Psychology Schools in New Mexico
New Mexico is currently putting hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and gas revenues toward a court-mandated overhaul of its public school system. Many of those dollars are earmarked for filling hundreds of open positions for school psychologists and counselors. The move showcases the state’s recognition of the importance of mental health workers.
In addition, the state funds several initiatives for graduate psychology students who commit to working in underserved parts of the state. New Mexico is also home to institutions offering some of the lowest tuition rates in the country.
New Mexico Psychology Spotlight Programs
The following are some of the most interesting, unique, and popular psychology programs at New Mexico’s colleges and universities.
New Mexico State University (Las Cruces)
New Mexico State offers psychology degrees at all levels. The B.A. degree is in general psychology, the M.A. is in experimental psychology, and the doctorate is available with concentrations in social, engineering, and cognitive psychology.
New Mexico State boasts a low 3:1 faculty/student ratio. Faculty collaborate with graduate students on research projects in large lab suites, with each faculty member occupying their own suite.
Undergraduate tuition for residents is $3,147.50 for 15+ credits and $11,701.70 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $3,459.20 and $12,011.80. Graduate psychology students from 15 other states and territories might qualify for in-state tuition.
Southwestern College (Santa Fe)
Southwestern College is unique in that it is purely a graduate school. Master’s options include M.A. degrees in art therapy/counseling, counseling, and art therapy for clinical professionals. All programs take 2.5–3.5 years to complete.
Students will receive hands-on training at the Tierra Nueva Counseling Center, a mental health clinic that the college operates and uses to provide clinical practicum and internship training. Professional seminar classes are held there, and students will work with between two and five clients every week at the center for a total of 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours.
Tuition is $590 per quarter unit or $57,230–$57,820 for the entire program, depending on the concentration you choose.
University of New Mexico (Albuquerque)
The psychology department at the University of New Mexico is run by 27 faculty members and is home to 76 Ph.D. students. Nearly 1,800 undergrads have declared psych as a major, and psychology was voted “Best Department” by the college’s students. Its research programs are world-renowned and have received more than $8 million in research grants and funding.
Undergraduates can earn a B.A. or a B.S. in psychology, and an accelerated B.A. degree-completion program is available online. The Ph.D. program is available in four concentrations: Clinical; Cognition Brain and Behavior (Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Behavioral Neuroscience); Evolution; and Developmental. In addition to the concentration you choose, you can choose an emphasis in Quantitative Psychology or Health Psychology.
Many doctoral students work toward a master’s degree while completing the doctoral program, but the school does not offer terminal master’s degrees, and no doctoral program includes one.
University of the Southwest (Hobbs)
The University of the Southwest is a nondenominational Christian university that provides regular campus ministry events. The school is unique for its prison seminary program, which takes place at Lea County Correctional Facility.
The undergraduate psychology program at the University of the Southwest includes a 42-credit major that prepares students for graduate study—particularly graduate study in mental health counseling. The school also offers a master’s of clinical mental health counseling degree with electives such as psychopharmacology, play therapy, Christian counseling, and sexuality.
Tuition is $8,000 per semester for undergraduates and $625 per credit hour for graduate programs. The school boasts that 80% of its students receive some form of financial aid.
Western New Mexico University (Silver City)
Western New Mexico University stands out, in part, for its cultural diversity. Eighteen countries are represented among its student body, and half of its students are Hispanic. The college is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. It’s home to a museum that features Native American and Southwestern pottery, artifacts, and crafts.
WNMU offers an undergraduate psychology program that allows students to choose a non-psych minor. Students also have the option of taking psychology as an 18-credit minor with another major course of study. The school offers psychology as a concentration in a master’s of arts degree program in interdisciplinary studies. All programs can be taken either on campus or completely online. All students, including undergrads, are required to complete a capstone project at the end of the program.
Tuition for undergraduate state residents is $3,547.13 for 15 credit hours and $7,615.62 for non-residents. In-state graduate students pay $826.86 for three credit hours, and non-residents pay $1,022.31.
New Mexico Highlands University (Las Vegas)
The main campus of New Mexico Highlands University is in Las Vegas, N.M., a town rich in Southwest cultural history and legend. The town is also teeming with outdoor activities thanks to its location between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Plains.
You can earn a B.A., B.S., or M.S. in psychology at the university. B.A. students will complete 36 credit hours in the major. Those pursuing the B.S. will complete that plus a science minor and a research project. Master’s students can choose a general track or a clinical psychology/counseling track. Graduate students will be assigned a faculty advisor who will help them create a course of study that satisfies their area’s specific program requirements.
