Home Psychology Programs and Licensing by State Psychology Programs in Mississippi

Psychology Programs in Mississippi

If you want to call yourself a psychologist in the state of Mississippi, you must be prepared to pursue a Ph.D. in the field and spend two years as an intern working under supervision. While the path is long, the satisfaction you feel from helping patients learn to navigate life changes, addiction, and mental health struggles can make it all worthwhile. Whether you dream of attending school in the metropolis of Jackson or you prefer the small-town feel of historic Oxford, you can find the perfect psychology program for you in Mississippi. Most importantly, you’ll be doing what you love – learning how to help people cope with life issues and mental health problems.

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Mississippi Psychology Spotlight Programs

Choosing the right university is a big undertaking. How do you know which is the right program for you? For starters, you’ll want to consider factors like tuition costs, social opportunities, and whether the university offers access to an internship in your preferred specialty. We’ve researched schools in Mississippi to come up with a list below that offer strong psychology programs, and several of them also provide the opportunity to earn hands-on experience in clinics that serve the local community.

University of Mississippi (Oxford)

This university is the largest public research university in Mississippi and is home to more than 23,000 students. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology. As a Ph.D. student, you can choose from clinical or experimental psychology programs. You can also earn hands-on experience in the Psychological Services Center, which offers the community access to affordable mental health services.

Tuition for undergraduate programs is $363.25 per credit hour, and for graduate programs, it’s $484.25. However, students pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology may be eligible for a tuition waiver through the school’s internship program.

The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg)

Established in 1940, the USM School of Psychology is dedicated to supporting the university and surrounding community through access to low-cost mental health services. This initiative allows psychology students to get valuable hands-on experience in the faculty-managed clinics and research labs.

USM offers a bachelor’s degree and four graduate programs, including an M.S. in counseling psychology, as well as Ph.D. programs in clinical, counseling, school psychology, and an experimental Ph.D. program in brain and behavior. Tuition at USM is $4,448 per semester for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Mississippi State University (near Starkville)

MSU is a public land-grant university located in the central part of the state. They offer a B.S. in psychology, as well as two Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology and cognitive science.

In addition to on-campus degree programs, MSU also offers an online B.S. in psychology program that students can use as a step toward a Ph.D. Tuition rates are $4,455 for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Jackson State University (Jackson)

JSU is one of the largest historically black colleges in the nation, with more than 7,000 enrolled students. Their clinical psychology program was founded in 1955, with an inaugural class of just six doctorate students.

Students who choose JSU school can pursue a B.S. in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. These programs are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of statics, research, and experimental methodology. Students can expect to pay around $4,222.50 per semester for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Alcorn State University (Alcorn)

Founded in 1871, ASU is the oldest historically black land-grant university in the United States and second oldest state university. Its rural setting and small enrollment size (just over 3,000 students) make the school a popular choice for those looking for a quiet college experience.

They currently offer a B.S. in psychology, which can serve as a path for students considering pursuing a Ph.D. program at another school. Tuition for the 2020 spring semester was $7,290 for in-state students.

Delta State University (Cleveland)

With an enrollment of just over 3,000 students, Delta State University is a 90-year-old institution with roots as a teacher’s college. Today, it boasts more than 40 majors, including several psychology programs.

At Delta State University, students can pursue a B.A. in psychology as well as two graduate programs, including an M.Ed. in counseling and Ed.S. in counseling. They also offer a certificate in applied psychology of industry for undergraduate students. As a student of Delta State, you can expect to pay $3,975.50 per semester for both undergraduate and graduate courses.

William Carey University (Hattiesburg)

Located in the Gulf Coast Region, William Carey University boasts a 170-acre main campus and a secondary tradition campus, located in nearby Biloxi. At WCU, students can pursue a B.S. in psychology, M.S. in counseling psychology, or M.S. in counselor education. Tuition fees are $395 per credit hour for undergraduate and $400 to $450 for graduate programs.

How to Become a Psychologist in Mississippi

A successful psychologist knows how to combine their personal experiences with skills learned in school to help people cope with the many challenges life can bring, including learning to deal with mental illness.

It is important to note that becoming a psychologist in the state of Mississippi requires earning a Ph.D. and meeting the additional requirements for licensure as outlined by the state.

