alcohol and drug counselor, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or a certified clinical supervisor with a bachelor’s degree or even an associate degree. No matter the license type, you’ll work in this specialty to identify, manage, and mitigate the effects and behaviors associated with chemical dependency.
  • Social worker: The State Board of Social Worker Licensure licenses five types of social workers: licensed social workers, licensed master social workers, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed social workers with conditional or clinical conditional licenses. Social workers intervene on behalf of children, adults, individuals, and families struggling with crises such as homelessness, poverty, abuse, and domestic violence. They counsel and advise and also help connect their clients with the right social services groups and agencies.

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.

Career2018 Median Salary Expected Job Growth (2016 – 2026)
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$72,2005%
Psychologists—All Other$93,0700%
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors$51,0803%
Licensed Clinical Social Worker$48,8100%
Marriage and Family Therapists$86,060no data available
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors$47,990no 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:

  • Colby College: Colby College offers a variety of scholarships specific to academic research. Many are funded by outside grants, and some are open to undergraduates and others to graduate students. They come with various award amounts and have different application requirements.
  • Husson University: Husson University offers five merit scholarships ranging in award amounts from $4,000 to $20,000 and transfer scholarships that pay from $1,000 to $3,000. The school also sponsors dozens of other scholarships, some need-based, others merit-based, and others that are endowed.
  • Bowdoin College: Bowdoin is one of the more expensive schools in Maine, but the college offers significant aid to many of its students. Its aid structure has switched to a grant-based, non-loan format, so its assistance packages don’t have to be paid back, just like scholarships. Nearly half of students receive aid packages ranging from $1,200 to $73,800, with the average award being $47,500.

In other cases, organizations that aren’t affiliated with colleges or universities offer scholarships of their own, including:

  • Richard H. Pierce Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship comes with an award of $5,000 and is open to students who have lived in Maine for at least one year and who are entering their first year of college. A total of 10 scholarships will be awarded, and they are renewable for up to four years, depending on grade level.
  • Maine Society of Washington, D.C. Foundation Inc. Scholarship: This award is open to students under the age of 25 who are already enrolled and have completed at least one year of study at a Maine college. All applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or better. The award is for $1,000.

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.

  • VA Maine Predoctoral Internship Health Service Psychology: The Augusta location of the VA Maine Healthcare System hosts this internship, which is accredited by the APA. It lasts for one year and requires 2,080 hours of training, which includes one four-month outpatient mental health rotation and two other rotations chosen by the intern. It provides a stipend of $25,935.
  • VA Maine Postdoctoral Fellowship Clinical Psychology: Also located in Augusta, the VA systems’ clinical psychology fellowship program is a post-doctorate position. Like the internship, it runs for one year and includes 2,080 training hours. It comes with a stipend of $46,102, which is paid in biweekly installments. The program follows the scholar-practitioner model and focuses on psychology in the context of rural mental health.
  • Goodwill Northern New England Human Service-Neurorehabilitation Internship: One of the sites for this opportunity is located in Portland, and the other is about 40 miles away. It includes two open positions, and interns will work directly under the chief psychologist, who is also the program’s training director. It pays a stipend of $26,000 and offers a full benefits package.

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.

  • Maine Psychological Association: MePA is a nonprofit that represents the state’s more than 600 psychologists and psychological examiners. The organization advocates on behalf of its members; maintains a massive database of laws, regulations, and policies; and offers free ethics consultations. It also provides continuing education and offers a networking forum for colleague connection.
  • Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists: This is the agency responsible for issuing and renewing licenses in the state. It maintains information on all the associated laws and regulations and provides all the necessary documents and web services.
  • Maine Association of School Psychologists: MASP advocates specifically for the state’s school psychologists. It provides networking and information-sharing opportunities, lobbies for public policy that benefit the industry, and connects remote rural school psychologists with resources and assistance.
  • Maine Counseling Association: This group represents all kinds of counselors and mental health professionals in the state. It hosts conferences and other events, promotes and conducts research, and provides information both to practitioners and to the general public.