In-state undergraduate tuition is $3,084 for 12–18 credits, $5,220 for nonresidents. For graduate students, it’s $3,420 and $5,532.
How to Become a Psychologist in New Mexico
There are two hurdles to becoming a psychologist in New Mexico. The first is satisfying the educational requirements and the second is earning a license, which you need to work in the state.
Education Requirements to Be a Psychologist in New Mexico
You must complete a doctoral degree—either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D.—to earn the title of psychologist. There are, however, many related careers in the field of psychology that you can begin in New Mexico with a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or even an associate degree. Those will be discussed in the following section.
You must earn an undergraduate degree to enter a doctoral program, but you don’t necessarily need a master’s degree. Some doctoral programs require it, but many don’t. Even if your program doesn’t require you to earn a master’s, you might consider doing it anyway. Getting your master’s can prepare you for the heavy academic demands of a Psy.D. or Ph.D. program. A master’s program can also help you decide on a specialty.
The APA officially recognizes roughly 20 specialties and proficiencies in the field of psychology. Some of the most common among New Mexico’s colleges and universities are school psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and psychoanalysis in psychology.
New Mexico Psychology Licensing and Exams
To work as a practicing psychologist in the state of New Mexico, you’ll have to do more than earn a doctorate—all working psychologists must be licensed. The New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners is the governing body charged with vetting candidates and issuing licenses.
Everyone who applies for a license must show proof that they’ve completed a nationally accredited doctoral program in clinical, school, or counseling psychology. You must also have completed 3,000 hours of supervised experience over a two-year period. Up to one year and/or 1,500 hours may come from the doctoral program’s practicum experience. The same amount of time and hours can come from an approved internship. Up to six months and 750 hours can come from an internship that is not approved by the APA.
You’ll also have to take and pass two tests. The first is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This is a national examination administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The 225-question test assesses your knowledge and skills in eight key areas. There’s also the New Mexico Jurisprudence Examination, which focuses specifically on state-related concepts like ethics and regulations.
Once you’re working, you’ll have to renew your license every two years. To do that, you have to complete 40 approved continuing professional education credits. Renewals must take place on or before July 1st of the year that renewal is required, and a $100 delinquency fee is issued for anyone who files late.
The initial license application fee is $125 and the biennial renewal fee is $500. The cost of the jurisprudence examination is $75.
Psychology Specializations in New Mexico That Do Not Require a Doctorate
As mentioned in the previous section, New Mexico recognizes several specialties within the field of psychology that don’t require doctoral degrees. They all have their own licensing boards, and, just like psychologists, you have to satisfy the requirements of those boards to earn a license—which is required to work. That means earning the required degree, taking exams, and satisfying the rest of the board’s requirements.
Here’s a look at the officially recognized specialties in the state of New Mexico.
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in New Mexico
Salaries vary considerably from specialty to specialty in the field of psychology. Here’s a look at median salaries, as well as job growth projections, for some of the most common professions in the field.
|Career||2018 Median Salary||Expected Job Growth (2016 – 26)|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$66,810||+8%|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$54,690||+10%|
|Licensed Clinical Social Workers—All Others||$55,040||+4%|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$50,230||no data available|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors||$46,380||no available data|
All data from CareerOneStop, 2020
New Mexico Psychology Scholarships
You can offset the cost of education by applying for scholarships, some of which are general and others that are specific to certain student demographics like African-Americans, women, or the LGBTQ+ community. The scholarships listed below are those specific to New Mexico. Visit our general scholarship page for information on scholarships from a variety of states and a variety of demographics.
In many cases, colleges and universities themselves offer scholarships. Here are a few in New Mexico.
In other cases, scholarships are sponsored by organizations in New Mexico that aren’t affiliated with specific schools.
New Mexico Internships and Fellowships
Internships and fellowships are similar, but internships generally focus on providing professional experience while fellowships lean more toward research or academic or professional development. Fellowships are generally reserved for graduate students while grad students are often required to complete internships. Both often come with financial incentives like stipends or salaries.
Colleges and universities often offer their own fellowships and internships, including a few from these New Mexico institutions:
Organizations not affiliated with colleges or universities also offer their own internships and fellowships, including:
You should also make sure to use resources like Chegg Internships to learn about other opportunities, as well as LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job sites.
New Mexico Psychology Resources
The following organizations offer resources, information, professional development tools, and networking opportunities for psychology students and professionals working in the field.
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