Education Requirements

Your education will start with a bachelor’s degree, but to become a psychologist, you must be prepared to complete a rigorous Ph.D. program. However, there are a few non-psychologist careers in the field that don’t require a doctorate, such as counseling.

A master’s degree isn’t usually necessary to get into a doctoral program, but it can help your application be more competitive. An M.A. may also help you decide on a specialization in the field. For example, you might specialize in:

Once you have completed your education, you will also need to obtain two years of supervised experience in the form of an internship. Finally, you will apply to receive a license to practice.

Mississippi Psychology Licensing and Exams

To practice as a psychologist in the state of Mississippi, you must be licensed by the Mississippi Board of Psychology. This group is dedicated to safeguarding public welfare by ensuring that all psychologists in the state meet rigorous educational and ethical standards put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both the psychologist and patient.

The board does not offer licensure for specialties in psychology– there is a single license for all psychologists. Those in the process may be eligible to obtain a temporary license while awaiting the oral exam, which is only held a few times a year.

After obtaining your Ph.D. from an accredited school, you will need to take the following steps to become a fully licensed psychologist:

  1. Apply and pay the $300 application fee
  2. Pay $50 and submit to a background check
  3. Submit to fingerprinting
  4. Fill out a PLUS application
  5. Pass the written Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP)
  6. Complete the Oral Examination and Jurisprudence Examination

Applicants licensed in another state or who passed the EPPP but have yet to take the oral examination and the jurisprudence exam may apply for a temporary license, which expires on the next scheduled oral exam date.

In Mississippi, psychologist licenses must be renewed annually for a fee of $275. Every two years, you must provide proof of 20 hours of approved continuing education.

Psychology Specializations in Mississippi That Do Not Require a Doctorate

While you will need a doctorate to become a licensed psychologist in the state of Mississippi, there are a variety of jobs available in the field that only require a master’s degree. You may need to obtain a separate license from another licensing board for these roles:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor: LPCs provide mental health services to individuals, groups, and families with emotional problems and disorders.
  • Addiction Therapist: As an addiction therapist, you will assist patients and their families as they learn to navigate the impact that addiction has and work towards a healthier life.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist: A family therapist works with families and couples to improve relationships and help overcome life’s challenges.
  • Social Worker: As a social worker, you would work with clients of all ages to address emotional, societal, and psychological problems and connect them with state resources available to them.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Therapist: This type of therapist assists intellectually and developmentally disabled patients handle the challenges of their disability, including mental health struggles, coping mechanisms, and transition planning.
  • Guidance Counselor: A guidance counselor helps students navigate through the education system by offer guidance in academics, career selection, and personal and social development.
  • Professional Art Therapist: Using art and other methods of self-expression, an art therapist helps patients understand emotional conflicts, develop social skills, improve self-esteem, and handle challenges such as addiction or anxiety.

Job Growth & Psychologist Salary in Mississippi

Annual salaries for psychologists vary drastically based on where you work, your specialty, and your location within the state of Mississippi. A higher cost of living area is likely to correlate to a higher salary, for example. However, you may pay more for housing, food, and gas, which may result in less disposable income than you expect. Psychologists who own their practices may earn more than the average; however, they often spend a great deal of time on administration tasks related to running a business.

Nationwide, the field of psychology is experiencing rapid growth, with an expected 14% job growth on average.

Psychologist Salary and Job Growth in Mississippi

Primary JobMean Annual SalaryAverage Hourly SalaryProjected Job Growth
Psychologist Careers
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$72,470$34.8415%
Psychologists – All Other$86,110$41.4014%
Other Specialties in Psychology
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors$50,710$24.3813%
Social Worker, All Other$53,520$25.733%
Marriage and Family Therapist$41,620$20.01No data available
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor$37,170$17.8712%

Salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth information from O*Net.

Mississippi Psychology Scholarships

It’s no secret that getting a higher education is costly. To offset the financial strain, many people choose to use student loans; however, those funds must be paid back. Before going the student loan route, consider researching scholarships that can help fund your education. In fact, many individual schools have their own scholarships for psychology students.

  • Delta State University: The Statesman Scholar offers incoming freshmen 100% tuition, room, and board, plus $600 towards books. Students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and submit two essays, an academic resume, and a video. The scholarship is not limited to psychology majors.  
  • Alcorn State University: The Beatrice J. and Sidney S. Boose Endowed Scholarship is an annual award for a graduating senior pursuing graduate studies in psychology or education. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and write an essay describing their future education and career plans.
  • The University of Mississippi: The Amy Wise and Walter Permenter Memorial Scholarship Endowment is awarded to one outstanding psychology student enrolled at Ole Miss who demonstrates financial need.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi: The school of psychology at USM offers three scholarships to outstanding psychology students, including the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, and the Outstanding Graduate Research Award.
  • Mississippi State University: Scholarships are available for students at MSU who excel in leadership or academics. Fulltime students with high GPAs and competitive SAT/ACT scores may apply on their website for the Academic Excellence or Colvard Future Leader Scholarship.

In addition to school-based scholarships, the following scholarships may help you fund your education.

  • The Bailey Family Scholarship Fund: Offering up to $5,000 for an undergraduate student with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, two scholarships are awarded every year to deserving students.
  • Rotary Club of Jackson Mentor Scholarship Program:This scholarship awards $4,000 per year for up to four years to a deserving student. The scholarship recipient will be assigned a mentor from the Rotary Club.
  • NAJA Graduate Scholarship ProgramThis program offers a scholarship for graduate students in fields that address the special needs of children and youth. The applicant must plan to work directly with children to qualify.

Looking for more information about scholarships? Head over to our general psychology scholarship page for scholarships from a variety of states and for various types of learners.

Mississippi Internships and Fellowships

To obtain a license as a psychologist in the state of Mississippi, you must complete a total of 4,000 hours (two years) of supervised professional experience in an APA-approved internship position. Your internship can be crucial to your success as a psychologist and may help you decide which area of practice you will enter.

The university you attend may help you find placement at an on-site clinic, or you may choose to complete your hours in another facility. Here are several school-based internships to consider:

While university mental health clinics can be crucial for training and community health, you may consider exploring internships with a wider program focus. Consider these non-school related internships:

  • Mississippi State Hospital: A one-year internship that includes four rotations through several programs, which may include adult receiving, administrative psychology, child and adolescent, and forensic services.
  • G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center internship: This one-year internship program includes training in clinical rotation, didactics, cognitive behavioral therapy training, and professional leadership.
  • Canopy Children’s Solution Graduate Student Clinical Internship: For graduate-level students pursuing a master’s program in social work or a related field, this program provides students the opportunity to integrate knowledge, values, skills and cognitive/affective processes, and the mastery of behavioral health work competencies.
  • APA Minority Fellowship Program: The APA Minority Fellowship Program is a comprehensive training, mentoring, and career development program for ethnic minority communities entering the psychology field.

To find the right fit, you should also explore other internship and fellowship resources on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Chegg Internships. Searching by state will provide up-to-date information about internships available in your area and preferred field.

The university you attend may also provide additional information about internship opportunities.

Mississippi Psychology Resources

The path to becoming a licensed psychologist in the state of Mississippi is not an easy one. Networking with people who understand the challenges you face may help you stay committed to your goal. The following organizations provide a range of resources including conferences, educational opportunities, and job listings:

  • American Psychological Association: The leading scientific and professional organization in the United States is devoted to promoting the advancement and application of psychological science. They are responsible for accrediting programs and offer a wide range of resources, including reports, career opportunities, and events.
  • Mississippi Association for Psychology in the Schools:This association is dedicated to advancing the professional status of school psychologists, promoting the exchange of professional ideas, and maintaining high standards of service. They also host an annual conference.
  • National Association of Social Workers Mississippi Chapter:This organization is dedicated to helping social workers advance their careers and advocating for important social issues. Membership benefits include networking events, information about continuing education, and access to legal resources.
  • Southeastern Psychological Association: Operating as a branch of the APA, the SPA works to advance psychology as a science and promote human welfare. They unite psychologists in many southeastern states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky, for annual conferences and networking events. Their site includes a range of resources including continuing education and job listings.
  • American Art Therapy Association:This non-profit education and professional organization is dedicated to the growth and development of art therapy as a profession. Resources include information about education programs, an annual networking conference, and a research publication.
  • Mississippi Psychological Association: The MPA is an organization dedicated to advocating, educating, and promoting the growth of psychology as a profession in the state of Mississippi. Membership benefits include an annual conference and access to other professional services.